Events seem to have polarised the article this week with little action of any significance at the bottom but with the top of the charts exploding in a flurry of speculative greatness. 10 new entries and an astonishingly large 11 climbers.
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Mash! - U Don't Have To Say You Love Me
There is a part of me that suspects conspiracy but it is probably more of a coincidence that two weeks after a TV special on her career and with the Greatest Hits collection in the album charts, a dance version comes out of Dusty Springfield's biggest ever hit. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me snatched a brief week of glory at No.1 in 1966 and has been regarded as a classic ever since, now brought back to life by this ragga styled version.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Phyllis Nelson - Move Closer
This one leaves me scratching my head in bemusement as for once I have no idea what has prompted this reissue [a TV ad for deodorant believe it or not]. Although well known in soul circles in the US for a string of R n B hits, Phyllis Nelson is best known in this country for this tender ballad which after a long climb had a week of glory at No.1 in May 1985. Now nine years on it charts again, but still retains her status as a genuine one hit wonder, having had this No.1 hit and no other hits ever. She is one of 37 acts to have achieved this feat, the last addition to the list being Mr Blobby last Christmas. The song itself has charted more recently though, Tom Jones taking it to No.49 in 1989.
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Jody Watley - When A Man Loves A Woman
Thankfully not the soul classic but a completely new hit as Jody Watley breaks a long period of silence to have her first chart hit since I'm The One You Need made No.50 in April 1992. She has never quite reached the heights of her debut hit Looking For A New Love which made No.13 in June 1987.
No. 23: CLIMBER. Chelsea Football Team - No One Can Stop Us Now
The title is perhaps a little unfortunate given the way they were wiped out by Manchester United 4-0 on Saturday last but they do at least gain the consolation of climbing a few places. It was pointed out to me this week that Chelsea player-manager Glen Hoddle is actually one of the most charted footballers ever, appearing on this record, two by Tottenham Hotspur in the early 1980s, England World Cup Squad hits and also when duetting with fellow footballer Chris Waddle on 1987s Top 20 hit Diamond Lights.
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Deep Forest - Deep Forest
As Enigma rack up their second hit of the year so do Deep Forest with more of the sound that characterised their first hit, Indian tribal rhythms blended with a dreamy dance beat and an instant second Top 20 hit.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Seal - Prayer For The Dying
Sealhenry Samuel first came to prominence as the uncredited vocalist on Adamski's 1990 No.1 hit Killer. A subsequent solo deal saw an album that was one of the greatest hits of 1991 and earned both him and producer Trevor Horn a whole string of accolades. There were hit singles as well starting with Crazy making No.2 in January 1991 and a dramatic re-recording of Killer which surprised many by going to No.8 less than 18 months after the original had charted. After a silence of over 2 years though he is back with another stunning piece of music, casting aside much of the electronics that characterised his debut album, still with Trevor Horn at the controls though and an instant chart smash.
No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Maxx - Get-A-Way
This record could hardly miss, being a proven formula. Just like Apache Indian's Boom-Shack-A-Lack and Shaggy's Oh Carolina before it, Get-A-Way is a frenetic ragga track, enough to wear out even the most hardened dancer yet commercial enough for radio to love it to death.
No. 10: NEW ENTRY. Bad Boys Inc - More To This World
After struggling for so long as part of the second division of teen acts, Bad Boys Inc finally break it big with a massive hit. The instant Top 10 success of Out Of This World gives them their biggest hit ever, beating the No.19 peak of their debut Top 40 hit Don't Talk About Love in August 1993. The whole thing smacks possibly of strong marketing though as the record itself is a bit weak-kneed really and certainly contains none of the pop brilliance of past hits of theirs. They may well remain poor Take-That clones for a while yet.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. 2 Unlimited - The Real Thing
It may interest you to know that there is more of this to come soon over the next few months as 2 Unlimited unleash a new album. "More of this" really means more of the same as The Real Thing is just what you would expect from 2 Unlimited. Fast, frantic and fatuous [that could really be 2 Unlimited's catchphrase, it works as a description of anything they ever released] it's still enough to give them an eighth Top 10 hit out of 10 chart singles, following on from 'Let The Beat Control Your Body' which peaked at No.6 in February.
No. 8: CLIMBER. Eternal - Just A Step From Heaven
A one-place climb for Eternal to match the peak of Save Our Love back in January. Their biggest hit remains their debut Stay which peaked at No.4.
[And here we should pause to appreciate the significance of what happens next, as the most notorious single of the year takes its bow].
No. 4: NEW ENTRY. Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around
Just when you thought all was lost, along comes a record to restore your faith in pop music. As audiences all over the country flock to see "Four Weddings And A Funeral" the standout song from the soundtrack lands with a splash near the top of the charts. A No.5 hit for the Troggs in 1967, Wet Wet Wet turn the song around and make it their own, notching up their first Top 10 hit since Goodnight Girl made it to No.1 in 1992. Given the situation a few places above it it would take a very foolish man not to gamble on this being No.1 next week.
No. 3: CLIMBER. East 17 - All Around The World
Standing in the way of Wet Wet Wet though are a number of interesting factors, not least of which are East 17 who leap up to instantly match the peak of their last hit It's Alright and who still have the momentum to go further.
No. 2: FALLER. Stiltskin - Inside
The really big news of the week though is this. Despite seemingly settling in last week for a good run, circumstances conspire to depose them from the top of the charts in a sensational manner after only 1 week. This now means we have had four different singles at No.1 in as many weeks. Although a rare occurrence it is actually not all that uncommon, the last occasion it happened being in January 1991 when Iron Maiden, Enigma, Queen and the KLF all took turns at the top of the charts. Prospects for next week look extremely interesting too...
No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Manchester United Football Squad - Come On You Reds
Rumour has it that staff at compliers Millward Brown could not quite believe their eyes when the first sales reports started coming in but it was all true. The week after Manchester United became only the fourth team this century to win both the Football League and the FA Cup, they also become the first club side ever to have a No.1 hit. The record is no more of a joke than most other football records are but the popularity of Manchester United at present means they outsold everyone else to the general astonishment of all. The record is produced by Status Quo and sung to the tune of their 1988 hit Burning Bridges. It represents only the second time the veteran rockers have been associated with a No.1 hit, the first being back in January 1975 with Down Down. The nature of the beast is such though that the track has little chance of sustaining its sales next week meaning that the top of the charts is more wide open than it has been for many many years with several records queued up to take its place. One final point is worth making though. This may be a terrible record, made as a joke by a bunch of footballers who know they cannot sing for toffee but for this week at least it has sold more copies than any other single. For that reason, if only for that reason, for this week at least it has my respect.