1. Shout - Shout for England feat. Dizzee Rascal and James Corden
For proof that Brits take their football (soccer) very seriously, look no further than... the singles chart, which this week plays host to no less than eight football-themed singles, including the new #1 hit, "Shout," a remake/mash-up of Tears for Fears 1984 top 5 hit "Shout" and BLACKstreet's 1997 top 10 hit "No Diggity" (both of which were #1 hits in the US). It gives Dizzee Rascal his fifth #1 hit and his second in the last 2 weeks following "Dirtee Disco," which takes an 8-spot dive to #12 this week. "Shout" also features comedian James Corden and was produced by X Factor and American Idol personality Simon Cowell.
So what's up with all the football songs? Can't offer much there, as I'm not a sports fan, but even I know that the World Cup is on right now, so I can only assume that Britain is doing well, fueling the popularity for these songs. I was first introduced to this phenomenon in 1998, when "3 Lions '98" was a #1 hit, and I had no idea why. Here's a rundown of what else is big this week:
3. Wavin' Flag - K'naan
Rapper K'naan has his first top 40 hit as a guest rapper on Keane's recent single "Stop for a Minute." Now he's got a genuine hit of his own with "Wavin' Flag," which is the Coca-Cola anthem for the World Cup. The single climbs 13 notches to #3 this week. If you're interested in only the World Cup version, go for the "Celebration Mix" rather than the original.
10. 3 Lions - Baddiel & Skinner and the Lightning Seeds
"3 Lions" is the most popular and long-lived British football anthem. It was first recorded in 1996 for the European Championships and became a #1 hit. a new version, "3 Lions '98" was a #1 hit in 1998 for the World Cup. The single hit #16 in 2002 and #9 in 2006, again in connection with the World Cup. Now it's back in the top 10 for a fourth time.
22. World in Motion - New Order
New Order's World Cup song, recorded for the 1990 world cup and released under the rather patriotic name "EnglandNewOrder," was the band's only #1 hit in Britain. The single returns to the top 40 this week. Although it got some attention in 2002, this is the first time it's appeared in the top 40 since 1990.
23. If I Can Dream - Terry Venables
A former football player recorded a charity single and its a top 40 hit this week.
28. 3 Lions - Squad
"Squad" is Baddiel & Skinner plus the Lighting Seeds' Ian Broudie joined by Robbie Williams and Russell Brand for a new third version of the song. It's up 11 spots this week, although 3 weeks ago it debuted at #21.
32. Vindaloo - Fat Les
Although this was originally meant of a parody of football songs, it has actually become one, returning to the top 40 this year for the first time since it was recorded in 1998, when it was a #2 hit (kept from #1 by "3 Lions '98").
38. Waka Waka (This Time for Africa) - Shakira feat. Freshlyground
Colombian singer Shakira teams up with South African group Freshlyground for this official 2010 World Cup song, which they will perform at World Cup final on July 11, giving this song plenty of time to catch on and become a hit.
So what else were hits this week?
2. Frisy - Tinie Tempah feat. Labrinth
During most of the week, Tinie Tempah looked to score his second #1 hit, following in the footsteps of "Pass Out" earlier this week. In the end, he got beat by Dizzee Rascal, but under the circumstances #2 isn't bad. "Frisy" is another electro-tinged hip-hop number.
11. Turn It Up - Pixie Lott
Wow. I didn't expect this. Pixie Lott's fifth single and title track from her album Turn It Up out-charts the album's last two singles, up 14 spots this week to #11. I didn't expect this song to be a hit, and haven't paid much attention to it really. It's certainly done better than "Gravity," which, although I like it much better, only peaked at #20.
19. Alejandro - Lady GaGa
Lady GaGa is on the way up with her latest single, climbing 9 notches to #19. It gets a physical release at the end of the month.
Next week: Kylie Minogue tries to score her first #1 hit in 7 years with "All the Lovers," out as a download today and physical single in a couple of weeks. The single is already #1 on the UK airplay chart. Also out are Robyn's "Dancing on My Own," Example's "Kickstarts" and Dennis Ferrer's "Hey Hey."