[We appear to have skipped a couple of weeks here, the effort of writing over the Christmas holidays apparently beyond me, and the explanations in the text regarding some of the existing post-Christmas chart entries suggests this is the first time I'd posted since the end of December].
This time of year is traditionally known as the 'Post-Christmas Shakeout' where many of the Christmas records drop heavily, leaving the way open for a whole crop of new releases for the new year. For some reason this has not happened to quite the same extent this year, with the changeover being no more rapid than it would at any other time of year. The chart this week boasts 10 new entries (5 of which are remakes of old songs!), 10 climbers, 3 non-movers.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Time Fequency - New Emotion
Another chart, another dance crossover which in the current climate has little hope of progressing any further. Interested watchers may care to note that many of the dance records in the chart this week are symptomatic of the latest trend of songs coming back into vogue, rather than just a collection of bleeps. New Emotion even has a tune to it.
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Cher - Many Rivers To Cross
The surprise Christmas album chart-toppper was Cher's Greatest Hits album and to celebrate the one other 'new' track from it is released. Despite being a standard, the song has only ever had one other chart outing, being taken to No.16 by UB40 in December 1983.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Go West - What You Won't Do For Love
Remake Number 2 but this time a song that will be unfamiliar to the vast majority of the British public. The original [by Bobby Caldwell], despite being an American Top Ten hit in the 1970s never charted over here. It's further progress is questionable, however, Go West's brand of pop/rock being it seems lost on the British public, although they are here following up the Top Twenty success of Faithful.
No. 27: CLIMBER. Paul McCartney - Hope Of Deliverance
The last time Macca had a Top Ten hit was in 1987 with 'One Upon a Long Ago'. Since then his track record has not been quite as impressive. Critical opinion of the new single means this streak is not about to be broken but it is worth bearing in mind that Hope Of Deliverance (a gentle acoustic ballad) is his biggest hit since This One in July 1989.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. The The - Dogs Of Lust
Another year, another outing for Matt Johnson et al. The The survive these days on a dedicated fan following, plus any interest on who he happens to have drafted into the band this time. Their last chart outing was with The Beat(en) Generation in April 1989 with the interest then being Johnny Marr on guitar. Sadly, the new single has nothing so simple to recommend it.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. En Vogue - Give It Up, Turn It Loose
The self-styled 'Funky Divas' [it was the title of their album] at first had difficulty following up the No.6 success of their debut 'Hold On' in 1990 but their latest album has produced 3 out of 4 hit singles. If anything 'Give it Up' has less to recommend it than some of the others and so is unlikely to end up one of their bigger hits.
No. 21: NEW ENTRY. S.O.U.L.S.Y.S.T.E.M. - It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day
The Bodyguard soundtrack matches the achievement of its Wayne's World equivalent last summer and places 3 songs in the 40. It's not the first time in recent years that the Bill Withers classic has had a chart outing, a remixed version having made the Top 10 in September 1988. The new version, however, is as far removed from this as can be and may just have enough novelty value not to be detracted by the cries of Sacrilege from the purists.
No. 19=: FALLERS. Prodigy - Out Of Space; Lisa Stansfield - Someday (I'm Coming Back)
Until a couple of years ago, joint placings on the UK charts were almost unheard of. This was due to a chart rule which stated that if any two records tied in their panel sales then the record which had increased its sales by the largest amount won the highest placing. This was fine until one day in September 1990 when Steve Miller Band's
The Joker and Dee-Lite's Groove Is In The Heart achieved exactly the same score..... at No.1. The Steve Miller record won out under the rule to an outraged cry of 'Foul' from WEA records and a threat by them to boycott the chart. As a consequence the rules were changed to allow joint positions, hence the rather unusual situation this week. The only odd thing about it is that this is the second week running that the records at No.19 have tied for the honours - a unique occurrence.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Peter Gabriel - Steam
It seems a curious fact of life that Peter Gabriel is unable to have hit singles unless they are a Sledgehammer clone. Consequently the first single from the 'US' album entered low and had a difficult journey into the Top 30 whereas Steam becomes one of his highest debuting singles ever and becomes his biggest hit since Big Time made No.13 in 1986. The correspondingly ingenious video will propel this into the Top 10.
No. 14: NEW ENTRY. West End featuring Sybil - The Love I Lost
One of the hottest dance hits over the Christmas holidays makes a strong crossover onto the national chart. A fairly faithful cover of the Harold Melvin original, the classic song, coupled with the powerful voice of Sybil makes for one of those soul covers which if anything adds to the original. Notice as well the production credits on the back of such a trendy record - Mike Stock and Pete Waterman, showing that there is life after Kylie and Jason.
No. 13: CLIMBER. Sunscreem - Broken English
Sunscreem make their third hit the biggest with this cover of the Marianne Faithful original that has enough popular appeal to propell it into the Top Ten next week. The
success of this song makes me wonder what is to come next.... The Prodigy doing 'Lucy Jordan' perhaps???
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Pop Will Eat Itself - Get The Girl! Kill The Baddies!
PWEI celebrated their most commercially successful year ever last year by being dropped from their record label [following the now infamous suggestion by a suit that they ask EMF to write them a hit record]. Undeterred, they bounce back with their first ever Top Ten hit. Despite the obvious quirky appeal of the group, the records themselves rarely sell outside their established fan base and the high entry can be attributed to this popularity, plus the fact that this is a very slack sales period.
No. 6: NEW ENTRY. Faith No More - I'm Easy
There was a certain inevitability about this one. This startlingly faithful cover of the Commodores' original gives Faith No More their biggest UK hit ever, having only slightly grazed the Top 20 on previous occasions. A strong contender for No.1 in a couple of weeks, it has at a stroke beaten the No. 9 peak of the original. Lionel Richie reportedly loves it. [That final line stemming from an appearance on Radio One when host Neale James played the note perfect Faith No More cover to a nonplussed Richie who utterly failed to register that it was a dry and ironic piss-take].
No. 2: CLIMBER. Snap - Exterminate
Rapper Turbo B's words on being presented with the lyrics to 'Rhythm Is A Dancer' were reported to have been something along the lines of 'No way am I singing that shit!'. 'That shit' went on to be No.1 for 6 weeks over the summer and the second biggest single of the year. It also represented the severance of Turbo B from the Snap production team so 'Exterminate' is the first track to be released without him on vocals. Its chart success so far is somewhat of a surprise being, aside from the one vocal line, almost an instrumental and certainly with little of the quirky appeal of the earlier singles. Nevertheless its sales are strong and may well be making an assault on the top slot next week.
No. 1: SEVENTH WEEK. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
Then again maybe not, Ms Houston's record still selling as fast as the shops can stock it. Now confirmed as the biggest selling record by a solo female ever, there is just one more obstacle in her way - the record for most consecutive weeks by a female vocalist at No.1. The honours currently go to Doris Day who managed 8 weeks with Secret Love in the 1950s and it would take a very brave man to risk any money on that being safe next week...