1 WANNABE (Spice Girls)
Four weeks and still forging ahead, the Spice Girls maintain their grip on the top of the charts. Exactly what happens now is anyone's guess as the neat little script of the summer involving Gary Barlow and Robbie Williams taking turns to be Number One has been completely disrupted. Eyes now turn to the singles due to be released in the next few weeks but as far as I can judge there are no instantly apparent Number One singles amongst them. Time will tell.
2 MACARENA (Los Del Rio)
One single that stands an outside chance of climbing to the top is the ubiquitous Macarena, dominating the charts worldwide and this week climbing to the runners up position in this country. Interestingly enough Britain is one of the few places not to see an epic duel between the rival versions by Los Del Rio and Los Del Mar, the latter falling just short of the Top 40 some weeks ago when at one stage it looked to be the version that would make the grade here. Having said that, the chart history of this track up to the present has been so bizarre (released, flopped, re-charted, re-promoted, biggest ever climb within the chart) that clearly anything is still possible.
4 SOMEDAY (Eternal)
It was a tight battle but in the end the biggest new hit of the week goes to Eternal. 'Someday' is, like all the best hits I suppose, a soundtrack single. Lifted from Disney's latest opus 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' (or if you prefer, the film you go to see when you cannot get into Independence Day) the sweet ballad errs a little on the side of twee and formulaic but has clearly tugged enough heartstrings to land a high chart placing. A Number 4 placing ranks it amongst Eternal's biggest hits ever, equalling the peaks of Stay and Oh Baby I - thus far a Top 3 hit eludes them. The chart placing is enough, however, to make the song the biggest ever hit from a Disney film.
5 PEACOCK SUIT (Paul Weller)
A further hit single from the man who can do no wrong musically at present. The first to be lifted from a forthcoming new album, Peacock Suit makes an instant impression to become his biggest solo hit to date. In fact the last time Paul Weller performed on a track this high up the chart was way back in 1984 when the Style Council's You're The Best Thing also made Number 5.
8 HOW BIZARRE (OMC)
One track clearly taking advantage of the summer lull is How Bizarre, performing the rare feat (these days) of climbing slowly and steadily. Now on its fifth week on the chart it makes the Top 10 for the first time and clearly continues to be upwardly mobile.
12 IF I RULED THE WORLD (Nas)
Out of the blue comes the first ever major hit single for Nas, hitherto best known in this country for It Ain't Hard To Tell which could only reach Number 64 in May 1994. This breezy rap hit is a cover of the Kurtis Blow classic which first reached Number 24 in early 1986.
17 WALKING ON THE MILKY WAY (OMD)
Who could have guessed back in the early 1980's that OMD would still be around 16 years later? Very much a part of the electro-pop boom of the time, OMD have survived this long thanks largely to Andy McClusky's ability to write a gorgeous pop melody. This new single is perfect proof of that, a wonderful anthemic song which radio has picked up on immediately, easily one of the best singles so far this year and a deserved Top 20 hit. It continues OMD's comeback run of the 1990s that started when Sailing On The Seven Seas reached Number 3 in 1991 and reversed the group's decline in fortunes since their early 80s heyday. ...Milky Way becomes their 14th Top 20 hit.
18 WHO YOU ARE (Pearl Jam)
The Seattle grunge revolution seems so far away now doesn't it? With Nirvana having quite literally self-destructed and musical fashions having moved on there only seems to be Pearl Jam left to remind us of what was once a powerful musical movement. Notwithstanding this they continue to notch up hit records, this their first chart single since Merkinball made Number 25 just before Christmas last year and their sixth Top 20 hit in all.
19 HANGING AROUND (Me Me Me)
The first ever hit single for Me Me Me, a curious record that is extremely hard to categorise. It is a fun pop song, very much in the mould of Madness but without the ska element. Support from Radio One and virtually nobody else has landed them a Top 20 hit. [You get these archive columns warts and all you notice. If I was less scrupulous I'd have rewritten this one to avoid parading my ignorance of this project. A mini supergroup consisting of Alex James, Stephen Duffy, Justin Welch and Charlie Bloor with a track originally written to as the soundtrack of a Damien Hirst art installation which had been unveiled in March. It seemed too good a chance of a hit to pass up so was released as a one-off single].
20 NOT THE GIRL YOU THINK YOU ARE (Crowded House)
So with what the record company insist is their last ever hit, Crowded House bow out. This final Top 20 hit sets the seal on a glorious career, albeit one which took a while to get started. Their first hit came with the classic Don't Dream It's Over in 1987 but it was not until 1991 that Fall At Your Feet gave them a second Top 40 hit. From that moment on they only ever once missed the Top 30 but always struggled for major hit singles. Only one Crowded House track made the Top 10, Weather With You reaching Number 7 in February 1992.
22 SCOOBY SNACKS (Fun Lovin' Criminals)
The first ever Top 40 hit for Fun Lovin' Criminals and one which charts not only due to its own merits but thanks to a rather curious novelty. The rap hit tells the story of a bank robbery and does so by using samples from 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Reservoir Dogs' - to such an extent that Quentin Tarantino gets a writing credit on the single.
23 RATAMAHATTA (Sepultura)
It may not be the quietest or most commercial hit single on the chart this week but it is a welcome debut nonetheless for Sepultura, Brazil's most famous rock export who have been around for a number of years but have thus far failed to have a major hit. Their previous best came in 1994 when Slave New World reached Number 46. [Somebody had not updated his notes and so had forgotten Roots Bloody Roots which had been Top 20 in February].
25 WHAT'S IN THE BOX? (SEE WHATCHA GOT) (Boo Radleys)
The first hit of the year for the Boo Radleys following their most successful year ever in 1995. I suspect in many ways they will forever regret the enduring popularity of Wake Up Boo! as every single they release will struggle to live up to the memory of that glorious pop moment. This new single harks back to some of their earlier recordings, loud guitars but immaculate harmonies still intact. A hit, but by no means a major one.
26 THE SUN AIN'T GONNA SHINE ANYMORE (Cher)
Why is it that so many veteran female singers are attempting ill-advised cover versions at the moment. Hot on the heels of Tina Turner's massacre of Missing You comes Cher with her version of an all time classic. As surely everyone knows, The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine stands up as one of the greatest records of the 1960s, a massive Number One hit in 1966 for the Walker Brothers. Until now nobody has dared chart a cover version and to be fair Cher makes a reasonable fist of it, her deep voice managing to accurately emulate the emotive feeling of Scott Walker's original performance. It becomes her third hit of the year and at least performs better than Not Enough Love In The World which could only reach Number 31.
32 12 REASONS WHY I LOVE HER (My Life Story)
A Top 40 single at the fourth attempt for My Life Story, a band who have taken a long time to get this far (they once had Oasis as a support for their early concerts). This string-laden piece of snob-rock is unlikely to be all that big a hit for the moment but it bodes well for the coming months. Certainly a band to watch.
34 IT'S ALL THE WAY LIVE (NOW) (Coolio)
Coolio's crown as the most successful rapper in the world at the moment could be slipping here. Following three consecutive Top 20 singles this new hit will struggle to move past this rather lowly debut position and become his smallest hit since I Remember could only reach Number 74 in late 1994.