This could end up getting very negative this week, I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that for the first time ever I've bought a Meat Loaf album that could be classed as a disappointment. After a lifetime of joy that comes as something as a shock to the system. It is actually the albums market which will make all the headlines this week, with major new releases from Robbie Williams, My Chemical Romance and Mr Loaf all charging into the Top 3, but that isn't to say we don't have some action on the singles chart. 11 new entries, 4 climbers and no non-movers makes the tale of the tape this week - which can of course only mean a brand new Number One.
McFly are a strange act to deal with critically, in the sense that there is both an up side and a down side to their chart career. The upside is at the very least the fact that they remain the most consistently popular teen pop group around. Brand new track Star Girl is the perfect illustration of this, flying straight to the top of the chart on combined sales (and after an intensive promotional campaign) to give the boys their sixth Number One hit single. The track also maintains their strange record of topping the charts in pairs, this single following Don't Stop Me Now/Please Please which landed at the summit in July. Thus far they have never managed three chart-toppers in a row, each pair of Number One hits to date has been followed by a single peaking at Number 3. Further illustration of their ability to sell hit singles in large quantities comes with the revelation that Star Girl is indeed the first single to enter the chart at Number One since Don't Stop Me Now/Please Please. Spooky huh?
Then there is the downside as their chart record (10 straight Top 10 hits and counting) is actually incredibly deceptive. Despite entering at the top, their last single moved 1-6-12-24-40-56-66 in a rather miserable 7-week chart run. It's the same story for all of their last few hits. Ultraviolet moved 9-24-52-61, I Wanna Hold You 3-9-30-51 and I'll Be OK 1-8-15-27-41-49-58-54-54. Their only recent single to have anything approaching a respectable chart career was the deserving All About You which had a five week Top 10 run in spring 2005. The bottom line is that McFly's records are selling in respectable quantities to their own hardcore of fans and then almost literally nobody else. The sad truth is, despite the breezy and appealing nature of their hits (of which Star Girl is a worthy addition), the biggest pop group of the moment are little more than a niche act. Madness.
To the surprise of many, the runners up slot does not go to Girls Aloud this week (they can only climb 5-3 with Something Kinda Ooh) but instead to Dutchman Fedde Le Grand who makes a huge splash with Put Your Hands Up For Detroit which enters at Number 2 on combined sales having hit a non-canon Number 79 on downloads last week. A massive club land floor filler, the track doesn't actually work so well as a pop record but is boosted by its obligatory raunchy video that features female scientists discarding lab coats to writhe around in underwear. Works for me anyway. To give the track its due it scores points for not being a tiresome looped retread of an old 80s hit and you can more or less guarantee it will still be in the Top 10 long after McFly have vanished from the Top 40.
As expected two of last weeks download only hits make the move into the Top 10, headed up by Beyonce with a 14-5 rise for Irreplaceable. Most credit though should go to Amy Winehouse, whose past singles all missed the Top 50 but who can now celebrate a breakthrough mainstream hit as Rehab rises 19-7. The one act to lose out (just) is Cassie whose Long Way 2 Go makes a still impressive 38-12 move on combined sales but who falls short for the moment of the Number 6 peak of her debut hit Me And U.
Whilst the Fedde Le Grand track didn't do the business online, proof that dance records aren't only confined to the physical market comes in the Number 11 debut of Yeah Yeah by Bodyrox. British duo John Pearn and Nick Bridges are behind the single which is set to be one of the biggest examples yet of what has been termed "New Rave" (Hot Chip's Over And Over being the other most high profile example of the dance and rock fusion). A huge Ibiza hit over the summer, it seems more a less a lock in for the Top 3 next week, by which time it will have grown on you even more, believe me.
Fans of blokes with guitars looking for their weekly fix need look no further than Number 15 as The View leap 60-15 with Superstar Tradesmen. It is the follow-up to Wasted Little DJs whose peak from August this new single duplicates and dare I say it might actually be the better track of the pair. They are taking their time over their debut album on which both singles are expected to feature. "Sometime in the new year" is the estimated release date and all being well it should be worth the wait.
I may have said before that one of the biggest joys of 2005 was seeing the Magic Numbers neatly avoid the trap of becoming one hit wonders and instead watching their debut album Self Titled being acclaimed as one of the best releases of the year with a respectable quartet of hit singles following in its wake. Now it is time for the follow-up and with extensive radio support Take A Chance debuts on the Top 40 this week at Number 16 after its downloads reached Number 50 last week. Rather more rocky and uptempo than we are used to, the single still retains the close knit harmonies and naive charm that the two brother and sister pairs always manage to convey. For now, a Top 10 hit eludes them but surely it is only a matter of time.
Less positive is the news for Rihanna whose two Number 2 hits so far this year are now joined by a rather less stellar Number 17 hit. The culprit is We Ride which like its predecessors is taken from her second album A Girl Like Me. I can't offer too much of an explanation as to why this particular track has failed to take off - maybe she needed another set of Soft Cell samples. [This was indeed a strangely out of form chart misfire, her smallest hit single of her early career].
A Top 20 dominated by singles climbing from the lower reaches is rounded off at Number 20 by The Kooks whose new single Ooh La could be found languishing at Number 58 a week ago. Although not a patch on the Top 10 status of last hits Naive and She Moves In Her Own Way, the single does at least have the honour of being no less than the sixth Top 40 single to be lifted from their Inside In/Inside Out album and arrives on the chart a full 15 months after the first Eddie's Gun hit Number 35 in August 2005. With the album having sold in respectable numbers since its release at the start of the year, you have to wonder what purpose it serves to continually mine it for singles in this manner. New material boys. When you can.
So it is an odd week really. A Number One single from a band who get more press yet are less mainstream than the band they replace, and just one significant new entry from a digital only record set to consolidate its position next week. Happily, things on the horizon are a little brighter with Monday November 6th set to become one of the busiest of the entire year for big name new singles - more than a few of which should make an early entrance seven days hence.