This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

Well this one won't take up too much space in the world's usenet spool - 8K long, perhaps reflecting the fact that most of the records in the chart this week are an unexciting lot. 13 new entries, 8 climbers and 2 non-movers.

Analysis:

No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Bonnie Raitt - You

Regular followers of the charts will be aware that AOR like this rarely stands a chance in the singles market, so this appearance comes as a nice surprise. Even despite her recent career resurgence and the international success of tracks such as Nick Of Time, this is the first time the semi-legendary American singer has had a Top 40 hit in this country. Moreover it is only the second time she has ever charted a single of any kind, her only previous hit to date being I Can't Make You Love Me which made No.50 at Christmas 1991.

No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Primal Scream - Jailbird

Rocks was one of those few records that can be labelled as an instant classic for years to come, this despite the paucity of its chart life, going straight in at No.7 before vanishing two weeks later. Whilst the album continues to sell, here comes another single from Primal Scream, moore of the same rampant Memphis RnB guaranteed to set any dancefloor alight, but clearly not the charts given the low entry point of this single. Rumour has it that the next single will be one of the slower tracks from the album...

No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Aswad - Shine

Whilst another version of their biggest hit ever currently sits proudly in the Top 10, Aswad continue the chart trend that Don't Turn Around first set off in 1988. Veterans since the 1970s, Aswad have now settled down to being marginally well known with the occasional Top 30 hit. 'Shine' is the latest of a string and the first since How Long in conjunction with Yazz made No.31 in August last year. They have not had a Top 20 hit since Give A Little Love made No.11 in June 1988.

No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Nine Inch Nails - Closer

Clever guy is Trent Reznor. He's just totally ruined all attempts at classifying his studio creation, labelled for years as the pioneers of Industrial Dance. Before this current single they had only ever had one Top 40 hit - Sin which made No.35 in November 1991 and conversely failed to chart when reissued the following spring in a more commercial remix. Closer though is a work of genius, easily the most commercial thing he has ever released and crashes straight in to give NIN their biggest hit ever. [Kids, make your parents leave the room before clicking Play below].

No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Chaka Demus and Pliers - I Wanna Be Your Man

A slight return to form for Chaka Demus and Pliers who followed up their No.1 single in the new year with Murder She Wrote which became their first single to miss the Top 10 and peaked at No.27. Now they are into just reeling singles from the album peaks such as this seem to be the norm - I Wanna Be Your Man unlikely to progress much further.

No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Cappella - U & Me

Second hit of the year and the third in the past 12 months for Cappella, directly following Move On Baby which made No.7 back in February. The new hit is more of the same, Italian dance which will probably find as much favour and annoy as many people as the last one.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Janet Jackson - Any Time, Any Place

Yes folks it's that time of the decade again.... time to play 'guess how many singles they will milk from the album'. This new track now becomes the fifth hit from Janet and the fifth to make the Top 20. This compares so far with seven hits from Rhythm Nation although only four of those made the Top 20 of which Black Cat was the biggest making No.15.

No. 19: NEW ENTRY. D:Ream - Take Me Away

The success of D:Ream's two hits have made them the biggest selling singles act so far this year. That's a feat that is all the more surprising when you consider that they were both reissues of singles that were out last year. Now at least they buck the trend with a track from the album hitherto confined to that medium. Take Me Away has none of the pop brilliance of the last couple of hits, being just another average dance record but it is good enough at least to give Peter Cunnah et al another chart run inside the Top 20.

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. All-4-One - I Swear

This was the record I hinted would arrive last week, the record currently holding the US charts to ransom enters rather lower than all its pre-release hype would suggest. Labelled by many as this year's End Of The Road you can see what all the hype is a about. Four American teenagers singing in barber's shop harmonies makes for a gorgeous record. Whether it emulates it's American success remains to be seen but Top 10 success is almost assured. [This single wouldn't top the charts but become very famous for the way it didn't - as will be revealed].

No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Mariah Carey - Anytime You Need A Friend

Biggest new hit of the week goes to Mariah, following up the No.1 success of Without You with the fourth Top 10 hit lifted from Music Box. Formulaic it may be but the rampant gospel sound of Anytime You Need A Friend is striking to say the least and promises a chart run of at least a couple more weeks.

No. 8: CLIMBER. Grid - Swamp Thing

After holding steady at No.11 for a couple of weeks, the Grid make the most of the airplay they have been getting and reach the Top 10. It's the first time Dave Ball has been associated with a Top 10 hit since Soft Cell's Tainted Love made a reappearance in 1991. Given that that was a re-recording of the original track you could technically trace that record back even further to August 1982 when Soft Cell's What made No.3.

No. 7: CLIMBER. Ace Of Base - Don't Turn Around

Biggest climb of the week goes to Ace Of Base who notch up a third Top 10 hit and take the old Aswad/Tina Turner song into the Top 10 for a second time.

No. 4: CLIMBER. Prodigy - No Good (Start The Dance)

Now here's a surprise, Prodigy climb back two places to take 'No Good' to a new chart peak after dropping slightly last week. The disc still has no impetus to go much higher but it is possible it could be around longer than was originally suspected.

No. 1: THIRD WEEK. Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around

Wet Wet Wet hang on tight with only Dawn Penn coming up fast enough to challenge them. It is worth noting that of all the records in the Top 10 this week, 6 are either covers or based on old songs. Manchester United at 10 based on Status Quo's Burning Bridges, Ace Of Base doing a cover version, Prodigy's hit based on an old (albeit anonymous) 1980s underground hit, Dawn Penn's single being a remix of her original 1964 recording and both Big Mountain and Wet Wet Wet being covers. This notwithstanding 5 other tracks in the Top 40 that are either re-releases or remakes speaks volumes for current creativity in music. Take heart though that the situation has been worse in the past. The Top 10 of March 2nd 1991 (which I will reproduce with notes for anyone who cares to mail me) was famously pointed out as having only one totally original hit single in it - that of the Simpsons.

[Although there was no indication of this when I first posted it, this would be the last chart commentary posted for over two months. By this time I'd graduated from university and genuinely had no idea where I'd be living, what I would be doing or indeed how long my login for the university computer systems would last in order to give me the access I needed to post to usenet. Rather than attempt to muddle through, I elected to go on hiatus, posting a farewell message to rec.music.misc but promising to be back at some point in the hopefully not to distant future].


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