In a paradox of dates the chart this week covers sales in the run up to Christmas yet is dated as the first of the new year. Christmas week sales mean the highest overall total for the year and the increased number of casual record buyers make for the most bizarre chart of the year. 1 new entry, 1 re-entry, 11 climbers and an astounding 16 non-movers.
No. 37: NON-MOVER. Saint Etienne - I Was Born On Christmas Day
The only Christmas record in the chart fails to progress much further leaving this unique duet between Sarah Cracknell and Tim from the Charlatans as only a minor seasonal hit.
No. 25: CLIMBER. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You
In a move which leaves one wondering exactly who is left to buy it, Whitney's reissued hit makes a startling 15 place climb to become the biggest mover on the chart this week, buoyed up by sales of the Bodyguard video - far and away the best selling movie this Christmas.
No. 22: CLIMBER. Shabba Ranks - Family Affair
One track seemingly unaffected by being featured in a movie is this one, leaving Shabba Ranks with only a small climb although the film 'Addams Family Values' will continue to screen into the new year and this could take advantage of the post-Christmas lull and creep still further upwards.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Pearl Jam - Daughter
Despite there being the odd one or two new singles released this week, the solid fan base of Pearl Jam ensures they are the only ones to chart inside the Top 40. It's their fourth Top 40 hit of their career and the first since Jeremy made No.15 in September 1992. It's not actually the first single from their latest album though. The first single was released back in November and actually sold enough copies to rate as the tenth best selling single in its first week. It's failure to chart though was due to the fact that the single included a 'free' cassette featuring some live tracks. Such freebies are outlawed by the Chart Supervisory Committee - not that the band or the record company minded - all copies carried a sticker proclaiming 'This single is ineligible for the only chart that counts'.
No. 16: CLIMBER. Haddaway - I Miss You
Haddaway's Christmas single edges still further upwards to ensure that every single he has released this year has made the Top 20.
No. 15: CLIMBER. Mariah Carey - Hero
Once Christmas is over the track will fall like a stone but for the meantime Mariah Carey clings on like a limpet, climbing the chart for a third time.
No. 14: CLIMBER. Diana Ross - Your Love
The strategy that worked last year for If We Hold On Together, has worked again this year, the typical Diana Ross ballad climbs a further few notches, helping her One Woman - The Ultimate Collection album to depose Meat Loaf from the top of the album charts.
No. 10: CLIMBER. K7 - Come Baby Come
The US teen band make the Top 10 with their debut hit at what is one of the most competitive times of the year so full marks to them. This year's New Kids On The Block perhaps?
No. 8: NON-MOVER. Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell
No. 7: FALLER. Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love
Meat Loaf occupys consecutive places in the Top 10 and has 20% of this section of the chart for the second week running. I may be wrong, but I think the last Male singer to have simultaneous Top Ten hits was John Travolta back in October 1978 [It was John bloody Lennon man!] when he charted with Sandy and in partnership with Olivia Newton-John on Summer Nights - during the week of November 4th those tracks were at No.2 and No.1 respectively.
No. 6: CLIMBER. Dina Carroll - The Perfect Year
Only two records dropped out of the Top 40 this week. One was Blind Melon's No Rain and the other was Ms Carroll's Don't Be A Stranger, now deleted. Her other hit though holds firm. It's the biggest hit from an Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical since Michael Ball reached No.2 with Love Changes Everything in February 1989.
No. 1: THIRD WEEK. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
It's a relief in many ways that Mr Blobby outsells everyone else during Christmas week, thus avoiding any controversy over exactly what was Christmas No.1 this year, Mr Blobby it is despite a still strong challenge from Take That. The market at the top end is so static that the entire Top 5 hold firm - the first time this has happened since April 1st 1989. The question that has to be asked now is what is going to happen next. It is difficult to see Mr Blobby's sales sustaining beyond next week and the same is true for take that. So who is going to have the 700th No.1?