This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

After the frenetic rush of last week, the charts seem to be pausing for breath a little this week with a relatively (for these days anyway) quiet 8 new entries, 13 climbers and 4 non-movers.

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Arsenal FA Cup Final Squad '93 featuring Tippa Ire - Shouting For The Gunners

Ever since the 1970 England World Cup Squad had a No.1 hit with Back Home, a major achievement by a team from Britain's national game seems to have been celebrated by a singalong record featuring the somewhat dubious vocal talents of major footballing stars. The annual final of the Football Association Challenge Cup is such an event and just occasionally the records are bought by enough dedicated fans to make the records chart. This is actually the second hit for Arsenal FC, they made No.16 in May 1971 with a ditty entitled Good Old Arsenal but in terms of chart success they are no match for fellow Londoners Tottenham Hotspur who made it to the final and into the Top 20 in 1981, 1982 and 1987 and were unlucky enough to miss out at No.44 in 1991. Arsenal play Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Spin Doctors - Two Princes

Debut chart hit for the Spin Doctors, with the track that is currently making assured progress in the US as well.

No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Van Morrison and John Lee Hooker - Gloria

In 1965 at the height of the Mod craze, the Belfast band Them had two top ten hits with Baby Please Don't Go and Here Comes The Night. Although they never charted subsequently, their most famous track is Gloria, featuring a celebrated guitar riff that was used by Definition of Sound in the track Moria Jane's Cafe which charted here last year. The lead singer of Them was, of course, Van Morrison who in the past few years has enjoyed something of a critical renaissance although has struggled to produce hit singles. On this remake of the most celebrated moment from his past he's teamed up with veteran Bluesman John Lee Hooker, himself having resurrected a career and who recently had his first ever Top 20 hit in this country with a remake of one of his own classics 'Boom Boom'. Together they are also the oldest duo ever to make the charts.

No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Waterboys - The Return Of Pan

Mike Scott is one of pop's awkward bastards, flying in the face of public opinion as often as possible and annoying critics left right and centre. In the process his own brand of folky rock tends to get lost in the midst. The Return Of Pan is the first new offering from the Waterboys since A Bang On The Ear made No.51 in July 1989. The name of the band however will be familiar following the 1991 re-release of arguably one of the best records ever made The Whole Of The Moon which received a long overdue Top 3 placing as a result. This new one is unlikely to emulate that but it has at least already eclipsed the No.32 peak of Fisherman's Blues which until now had remained his only other Top 40 hit.

No. 25: FALLER. Sonia - Better The Devil You Know

The UK's Eurovision entry slips from its No.18 peak in a not unexpected move. The track is by no means finished though, as the contest itself is broadcast live from County Cork in Ireland on Saturday night to an audience of millions worldwide. As a result although it will fall again next week (based on this weeks sales) it may well spring back up in the wake of the contest - especially if by some chance it actually wins [she was robbed!]. Sonia is 6-4 second favourite believe it or not - behind the Croatian entry.

No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Bon Jovi - In These Arms

Third hit from the Keep The Faith album with the kind of rock power ballad that Bon Jovi have perfected over the years. Not a massive hit but enough to add to their tally of 12 Top 40 hits since 1985.

No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark - Stand Above Me

One of the few remaining stalwarts of the electropop revolution of the early 1980s, OMD return with the first new hit from their forthcoming album. Seemingly dead and buried in the mid
1980s, their own chart renaissance started in 1991 when both Sailing On The Seven Seas and the classic Pandora's Box made the Top 10. Stand Above Me is a similarly catchy piece of perfectly crafted pop and has already made a stronger debut than Seven Seas which spent 3 chart weeks just reaching the Top 40 in the first place.

No. 21: CLIMBER. Robert Plant - 29 Palms

Former Led Zep frontman Plant makes a rapid and somewhat unexpected rise of 16 places, making him the highest climber on the chart this week. The success of the track comes from a number of TV appearances and heavy radio airplay, particularly from the recently launched Virgin 1215 national rock station.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Dina Carroll - Express

On a relatively quiet chart this is as high as they come. Biggest new hit of the week in a rather surprising fashion, given that this is the 5th hit in a row from her debut album So Close. This may be accounted for by the failure of the album to cross over from the limited UK soul market whilst the singles themselves have become pop hits on their own merits.

No. 19: CLIMBER. D:Ream - U R The Best Thing

In the current chart climate, it is actually interesting to see what the effect of so many new entries so high can do. One consequence is to force other singles, which may have registered increases in sales, down the charts causing them to be quickly forgotten by radio playlisters. U R The Best Thing is a case in point, forced last week to dip to 21 yet maintaining sales this week allows it to rise back into the Top 20 due to the competitive lack of action above it.

No. 18: CLIMBER. Dr Alban - Sing Hallelujah

The same may well be true here, although the effect is altogether more dramatic. This track, which is already the biggest selling hit across Europe this year, dipped to 24 last week and appeared on its way out. Whilst this yo-yo may not result in any more significant success for the track, you have to admit it makes for a slightly more unpredictable chart that usual.

No. 15: CLIMBER. Kingmaker - Ten Years Asleep

An assured 5 place rise for Kingmaker, following what was generally regarded as one of the better performances on Top Of The Pops last week. Ten Years Asleep now matches the peak of Eat Yourself Whole, hitherto their biggest hit ever.

No. 10: NON-MOVER. Snow - Informer

I've commented on this before but it is worth repeating simply because it is so unusual. Informer now spends a 9th week inside the Top 10 making it far and away the biggest single so far this year to not reach No.1.

Top 5

As expected, last week's strong batch of new entries and climbers collide violently at the top of the charts, unable to dislodge the No.1. Inner Circle climb to 5 with Sweat; 2 Unlimited suffer from the strong competition with 'Tribal Dance' and stay the same; Janet Jackson fails to live up to the promise of her initial high entry and slides 2 to 3 (That's The Way Love Goes is still her biggest hit ever to rank alongside the Luther Vandross duet Best Things In Life Are Free). Making the best progress of all though are Ace Of Base whose perfectly crafted piece of dub-reggae All That She Wants gives them an extremely creditable No.2 placing with their first chart hit and with enough momentum to keep them in the reckoning, should the current No.1 start to falter.

No. 1: THIRD WEEK. George Michael and Queen - Five Live (EP)

No question of that this week though as the money pours in to AIDS charities. EPs (Extended Play singles with 3 or 4 tracks on them rather than the standard 2) are few and far between these days, unlike in the 1960s when they were released alongside singles and merited a chart of their own. Since the EP chart was abolished in 1969 only 3 other EPs have topped the charts, making this the 4th. That figure, however, is a matter of contention as it does not include Belfast Child by Simple Minds. This 1989 chart topper was listed on the charts and appears in all official records as just that, yet it was merely one track on the Ballad Of The Streets EP and is clearly labelled as such on the single sleeve. The others, in case you are interested, are: The Roussos Phenomenon in 1976, The Special AKA Live from 1980 and last years Abba-Esque by Erasure.