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Sunday, 6 October, 2002, 18:11 GMT 19:11 UK
Otway fans secure chart comeback
John Otway
John Otway last hit the charts in 1977
Cult singer John Otway has made it to number nine in the UK top 40 - thanks to a 50th birthday present from his dedicated band of fans.

The song, Bunsen Burner, which samples dance classic Disco Inferno, was chosen by the fans themselves, and is Otway's first top 40 hit since Really Free reached number 27 in 1977.

Otway decided to let them choose by recording a CD of 11 specially produced songs and pressed 5,000 copies, asking fans to vote on which of the tracks they would like to see as a single.

UK top 10 singles
1) The Long And Winding Road - Will Young & Gareth Gates
2) Down Boy - Holly Valance
3) Complicated - Avril Lavigne
4) Down 4 U - Irv Gotti
5) Just Like A Pill - Pink
6) My Vision - Jakatta ft Seal
7) Little By Little - Oasis
8) The Tide Is High - Atomic Kitten
9) Bunsen Burner - John Otway
10) What I Go To School For - Busted
Source: Official UK Charts Company
The election was decided in a sealed postal ballot which was conducted by the Electoral Reform Society.

Otway then revealed the winner at a special free gig in London where he played each of the songs from the CD.

Fans swamped record shops with advance orders of the single - guaranteeing him a chart hit. The B-side of the single, a cover of The Animals' House Of The Rising Sun, features 1,000 of them singing back vocals.

The chart position - the fourth-highest new entry - was revealed to Otway at a London Palladium show.

"I'm a top 10 artist now and it's one of the best days of my life," he said.

"My fans are the best, they are great and have supported me for the last 25 years, turning up at the 150 concerts I do around the country every year.

"Tonight we are all going to party. It is a celebration. We are going to have a few drinks and be merry."

Pop Idol contestants Gareth Gates and Will Young stay at number one for a second week with their Beatles cover The Long And Winding Road, while Neighbours star Holly Vallance has the highest new entry at number two with Down Boy.

Avril Lavigne's Complicated stays at number three, while R'n'B star Irv Gotti has a new entry at number five with Down 4 U. Pink slips down one place to number five with Just Like A Pill.

See also:

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