The “media war” between Kylie Minogue and Spice Girl Victoria Beckham, played out in Britain’s tabloid newspapers last week (despite a pronounced lack of animosity between the artists), resulted in a hands-down victory for the Australian pop queen on the U.K. singles chart yesterday (Sept. 23).
Minogue’s Parlophone single “Can’t Get You Out of My Head,” released on the same day as Beckham’s solo Virgin debut “Not Such An Innocent Girl,” had sent the press into overdrive about the battle for No. 1. But in the end, it was no contest, with Minogue powering to the top with huge first week sales of 306,000 copies and Beckham straggling in at No. 6, as only the fourth-highest new entry of the week, with 35,000 units.
“Head” is Kylie’s fifth solo No. 1 in the U.K., a run that stretches back more than 13 years to “I Should Be So Lucky” in early 1988, and sets up the Oct. 1 Parlophone release of her “Fever” album. “I am thrilled to pieces,” she told BBC Radio 1 last night. “It’s been a really interesting week and I think all the frenzy over this competition has been good to create an interest in the chart.” Minogue will also be back in competition with Beckham, whose self-titled debut album is due the same day.
Alien Ant Farm’s rocked-up cover of another 1988 hit, Michael Jackson’s “Smooth Criminal,” was next to enter at No. 3, with Shaggy’s “Luv Me, Luv Me” featuring Samantha Cole (MCA) new at No. 5. After two top-20 singles, Chrysalis modern rock newcomers Starsailor scored their first top-10 entry at No. 10 with “Alcoholic.”
On the album chart, Macy Gray’s “The Id” (Epic) was an instant No. 1, while British experimental rock band Spiritualized arrived at a career-best No. 3 with the Arista set “Let It Come Down.” Irish pop vocalist Samantha Mumba’s repackaged version of her WildCard/Polydor debut “Gotta Tell You” charted at No. 10.
It’s business as usual on both of Music & Media’s pan-European sales charts, with “Let Me Blow Ya Mind” by Eve featuring Gwen Stefani (Interscope) at No. 1 for a third week on the Eurochart Hot 100 Singles tally, and Jamiroquai’s “A Funk Odyssey” (Sony S2) in a second week atop the European Top 100 Albums chart.
There are some especially eye-catching jumps on those surveys, as Austria’s DJ Otzi zooms 73-8 on the singles chart with his remake of Bruce Channel’s “Hey! Baby” (EMI), after it debuted at No. 1 in the U.K. Bob Dylan, meanwhile, could be heading for his biggest studio release in many years as “Love and Theft” (Columbia) goes straight to No. 2 on the album tally.
In addition to its No. 3 entry last week in the U.K., “Theft” debuts at No. 1 in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway; No. 2 in Italy and Austria; No. 3 in Ireland and Switzerland, and No. 4 in Germany, with additional top-20 starts in France, Finland, and Holland.