Bedingfield Back At No. 1 On U.K. Singles Chart

The traditionally soft new year sales period was good news for a number of artists when the first weekly charts of 2002 were published yesterday (Jan. 6), including the Backstreet Boys, Jools Holland,

The traditionally soft new year sales period was good news for a number of artists when the first weekly charts of 2002 were published yesterday (Jan. 6), including the Backstreet Boys, Jools Holland, and, most of all, newcomer Daniel Bedingfield. His "Gotta Get Thru This" single (Relentless), which went straight to the top of the U.K.chart in early December, moved back to No. 1. Meanwhile Robbie Williams' "Swing When You're Winning" (Chrysalis) started a seventh week atop the album chart.

It's not the first occasion at this time of the year that a U.K. No. 1 single has gone back to the summit. The multi-artist recording of Lou Reed's "Perfect Day" had two weeks on top in November 1997 and then, after being subsequently outsold by both Teletubbies and the Spice Girls, hit No. 1 again this week in 1998.

Meanwhile, Sophie Ellis Bextor's "Murder on the Dancefloor" (Polydor) also bounced back 4-2 this week for its fifth consecutive week in the top four. The English singer's "Read My Lips" album jumped 18-9. The early new year release of the Backstreet Boys' "Drowning" paid off for Jive, as the song debuted at No. 4, a marked improvement on the No. 12 peak of the group's last single, "More Than That." It's the group's 14th U.K. top-10 hit dating back to August 1996.

Also arriving in the singles top-20 is Irish rock act Ash, whose "There's A Star," the fifth release from the group's third album "Free All Angels," (Infectious) entered at No. 13, and dance crossover act Dreamcatcher, whose "I Don't Wanna Lose My Way" (Positiva) debuted at No. 14.

On the album chart, bandleader/TV presenter/former Squeeze member Jools Holland scored his first top-10 album under his own name. "Small World Big Band" (Warner Strategic Marketing), which, as previously reported, features guest appearances from the late George Harrison, Sting, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Mark Knopfler, David Gilmour, and many others, jumped 15-8 in its seventh chart week.

Across Europe, it's now 15 weeks at the top of Music & Media's Eurochart Hot 100 Singles for Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" (Parlophone) and six for "Swing When You're Winning" on the European Top 100 Albums survey.