This week's Official UK Singles Chart

Preamble:

People on the mailing list whose mailers detail the size of a particular posting will notice that this is one of the longest articles yet. The reason for this is simple - this week sees one of the busiest and in many ways one of the most exciting charts of the year. There are an unbelievable 17 new entries, a mere 5 climbers and 3 non-movers.

Analysis:

No. 40: NEW ENTRY. David Bowie - Miracle Goodnight

He's well placed to talk about miracles, scraping a 3rd Top 40 hit from the Black Tie White Noise Album. The last hit was the title track whose solitary week of Top 40 action saw it peak at No.36 back in June. Miracle Goodnight becomes though his 49th Top 40 hit since 1969.

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. W.A.S.P. - Sunset and Babylon

Still to score a massive UK hit, WASP nevertheless plod along regardless and chart the first hit from a new album. Since their debut in 1986 they have had 6 Top 40 hits but none have ever climbed higher than 1992's Chainsaw Charlie which peaked at No.17.

No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Alice In Chains - Down In A Hole

The fourth small hit of the year for Alice In Chains, each being smaller than the last and none progressing further than it's first week in the charts. Consequently February's Would? remains their biggest at No.19, whatever the achievements of this track. It's still pretty impressive for an act who only made their debut at the start of the year.

No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Freak Power - Turn On Tune In Cop Out

An underground club hit all summer and latched upon by radio when it's commercial release was announced, Freak Power breeze in with this track which has the potential to be a major hit but will need a push to do so in the current climate. [And that was really all I had to say about the debut of the latest Norman Cook project. This single one which would go on to even greater heights a year or so later].

No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Billy Joel - All About Soul

Well to the surprise of many, River Of Dreams became one of the longest lasting hits of the summer and in the process peaked at No.3 to become Joel's second biggest UK hit ever. Interest mounts now on the followup, a similarly styled single which makes an inauspicious debut this week. It's still better than the last time he had a Top Ten hit. The followup to We Didn't Start The Fire in 1989 was I Go To Extremes which failed to chart at all and had to be reissued the following March when even then it could only reach No.70.

No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Lionrock - Carnival

Second hit of the year for Lionrock, to followup Packet Of Peace which made No.32 in May.

No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Right Said Fred - Bumped

Is that a career I hear ending? Right Said Fred were the toast of 1991-1992 with I'm Too Sexy and Don't Talk Just Kiss being massive Top Ten hits and Deeply Dippy making No.1. With a brilliant debut album as well it seemed this most British of bands could do no wrong. Cracks began to show in July 1992 when their cover of the Loving Spoonful's Daydream could only reach No.29. Bumped is their first proper single since then, not counting this year's Comic Relief single Stick It Out which peaked at No.4 in March. Bumped is pretty standard fare for them but what is lacking is the quirky novelty that made them such a breath of fresh air, and with records needing to enter the charts high to become big hits at present, this may sound the death knell for the Freds - for this single at least. [Richard Fairbrass in later years would note that they deliberately made the video for this single as lavish as possible to try to paint over the fact that all involved knew it was no bloody good].

No. 27: RE-ENTRY. Goodmen - Give It Up

The dance hit with the drum solo at the start has been around since the start of the year, causing a club stir wherever it went. Officially released in August, Give It Up made a credible showing and peaked at No.23 before vanishing quickly. It refused to die however and still featured in DJs returns from the biggest clubs. Thus in response to the old turkey of 'Public Demand' the record gets a re-promotion and sensationally returns to the Top 40. Chartologists like myself will watch with interest how well it will do second time around. There is actually a precedent for this kind of thing. In July 1981 Kraftwerk's double-sided club hit Computer Love/The Model became a small hit, peaking at No.36. Public demand and continuing club support led to its reissue the following December from which it made unhampered progress to No.1. Could the same happen here?

No. 26: 'NEW' ENTRY. Oui 3 - For What It's Worth

...and uncannily the same appears to be happening here. This cover of the Buffalo Springfield classic became Oui 3s debut hit single, peaking at No.28 in February despite being held back briefly due to a wrangle over the CD single breaking chart regulations. Despite one flop single after that and a subsequent No.17 hit with Break From The Old Routine in July, the track has refused to die and is now re-released in a remixed form to instantly eclipse it's initial peak.

No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Lena Fiagbe - Gotta Get It Right

Back in July Lena Fiagbe released her debut single called You Come From Earth, a stark almost acapella track that late night radio played to death. For some reason this promotion did not work and the record failed to reach the Top 40. Following a change of tack, her second single is more uptempo and commercial and she is rewarded with her debut Top 40 hit. Compare this with Gabrielle whose Dreams was the second cousin of You Come From Earth but in the end had the bigger hit, but whose followup entered high only to plummet to earth rapidly.

No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Chris Rea - Julia

As consistent and solid as the truck his image suggests he ought to be driving, Chris Rea scores his first Top 40 hit since God's Great Banana Skin last November. He's a consistent hitmaker, having had no less than 30 singles chart since his debut in 1978 but only 12 have ever made the Top 40 and his biggest hit to date remains The Road To Hell which peaked at No.10 in November 1989. Incidentally Julia is the second woman to be mentioned in a Chris Rea hit, Josephine making No.67 in July 1985.

No. 23: NEW ENTRY. House Of Pain - Shamrocks and Shenanigans

The rappers who think they are Irish score a second Top 40 hit after Jump Around finally became the massive hit it deserved to be in May. Always ones to be on the bandwagon though it seems, their last hit first released as part of 1992s Jump craze and this new hit bearing not a little similarity to a certain Jazzy Jeff track.. How about an original idea for a change lads?

No. 20: NON-MOVER. Diana Ross - Chain Reaction

One of the most immobile hits of the year, Diana Ross spends a third week at No.20. To stay the same inside the Top 5 for a few weeks is not unusual, to achieve such consistency this low down the chart most definitely is.

No. 18: NEW ENTRY. The Cat (Danny John-Jules) - Tongue Tied

I love the UK charts so much. Nowhere else could be so brilliantly crackers as to throw up something like this. Viewers of the BBC TV series 'Red Dwarf' were treated in Autumn 1988 to this song, performed by actor Danny John-Jules as a dream by his character the Cat. Now, a full five years later for reasons which are at present beyond me, the sub-Motown pastiche is tidied up, re-recorded and released as a single to become an instant Top 20 hit. Lesser novelties than this have become massive No.1 hits and the quirkiness of this track, coupled with the popularity of the series currently airing may well send this record straight to the top. Prediction of the week then. This is a future No.1 hit or I am a total smeg head. [I just love so much that this single actually exists at all, never mind that it became a Top 20 hit].

No. 15: NEW ENTRY. Lisa Stansfield - So Natural

Having already scored a Top 10 hit this year with In All The Right Places from the film 'Indecent Proposal', Lisa Stansfield gets back to her own career with her first single not to feature on a film soundtrack since Set Your Loving Free in June 1992. It's her tenth Top 20 hit in all and a natural Top Tenner for next week I would say.

No. 13: FALLER. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax

Falling this week, but the 3 weeks in the Top 10 on this chart run, coupled with a massive 17 first time round in 1984 makes 20 weeks - more in total than any other record ever except for Bryan Adams' Everything I Do which managed 21 consecutively in 1991. Before anyone asks the next highest total is Bohemian Rhapsody which has totalled up 19 weeks in the Top 10. [Fast forward to 2016 when singles were breaking this "record" and we were still overlooking Frankie Laine and Doris Day back in the 1950s. How curious].

No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Bjork and David Arnold - Play Dead

Regular readers will know I have been rude thus far about Bjork's solo career and justifiably so looking at the chart positions with duff tracks like Human Behaviour and Venus As A Boy only managing to peak at Nos 36 and 29 respectively. All has changed though with this third single, a haunting beautiful piece of music to rank alongside anything she ever did with the Sugarcubes and becoming a bigger hit than she ever had with her former band in the first place.

No. 11: NEW ENTRY. INXS - The Gift

Despite dodgy form of late a brand new single from INXS is always eagerly awaited and here they come with a new entry bigger than any of their career to date and becoming their biggest hit since Suicide Blonde in September 1990. Need You Tonight for now remains their only Top Ten hit in the UK though.

No. 10: CLIMBER. Dina Carroll - Don't Be A Stranger

The re-recorded album ballad makes a strong climb to become her first Top Ten hit ever. One of the few artists who is actually growing with each successive release.

No. 8: CLIMBER. Prodigy - One Love

One Love now making it 4 Top Ten hits out of 6 releases for the Prodigy.

No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Cappella - U Got 2 Let The Music

A resurgence for Capella. They had one of the dance hits of earlier this year when U Got 2 Know made No.6 in April. The followup was U Got 2 Know Part 2 but despite adverts proclaiming it was a completely different record, the track flopped. Back with avengance they come with the highest entry of the week.

No. 2: FALLER. Take That and Lulu - Relight My Fire

The release last week of Take That's second album has obviously dented sales of the single and it makes a surprising dip after only 2 weeks at the Top. The No.1 success of the track is nonetheless all the more significant for the lady who sings on one chorus - Lulu. As a teenager in 1964 she had her debut hit with a classic rendition of Shout, a party and Karaoke favourite to this day. Despite a string of hits since, including ones earlier this year with Independence (No.11 in February) and I'm Back For More (No.27 in April) she has never managed a No.1 hit single. Until now. Relight My Fire made No.1 on the 9th of October 1993. Shout entered the UK charts on the 14th of May 1964. That's a wait of 29 years and 148 days. That smashes the previous record for the slowest No.1 which was held by Jackie Wilson who waited 29 years and 42 days for a UK chart topper. What makes it ever more impressive is that Wilson's hit was a reissue of an old hit. Lulu has managed it with a brand new hit - one of the most incredible examples of chart longevity of all time. [And a 'record' which was subsequently scrubbed from history on the basis that Lulu wasn't actually credited on the label].

No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love

As if all the above was not enough, Meat Loaf, by making No.1 in the UK for the first time too also puts himself smack in the middle of the record tables. He first made his chart debut on the 20th May 1978 and before this hit, had never climbed higher than No.5 with Dead Ringer For Love. He has thus scored a No.1 hit after a wait of 15 years and 156 days which makes him 10th on the all-time list of slowest No.1 hits, 1 day behind Chuck Berry and also short of Boris Gardiner, Johnny Mathis, Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Cher, Ben E. King, Jackie Wilson and of course Lulu. I'd Do Anything For Love has also rewritten the record books in another way. The 7-inch single version clocks in at 7 minutes 48 seconds beating into a cocked hat the Beatles' Hey Jude at 7 minutes 10 seconds to become the longest No.1 hit ever. I hope it's there next week as there is still more to say on this one, with only just enough space for me to recount how I wept tears of joy when this was announced. Was there ever a more deserving No.1 record?


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