1 FASTLOVE (George Michael)
Despite a few rumours that Mark Morrison was outselling him in places, George Michael maintains a commanding lead at the top of the charts for a second week. This is already better than Like Jesus To A Child which found itself deposed by Babylon Zoo after just a week back in January. A lengthy run looks a little unlikely with the release of the Older album due next week.
3 OOH AAH... JUST A LITTLE BIT (Gina G)
Gina G's hit shows remarkable consistency, spending a third week at Number 3 after having peaked at Number 2 before that. The Eurovision song contest is still over a week away, and with it the inevitable boost in sales the song's exposure will produce. It is already far and away the biggest selling Eurovision hit since Bucks Fizz' 1981 winner Making Your Mind Up.
4 CECILIA (Suggs)
Slowly but surely Suggs edges his way up the chart, having now impressively climbed for 5 weeks in a row. Slotting in as he does behind Mark Morrison and Gina G it completes a unique run of single catalogue numbers. The combination of Mark Morrison, Gina G and Suggs at chart positions 2,3 and 4 mean that singles WEA40CD, WEA41CD and WEA42CD1 all follow each other in descending order on the chart.
5 CHARMLESS MAN (Blur)
The fourth single from the Great Escape album but it is hard to see why it should have taken so long. Easily one of the poppiest tracks from the album, Charmless Man moves Blur so close to the sound of the Small Faces you would be hard pressed to insert a razor blade between them. Complete with singalong 'La La La' chorus it could hardly miss and so crashes in to become the weeks highest new entry and interestingly enough eclipses the Number 7 peak of its predecessor Stereotypes back in February.
6 MOVE MOVE MOVE (THE RED TRIBE) (1996 Man Utd FA Cup Squad)
As I write, Manchester United have just been confirmed as champions of the FA Carling Premiership for the third time in four years. Along with that honour they also climb two places with their FA Cup single, just a week before the match itself and with their rivals Liverpool yet to chart with their FA Cup song. After next week it will all be academic anyway.. Man Utd play Liverpool at Wembley Stadium next Saturday (11th).
7 CUT SOME RUG/CASTLE ROCK (Bluetones)
Inevitably a massive hit, the Bluetones follow up their commercial smash Slight Return with another perfectly crafted pop single. Such was the success of their previous hit that this new track has had some trouble gaining exposure with radio stations still playing the earlier track heavily.
8 WOO-HAH! GOT YOU ALL IN CHECK (Busta Rhymes)
A smash in the US rap charts, Busta Rhymes' track makes an immediate impact on its release over here, coming from nowhere to land an instant Top 10 placing. Very much a party rap hit, it follows hard on the heels of Coolio's 1,2,3,4 which in many ways makes a refreshing change from the extremes of misery and lewdness that rap appears to be swinging between lately.
10 KLUBBHOPPING (Klubbheads)
Having made waves for weeks as a white label import, this Dutch dance hit becomes an immediate crossover smash on release over here. Quite why some of the best dance music of the moment should be emerging from North West Europe is one of those eternal mysteries but certainly both Technohead and Klubbheads appear to be all you need to fill a floor at the moment.
14 THEME FROM S-EXPRESS - THE RETURN TRIP (S-Express)
The 1970s revivalist chic first began in the late 1980s, with many dance hits from 1988 taking their inspiration from the golden days of disco. Mark Moore was one such producer to do so and so created the Theme From S-Express along with a few friends. Based around Rose Royce's Is It Love You're After plus one or two others, the infectious and catchy track charged to Number One in May 1988 and has remained a classic ever since. S-Express went on to have a number of other chart hits with decreasing impact, their last chart hit coming in 1992 with Find 'Em, Fool 'Em, Forget 'Em which reached Number 43. Now in 1996 the time is clearly right for a revival, hence Mark Moore has overseen a series of new mixes of his most famous recording (the one featured on the single being that of Tony De Vit). Now bearing in mind that I remember the original as one of the pop classics of its day I have to confess that this is yet again another example of remixing a track for its own sake, ripping out the heart of the original in an attempt to make it 'more relevant' to today's club audience. Theme... is still a great record in 1996 but it was even better 8 years ago.
20 PLAVA HATA (Luniz)
More rap, and the second hit from Luniz following on from the smash of I Got 5 On It which despite entering at Number 3 and falling immediately afterwards, still managed a very respectable chart career, spending an impressive 10 weeks inside the Top 40.
27 YOU STILL TOUCH ME (Sting)
The second single from the Mercury Falling album, following on from Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot which made Number 15 back in March. More classic Sting that its gospel tinged predecessor, the single is still unlikely to become a bigger hit.
29 JUMP TO MY LOVE/ALWAYS THERE (Incognito)
Jump To My Love may be the first track on the single but it is clearly not the focus for this release. That honour falls to the new mixes of Always There which have been doing the rounds in the clubs for the past few weeks. Despite being around throughout the whole of the 1980s the veteran soul act had never had a major chart hit until June 1991 when they teamed up with Jocelyn Brown for this belting cover of a little known Ronnie Laws track. It made Number 6 and has been a club classic ever since, hence the interest in a new set of mixes and this resultant chart position, their first Top 40 hit since Everyday made Number 23 almost exactly a year ago.
37 TALK TO ME (60ft Dolls)
A welcome chart breakthrough for the 60ft Dolls who finally score a Top 40 hit after a number of near-misses, and their popularity is growing.