Five Earns Another No. 1 In The U.K.

Going more than a year between singles can be a risky business in the fast-moving world of U.K. pop. But RCA boy band Five showed no reduction in power in returning to the chart at No. 1 yesterday (Au

Going more than a year between singles can be a risky business in the fast-moving world of U.K. pop. But RCA boy band Five showed no reduction in power in returning to the chart at No. 1 yesterday (Aug. 19) with "Let's Dance," its first release since July 2000. The song, the first from the group's upcoming "XL" album, fended off strong competition from Sophie Ellis Bextor to bow at the top, becoming Five's third No. 1 of its last four singles and its 10th straight top-10 hit.

Ellis Bextor, former lead singer with modern rockers theaudience and the voice of Spiller's "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" crossover dance smash last year, made a healthy start to her solo career on Polydor as "Take Me Home" entered at No. 2. It's a cover of Cher's No. 8 U.S. hit of 1979, which never charted in the U.K.

There was also a strong debut at No. 4 for another Polydor-distributed single, "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" by Interscope's Eve featuring Gwen Stefani of No Doubt. Jamiroquai's "Little L," the lead single from the band's new Sony S2 album "2001: A Funk Odyssey" (out on Sept. 3), debuted at No. 5.

In a close race for No. 1 on the U.K. album chart, in which last week's chart-topper Atomic Kitten's "Right Now" (Innocent/Virgin) led earlier in the week, David Gray's "White Ladder" (iht/East West) edged ahead late in the sales period to return to the summit. Eva Cassidy's "Songbird" (Hot) took a new leap from 37-5, while Train's "Drops of Jupiter" (Columbia) climbed from its entry position of No. 13 to No. 8.

The highest new entry honors, to the undoubted delight of many seasoned observers, went to Ray Charles, whose "The Definitive Ray Charles" collection (WSM) entered at No. 13. It's the music legend's highest ranking in the U.K. as a soloist since he reached No. 6 in 1962 with his first British chart album, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music." Charles will be 71 next month.

"Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, and Pink (Interscope) is Europe's favorite single again, holding at No. 1 on Music & Media's Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart for the Aug. 25 issue. Jennifer Lopez's "Ain't It Funny" (Epic) soars 17-5 on the same chart.

Atomic Kitten's "Right Now" enjoys a big climb on the European Top 100 Albums chart, racing 54-6. The trio's Virgin stablemate Manu Chao is No. 1 again with "Proxima Estacion: Esperanza." O-Town's self-titled J/RCA debut is the chart's top new entry at No. 32.