This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

No massive new hits this week but plenty of interesting action, including renewed success for old hits that some thought were dead and buried. 13 new entries, 6 climbers and 4 non-movers.

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Celine Dion - Misled

Time now for the big question. Can Celine Dion get her UK career off the ground once and for all. Constant pressure from the record company had before now failed to break the Canadian superstar in this country and it wasn't until the release of The Power Of Love that she finally had a UK chart smash. How much of this was due to her interpretation and how much was down to the fact that it was a classic and well-loved song in the first place could well be shown by this new single, making a lowly chart entry and likely to vanish pretty quickly.

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Ride - Birdman

The first new single for well over 2 years from Ride lands at No.38 this week. The band built up a strong cult following during 1990 amongst the indie shoe-gazing fraternity and this following translated to steadily improving chart placings for a series of EPs which culminated in Leave Them All Behind becoming their biggest hit ever when it made No.9 first week out in February 1992. The new single is more of what is typical for the band, lush guitar harmonies together with dreamy lyrics. Somewhere along the way though they seem to have lost a fanbase - Birdman if it fails to climb will be their smallest hit since their self-titled debut peaked at No.71 in January 1990.

No. 36: NEW ENTRY - Jah Wobble - Becoming More Like God

The track is as silly as it sounds but there is something about the kind of Middle-Eastern crossover produced by the former PIL bassist that appeals. It's only the second time he's charted in this country, the first being the similarly gorgeous Visions of You which made No.35 in February 1992, assisted by having Sinead O'Connor on vocals.

No. 35: FALLER. Frances Ruffelle - Lonely Symphony

This track still worth keeping an eye on. Current form suggests it may drop out of the Top 40 next week but with the broadcast of the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday the resulting exposure may well see it make a resurgence - dramatically so I suspect should it perform a miracle if it actually wins.

No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Paul Young - It Will Be You

Paul Young continues to wobble his way through another series of hits. This is his first hit since Now I Know What Made Otis Blue peaked at No.14 in October last year. His last single was the frankly lacklustre Hope In A Hopeless World which failed to reach the Top 40 back in February. The new single by contrast is a gem, an old fashioned soul ballad that shows his voice off to perfect effect. Not his biggest hit ever but arguably one of the best singles he has released for years.

No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Counting Crows - Mr Jones

Substantial radio support for this track gives Counting Crows their first ever Top 40 hit. [And rather startlingly their only one for the next eight years. I won't write about them again until 2002].

No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Level 42 - All Over You

The second track from the new Level 42 album surprises ever die-hard fans and actually charts inside the Top 40. The catchy Forever Now peaked at No.19 back in February and now the followup, perhaps not quite as good, gives the band consecutive Top 30 hits for the first time since 1987. Only one single from their last album Guaranteed made the Top 40.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Barbra Streisand - As If We Never Said Goodbye

Currently the lady of the moment for reasons I am not personally able to fathom, her current series of concerts here in Britain are attracting intense media attention with fans seemingly prepared to pay around 50 pounds per ticket to watch her perform an entire concert from autocues. As a result she manages to chart a single. As If We Never Said Goodbye is the second single to be released from her Back To Broadway album following the No.30 success of With One Look last June. Both singles are from the musical Sunset Boulevard which conveniently reopened in the West End at the same time as her concerts following an extensive musical revamp. The biggest hit song from the musical though is The Perfect Year which was taken into the Top 10 over Christmas by Dina Carroll. Streisand is often labelled a superstar but the cynic in me is tempted to suggest this is not because of her hitmaking achievements. This is her eighth Top 20 hit overall since she debuted with Second Hand Rose back in 1966. Her biggest run of success came at the end of the 70s owing to duets with Neil Diamond and Donna Summer, culminating with a No.1 in 1980 with the classic Woman In Love.

No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Skin - The Money EP

One of the more curious new hits of the week, the first ever chart outing for hard rockers Skin lands with a bang inside the Top 20.

No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Manchester United Football Squad - Come On You Reds

That time of year again isn't it? The climax to the football season also sees the climax to the Football Association Challenge Cup contest and with it the chance for one or other of the finalists to prove their prowess in the recording studio. The honours in both the charts and Wembley Stadium last year were taken by Arsenal who made No.34 with Shouting For The Gunners. This year it is the turn of the red devils who have dominated English football for the past season and favourites to win the celebrated double of both Cup and League championships. Come On You Reds is actually better than most football records, produced by Status Quo and sung to the tune of their 1988 Top 10 hit Burning Bridges (On And Off And On Again). Manchester United teams over the years have notched up quite a few hits, this being their fourth in all, the biggest so far being 1985's We All Follow Man United which peaked at No.10. That makes them the joint second most prolific football squad in chart history along with Liverpool. Top honours are held jointly by the England and Scotland national squads and also Tottenham Hotspur with 5 hits apiece. Closer examination reveals Spurs may well have the edge. Not only has the team overall had 5 hits but Paul Gascoigne had 2 Top 40 hits whilst signed to the club, along with Glen Hoddle and Chris Waddle whose duet Diamond Lights made No.12 in April 1987.

No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge

Well if the opportunities are created, why not exploit them? Despite being one of their larger UK hits, the Red Hot Chili Peppers biggest international smash ever disappointed overall, only managing to reach a criminally low No.26 when first released in March 1992. The recent success of Give It Away which was released as a one-off filler back in February has prompted a rethink when it peaked at No.9 first week out. Thus the classic Chilis track is re-released and lands with a bang in the Top 20 and may well make the Top 10 next week.

No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Eternal - Just A Step From Heaven

The third hit in a row for the British swingers Eternal, following hot on the heels of Save Our Love which made No.8 back in January.

No. 11: NEW ENTRY. Clubhouse - Light My Fire

Clubhouse started life as a bunch of Italian DJs who hit on the idea in the early 1980s of turning seemingly unrelated songs into medleys. The most famous example of this was their biggest hit ever in 1983 when they attached Steely Dan's Do It Again to the rhythm track of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean and had a No.11 hit with it. These days they have moved away from this and make 'proper' dance records instead. Light My Fire - unrelated incidentally to the famous Doors track - was first released here last summer. It made a brief appearance in the lower reaches of the Top 75 but failed to become a hit. Ever since though it has been filling floors up and down the country and now re-released with a new set of mixes it becomes a smash at last, the biggest new hit this week and equalling at a stroke the group's previous Top 40 success.

No. 10: CLIMBER. Pretenders - I'll Stand By You

This instant classic makes a massive leap this week, climbing 16 places, the biggest leap inside the Top 40 since the Bee Gees climbed 25 places with 'For Whom The Bell Tolls' just before Christmas. Is it remiss of me to suggest that this could well be No.1 within a fortnight....? [The song would indeed make it to Number One. Just not for another ten years. And sung by somebody else].

No. 6: CLIMBER. Bitty McLean - Dedicated To The One I Love

Dedicated... now Bitty McLean's second biggest hit ever behind the No.2 peak of It Keeps Raining last summer.

No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Prince - The Most Beautiful Girl In The World

Whilst other hits in the Top 5 pile up behind it, Prince hangs on for another week. The Crash Test Dummies may well still pose a threat but the biggest chance for a new No.1 comes from the Pretenders who are coming up at alarming speed...