At the risk of stating the obvious, this was naturally always going to be Amy's week. The inevitable surge in sales prompted by the sad death of Amy Winehouse last weekend meant it was really a question of how, not if, her limited back catalogue would dominate the story of the chart this week.
Although downloads of her most famous singles were swift and numerous (a subject we'll come onto shortly), it was the prospect of her two albums to date surging back up the charts that was the most intriguing. Part of the problem at the start of the week was that there simply wasn't enough stock to go around with both Frank and Back To Black merely back catalogue items which were generally pressed to order as and when required. Well they were required this week for sure, and with shelves having emptied in many stores by midday on Monday it was not until Thursday that brand new physical stocks of Amy Winehouse CDs could take pride of place on tribute displays. People who were slow off the mark at the start of the week had to resort to digital copies for themselves instead. Hence a rather surprisingly muted midweek figure for the two albums finally translates into a fitting send off for the tragic star. Her most famous work Back To Black (first released in November 2006) surges to Number One for the fourth time in its chart life, climbing to the top of the charts for the first time since March 2008.
That last week at Number One was actually achieved by the extended Special Edition of the album which her label at the time requested had its own chart run separate from the original version, and indeed this request was still in place when the midweek figures were announced, leading to speculation that Amy would end up with multiple Top 10 placings for the same album. In the event Island records requested that sales of the two versions be combined, which almost certainly has led to Back To Black getting the boost it needed to overtake Adele at Number One.
Not that Amy Winehouse albums haven't done something extraordinary anyway. Her debut album Frank (first released in November 2003) charts for the first time in two and a half years and reaches Number 5 this week, far and away its highest chart position ever - beating the Number 13 peak it reached in February 2004. Both albums had been available for some time in a special double pack edition - also prominently stocked towards the end of the week. By necessity this repackaging qualifies for its own chart placing - and so despite only making two records in her lifetime Amy Winehouse occupies three places in the Top 10 with Frank/Back To Black charting at Number 10 in its own right. In a sense this duplicates the feat the lady herself managed in Christmas week 2007 when both versions of Back To Black sat side by side in the Top 10 of the album chart.
The last artist to occupy three slots in the Top 10 in a similar manner was Prince, who in September 1993 had The Hits 1 at Number 5, The Hits 2 at Number 6 but also had the combined and extended The Hits/The B-Sides outselling both at Number 4.
Turning to the singles chart now, and it what shouldn't really be much of a surprise it is not actually all about Amy. The real champions of the week are JLS who land themselves the fifth Number One of their post-X Factor career with brand new single She Makes Me Wanna. Lifted from their as yet untitled forthcoming third album, the single is the product of their victory in a charity auction where they bid £30,000 for the chance to make a record with RedOne. Hence the track, featuring a guest turn from American star Dev, is one of their most danceable and dare I say it most appealing singles to date. She Makes Me Wanna debuts at the top with a sale of just over 98,000 copies, just short of becoming their fourth single to break the six figure mark in a single week. In a sense we should be glad the single appeared this week, a mere footnote in the headlines it may be - just below it the whole of last week's Top 6 maintain their order from last week. Had the JLS single been delayed we would have been faced with the unprecedented situation (at least in the modern era) of the Top 5 singles holding steady for three full sales weeks in a row.
The monotony is broken up by the arrival of - you guessed it -the top selling Amy Winehouse track of the week. Given that sales were spread across all of her most famous releases, the prospect of the star landing herself an immediate posthumous Number One was at best remote, but if you hadn't sneaked a peep at the live charts of the online stores there was fun to be had in speculating just which one would outsell the others. In the event it was the none more appropriate title track of her most famous album. Back To Black charts this week at Number 8, its first ever appearance in the Top 10 after it peaked at Number 25 when first issued as a single in April 2007.
None of her other singles made quite the same impact, although they do line up in turn lower down the Top 40. Tears Dry On Their Own is at Number 27, Rehab at Number 29, Love Is A Losing Game at Number 33 (it's first ever Top 40 appearance) and You Know I'm No Good at Number 37 - giving her five Top 40 hits in total.
She might well have had six, but for the fact purchasers are still clearly confused by the existence of two different versions of her biggest ever hit - a remake of the Zutons track Valerie. The "proper" version is that credited to producer Mark Ronson with Winehouse as the featured guest star, the recording having reached Number 2 in late 2007. Even at the time it was briefly joined in the Top 40 by an acoustic version of the song credited to the artist herself, originally released as the b-side and subsequently added to the deluxe edition of the Back To Black album. Back in November 2007 I speculated that many of its sales were in error as people hunted for "Valerie by Amy Winehouse" without realising that they wanted a Mark Ronson single. Well, it looks like the same thing happened this week, only for the first time ever the Live Lounge version of the track outsells the studio one - Amy's Valerie is at Number 41 with the Mark Ronson version at Number 45.
It would be wrong to wrap up without at the very least acknowledging the other new singles of the week which would otherwise have drifted onto the Top 40 largely unnoticed. Hearty congratulations to Londoner Maverick Sabre who has his biggest chart hit to date with Let Me Go. Known to his mum as Michael Stafford, the 21 year old from Hackney first appeared on the Top 40 earlier this year as the guest star on the Professor Green track Jungle which crept to Number 31 back in January. His self titled debut album, from which this Top 20 hit is taken, is slated for release in November.
Also new this week are Six-D who are hailed as "the world's first urban street dance pop group" and who release their debut single Best Damn Night off the back of support slots with both JLS and The Saturdays as well as a gruelling trail around the current crop of local radio summer concerts which are coming to a public park near you very shortly. I'm only embedding the video so I can concentrate on hating it properly you understand…