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Official Singles Chart on 24/8/2003

24 August 2003 - 30 August 2003

The Official UK Singles Chart reflects the UK’s biggest songs of the week, based on audio and video streams, downloads, CDs and vinyl, compiled by the Official Charts Company. The UK Top 40 is broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, the Top 100 is published exclusively on OfficialCharts.com. View the biggest songs of 2024 so far.


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Chart Reviews No.4 - 24/08/2003

Achtung! Or whatever that word means! Welcome to another round of Chart Reviews, ye partner, where I take my beacon of knowledge on a tour around the history books, and delve into a world when people absolutely adored the Fast Food Rockers. Yes, this time it's a chart from 2003, back when CD sales were about to tiptoe into oblivion, and most of the new entries have been completely forgotten about. Just like most charts back then, except that most of the acts here would be lucky to impact the ALBUM charts nowadays.

Still, I bet the charts in the present tense would be grateful to have 14 new hits without it being packed with Christmas songs. None of them were enough to make No.1, however, Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul making it 28 days at the top with Breathe. A song Radio 1 wouldn't touch in fear of their personal health. Yeah ok then.

Headlining the newcomers was Lemar, who found fame in BBC's Pop Idol ripoff Fame Academy, finishing third behind fellow hitmakers David Sneddon and Sinead Quinn, but who was now the second-biggest selling artist in the country with Dance (With U) (6/10). Lemar would still be clocking up hits until about 2010, so he should probably be thankful he didn't buckle under the pressure of being a talent show wannabe. Like, where's Leon Jackson now, eh?

Speaking of talent show fluff, Girls Aloud's third hit reached No.3, in the form of Life Got Cold (5/10). You could be forgiven for thinking they would fall apart after this, what with Cheryl and her "toilet" situation going on at the time. But no. Just 17 more Top 10 hits to go before they ACTUALLY break up. So don't hold your breathe folks. Meanwhile, at the bottom of the Top 10, Good Charlotte made it three out of three with The Anthem (6/10), which was definite proof that they were the best skate-rockers around at the time. At least, until blink-182 came back anyway. But for now, nobody could touch them. Not even their guitarist's spiky haircut. The urchins are quaking in their boots looking at THAT one.

The rest of the Top 20 resembled somebody's forgotten iPod playlist, with The Libertines firing on all cylinders with their fourth hit Don't Look Back Into The Sun, which in my opinion is the best song of 2003, and there's nothing you can do about it (10/10). This was back in the days when Pete Doherty was best known for throwing his mates' NME Awards out of a window, instead of the "antibiotics" habits that followed. At 12, Radiohead's second single from Hail To The Thief crawled it's way into view, in the form of Go To Sleep, or in critical terms, "an attempt to make a pop record". This being Radiohead, that philosophy is nigh impossible to go through with (7/10). A timely reminder of how shocking the charts were back then was that a week later, The Libertines had sunk to 37, whilst Radiohead tumbled to 38. Two big hits tumbling 26 places, you couldn't make it up. It's almost like their appeal is selective to the record buying public.

In other news, D Kay & Epsilon flew to 14 with Barcelona, one of the first signs that drum 'n' bass was starting to make waves (5/10). Coupled with fellow pounding rhythm boy Jaimeson sliding to 7 on the chart, this chart was, in essence, a blueprint for the future. At 17 we saw Dizzee Rascal take big leaps towards cultural acceptance, in the form of everyone's favourite rap track from '03 (bonnie & clyde), Fix Up, Look Sharp. An absolute bass-thumping heavy-hitter, it set the tone for his inevitable Mercury Prize victory two weeks later (by which time Dizzee' was at 39, if you were wondering) (9/10).

In other news, American rock trio Black Rebel Motorcycle Club achieved their best ever chart position with Stop (8/10), at it charted at 19. This heralded the release of their second album, which flew all the way to No.3 in the album chart. Even though you would struggle to find ANYONE who bought that album. It's an indie thing. Outside the 20, however, and it becomes an absolute MESS. Depeche Mode singer Dave Gahan notched up his second solo hit, in the form of I Need You (5/10), which is so forgettable I bet even HE forgot he got that high. His previous single reached 18 in the chart, but his album flopped. Figures. In other news, it was second single time for singer-songwriter Mark Joseph, who entered at 28 with Fly (4/10). His first hit, Get Through, was a result of him getting rejected by every record label in town, so he set one up himself, toured around the country, told a record store to stock his single, and ended up at No.38 as a result. Not that this makes Fly any good, mind you. Maybe there was a good reason he kept getting rejected.

As for the stragglers, Billy Crawford clocked up a second pop-orientated hit with Trackin' (4/10), which is weird because he was signed to V2 Records, who probably WEREN'T very pop-centric (even though they had signed up Liberty X, but that's not the point). Queens of the Stone Age's third hit from Songs for the Deaf, First It Giveth (5/10), also charted, and because no one remembers that hit, I'm moving swiftly on. 34 saw the first appearance for Danish duo The Raveonettes, who sung a song called That Great Love Sound (7/10), which starts with what sounds a monkey being tortured. I'm not kidding. And at 37, there was a new hit for Grafiti, a side project of Mike Skinner from The Streets, with What Is The Problem (6/10), which is less lyrical poetry and more repeating the same phrases over and over again. So just like modern dance hits, in truth (please don't take offence to this, it's just that they all have similar beat patterns).

On the (quiet) album charts, Eva Cassidy's third posthumous set reigned for a second week, in the form of American Tune, even though the song she sung on the Radio 1 Chart Show that day was The Beatles' Yesterday, which is NOT AMERICAN, but who am I to argue. I'm just a music critic with no real job. Elbow's second album arrived at 7, back when they were sorrow bed-wetters rather than the indie powerhouses they would come to be, though this album did set them on their way.

The singles chart also saw the first appearance of Razorlight to the history books, but Rock 'n Roll Lies could only get to 56. By the time we got to the summer of 2004, they were in the Top 10. So clearly people liked them back then. As for the other awkwardly placed album that day, Neil Young and Crazy Horse were at 24, Alient Ant Farm squeezed to 68, Kate Rusby was at 78, and Kelly Clarkson made her first EVER appearance on the album chart with Thankful at 95. Twenty years later, and she is STILL an album flop (minus all the big hit she had in between this time frame of course). Maybe she should collab with someone ubiquitous to get her back on track. Like David Guetta, who was only just starting out in chart terms back in 2003. From humble beginnings, they say.

Right then, that is me done for another day. I'm off to moan at whatever's going in the annual Monday chart updates that the OCC always do. Not like I have a choice, but that's my daily ritual, naturally, so I kinda HAVE to comment on it. Ta!

(P.S. You may be wondering why The Black Eyed Peas' Where Is The Love debuts at lowly 97, but that's because of imports. They aren't a busted flush, OK?)