No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Barry Manilow - Could It Be Magic '93
Statistically speaking this has been Barry Manilow's most successful year in the British charts since 1982. That was the last time he scored more than one Top 40 hit. Having said that there has been little new about his success this year. Back in April he made No.22 with a remix of his 1978 hit Copacabana and now here he is again with this re-recording of what has come to be one of his most successful songs. A generation of teenyboppers know the track from Take That's version which made No.3 last Christmas and which has probably prompted this new version. Manilow's original recording made No.25 in January 1979 and Donna Summer has also charted with the song in the past. For all his past US success he has never been a singles artist over here, his only Top 10 his being I Wanna Do It With You which made No.8 in November 1982.
No. 37: FALLER. Cyndi Lauper - That's What I Think
A surprising fall, now proving the statistic I mentioned last week. Although she has had smaller hits than this, this is her first Top 40 hit not to make the Top 20.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. House Of Virginism - I'll Be There For You
By far the most happening dance track of the moment, House Of Virginism charge straight in to the chart, although somewhat lower than might have been expected given the amount of radio play the track is receiving.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Crowded House - Nails In My Feet
Now able to notch up hits with almost a casual consistency, Crowded House followup October's No.19 hit Distant Sun with the second track from their latest album. It's their seventh UK Top 30 hit, the biggest of those being Weather With You which made No.7 in March 1992.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Heart - Will You Be There (In The Morning)
Few people can match them for longevity. The Wilson sisters, having been making hits since 1976 return after a three year absence from the charts with the first single from their long-awaited new album. Soft American rock such as this comes and goes in vogue in the UK, and Heart have often been able to cash in on this, making their UK chart breakthrough in 1987 with Alone (their biggest hit to date making No.3) and notching up a creditable 7 Top 40 hits since. This is their first Top 40 single since All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You peaked at No.8 after an epic climb in April 1990, their last chart hit of any kind being their live version of John Farnham's You're The Voice which made No.56 in September 1991.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince - I'm Looking For The One (To Be With)
Boom! Shake The Room was one of the more surprising No.1 hits of the year, topping the charts back in September and still hanging around the Top 40 this week. Swiftly following it though is this new single from the US rappers, moving back into the more laidback groove that first brought them Top 10 success in 1991 with Summertime and although probably destined not to be as big as the last hit, it stands a chance of becoming Top 20 next week.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Terence Trent D'Arby - Let Her Down Easy
However much of a tit he makes of himself whenever he opens his mouth to do interviews, TTD has the capacity in him to make some stunning music. The fourth hit from the Symphony Or Damn album is a tender, heartrending ballad, sung as if he really means it and in many ways deserving better than being a last ditch attempt to sell an album that has thus far disappointed in the sales stakes. Nonetheless this looks interesting. The first three singles all made the Top 20, and the last time he released a single in this vein was January 1988 when Sign Your Name was the fourth single from his debut album and yet ultimately became his biggest UK hit ever, peaking at No.2.
No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Sting - Demolition Man
A record that probably wins the prize for the most bizarre origins of the week. The theme to the new Wesley Snipes/Sylvester Stallone movie originally started life as a Police track on their 1981 album Ghosts In The Machine [technically no, it started life as a Grace Jones track, she recorded and released it first]. For the film though the original instrumentation has been stripped away, leaving only Sting's vocal intact (hence the solo credit) and replaced with an electronic dance beat [actually it was a complete re-recording], making it in many ways one of the most accessible Sting singles for years. It's his fourth hit of 1993, after a run of Top 30 hits from the album Ten Summoners Tales. Curiously enough his current run of hits began in August 1992 with It's Probably Me, featuring Eric Clapton and the theme to another Hollywood movie - 'Lethal Weapon 3', a track which found its way in a re-recorded form onto the album from which his last few hits have come.
No. 20: CLIMBER. Lesley Garrett and Amanda Thompson - Ave Maria
Well bugger me sideways. The classical track makes a climb achieved by few pop records of late makes a staggering leap to scrape a Top 20 place. Recorded in aid of charity, the record has featured heavily on BBC television of late. Opera Diva Lesley Garrett is accompanied by 13 year old leukemia victim Amanda Thompson on piano in their version of the classical hymn. That alone has been enough to sell the record so far, but watch out for it next week after their performance on Top Of The Pops on Thursday where millions of TV viewers watched the painfully thin bald-headed girl pick out the melody and touch the hearts of the entire country. The odds on it being Christmas No.1 have fallen dramatically.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Welcome To The Pleasuredome
On it's original release in 1985 this Frankie record caused a stir simply by failing to go to No.1. The group had dominated 1984 with the triumvirate of Relax, Two Tribes and The Power Of Love all of which had made No.1 and thus equalled the record set in 1963 by Gerry and the Pacemakers in going to No.1 with their first 3 hits. All eyes were on Pleasuredome to see if they could make it 4 in a row. In the end the record crashed in a No.5 and could only rise to No.2, held off by Easy Lover by Philip Bailey and Phil Collins. It's re-released now as a followup to the reissued Relax which made No.5 in October.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. 2 Unlimited - Maximum Overdrive
In as much as it is possible to classify things like this, 2 Unlimited are the most successful dance act ever. Maximum Overdrive is their eighth hit in all since October 1991 - all of which have made the Top 20. Maximum Overdrive, sounding like every 2 Unlimited track ever in all honesty, is their fourth hit of the year, following Top 10 smashes with Tribal Dance, Faces and the No.1 hit No Limit.
No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Janet Jackson - Again
The track that is trying desperately to knock Meat Loaf from the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in the US finally makes its UK debut. The third hit from the Janet album is a slushy ballad and at a stroke beats the No.14 peak of her last hit If.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Guns N' Roses - Ain't It Fun
As their long awaited album of punk covers finally makes an appearance, the first single crashes into the chart and straight into the Top 10. When Civil War failed to improve on its initial peak of No.11 back in May it became the first GnR single to fail to make the Top 10 since Nighttrain in September 1989. They have now had 10 Top Ten hits, more than any other US band bar the Beach Boys (13), the Supremes (12), the Four Tops (11) and the Jacksons (10).
No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Elton John and Kiki Dee - True Love
Honours for the biggest new hit of the week though have to go unequivocally to this track. A hot favourite for Christmas No.1, Elton John and Kiki Dee plough their way through their version of the old Bing Crosby song from the film 'High Society'. There are so many landmark aspects to this record that I'll deal with them over a couple of weeks. First to the partnership itself. Elton John is no stranger to a duet having starred with John Lennon, Millie Jackson, Cliff Richard, Jennifer Rush, Aretha Franklin, George Michael and Eric Clapton. It's his 1976 duet with Kiki Dee on the infamous Don't Go Breaking My Heart that is the most significant though. His best selling single ever, for years it was the only track featuring Elton John to go to No.1 in the UK and it wasn't until 1990 that he managed it in his own right. It is thus appropriate that the reincarnation of the partnership should score such a massive hit single.
No. 7: CLIMBER. Soul Asylum - Runaway Train
Here's a coincidence. Soul Asylum make the Top Ten with a song called Runaway Train marginally outselling Elton John who has also had a hit with a song called Runaway Train [and?].
No. 1: FIFTH WEEK. Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love
Eyebrows raised as the Top 4 records logjam and give Meat Loaf another week at the top, at the expense of the prospects for the three records below him. Another week at the summit is on the cards... unless Elton John and Kiki Dee can manage the leap and write themselves into the record books in a spectacular way... but that can wait until they do it. [Spoiler: they don't]