Claiming the number one position on the singles chart for the ninth week in a row, Crazy by Gnarls Barkley saw its sales slip just 6% last week to 37,682, beating off a challenge from new runner-up Sandi Thom's I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker by a margin of 15.2%, writes Alan Jones.
Crazy now has one of the longest reigns at number one in chart history, being inferior to only six of the previous 1,032 chart-toppers, namely I Believe by Frankie Laine (18 weeks at number one in total, split into separate runs of nine, six and three weeks), (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. by Bryan Adams (16), Love Is All Around by Wet Wet Wet (15), Rose Marie by Slim Whitmen(11), Cara Mia by David Whitfield and I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (both 10).
Crazy shares another distinction with Love Is All Around - that of being deleted while number one. The Wet Wet Wet single was deleted at lead singer Marti Pellow's insistence, while Crazy is being withdrawn by Warner Music today (29th) in cahoots with Gnarls Barkley, so that attention can be focused on follow-up Smiley Faces - due July 17 - and the duo's St. Elsewhere album, which has thus far spent five straight weeks in the Top 10. St. Elsewhere slips 5-8 this week, with sales of 21,366 lifting its cume to 226,057. Crazy has thus far sold 661,328 copies, and is the runaway number one single of the year to date, with runner-up Nasty Girl by The Notorious B.I.G selling fewer than a third as many copies (208,542).
Whether or not it manages to stay at number one for any longer, Crazy is already the longest running number one for Warner Music since it entered the UK market more than 46 years ago, The company's previous best number one runs (seven weeks) were by Cher (Believe) and The Everly Brothers (Cathy's Clown), the latter record being the very first Warner release in the UK in April 1960.
The staggered download/physical release schedule continues to throw up a massive increase in the number of climbers and a vastly reduced number of high new entries. Moving from download to full physical release provides Top 20 climbers for Sandi Thom (15-2), Primal Scream (23-5), The Ordinary Boys & Lady Sovereign (38-6), Matt Willis (52-7), The Feeling (28-10) and Nerina Pallot (37-14). Meanwhile, the week's highest new entry, Is It Any Wonder by Keane, debuts at mumber 15 on downloads alone, and could be a contender for Gnarls Barkley's crown a week hence.
Providing a tartan flavour to the top five, the Sandi Thom and Primal Scream jumps deserve more examination.
Peaking at number 55 when first released on the Orkney Islands' tiny Legacy label last October, Thom's single rockets 15-2 on sales of 32,720 this week as her first release for the somewhat larger Sony BMG label. London-based Thom, a 24 year old singer/songwriter from the Scottish fishing village of Banff, famously clinched her deal with the major after her webcam performances attracted massive audiences, and releases her debut album Smile, It Confuses People next Monday (June 5).
Country Girl is the first single from Scots band's Primal Scream's album Riot City Blues, which is also released next Monday. After debuting last week at number 23 on downloads, Country Girl vaults to number five on sales of 18,065 to become the biggest hit - or, at least, highest charting hit - in the band's 16 year, 19 hit career. Their only previous Top 10 entries were Rocks (number seven in 1994) and Kowalski (number eight in 1997). Country Girl's success marks a major return to form for the band whose last two singles both reached number 44 in 2002/3.
Meanwhile, despite finishing 19th out of 24 in the Eurovision Song Contest, UK entry Daz Sampson's Teenage Life improves its chart placing for the second week running. After reaching the dizzy heights of number five on the first midweek sales flash last Tuesday, Teenage Life eventually climbs 12-8, with sales up 37.9% week-on-week at 15,045. It thus becomes the first British Eurovision entry to breach the Top 10 since Precious' Say It Again reached number six in 1999. Finnish rockers Lordi's winning Eurovision entry Hard Rock Hallelujah is set to be released as a single next week by Sony BMG, while parent album The Arockalypse is out today.
Among the more disappointing placings in this week's chart are Michael Jackson's number 27 debut with Heal The World - the 14th and lowest placed dualdisc to chart in as many weeks for Jacko; The Darkness' number 39 debut with Girlfriend, the second single from current album One Way Ticket To Hell And Back massively underperforming compared to first single Is It Just Me's number eight peak; and, most surprisingly of all, Sin Sin Sin becoming Robbie Williams' lowest charting solo single.
After a run of 25 consecutive Top 15 hits since launching his solo career with Freedom in 1996, Williams debuts at number 22 with Sin Sin Sin, the third single from his current album Intensive Care. It's not likely to climb, being fully released last week on 7-inch, CD and DVD as well as download for a disappointing total of 7,410 sales. Williams hasn't had a record chart this low since 1992, when he reached number 47 with Once You've Tasted Love as a member of Take That. Intensive Care responds to the Top 20 TV and radio airplay support given to Sin Sin Sin by improving 169-112 this week, on sales up 58.6% at 1,848. Nevertheless, it's unprecedented for an album by Williams to be absent from the Top 75 when a third single is released.
On the artist album chart, 52,146 sales are enough to earn The Red Hot Chili Peppers another week at number one, while there are Top 10 debuts for new albums by Zero 7, Pet Shop Boys and Angels & Airwaves., and noteworthy climbs for the latest albums from Nerina Pallot and Jack Johnson.
The Red Hot Chili Peppers rack up their third week at number one with Stadium Arcadium, and their 10th in total, having spent five weeks on top with By The Way (2002) and two weeks with Live In Hyde Park (2004). The only acts with more weeks at number one in the 21st century are Robbie Williams (22), Dido (17) and Travis (11). Eminem and James Blunt have also spent 10 weeks on top.
Zero 7's 2001 debut album Simple Things sold 355,359 copies despite a modest chart peak of #28, while 2004 follow-up, When It Falls sold fewer copies (237,416) but debuted and peaked at number three. The band's third album The Garden debuts this week at number four, on sales of 32,993, beating off the Pet Shop Boys to land the week's highest new entry. Simple Things' sold 4,770 copies on its first week, and debuted at number 50, while When It Falls' first week in the shops saw it sell 36,904 copies.
Extending their album chart career to more than 20 years, The Pet Shop Boys' latest set Fundamental debuts at number five on sales of 26,492 copies. Their 12th Top 10 album, its first single I'm With Stupid, reached number eight last month, charting as high as any Pet Shop Boys single in the last decade. Similarly, Fundamental had a better first week than the Pet Shop Boys' last two albums of new material - Release debuted at number seven on sales of 18,008 in 2002, and Nightlife, also debuted at number sevem on sales of 17,038 in 1999.
Six months after Blink 182's Greatest Hits, the group's lead singer and guitarist Tom DeLonge is back with his new band Angels & Airwaves, whose debut album We Don't Need To Whisper debuts in the same position (number six), on sales of 24,562. Its maiden chart appearance comes a week after introductory single The Adventure peaked at number 20. Blink 182 are officially on "extended hiatus" but since DeLonge hasn't spoken to his two former colleagues for more than a year, and talks about the band in the past tense, their return seems unlikely.
While introductory single Everyone's Gone To War jumps 37-14 following physical release, Nerina Pallot's Fires album improves its chart placing for the third week in a row. The album has moved 42-49-44-27-26 since making its chart debut last month but was first released in April 2005. Its sales climbed by a healthy 34.7% last week to 9,763, lifting its cume to 42,525. Pallot's only previous album, 2001's Dear Frustrated Superstar never got higher than number 82 in the chart, and has sold 10,073 copies to date.
With the Curious George movie receiving its cinematic release last Friday, Jack Johnson's album of songs from the film enjoyed a 55.3% uplift in sales week-on-week to 10,113, and jumps 29-23 as a result, while first single Upside Down improves 46-30 on sales up 114% at 4,702. The Curious George soundtrack has sold 82,586 copies since its release 16 weeks ago, and its current position is its highest, though it's still overshadowed by Johnson's most recent regular studio album, In Between Dreams, which slips 8-10 this week on sales of 18,905, having been an ever present fixture of the Top 40 for 52 weeks, jumping 72-33 on the chart exactly a year ago. In Between Dreams has sold 1,092,625 copies to date and peaked at number one in March, nipping in to fill a gap between chart-toppers from The Arctic Monkeys and Corinne Bailey Rae.
Finally, Gnarls Barkley continue to dominate the TV airplay chart but loses control of the radio airplay list.
The TV airplay chart is extremely volatile, as LeAnne Rimes 3-52 slump last week illustrated but Gnarls Barkley and Rihanna have maintained an unprecedented lock on the top two slots for seven weeks in a row, with Rihanna the perennial runner-up with her video for S.O.S.. The S.O.S. promo was itself number one for three weeks in a row on the chart immediately prior to being dethroned by Crazy, so has now served 10 straight weeks in the Top Two, a feat without precedent in the history of the TV airplay chart.
Debuting at number 15 on the sales chart on downloads alone, Keane's first single in 18 months (Is It Any Wonder) ends Crazy's eight week run at the top of the radio airplay chart, clocking up just over a million more listeners despite a far inferior tally of plays - 1,360 against 2,623.