The penultimate chart before Christmas and already it is clear that the race is almost over with the records at the top end lining up for their traditional logjam over the festive season. There is still time for a few surprises to be sprung but few of them are on the chart this week.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Mike Oldfield - Tattoo.
The tattoo in this instance being a piece of music played on bagpipes, Tubular Bells II beats its prequel by charting two singles edits. Clearly released with Christmas in mind but is unlikely to make a larger impact, if only due to the fact that the tune itself is not as famous as 'Sentinal' which made the Top 10 back in October.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Morrissey - Certain People I Know.
He is either artistically and commercially dead or still the greatest singer ever to walk the earth. This record has confounded some of Mozzas critics by actually being quite good for a change but the low entry of this is a far cry from the days when he could chart in the Top 20 with no difficulty at all.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Kriss Kross - It's A Shame.
Some would have expected big things for the teenage rappers when 'Jump' emulated its American success earlier this year and became a Top 3 hit. Since then their chart career has declined with 'Warm It Up' only scraping the 20 and 'I missed the bus' doing just that and failing to chart at all. Sadly this new single may do little to convince Britain that Daddy Mac and Mac Daddy are little more than novelties.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Boyz II Men - Motownphilly.
In charting this they become the first act since Queen over a year ago to chart two records simultaneously. This track is incredibly on its 3rd release here, demonstrating just how hard Motown were prepared
to push the American sensations. This may climb to become a substantial new year hit but given the slow but ultimately successful progress of 'End of the Road' this harder track may fail yet again. Nonetheless the album contains some gems so expect more action from the Boyz in the new year.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. SL2 - Way In My Brain.
The charts would not be the same without the obligatory dance track. SL2 took their time but this is a followup to one of the years biggest dance hits 'On A Ragga Tip' but the time of year means this is unlikely to
match the No.2 peak of that hit.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Slipstreem - We Are Raving (The Anthem).
Hmmm. You can picture the scene now. A producer wonders how he can cash in and make a Christmas novelty with a rave track. Simple really, take the old Rod Stewart song 'Sailing', change the lyrics a bit to a corny eulogy of club culture, add a dance track and voila, one Christmas hit. It really is a silly as it sounds. [A fun story about this one, the singer on the track a pub performer called Drew Miller who was talked into recording the record by a DJ friend. Les 'Mixmaster' Adams helped with the production and rumour has it that Pulp's Jarvis Cocker directed the video.]
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. East Side Beat - Alive And Kicking.
German duo East Side Beat started off the current craze for dance versions of pop classics exactly a year ago with their Top 10 cover of Ride Like The Wind. Now it is the turn of the Simple Minds song to get the same treatment, ironically enough only a couple of months after the original returned to the Top Ten to promote Simple Minds' Greatest Hits package. That in itself should not harm this record, it's not a patch on the original but it gives club goers to be able to shout 'Ba Ba Da Da De' and dance at the same time this Christmas.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Wedding Present - No Christmas.
A single a month for a year. That was the promise and so the Leeds band have delivered and in doing so have equalled the record set by Elvis Presley back in 1957 for having 12 Top 30 hits in a calendar year. For those of you that are interested the complete set of singles and b-sides are available on an album. The Hit Parade Volume 1 covering the six months to June with Volume 2 out shortly. The quality of the tracks may have varied throughout the year but they have to be commended for the exercise - done they claim as a statement of their belief in the 7" single.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Lisa Stansfield - Someday (I'm Coming Back).
Hot favourite to be No.1 immediately after Christmas, this track becomes the second off the Bodyguard soundtrack to chart. This will easily add to Lisa Stansfield's tally of Top Ten hits and may even be Top 5 next week for Christmas, such are its sales so far this week.
No. 10: CLIMBER. Boney M - Megamix.
Having checked up on this I can now reveal that this is a different meagmix to the one that was released back in 1988. The fact that it is also the 4th Boney M megamix to be released in the last 8 years does nothing to harm it though - the last time they were in the Top 10 was 'Hooray its a Holi Holiday' back in 1979. Are you feeling old yet?
No. 8: CLIMBER. Freddie Mercury - In My Defence.
A climber alright but not as far as would have been expected for a former favourite for the Christmas No.1
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Shamen - Phorever People.
The Smash Hits award winners for best newcomers, achieved despite the fact that they have been around since 1984 in one form or another clock up their 4th hit of the year. Thus the Boss Drum album has had all 4 singles chart in the Top 10 on the first week of release. This track though will suffer from being so far down in the release schedule - Ebeneezer Goode will certainly be their biggest hit of the year.
No. 6: CLIMBER. Madonna - Deeper and Deeper.
Alarm bells ring at Sony as Maddy [she's a mate] fails to crack the Top 5 this week. He last single to miss that was 'The Look Of Love' back in 1987 and the 4 place climb of this may give cause for concern although it is also worth remembering that in 1989, 'Dear Jessie' entered at 9, climbed to 6, before climbing one place to 5 for the Christmas chart.
Well I thought it would be interesting to take these as a whole, due to the fact that there is very little movement here and things are unlikely to change much here. Take That move up to 5, the WWF superstars surprise a lot of people by staying at 4, ruling them out of the top slot, Charles and Eddie stay put at 3 as does Michael Jackson at 2. That of course leaves Whitney supreme at the Top for a 3rd week. In actual fact it is very unlikely she will de displaced next week, her sales outstripping Jackson's by about 3 to one. By the start of this week she had sold 700,000 copies and by today (Saturday) was expected to outstrip Snap's 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' as the biggest seller of the year.
Next week then is the Christmas chart but it is not the last before Christmas. The chart published on Sunday will determine who is No.1 for Christmas alright, but will be based on sales for this week 14-19th December. [Six days you will note, no record stores opened on a Sunday back then.] As a result, the chart to watch most closely will be the one published on December 27th as this will be based on sales for 21st-24th December - Christmas week itself. Effectively there is one extra chart than usual at the end of the year. Another consequence is that as the Christmas chart is a week earlier than usual there are still singles released this week that could make an entry - upsetting the equation even more. None, however, are likely to topple 'I Will Always Love You from the top.