1 TOUCH ME (Rui Da Silva)
The Christmas Number One (and best seller of 2000) is no more and the new year gradually shifts into gear with its first brand new Number One. Contrary to many expectations the best seller of the week is not from a certain well-established pop act but from another semi-faceless dance wonder. Rui Da Silva hails from Portugal and made his name as part of the Underground Sound Of Lisbon production team. He branches out on his own with this track which was being played in clubs as far back as October and which was originally slated for a December release, the track being held back until the new year to avoid being lost in the Christmas rush. The tactic has worked a treat and the dance hit (which thanks to the vocals of Cassandra works well as a pop record too) outsells everything else on the market to ease nicely to the top of the chart.
2 IT'S THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL (Steps)
You know it is funny, when I spotted the Steps single at No.72 last week I thought it was worth a brief mention as a passing curiosity. Little did I know that it would turn out to be one of the big music stories of the last week with just about every newspaper and media outlet in the country scurrying around for quotes from the band and music experts as a result of that one story here on Dotmusic. The daft thing is of course is that it is not completely unknown for the odd copy of a single to be sold a few days too early. Indeed (as Jive records pointed out last week) the Steps record was not the only one to suffer from being placed on the shelves too early as the whole of this week's Top 3 registered sales in the week after Christmas. So it was that Rui Da Silva was listed at No.112 and Fragma were placed at No.129. However it was Steps who sold enough to land an official Top 75 placing so it comes to pass that they are listed on chart countdowns everywhere as having leaped from 72-2. That 70 place climb is far and away the biggest ever leap made by a single within the Top 75, just edging out the previous record holder, Los Del Rio's Macarena which shot 74-11 on July 27th 1996, a rise of 63 places. Prior to this the record had been held by Nick Berry's Every Loser Wins which it vaulted from 66-4 on October 11th 1986. Steps narrowly fail to break the record for the biggest climb to No.1 which was set by Captain Sensible's version of Happy Talk which shot 33-1 in July 1982.
Amongst all of this of course we must not actually forget the record itself. The Way You Make Me Feel is the second single to be taken from Steps' latest album and the followup to Stomp which topped the chart in October last year. Deep down the record company aren't complaining too much about the fuss surrounding their low chart entry last week. With the group on holiday and unable to do any live promotion for the track, the resulting publicity was the best free advertising it could have hoped to receive. This all means that the single become another massive hit and duly their 11th consecutive Top 10 single. If you study the label you may notice the track is a Cheiron production, written by Jorgen Elofsson who has previously co-written singles by the likes of Westlife and Britney Spears.
3 EVERY TIME YOU NEED ME (Fragma featuring Maria Rubia)
Fragma may well have had one of the biggest smashes of last year in the shape of Toca's Miracle but of course their contribution to the single was little more than having originally made their 1999 trance hit Toca Me on which the former bootleg mix was based. The commercial potential of adding a pop vocal to their music was clearly not lost on the pair and it is surely no coincidence that this brand new single from Fragma is as effective a followup to Toca's Miracle as you could wish for. Vocals on Everytime You Need Me are provided by former model and sometime TV hopeful Maria Rubia. File this one under "could hardly miss really."
7 WHO LET THE DOGS OUT (Baha Men)
Actually it is a good job everyone picked up on the comments about the Steps record last week I did the Baha Men a slight disservice last week. This week is indeed the 12th straight week inside the Top 10 for Who Let The Dogs Out, bringing it level with the run clocked up by Cher's Believe at the start of 1999. The single still has a little way to go before claiming the most protracted Top 10 run of recent years as of course Steps' Heartbeat/Tragedy single managed an even more astonishing 15 weeks in the upper reaches between November 1998 and February 1999. As to whether the Baha Men have the staying power to emulate that, your guess is as good as mine. The single (which ended up as one of the Top 5 bestsellers of 2000) dips to Number 7 this week, its lowest chart placing since it first entered the Top 10 at the end of October.
13 KOMODO (SAVE A SOUL) (Mauro Picotto)
Aside from the Top 3 singles this week is another relatively quiet chart week, the industry taking advantage of New Years Day landing on a Monday to extend its holiday for another week. This has some big pre-Christmas club hits the chance to make a commercial impact and in the case of Mauro Picotto the chance to land his biggest hit single to date. Komodo sails into the Top 20, easily beating the Number 33 peak of his last single Iguana from July last year. Prior to this his biggest chart hit was Lizard which made Number 27 on its first release in June 1999. [The track sampling Sweet Lullaby by Deep Forest although clearly I'd not listened to it properly to have noticed that. Picotto's Top Of The Pops performance of this track became quite notorious as he operated his own decks to essentially re-create the track live in the studio. One day someone will put it up on YouTube to prove this].
30 ROAD TRIPPIN' (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
My favourite radio moment of the Christmas holidays was hearing Radio 2 presenter Richard Allinson play this track on Christmas Eve and then announcing it twice, just to reassure people that they were not hearing things and that the national MOR station had indeed just played a track by the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Road Trippin' is easily their most laid back single to date, a mellow acoustic guitar and strings ballad that is as far removed from their original style as it is possible to get. Just a shame about the chart placing really.
31 WHERE I'M HEADED (Lene Marlin)
File this one under "stars who just aren't as big as they are supposed to be." Lene Marlin looked as if she had finally cracked the UK market after over a year of superstardom on the continent when she reached No.5 with Sitting Down Here in March last year. She followed that up with Unforgivable Sinner which made Number 13 in September and now attempts to cash in on the new year lull with this third release - which as you can see performs even worse. Talented though she is and as pleasant as her songs sound, it is almost as if her records lack the excitement that would make them the smash hits they seem to become everywhere else in the world.
33 MUSIC (Madonna)
Another moment of passing curiosity at the bottom end of the Top 40 this week as Madonna's Number One hit from last September make a reappearance in the listings. The single has never been off the chart since its release, its lowest chart placing to date coming a fortnight ago when it made Number 56. Since Christmas the single has been on the move once more and this week makes a 15 place rise to return to the Top 40 for the first time since November 19th.