This week's Official UK Singles Chart

No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Luther Vandross - Love Is On The Way

Destined it seems never to have a massive UK hit (unless you count The Best Things In Life Are Free), Luther Vandross churns out another piece of smoochy soul to notch up his third Top 40 hit of the year, in the wake of 'Little Miracles' which made No.28 in May and Heaven Knows which peaked at No.34 back in September.

No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Mary J. Blige - You Don't Have To Worry

A third Top 40 hit too for Mary J. Blige, subject of much re-promotion of past singles by her record company in a desperate attempt to give her a UK chart career. The attempt has only been partially successful although Real Love did manage to climb to No.26 in September, well over a year after it first charted in America.

No. 35: NEW ENTRY. David Bowie - The Buddah Of Suburbia

The BBC's 4-part dramatisation of the book The Buddah Of Suburbia was one of the critical successes of the year. Despite tabloid outcry over what were allegedly the most pornographic scenes ever seen on mainstream British television [gotta love tabloid hyperbole], what impressed the critics the most was the way the atmosphere of the late 1970s was recreated. Part of this was due to the David Bowie soundtrack, using some oldies and some specially recorded new material. One of those tracks was this title track which now charts to give Bowie his fourth Top 40 hit of the year. That in itself is quite an achievement as the last time he scored four Top 40 hits in the space of one calendar year was back in 1974 at the height of his fame. More importantly though it is his 53rd UK chart hit, not counting hits with Tin Machine. That puts him one place above Diana Ross to make him, in terms of number of hits, the third most successful chart act of all time. The only people to beat that are Elton John who is currently enjoying his 61st, Elvis Presley with 109 and Cliff Richard with 113.

No. 30: FALLER. Naughty By Nature - Hip Hop Hooray

Naughty by Nature unable to repeat the success of the Goodmen and find their reissued hit falling from its peak last week of No.20, the second dance hit of the year to make the Top 30 twice.

No. 27: CLIMBER. Belinda Carlisle - Lay Down Your Arms

Climbing for now, but unlikely to come close to matching the No.12 peak of Bigscaryanimal. It is though her 11th Top 30 hit since 1987.

No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Sagat - Funk Dat

With tongue firmly in cheek the track that has been making waves on the underground scene finally surfaces and crashes into the Top 30. In a streetwise monologue, Sagat gets politically incorrect and rails against life in general, musing on why he is unable to walk down the street without getting a flyer thrust into his hands and asking if beggars think it is funny to ask him for money when he hasn't got any - as if he needed reminding. Quirky and comical it may be but I have yet to be convinced that it has the potential to go further. Just to confirm by the way, the title is a sanitised version, the CD promo I have contains a bleeped version of the real lyrics.... Funk dat indeed.

No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Snoop Doggy Dogg - What's My Name

[Superstar debut klaxon! Even if this is a chance for 1993 James to really undersell him]. Ho hum, the capacity of the American rap scene to throw up the latest sensation is becoming almost tedious. Here are the current lot, following on from Cypress Hill and Onyx to cross over to the small but sizeable rap audience in the UK. Rap will never sell in the massive quantities it does in America, making the reign of Snoop Doggy Dogg as short and sweet as all the rest. Interesting to note though that Cypress Hill's biggest hit When The Sh** Goes Down peaked only one place above this.

No. 19: NEW ENTRY. East 17 - It's Alright

Billed as the hardcore rivals to Take That, East 17 lost out somewhat in the screaming girlies stakes but instead have concentrated on churning out a string of hit singles that mix teen appeal with something harder and more credible. It's Alright follows on from their Top 20 success in the summer with their version of West End Girls. It's Alright returns to the Walthamstow album which may limit it's appeal somewhat but it is classic East 17, starting mellow with a piano before launching into a hardcore dance beat. Deep remains their biggest hit to date, peaking at No.5 in February. They have also marginally stormed ahead of Take That with their fourth hit of the year, but it is a situation due to change in a couple of weeks.

No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Bjork - Big Time Sensuality

With her solo career now firmly in the fast lane following the Top 20 success of Play Dead, Bjork wastes no time in following up with another track from her debut album. Aside from that there is nothing much you can say about it really, being typical solo Bjork but it is refreshing to see yet another artist who can build on initial success rather than having one big hit and seeing others slip away. The first two singles from the album barely staggered into the Top 40.

No. 13: CLIMBER. Bee Gees - For Whom The Bell Tolls

Back in the Halcyon days of the late 1980s, it was not uncommon for a record to enter low and then vault into the Top 20 the following week. Even then though a 25 place climb was rare. These days it is exceptional so hats off to the Bee Gees, as For Whom The Bell Tolls smashes past the No.23 peak of Paying The Price Of Love. It just goes to show I suppose that a good song will always be a smash no matter what and there can surely be no more deserving single than this in the charts this week. If it carries on this kind of momentum then Top 3 is certainly a possibility and, sticking my neck out here I suppose, maybe an outside bet for Christmas No.1 - a possibility nobody seems to have considered yet. Go for it lads, you know you can.

No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Village People - YMCA '93

There was a time when a remix added something to a record, gave it an extra edge to add to the single mix. These days it is an excuse to reactivate classic 1970s disco records in an unnecessary bid to make them hits all over again. Just like Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive before it, YMCA is such a model of perfection that it did not need a set of remixes to make it chart again, yet here it comes anyway. In it's original form it was a No.1 smash in 1979 selling over a million copies and is one of the Top 20 best selling singles of all time. To this day it will still fill floors in discos, and not just in the gay clubs for which market it was originally made. It's the second Village People song to chart in recent months following on from the Pet Shop Boys' version of Go West which made No.2 in September. The Village People have not been seen in the charts since they made an unsuccessful comeback with Sex Over The Phone which made No.59 in February 1985

No. 9: NEW ENTRY. M People - Don't Look Any Further

One of the runaway pop successes of the year with singles from their second album Elegant Slumming, M People score a fourth Top 10 hit with this cover version of the 1980s Motown classic. Every single this year from them has entered inside the Top 10, 3 of them at No.9. The song itself has been recorded by many artists yet has never been a UK hit. Dennis Edwards' original version (and to my mind the best) has charted twice, making No.45 in March 1984 before being reissued and peaking at No.55 in June 1987. The Kane Gang also tried as well, but their version could only reach No.52 in April 1988.

No. 8: FALLER. Janet Jackson - Again

This song has been bothering me for weeks. The guy treats her like dirty, she steels her heart against him and yet up he pops and she's fallen in love again. I know at least two women like that, are there any others really that stupid? [All of them?]

No. 7: CLIMBER. Doobie Brothers - Long Train Runnin'

The Doobie Brothers apparantly hate the remix but that has not stopped them coming to the UK to promote the single, by far their biggest hit ever.

No. 6: NEW ENTRY. U2 - Stay (Faraway, So Close)

The new U2 single has been a saga that has dragged on since the summer. Unofficially Numb was the first single released from this summers' Zooropa album but was only ever issued on video, thus making it ineligible for the record charts for obvious reasons. Despite the desire of the band not to make this another album milked for singles (Rattle And Hum produced 4 singles, Achtung Baby spawned 5 plus a remix) it was agreed that another would be released properly. So first of all it was going to be Lemon, then it was going to be Lemon in a double a-side with Bono's duet with Frank Sinatra, then Sinatra's people insisted on a separate release until finally we have this rather turgid piece, released almost as an apology for a single. The first singles from the last two U2 albums have shot straight to No.1. This is unlikely to do the same and has to be content with being their 14th Top 10 hit since New Years Day in 1983.

No. 3: NEW ENTRY. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby

This one requires just a little bit of background so please bear with me. The highlight of the BBCs Saturday evening schedules is 'Noel's House Party' a live show presented by former DJ Noel Edmonds. A highlight of the show is the 'Gotcha Oscars' whereupon unsuspecting celebrities are set up to perform all manner of bizarre stunts in an attempt to make them look stupid. 'Mr Blobby' was a character created for some of these stunts for the 1992-3 season of the show, the idea being that celebrities would attempt to guide the 6 foot pink blob through his non-existent children's TV show, whereupon the ungainly mass would inevitably destroy all in his wake. What the BBC did not plan for however was that Mr Blobby would become a cult. 'We created a monster there' admits series producer Michael Leggo without a trace of irony. Too well known to be used to set people up, Mr Blobby now has a trail of merchandising from t-shirts to toys in his wake and is a regular guest on the TV show. A record I suppose was inevitable. The record itself just scrapes by on the childish side of funny yet has crashed straight in to the Top 3, selling more records than even U2. The issue here though is that this could only happen in Britain, where millions of people can take an accident-prone lump of pink plastic to their hearts and make him only just behind Take That in the betting for Christmas No.1. Blobby blobby blobby.

No. 2: NON-MOVER. Elton John and Kiki Dee - True Love

Oho, that was unfortunate. Suffering perhaps from the release of Elton John's Duets album last week and just to show there is never anything as a sure-fire No.1 Elton and Kiki stall, unable to knock off even the flagging Meat Loaf from the top... next week it is all wide open.

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

You can dismiss the music as bland and trite as much as you like but it has been years since a record sold like this. Megahits of the past few years have tended to be almost exclusively from films. Meat Loaf has had no such help, yet in contravention of all current trends both album and single are selling shitloads [that's the official term]. Not only that but they are doing it in tandem, with the album returning consistently to the No.1 slot and the single refusing to flag in sales at all. Be as rude as you want about it if that makes you happy but it is an achievement not to be sniffed at, even if the long-running success of the single has seemingly scuppered Virgin records' plans to release Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through as a Christmas single.


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