Well, this is something quite extraordinary. The brand new Number One single is actually an old Number One single. A week after its run at the top was cut brutally short by Tinchy Stryder, I Gotta Feeling from the Black Eyed Peas reclaims top slot to enjoy a second week at Number One. That in itself isn't so extraordinary, although as any chart fan worth their salt will tell you, only a select few Number One hits in history have reclaimed the top spot once they have been deposed.
No, what is so unusual is that I Gotta Feeling is the first single to reclaim Number One since - well, the last Black Eyed Peas single. Boom Boom Pow had two non-consecutive weeks at the top back in May, the run interrupted by Dizzee Rascal and Bonkers. Just one other act in chart history has had more than one single repeat at the top. Step forward Cliff Richard who had Please Don't Tease rebound in August 1960 and Summer Holiday in April 1963. This is the first time since 1998 that two different singles have both had double runs at the top.
Before the Black Eyed Peas pulled off their little stunt, the chart story of the week was set to be the battle between two big new releases, two singles which for the most part fulfil their potential and chart at Number 3 and Number 4 respectively.
Winning the mini battle is Calvin Harris with Ready For The Weekend. In a sense it is disappointing for the star as he was potentially on a hat-trick of Number One hits with his last two chart appearances Dance Wiv Me and I'm Not Alone having both hit the top. Not that this isn't a bad performance naturally. Ready For The Weekend is the title track from his second album which hits the stores this week and which should be making an impact already by the time you read this. As Harris himself has stated, the single is deliberately styled after a late 90s diva led club track, his own reedy vocals counterpointed by a lung-busting chorus from fabled session backing singer Mary Pearce. In a sense, I can live without this being Number One, as the track isn't quite the label-grabbing epic that I'm Not Alone was, but better this than the track which follows.
I mean where do you begin with Peter Andre? Once upon a time (around 96 and 97) the hottest, most swoonsome, teenage girl-moistening star on the planet with a clutch of Number One hits to his name, Peter Andre was languishing in where-are-they-now obscurity until 2004 when an appearance on the ITV show 'I'm A Celebrity.. Get Me Out Of Here' led not only to a brief musical career revival (and famously a chart-topping re-issue of his most famous single Mysterious Girl) but also a whole new lease of stardom thanks to his partnership and subsequent marriage to Katie "Jordan" Price which was documented in loving (and not so loving) detail on a never-ending string of fly on the wall TV documentaries. For the past five years, Peter Andre has been content to play the part of comedy dad to their children and doormat to his sour-faced and permanently belittling wife. His only musical contribution during this period was the 2006 charity album of duets with his wife A Whole New World which may possibly rank as the worst record ever made and whose title track - with her, not him as the lead credited star you will note - fell 11 places short of being Christmas Number One that year.
Now it appears the fairytale is over. Katie and Peter are no more, with the pair now communicating via alternating tabloid headlines and with the singer clearly attempting to preserve his dignity and protect his children whilst his other half turns back into the grotesque caricature of slapperdom we always secretly knew she still was. It needs saying - some people misguidedly see these celebrities as role models after all. Amongst all this Peter Andre now elects to re-launch his singing career with a brand new album - his first solo work since post-jungle cash in release The Long Road Back in 2004. Lead single is Behind Closed Doors which was half-heartedly touted as a potential Number One but which seems to have found its level at Number 4. His ninth Top 10 single in all, it is his biggest chart hit since Insania hit Number 3 in June 2004. It is at the very least an extraordinary listen. Eschewing the weedy R&B that used to be his style (and which he was seemingly fruitlessly trying to recreate in recording sessions shown on the TV series) Behind Closed Doors opens with a guitar riff and sees him adopt a gruff cod-metal tone of voice, presumably as a way of conveying the torture and pain experienced by the man in the track. It is actually far from the worst single he has ever released and appears to set the stage nicely for new album Revelation which is set to follow. After all the cheesy photoshoots and risible celebrity couple work he has done, it appears despite all odds that Peter Andre still has (chicken) legs as a recording star. Unless of course the "marriage breakup" is all a cleverly constructed publicity stunt to help sell records. Those cheeky (and for the record almost certainly untrue) rumours that a Christmas-themed reunion single is already in the can don't help either. [Fortunately, that was one bit of cynical scurrility which turned out to be bollocks and the pair remained resolutely broken up].
As well as the aforementioned two new entries, Little Boots makes a pleasing burst through the glass ceiling as Remedy climbs four to Number 10 to become the first Top 10 single of her career. As wonderful as I think it is, naturally, one can't help but note that all of RedOne's productions are starting to sound suspiciously similar. Play this, and the Sean Kingston single and indeed Poker Face by Lady Gaga back to back and there is no escaping the truth that the same wall of sound synthesisers are driving each one. Just as well the formula is a winning one.
Returning to the singles chart after an absence of several months are Bloc Party who land at Number 15 with One More Chance. The track is that rare special release, a non-album single which did not appear on their last long player Intimacy and which for the moment is not set to form part of any other forthcoming release. The track follows a successful nationwide tour for the group, one which also saw the release of a collection of remixes of Intimacy. An Armand Van Helden remix of Signs was promoted as a single to coincide with this back in April but it failed to catch on and failed to reach the Top 75. One More Chance at least reverses that trend and is their biggest hit since Flux hit Number 8 in November 2007.
Also new to the Top 20 at Number 17 is Birthday Sex by Jeremih. To these ears, the single isn't half as diverting as its title. A Top 5 hit in America, the track is a rather plain hip-hop R&B ballad that offers little that we have not heard from likes of Usher or Akon in the last few years. Jeremih Felton (to give him his full name) is hailed as the next big thing in his home country but at least for the moment, I'm not totally clear what all the hype is about.
Speaking of Akon he pops up on the next highest new entry, Sexy Chick by David Guetta which lands at Number 21. The second single from Guetta's still to be released One Love album, it is the follow up to When Love Takes Over which spent a week at the top back in June and which is still selling so strongly that it is currently at Number 16 and for the moment outselling its successor by some margin. Oops. The track listed here is actually a sanitised for radio version of the track which is actually called Sexy Bitch in its full album version. Guetta is to all intents and purposes the producer of the moment, given that I Gotta Feeling features him at the helm as well.
Moving to the album chart now, and naturally, it is still all about Michael Jackson. The Essential duly becomes the first album since Spirit by Leona Lewis to spend seven consecutive weeks at Number One. Jackson himself is the first act to hold down the Number One position for eight weeks in a row since The Beatles' 1 collection had a nine-week spell from November 2000 onwards. Indeed it seems only to be hits collections that have such sales staying power - the last 8 week Number One before that was George Michael's hits collection Ladies And Gentleman back in 1998. To find the last occasion an act topped the charts for two full lunar months with brand new material you have to look back to 1996 when extraordinarily two acts - Alanis Morrissette and The Spice Girls pulled off the feat.
For big new releases, it is all about the oldies as the highest new entry is the Number 5 reappearance of the Stone Roses self-titled debut album. Its reappearance is thanks to a special edition to commemorate the 20th anniversary of its original release (an anniversary that is actually a few months late - Stone Roses first charting in the week of May 13th 1989). Extraordinarily, despite its near-legendary status, this is the first time the album has ever made the Top 5 in this country. The original release of the album scaled a lowly Number 19, this peak position reached on February 3rd 1990. Back in 1999, the album was re-released in a tenth-anniversary version which could only climb as high as Number 26. Its only previous Top 10 appearance was on a 2004 re-issue which saw it climb to Number 9.
Fun though this nostalgia is, spare a small thought for lead singer Ian Brown whose brand new solo single Stellify, from his forthcoming sixth album My Way lands on the chart at Number 31. His first chart single since Illegal Attacks in 2007, you can't help but be entertained by the way it is almost totally eclipsed by yet another re-release of a body of work he made a lifetime ago.