This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

Last week the annual British Record Industry Awards (BRITS) were held in London. During the ceremony several acts performed current hits and several others received awards, boosting their media profile and the movement of some records on the chart this week clearly reflects the value of the exposure this gives. 13 new entries, 8 records climb and there are 3 non-movers.

Analysis:
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No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Heaven 17 - (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing

The remix project of Heaven 17 tracks continues with this followup the remix of Temptation which made the Top 3 just before Christmas. This new remix of their debut hit from 1981 is a far more drastic reworking but at a stroke has beaten the No.45 placing it achieved on its original outing. The low entry, however, suggests that further progress may be unlikely.

No. 37: NEW ENTRY. k d lang - Constant Craving

Nominated for Best International Artist at the BRITS and perfoming at the ceremony gives both this single and Ms lang's album up the charts. A timely reissue for the first single off the Ingenuene album which peaked at 52 in May last year. Previously her only Top 40 outing (if you'll pardon the pun [behave]) was her duet of Crying with the late Roy Orbison which made the Top 20 back in August.

No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Neil Young - Harvest Moon

Wheel out the bathchairs, the wrinklies are back in town. A startling appearance for the veteran singer thanks to some major airplay for his best work in years. Setting new standards in gaps between Top 40 hits, his only previous entry was the classic Heart Of Gold which made No.10 in 1972. Since then his only other taste of singles success was Four Strong Winds which faltered at No.57 in 1979. Aside from that Neil Young's only other successes have been many hit albums with Crazy Horse and Prelude's acapella version of After The Goldrush which made the Top 30 twice - in 1974 and 1982.

No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Pantera - Walk

Heavy rock dominates many places this week, the first of these being the first hit for Pantera. Airplay on mainstream radio is likely to be low, although not quite as low as previous offerings such as Fucking Hostile.

No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Mary J. Blige - Reminisce

All of a sudden soul is making a comeback, helped in part perhaps by a new show on Radio 1 on Wednesday nights devoted to the music. Reminisce thus becomes another in a long line of New Jack Swing tracks to chart in this region although none have gone on to major success.

No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Boyz II Men - In The Still Of The Nite

I have to confess that this is a favourite of mine. The Boston quintet are still looking for a major followup to End Of The Road following the relative failure of Motownphilly which got lost in the Christmas rush. The original version never charted here but was a No.24 hit in the US for the Five Satins in 1956 and is reputedly one of the best selling R&B records of all time. Indeed, the 1950s may well be the next victim of the nostalgia wave, following two major TV serials airing at present using the music of the period as a soundtrack. In The Still Of The Nite is incidentally, the first genuine acapella track to chart since the Housemartins version of Caravan Of Love back in 1986 (I think!)

No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Dina Carroll - This Time

Current darling of the dance divas, Dina Carroll returns with hit No.4. Despite the quality of her records and the fact that she genuinely can sing, her tracks have underperformed. This Time follows the format of the Christmas hit So Close with a slushy ballad that may just fail to capture the public imagination.

No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Rage Against The Machine - Killing In The Name

And how much airplay is this heavy rock track going to get? Absolute bugger all is the answer. Why? Simply because the major selling point of the song is really the 2 minute fadeout along the lines of: "Fuck you, I'm not going to do what you tell me." [For those wondering, yes this was in the aftermath of the famous moment where the uncensored version of the eventual 2009 Christmas Number One was played on the Radio One chart show].

No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Bizarre Inc featuring Angie Brown - Took My Love

The decision of the techno duo to get themselves a guest vocalist with a real voice reaped obvious dividends when I'm Gonna Get You hit No.3 back in October. The new single is basically more of the same, following a proper song structure but still a track to storm the clubs and the airwaves. Watch this go Top Ten.

No. 20: CLIMBER. Metallica - Sad But True

Only a 1 place climb but still an impressive consistency of sales for the speed metal rockers who are clearly no longer simply selling to a fanbase but are gaining respect amongst many other record buyers.

No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Tasmin Archer - In My Care

Another appearance at the BRITS give Ms Archer a strong debut for her second hit. Criticised by some for being just a little bland, Tasmin Archers style of balladry won her the Best British Newcomer Award. Her previous hit was of course Sleeping Satellite which topped the chart back in October and startlingly enough was the last single by a British act to do so.

No. 15: NEW ENTRY. Right Said Fred and Friends - Stick It Out

About once every 2 years the entire British Isles gets very silly. For one day in early spring they stick red noses on their faces and do silly things to raise money for charity. The event is Comic Relief and is never complete without the requisite novelty record. The concept started in 1986 when Cliff Richard re-recorded his 1959 No.1 Living Doll with the Young Ones and found himself back at the top of the charts. Recently the practice has been to record original songs though, in 1991 comedy duo Hale and Pace hit the Top with The Stonk. This year it is the turn of truly British eccentrics Right Said Fred to give themselves a shot in the arm and release this, a cheesy track, featuring guest appearances from a host of celebrities too long to list here. As the title suggests the song is full of strange innuendii such 'When you're on the doctor's couch you got to Stick It Out' which climax with the line 'From the top of a tall erection. Building! Building!' Just watch this climb as Comic Relief fever sweeps the nation.

No. 11: CLIMBER. Rod Stewart - Ruby Tuesday

A climber but not as high as some would have predicted. Rod performed the track at the BRITS and during which he walked off with the award for Lifetimes Achievement. So far though the latest single will not add to his list of Top Ten hits and is still 2 places below the No.9 peak of Melanie's version of the song.

No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Depeche Mode - I Feel You

I must confess to an absolute hatred of Depeche Mode, their morbid drivel being only fit for angst-ridden sixth formers [of which 1993 James had been one just two years earlier, never mind]. Nevertheless the first single from them in 3 years makes a strong debut to give them only their 7th Top Ten hit in a career that spans 13 years and their highest new entry ever. In a similar vein to Personal Jesus the track may not have quite the momentum to go Top 3 and is unlikely to win them any new fans [a phenomenon which a few years later I'd term "Depeche Mode syndrome"].

No. 6: NEW ENTRY. Michael Jackson - Give In To Me

For Michael Jackson or indeed any other artist this is not a bad debut. For the 7th single off an album now 15 months old it is quite phenomenal. The success of this can be attributed to a couple of reasons, the most likely of which being the TV showing in Britain last Monday of his interview with Oprah Winfrey which reputedly got more viewers than the BRITS ceremony. It's a clever bit of marketing by Sony Music in a similar way in which the 7th single off the Bad album Smooth Criminal made No.8 in December 1988 by coinciding with the cinema release of 'Moonwalker'. The second reason for the high entry may also be down to the fact that along with Who Is It and Black Or White, Give In To Me is one of the few tracks on the album that represent Jackson at his very best and not stifled by machines. PS Bad ultimately spawned 9 hit singles and the title track from Dangerous has yet to appear on a 7" single.

No. 5: CLIMBER. Lenny Kravitz - Are You Gonna Go My Way

His way clearly is up as he notches up his first ever Top Ten hit. The new single from current protege Vanessa Paradis, by contrast, missed the chart altogether this week.

Top 3: NO CHANGE

Annie Lennox hangs onto No.3 for a third week with the double-sided single whilst last week's unlucky losers Take That fail to capitalise on last week's strong debut as Why Can't I
Wake Up With You holds fast at two, despite their appearance at the BRITS and the fact that in a travesty of voting Could It Be Magic was chosen as the Best British Single despite being a cover of a song with a melody nicked from Beethoven and despite the nomination of A Million Love Songs which they [ie Gary Barlow] _did_ write and was surely a more valid choice. Oh well.

No. 1: THIRD WEEK. 2 Unlimited - No Limit

After 2 weeks of hanging by the skin of their teeth, 2 Unlimited finally top the charts by a substantial margin although it is not big enough to neccessarily guarantee them the honours next week.


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