This week's Official UK Singles Chart

 

Preamble:

The summer lull is still with us, few big names are releasing records with a consequently sluggish chart reflecting this. Happily all is to change in the next few weeks, but until then we have 8 new entries, 7 climbers and 3 non-movers.

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Breeders - Cannonball

In from nowhere comes the debut Top 40 hit for the Breeders, after their first failed to climb above 50. Leader Kim Deal used to be in the Pixies which is a good enough summation of their sound I suppose. Little commercial success in prospect for them though and this will be straight out again next week.

No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Sinclair - Ain't No Casanova

Debut hit for the American soul group, picking up a great deal of radio airplay with this track, which may well turn out to be one of the first big hits of the Autumn. Maybe I'm just being nostalgic, but cast your minds back to September 1987 which saw Levert at No.9 with a song called Casanova and which sounds like a none too distant relative of this new track.

No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Bee Gees - Paying The Price Of Love

With a perenniality that is akin only to Halley's Comet, the brothers Gibb return with their 31st hit since 1967. Opinions are divided on this new track, some pointing to the return of the falsetto vocal that so characterised Bee Gees hits during the 1970s. Others just breathe a sigh of relief that this at least sounds original after the surprising Top 10 success of their last big hit Secret Love which made No.5 in March 1991. That track came under fire for being a straight rewrite of the song they wrote for Diana Ross in 1986 Chain Reaction. These days they find it easier to have hits in this country than in the US although that still seems to stretch to only one per album . So far it's been a good year for their songs though, following Kim Wilde's Top 20 success with If I Can't Have You, Lulu about to release a new single written by them and a new cover of More Than A Woman poised for release in the next few weeks.

No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Tasmin Archer - Arienne

An impressive 4th for Tasmin Archer, almost a year on from the No.1 success of her debut hit Sleeping Satellite. It's a surprise in many ways why this catchy and commercial track was not released before, it's low priority may harm its chart success now. Another song that has come under fire for sounding much like another - this time being a kind of bastard cousin of Dean Fridman's Aerial and the Hollies' Carrie-Anne.

No. 27: CLIMBER. Green Jelly - Anarchy In The UK

They seem to be everywhere, performing this cover of the sex pistols hit replete with Fred Flintstone costumes and references. Hanna Barbera productions are reported to be unhappy at this appropriation of their most famous creations but despite all the hype the single is moving slowly.

No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Pogues - Tuesday Morning

Having lost lead singer and founder member Shane McGowan the Irish crusties have gone through a period of upheaval that has kept them away from the charts. Their version of Honky Tonk Women with Joe Strummer on lead vocals peaked at No.56 in June last year and things looked bleak. All has changed now with this track, an uptempo radio friendly track that vaults into the Top 30 to give them their first Top 40 hit since Fiesta got to No.24 in July 1988 (excepting of course the 1991 reissue of their 1987 No.2 hit Fairytale Of New York). The aforementioned track remains their biggest hit ever - for now.

No. 20: FALLER. Haddaway - What Is Love

12 weeks in the charts now and never out of the Top 20 this track has now sold in excess of 500,000 copies in this country despite never rising higher than No.2. Who says people don't buy singles any more? Not the BPI now that is for sure, publishing figures this week which show a dramatic expansion of the singles market.

No. 19: CLIMBER. Bad Boys Inc - Don't Talk About Love

The latest creations of former UK Motown supremo Ian Levine crawl into the Top 20. Not yet fame of Take That proportions.

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Aftershock - Slave To The Vibe

Had all gone to plan this infectious dance track may well have debut inside the Top 10. As it turns out the appearance this week of a track from the Sliver soundtrack had to be rush released last week after bootlegs began to appear in record shops. Almost certain to be a massive Top 10 hit, especially with the film about to open over here in a few weeks time.

No. 14: NEW ENTRY. Mariah Carey - Dreamlover

A good example of just how disparate the tastes of British and American record buyers are. In her native country Mariah Carey has exaggerated success to the point of predictable tedium, it being an event when she fails to reach No.1. The British have been less impressed with the soul diva, who after scoring a No.9 hit with her debut Vision Of Love struggled to match that success. Since then she has had a string of unimpressive medium sized hits, the only high spot being the Unplugged version of I'll Be There which made No.2 last July to become her biggest hit ever. This new track debuts strongly then, and being far more catchy and original than most Mariah Carey material may well breach the Top 10 at least. [This was the true start of Mariah Carey's UK success, a run of hits which finally afforded her the same status here she had been enjoying in America for the previous three years].

No. 12: CLIMBER. Sarah Washington - I Will Always Love You

I actually made an error last week [how very unlike you] saying this had won out in a cover battle with Rozalla. In actual fact this track was one of several cover versions released last January, all of which flopped. The real cover battle is between dance versions of Losing My Religion of which Rozalla's was one, until the record company decided to pull its release.

No. 8: NEW ENTRY. UB40 - Higher Ground

It's a good week for the old troupers. The fourth most successful group in chart history notch up their 36th hit. The reggae band have rarely had their stock higher following up a UK and US No.1 hit and with their album this week into a fifth week at the top of the charts. Higher Ground marks the first time they have had a Top 10 hit with one of their own compositions since Sing Our Own Song made No.5 in August 1986. The five since have all been cover versions.

No. 4: CLIMBER. Billy Joel - River Of Dreams

A further climb for Billy Joel puts 'River Of Dreams' in a tie with Tell Her About It as his second biggest British hit ever. The biggest is of course Uptown Girl which was a No.1

No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own

Little to say really, a not unexpected retaining of the title for Freddie Mercury who looks set to continue for some weeks to come, particularly with the lack of any strong competition, most big releases being held now until the Autumn.