A kind of soul week this week, with new tracks and revamped oldies swamping the listings. 11 new entries, 6 climbers and an interesting 6 non-movers.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. The The - Love Is Stronger Than Death
First one out the hat this week and little new to say about it really, except that this represents the latest instalment in a string of Top 40 hits for The The in complete contrast to their earlier form which would see one hit and then all the rest missing out. Little more to say as there will be no sign of this one next week either.
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Blackstreet featuring Teddy Riley - Baby Be Mine
The British have never learned how to swingbeat and despite the success of the odd track have never seemed very interested. Carrying this track is the name of Teddy Riley - the King of New Jack Swing and of course the producer of many tracks from Michael Jackson's last album.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Billy Idol - Shock To The System
Billy Idol always had his own niche. Taking power pop a step further he notched up a string of hits in the 1980s with his unique brand of snarling rock backed with a stomping disco beat. Most recently his British chart fortunes have waned. The last album Charmed Life did not do too well in the sales stakes and only produced one hit single in the shape of Cradle Of Love which made No.34 in April 1990. Matching that peak then is the first single from the new album Cyberpunk. It's Idol doing what he knows best but in the current chart climate may sadly not equal previous heights and good though it is, it is no classic to rival White Wedding or Rebel Yell. [The album itself was garbage and essentially sunk his mainstream recording career].
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. SWV - Weak
More US soul of the close-knit harmony type which again Britain has show reluctance to take to its bosom. For the Sisters With Voices it is their second UK hit as a follow up to I'm So Into You which made No.18 in April. [Don't panic, the smash hit is on the way].
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Joey Lawrence - Nothing My Love Can't Fix
Except maybe his voice. The star of the TV sitcom Blossom releases a single and gets a UK hit. It's more swingbeat soul aas you might expect and cannot really hope for an extended chart life.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Teenage Fanclub - Radio
Of all the bands on the 'alternative' scene it is Teenage Fanclub that perhaps have struggled the most, making a series of tuneful records that have never caught on in a big way. Their only Top 40 hit to date is What You Do To Me which made the Top 20 in May 1993. A new offering from a new album, the latest track is not as commercial as the previous hit and may not follow up that success.
No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Shabba Ranks featuring Queen Latifah - What'cha Gonna Do
At last some more action. Third hit in a row for Shabba Ranks to coincide with the re-release of the X-Tra Naked album which was withdrawn from sale to allow his previous hit singles to hike themselves up the chart. Latest collaborator is Queen Latifah who has only ever charted in collaborations with others, most notably with De La Soul on Momma Gave Birth To The Soul Children which made No.14 in March 1990.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. East 17 - West End Girls
According to the sleeve notes, it started off as a joke by their manager and became a better idea the more they thought of it. The current purveyors of whiteboy East End rap remake the debut hit of those purveyors of fey whiteboy pop, the Pet Shop Boys. The Tennant and Lowe original was, of course, No.1 in January 1986 and won the Brit award for single of the year. For East 17 it is their fifth chart hit, and the fourth to make the Top 20 and the obvious commercial potential of the track may well push it into the Top 10 next week.
No. 14: FALLER. Pet Shop Boys - Can You Forgive Her
The presence of this and the East 17 marks an interesting achievement for Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe. It's the first time they have achieved the admirable feat of having written two simultaneous Top 20 hits. [Not true, I'm Not Scared was in the charts contemporaneously with Heart in April 1988].
No. 11: NEW ENTRY. Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive (Phil Kelsey Remix)
The nation's favourite Karaoke track and one of the most famous disco records ever made makes a triumphant return to the charts. Familiar to just about everyone, the original made No.1 in March 1979 and could arguably have recharted again without this abysmal piece of remixing. The new version has its very soul ripped out with the lush Philadelphia strings of the original replaced by a Chicago house piano. To these ears it makes no sense at all. It's the first time the former soul diva has charted since 1984 when her version of I Am What I Am made No.13. These days her voice can still be heard regularly on the radio as presenter of Radio 2s 'Soul Train' show on Thursday nights.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. M People - One Night In Heaven
The last M People hit was the remix of How Can I Love You More which was also an instant Top 10 earlier this year. A hit after extensive radio play, this totally new track is if anything even more commercial and next week may well see it making a play for the Top 3.
No. 8: CLIMBER. Lisa Stansfield - In All The Right Places
A surprising turnaround for Lisa Stansfield. Last week the track dropped from 9 to 10 but bounces back this week to prolong its Top 10 life a little further.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Rod Stewart - Have I Told You Lately
The latest beneficiary of MTV Unplugged is Rod Stewart who obtains his highest new entry ever, eclipsing his last hit Tom Traubert's Blues which made the Top 10 at Christmas. Although the song itself has never been a hit before it is familiar to many. By far one of Van Morrison's best loved ballads it first appeared on the 1989 album Avalon Sunset released as a single in July of that year it made No.74 and failed to chart at all when reissued in February 1990. For Stewart it is yet another hit to his credit in a career that stretches back to the early 1970s.
No. 1: 1ST WEEK. Gabrielle - Dreams
After last week's strong debut it was almost inevitable. Gabrielle powers her way past all other opposition to the top. In doing so she adds herself to another distinguished list, following her achievement last week of the highest ever entry by an unknown act. In a category restricted to artists who have never charted ever before she joins Edison Lighthouse, Mungo Jerry, Dave Edmunds, Nicole, Musical Youth, Spitting Image, Snap, Partners In Kryme and Vanilla Ice in reaching No.1 just 7 days after her chart debut.