Let's hear it for hit singles...

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The Independent Online

This is a momentous week in the history of pop music. If the re-release of Elvis Presley's "One Night" goes to the top of the charts tomorrow, as expected, it will become the 1,000th Number One UK single. How fitting that The King, who has dominated the chart more than any other artist and blazed such an inspired trail in music, performance and behaviour, should claim that coveted slot.

This is a momentous week in the history of pop music. If the re-release of Elvis Presley's "One Night" goes to the top of the charts tomorrow, as expected, it will become the 1,000th Number One UK single. How fitting that The King, who has dominated the chart more than any other artist and blazed such an inspired trail in music, performance and behaviour, should claim that coveted slot.

Of course, conventional wisdom dictates that the singles charts are turning into an irrelevance. Sales have declined sharply in recent years, and the single feels slightly anachronistic in an age of iPods and ring tones. But the centrality of pop music in our cultural life remains; the right single - however simple the melody or banal the lyrics - can still reflect the mood of the times in a way that few other art forms can match. So let this Sunday be an occasion to celebrate the enduring magic of the pop single. And let's hope that there are no party poopers to spoil the occasion by insisting that we listen to "Shaddup You Face" by Joe Dolce, hits about grandma or grandpa and, most especially, anything by Mr Blobby. Even if he did get to Number One.

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