Robbie Williams Reigns Over U.K. Charts

Robbie Williams is Britain's undisputed chart king of the week. Yesterday (Dec. 16), his Chrysalis "Swing When You're Winning" album started a fourth week at the top of the U.K. album chart, and yield

Robbie Williams is Britain's undisputed chart king of the week. Yesterday (Dec. 16), his Chrysalis "Swing When You're Winning" album started a fourth week at the top of the U.K. album chart, and yielded the new No. 1 single, a remake of "Somethin' Stupid" with superstar actress Nicole Kidman. As widely expected, the single, once a 1967 chart topper by the father-daughter team of Frank and Nancy Sinatra, displaced Daniel Bedingfield's "Gotta Get Thru This" (Relentless) to go straight to the singles sales peak.

With one more chart to go before Christmas, Robbie and Nicole may have an unlikely rival for the festive singles crown in the form of 55-year-old singer-writer Gordon Haskell, whose ballad "How Wonderful You Are" is released today by East West. Heavy promotion of the track on national AC broadcaster BBC Radio 2 led to his indie label, Flying Sparks, to sign a lucrative licensing deal with East West, and now the single is being quoted short odds to outsell "Somethin' Stupid" this week, with the Christmas chart due to be published next Sunday (Dec. 23).

This week's survey also included a second big crossover single for Belgian dance act Ian van Dahl, which followed August's No. 3 hit, "Castles In the Sky," with "Will I?" (NuLife) at No. 5. Teenage Irish pop success Samantha Mumba debuted at No. 6 with "Lately" (WildCard/Polydor), a remake of the track by U.S. act Divine. The original reached No. 2 on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart in 1998, and peaked the following year at No. 52 in the U.K.

Singles released simultaneously last week by Janet and Michael Jackson performed modestly on yesterday's chart. Her "Son Of A Gun (I Betcha Think This Song)" featuring Carly Simon (Virgin) entered at No. 13, while his "Cry" (Epic) debuted at No. 25.

The album chart contained no new entries in the entire published top-75, with Gabrielle's "Dreams Can Come True" compilation (Go Beat/Polydor) and "Sunshine" by Polydor labelmates S Club 7 holding steady at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.

Across Europe, Kylie Minogue's "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" (Parlophone) makes it 12 weeks at the top of Music & Media's Eurochart Hot 100 Singles chart, and Williams reigns for a third week on the European Top 100 Albums tally.