Monday, July 21, 2003

CHARTWATCH: "They're calling her the new Madonna" trilled Cat Deeley, introducing Beyonce on this weekend's CD:UK - which is a little harsh, her acting in the Austin Powers film wasn't that bad. She remains in the number one single spot, and nipping into the newsagents to pick up a paper this morning, it was clear why - ten seconds I was there, and the ten second burst of Crazy In Love was both instantly recognisable and then burned in my skull firmly and in a way I couldn't remove until I heard Jeffrey Archer's former cellmates doing their rewritten version of Daniel ("Jeffrey is leaving the prison today/ I can see the paparazzi clicking away again…"). The art of the hook is well known, and you still get pop with hooks in it, but what's missing these days is the ability to marble the hook right through the flesh of the song, so that any snatch of the track will lodge itself in. Madonna used to be able to do this - I had a pleasant trip down memory lane with a snatch of Lucky Star while popping into a restaurant toilet on Saturday - but it's a trick she's lost. Hollywood - having burned up apparently all the remaining Maddy goodwill - freefalls from two to fifteen this week. Kym Marsh's optimistic booking of commercials during last night's Corrie wedding special coincided with the shaky start for Come On Over turning into a swift departure (down to 23), while Avril Lavigne does even worse - Losing Grip suffering a humiliating shunt to the Pop Sidings after a single week in the Top 40 (41 this week). Blur are also out the 40 after a week - (Crazy Beat, 44)

Proving nobody's ever gone bust giving half naked women powertools, Benny Benassi debuts at number two with Satisfaction; Wayne Wonder has done an old-stylee five week climb up the chart to hit number three with No Letting Go, while - gasp - the Jesus lovers are given a resurrection (Evanescence up again to number 4). The Coral are straight in at number five with their (i.e. Every Liverpool Band That Doesn't Sound Like Oasis') own brand of scalladelica (or is it scouseadelia? Or Birkenhead-music?) on Pass It On. They're now the most successful Liverpool band since… well, Atomic Kitten, really, but if you're counting acts that own their own instruments, since The Farm. Probably.

Dressing up as dogs has given Super Furry Animals' Golden Retriever a number eight; further down some sort of wormhole seems to have opened up with Killing Joke's first chart entry in thirty-seven years (Loose Canon, 25) and Inspiral Carpets having their first mini-hit since the birth of the little baby Jesus (Come Back Tomorrow, 43). The Cardigans will be a bit disappointed that You're The Storm can only scrape together enough pocket money to make seventy-four - okay, they'll be distraught. Maybe someone should ring them?

But this week's big single losers are Appleton - threatening to move to Canada, suggesting men check their testicles; nothing has helped shift the new single. Everything Eventually shamefacedly creaks in at 38, amid rumours of sales counter not needing a fourth figure.

Over on the albums charts, yes, of course, Beyonce is still there, like the queen of the world. Aside from the Manics's social experiment (Q. Will our fans lash out for a b-sides compilation? A. Yes - Lipstick Traces in at 11) there aren't many new entries about - indeed, the second highest is Neil Young at forty two; then Sinead Quinn, off of the telly is Ready To Run at forty-eight (run-off, more like); Nitin Sawhney's Human appears for the first time (54). Despite having had the sort of push that must have caused Paul Weller to cry tears of real blood (not only was his music used in a Ribena advert; the record company then used footage from the advert to promote the album) The Style Council's Greatest Hits suffers an entry at 67.

Late-night TV profiles never harmed anyone, as BBC2's rerun of BBC4's Jeff Buckley documentary hauls Grace back into the top 75, and the curious online campaign for Martina Topley Bird has done her enough business for a number 70.

Album loser is Lisa Marie Presley. She may wish she hadn't waited this long to launch a music career - To Whom It May Concern only concerned enough people to sneak in at number 52. And after the surprisingly positive things "ordinary people" said about the album on BBC Online, too.

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