Yet another busy week as the charts explode in a fury of 15 new entries, a mere 3 climbers and 3 non-movers. The continuing rapid turnover of hits is now attracting attention high up in the industry amidst growing concern that the climate makes it difficult to foster the slow growth of new talent. It is hard to see what can be done to change this without blighting the survey with the addition of an airplay factor, destroying forever the reality of the picture obtained but rumours are rife that suggestions may soon be made to new compilers Millward Brown that some form of rationalisation may have to take place. I sincerely hope it does not come to that.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Incognito - Pieces Of A Dream
First up this week is another hit for the veteran soulsters, around in one form or another since 1980 but only recently coming above ground to score hit singles. It's only their third Top 40 hit overall and their first chart single of any kind since Change made No.52 in August 1992. Their biggest hit remains Always There with Jocelyn Brown on lead vocals which made No.6 in July 1991.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Alison Moyet - Whispering Your Name
The voice is back. Having eschewed the commercial pop charm of her first couple of solo albums, Vince Clarke's former partner in Yazoo turned in 1991 to a more bluesey style which won her critical acclaim but poor record sales. In an attempt to get her career back on track and a return to the form which gave her 6 Top 10 hits between 1984 and 1987 the new single from her new album is a rather brilliant Las Vegas-style ballad complete with a video starring Dawn French. It deserves to climb slightly higher but in the current climate that may be difficult. She hasn't had a Top 30 hit since Love Letters made No.4 at Christmas 1987.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Pop Will Eat Itself - Ich Bin Ein Auslander
Wolverhampton's finest PWEI return to the charts with a bang with the followup Top 40 hit to RSVP which made No.27 in October 1993. Consistent hitmakers over the last few years, they rarely have sustained chart success, having never had a hit chart for more than 4 weeks in a row. Even their biggest hit ever was in and out quickly, Get The Girl Kill The Baddies made No.9 first week out in January 1993 before dropping to No.24 and then vanishing completely.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Chaka Demus and Pliers - Murder She Wrote
Hot on the heels of their version of Twist And Shout, the 700th No.1 single, Chaka Demus and Pliers notch up a fourth consecutive chart success. Unlike the last two singles this is a song of their own, far from original now as it is on its fourth release overall. Underground, the track made their name as the hottest property on the reggae scene but it was only the commercial sound of hits like 'Tease Me' that finally brought them to national attention. Listening to Murder She Wrote you can see why, a good enough record but with little commercial appeal and coupled with the success of the album from which it comes, a fourth consecutive Top 5 hit looks unlikely.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Carter USM - Glam Rock Cops
For a time it looked as if Jimbob and Fruitbat had peaked commercially as the Post Historic Monsters album sold poorly and the singles Lean On Me and Lenny And Terence underperformed. Whether this new single will turn their career around remains to be seen but Glam Rock Cops, coupled with a set of remixes by the Grid is certainly their best single for ages, marking a return to the anthemic pop brilliance of earlier work such as After The Watershed and The Only Living Boy In New Cross.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Credit To The Nation - Teenage Sensation
Listening to this band always gives me a headache as they evoke memories of listening to them play live whilst lying utterly wasted under a stairwell during last summer [Lancaster University County College summer extrav, 1993]. The leading protagonists of dub-rap made their name with a series of festival appearances last year and came close to having a hit single last Autumn with Enough Is Enough which just failed to make the Top 40. Their debut hit in the upper reaches is nothing to write home about really. With all the buzz about them they were bound to score a hit, but this will drop like a stone next week.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Beautiful South - Good As Gold
A strong start for the long-awaited new hit for one of the more unconventional British pop bands. Their own brand of quirky irony quickly found an audience in 1989 when their debut Song For Whoever hit No.2 and an inevitable No.1 followed in 1990 with A Little Time. Their 1992 album 0898 Beautiful South disappointed saleswise however with its biggest hit being Bell Bottomed Tear which in structure was little more than a retread of A Little Time. Their fanbase is strong however which means that new work will always find some sort of audience. Good As Gold is no less deserving a hit as anything else the band have ever produced, commercial enough for radio to love it yet with a kind of twisted irony in the lyrics that few others are capable of. It deserves to go higher - but will it?
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Therapy? - Trigger Inside
The first act to notch up two hits this year are Therapy? here with the followup to Nowhere and in all their fifth Top 30 hit in the last twelve months. Less commercial than perhaps some of their other work, this looks to be its peak. Every other Top 40 hit by the band has slipped after just one week on the chart.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Janet Jackson - Because Of Love
Cancelling concerts all over the place amid rumours that she is pregnant [give it another 22 years], Janet Jackson hits with the fourth hit from the album as a followup to the No.6 hit Again which melted hearts all over the country just before Christmas. Despite never having had the appeal she has in America, Janet Jackson has had a productive chart career, this being her 13th Top 20 hit since 1986.
No. 18: FALLER. Bryan Adams/Rod Stewart/Sting - All For Love
Whilst the talk everywhere is of doom and gloom as records come and go from the chart at an alarming rate, stop to consider that the potential is still there for some sustained selling. All For Love spends its first week out of the Top 10 on its 9th week in the charts.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Marcella Detroit - I Believe
With Shakespear's Sister having imploded, the real talent within it gets to work with gusto on her solo career, kicking off with this gorgeous ballad which has been played to death on the radio and now lands straight in the Top 20 - unlike the first Shakespear's Sister single back in 1989 which failed to chart at all. Marcella Detroit is no stranger to chart success though, as backing singer for Eric Clapton in the 1970s she helped to write and sang on the classic Lay Down Sally which made No.39 in January 1978.
No. 14: CLIMBER. EYC - The Way You Work It
A 12 place climb for EYC to give them a second Top 20 hit in a row and beating the No.16 peak of Feelin Alright back in January.
No. 10: CLIMBER. Reel 2 Real - Like To Move It
The erratic nature of the Top 10 continues from last week. Despite a flurry of activity above it, Reel 2 Real charge back into the upper reaches having just spent 2 weeks at No.12.
No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Morrissey - The More You Ignore Me
He's either an insufferable bore or a total genius but the former lead singer of the Smiths is bound to cause a splash whatever he releases. To study his recent form though you would not have thought so, despite a continuing press love affair his record sales have slipped so badly recently that his last hit Certain People I Know became his smallest ever when it peaked at No.35 in December 1992. Thus it is that The More You Ignore Me represents a startling turnaround, becoming his first Top 10 hit for five years, his fifth overall following the opening string of his career. Mozza is always one for long, convoluted titles, the full title of this one being The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get - a full 9 words, beating by a whisker We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful. Opinion is divided as to the longest title ever to hit the charts. Most award the honour to the Freshies' 1981 hit I'm In Love With The Girl On A Certain Manchester Megastore Checkout Desk which clocks in at 13 words although a track on an EP by Shirley Ellis which charted in 1978 contained the track Did You Ever See A Diver Kiss His Wife While The Bubbles Bounce Above The Water - 16 words. The final honour must go though to Ray Stevens' 1961 American hit Jeremiah Peabody's Poly Unsaturated Quick Dissolving Fast Acting Pleasant Tasting Green And Purple Pills.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Primal Scream - Rocks/Funky Jam
Two and a half years on from the Mercury Music Prize-winning Screamadelica album and anticipation is high for the followup. The new album from the band is heralded by this brilliant new single. Booby Gillespie's Rolling Stones influences were shown to perfection on 1992's No.11 hit Moving On Up and he wears them on his sleeve now with 'Rocks', produced by Tom Dowd, featuring the Muscle Shoals Horns, recorded in Memphis and sounding every inch a Jagger/Richards composition. A brilliant pop record, it smashes straight into the Top 10 to give the band their biggest hit ever.
No. 5: NEW ENTRY. M People - Renaissance
By far the most consistent act around at the moment, M People score a breaktaking fifth Top 10 hit in just over a year and astonishingly every single one has gone straight into the Top 10. 'Renaissance' is possibly less of a straight pop song than some of the last few singles but is already well known having been used since October as the theme song to the BBC series 'The Living Soap' - an ongoing fly-on-the wall documentary of six students living in a house in Manchester, compulsive viewing not as an insight into 1990s student life but just to watch the way the ensuing celebrity of the students encroaches on their situation which has lead to many quitting under the stress of it all.
No. 4: NON-MOVER. Toni Braxton - Breathe Again
Toni Braxton's sales sustain quite dramatically despite all the action around her. This is now her 7th week in the Top 10 and she is still in the Top 5 despite having had 2 weeks at No.2 over 4 weeks ago.
No. 3: NEW ENTRY. Doop - Doop
Could anyone honestly have predicted that the biggest dance craze of the spring was going to be the Charleston? The 1920s flapper dance has returned to the nations clubs thanks to this Dutch smash which has been making waves underground since Christmas to such an extent that on commercial release a massive hit was ensured. Quite why a piece of instrumental jazz should have become so big is really one to puzzle at, yet it is an astoundingly brilliant record and as a national talking-point has to be fancied for a No.1 position next week. For an instrumental track to be such a big hit is also highly unusual, the last to make the Top 10 was Jan Hammer's Crockett's Theme which made No.2 in 1987 and there has not been an instrumental No.1 since 1972 - all that could change soon though.
No. 1: FOURTH WEEK. Mariah Carey - Without You
If Doop is going to do it though they have a stiff act to beat, Mariah Carey still selling strongly in the face of all opposition and having now notched up over 500,000 copies which is enough to ensure it will be one of the Top 10 bestsellers of the year.