This week's Official UK Singles Chart

 

Preamble:

9 new entries and 13 climbers make up the stats this week, the lack of non-movers should give you a clue as to what is hapenning up at the top...

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Gloria Estefan - If We Were Lovers

Gloria's second single from her latest album makes an inauspicious debut. The idea behind Mia Tierra is traditional sounding songs sung in her native Spanish, just like the title track which made No.36 back in July. If We Were Lovers tries to be slightly more commercial, its an English re-recording of the album track, paced at a ballroom waltz and is not what you would describe as a pop hit. Pop radio has steered clear of it, leaving Radio 2 to give it airplay but also to undoubtedly seal its fate as the lowest peaking Estefan single since Cuts Both Ways made No.49 in May 1990 - her only chart single ever to miss the Top 40 in actual fact.

No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Black Box - Rocking To The Music

Ride On Time was a milestone for anonymous dance records, making No.1 for six weeks in the summer of 1989 and setting off a train of 6 consecutive Top 20 hits for the outfit, originally conceived as just a front for Italian producer Daniele Davoli to release that one single. This new track is their first hit for over 18 months but in many ways is just another dance record these days, unlikely to trouble the very highest reaches of the charts.

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Beloved - Outer Space Girl

The third chart hit this year for the Beloved and by far the smallest debut yet. Back in January they eclipsed all previous chart form by landing straight in the Top 10 and ultimately making No. 8 with Sweet Harmony. The gentle ballad You've Got Me Thinking was the followup and failed to progress beyond its debut of No. 23. Now the new single changes styles again, more like the Beloved of their first crossover album and looking to emulate the success of the singles from the first album - disappointing failures.

No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Jamiroquai - Emergency On Planet Earth

'Mr Jason Kay, I put it to you that you are guilty of a most heinous chart crime. That of following up two Top 20 hits earlier this year plus one of the longest running No.1 albums of the year with this, another piece of soul-funk revival and the title track from your album, whilst wearing a ridiculous piece of headgear. How do you plead?' [I was trying something there. Humour possibly].

No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Green Jelly - Anarchy In The UK

Three Little Pigs was supposed to have killed grunge stone dead, according to the inky music press. If that is the case one wonders what is going to happen to the legacy of punk with this cover of the Sex Pistols classic, with much the same aplomb as the last single. As to its potential progress I make no comment, suffice it to say that the official industry classification for the group is 'comedy', suggesting that someone, somewhere has a bizarre sense of humour....

No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Spin Doctors - Little Miss Can't Be Wrong

They have had a single in the Top 40 now every week since May 15th this year and as Two Princes finally bows out its predecessor becomes the followup. The second release for this bitchy piece of work finally charts, although somewhat lower than one might have expected. Their profile here is so high now that a Top 20 hit at least is assured and if nothing else the single deserves credit for its ability to get onto radio playlists despite the line 'I hope you heard this song and it pissed you off'.

No. 25: FALLER. Whitney Houston - Run To You

A peak of No.15 makes it the first Whitney single this year to miss the Top 10. Whichever way you look at it it has been a great year for her though, I Will Always Love You, I'm Every Woman and I Have Nothing mark the first time she has ever had 3 consecutive Top 10 hits.

No. 23: CLIMBER. Goodmen - Give It Up

One of the quirkier dance records around at the moment, for the first minute or so consisting of nothing more than a synthesised drum beat, makes a good climb this week and given the right amount of exposure may well progress into the 20 next week [or next, year, take your pick]

No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Bad Boys Inc - Don't Talk About Love

As Take That nestle at the top, the pop band starts to make a resurgence. The latest in a line of Take That clones rear their heads. Bad Boys Inc are a similarly clean cut bunch of lads, making soulful pop tunes with a strong male vocal. Don't Talk About Love has been played to death on the radio and is shaping up to become a big end of summer hit, despite bearing (dare I say it) a slight resemblance to an ancient Kylie Minogue B-side (but then again how many people are going to notice that!)

No. 21: CLIMBER. Daniel O'Donnell - Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love

Climbing 10 places to land just 1 short of the peak of his only previous hit single I Just Wanna Dance With You which made No.20 in September 1992.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Sarah Washington - I Will Always Love You

Show me a good song and I'll show you a dance remake. Whilst Whitney Houston's version of the Dolly Parton song has now passed into folklore after its 10 week stay at No.1 over Christmas the dance scene has not been idle in latching onto it. This record has actually been the subject of a cover battle in recent weeks. Rozalla had recorded her own version due for release around the same time but this version by Sarah Washington had been promoed to the clubs several weeks ago. To avoid a chart battle, Rozalla's record company pulled their single, leaving Sarah Washington to make her chart debut and score an instant Top 20 hit. If anything this new version adds a little more to the song, and at least proves it had genuine soul to start with. Top 10 for sure.

No. 17: CLIMBER. Bon Jovi - I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

As predicted, Bon Jovi climb into the Top 20 with their latest hit. Since they hit big for the first time in 1986 with You Give Love A Bad Name only 2 singles have missed the Top 20 - an achievement indeed for a rock band in this country.

No. 12: CLIMBER. Culture Beat - Mr Vain

Steady progress for the German dance hit, and still destined to be the big dance hit of the summer, despite the bleatings of 'It sounds like Rhythm Is A Dancer'

No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Apache Indian - Nuff Vibes EP

Back in January the Indian tipster was the forerunner of the ragga craze when he made the Top 20 with Arranged Marriage. Now, with his album nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, Apache Indian lands his biggest hit ever with this EP. The only track people are really paying attention to of course is the first one - Boom-Shack-A-Lack. It's a fun dance record with its own dance to go with it, based he admits on Shaggy's Oh Carolina but no less brilliant for it. Certain to become a Top 3 smash for the British-born man who recently visited his native India for the first time ever as a the biggest pop superstar that country has ever had.

No. 6: CLIMBER. Billy Joel - The River Of Dreams

Unhindered by the release of the album, Billy Joel makes smart progress up the chart to give him only his 5th Top 10 hit ever, and his first since We Didn't Start the Fire in October 1989. It's a strange fact to relate that although he has always been popular in this country he has never been a singles artist - An Innocent Man being the only album to spawn a string of hits.

No. 5: CLIMBER. Bitty McLean - It Keeps Raining

Appropriate given the weather we're having of late, Bitty McLean becomes the fastest mover for the second week running and vaults into the Top 5 with the Fats Domino song to become a bigger hit than its writer had in his whole chart career.

No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own

In the end there was little competition. The single which showcases Freddie's powerful voice vaults to No.1 in its third week on the chart. In doing so it becomes the first ever remix of a previously charted single to make No.1, beating the record hitherto held by Madonna of the highest charting remix ever (The Q-sound remix of Crazy For You made No.2 in February 1991). Also in a rather more grisly way, Mercury becomes the eighth singer to reach No.1 posthumously - 1 year 263 days after his death. In a list that also includes Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Jim Reeves, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Presley, John Lennon and Jackie Wilson it is quite a long wait. Statistically if an artist is going to die suddenly and have a No.1 hit the two events tend to be quite close - a mere 12 days in the case of Lennon. The longest wait though was by Jackie Wilson who died January 21st 1984 and finally hit the top with Reet Petite on December 27th 1986 - a gap of 2 years, 340 days.


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