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Monday, November 15, 1999 Published at 12:59 GMT


Robbie topples Geri

Top scorer: Robbie Williams in a charity football match on Sunday

Pop superstar Robbie Williams has proved just how fleeting chart success can be these days by knocking Geri Halliwell from the top spot.

The 25-year-old singer has gone straight to number one with She's The One/It's Only Us - his second chart-topper.

The double A-side is the record-breaking 33rd new number one of 1999

[ image: Triumphant: Robbie won three prizes at this year's Brit Awards]
Triumphant: Robbie won three prizes at this year's Brit Awards
The ex-Take That star - who was last at the top spot with Millennium in 1998 - was not the only one to benefit from this week's chart turnaround.

Will Smith's infectious Will 2K went straight in at number two and boy band A1's Every Time/Ready of Not debuted in third place in a top three made up entirely of new entries.

Geri Halliwell, who won the fierce PR battle dubbed The Spice Wars to take the number one spot last week with Lift Me Up, dropped to number four.

Music industry experts say this fickle chart has been created by slick marketing tactics.

"Marketing is more sophisticated than ever with a big push for the number one slot in the first week of release," explained HMV chart expert Jason Legg.

"There's a lot less longevity in singles but sales are still strong," he added.

Phil Matchem of the Chart Information Network (CIN) confirmed that sales figures are still high.

"Robbie Williams has sold over 120,000 singles to reach the top this week, which is pretty good. Some single have had sales as low as 70,000 and still reached number one."

He also points to increasingly sophisticated marketing techniques as the main reason for such frequent changes in the charts.

Singles marketing is very much focused on selling as many copies of the single as possible during the first week of release as sales tend to drop after then and acts rarely go to number one if they have not done so within a week.

But even if they do make the lauded number one spot, singles don't stay there for long.

Not one single has remained at the top for more than three weeks this year, in comparison with the days when artists could spend months there.

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