Monday, June 22, 2009

Number 1s of 2009: 21 June 2009

I have no idea what the deal is here, but for some reason, while YouTube won't show me the official video for this song on the artist's channel, it will give me a version of the song accompanied by a rotating graphic, which is, in fact, embeddable. That makes so little sense that I'm assuming it's an error rather than an intentional decision to exclude the video from the UK. So here's a version posted by someone else instead.

This is "When Love Takes Over" by David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland. It's a very radio-friendly song, and they've been hyping it for some time. It was supposed to go straight in at number one this week. But the record label dragged it out for so long that a couple of spoiler versions started climbing the iTunes chart , resulting in a hasty midweek release that landed the single at number 7 last week. (The Airi L spoiler version still made it to number 22, but has now vanished altogether.)

Kelly Rowland, formerly of Destiny's Child, has the misfortune to have seen her solo career entirely overshadowed by Beyonce Knowles. In fact, her singles have generally done okay, but somehow she hasn't managed to acquire Beyonce's star aura. Even so, it's her fourth UK number one. Kind of. It depends whether you count her two number 1s with Destiny's Child, "Independent Women" in 2000 and "Survivor" in 2001. The third was "Dilemma", her collaboration with Nelly from 2002. And to be fair, her solo career has racked up another four top-5 hits. Yet she doesn't have the A-list aura about her. Moving to dance music might be a smart move, switching genres to escape the comparisons with her more successful ex-colleague.

She is, however, only the guest vocalist on this track. It's the lead single from the new album by French producer David Guetta, who's been around for the better part of a decade. He's yet to put in an appearance on the Billboard Hot 100 (though that could change with this single), and his chart record in Britain is somewhat spotty. Like many dance acts, rather than having a loyal fanbase, his singles sell according to their individual merits.

This is his first UK number 1. His previous biggest hit was "Love Don't Let Me Go (Walking Away)", credited to David Guetta versus the Egg, which reached number 3 in 2006.

But it's slightly debatable whether this really counts, because the single is a mash-up. The backing track comes from the Tocadisco remix of "Walking Away" by the Egg, a record which never made the top 40. The vocals are by Chris Willis, Guetta's regular vocalist, and come from Guetta's single "Love Don't Let Me Go" (number 19 in 2001).

Guetta's other previous top ten hit was "Love Is Gone", another collaboration from 2007, which only reached number 9, but seemed to crop up on video channels forever. I've still not sure quite what to make of the video, which seems unsure whether it's trying to be arty or lowbrow, and ends up not quite being either.

Since "When Love Takes Over" had enough interest to generate spoiler versions, I suspect it's going to be number one for a while yet. Good news for Kelly Rowland's profile.