Dave Gee: Entertainment Now: UK Music Charts not what they used to be
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The UK Singles Music Chart has been around for many years, but recently it has been given a much needed shakeup with the arrival of music downloads. Digital downloads have been progressively included in sales figures, but only if they matched a physical CD single.

The inclusion of digital sales has all but killed the trend of singles going straight in at #1. Instead, last year we saw songs making a huge jump in chart position... from their digital download chart placing, to their combined chart placing the following week after the CD single was released.

But the UK chart rules changed again in January 2007, and now all digital downloads count towards the Singles (and Album) charts. This has seen a number of classic tracks reappearing at the bottom end of the charts, while album tracks are appearing on the singles chart before any official release.

This week, singer Mika scored a #1 with his hit Grace Kelly, while also managing a minor #62 chart placing for track number 2 Lollipop.

The chart changes may make it more difficult for artists to achieve high chart placings in their first week of 'official release'. Take That's next single Shine is already sitting at #17 in the UK Singles Chart, despite the official release being two weeks away.

It's also given die-hard fans a new hobby... trying to return songs from their favourite bands and artists to the charts. Those currently trying for a repeat chart hit are a group of Spice Girl fans with Stop, and Busted fans with What I Go To School For.

A new website, It Should Have Been Number One, is hoping to hype a different "forgotten hit" back into the charts each week. (I won't link to it tho, as they're currently promoting the dire Oasis song Roll with it, which quite rightly lost out to Blur's brilliant Country House for #1 in 1995).