Sunday, March 16, 2008

British Singles Chart, 3/22/2008

1. Mercy - Duffy
2. Better in Time - Leona Lewis

It was an amazing chart battle for #1 this week, and very very close. Early sales figures suggest only 300 copies separated these two, less than 1% of each record's sales. In the end, it is Duffy's brilliant "Mercy" that pulls out another week at the top, becoming the second single in a row to spend more than a month--i.e. 5 weeks--at #1. While this doesn't sound that amazing, it actually is when you consider that it hasn't happened in 15 years--not since the end of 1992 and early '93 when Whitney Houston's 10-week run at #1 with "I Will Always Love You" was followed by a 5-week run for 2 Unlimited's "No Limit." Duffy also holds onto the top spot of the airplay chart for the 5th week, and her album, Rockferry, spends at second week at #1 on the albums chart.

So Duffy's victory is Leona Lewis's downfall, and it's actually a fairly significant defeat. Late last year she looked unstoppable, having the year's biggest selling hit in "Bleeding Love," which is making a significant crossover in the U.S. at the moment (see my last post). That "Better in Time" is the follow-up to last year's biggest hit should've been enough to create enough interest to send it to #1, but then when you add the fact that it's a charity single--and Brits seem to love those--this should have been a slam dunk. That's it's not a testament first to Duffy, but also to the fact that "Better in Time" is mediocre--a poor choice to follow-up the powerful "Bleeding Love." A number of tracks from Spirit could have done the job better. Needless to say, I seriously doubt this will be chosen as the U.S. follow-up.

6. Fascination - Alphabeat

Campy "Fascination" ascends another spot to #6. Well done.

7. Low - Flo Rida feat. T-Pain

Flo Rida also manages a little climb, up two spots, and still more than a week away from its physical release. Surely a potential challenger now to unseat "Mercy."

9. Something Good 2008 - Utah Saints

Also a challenger is this track, a remix of the band's 1992 dance hit that made #4 at that time. Fully released Monday, it's the week's biggest contender. My guess: look for at #3 next Sunday behind Duffyand Leona.

15. Denial - Sugababes
16. Can't Speak French - Girls Aloud

Neck-in-neck in the teens are Britain's two leading girl pop acts. Both are physically released Monday, so look for these in the top 10 next week. Sugababes will be trying to redeem themselves, after the dismal #13 peak of their last single "Change." Girls Aloud will be trying to keep up their top 5 record for their latest album, Tangled Up, as both its previous singles, "Sexy! No No No..." and "Call the Shots" managed.

35. I Shall Overcome - Hard-Fi

Poor Hard-Fi. Can't find a hit these days. Pity. It's another great single.

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