This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

The annual influx starts here as the Christmas hits are ceremonially dumped by one and all and the charts settle down into the pattern they are likely to occupy for the rest of the year. The number of new hits this week makes for one of the busiest charts for a while. 13 new entries, 9 climbers and 2 non-movers. This week's article is a joint effort between myself and [longstanding mate who often used to supply info for these early pieces. No intention of outing him without his permission, although as you will see uniquely for this piece we initialed each paragraph] so credit where credit is due, it should be clear who wrote what. Andy says anyone from Belgium can flame me though...

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Tasmin Archer - Shipbuilding

The fifth hit from the singer from Bradford, yet to scale again the heights of her 1992 No.1 Sleeping Satellite. A modest climb from outside the charts, Shipbuilding is just one track from an EP of Elvis Costello covers. Probably one of his more famous songs it curiously enough never charted for the man himself, the only hit version being the one by Robert Wyatt which made No.35 in May 1983. It's the first Top 40 hit to be written by Costello since Wendy James' The Nameless One made No.34 in March 1993. [JM]

No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Lisa B - You And Me

Third single and second Top 40 hit from alleged model Lisa B  [actress Lisa Barbusica in a later life]. Expect this to do no better than her last hit, a cover of Company B's Fascinated. Quite simply this form of electronic dance sells best in Belgium. [JM]

No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Daryl Hall - Stop Loving Me, Stop Loving You

Whilst Hall and Oates take a 'Sabbatical' Daryl Hall has been busy doing his own thing. This cover of the soul classic is his first solo Top 40 hit since Dreamtime made No.28 in August 1986 although his last single I'm In A Philly Mood only just missed the chart last autumn. Heavy radio support may well see this climb a few notches. [AH]

No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Cyndi Lauper - Who Let In The Rain

When That's What I Think peaked at a lowly No.31 last November it became the first Cyndi Lauper single to break the Top 40 yet miss the Top 20 (if that makes any sense). Her chart career has always been erratic though and this new single may progress further, but then again maybe not. On a more positive note it's the first time she has ever managed 3 Top 40 hits in a row. [AH]

No. 30: NEW ENTRY. One Dove - Why Don't You Take Me

Achieving the remarkable double of becoming darlings of both the indie and the dance press, One Dove are still waiting for a major hit. Their debut single Breakdown was loved by virtually everyone yet crashed in at No.24 back in October before crashing straight out again. The new hit is possibly not quite as special as the last and will do well to escape a rapid exit next week. [AH]

No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Phil Collins - Everyday

A surprisingly low entry point for the second single from Phil Collin's latest album. The album itself is not his most commercial ever, consisting of a series of sparsely produced and rather depressing songs - a bit like this one really. It's interesting to note that in the past he's had great success with second singles from albums; You Can't Hurry Love from Hello I Must Be Going made No.1 whilst I Wish It Would Rain Down from ...But Seriously was a Top 10 hit. A similar fate is unlikely to befall this though. [JM]

No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Toni Braxton - Breathe Again

The debut Top 40 hit for latest New Jill Swing discovery Toni Braxton, no worse and no better than all the rest really and sounding reminiscent of Mary J. Blige who is always in and out fairly quickly. [AH]

No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Def Leppard - Action

That it should come to this. Def Leppard doing cover versions to get hits. The second single from the stopgap Retro-active album after the ballad Two Steps Behind surprised many by peaking at a lowly No.32. The improved position of this track may be to its appeal as a cover of an old Sweet track which made No.15 in July 1975 and became an American Top 20 hit a year later. Despite the durability of the Sweet catalogue few artists have ever had hits with their songs. This is the most successful Sweet cover ever, eclipsing Tia Carrere's version of Ballroom Blitz which made No.26 in May 1992 and Damian's 'version' of Wig Wam Bam which made No.49 in January 1990. [JM]

No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Bitty McLean - Here I Stand

The third hit from UB40s ex-tea boy makes a more impressive showing after his last single 'Pass It On' passed out at No.35. A moderate hit this one, but unlikely to eclipse his summer smash of 'It Keeps Rainin' which made No.2 last August. [JM]

No. 20: CLIMBER. Wet Wet Wet - Cold Cold Heart

A small climb for possibly one of the most innovative Wet Wet Wet singles ever to become their biggest hit since Lip Service made No.15 over 18 months ago. [JM]

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. The The - Disinfected EP

In what would in normal circumstances be considered a backward step in an already Moribund career, bottom end stalwarts The The fill the gap between albums with this EP of live studio records of old songs. The lead track is That Was The Day which has never charted before and the biggest hit it accomodates is Infected which made No.48 in its original version in October 1986. Combined though they become the biggest hit ever for the band, eclipsing the No.18 peak of 1989s The Beat(en) Generation - not bad given their first hit was 'Uncertain Smile' back in 1982. [AH]

No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Ce Ce Peniston - I'm In The Mood

A startling return to form for Ce Ce Peniston who has yet to prove that the pop brilliance of Finally was anything more than a fluke. That track made No.2 in March 1992 and little has been heard since save Keep On Walking made No.10 the following May. I'm In The Mood is nothing special and is likely to fall fairly quickly. [JM]

No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Eternal - Save Our Love

The token British element of the New Jill Swing movement, Eternal outclassed many of their American counterparts with Stay which climbed slowly but surely to make No.4 last October. Save Our Love is in a similar vein and with this high entry has at least the potential to be Top 10 next week. [JM]

No. 11: CLIMBER. Haddaway - I Miss You

Of the batch of immediate pre-Christmas hits, the only one to still sustain sales is Haddaway, still selling strongly although it must surely start running out of steam soon. [JM]

No. 9: FALLER. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby

The Top 2 for Christmas finally start their downward trek, Blobby still curiously outselling Take That. Be warned, a followup is due in February. [An idea which I think was nixed for fear of overexposure. He'd be back in 1995 instead]. [JM]

No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting - All For Love

...or if you prefer 'Laryngitis Inc'. What sounds like a nice idea in principle ends up a warbled mess as the three attempt to outdo each other vocally on this track from the soundtrack of the new 'Three Musketeers' film. For Sting it marks the first time he has been in the Top 10 since the Police's Wrapped Around Your Finger in July 1983. For Bryan Adams it is his second Top 40 hit this week, curiously enough the third time he has achieved this feat after the long running success of Everything I Do meant it kept first Can't Stop This Thing We Started and then There Will Never Be Another Tonight company in the Top 40. A terrible record it may be but a massive hit it is and may well lodge itself briefly in the Top 3 for a couple of weeks. [JM/AH] [What did we do? Write alternate words?]

No. 5: NEW ENTRY. Culture Beat - Anything

The death of producer mastermind Torsten Fenslau notwithstanding, the third Culture Beat hit explodes onto the chart, two places higher than Got To Get It managed first week out. Despite being as formulaic as the last two, the new hit is actually quite good fun, trying at times to make the rapper trip over his own tongue in what is one of the fastest sung dance records ever. [JM]

No. 3: CLIMBER. East 17 - It's Alright

Still climbing, East 17s biggest hit ever following extensive radio support. Further progress may well be unlikely. [AH]

No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Chaka Demus and Pliers - Twist And Shout

To the surprise of a few Chaka Demus and Pliers hold off a strong challenge from D:ream to cling to the top for a second week. Next week should well be a different story however, they are now selling less at the top of the charts than they were whilst at No.3 over Christmas as record sales plummet to a perennial low around this time of year. The most famous example of this was in the first week of 1990 when New Kids On The Block sold a mere 35,000 copies of 'Hanging Tough' to have the smallest-selling No.1 hit since the 1950s. [JM]


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