1 READY OR NOT (Fugees)
In the same way that they clung to the Number One slot last week, the Fugees repeat the performance to claim a second week at the top of the pile with their second such hit of the year. It means they draw level with the Spice Girls for most weeks at Number One this year, both acts now with a total of seven weeks to their name.
2 BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S (Deep Blue Something)
Tipped by many to move into the Number One slot this week, the Texan band fail by a narrow margin. The warm reception that has greeted the emergence of this record really marks it out as something quite special, the track having overcome a poor performance first time round and having finally been pushed to the heights it deserved by continuing support from radio stations across the country. A Number 2 placing is certain to give the song its place as one of the classics of the year but a still-possible Number One would be even better.
3 ESCAPING (Dina Carroll)
Of all the chart comebacks that will be made during this year and over the next few months, none will be quite as welcome as Dina Carroll. She first emerged in 1991 as a guest vocalist on Quartz's remake of Carol King's It's Too Late, A solo deal soon followed and this saw the release of the album So Close which spawned a string of hit singles. Unusually it was the last which was the biggest - Don't Be A Stranger which made Number 3 in October 1993. This was followed by her Christmastime rendition of Andrew Lloyd-Webber's The Perfect Year which hit the Top 5 but since then the lady has been silent. Any fears that she may have left things too long have been swiftly allayed by this stunning track. Escaping was first released in 1992 by the band Asia Blue but never became a massive hit, peaking at Number 50. Fortunately this means that Dina Carroll's version sounds fresh and uplifting and as her first single for almost three years soars instantly to become one of her biggest hits ever.
4 SEVEN DAYS AND ONE WEEK (B.B.E.)
A high chart placing was expected for this Euro-hit and so it turns out, the track duplicating the success it has had worldwide during the summer.
6 THE CIRCLE (Ocean Colour Scene)
A third Top Ten hit in a row for Ocean Colour Scene and one that comes by dint of some clever marketing. Although the quality of Circle itself cannot be faulted as a worthy successor to You've Got It Bad and The Day We Caught The Train it is one of the other tracks on the single that has attracted interest. The track in question is a live version of the Beatles' Day Tripper, a performance notable by the appearance onstage of Liam and Noel Gallagher. Given the recent events surrounding Oasis [the pair had fallen out spectacularly prompting the first of a series of near-splits] any live performances from the brothers are bound to be in demand and so the resultant interest from Oasis completists has certainly contributed to the success of this track.
7 MARBLEHEAD JOHNSON (Bluetones)
Racking up hits now with ease it seems, Marblehead Johnson becomes the third straight Top Ten hit this year for the Bluetones.
14 ALL I WANT (Skunk Anansie)
One of the most visually striking singers in pop at the moment is back to frighten the life out of people. Skunk Anansie notch up their third hit of the year following on from Weak and the re-released Charity.
16 FOR YOU (Electronic)
Another single that proves that Electronic simply do not know how to make a bad record. Along with its predecessor Forbidden City, For You is a gloriously made track with no obvious hook, just a groove and a melody that gradually sucks you in with its brilliance. The performance of For You is a marked improvement on the performance of the second single from their first album. Whilst Get The Message made Number 8 in May 1991 it was followed by Feel Every Beat which could only make a disappointing Number 39 the following September.
17 HERO OF THE DAY (Metallica)
A second hit this year for thrashers Metallica, following on their startlingly successful Until It Sleeps which made Number 5 back in June. This now classically uncommercial of bands has now notched up no less than 10 Top 40 hits over the last ten years.
24 KRUPA (Apollo Four Forty)
Re-release time for this track from Apollo Four Forty. The 1930s-inspired dance track, based around the rhythms of Jazz drummer Gene Krupa. It was first released back in July when it made Number 23 but has since been repeatedly featured on the soundtrack of a TV ad for Sunkist Orange drink. The resultant demand has led to this re-release and so the track re-enters just a place behind its original chart entry.
25 BORN SLIPPY (Underworld)
This is the track that refuses to die. Already one of the biggest selling and most innovative dance records of the year, Underworld's highlight of the Trainspotting soundtrack compounds its already slow burnout by reversing its decline and climbing back up three places. It has now spent 12 weeks on the Top 40, and this is only its second outside the 20.
26 FOOTSTEPS (Daniel O'Donnell)
It may sound strange to say this but respect is due to one of the Kings of Easy Listening. Whilst there will always be a market for the nice, safe, twee sound of the kind of thing you would hear on a Radio Two playlist, it is very rare for any of it to chart amongst the mainstream pop acts. The one person to consistently do so is Daniel O'Donnell who here scores his second hit single of the year, following on from Timeless which reached Number 32 back in March. Perhaps understandably it would take a strange set of circumstances for him to have a massive hit, his biggest to date has been his singles chart debut I Just Want To Dance With You which made Number 20 in 1992.
28 UP TO NO GOOD (Porn Kings)
One of the more frantic dance records around at the moment, the rather tongue in cheek Porn Kings hit the Top 40 for the first time with this club smash.
29 IF I COULD FLY (Grace)
A third hit single this year for Grace, the glamorous blonde model who represents the better looking side of the output of Perfecto records. Virtually everything she releases will always be in the shadow of her 1995 debut classic Not Over Yet and this single is no exception, a rather tuneless dance record that she seems content to sing in the whiniest voice possible. Understandably it becomes her smallest Top 40 hit to date.
30 TEENAGE ANGST (Placebo)
A second release and a first Top 40 hit for Placebo who thus carve their name into chart annals and mark themselves down as a name to be watched in the future. Their success so far has been nothing short of meteoric, the band having only formed around six months ago. The again any act that calls their record label 'Elevator Music' clearly has a grip on the plot somewhere.
33 BURDEN IN MY HAND (Soundgarden)
The second hit single from Soundgarden's current album, following hot on the heels of Pretty Noose which reached Number 14 back in May. In all it is their sixth Top 40 hit.
38 ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING (Def Leppard)
What on earth has gone wrong with Def Leppard. There was a time when they could happily release six or seven singles from an album and see them all become large hits. The current Slang album is a different matter and with this single they are in danger of having their smallest hit since 1983's Rock Of Ages missed the Top 40 altogether. A listen to the track shows why, All I Want Is Everything tries its best to be one of those high-octane power ballads that are normally their forte but instead sounds rather turgid and is certainly not a patch on classics such as Love Bites and Tonight.
39 IF I COULD TALK I'D TELL YOU (Lemonheads)
A refreshing sight propping up the bottom end of the Top 40 is this first release in a long while from Evan Dando and the Lemonheads. For some reason the band never became the massive success they were supposed to have become, hit singles only coming sporadically. This new single is the first Top 40 hit for the band since Into Your Arms made Number 14 in October 1993, owing to the failure of songs such as Big Gay Heart to even break the Top 50. If I Could Talk... is a typical release from the band and had it been released three years ago when they were at their commercial peak would have been massive. In 1996 all it can do is make this rather brief Top 40 appearance.