The UK charts enter the most exciting period of the year and the record companies go all out to capture the Christmas market. For the next few weeks then records will be released to aim for the Christmas No.1 and this one is no exception. 11 New Entries, 9 Climbers and an unusual 5 non-movers. [this sentence made no sense 1992 James, but I've done you the honour of not rewriting it]
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Bassheads - Who Can Make Me Feel Good.
This is actually quite a surprise. Bassheads are another faceless dance entity who have had phenomenal chart success in the past. Their first hit 'Is there anybody out there' went in at No. 8 almost exactly a year ago and earlier this year they had a Top Ten hit with 'Back To The Old School'. As a result for them to enter this low is a big surprise. It may be due to a distribution leak or a midweek release which could explain it. It's performance next week will contain the answers. [It fell, knocking my conspiracy theories on the head.]
No. 36: FALLER. Electroset - How Does It Feel.
A new entry last week which I forgot to mention. A rave track based on the hook line from New Order's 'Blue Monday' and as a result it has been universally reviled as such by purists and fans alike [same thing surely], despite New Order saying they like it. It's swift in-and-out performance shows that the public disagree with the group.
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Maxi Priest f/Apache Indian - Just Wanna Know.
Hard to believe he was once a MOR lovers rock star really. Maxi Priest makes yet another bid for credibility with a duet with the well known ragga toaster. His last few singles have flopped so he will be pleased with this entry - a far cry from the summer of 1990 when he had a US No.1 with 'Close To You'
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Chris Rea - God's Great Banana Skin.
Title track of his latest album. Rea makes a quick followup to 'Nothing To Fear' which only left the Top 40 2 weeks ago. Always a solid album seller he has minor singles success but the gloomy mood of his latest crop means he wil have difficulty progressing any further with this one.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Manic Street Preachers - Little Baby Nothing.
They started the year as a group of sub-punk underground rockers. The transformation into proper stars is complete with this track, a followup to their Top Ten cover of the Theme from M*A*S*H. By far their most commercial track ever it will be a great shame if 'Little Baby Nothing' fails to make the Top Ten for Christmas. It is one of those records that sounds like a classic already - one of my favourites of the moment I have to
say. [still to this day of the highlights from the Generation Terrorists album and featuring a guest vocal from former porn star Traci Lords, a fact I was clearly ignorant of at the time.]
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Diana Ross - If We Hold On Together.
Hard to believe fact: The last time Miss Ross had four consecutive Top 30 hits was back in 1975. The reason for this is her welcome return to the slushy soul ballads only she can do properly. This will appeal rather more to the easy listening adult market rather than the pop market despite the inclusion of her 1986 No.1 'Chain Reaction' on the b-side. it is unlikely to repeat the success of 'When You Tell Me That You Love Me' which made No.2 for Christmas last year.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Jason Donovan - As Time Goes By.
There are stranger covers to make I suppose. Jason Donovan makes his first chart appearance since the end of his West End run in Joseph and his amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Many would raise their eyebrows at him doing a song such as this but the teen idol carries it off very well indeed and may well chart high for Christmas. The motivation for covering the film song this time of year may well come from the success of Dooley Wilson's original soundtrack recording making the Christmas chart in 1977. With Casablanca 50 years old this year it is a timely release as well. Watch out for Jason's understudy in Joseph, TV star Phillip Schofield charting in a few weeks with his version of 'Close Every Door'
No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine - The Impossible Dream.
Their fans think they are selling out by releasing 4 singles off their album '1992'. A cynically obvious play for the Christmas market sees the frenetic socially aware rockers in a seasonal mood. In actual fact this has to be the most moving record on the charts this week. It's appeal has to be questioned simply because it has been available on the album since the start of the year but I would put serious money on this being Christmas No.1 - the production and sentiments hit it just right. [The song's origins as the showstopping centrepiece of the musical Man Of La Mancha clearly lost on 1992 James there. They were widely mocked for releasing it as a single at all, but it was a live favourite of the pair's for years. And got nowhere near Xmas No.1.]
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Kylie Minogue - Celebration.
Four years ago one of the biggest Christmas hits was a duet by former PWL labelmates Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue. For the first time since they both enter the chart in the same week. This is of course due to the fact that Jason has changed record labels and split from producers Stock and Waterman and Kylie's cover of the 1980 KC and the Sunshine Band single is her last with them as well. Good chart potential for this cover - Kylie has often said it is her favourite song of all time. One of three new tracks on her Greatest Hits album, I am surprised they released this for Christmas as the remaining track unreleased as a single in the Christmassy ballad 'Where In the World'. Watch this go Top Ten next week anyway.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Brian May - Back To The Light.
Title track from the solo album from the former Queen guitarist. The album has not exactly set the charts on fire and despite the Top Ten success of the last two singles this may not progress further. His deceased colleague Freddie Mercury also has a single out in the next few weeks.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Shabba Ranks - Slow and Sexy.
Second ever hit for the most famous reggae toster of them all. His records may not appeal to all but most agree his success is long overdue after many years of trying. This may not get any further but is a worthy followup to 'Mr Loverman' which made the Top 30 back in the summer [and which would be back in some style in the spring of 1993].
No. 15: NON-MOVER. Erma Franklin - Take A Little Piece Of My Heart.
This one looks as if it will never go away. The classic soul track charted after being used in a jeans commerical, made slow progress up the charts and now for the past few weeks has been yo-yoing in the 11-15 region. Heaven only knows what is sustaining its sales but with a track as worthy as this I am not complaining.
No. 14: NEW ENTRY. Deacon Blue - Your Town.
Highest of the week and one of the highest ever for the Glasgow band. 'You Town' takes them onto new ground with their normal folky rock being replaced by a harder edge - even to the extent of recording lead singer Ricky Ross' vocals through a distort pedal. Only their cover EP of 4 Bacarach and David songs charted higher in the first week and this has to be fancied to be Top 5. [The handiwork of Paul Oakenfold, a shock to the system at first but far and away the group's greatest moment on record. And isn't it interesting how I'm anticipating all the new entries climbing? That wouldn't last.]
No. 8: CLIMBER. Guns n' Roses - Yesterdays.
Despite what I said last week they climb to give them their sixth consecutive top ten hit despite the fact the single contains no material that has not been available for over a year. The b-side is even 'November Rain' which made No.4 only last April. [That really did happen. Releasing a single from a 15 month old album and shoving one of the previous singles on the b-side takes some balls. And it still went Top 10.]
No. 2: CLIMBER. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You.
Her first Top 3 hit for five years. Some are speculating it will be No.1 next week. I still maintain it is not that good a song [for the love of God man, stop this before you end up looking really stupid].
No. 1: NON-MOVER. Charles and Eddie - Would I Lie To You.
Britian is still in love with this song and Miss Houston aside, there is little to challenge it next week. Expect the next No. 1 to be one of the records to make the charts in the next few weeks. Statistically the next two weeks are the best time to release a record in the hope of getting a Christmas No.1 so the charts next week will be a frenzy of activity.