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Ward stays on top for fourth week


 
Sales of That's My Goal dipped a further 41.5% to 31,724 last week - the lowest sale for a number one single for 16 weeks - taking its cumulative sales to 960,360.
 
Ward's runner-up throughout his reign has been Nizlopi's JCB Song, which, although it too has been in decline throughout the period, has reduced its deficit every single week and, having topped the chart on its debut five weeks ago, has itself racked up impressive sales of 351,089, including 25,131 last week.
 
Although the top two have been unchanged for four weeks, the rest of the chart is beginning to enjoy a more normal turnover as business returns to normal after the Christmas and New Year hiatus. Consequently, there are new entries to the Top 10 for Richard Ashcroft, Sunblock, Texas and Jose Gonzalez.
 
The singles market has diminished considerably since 2000, when former Verve leader Richard Ashcroft entered the chart at number three with his debut solo hit, A Song For The Lovers, with first week sales of 70,144. Ashcroft emulates that position this week with Break The Night With Colour, though with less stellar sales of 20,030. Still, it's an improvement on Ashcroft's last single, Buy It In Bottles - which debuted at number 26 in 2003 on sales of 4,429 - and neatly sets up his third solo album, Keys To the World, which is out next Monday (23rd).
 
A week after Naughty Boy's Phat Beach (melding Leftfield's Phat Planet to the Baywatch theme) debuted at number 36, Sunblock's I'll Be Ready - another dance update of the Baywatch theme - makes a more spectacular splash, debuting at number four with 17,664 sales.
 
With former Baywatch star Traci Bingham parading around the Big Brother house, David Hasselhoff's Jump In My Car single released 6 February and the Baywatch movie due later this year, the original Jimi Jamison recording of the theme - I'm Always Here - has been m given a number of new dance mixes and is also due on Direction Records imminently.
 
Debuting at number six on sales of 10,656, Sleep is the third hit from Texas' current album Red Book, and their 21st Top 40 hit in a career stretching back 16 years. Previous singles from the album - Getaway and Can't Resist - peaked at six and 13 respectively.
 
Sleep's popularity also earns Red Book a return to the Top 75 of the album chart after a six week absence. The album has moved 149-102-57 in the last fortnight, and has sold 95,095 copies since its release 10 weeks ago, including 4,801 last week.
 
It's another huge week in the burgeoning career of singer/songwriter Jos e Gonzalez, who makes his singles chart debut with Heartbeats at number nine on sales of 8,197. Parent album Veneer, which made its debut last week, jumps 65-16, with sales rocketing 137.5% to 12,630.
 
Born in Sweden to Argentinean parents, Gonzalez wrote all the songs on Veneer except for Heartbeats. Used in the TV campaign for Sony's new Bravia LCD TV, Heartbeats was penned by Swedish group The Knife, whose original recording of it reached number 119 on the singles chart in October 2004.
 
Much-praised Brighton quartet The Kooks have been gigging constantly around the country for the past year building their profile - and it seems to be paying off, with third single You Don't Love Me debuting at number 12 this week on sales of 6,874, beating the band's d ebut hit Eddie's Gun (number 35) and follow-up Sofa Song (number 28). All three singles are on The Kooks' debut album Inside In/inside Out, which is released next Monday (23rd). Inevitably, the band starts a new 16 date tour the following day.
 
Brian Kennedy & Peter Corry's George Best - A Tribute single continues to increase its sales. It sold 13,397 copies last week, a 38.8% improvement week-on-week, despite slipping 4-5 on the chart. After four weeks on release, its cumulative sales are 40,057.
 
With lead singer Preston currently one of the favourites to win Celebrity Big Brother, sales of all of the Ordinary Boys' six singles and two albums are increasing dramatically. The group's latest album Brassbound increased its sales by 177.3% last week to re-ente r the Top 200 at number 124 - its highest position for six months - while their biggest hit single, Boys Will Be Boys, re-enters the Top 40. The single peaked at number 16 last June, and rockets 206-33 this week after improving its sales 937.1% to 2,769, of which a massive 94.9% (2,628) were downloads.
 
Dead Or Alive legend Pete Burns is one of Preston's housemates, and sales of his group's 2003 compilation Evolution - The Hits improved by 906% from 26 to 278, while sales of Welsh comedy/rap act Goldie Lookin' Chain's latest album Safe As Fuck enjoyed a minor 19.9% increase to 1,121 sales as admirers of the similarly incarcerated Maggot satisfied their curiosity.
 
Physical singles sales last week recovered by 1.49% from their all-time low to climb to 214,921, while downloads were up 3.55% at 767,529.
 
Album sales dipped by 17.9% to 2,403,225.
 
That's less than a quarter as many were sold as when they reached their all-time peak of 10,581,571 just three weeks earlier but well in line with the trend for January sales.
 
Compared to the same week last year, album sales were off 1.06% overall, with compilations plunging 17.87% year-on-year to 435,636, while artist album sales were comparatively buoyant at 1,967,589 - up 3.63%.
 
Trailing The Strokes' First Impressions Of Earth all week, James Blunt' s Back To Bedlam finally eased past it on Saturday to return to number one on the artist album chart after an absence of 18 weeks despite dipping by 8.2% to record its lowest sale (35,385) for eight weeks. It has the lowest sale for a number one album since Akon's Trouble topped the list 35 weeks ago (14 May 2005) on sales of 38,003. Back To Bedlam has now spent 10 weeks at number one in total, and lifts its cumulative sales to 2,446,423.
 
The Strokes' album ended up slightly more than 1,000 sales behind Blunt, down 45.5% week-on-week at 34,333.
 
The successful reissue of single Munich, the airplay it has generated, and discounting to as little as £6.99 help The Editors' debut album The Back Room to surge into the Top 10 for the first time, 25 weeks after it wa s released. The album, which debuted and peaked at number 13 last August, has managed to avoid the massive decline in sales suffered by the rest of the market since Christmas, and surges 18-3 this week, on sales of 24,515 - an increase of 89% week-on-week, and the ninth week in a row they have gone up.
 
With upcoming single Nasty Girl (featuring Diddy and Nelly) getting masses of radio play, Duets: The Final Chapter - the latest in the Notorious B.I.G.'s posthumous releases - improves its chart placing for the third week in a row. Released six days before Christmas, the album has moved 78-56-50-17, while selling 40,982 copies, including 11,414 last week. Biggie was killed in 1997, and his only previous Top 40 albums - both also posthumous - were Life After Death (number 23, 1997) and Notorious B.I.G. (number 16, 2000).
 
On the compilation chart, with every other album in the Top 20 suffering a fall in sales last week, Clubbers Guide 2006 strengthens its position at the top by making a 20.9% improvement to 26,312 - well over twice as many as the 11,213 sales of runner-up Helter Skelter presents Hardcore Classics.

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