1 WORDS (Boyzone)
When one thinks about it, the search for successors to Take That's crown as the most popular teen band in the country never really had to take place. Boyzone have simply stepped up a level to fill the gap nicely, responsible for the sale of more calendars and magazines than any other band at present. It is second album time for the manufactured Irish lads and with this new single they make it plain they are continuing where they left off - by looking to the past for inspiration. Of their five previous singles, the two biggest have been covers, first their version of Love Me For A Reason and last Christmas' Father And Son. Small wonder then that they should go for the covers option once more, this time taking on the classic Bee Gees song which reached Number 8 in early 1968. Such is their current popularity that the single could really do little else than to shoot to the top of the charts to give the lads their first ever UK Number One hit but the logic of continually producing cover versions like this must surely be questioned as tracks such as So Good from their last album proved that their original material stands up extremely well. A lengthy run at Number One is by no means assured either with the new Spice Girls single due out this week.
3 IT'S ALL COMING BACK TO ME NOW (Celine Dion)
A surge in sales for Celine's hit lifts her into the Top 3 for only the second time in her career - just behind the Number One smash Think Twice which remains her biggest hit to date.
8 TRIPPIN' (Mark Morrison)
The third hit this year for the King of British R&B, Mark Morrison still riding high after the Number One success of Return Of The Mack earlier this year. His third hit single slows the pace down a little, no quite to ballad levels but this is a far sexier groove and one which gives him his third successive Top 10 hit.
9 NO DIGGITY (Blackstreet featuring Dr Dre)
A big hit for Blackstreet has been a long time in coming but it finally arrives with a splash. Teddy Riley's finest creation to date first charted in June 1993 with Baby Be Mine which could only reach Number 37. They did not appear in the Top 40 again until early last year with U Blow My Mind which also disappointed at Number 39. Now 18 months still further on they chart in the upper reaches once more with their biggest and best single yet. The contribution of Dr Dre helps, this being the second time this year he has made the Top 10 following his collaboration in the Spring on 2 Pac's California Love.
12 DIL CHEEZ (MY HEART...) (Bally Sagoo)
Here is your proof that the overwhelming philosophy of the British Top 40 is "Anything Goes". It doesn't matter what kind of record you make, if you can get people to buy it it will register its own unique place in chart history. Bally Sagoo is easily one of the biggest stars of Indian music, born in Delhi but raised in Britain he has sold in the region of 20 million albums worldwide with his blend of traditional hindi music tied to a modern rhythm track. Hitherto he has remained an underground success, popular amongst Britain's sizeable Asian community but with most people only exposed to his work when they sit in a curry restaurant. All that changes now with his first ever commercial release which crashes straight into the Top 20. You would be hard pressed to find a hit that was ever as ethnically centred as this and as such arrives as a very pleasant breath of fresh air.
15 6 UNDERGROUND (Sneaker Pimps)
By far the trendiest band at the moment are the Sneaker Pimps who have spent most of the summer exensively gigging to promote their debut album. Having now built up a strong following they release their first single which instantly lands itself a Top 40 place. Best described as Garbage on the dancefloor, this single will by no means be the last we hear from them.
17 DON'T YOU WANT ME (Felix)
For a song to chart twice within the space of a few years is quite impressive, a feat normally reserved for those records which are clearly a little bit special. To do so three times is phenomenal, a feat that has hitherto only been achieved by tracks such as Blue Monday and other utter classics like it. Where into all of that do you fit Felix's Don't You Want Me? The manic dance hit first charted in 1992 after having been an underground cult success for months beforehand. It reached Number 6 and was the first of a string of hits that year for Felix. Last summer in the middle of the craze for reactivating old dance smashes, it charted again in a new remix and made the Top 10 once more. You would have thought that was the end of it but you would be very wrong. The backing music is currently being used in an advert for Blackcurrent Tango. The company that makes the drink is notorious for making adverts with a huge impact and none more so than the current campaign which starts with a suited executive reading out a complaint letter from a customer and culminates in him ranting a raving from a boxing ring high above the cliffs of Dover - all in what appears to be one continuous camera shot. It has led to Don't You Want Me being released once more in yet another new mix, featuring clips from the advert itself. What more proof do you need that the campaign has worked? Never mind how many cans of Blackcurrent Tango are being sold - Felix's throwaway dance hit becomes the first hit of the 1990s to chart on three separate occasions. [That means I have to embed the ad here doesn't it?]
18 C'MON KIDS (Boo Radleys)
A second hit this year for the Boo Radleys, this being the followup to What's In The Box which made Number 25 in August. It is far too easy to talk about a Boo Radleys record and compare it unfavourably with Wake Up Boo! so for a change it is a pleasure to relate that by making the top twenty this becomes their biggest hit since that classic smash.
24 I LIKE (Montell Jordan featuring Slick Rick)
The second hit single to be lifted from the soundtrack of 'The Nutty Professor' gives Montell Jordan his first hit single of 1996. The singer has a cameo appearance in the film and the favour is returned with Eddie Murphy's alter ego from the film contributing dialogue to the track.
27 SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL REMAINS (Tina Turner)
In terms of massive chart success the Infinite Dreams album has not exactly set the world on fire, despite swawning a string of singles none of them has become an out and out smash hit with last July's Missing You being the biggest at Number 12. At least the tour has proved that the lady is as popular as ever and as the entourage prepares to invade this country for the second time this year the fourth hit from the album becomes what looks like being the smallest.
28 READ MY LIPS (Alex Party)
One can approach this single from two directions. One is to assume Alex Party are taking the mickey. The other us to condemn them utterly for a lack of inspiration. The problem is that Read My Lips is indentical to their 1995 smash hit Don't Give Me Your Life. It is possible that the whole thing is done tongue in cheek, the track starts off with the groove from its predecessor but then changes gear for the verse. No sooner are we lulled into a false sense of security than the chorus kicks in and the riff is back once more and it becomes increasingly difficult to remember just which hit your are hearing. This could simply have been done to make life easier for DJs who have to mix the two together, it could be done as a genuine attempt to recreate the popularity of their original hit or alternatively Alex Party could be having an enormous laugh at the expense of everyone who has bought this to send it to Number 29.
31 KEEP ON MOVIN' (Soul II Soul)
The second dance classic to be reactivated this week thanks to a TV ad is this 1989 Number 5 hit from Soul II Soul, remixed slightly for 1996 but not too much as the track was near perfect to begin with.
32 ALL I WANT (Susanna Hoffs)
The solo career of Susanna Hoffs has been a long time coming. Despite a string of releases since the demise of the Bangles she has never managed a solo hit in this country, coming closest in 1991 with My Side Of The Bed which could only reach Number 44. Now she makes the Top 40 in her own right for the first time with a song that comes from a rather surprising source. All I Want is written by Ian Brodie and started life as a track on the very first Lightning Seeds album from 1989. Susanna Hoffs has recorded it with a very similar arrangement and the result is a song that is every bit as lovely as a record from the Lightning Seeds themselves but even so it will struggle to become a bigger hit than this.
33 I'M RAVING (Scooter)
The faces of Scooter are fairly well known by no, grinning manically out of the sleeve of all their singles. The continue their knack of making some of the most brilliantly quirky dance records around - already this year they have covered Billy Idol's Rebel Yell in Eurodisco style - and now approach one of the most controversial dance hits of the decade. I'm Raving started life as Raving I'm Raving, first recorded back in 1992 by Shut Up And Dance. The track is itself a remake of Mark Cohn's Walking In Memphis with lyrical alterations to turn the song into a rave culture anthem. Four years ago the US singer songwriter was incensed at the way the track had been used without his permission and famously obtained an injunction to prevent the track being released. He only relented when informed that the action would bankrupt the tiny record company that had released the track - they had invested virtually everything they had into the pressing of the single, so certain were they that it would be a massive hit. Its release was eventually allowed on the condition that it would be a limited edition and only the copies already pressed could be sold. The result was a single that shot to Number 2 in May 1992 and was gone from the chart am fortnight later, the most spectacular in and out performance by any Top 10 single ever. Enter Scooter then who love to be controversial and remake the track their way - pretty much the same as Shut Up And Dance except for the way Scotland The Brave cuts into the song every so often for no apparent reason [I like to think that one sentence captures the essence of Scooter's entire act]. If nothing else they dare to be different.