The speculation was correct. Despite (or perhaps because of) the release of debut album We Started Nothing, The Ting Tings were unable to hold off the challenge of the newly released Take A Bow from Rihanna, the net result being a straight swap of last weeks Top 2 singles.
Rihanna was of course further helped by the addition of physical sales for her single and her reward is her second Number One single (the first - Umbrella - still hovers around the bottom end of the singles chart and is at Number 73 this week as if in sympathy).
Take A Bow is one of several brand new tracks that are set to appear on a "special edition" re-release of the Good Girl Gone Bad album. On the podcast last week I marvelled out loud as to why we as music buyers seem to accept such stunts without complaining given that it effectively amounts to ripping off those who snapped up the album first time around. What better way of showing contempt for your fans than turning around and enhancing an existing album with new material, as if to say "thanks for your loyalty, we're sure you won't mind forking out again for material you already own just to own some extra tracks". Admittedly it is these days a simple matter just to buy the additional material as single downloads if you are so inclined, but this still does not change the fact that new buyers of the Special Edition will receive more for their money than loyal purchasers who first picked up the album last summer.
Maybe I am showing my age, but treating fans with such contempt used to be taboo. Back in 1990 the band James released their first major label album Gold Mother only to re-package it a year later with the hit single Sit Down added to the tracklisting. To avoid a backlash, the label arranged a new for old swap deal, allowing buyers to trade in their original versions for the new one should they so desire. Back then it was responsible marketing, now in the 21st century contriving a way to persuade people to pay for the same product twice is considered a viable money spinner.
Back to the Ting Tings and the bitter pill of becoming the first act since last Christmas to spend just a week at the top is almost certainly sweetened by the presence of We Started Nothing at the very top of the album chart. As a direct result, its most notable tracks also make their singles chart debut. First of all, there is the first ever chart appearance of their last single Great DJ which arrives at Number 33, the album track unfettered by the packaging violations which caused it to forfeit a chart placing when first made available back in March. Also new is the international single hit Shut Up And Let Me Go, best known to people here as the music from the latest iPod TV commercials, the track registering at Number 49.
The only other new Top 10 arrival is Warwick Avenue from Duffy which continues its upward momentum with a 13-7 climb. This is its last week as a download-only single, the addition of physical sales should neatly give the lady from the valleys her second Top 5 hit.
Movement in the Top 20 is largely confined to the future releases which are still moving ever closer to penetrating the Top 10. Closer from Ne-Yo (out June 30) rebounds from its surprising reverse last week to advance to Number 12, Love Song from Sara Bareilles (June 2) moves 23-17 whilst I Can Be from Taio Cruz skips 30-19 ahead of its physical release this week (May 26).
One track that appears to have missed altogether, however, is Party People from Nelly and Fergie which went physical this week but which can only manage a two-place rise to Number 14 off the back. For a single that was supposed to be Nelly's big comeback it has underachieved to say the last. Aside from his small vocal contribution to all-star Number One hit Nasty Girl in 2006, the US rapper has not had a Top 10 hit since N Dey Say climbed to Number 6 in June 2005.
In a neat coincidence, the always appealing Alphabeat manage to occupy two consecutive chart places this week. Previous hit Fascination continues its slow burnout by holding firm at Number 22, just outselling new single Ten Thousand Nights which lands at Number 23 after download sales, one week ahead of its physical release. It all sets up nicely for the release of debut album This Is Alphabeat which hits the stores on June 2.
Also new inside the Top 30 are the long-awaited comeback singles from two acts who have already written their fair share of classics. Winning the mini race, for now, are the Fratellis whose task of following up acclaimed debut album Costello Music begins this week. Ahead of new album Here We Stand comes new single Mistress Mabel, a new entry at Number 27 thanks to download sales. The single is a reassuring reminder that they have lost none of the traits that made their previous singles such barnstorming classics, a thundering guitar riff backing an instantly hummable barroom stormer with the requisite killer chorus. The single goes physical this week although I'm doubtful of its abilities to gatecrash the Top 10. Judge for yourselves below.
New in at Number 28 are the band who are in the rather frustrating position of being responsible for one of the biggest and most acclaimed hits of 2007 without most people being aware. With Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse having elevated their song Valerie to the status of a classic, the Zutons are faced with reminding the world just who it was who recorded the song in the first place. Their new single, also from a forthcoming new album, is Always Right Behind You in which they conjure up the ghosts of Status Quo circa 1977 and nick the title of "best pub rock singalong track of the week" from the Fratellis by the thinnest of margins. In common with their Glaswegian rivals, the band arrive on digital sales with physicals to be added to the mix next week. Place your bets then, which one will end up charting higher in seven days time?
The retro-dance craze initiated by Toca's Miracle and Something Good looks set to spawn some more minor hits before the month is out. Arriving in the Top 40 at Number 34 is a 2008 remix of Disco's Revenge from Gusto. Originally a Top 10 single in early 1996, the track appears to be one of those long-forgotten guilty pleasures which has hardly merited a mention since its first release and yet which has veteran clubbers going misty-eyed at the memories of it whenever the new version is brought up. As the title suggests, the track is based heavily around a sample from an old disco track, namely Groovin You by Harvey Mason which was itself never a hit. The Gusto track is joined by a rather more surprising twin, Rhythm Is A Dancer from Snap which has turned into a spontaneous hit in 2008 thanks to its use in TV commercials for Drench spring water. Originally released in 1992, the track spent six weeks at the top of the singles chart and in pop terms became the defining sound of the summer of that year. It isn't the first time the track has reappeared on the chart since, a remix by CJ Stone having reached Number 17 back in 2003.
Finally, for this week Great Britain's spectacular achievement in coming joint last in the scoring at the Eurovision Song Contest is neatly rounded off by the appearance of our entry Even If from Andy Abraham at the rather lowly position of Number 67. Whilst you will see plenty of hand-wringing and grumbling over the result and the usual whining about Eastern Europe block voting in other places, I will simply maintain that Britain's continual failure to live up to our own high standards in the contest has little to do with regional politics and everything to do with our continual insistence on submitting songs that are both utterly useless and sadly indicative of a woeful ignorance of European musical tastes. Place all the blame for that on the people at the BBC responsible for drawing up the song shortlist. Replacing them with people who actually know something about music cannot come a moment too soon. Instead, let us speculate which of the other entries will "do a Verka" and invade the singles chart next week in the wake of Saturday's broadcast. Early indications are that the third place Greek entry Secret Combination which picked up the maximum 12 points from British voters is the one storming ahead in online sales.