This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

[OK well the introduction if there ever was one is missing from my archive copy, but I'll use this space to note that we've skippped a week here. What I was doing instead in the first week of October 1993 is documented elsewhere. The combination of overnight shows on a real radio station, plus frantically finishing the extended university essay I was supposed to have spent the summer writing meant I just never got around to writing the chart up. Which was annoying given what was going on at the top].

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Carter USM - Lenny and Terence

Jimbob and Fruitbat now tasting the bitter pill of fickle fame after last years crossover successes. Their last single went in at No.16 and crashed out immediately and the low entry of this second single from their new album does not bode well either. Maybe if they went back to writing proper tunes rather than tuneless thrashes things might improve....

No. 31: FALLER. Salt N Pepa - Shoop

Last week's entry at No.29 proves to be a peak for the first single from Salt N Pepa for 12 months, The most successful female rappers in chart history they may be with 4 Top Ten hits, but they have not climbed that high since September 1991.

No. 30: NON-MOVER. Various Artists - The Two Tone EP

Back in 1979 Two Tone records were at the forefront of the British Ska revival, in the wave of reggae that spawned Madness and UB40 amongst others. This retrospective EP gathers together some of the most famous of those earlier hits, including the lead off track, Gangsters by the Specials which originally peaked at No.6 in August 1979.

No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Pop Will Eat Itself - RVSP/Familius Horribilus

Finally a second Top 40 hit this year for the Brummie rockers, who have flown in the face of fashion for over six years, been dropped by several record labels and yet still have retained a fan following. This culminated earlier this year with Get The Girl... Kill The Baddies which peaked at No.9 in January to become their biggest hit ever. This new one will be straight out again next week but it is still an impressive 7th Top 30 hit for a band destined never to have a major mainstream hit.

No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Blur - Sunday Sunday

All credit really to Blur who this year have fended off the talk of doom that has dogged them since their emergence in 1991 as The Next Big Thing. Rather than churning out repeats of their old formula they mutated instead to produce an album of cheerful cockney sounding records a la the Small Faces yet at the same time strangely credible. Sunday Sunday crashes in to land two places higher than both For Tomorrow and Chemical World which both peaked at No.28 in May and July respectively.

No. 24: NEW ENTRY. One Dove - Breakdown

Touted for weeks by the music press as a massive hit, Breakdown lives up to the name with a small but confident entry that is almost certain to grow and grow. Describing the brilliance of this record is hard, the debut hit for a group meshing girlie vocals with a brilliantly commercial tune yet sounding far harder and far more credible than Saint Etienne ever did. Watch this go Top 3. If 4 Non Blondes can do it why not this lot? [You overestimate the taste of the Great British Public 1993 James, but this remains a semi-forgotten classic for sure. One Dove's lead singer was Dot Allinson who would have some solo success after the group split].

No. 20: NON-MOVER. Diana Ross - Chain Reaction

Over the years Diana Ross has had many career revivals. One of the most celebrated ones was in 1986 when she recorded the album Eaten Alive. Chain Reaction was written by the Bee Gees, was released in January 1986 and shot straight to No.1, a full 15 years after she had last topped the charts. Since then it has always been the nation's best loved Diana Ross single, never unavailable and was in fact on the b-side of her 1991 Christmas No.2 hit When You Tell Me That You Love Me. Re-released to coincide with a new Greatest Hits retrospective it has made the Top 20 once more. US readers may well be bemused as the track never made the Billboard Top 50 despite being released twice but as perhaps the greatest of all Diana Ross tracks maybe it deserves one more chance. It's presence also interestingly enough makes it the second 1980s No.1 in the Top 20 this week.

No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Dina Carroll - Don't Be A Stranger

The seventh solo hit from the former vocalist with Quartz and becomes an instant Top 20 hit. Nobody can really work out how to categorise her, alternating single releases in all manner of different styles. Don't Be A Stranger is a string laden Las-Vegassy ballad in complete contrast to Express - her last hit which made No.12 in August and which was an uptempo dance track.

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Prince - Peach

With a sense almost of inevitability, one of the new tracks recorded for Prince's Greatest Hits collections makes it's singles chart debut. His British chart career is like his record in most other places really, patchy but with occasional flashes of brilliance. Since 1980 he's scored 29 Top 30 hits and 12 Top 10 smashes. He's never had a No.1 hit but has had two No.2 hits: Batdance in June 1989 and a double sided reissue of 1999 and Little Red Corvette which charted in January 1985. He has written No.1s for two different artists. Sinead O'Connor of course springs to everyone's mind but Chaka Khan also who made No.1 with her version of I Feel For You in 1984.

No. 14: NEW ENTRY. Lemonheads - Into Your Arms

Despite a last minute drugs binge that silenced singer Evan Dando for three weeks, the new Lemonheads album is complete and set to be the smash of the autumn. To prove it the first single lands in the Top 20 and immediately beats the No.19 peak of their version of Mrs Robinson last Christmas. It may not get much further to become a major hit but could well be the first of a long line of hit singles from the current darlings of the music press.

No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Prodigy - One Love

With the rave scene slowly dying on its feet, it will be interesting to see how the faceless chart stars of the movement will fare. Of any of the acts who came to dominate the charts two years ago, it is the Prodigy who have fared the best, with a string of Top 20 hits. One Love is their second hit of the year, to followup Wind It Up which peaked at No.11 in April.

No. 11: CLIMBER. Bon Jovi - I Believe

It's been a phenomenal year for Bon Jovi with a string of sold out concerts and their most consistent set of hit singles ever. I Believe is the fifth hit from Keep The Faith and climbs from No.18 last week to become the third biggest. Further progress is unlikely but it is worth noting that they have never had 5 Top 20 hits in a row ever.

No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name

...and here they come again. Even without a lead singer currently, Iron Maiden can still do it. With little promotion other than letting the fan club know about it, with no radio support whatsoever, the massive fan base commanded by the Maiden have bought enough copies to send this live track straight into the Top 10. Next week will see it straight out again but the sheer cheek of it has to be marvelled as no other act has really the following to achieve this feat every single time. It is now the 9th Iron Maiden single to go straight into the Top 10.

No. 4: NON-MOVER. Chaka Demus and Pliers - She Don't Let Nobody

How's about this for the most bizarre statistic of the year. Between them their two singles this year have spent 8 weeks at No.4 - more than any other act.

No. 2: CLIMBER. Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love

Well, if conclusive proof were needed, Bat Out Of Hell II has proven once and for all that the combination of Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman is one of rock's greatest partnerships. Despite a somewhat bizarre marketing ploy by Virgin records that saw the single premiered 4 weeks before the album was released yet released itself 6 weeks after, it landed with a bullet at No.8 last week and now climbs to the No.2 spot to give my favourite artist his biggest ever UK hit. Despite the original Bat Out Of Hell album being the UKs most charted album of all time, Loaf has never really had a great deal of singles success until now - his biggest and only Top 10 hit previously was 1981's Dead Ringer For Love and even an accepted standard like Two Out of Three Ain't Bad has never charted higher than No.32. Still all that is in the past, it is just worth considering now that if it wasn't for Take That the world's greatest living Rock n Roller would have been at No.1. Now that is quite a thought. [Patience grasshopper].

No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Take That featuring Lulu - Relight My Fire

It's a pity I missed writing the article last week as this record is possibly the most significant of the year. A hit almost before it started, Take That's followup to the summer No.1 Pray is this cover of an old Dan Hartman song which had never charted before now. with an advance order of 200,000 copies it could do no other than to crash straight in at the top to become their second No.1 of the year. In doing so a number of records have been broken. Not least of these is the achievement of being only the second act ever to have two consecutive singles go straight in at No.1 - the only others being Slade back in 1973. Take That are also the first act to have two No.1 hits in a calendar year since Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers in 1989. 1989 was also the year that Dan Hartman last received writing credit on a No.1 hit. That track was Black Box's Ride On Time which sampled his song Love Sensation. The record also has one other significance though which I'll deal with next week - concerning the red-haired vocalist on backing vocals who is old enough to be the boys' mothers...