No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Ace Of Base - Happy Nation
First up this week come the Swedish mob with their third hit of the year. Happy Nation was first released exactly a year ago as their third single and in the wake of the success of All That She Wants and Wheel Of Fortune. On that first release it just failed to reach the Top 40 and now on reissue has sneaked in by the narrowest of margins. The reason is perhaps plain to see, another piece of darkly brilliant dub reggae but perhaps too far removed from the pop swagger of The Sign et al to be a major hit.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Skin - Look But Don't Touch
The third Top 40 hit of the year for rock band Skin, although well below their first two singles, Money and Tower Of Strength which both crashed into the Top 20 first week out.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Shane MacGowan and the Popes - Woman's Got Me Drinking
The former Pogues frontman rises to prominence once again in partnership with his suspiciously familiarly named band. It's the second release from the Popes and is their first big hit after their debut single fizzled out at No.74. The reason for this dramatic turnaround in chart fortune may be due in part to the celebrity presence of actor Johnny Depp both on guitar on the record and as star and director of the video. A novelty it may be, complete with an eclectic performance on Top of the Pops recently but this could well be as far as it gets.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Shampoo - Viva La Megababes
Aha, the truth is revealed. Here we were thinking Shampoo were just another novelty act when in truth they are setting out to be the new Transvision Vamp. The two blonde teenagers who are never seen without sunglasses on cast aside the teen-angst rap of their first hit Trouble and turn up instead with a startlingly punchy piece of post-punk rock. Whereas Trouble took time to grow on you the new single, despite the silly title is actually quite good in its own way and the low entry may disappoint those behind it and the single is going to need a good push to progress further.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Sister Bliss - Can'tgetaman, Can'tgetajob (Life's A Bitch)
Hmm. Clearly 1994 is going to turn out to be the year of the drag queen [to clarify here, Ayalah "Sister Bliss" Bentovim was and never has been a drag queen. And neither I think was Colette, the voice of this single. But you can see how the uneducated could become confused]. Following RuPaul's succession of hitettes earlier this year now comes Sister Bliss with another camped up dance hit, the lyrical content of which is contained solely in the title. A bit of fun but no spectacular chart success.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Juliet Roberts - I Want You
Juliet Roberts is fast becoming the most environmentally friendly chart star around at the moment, effortlessly recycling tracks that have made the chart before. Her last chart entry was a remixed version of Caught In The Middle which made No.14, beating by ten places its original peak in August 1993 when it became her first solo hit. Now it is the turn of I Want You to make a reappearance. A fairly standard piece of dance/soul it by and large escaped attention first time around, tucked away as the double-a side with her rendition of the old jazz classic Again which peaked at No.33 back in March. Now it returns to the chart in its own right but will be hard pressed to give her a further Top 20 hit.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Aaliyah - You Are Love
When the child prodigy first hit the chart with Back and Forth back in July she wiped out a 20 year old record by becoming first in the alphabetical order of acts to hit the charts. Her second hit is in essence a beauty, a sparse but haunting rendition of an old Isley Brothers track, first written and recorded before she was even born.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Purple Kiss - That's The Way You Do It
Well it had to happen. With the current trend for creating dance hits out of guitar riffs someone had to plump for Dire Straits. With the blessing of manager Ed Bicknell, this track is based entirely around the riff and lyrics of Dire Straits' Money For Nothing, their No.4 hit from 1985 and essentially one of the most famous songs they ever recorded. Whether it has chart potential to sustain it beyond this week remains to be seen but it does beg the question as to what is to come next, Stairway To Heaven done Jungle-style perhaps? OK maybe not...
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Manic Street Preachers - She Is Suffering
The incredible hit rate of the Manics continues with their fourth Top 40 hit of the year and their 14th overall - all since August 1991 and from a total of three different albums to boot.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Gloria Estefan - Turn The Beat Around
Maybe its the strain of being pregnant but it came as a surprise to many when it was announced that the new album from this lady was one of cover versions of her favourite songs, following on from her album last year of Latin American ballads, mostly sung in Spanish. This first single is a fairly faithful version of Vicki Sue Robinson's disco classic from 1976. The original made the American Top 10 but failed to chart at all over here, and so for most this new version will be the first they will have heard. It's enough to give Gloria her first Top 30 hit since Go Away in April 1993 and with the amount of airplay it is getting must surely be tipped to go further.
No. 20: CLIMBER. 2wo Third3 - I Want The World
A strong climb for the gay disco act and no that is not a typo, that genuinely is how you spell their name.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Cappella - Move It Up/Big Beat
A third hit of the year for Cappella, following Move On Baby and U and Me, both of which made the Top 10.
No. 12: CLIMBER. Snap featuring Summer - Welcome To Tomorrow
Fifth week on the chart and there seems no sign of it stopping as Snap sleep their way to another apparantly massive hit. There seems no sign of the track running out of steam at the moment either.
No. 10: FALLER. Madonna - Secret
She might be able to easily sustain her record string of Top 10 hits but she cannot it seems chart hits very high for long. Secret slips down after only one week but has still achieved enough already, having become her first Top 5 hit since Erotica in October 1992.
No. 2: FALLER. Whigfield - Saturday Night
Well, I half hinted at it last week and in reality it did not come as much of a surprise as Whigfield surrenders her perch after four weeks to the unstoppable charge of the lot above. However a return to the top is not completely out of the question as its sales, although down on the phenomenal amounts it began with, are still holding up well. In just five weeks Saturday Night has sold over 800,000 copies - which it has to be said is more than any Take That single has ever done.
No. 1: NEW ENTRY/FIRST WEEK. Take That - Sure
Speaking of which, here come the lads again. Their fifth No.1 and the fifth time they have gone straight into the top. They were the first act ever to achieve this four times and now they stretch that record even further. The Everything Changes album having been milked for singles for long enough, this is a completely new track from a new album not due for release until next February. The resultant demand for the single meant that it sold over 120,000 copies last week which curiously enough makes it, on a country by country basis, the best selling single in the entire world this week. Strange but true, even in America the current No.1 by Boyz II Men only sold 70,000 copies. My mailbox is full of people moaning about how rubbish they think current chart hits are but the simple fact remains that more singles are being sold now than in any similar period since 1984. A fifth No.1 single for Take That also pushes them even further up the list of most No.1 hits. Five chart toppers puts them alongside the Bee Gees, Blondie, David Bowie, George Michael, Queen, The Police and the Shadows in seventh place. Ahead of them in the record books come Slade and Rod Stewart with 6, Madonna with 7, the Rolling Stones with 8, Abba with 9, Cliff Richard with 13 and The Beatles and Elvis heading the list with 17 each. They are a long way off this total but Take That are still moving faster up that list than anyone else on it.