This week's Official UK Singles Chart

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Oui 3 - Facts Of Life

A third hit for British rap outfit Oui 3, combining as always social comment with tongue nontheless firmly in cheek. Not a massive hit but welcome anyway.

No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Joe Roberts - Lover

Debut hit for Joe Roberts and an unremarkable piece of dance/soul. Swiftly out next week I should think.

No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Pauline Henry - Can't Take Your Love

It's good to hear someone who has so firmly found their niche. Ex-Chimes vocalist Pauline Henry hit paydirt last November with her soul-rock cover of Bad Company's Feel Like Making Love which made the Top 20. The followup is a similar sounding recording and in many ways is such a brilliant pastiche that it took me several hours to convince myself it was not yet another cover. Original song it is though and one of the more brilliant pop records in the chart at the moment. There was a time when I could label this next week's fastest mover but in the current climate it may not be as big a hit as it deserves.

No. 23: CLIMBER. Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive

Thomas Dolby's reissued classic climbs a few notches, still one place short of his second biggest hit ever Close But No Cigar which peaked at No.22 in May 1992.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Celine Dion - The Power Of Love

Oooh. I'm going to have to pick my words very carefully on this one. Until Whitney Houston came along, Jennifer Rush's original rendition of this song was the biggest selling single ever by a female soloist. She took the classic ballad to No.1 in September 1985 after a record-breaking 16 week climb to get there. To this day it is one of the definitive love ballads of the 1980s. The song returns to the charts now in a version by Canadian starlet Celine Dion, stripped of Jennifer Rush's emotion and power to become a rather bland stateside love song. It's a triumph for Celine Dion though who until now has been unable to score a solo UK hit. Her only previous chart success was in partnership with Peabo Bryson on Beauty And The Beast which made No.9 in May 1992. All other single releases by her flopped including Where Does My Heart Beat Now which made No.1 in just about every other territory in the world but never once charted in this country.

No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Therapy? - Nowhere

The first single from their forthcoming new album lands straight into the chart to give indie rockers Therapy? their fourth Top 20 hit. Previous hits like Screamager and Opal Mantra were propelled up the charts by a more commercially orientated production which is no less lacking on this new hit but still not enough to make it match the brilliance of past work. Their previous hits all failed to progress further than their initial entry and this may well suffer the same fate.

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Richard Marx - Now And Forever

Criticised by many as bland corporate rock, Richard Marx has always had a tenuous toehold on the UK market, scoring sporadic hits with his best material whilst the dross crashes out in the lower regions. This is his first hit since Chains Around My Heart peaked at No.29 in November 1992 and despite being a rather wimpy ballad complete with string backing, it makes a strong enough debut to become what is only his fourth Top 20 hit ever. To be fair it is his highest new entry ever, beating the No.22 starting point of Take This Heart in August 1992.

No. 15: NEW ENTRY. ZZ Top - Pincushion

They never need to change do they? ZZ Top return with the same record they have been making for their entire 20 year career and are no less well off for it. The masters of the 12-bar riff have also had a sporadic hit-making career although last time they charted it was on a high when Viva Las Vegas made No.10 to match Gimme All Your Loving as their biggest hit ever. This new track may lacks the party humour of that last hit and may well struggle to progress much further. Curiously enough they have one other thing in common with Richard Marx - this is only their fourth Top 20 hit too.

No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Enigma - Return To Innocence

Exactly three years ago Enigma's album MCMXC AD and it's accompanying single Sadness raced to the top of the UK charts. Exactly why this type of new age dance should have suddenly become so popular so suddenly can only really be put down to the fact it was quickly realised that it was perfect shagging music (if you'll pardon the expression). Now that everyone the world over knows every grunt and groan on the disc backwards the time is ripe for Michael Cretu to emerge once more and here it is, the first single from the long-awaited new Enigma album Cross Of Changes. Return To Innocence has more of a conventional song structure than previous hits which may count in its favour as it crashes straight into the Top 10 and may well be propelled upwards next week as the album itself does not come out until February 7th.

No. 8: CLIMBER. Depeche Mode - In Your Room

A clever marketing strategy of releasing different CDs of mixes each week propells Depeche Mode up the charts to give them their 9th Top 10 hit and to match the peak of last year's I Feel You.

No. 7: CLIMBER. Toni Braxton - Breathe Again

The smash US hit makes a strong climb to take Toni Braxton into the Top 10 on her debut. Concentrated radio support may well see it up a few notches again next week.

No. 6: FALLER. Culture Beat - Anything

The presence of Haddaway, Enigma and Culture Beat marks the first time ever there have been 3 German records in the Top 10. Such a continental domination has only ever occurred once before, in October 1978 when there were 3 French records in the upper reaches of the chart: Magic Fly by Space, Oxygene by Jean-Michel Jarre and Black Is Black by La Belle Epoque.

No. 1: SECOND WEEK. D:Ream - Things Can Only Get Better

A second week on top for D:Ream but with their four-month old album being re-promoted after having been withdrawn from the shops, the life of the single could well be limited. I would be very surprised if Enigma do not make a strong challenge next week.