Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UK Charts, 3/15/2008

1. Mercy - Duffy (4 weeks at #1) (singles chart)
1. Rocferry - Duffy (albums chart)

That's right, I put "charts" up above to note that Duffy scores a double this week, topping both the singles chart--for the fourth week--and the albums chart, with her debut, Rockferry. She gets a triple if you count the airplay chart, where she reigns for a fourth week. And these are solid #1 hits too. "Mercy" has actually gained in sales every week it's been #1, topping 100,000 units this week, a first so for this year. Only three #1 singles last year managed to sell more than 100,000 units, the year's big charity single (Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" remake), The Christmas #1 (X-Factor winner Leon Jackson's "When You Believe"), and Leona Lewis' debut ("Bleeding Love"). That Duffy does it with her debut single ("Rockferry" doesn't really count) that is a) not a charity release, b) not a reality show tie-in, and c) released during the 1st quarter--traditionally the slowest time of year for music sales--is really quite impressive. The last time it happened was 1999, when Mr. Oizo's March release, "Flat Beat" hit #1 selling 283,000 copies (more copies I might add than last year's biggest week for a #1 hit).

Rockferry tops the albums chart this week, moving 180,000 copies, more than double the year's second-biggest #1 week--last week's 75,000 units sold by Amy Winehouse's Back to Black, buoyed no doubt by her big Grammy night. Again, this is an unusually strong debut--only two albums managed to debut at #1 with bigger sales weeks last year, Arctic Monkeys and Leona Lewis.

2. What's It Gonna Be - H Two O Feat. Platnum

"What It Gonna Be" spends a third week at #2. Dance music may be making a comeback this year, with this a solid hit and Basshunter's #1 "Now You're Gone" from earlier this year. Just around the corner are some remix/re-releases of older dance hits poised to be resurrected--Utah Saints' 1992 hit "Something Good," and Fragma's 2000 #1 hit "Toca's Miracle."

4. Stop and Stare - OneRepublic

The band's solo debut single, following its #3 Timbaland collaboration, "Apologize," manages to fall just one spot short of that previous single's peak. Not bad, considering that "Stop and Stare" isn't nearly the single "Apologize" was (still lingering on the chart at #25).

5. Come on Girl - Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz just may be the new Craig David. "Come on Girl" sounds just like something David would (or rather should) be doing. This is by far Taio Cruz's biggest hit to date, his previous best being last year's #26 peak for "Moving On." (Craig David's last single, the disappointing "6 of 1" limped onto the chart at #39, his second worst showing). The single features dance vocalist Luciana, who hit #2 in October '06 with "Yeah Yeah."

7. Fascination - Alphabeat

Danish pop act Alphabeat scores their first major UK hit with "Fascination," making an impressive 16 spot leap into the top 10. They're getting compared to the Scissor Sisters, owing to their flamboyant style and male and female vocalists.

8. Up Against the World - Westlife

Poor, poor Westlife. Sure they have the third most #1 hits of any musical act, but until this week, they'd never had a single that wasn't a top 5 hit. "Us Against the World," which, let's face it, is a lame single, ends their run of 22 consecutive top 5 hits, 14 of which went all the way to #1.

9. Low - Flo Rida feat. T-Pain

Two more weeks until this is fully released. It's already spent 10 weeks at #1 in the U.S., and now it looks like it could be a #1 contender in the UK.

13. Something Good 2008 - Utah Saints

The aforementioned dance act, making a good showing on unofficial early download sales--unofficial because the only version yet available is a long remix off a dance compilation. The single version is out now, with the physical release following next week.

15. After Hours - We Are Scientists

American indie band We Are Scientists score their biggest hit yet with "After Hours" at #15, first single from their new album, Brain Trust Mastery.

20. Can't Speak French - Girls Aloud
34. Denial - Sugababes

The leading Brit girlgroups have unfurled their latest third singles form their respective curernt albums. Girls Aloud are up 15 this week with "Can't Speak French," looking for their 18th top 10 hit when this is fully released next week. Sugababes debut in the top 40 at #34 with "Denial," hoping to do better than their last single, "Change," a flop at #13 at Christmas following "About You Now," which spent 4 weeks at #1.

23. Better in Time - Leona Lewis

Here's the big competition for next week. Duffy may be the reigning chart singles champion, moving huge quantities of singles, but Leona Lewis is a chart powerhouse, as demonstrated by "Bleeding Love," last year's biggest hit. It's follow-up isn't nearly as good, but given her momentum, this will pose a serious challenge to Duffy's dominance this week. Should be a fun chart battle to watch unfold.

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