Bowie's new single could be eligible for UK chart after all

Jan 10, 2013

Where are we now with the 'technicality' that ruled Bowie out of the chart? They're hoping to fix it

DAVID BOWIE'S comeback single Where Are We Now? now has a chance of making it into the UK singles chart – after earlier fears that it might never be eligible for entry.

Bowie took fans by surprise on Tuesday by releasing the new single, ahead of his first new album in 10 years. Backed by positive instant reviews, Where Are We Now? rocketed to number one in the iTunes Top Songs chart within hours.

But yesterday it emerged that it could miss out on a place in the official UK singles chart due to a sales technicality.

The single is available to purchase by itself for 99p, but the track also downloads automatically for fans who choose to pre-order Bowie's upcoming album The Next Day (due in March) on iTunes.

The Official Charts Company (OCC) announced yesterday that it was unable to distinguish between paid-for sales of the single and those given away in the album deal and therefore it would be ineligible.

However, the BBC now says the OCC is trying to fix the problem and hopes to be able to include the song in Sunday's chart.

Where Are We Now? impressed fans and critics alike. The Evening Standard's David Smyth said it was "gentle, elegiac and stunningly beautiful", while the Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick described Bowie's voice as "weary, tenderly understated and quietly defiant".

Bowie, who turned 66 yesterday, has kept a low profile in recent years. His last album, Reality, came out in 2003 and he has not performed live since 2006. The release of the single came out of the blue.

So will the OCC be able to fix the problem in time? Alexis Petridis, The Guardian's head rock and pop critic, took to Twitter to ask the company: "If you discount one of the week's biggest-selling downloads on a technicality, doesn't it make the charts look irrelevant?"

To which the OCC replied: "It hasn't been discounted, Alexis. It's only Wednesday, the Official Singles Chart is published on Sunday. Keep 'em peeled!"

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