Spring is truly in the air. British record company executives appear to follow the seasons closely as the records they release invariably follow the mood of the particular time of year in which they appear - hence the growing number of light, poppy records in the chart at the moment - a situation certain to develop further after Easter. 11 new entries, 7 climbers and an unusually high 8 non-movers...
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. LL Cool J - How I'm Comin'
The American rapper makes a return to the UK charts after a long absence. Bes known in this country for his 1987 classic I Need Love which made No.8, LL (or however it is he likes to be called) has never quite matched the success of that track, by which I suppose all his future work will be judged. In complete contrast then, How I'm Comin' is a pretty hardcore piece of work and unlikely to appeal to any other than rap fans. Little further progress.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Jesus Jones - The Right Decision
It is an ironic twist of fate that Jesus Jones' biggest ever international hit Right Here Right Now hardly ever breached the Top 30 in this country despite charting on two separate occasions. They have however notched up an impressive stream of chart hits since their debut Info Freako in 1989. This track is the second single off the latest album and curiously makes a relatively minor impression on the chart, in marked contrast to the last single which was an instant Top 20 hit.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
Second Top 40 single for the US thrash rockers who managed the interesting feat of a Top 20 hit over Christmas with their enigmatic version of Mrs Robinson. A similar acheivement for this track, the title from their current album, is unlikely but it may well sell to those who liked the last single and have not yet heard any of the band's other material.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. World Party - Is It Like Today?
Karl Wallinger doesn't really care for trends or fashion does he? He simply pops up every few years or so with a record of invariably catchy tunes which are critically applauded but never really sell in the large quantities some feel they deserve. All that seems to be changing now, however with this track, the first from a forthcoming new album. It instantly becomes World Party's biggest hit ever, eclipsing the No.39 peak of Message In the Box back in June 1990 and which was up until now their only Top 40 hit.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. East 17 - Slow It Down
Feeling at last they may have found their niche, the aspiring teen sensations follow up the Top 10 succes of Deep with another pop/rap track in a similar vein. Whether the same thing twice will sell remains to be seen - it's a tactic rivals Take That have deliberately steered clear of.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Dr Alban - Sing Hallelujah!
Can there be anyone who can take Dr Alban seriously again. Not only was the entire nation convinced the lyrics of his summer smash It's My Life implored 'Stop killing me, stop fighting me, stop buggering me' [not actually what he sung, but I don't think anyone has correctly deciphered the true lyrics] but the self same track now features in a celebrated Tampax advert on television which seems to suggest PMT gives women the urge to walk dogs on roller skates. The latest single is by no means as catchy as the last, has the disadvantage of not being embedded in the psyche of drunken Brits on the Costa Del Sol during the summer and is generally not very good anyway so further chart progress is unlikely.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Beloved - You've Got Me Thinking
More of the same yet again. Mr and Mrs Marsh follow up the Top 10 hit Sweet Harmony with a track in a similar vein yet no less beautifulfor it. Again the question has to be asked as to whether 'thesame' will sell in such large quantities as before but thenagain people will always want music for their flotation tanks won't they?
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Barry Manilow - Copacabana (1993 remix)
As I hinted last week Barry is back in town and launching his most concerted attack on the British chart in years. Not only did Take That score Top 3 with Could It Be Magic, not only is Bill Tarmey at 16 this week with his version of One Voice but the man himself has notched up his first UK hit since Please Don't Be Scared made No.35 in April 1989. Manilow, in spite of being the proverbial housewives favourite has never made a great impression on the singles chart with I Wanna Do It With You being his only Top 10 hit. That could all change with this new version of Copa... which dramatically eclipses its original 1978 peak of No.42. This was helped in part by a sizzling performance on Top of the Pops last Thursday which proved once and for all what a master showman he really is. He claimed once in an interview that it is only Britain which is obsessed with the size of his nose. Is that Concorde I hear? [Said TOTP performance is on YouTube as well for joy].
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Aerosmith - Living On The Edge
First hit for 2.5 years for the celebrated rock band and in an instant it becomes their second biggest hit ever, behind the No.13 peak of Love In An Elevator. Guaranteed to give a few DJs heart failure (including this one) with its false ending incorporating a gap lasting almost 5 seconds it may well go Top 10 next week. Aerosmith have had a somewhat bizarre chart history. Love In An Elevator was their first ever UK Top 40 single but after further releases from that album flopped, Geffen records in the UK turned their attention back to the older Permanent Vacation album with the net result being a No.20 placing for the reissued classic Dude (Looks Like A Lady) in February 1990, almost 2 years after it peaked at 14 on the US charts.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Duran Duran - Come Undone
More perfectly crafted pop from the revitalised Duran Duran to follow up Ordinary World which became their biggest hit for years. If this goes Top 10 next week it will be the first time the veteran band have had two consecutive Top 10 hits since 1986. Not bad for a group who were supposed to have died years ago. [Career. Their career was supposed to have died. Important to qualify that].
No. 15: CLIMBER. Mica Paris - Never Felt Like This Before
An 8 place climb but a significant one as it is only her second ever Top 20 hit, not counting the 1989 duet with Will Downing on Where Is The Love which peaked at 19.
No. 12: CLIMBER. Capella - U Got 2 Know
This happens every so often, a dance record crosses over from the clubs and for a brief period manages to catch on across the nation as a whole. This seems to be the case with Capella who manage the biggest climb on the chart this week and look set to make the Top 10 next week.
No. 10: NEW ENTRY. Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams - Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)
A hit almost before it had ever started, this track popular not only in the clubs but also extremely radio friendly. A timely piece of production as well with the Philly-sounding strings and wah-wah guitar making the track sound as if it is straight out of the 1970s. Disco returns with a 90s flavour I suppose and Top 3 is almost guaranteed.
No. 7: FALLER. Madonna - Fever
Surprisingly slipping a notch and becoming the 3rd consecutive Madonna single to peak outside the Top 5. For any other act I suppose even a mere 3 top ten hits in a row would be an achievement but Madonna has rewritten the record books so many times that 'only' Top 10 is a disappointment for her. She last reached No.1 back in April 1990 with Vogue and that gap of 3 years represents the longest she has ever gone without a No.1 hit.
No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Bluebells - Young At Heart
Solidly increasing its lead over the competition this week, sitting atop a Top 4 which is unchanged from last week (hence the relatively high number of non-movers). Below that there seems little to challenge the Scottish group for another week or so, Sybil, Jade and Robin S unlikely to have the momentum to scale the summit. Stiff competition comes only from Sub Sub and a forthcoming live EP featuring tracks recorded at last Easter's Freddie Mercury tribute concert but even that is not released for a couple of weeks.