This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

This week's chart follows the pattern of recent weeks, with an average number of new entries, but most going in high, rather than the usually crowded 31-40 band. Of this week's entries, there are a number that are landmark records and the breaking previous statistical records. 9 new entries, 6 climbers and 4 non-movers. [Or in proper English, a rather famous singles chart countdown featuring something that had never happened before, and indeed has never happened since].

Analysis:

No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Portrait - Here We Go Again

To start off though, the fairly mundane with a record crossing over directly from the clubs. More commercial than most other unknown dance records suggesting that it may break the trend of recent months and make slightly further progress than might otherwise have been the case.

No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Apache Indian - Chok There

In the light of the current domination of ragga/reggae at the top of the charts, the continuing success of Indian rapper Apache Indian should really come as no surprise. Originally released a year ago, it failed to chart but now achieves long overdue recognition as a follow-up to the top 20 success of Arranged Marriage back in January.

No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Worlds Apart - Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel

Are the days of the manufactured pop band back again? Quite possibly it seems with this record, from a new multiracial band Worlds Apart. The exact origins of the record are unclear to me but at first listen it seems to bear all the hallmarks of a Stock and Waterman production and is hence instantly commercial [Mark Taylor and Terry Adams were in fact the producers, although the "executive producer" of the track was the boss of the label to which they were signed. One Simon Cowell]. The song itself is well-known enough, having been a hit for the Tavares of two occasions. Firstly, in 1976 when it reached No.4 and subsequently when reissued in 1986 when it made No.12.

No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Ice Cube - It Was A Good Day

Gangster rap, perhaps understandably has never sold in Britain, the bleak and uncompromising message of people like Ice Cube and NWA having little meaning for British ears. Indeed the only time NWA have ever made headlines of any sort in this country was when Efil4Zaggin was seized by the obscene publications squad on its release last year. Thus it is that when Ice Cube finally crosses over and gets his first UK hit, it is with It Was A Good Day a laid-back mellow rap, far removed from his usual uncompromising throwdown and may even stand a chance of crossing over even further.

No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Van Halen - Jump (Live)

A song which I suspect needs no introduction to most. Van Halen have never achieved the success in this country that they have in America with Jump and Why Can't This Be Love the only tracks that mean anything to British audiences. Thus, the precursor to a new live album is this version of their biggest ever international hit. It's a pretty faithful version of the track which originally made No.7 in February 1984 and as a deserved classic of 1980s rock, still fills dancefloors to this day. Expect this one to climb.

No. 22: CLIMBER. Robin S - Show Me Love

Steady progress for this track, a new entry last week. Another club crossover, but this time one which has taken a while to grow having been in the club charts since before Christmas.

No. 20: CLIMBER. Jade - Don't Walk Away

The all-girl group emulate their Hot 100 success over here and become the highest climbers on the chart this week. It remains to be seen how much further their brand of sunny US commerciality can progress given the usual British reaction to records of this nature. Nonetheless, after this progress, airplay is certain to pick up during the week.

No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Sunscreem - Pressure Us

Fourth hit in a row for Sunscreem, following up Love U More, Perfect Motion and Broken English. A mellow kind of trance-dance track, for want of a better categorisation and being yet another single off an album that appeals only to specific fans it is unlikely to progress further.

No. 10: NEW ENTRY. David Bowie - Jump They Say

Wrinkly time in many ways inside the Top 10 this week. First of all to Mr Bowie. It's a startling chart comeback for Bowie who appeared to have lost the plot recently with his experiments with Tin Machine. Even the acclaimed first single from his forthcoming new album Real Cool World failed to crack the Top 30. It is thus something of a surprise as Jump They Say becomes his first Top 10 hit since Absolute Beginners back in 1986. It's also Bowie's 20th Top 10 hit, placing him joint 8th on the all-time list, but if you count collaborations with other artists he has had 23 which makes him 6th, behind Michael Jackson, Madonna, Elvis, the Beatles and the gentleman who is just two places above him.

No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Cliff Richard - Peace In Our Time

In many ways there is a sense of monstrous unfairness over the way Cliff Richard is regarded as something of a joke in British pop music. I suppose it is unreasonable to expect a 50 year old singer who has been having hits since 1958 to be trendy but his achievements certainly deserve more recognition than they are usually afforded. Peace In Our Time is a landmark record in many ways, most importantly of all because it firmly establishes him as the greatest British chart star ever. Elvis Presley, the previous holder of that accolade has had 109 hit singles. Peace In Our Time is Cliff's 111th. It is a record unlikely ever to be beaten, especially given that Cliff shows no sign of giving up yet. With 62 top ten hits to his name he is way ahead of the competition in that respect as well. Whilst you pause to take all that in bear another astounding fact in mind. The all-time British chart champion has only ever had 2 American top ten hits and 9 Top 40 hits. What went wrong?

No. 7: CLIMBER. Ugly Kid Joe - Cats In The Cradle

A second week of climbing for the US rockers gives them their second Top Ten hit, almost a year since the Top 3 success of Everything About You. Harry Chapin's original never charted here.

No. 5: NEW ENTRY. Bluebells - Young At Heart

Blame the adverts for this one, not that anyone is complaining at all. Currently the soundtrack of adverts for Volkswagen cars, Young At Heart gets a deserved reissue and immediately beats it's No.8 peak when it was first released in 1984. The chances of this going to No.1 I must admit are very very high indeed, the song being regarded as a classic piece of 1980s pop and still fills floors in nightclubs to this day. It's summery exuberance may well be just the thing to capture the mood of the nation as spring approaches. Watch this one climb, anyhow.

Top 3

Yet again, shattering all records making this the most successful chart week ever for reggae....Shabba Ranks climbing to 3, Snow at 2 and with a good chance of making the top next week. Interestingly enough some quarters have commented on the surprising amount of airplay Snow is getting, given the lyrics are all about shining torches up bottoms and so forth. Oh well....

No. 1: 2ND WEEK. Shaggy - Oh Carolina

But for how much longer we ask ourselves. His sales slipped slightly this week and with the other 2 tracks in the top 3 plus this week's stronger new entries, there is a great deal of competition for next week's top slot.