This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

All change at the top and a great deal of action elsewhere as previously forgotten artists suddenly resurrect their chart careers. 14 new entries, 5 climbers and 1 non-mover.

Analysis:

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Charlatans - I Never Want An Easy Life...

A swift followup for the Charlatans following the relatively brilliant Can't Get Out Of Bed which made No.24 last month. Following on from what I was saying last week about Morrissey's long title, the Charlatans outdo even him with the full title of this track being I Never Want An Easy Life If Me And He Were Ever To Get There clocking in at 15 words!

No. 37: FALLER. Chaka Demus and Pliers - Murder She Wrote

The comparative failure of this track puts to an end their career-opening run of 3 Top 5 hits.

No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Alison Limerick - Love Come Down

Alison Limerick started her chart career as one of a stream of dance divas who emerged in 1991, making No.27 first time out with Where Love Lives. She followed that by singing the theme to Malcom McLaren's Ghosts Of Oxford Street and then scored her biggest hit ever with Make It On My Own which made No.16 in March 1992. Now after an absence of over a year she is back with this version of a track which is something of a dance classic. It was first a hit for Evelyn King in 1982 who reached No.7 and was more recently covered by Eve Gallagher who took her version to No.61 in 1990.

No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Zhane - Groove Thang

Finally a second hit for Zhane to follow the No.26 hit Hey Mr DJ which first charted here back in September before going on to become an American smash. Last year they were last in the alphabetical list of acts to make the UK Top 40, a record they cannot beat this year following ZZ Top's appearance earlier this year.

No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Juliet Roberts - Again/I Want You

A third hit for Juliet Roberts who reached No.24 first time out with Caught In The Middle in July 1993 and then followed up with Free Love, a No.25 hit in November. Her new single is scarcely new at all, being a cover version of a classic song, recorded by many artists back in the 1950s including Vera Lynn and Doris Day. The uptempo dance track of Juliet Roberts' version makes it sound slightly different to those versions of course, but it does mark the first time anyone has ever had a hit with it.

No. 31: FALLER. Morrissey - The More You Ignore Me The Closer I Get

His career may have seemed to be back on track after going in at No.8 last week but the power of his fan base clearly spoke first as he suffers an astonishing 23 place plunge.

No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Nat King Cole - Let's Face The Music And Dance

The appearance of this track in the charts can be attributed either to the power of television or the power of Ukrainian Ice-Dance judges. By what is claimed to be a coincidence, the music used by Torville and Dean in their quest for Olympic Gold in Lillehammer earlier this month is also currently the soundtrack to an amusing series of TV adverts for Allied Dunbar financial services. The resultant 'public demand' has led to it being released now. The Cole Porter song was one of the last things Nat King Cole recorded before his death in 1965 and strangely enough was never a hit single - until now. The very fact that this counts as a brand new hit by the late star means he establishes what may well be an unbeatable record as his recording of Somewhere Along The Way featured in the very first chart ever published on November 14th 1952. Thus it is he has the longest span of chart hits physically possible for the moment of 41 years and 4 months. It's actually not all that long ago that he was in the charts either, making No.4 with When I Fall In Love which was released in competition to Rick Astley's version at Christmas 1987 and of course he 'accompanied' daughter Natalie on Unforgettable which made No.19 in June 1991.

No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Jimmy Cliff - I Can See Clearly

It seems to be the week for veterans. Reggae star Jimmy Cliff hasn't charted in the UK since his classic Wild World made No.8 in September 1970. He returns now with his version of another reggae classic, taken from the soundtrack of the film 'Cool Runnings'. The song was of course originally sung by Johnny Nash who made No.5 in 1972 and also No.54 in 1989 with a remixed version. It was also covered by the Hothouse Flowers in 1990 who took their version to No.23. Jimmy Cliff's gap of 24 years and 6 months between chart hits puts him 8th on the all-time list of longest gaps, just behind the 24 years, 288 days achieved by Frank Ifield in 1991. The record is held by Dinah Washington who last charted in April 1992, 30 years and 71 days after her previous hit.

No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Pantera - I'm Broken

Hardcore noise merchants Pantera make a startlingly high debut with this brand new single, far eclipsing the peak of their only other chart hit to date Walk which made No.35 in February 1993.

No. 17: FALLER. Primal Scream - Rocks/Funky Jam

Nothing really to explain it but despite it's popularity Primal Scream make an instant exit from the Top 10. Such are the ways of the charts these days.

No. 15: NEW ENTRY. Salt n' Pepa featuring En Vogue - Whatta Man

The most successful female rap group of all time have had an erratic chart career, scoring big hits over here when their Stateside sales seem to be sliding and then having problems crossing over here once America rediscovers them. This was very much in evidence last October when Shoop could only peak at No.29 yet went on to become one of their biggest American hits ever. Now the ladies, who since 1988 have had 4 Top 10 hits and a further 3 Top 30 entries make a dramatic return to the upper heights in the company of En Vogue whose career has also been one of ups and downs. They hit big with their 1990 debut Hold On which made No.5 but had to wait 2 years and a frenzied promotional effort on the part of their record company to make My Loving a No.4 hit in May 1992. Their last chart appearance was the No.16 hit Free Your Mind from December 1992.

No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Bjork - Violently Happy

Happy she may well be following a Brit award for Best International Newcomer, Bjork follows up December's No.17 hit Big Time Sensuality to score her fifth hit on the trot. She is one of the few artists around at the moment whose stature has grown with successive releases, having now had 3 Top 20 hits whilst the first two Human Behaviour and Venus As A Boy barely scraped the Top 40 at all.

No. 11: NEW ENTRY. Degrees Of Motion - Shine On

Well talk about coming out of the closet. Buoyed by increased radio airplay the US soulsters finally follow up their April 1992 debut Do You Want It Right Now which peaked at No.32. They do so in style with this remixed version of the followup single of the followup to that hit which could only stagger to No.43 when first released in July 1992.

No. 9: CLIMBER. Reel 2 Real - Like To Move It

Following their startling turnaround last week, Reel 2 Real move up again to return to their initial chart starting point six weeks ago.

No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Tori Amos - Pretty Good Year

Enough jokes about how it has been a Pretty Good Year so far for her, the most revolting woman in music [it would take a long time to put that in context, suffice to say there was a point to that barb] is back once again, a second successive Top 10 entry to follow Cornflake Girl which coincidentally also went in at No.7 and was to ultimately make No.4. The high entry of this single, despite large album sales to her predominantly adult audience can be largely attributed to special editions, most of which will sell out this week leaving her to tumble.

No. 5: NEW ENTRY. Blur - Girls And Boys

Despite a promising start in 1990 with There's No Other Wa' making No.8, Blur never really looked up to expectations, fading rapidly after that debut. They looked to have turned the corner last summer when they reinvented themselves and scored a succession of Top 30 hits such as Chemical World and Sunday Sunday which owed a great deal to the legacy of the Small Faces. Now they reinvent themselves once again, slotting neatly in to what is being termed the New Wave of New Wave. A smash ever before it was released, Girls And Boys is easily the best thing the band has ever done. sounding in places a bit like early-period Cure but at the same time refreshingly different from anything else around at the moment. It well deserves the chart placing to give them their biggest hit ever and to return them to the Top 10. It will be interesting to see whether it can sustain this success next week though after watching the other 'big' single of the moment by Primal Scream take a tumble.

No. 4: NEW ENTRY. Bruce Springsteen - Streets Of Philadelphia

Honours for the biggest new hit of the week though go to the Boss in one of the most sensational moves of his career. Despite weedy excuses that he 'is not really a singles artist', the Boss has always underperformed chartwise in the UK, his only major hits being the series of hits in 1984/5 from Born In The USA, the biggest being Dancing In The Dark which peaked at No.4 in February 1985, and even that was through a repromotion, the track having faltered at No.28 when first released 9 months earlier. His first Top 10 hit for 8.5 years then comes courtesy of the soundtrack to the Tom Hanks film 'Philadelphia' and equals his biggest hit ever in this country. However good it may be the brooding ballad is hardly classic Bruce and can be expected to shuttle rapidly out next week [I could literally not have been more wrong there] having I suspect been bought by Springsteen fans spurred on by the fact that the track is only available on the soundtrack to the film. It's possibly the most tragic aspect of the British charts that his masterpiece Born To Run, has only ever reached No.16, in a live version released in 1987.

No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Doop - Doop

Momentum like that could hardly be ignored and in line with the predictions of most, the record that has brought the Charleston back to the nation's dancefloors tops the British charts. Doop are only the third Dutch act ever to make No.1 in the UK following Pussycat and 2 Unlimited and have also just added themselves to the list of acts to make No.1 within 7 days of first hitting the charts. Most significantly though it is the first instrumental track to top the charts since Eye Level by the Simon Park Orchestra did so in September 1973. Since the UK charts began in 1952, there have been 21 other instrumental No.1 hits. Most of these were in the late-1950s and early 1960s when acts like Mantovani and Perez Prado scored hits and when the Shadows had 5 No.1s between 1960 and 1963. The practice all but died out during the Beat Boom of the mid-1960s and it took Fleetwood Mac's classic Albatross to take pure music back to the Top in 1968. By a strange coincidence the original version of Without You was also knocked off the top by an unexpected instrumental hit when Nilsson found himself making way for the Pipes And Drums and Military Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards with their version of Amazing Grace. One further point worthy of note is that until the end of last year no act had ever made No.1 with an eponymous hit, now Mr Blobby and Doop have done it within months of each other.


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