1 IT'S LIKE THAT (Run-DMC featuring Jason Nevins)
Who would have predicted this a few weeks ago. After holding on to the Number One slot last week by the narrowest of margins the 15 year old rap hit once more holds firm at the top to notch up a sixth successive week at Number One. It is enough to match the record for a rap single held by Puff Daddy with I'll Be Missing You which also managed six weeks at Number One last year, albeit in two separate runs of three weeks. This six week stay is the longest spell spent by any single since Wannabe managed seven weeks in 1996. Meanwhile It's Like That continues to draw attention both to Run-DMC and also remixer Jason Nevins who has also worked on the forthcoming mix of It's Tricky. Suddenly he finds himself credited as the godfather of hip-house, the fusion of rap and house rhythms, a claim which will be rather puzzling to those who were fans of Fast Eddie and the Beatmasters back in 1989.
3 FEEL IT (Tamperer featuring Maya)
In an astonishingly sparse week for major new singles, this extremely popular dance hit lands the honour of the highest chart entry of the week and even has the honour of dumping Celine Dion's hit out of the Top 3 for the first time. A 'must-have' for every major dance label when it first appeared in promo form, the licence was eventually picked up as the first release on Pepper records, a subsidiary of Jive records. Based heavily on samples from the Jackson's Can You Feel It the single could hardly fail to become a pop smash. Unusually the new label was slow to service club DJs with their own copies and the track has thus become one of the few dance singles to make an impact via radio airplay rather than having been a hot property in clubs.
7 HOW DO I LIVE (LeAnn Rimes)
The strange chart progress of LeAnn Rimes' single continues. First released at the end of February it charted immediately at Number 7 before dropping swiftly to Number 17. That proved to be its lowest point so far as it then embarked on a further series of climbs to progress almost perfectly symmetrically 7-9-12-17-12-9-9-7 thus arriving back at its original chart peak no less than seven weeks since it was last this high. The actual sales figures for the single tell an even more curious story as the record has sold in near-identical amounts during every week of its chart life and the rapidly fluctuating chart position has more to do with changes in the shape of the market than any dramatic new surges of interest.
9 KUNG-FU (187 Lockdown)
The first ever mainstream hit from 187 Lockdown who have benefited from heavy rotation on MTV in the absence of any support from other areas of the media, most terrestrial TV stations having banned the video several weeks ago. It is the second chart single from the drum 'n' bass duo, following their Number 16 hit Gunman from November last year.
11 SOUNDS OF THE WICKEDNESS (Tzant featuring The Original ODC MC)
Riding nicely on the current wave of hip-house revivalism, here come Tzant with their third single and second Top 40 hit, a long-overdue followup to Hot And Wet which reached Number 36 in September 1996. The dramatic increase in support for the act can be attributed in part to the success of Choose Life which was credited to the PF Project but was in truth Tzant mastermind Jamie White using the name with which he had begun his remixing career. The buzz around Choose Life persuaded him to resurrect the Tzant project and this single is in fact a reworking of a track that was originally going to be a Party Faithful single almost three years ago. The rap is done by ODC MC who is better known as one half of Clock, the act who I take great pleasure in poking fun at for their bowdlerisation of classic songs such as You Sexy Thing and December 63. Fortunately this time he is not rapping tackily over a remake of a famous single but adding nicely to a quite marvellous dance single that deservedly gives Tzant a massive Top 20 single. If all of the above sounds confusing you are absolutely right, but what else would you expect from a single that is credited to Tzant but whose main mix is the 'PF Project Mix' - both being one and the same person. Looking forward to the next one already Jamie...
12 THE IMPRESSION THAT I GET (Mighty Mighty Bosstones)
Veterans of the American music scene but comparative unknowns over here the Mighty Mighty Bosstones get their British chart career off to a flying start with this single that showcases their No Doubt-style of ska-influenced alternative music to rather wonderful effect. They sell shedloads over in the states and I cannot wait for the same to be the case over here.
14 BEEP ME 911 (Missy 'Misdemeanour' Elliott)
Single Number 3 from Missy Elliott and it marks a turnaround in fortunes after her last hit Sock It 2 Me made a disappointing Number 33 in November last year. In fact it becomes her biggest hit to date, sailing past the Number 16 peak of her debut The Rain.
20 NOBODY BETTER (Tina Moore)
Easily one of the most annoying singles of last Autumn, Tina Moore's speed garage anthem Never Let You Go also became one of the biggest, peaking at Number 7 and spending nine weeks inside the Top 20. The new single is a slightly lesser record and maybe suffers from an excess of similarity to its celebrated predecessor.
21 POLICEMAN SKANK... (THE STORY OF MY LIFE) (Audioweb)
Still struggling to find an audience, Audioweb begin the promotion of their second album with this new single. Their crazy combination of dance, rock and ragga has made them critical smashes but only their February 1997 cover of the Clash's Bankrobber has given them a big chart hit, it reached Number 19. After a long gap their first single since gives them a good base to build on, this is only the second time they have reached the Top 30. Meanwhile their 1995 debut Sleeper remains an undiscovered classic.
33 LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE (Sylk 30)
Just to show you can never keep a good song down, Sylk 30 chart with an almost note-for-note cover of the InDeep disco classic from 1983 (it made Number 13). The song has been covered once before to less successful effect - Cold Jam reached Number 64 with their version in 1990. One of the most famous basslines in disco history, a good challenge is to name the dance records that have sampled it in the past.
34 HURRICANE (Warm Jets)
The second single from the Warm Jets but still only a minor chart entry despite the coverage they have generated for themselves in too many magazines to mention. Their time will come.
38 BAD BOY (Wildchild featuring Jomalski)
Winner of the award for Least Successful Followup goes to Wildchild who follow the Number 3 smash remix of Renegade Master with this new single which barely scrapes a Top 30 placing. Still from little acorns and all that, when Renegade Master was first released under its original title of Legends Of The Dark Black in April 1995 it reached a lowly Number 34. [OK so this was an utterly terrible column, dashed off late at night on Easter Sunday during a weekend when I had a great many other things going on, so nothing on the chart this week received anything like the attention it should. Hence the total lack of attention to detail paid to this Wildchild track, the final scrapings from the vault of the late Roger McKenzie and an attempt to cash in on the Fatboy Slim remix of Renegade Master at the start of the year].