We Started Nothing is the debut studio album by British indie pop duo The Ting Tings. It was released on 16 May 2008 by Columbia Records. The US edition has a different cover image in several background colours. The album was also released in the UK on red vinyl limited to 2,000 copies. The US vinyl version is a standard black-vinyl pressing. As of March 2012, We Started Nothing had sold 632,341 copies in the UK.
According to vocalist-guitarist of The Ting Tings, Katie White:
The way we write changes with each song. "Keep Your Head" started with Jules [De Martino] on the drums, "We Walk" started with me on piano, "Shut Up and Let Me Go" started with Jules on bass, "That's Not My Name" was me ranting about my frustrations with the record industry. "Great DJ" was me playing a D chord on the guitar for hours, because that's all I could play. And then I put my finger on the wrong string, and got what I discovered was an augmented chord. And that was the riff! The lyrics described the life we were living at the time. It was about getting lost in hedonism, about forgetting that you had bailiffs knocking at your door and just surrendering to the joys of the music in a nightclub for several hours—the boys, the girls, the strings, the drums.
The album's second single, "Fruit Machine", was released as a limited 500-copy run, only available for their fans at the band's concerts. Four covers were made: one for Salford, one for Berlin, one for London and one for New York.
The third single released from the album was the re-release of "Great DJ" on 3 March 2008. The song did chart until the re-release of "That's Not My Name", reaching number thirty-three on the UK Singles Chart.
The fourth single released from the album was the re-release of "That's Not My Name". It is so far their most successful in the UK, reaching the top spot in this country for one week. The single's popularity caused "Great DJ" to finally chart (two months after its release), and also caused "Shut Up and Let Me Go" to chart early (two months before its release). The song became the UK's twenty-second best-selling single of 2008, selling 300,000 copies. It was released in the US and reached number thirty-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
The fifth single released from the album was "Shut Up and Let Me Go". Due to the popularity of "That's Not My Name" it entered the top seventy-five two months before its release, based on downloads. The song was officially released on 21 July 2008. It is the duo's second highest-peaking single in the UK, charting at number six, while also faring well in the US where it peaked at number fifty-five on the Billboard Hot 100.
"Be the One" was released on 13 October 2008 as the sixth single from the album. Despite the popularity of the last two singles, it only managed to peak at number twenty-eight in the UK.
The re-release of "Fruit Machine" was originally planned to be released on 9 February 2009 as the album's seventh single, but was cancelled a week before the release. "We Walk" was ultimately released as the seventh and final single on 23 February 2009, peaking at number fifty-eight in the UK. It was the band's first single not to have a 7" vinyl release, instead coming out on CD and 12" vinyl only.
The seventh single was planned to be "Keep Your Head", but the duo decided to cancel it to spend more time recording their second album.