Hard as it is to know what to say about this week's No.1, it is even harder to know how to build up to it. Suffice it to say it is unlikely that you will see a hit this year make an impact as big as this one. No less important though is the rest of the chart, 12 new entries, 6 climbers and 1 non-mover.
No. 36 (--) Barry White - I Only Want To Be With You
Barry White's second hit of the year and suddenly he finds himself on a chart roll. The followup to Practice What You Preach marks the first time he has had consecutive Top 40 hits since 1978 - way way back in his chart heyday.
No. 34 (--) Teenage Fanclub - Mellow Doubt
A welcome back after a long break for Teenage Fanclub. After a good deal of press attention they first broke through in 1991 with their album Bandwagonesque which in many ways was one of the albums of the era. The only big hit from that was What You Do To Me which made No.31 in February 1992 and it was not until June 1993 that they charted again with Radio which peaked in the same place. Now the band chart once more with their third Top 40 hit in four years. Possibly one of the best British bands never to have quite made it.
No. 33 (--) Sleeper - Vegas
Sleeper can really do no wrong at the moment with their album crashing straight into the Top 10 following the release of what must be one of the singles of the year so far - Inbetweener which hit the Top 20 back in January. Their second chart hit will probably suffer from fans already having bought the album leaving this new single to become a smaller hit.
No. 31 (27) Reel 2 Real - Conway
The formluarism of Reel 2 Real is clearly starting to take its toll as their latest hit dips from its debut to become their first single not to make the Top 20.
No. 29 (--) Mica Paris - One
This lady has been quiet for far too long it seems. Mica Paris first hit big back in 1988 with her debut hit My One Temptation which made No.7 in June that year. She followed that with a string of Top 40 hits until the chart placings suddenly became smaller towards the end of 1991. She bounced back in 1993, returning to the Top 20 with Never Felt Like This Before and now after a two year absence releases a brand new single to give her the seventh Top 30 hit of her career. [It is entirely possible I wrote that without having heard it, hence the lack of reference to the fact that the single was a radical soul interpretation of the famous U2 song].
No. 27 (--) Bitty McLean - Over The River
A new hit single for Bitty McLean, the Birmingham reggae artist discovered by UB40 and who first hit in 1993 with his version of It Keeps Raining. A further string of hit singles followed, the last of which was What Comes Around which made No.36 in August 1994. His new single becomes another Top 30 hit, maybe not with the potential to become as big as some of his others, three of which have been Top 10.
No. 25 (--) Pato Banton with Ranking Roger - Bubbling Hot
Keeping track of Pato Banton's career is tricky to say the least. Depending on how you look at it this is either his second or his third hit single. His first was certainly last Autumn's No.1 version of Baby Come Back which became one of the biggest hits of last year. You can argue that his second chart appearance was his guest rap on Sting's This Cowboy Song which made No.15 in February for which he recieved a chart credit. Arguably though this is his second single release in his own right, teaming up with Ranking Roger for a fairly dance-orientated piece of reggae which unfortunately does not have the chart appeal of his debut hit.
No. 22 (--) Terence Trent D'Arby - Holding On To You
His new peroxide image was unveiled back in February when he presented an award at the Brits ceremony and now TTD appears back in the charts with the first single from his fourth album. He managed the unthinkeable and turned his career around in 1993 with no less than four Top 20 hits from his last album, reversing the apparantly endless black hole his career had famously plunged into in 1989 with the release of his disastrous Neither Fish Nor Flesh album. Now restored to his proper glory he is singing like an angel on as many live TV shows as possible which pushes Holding Onto You into the charts at the same point as his last hit Lay Her Down Easy in November 1993. It is worth remembering that in 1988 he had an American No.1 with Wishing Well.
No. 19 (20) Snap featuring Summer - The First The Last Eternity
Although history rarely counts for anything where the charts are concerned it is interesting to note that a single place climb for Snap has echoes of their last hit Welcome To Tomorrow climbed slowly, taking 7 weeks to reach its eventual chart peak. Could the same be happening here?
No. 18 (--) Simple Minds - Hypnotised
The second hit of the year for Simple Minds who are clearly going to settle down in a routine of charting singles until at least late summer. Their stars seem to be in the ascendant though with She's A River becoming their first American chart hit for a good number of years.
No. 17 (21) Brownstone - If You Love Me
The combination of three girls, MJJ records and a rather fabulous song pushes Brownstone in the right direction to give them a Top 20 hit first time out. Further climbs could not be out of the question either.
No. 12 ( 4) Celine Dion - Think Twice
Clearly going into free fall now is Celine Dion's megahit. Its chart longevity is such that this is the first week it has not been in the Top 10 since early December.
No. 9 ( 7) Beatles - Baby It's You
The sensation over, the Beatles take a tumble. It stil doesn't diminish their chart records though, with this single ensuring that nearly 90% of all their chart hits have made the Top 10. Only Madonna can better this strike rate with around 96% of her hits making the grade [it is somewhat less than that now, The Beatles on the other hand would impove their ratio still further by the end of the year].
No. 8 (--) Grace - Not Over Yet
For the third week running there are three new entries inside the Top 10. First of all is another dance hit from the Perfecto stable, wildly commercial and sending clubgoers wild the country over. Just to demonstrate the way singles like this come from nowhere it is worth noticing that in the last week this single registered hardly any airplay at all on mainstream radio. [Stuff radio, they were all over it soon enough. Perfecto's masterpiece].
No. 7 (--) Corona - Baby Baby
Pretty much the same can be said for this hit, although this at least is building on an already impressive pedigree following up Corona's last hit Rhythm Of The Night which made No.2 in September last year and was still selling around Christmas time. It was also one of those European dance hits which led a mini invasion of the US charts at the tail end of last year alongside hits like Real McCoy's Another Night. The new single follows more or less the same formula as the last - and as such could hardly fail, entering two places higher than their debut single.
No. 3 ( 5) Bobby Brown - Two Can Play That Game
The K-Klass remix of this single doing Bobby Brown the power of good. By making No.3 this is actually his biggest UK hit ever, beating the No.4 peak of On Our Own back in July 1989.
No. 2 ( 1) Outhere Brothers - Don't Stop (Wiggle Wiggle)
Knocked off the top after only a week, the Outhere brothers have good reason to feel aggrieved. The popularity of Don't Stop is such that over the course of the last week it sold just over 100,000 copies which under any other circumstances would have made it a sure-fire No.1. However....
No. 1 (--) FIRST WEEK. Take That - Back For Good
It is really hard to know where to begin. One of the highlights of February's Brit awards ceremony was the premiere performance of the new single from Take That. What they unveiled was one of the most breathtakingly brilliant pop singles that had been heard in a long long time. Virtually everyone who heard it had the single down as a potential No.1, regardless of the bands past form in this area. It was promoted to radio stations at the beginning of March and has been in heavy rotation on many playlists ever since. To say that anticipation for this single has been high is to say the least an understatement. The release of Back For Good on Monday prompted the biggest demand for any new release for over ten years. By the end of the week the single had sold well over 400,000 copies - beating Whigfield's Saturday Night to register the biggest weekly sale of any single since 'Do They Know Its Christmas' sold 800,000 one week in December 1984.
[A word here on numbers. The new Millward Brown era of chart compilation meant that it was easier than ever to drag proper statistics out of the charts, however at this point in the 1990s it was still necessary to multiply up the figures they produced given their survey still didn't quite represent every retailer in the country. Over time those multipliers have been adjusted and the figures revised. Last figures I had suggested the Take That single sold 346,000 in its first week - still utterly phenomenal but not quite the 400K cited here. Although we are a few weeks away from another single blowing even these numbers out of the water].
That total is of course not only enough to make the song No.1, but also to ensure it has outsold all the other singles in the Top 10 put together. Take That are now registering a consistency of singles success that has not been seen since the heyday of the Beatles. Six of their last seven singles have made No.1, every single one of those in its first week - no other band has ever had more than three instant chart toppers. Even last summer's Love Ain't Here Any More which only reached No.3 eventually outsold a couple of those No.1 singles. The song is arguably the band's masterpiece and whilst they may have further smash hits after this it is unlikely they will ever measure up to the scale of this one. Gary, Jason, Mark, Howard and Robbie are currently one of the biggest pop bands in the world with only one territory yet to succumb to their charms. Wake up America... the biggest commercial pop band since the days of Wham! are currently in full flight and you surely cannot ignore them for much longer. [Back For Good would indeed become their only American hit of note, but the group fell apart before they could capitalise].