Life really is bizarre at times. Strange goings on at the top of the charts whilst at the other end the largest influx of dance hits for ages makes for interesting listening. 15 new hits, the most we've had for a long time, 4 climbers and 1 non-mover.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Village People - In The Navy (1994 Remixes)
More remix success from one of the most visual Frank Farian creations of all time. Following the remix of YMCA which made No.12 just before Christmas comes a new version of their second most famous hit, hard to ruin, even harder to rubbish. In The Navy first made No.2 in April 1979.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Tori Amos - Past The Mission
Tori Amos becomes the first act to notch up three hits in 1994 following Cornflake Girl and Pretty Good Year which both made the Top 10 in January and March respectively. The new single is one of the more interesting tracks on the album, threatening at times to turn into a proper pop song. No further progress, especially when you consider Pretty Good Year entered at No.7 and plunged to No.29 the following week.
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Arrested Development - Ease My Mind
A return to the charts after an absence of a year for Arrested Development who picked up a number of fans with their own distinctive style of rap balladeering. The entry point of this track bodes ill though, far lower than any of People Everyday, Mr Wendal or Tennessee - all of which were Top 20 hits.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Moby - Hymn
Another in a line of sporadic dance anthems for Moby and his fourth Top 40 hit overall. He had two last year: I Feel It which peaked at No.38 and Move which made No.21.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Alex Party - Read My Lips
This track has been around for a number of months now and finally becomes a Top 40 hit on its second release overground - not bad for a record which can be summed up by going 'Bleep bleep bleep' inbetween chants of Read My Lips - it really is as insubtantial as that. [Well no, there is more to the track than that. I was clearly off on one that week].
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Bruce Dickinson - Tears Of The Dragon
The first hit from Bruce Dickinson since he quit Iron Maiden for good becomes an instant Top 30 smash. The new single begs comparison with much of the output of his old band, being an almost Zepplinesque epic with lyrics to match. His biggest solo hit ever was his first, Tattooed Millionaire which made No.18 in April 1990. That was followed up by a faithful cover of Mott The Hoople's All The Young Dudes which made No.23. He was most recently in the charts as the vocalist on (I Want To Be) Elected, the cover of the Alice Cooper song released for Comic Relief around the time of the 1992 Election. It peaked at No.9.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Carleen Anderson - Mama Said
A second hit single for the former Young Disciples singer, following up Nervous Breakdown which peaked at No.27 in February. Like its predecessor it is a stunning piece of soul, perhaps a little too hardcore though to become a massive hit.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Time Frequency - What A Phantasy EP
The first hit since November for Glasgow's Time Frequency. They are some of Scotland's biggest stars at the moment thanks to a series of energetic dancefloor classics which are really no less brilliant for all sounding the same. The new single follows that pattern then, looking to emulate Real Love - their last hit which made No.8 to become their biggest ever.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. K-Klass - What You're Misssing
The influx of dance hits continues this week with the fourth Top 40 hit for K-Klass who first hit big in late 1991 with Rhythm Is A Mystery. This is their first chart hit since Let Me Show You made No.13 last November.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Alice Cooper - Lost In America
The revival of Alice Cooper that began with 1989s Loaded album continues apace with this brand new hit. He's been having hits since 1972 despite slipping into a black hole at times. The slump finally ended with Poison reaching No.2 in August that year and has continued ever since, his last hit being Feed My Frankenstein which made No.27 in June 1992. Don't expect spectacular stuff from the new single which has none of the brilliance of past classics, being simply Alice Cooper by numbers and helped up this far by a strong series of TV appearances over the last week - complete with the snake.
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Deacon Blue - Dignity
Last Friday saw the band's final gig ever as they go their separate ways so it's fitting that their swansong should be the single which first brought them to prominence. Always one of their best-loved tracks, the song of the road sweeper who dreams of sailing away in his boat first made a criminal No.31 when released in January 1988 and now deservedly becomes the band's sixth Top 20 hit. Let's hope the record company don't simply leave it at that because there are plenty more lost classics in their catalogue that deserve resurrection.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Salt n' Pepa - Shoop
The success of Whatta Man now prompts the re-release of this US Top 10 hit which could only make No.29 when first released in October 1993. It's now the third Salt n' Pepa hit to benefit from re-promotion after initial success eluded it. Their debut hit Push It could only make No.41 when first released in March 1988 but then peaked at No.2 when re-released three months later. In a similar manner Expression could only make No.40 first time out in April 1990 only to reach No.23 nearly two years later. This week's chart is one of the most unoriginal around for ages, featuring tracks from the Cranberries, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alex Party, Deacon Blue, Clubhouse and Salt N Pepa which are reissues doing better second time around.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Pearl Jam - Dissident
The third single and second Top 20 hit in recent months for Pearl Jam, following up Daughter which made No.18 last December. With the exception of Even Flow which only made No.27, all the bands hits have peaked between Nos 15-18.
No. 15: NEW ENTRY. Galliano - Long Time Gone
A long overdue breakthrough for these stalwarts of the Acid Jazz movement (despite being on Talking Loud records!). Long Time Gone becomes their first ever Top 40 hit, their biggest chart success previously being the No.41 peak of Skunk Funk in May 1992.
No. 14: CLIMBER. Seal - Prayer For The Dying
It's a sluggish chart this week, cast your eyes back down the list. Seal is the first artist so far this week to have a chart climber and he is one of only four.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Prodigy - No Good (Start The Dance)
Prodigy burst onto the dance scene in the summer of 1991 with the rave classic Charly and despite expressing a desire to remain underground now score their seventh Top 20 hit, none of which have peaked lower than No.12. No Good uses a previously successful formula of combining their mix of harcore rave beats with an annoyingly commercial sampled hook. The sample in question will annoy me for months - I've no idea which record it came from originally [if only we'd had whosampled back then. The line is from You're No Good For Me by Kelly Charles] but it is not the first time it has been used: the line 'You're No Good For Me, I Don't Need Nobody' also being used by Dutch act Hithouse on 'Jack To The Sound Of The Underground' in 1988.
No. 5: CLIMBER. Maxx - Get-A-Way
Biggest climb of the week is for Maxx, taking most of Europe by storm with one of the most frantic hits of the moment.
No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Manchester United Football Squad - Come On You Reds
Confounding virtually everyone, myself included, Man Utd. hold off an extremely strong challenge from Wet Wet Wet and write themselves into the history books still further by scraping a second week on top. Quite who is buying the record outside of their usual supporters is beyond me. I'll stick my neck out once again though and say there is little chance of a third week, Wet Wet Wet set to claim the top - it's either that or the world falls of it's axis. [Looking back this was one of the most barmy periods ever. Not only did Manchester United have a Number One single, they held there for a fortnight and delayed Love Is All Around getting to the top].