One of the best-loved ballads from Elton John's mid-1970s period provided male pop-R&B quartet Blue with its third U.K. No. 1 single yesterday (Dec. 15). "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word" (Inno

One of the best-loved ballads from Elton John's mid-1970s period provided male pop-R&B quartet Blue with its third U.K. No. 1 single yesterday (Dec. 15). "Sorry Seems To Be the Hardest Word" (Innocent/Virgin), features a cameo by John, whose original, from the album "Blue Moves," reached No. 11 in early December 1976. Blue previously hit No. 1 with "Too Close" and "If You Come Back" in September and November 2001, respectively.

With the Cheeky Girls' novelty hit "Cheeky Song (Touch My Bum)" (Multiply) holding at No. 2, last week's No. 1, "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (Interscope) was relegated to No. 3. Gareth Gates' "What My Heart Wants To Say" (S) opened at No. 5, followed by S Club Juniors' double-header featuring covers of "Puppy Love" and "Sleigh Ride" (Polydor) at No. 6. Pink's "Family Portrait" (Arista), the follow-up to her September No. 1 "Just Like a Pill," debuted at No. 11.

There was little change to report on the U.K. album chart, where Robbie Williams' "Escapology" (EMI) started a fourth week at No. 1. David Gray's "A New Day At Midnight" (iht/East West) climbed back 8-5, as his single "The Other Side" debuted at No. 35. Red Hot Chili Peppers' "By the Way" (Warner Bros.) re-entered the top-10 with an 11-8 climb.

Williams is now in a third week at No. 1 on Music & Media's European Top 100 Albums chart, while Las Ketchup's "Asereje/The Ketchup Song" (Columbia) makes it 14 weeks at No.1 on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally.

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