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UK Pop Charts for Week Ending December 8, 2012

By

James Masterton

James Masterton

For the third time in four weeks the British charts play host to what is theoretically supposed to be an all too rare occurrence, as one act holds down the Number One position on both singles and albums charts. Hard on the heels of Robbie Williams and One Direction, Olly Murs becomes the third act in a row to match up a Number One single with a Number One album. With the song "Troublemaker" holding off an unexpected challenge to spend a second week at the top, it is joined by his brand new album Right Place Right Time which storms straight to the top of the best seller table.

Either proving that he is a master of release timing, or simply that his label are never afraid to be predictable, the album appears on the chart two years to the week since his self-titled debut and one year to the week since his previous release In Case You Didn't Know which also reached the top.

This week is something of a fallow week for brand new chart singles, too far from Christmas to risk unleashing the product you want to be front and centre during the holiday and yet too close to risk being lost in the mix. What would have otherwise been a rather becalmed Top 10 countdown is enlivened by a rather dramatic yo-yo for the two acts who had pride of place on last weekend's X Factor results show. Having stolen the show (as he so often does when performing live), Bruno Mars races 9-2 with "Locked Out Of Heaven" to reclaim the runners up slot it debuted at a fortnight ago, whilst Rihanna's former Number One "Diamonds" shoots 10-3 to land its highest chart placing since it spent a week at Number One a full eight weeks ago.

Mars' return to Number 2 is slightly tinged with irony. After being denied a Number One position by a late surge from the One Direction track "Little Things", Mars spent much of the tail end of the week as the biggest selling single but proved unable to overcome the early lead Olly Murs had chalked up at the start. The single is called "Locked Out Of Heaven" - make your own jokes. With a pleasingly symmetrical 2-9-2 chart history to date, the single is mirroring the initial chart career of his own "Just The Way You Are (Amazing)" which rebounded 1-2-4-2-1 two years ago.

A search for a new entry takes us as far down as Number 10 and "Die Young" which gives Ke$ha her first Top 10 hit single in almost two years. Her last hit single of note was "We R Who We R" which stormed to Number One in February 2011 as the lead single from her mini album Cannibal. One further single "Blow" was released but that crashed out at Number 32. "Die Young" serves as the lead single from her second album proper Warrior which with immaculate timing is in the shops as we speak. Counting collaborations, this is her sixth Top 10 hit in all.

Watch "Die Young"

Aside from the Olly Murs album there is a rather more low key feel to the album chart with most of the newer releases of the week slotting in to places lower down. The power of the veteran acts is restated once more as Neil Diamond lands at Number 8 with The Very Best Of to match the peak of his last studio album Dreams from November 2011. Despite this being what is by my count his sixth compilation of hits in the last 20 years, Diamond has still outsold Girls Aloud with their second collection of greatest hits Ten which can only reach Number 9. Those who believe there is still some correlation between album availability and single sales will note that the Girls Aloud track "Something New" dives 2-14 this week whilst Alicia Keys' "Girl On Fire" single remains locked at Number 5, leaving its new parent album of the same name to debut at a mere Number 15.

With Christmas just around the corner (just two "normal" charts plus the rather berserk seasonal countdown to go), the parade of festive classics make their first Top 40 appearances of the year. The charge is led by "Fairytale Of New York" at Number 27 and "All I Want For Christmas Is You" at Number 30. They are joined for the moment by a newer offering, a rather touching rendition of "O Holy Night" by the children of Ladywell Primary School in Motherwell, the single released in aid of meningitis charities in commemoration of one of their classmates who died from the illness at the age of six a few months ago. The charity record sits at Number 39 this week.

Nearby a genuine curiosity as American indie rock band Imagine Dragons have both their first and second chart singles simultaneously. "Radioactive" and "Hear Me" land at 35 and 37 respectively, both tracks from their current EP of which "Hear Me" is the title track, despite being the lowest selling of the pair.

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