1 I BELIEVE/UP ON THE ROOF (Robson and Jerome)
Their sales are now well down from the initial rush, but Robson and Jerome continue to cling on with a fourth straight week at the top. Beyond this point the future looks a little uncertain. Now we are into December the charts are about to be flooded with new hits, most of which will be aimed specificially at the Christmas market. It means that for this week a kind of lull settles over the chart, not that there is less activity than usual, but that if any new hits were to challenge for Christmas they would have been released next week rather than this.
2 GANGSTA'S PARADISE (Coolio feauring LV)
The astonishing sales of Coolio's hit continue as he spends a third straight week at Number 2, this itself following on from a 2 week run at Number One following which the track slipped to Number 3. The record is maintaining its sales so well that over the past couple of weeks it has actually mounted a serious challenge for the Number One slot as sales of Robson and Jerome's hit go into sharp decline from their initial peak.
5 WONDERWALL (Oasis)
Oasis' hit continues its steady progress downward, its chart history now reading 2-3-4-5. It is easily one of their biggest selling hits ever and one which is about to be given an interesting new twist as well. For those not in on the joke I will stay silent for the moment, but this years Christmas novelty hit looks set to come from a most unlikely source.
6 MISS SARAJEVO (Passengers)
In a way it was inevitable that this would become the biggest hit of the week. Original Soundtracks is the name of the album from Passengers, effectively Bono and The Edge from U2 teaming up with Brian Eno. The trio were keen to distance the album from a conventional U2 release, hence the pseudonym. The first single to be released from the album is an utter joy. A typically Enoesque piece of work with Bono and the Edge performing a soft, tender ballad. Just when you think that has lulled you into thinking it has all over, up pops Luciano Pavarotti to complete the record with a Puccini-styled aria. The effect it creates is quite unique, making it easily the most outstanding record on the chart this week. It's success gives Bono and the Edge their second hit of the year following Hold Me Thrill Me Kiss Me earlier in the summer. It is also yet another appearance on the chart for Mr Pavarotti, making him far and away the most charted opera singer of modern times. In the past he has charted on his own with Nessun Dorma, reaching Number 2, in collaboration with Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras in summer 1994 and also accompanying Zucchero on Miserere which reached Number 15 in October 1992. The all-time Operatic champion is Mario Lanza who notched up five chart hits between 1952 and 1956 but such was his versatility that not all of these were actual opera records.
8 IT'S OH SO QUIET (Bjork)
She appears to be everywhere at present, promoting her biggest hit ever. That exposure, coupled with the brilliance of the track means it climbs a notch from its initial entry last week. Incredibly enough this makes it only her second single to ever climb from its initial entry point. Her only other solo hit to do so was Venus As A Boy which climbed from Number 41 to Number 29 in September 1993.
13 QUEER (Garbage)
One act on the up are Garbage. They promised great things with their debut hit Only Happy When It Rains back in September, and now they deliver with Queer which crashes straight into the Top 20, their biggest hit to date with no doubt more to follow.
15 MISLED (Celine Dion)
After just one single from the Deux album, attention switches back to the nearly two years old Colour Of My Love album. Misled was first released back in April 1994 in the wake of her long-awaited UK chart breakthrough with The Power Of Love. The track failed to live up to expectations, peaking at Number 40 and it took the massive Number One success of Think Twice to turn her into a star. Following her string of hits this year, Misled is remixed slightly and reactivated to give Celine Dion one of her most uptempo hits yet.
16 PERFECT (PJ and Duncan)
If the crowds of adoring admirers I saw watching them switch on the Christmas lights in Leeds are anything to go by, Ant and Dec, better known as PJ and Duncan are two of the biggest pop stars in the country at the moment. Certainly they are making some rather good pop records, this one following up U Crazy Katz to give them their fourth hit of the year. Having said that it is curious that this apparent adulation has not given them more big hits. Since April 1994 they have had 8 Top 40 hits of which only one, Let's Get Ready To Rhumble has made the Top 10. This new hit has a touch of the East 17s about it, coming exactly a year since their last seasonal hit Eternal Love but in the face of competition from the flood of Christmas hits due over the next few weeks, this seems unlikely to lift them out of the rut of mid-table mediocrity where chart placings are concerned.
17 KELLY'S HEROES (Black Grape)
Several acts on the chart this week are notching up their third hit of the year. The biggest of these is Black Grape, who have easily established themselves as the discovery of the year and launched Shawn Ryder into his second hitmaking career. Kelly's Heroes charges easily into the Top 20 to take its place alongside Reverend Black Grape and In The Name Of The Father which were both Top 10 hits.
20 SHINE LIKE A STAR (Berri)
Sunshine After The Rain was clearly only just the start. Following on from that reissued summer smash comes Berri's second hit. Shine Like A Star has little really worth commenting upon, another fairly perfunctory pop-dance hit, using for a hook what is possibly one of the more cliched lyrical similies of all time. A hit it is but I suspect not a big enough one to eclipse the Number 4 peak of Sunshine...
21 SHE'S ALL ON MY MIND (Wet Wet Wet)
The fourth hit of 1995 for Wet Wet Wet who have had what is far and away their most successful hitmaking year since their chart debut back in 1987 which no less than 3 Top 10 hits. That run could well be ending here, however, as She's All On My Mind is a rather adult ballad which lacks some of the pop brilliance of their previous hit singles. It is still the 14th Top 20 hit of their career.
23 PASS THE VIBES (Definition Of Sound)
Back in 1991 Definition Of Sound were being mentioned in the same breath as the Stereo MCs as part of a new breed of British Hip-Hop acts which were about to prove that UK acts could perform well in what until then had been a uniquely American arena. They started off well with a Number 17 smash in early 1991 with Wear Your Love Like Heaven which was based heavily on Jonathan King's Let It All Hang Out. This was followed up a year later with the Top 40 hit Moira Jane's Cafe, inspired this time by Them's Gloria. Since then, thanks to a long protracted dispute with their record company, the band have been quiet. Now they return, exploding back onto the charts with another piece of laid-back dance which has already been picking up extensive radio airplay and looks set to follow its predecessors as a minor, but still brilliant classic.
27 A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL (Michael Bolton)
Michael Bolton's current Greatest Hits collection produced something of a surprise a couple of months ago in the shape of Can I Touch You There which defied most of his recent chart form and raced to Number 6 to become his second biggest hit ever. For his latest single he returns to crooning mid-chart form, this time with a most unusual cover version. A Love So Beautiful was written by Jeff Lynne for Roy Orbison's 1989 swansong album Mystery Girl but was never released as a single and until now had languished as a little-known album track. Michael Bolton's version brings it to public attention at last, and causes me to wonder if anyone else has spotted the similarities to Nessun Dorma in parts of the song. That aside, it gives the singer his 15th Top 40 hit.
28 FOR ALL THE COWS (Foo Fighters)
A third hit for Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters. As you would expect from a band that commands a dedicated following rather than mass commercial appeal, the successive single releases are getting smaller. This mellower track follows on from This Is A Call which made Number 5 in July and I'll Stick Around which peaked at Number 18 in September.
29 SHOW ME HEAVEN (Tina Arena)
The third hit of the year for Australian star Tina Arena, following on from her debut Chains and Heaven Help My Heart. To round off the year she has gone for a cover of a classic. Show Me Heaven was first recorded by former Lone Justice star Maria McKee for the soundtrack of the film Days Of Thunder back in 1990. Released as a single, the captivating song raced past all-comers to top the charts for 4 weeks in October that year. Tina Arena's version stays fairly faithful to the original, the powerful song suiting her voice quite well. Having said that it fails to add much to the song, a good though it is, the track is unlikely to emulate the feats of the original.
33 TECHNOCAT (Technocat featuring Tom Wilson)
Tom Wilson is a DJ from Scotland and he has produced for his chart debut one of those strange records that you wish you heard more of. Technocat has shades of the Shamen's Re:Evolution, a track that consists of little more than a rave culture lecture by a male speaker whilst a series of trance rhythms play underneath. Unlike the Shamen's hit this has aspirations to a more commercial appeal, hence a catchy chorus repeating the monologue's main theme We're Only Human which helps to turn what could have been a joke into a rather good pop record.
35 CARNIVAL (Cardigans)
What is it with Swedish acts at the moment? In the space of a few weeks hits by Roxette, Ace of Base and Whale have made the chart and they are quickly followed by the second hit from the Cardigans. Carnival was first released earlier this year but missed the Top 40 and is now reissued in the wake of Sick And Tired which reached Number 34 back in September. It's in a similar vein to their last hit; light, almost fluffy jazz-pop that sounds gorgeous but is unlikely to bring them a major hit just yet.
36 STAY WITH ME (Ultra High)
More dance, and another minor hit likely to disappear without a trace next week. This however, is one of those hits Hi-NRG hits which positively radiates with commercial appeal and I suspect this will be enough to guarantee a reappearance in a few months time.
39 STRANGERS WHEN WE MEET (David Bowie)
As David Bowie's tour lurches its way across Britain, altered slightly by the negative audience reaction of earlier European dates to include just a few old hits, he notches up his second Top 40 hit of the year, following on from Hearts Filthy Lesson which made Number 35 back in September. That in itself is nothing special, but for the fact that this hit is Bowie's 50th to reach the Top 40, a feat matched only by artists such as Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley.
40 BOOM! SHAKE THE ROOM '95 (Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince)
Dance reissue time yet again, only for a change the reissue is not of a recent minor hit. Far from it in fact as Boom! Shake The Room is one of the biggest of them all, having first made Number One in September 1993. For no apparent reason, other than the sheer hell of it it seems, Will Smith's biggest ever hit comes around again, this time in the form of a new '95 mix which ups the Beats Per Minute and turns the party-styled original into something approaching a hardcore rap record. As progress further next week looks unlikely, the track does at least chalk up a peculiar record of peaking at both extremes of the Top 40 on its two different chart runs.