Pet Shop Boys Watch: single Love Etc. down to Number 27. Album Yes... well actually this is quite interesting. Although the album failed to live up to its early week potential and ultimately debuts at Number 4, there was a brief moment when it looked as if the Pet Shop Boys were on the verge of something unusual - a Number One album. Despite their long and storied career, they have only once had the honour of one of their albums topping the charts - 1993 release Very which stormed to the top upon its release in September that year. Sadly despite an early sales lead and speculation that it may be on course to top the charts, Yes slumped back midweek. If it drops out of the Top 50 next week, don't say I didn't warn you.
On the singles chart, Lady Gaga spends a second week at the summit with Poker Face. Having attempted to coin the phrase a few weeks ago it was something of an oversight not to credit the track with having been a Halo Hit, the track charting in the Top 30 as far back as the week of January 24 just as its predecessor Just Dance was spending a second week at the top. I suggested at the time that this charting was set to be a brief burst of fame prior to it becoming a single proper but in fact, the track stuck around, climbing steadily over the course of ten weeks to finally hit the top last week. Although Poker Face is not formally "released" for another two weeks according to the increasingly irrelevant physical release schedules, the third single from The Fame is already making chart waves. LoveGame sits at Number 93 this week, just a few places below popular album track Beautiful, Dirty, Rich which was itself at one stage set to be the album's second single and may well be elevated to single status later this year.
The biggest new hit of the week is a track that was always expected to have a big impact, but I don't think even the most optimistic of speculators expected it to be quite as big as this so soon. London rock trio The Noisettes (a reference to their volume, not French nuts) have been around since 2003 and recording since 2005. They first came to the fringes of mainstream attention in 2007 with a series of well-received festival appearances and their debut album What's The Time Mr Wolf which produced a handful of singles, the biggest of which Sister Rosetta (Capture The Spirit) limped to Number 63 in January that year. Their second album Wild Young Hearts comes out at the end of April and if its first single proper is any kind of yardstick is set to catapult them into the mainstream in a big way. The catchy and eminently danceable Don't Upset The Rhythm (Go Baby Go) smashes its way to Number 2 after spending most of the week near the top of the daily charts of the online stores. This apparent appearance from nowhere can be largely credited to the use of the track on a series of TV commercials for the Mazda 2 which have been airing since the start of the year, but I can't help but think the single would have made waves even without the TV exposure. A deserved smash hit.
Two big climbers also shoulder their way into the Top 10. To the delight of many (myself included), Jai Ho (You Are My Destiny) from AR Rahman and the Pussycat Dolls charges 20-5 to instantly become the girls' biggest hit single since When I Grow Up went Top 3 in September last year. Also making a strong surge and perhaps more surprisingly is Shake It by Metro Station which has now flown 37-22-9 in the past fortnight to give the American teen rock group a British Top 10 hit.
New in at Number 12 is the latest chapter in a tale that stretches back almost 20 years now. New Yorker Robin Stone first shortened her name to Robin S and recorded her first single Show Me Love way back in 1990. It took until 1993 for the track to become a hit, but when it did so it struck big, going Top 10 both here and in America and becoming a sizeable hit all over Europe. The track became famous for the synthesiser line which dominates the mix, a formula that worked so well that follow up single Luv 4 Luv was made to be almost a carbon copy of its predecessor. Since then the single has become one of those which it seems almost everyone has had a go at remixing at one time or another. It has returned to the singles chart on two different occasions since 1993, first of all in 1997 when a new set of mixes by Lisa Marie propelled it to Number 9 and then again in 2002 when a Tonka re-edit crept to Number 61. Now Show Me Lov' is back again thanks to the full commercial release of a remix by Steve Angello and Laidback Luke which first began circulating last year. The 2009 version is possibly the most respectful treatment of the original so far, allowing the best elements of the original (notably its famous "default sound" bassline) to stand out yet at the same time ensuring it sounds as fresh as if it was recorded last week. Number 12 is enough to ensure that for now, it becomes the third most successful mix of the song. The target is the Number 6 peak scaled by the original 16 years ago this month.
Also new at Number 16 is Lily Allen who manages a cute back to back on the chart, new single Not Fair just outselling former Number One hit The Fear which is a non-mover one place below. The second single from It's Not Me It's You, the track is another three and a half minutes of trademark Lily, the acidic tale of female orgasms (or the lack of them) wrapped up in a rolling rockabilly production which possibly makes it the rudest party track of all time. The lurid tales of her personal life which kept her name in the limelight between her two albums made it all to easy to forget just why she was famous in the first place. Both this single and its predecessor sit together on the chart of perfect reminders of just why she commands the attention she does. If we didn't have Lily Allen I'm sure someone would be attempting to invent her.
Speaking of party records, there is a case to be made for Heads Shoulders Kneez & Toez which soars to Number 18 after just missing out on a Top 40 place last week. The rap single by K.I.G. is the first chart example of what label All Around The World is insisting on calling UK Funky [that never really became a thing I don't think. Reassuringly so], a dancefloor friendly hip-hop track designed more as a fun floorfiller rather than attempting to set right the wrongs of the world in lyrics. One of those records you will either love or hate within the first 30 seconds, all I can do is present it here and invite you to judge for yourselves.
Down the bottom of the Top 40 there is a new entry for the White Lies who land at Number 34 with Farewell To The Fairground. It matches the peak of To Lose My Life which charted back in January and suggests they have a little more work to do before that elusive commercial breakthrough arrives. Just a few places behind is Jennifer Hudson who appears at Number 37 with If This Isn't Love, the follow up to Spotlight which made Number 11 last autumn during a relatively unspectacular but still epic chart run. Dare I point out that the single sounds like a Beyonce b-side and barely does her powerful voice the justice it deserves? Mind you, given that Beyonce's last b-side was the Top 10 smash Single Ladies that might not be the criticism it is supposed to be.