It was "as you were" on both the major U.K. sales charts yesterday (Dec. 9), as Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Thru This" (Relentless) and Robbie Williams' "Swing When You're Winning" (Chrysalis) rem

It was "as you were" on both the major U.K. sales charts yesterday (Dec. 9), as Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Thru This" (Relentless) and Robbie Williams' "Swing When You're Winning" (Chrysalis) remained at the top of the singles and albums surveys, respectively. But there was considerable activity in the top-10 of the singles chart, with prominent new entries for Sophie Ellis Bextor, Stereophonics, and Steps.

Ellis Bextor, the former lead singer with indie group theaudience and now a successful solo artist, scored her second hit with "Murder on the Dancefloor" (Polydor). The track, which she co-wrote, debuted at No. 2, repeating the feat of her cover of Cher's "Take Me Home" in August. Stereophonics arrived at No. 4 with their version of "Handbags & Gladrags" (V2), a song most closely associated with Rod Stewart, who recorded it for his 1970 album "An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down."

Steps, currently on a U.K. arena tour, came in at No. 5 on Ebul/Jive with a double A-side combining "Words Are Not Enough" and a cover of "I Know Him So Well," the ballad from the musical "Chess" that provided Elaine Paige and Barbara Dickson with a British No. 1 in 1985. Remarkably, it's Steps' 14th consecutive top-5 hit in the U.K. The group's "Gold -- The Greatest Hits" album, already certified U.K. triple platinum for shipments of 900,000 copies, jumped back 6-4 on the album chart.

To complete a very good day for the pop quintet, Steps was also voted best live act at the annual Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, organized by the teen magazine and held yesterday at London Arena. The group was also inducted into the Smash Hits Hall of Fame.

The highest new entry on the U.K. album chart, which is now "settling in" to the festive buying season, was Hear'Say's rapidly completed second Polydor album "Everybody," at a modest No. 24. That was respectable in comparison to the No. 46 entry achieved by Mariah Carey's "Greatest Hits" collection on her former label, Columbia.

On the pan-European tallies, Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out of My Head" (Parlophone) tops Music & Media's Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally yet again, now adding a No. 1 in Spain to its list of conquests. This is its 11th straight week at the European helm, making it the longest-running pan-European No. 1 of 2001. The previous record-holder, "It Wasn't Me" by Shaggy featuring Ricardo "RikRok" Ducent (MCA), ruled the survey for 10 weeks from March until May.

Williams' album is at the top of the European Top 100 Albums chart for the second week, with Pink Floyd's "Echoes" (EMI) holding at No. 2. Anastacia's sophomore album, "Freak of Nature," (Epic) makes a powerful debut at No. 3.

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