Remember what I've said before about precedent? By all normal logic, Duffy should have been a one-hit wonder. Her first single Mercy was such a smash, made such an impact and sold so many copies that it was really the only hit her first album needed. On the back of her five-week run at the top, debut album Rockferry stormed into the charts and has been a Top 10 bestseller pretty much ever since. Normal logic would suggest that subsequent single releases would serve merely as gentle reminders that she still existed and to squeeze a few more sales out of the long player. They would almost certainly only become minor hits. Our first clue that this girl was different came when new single Warwick Avenue appeared in the Top 40 as an album cut four weeks ago, something far removed from the normal behaviour of a secondary minor hit. Since then there has simply been no stopping the track and the final exclamation point is added this week as the single surges 7-3 after becoming physically available. Quite simply her appeal is still growing, there being enough casual buyers still around who are willing not only to buy this second single but also to hoover up still more copies of its parent album, which in sympathy duly rises to Number 2 this week. Warwick Avenue may not be the spine-tingling classic that its predecessor could justifiably claim to be, but it appears to have nicely consolidated Duffy as a proper mainstream star. At least until her third single barely scrapes the Top 20 anyway.
Duffy's inability to climb further for now is of course due to the Titanic two-way tussle that is still ongoing at the very top of the singles chart. For a second week running it is Rihanna who remains victorious, boosted perhaps by the fact that her track is for the moment a single exclusive. This does of course change this week (June 2) with the release of the "Reloaded" version of her Good Girl Gone Bad Album.
Not that the availability of an album has held the Ting Tings back of course. After its brief cup of coffee at Number One you could have been forgiven for expecting That's Not My Name to make a quick exit from the Top 10. For the moment however it remains locked at Number 2, whilst parent album We Started Nothing takes a 1-4 dip on the album chart. Meanwhile, their other charting tracks continue to make strides. Whilst Great DJ tumbles out of the Top 40, iTunes advert Shut Up And Let Me Go moves in the other direction and rises to Number 29. The track is scheduled for a single release of its own on July 7 but for the moment it is making a good job of competing with their current official release all by itself.
The only single to penetrate the Top 10 this week is Closer by Ne-Yo which fulfils its early potential and soars 12-7 even with its physical version still some weeks away. The track is now his fourth Top 10 hit, this the first time he has ventured this high since Because Of You peaked at Number 4 in April last year. His target surely has to be a Top 3 place, and maybe a repeat of the Number One honours afforded to debut hit So Sick back in 2006.
Perhaps it is just as well that he is Top 10 already, as on current form to be lower down the chart when your physical single arrives is something of a kiss of death. Also new to the shops this week was Ten Thousand Nights from Alphabeat but which can only creep to Number 16. I've a suspicion that most people are hanging on for the release of the album with This Is Alphabeat hitting the stores this week. Even more spectacular failures are experienced by both the Fratellis and Zuton Quo who on the back of physical releases are merely at 23 and 26 respectively with Mistress Mabel and Always Right Behind You. There is also a consolation Top 40 entry for Made Up Stories from Go Audio which was languishing outside the Top 75 on download sales this week but which now makes its official chart entry at Number 33.
The biggest brand new hits of the week are just inside the Top 20. Leading the way is Forever from Chris Brown which charts at Number 17 as the follow-up to the still charting With You. The reason for this strong appearance? Well, he is doing a Rihanna of course and re-releasing his album 'Exclusive' in a special edition in a couple of weeks time, this single being one of four new tracks set to be added to the tracklisting. Since its release last October, the album hasn't exactly set the charts on fire here, having peaked at a mere Number 14 and barely struggled into six-figure sales. On this occasion, a tactical re-release may actually be the boost it needs to achieve its full potential. [Forever would go on to achieve immortality thanks to a certain viral wedding dance YouTube video].
This week also writes a new chapter in the long and storied career of Paul Weller. Ahead of the release this week of heavily advertised new album 22 Dreams comes a double-sided single release of Have You Made Up Your Mind/Echoes Round which makes a respectable enough entry at Number 19 on combined sales. It is his first solo Top 20 hit for almost three years, his biggest chart hit since Come On Let's Go crept to Number 15 in October 2005. The veteran star is now into his fourth decade of singles chart success, his first hits as a member of The Jam coming way back in 1977.
It is the world of reality TV that we have to thank for the final chart hits of note this week. I'm not quite sure how I felt about the result on Saturday night of Britain's Got Talent. Whilst it would have been with rather depressingly predictable had the contest been won by one of the selection of pre-pubescent opera singers on display, they were still the most strikingly gifted performers and the eventual triumph of breakdancer George Sampson struck me as being an award for "best sob story" rather than the talent he displayed. For those unaware, Sampson's act was a step for step recreation of the David Elsewhere dance routine as performed by a CGI-enhanced Gene Kelly in a Volkswagen TV ad back in 2005. In a less than startling coincidence the track which soundtracked both the advert and Saturday's winning routine duly makes a reappearance this week at Number 28, Singing In The Rain from Mint Royale ascending to its highest chart placing since it peaked at Number 20 upon first release in September 2005. It will be fascinating to see whether it can improve on that performance next week, given that most of its sales will have been as a result of Sampson's performance on the midweek semi-final shows, his Saturday night victory coming just a few hours before the midnight deadline for sales to register on the singles chart this week.
Meanwhile, the acerbic comments of Simon Cowell are also responsible for the appearance at Number 61 of Time Of My Life by American Idol 7 winner David Cook. The gravelly-voiced star thus becomes only the third Idol winner to have a hit single on these shores, following Kelly Clarkson in 2003 and hard on the heels of Jordin Sparks who made her own chart debut just a couple of months ago. What makes Cook's performance all the more notable is that he has charted with his coronation song, the composition chosen as the all-important first single for the winning finalist. Both Clarkson and Sparks had their first international hits with tracks recorded at a later date, although of course Kelly Clarkson's winners song A Moment Like This was eventually recycled as Leona Lewis' first Number One hit, in much the same manner that series 2 winner Reuben Studdard's debut record Flying Without Wings was the very same song that Westlife had taken to the top of the UK charts way back in 1999. Meanwhile, just as George Sampson's BGT victory on Saturday was a refreshing victory for a rank outsider, David Cook's Idol win spared us the prospect of having Gaspy Archuleta's face in the opening titles of next years show. We can all be thankful for such small mercies.