No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Cher with Beavis and Butt-Head - I Got You Babe
All those who turn their noses up at the likes of Mr Blobby can take comfort from the fact that America can produce atrocious novelty records too. MTVs doyens of bad taste, Beavis and Butt-Head charge onto vinyl in their own inimitable fashion on a remake of the 1960s classic. The low entry and probable lack of further progress is probably due to the fact that few people here have ever heard of the cartoon duo [the show would start airing on Channel 4 a few weeks later, just too late for this hit to make any sense]. MTV Europe is available only via satellite and cable and the number of homes that can receive this is still a very small proportion indeed. Couple this with the fact that the joke isn't actually all that funny and you have a very minor hit on your hands. It's actually not the first time Cher has remade one of her old songs, although when Jon Bon Jovi helped her to remake Bang Bang in the mid-80s she probably took it a little more seriously than she did this version.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Thomas Dolby - Hyperactive
True genius is never recognised in its own era. How else could you explain the fact that Thomas Dolby has never become a major star? Following the career resurgence he experienced in 1992 with the 'Astronauts and Heretics' album, Dolby returns with a greatest hits collection. Leading off from this is a remix of his biggest ever UK hit Hyperactive which originally made No.17 in February 1984. For a change this is one remix which adds to the original and brings home just what a classic it was to begin with. The single is also notable for featuring an early uncredited vocal performance by a young Adele Bertei, later to find fame as vocalist on Jellybean's 1988 Top 20 hit Just A Mirage.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Dr Dre - Nuthin' But A 'G' Thang
[Superstar debut klaxon!] The man who seemed to have a permanent hold on the US Top 10 last year makes a long overdue UK chart debut. This track was first issued last year but missed the chart and is now reissued and takes advantage of the new year sales slump to grab some chart glory, helped along the way possibly by a guest appearance from Snoop Doggy Dogg, himself a recent chart resident.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Soul Asylum - Black Gold
Time now to see whether this can be the year of Soul Asylum. Their name is now well established in this country following the Top 10 success of the reissued Runaway Train at the end of last year. The followup is one of the better tracks from the Grave Dancers Union album, the vaguely Beatlesque Black Gold. Probably not as big a hit as their last classic but enough to stop them being labelled one hit wonders.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Loni Clark - U
After months of waiting, a second Top 40 hit for Loni Clark, coming a full six months since Rushing peaked at No.37.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Garth Brooks - The Red Strokes
My God! A Hat Act in the UK charts. The closest thing America has had for years to a country music superstar makes a long-overdue arrival in the UK charts. Garth Brooks' album selling feats in the states have by now passed into legend but despite a series of concerts he has never made a name for himself here, largely due to the fact that country music has no market and finds it difficult to gain a toehold. Heavy radio play for this ballad though has given him his first ever Top 40 entry, his only previous chart placing being the No.72 peak of Shameless in February 1992. It's the first country single to chart big since Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart and it's follow-up Could've Been Me back in the summer of 1992.
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Inspiral Carpets - Saturn 5
Despite their obvious musical pedigree, when they first emerged in the indie dance boom of 1989/90, the Inspiral Carpets tended to rate a poor third place for attention next to the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses. With the Mondays having long self-destructed and the Stone Roses' new album descending into the realm of legend, the Inspiral Carpets are still going and slam straight into the Top 20 with the first release from what will be their fourth album. It's their first hit since Bitches Brew made No.36 in November 1992 and the first to make the Top 20 since Dragging Me Down became their biggest hit ever, making No.12 in March 1992. The formula of guitars and organ is one they never really need to alter and Saturn 5 achieves what so many of their songs do, combining a trendy credibility with a sound that is almost perfect pop music.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Depeche Mode - In Your Room
Have fanbase, will rack up hits. The fourth single from Songs Of Faith And Devotion gives Depeche Mode yet another hit and the 24th Top 20 hit of their 13 year career. The fact that the album is now a year old will mean the single will vanish as quickly as it came.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston - Something In Common
Who was it who told record companies that husband and wife duets are a good idea? Mr and Mrs make their long awaited chart debut in tandem with this unremarkable track. For Whitney it is merely another hit in a long stream recently which saw her notch up more weeks in the charts last year than any other act. For Bobby Brown it is an impressive return to form with his first Top 40 hit since Humping Around made No.19 in August 1992.
No. 15: CLIMBER. Phil Collins - Everyday
To the surprise of many, Phil Collins leaps 13 places to make him the joint biggest mover this week and a Top 20 hit to follow Both Sides Of The Story.
No. 14: CLIMBER. Def Leppard - Action
A strong climb too for Def Leppard. 'Action' now their 8th Top 20 hit.
No. 13: CLIMBER. Toni Braxton - Breathe Again
The other biggest climber is this one, Toni Braxton picking up a great deal of radio support and set to become Top 10 next week with her debut hit.
No. 10: CLIMBER. Bitty McLean - Here I Stand
The disappointing No.35 peak of Pass It On may well have been a fluke then. Bitty McLean charges up the charts to give him 2 out of 3 hits in the Top 10 following the No.2 success of his debut It Keeps Rainin.
No. 9: CLIMBER. Haddaway - I Miss You
Astonishing as it may seem, Haddaway rides out the storm to notch up a third Top 10 hit after a very slow climb to get there. Can there still be life left in this track?
No. 8: CLIMBER. Eternal - Save Our Love
Honours too for Eternal who make the Top 10 for a second time with their second ever hit.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl
Biggest hit of the week is that of the first single from Tori Amos' new album. By crashing straight into the Top 10 it gives her her biggest hit ever, eclipsing at a stroke the No.15 peak of 'Crucify'. Aside from that hit she has had difficulty charting in this country although the album Little Earthquakes was a hefty seller back in 1992. I've never been turned on by her sub-Kate Bush whine of a voice and the fact that she sings songs about rape and sexual degradation whilst waving her thighs at the audience leaves a slightly cynical taste in my mouth. [Cynicism tastes bitter for those wondering. This may also have been the debut of my own wicked ability to identify the most loved-up fans and be unspeakably rude about their favourite acts].
No. 1: FIRST WEEK. D:Ream - Things Can Only Get Better
In it's third week on the chart this time round, D:Ream's (pronounced Dee-Ream) reissued song tops the chart, almost exactly a year after it first peaked at No.24. Plenty of songs in the past have made No.1 as a reissue and many others have become bigger hits after making the Top 40 second time round (recent hits by Soul Asylum and Goodmen are just two examples). Few songs though make No.1 so soon after their original success. Indeed, just two other examples of songs returning to top the charts less than a year after their original chart runs spring to mind. Eye Level by the Simon Park Orchestra first made No.41 in November 1972 but a re-release the following September saw the track make No.1. More recently in January 1982 Kraftwerk's The Model made No.1 after having peaked at No.36 only seven months earlier. D:Ream's wait of 357 days from first chart appearance to hitting No.1 makes Things Can Only Get Better the 8th slowest No.1 hit ever - the record for that is the seemingly unassailable 29 years 42 days set by Jackie Wilson's Reet Petite in 1986.