No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Billie Ray Martin - Your Loving Arms
A first a long-awaited solo hit for the German expatriate who has somehow managed to find her way onto many of the more celebrated dance records of the late-1980s. She first came to attention on S'Xpress' Hey Music Lover which was Top 10 in February 1989 and the success of that track led her to become a member of Electribe 101 who promised more than they delivered - Talking With Myself only staggered to No.23 on its second release in February 1990, although it remains a classic. Her first solo hit is more of what she has become known for, a haunting, slinky piece of dance music that is so good as to be utterly uncommercial.
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Urge Overkill - Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon
Soundtrack fever abides with this debut hit from Urge Overkill residing in the first instance on the soundtrack to 'Pulp Fiction'.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. KWS and Teddy Pendergrass - The More I Get...
Well hello Grandad! No, to be serious for a second. KWS hit big in 1992 when their dance version of KC and the Sunshine Band's Please Don't Go shot to No.1 in 1992 and became one of the biggest sellers of the year. A string of follow-up hits followed and by the end of the year their stature had grown to such an extent that the Trammps actually guested on their remade version of Hold Back The Night. Almost two years later now they return, first of all with ex Rose-Royce singer Gwen Dickey on a new version of Ain't Nobody which made No.21 in July and now in the company of Teddy Pendergrass, the former drummer with Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes and subsequently a star in the US Black charts with his own solo material. This is his first ever trip into the Top 40, his biggest ever solo hit being Only You which made No.41 in November 1978.
No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Carter USM - Let's Get Tattoos
Back in my student days a few years ago, admitting to not liking Carter was tantamount to expressing a desire to beat up old ladies. The hysteria has calmed down a little since then but that has still not stopped Jimbob and Fruitbat from scoring the odd hit. They were last heard of earlier this year when Glam Rock Cops made No.24 in March to promote their collection of B-sides and rarities. Now they return with a second hit, yet another raucous but always incisive piece of danced-up indie rock but with little chance of any further commercial progress.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Kate Bush - And So Is Love
With the release of the short film of promotional clips that accompanied last years The Red Shoes album, Kate Bush delves into the collection again and releases the fourth single and her fifth hit of the year. Surprisingly enough it is one of the better ones she has made in recent years and its progress into the Top 30 is no doubt helped by the inclusion of a remix of Rubberband Girl on the single.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Blur - End Of A Century
It's been quite a year for them, releasing what many people will regard as the album of the year, scoring four Top 20 hits in a row from it and narrowly missing out on the Mercury Music Prize. To most the track probably needs little introduction, the kind of music the press has been falling over itself to praise ever since the album was released. My nasty suspicious mind is tempted to recognise the naggingly familiar melody line from Erasure's Weight Of The World but that hardly matters I suppose. [It is entirely possible I'm the only person ever to make that connection].
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Suede - The Wild Ones
Despite the hype that they in turn have received over the past two years or so, a large number of people have failed to get their heads properly round Suede, or maybe that is just the kind of company I keep. The third single from the Dog Man Sta' album could well be the one to change that though. Easily one of the greatest records the band will release in their entire career, The Wild Ones is a haunting ballad, sparsely produced and exploiting the quirks in Brett Anderson's voice to the full. It probably deserves to be their biggest hit ever but I suspect, looking at it more realistically, that this will be its peak, matching that reached by We Are The Pigs back in September.
No. 17: NEW ENTRY. Jamiroquai - Half The Man
The flood of new hits continues with the second hit of the year for Jamiroquai, operating here it seems on autopilot with another piece of jazz/funk that is so distinctively him that he is in danger of sounding formulaic. Nonetheless this is his fourth Top 20 hit in the past 15 months.
No. 12: NEW ENTRY. Louis Armstrong - We Have All The Time In The World
It's hard to know how to approach this one properly, particularly with a lump in my throat the size of a golfball. Louis Armstrong first recorded and released this track in 1969 to see no chart action whatsoever. The song became famous though, thanks to its use in the dramatic climax to the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. In 1994 though the track has come to prominence again, being used in an innovative TV advert for Guinness, first aired all of six months ago. That it should have taken so long for 'public demand' to get the track released as a single is perhaps a little surprising, but here it is at last with the power of television working again. The beautiful ballad gives one of the all-time Jazz greats his biggest hit since What A Wonderful World made No.1 in 1968 and is incredibly only his fifth Top 20 hit ever. It is almost inconceivable that this will not be Top 5 this week and it would take a brave man to bet against it being a potential No.1. As a footnote to all of this, the Guinness advert has now stopped airing to be replaced by a different commercial campaign, the music to which has been holding the Irish charts to ransom for the best part of two months. [That's Guaglione which would escape to the British charts in the spring].
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. New Order - True Faith 1994
New Order could well lay claim to being one of the great British bands. Having emerged from the ashes of Joy Division in 1981 they went from strength to strength throughout the 1980s, developing their electronic style as they went. Strangely enough, massive commercial success, 'Blue Monday' aside, eluded them until the release of this single in August 1987. Easily one of the most commercial singles they had done up to that point, the track reached No.4 as one of two new tracks recorded for their Greatest Hits collection Technique. Now in 1994 with another (albeit less comprehensive) hits collection the track receives another airing and smashes straight back into the Top 10 to become their biggest hit since 'Regret' made No.4 in April 1993. That much is clear. What is less clear is why one of the most perfect pop records ever made has had to be blighted by a remixed music track and totally re-recorded vocals which in many ways ruins the entire spirit of the original song. Nonetheless, to complain about such a point is little more than churlish.
No. 8: NEW ENTRY. M People - Sight For Sore Eyes
Fresh from winning the Mercury Music Prize for last years Elegant Slumming and wasting no time with the followup come M People. Their first new hit single for over a year is in many ways something of a disappointment, albeit one that grows on you gradually. The standing of the band is such though that a Top 10 hit was assured.
No. 4: FALLER. Bon Jovi - Always
Bon Jovi tumble once more but the sales of this track are achieving remarkable durability, the record having now moved 5-3-2-3-4-3-2-2-4.
No. 3: NEW ENTRY. Baby D - Let Me Be Your Fantasy
Ah. A little tricky this one. A dance hit smashes in to be Top 3 first week out and yet I still have yet to hear it. Maybe I should get out more. [Yeah, that was an awkward one. Normally if I know nothing about a new entry I'd just skip over it and pass no comment, but it is hard to do that with a future Number One that's just landed smack in the Top 3].
No. 2: CLIMBER. (MC Sar &) The Real McCoy - Another Night
In a week of few movers, a five place climb gives the Real McCoy the fastest move of the week to become Top 5 on both sides of the Atlantic as well as having been a smash all over Europe.
No. 1: FOURTH WEEK. Pato Banton - Baby Come Back
With the single now having sold well over half a million it goes from strength to strength. Another interesting development this week that will have been invisible to most people came in the form of a sternly worded letter that arrived at every radio station in the country. It came from a firm of solicitors, keen to prevent radio DJs from mistakenly saying the original was by 'Eddy Grant and the Equals' or even that Grant had sung on the original. Despite writing the song he was actually just the guitarist at the time and the surviving Equals, who still tour and perform to this day were keen nobody should think otherwise lest it prejudice their concert reputation. I swear you could not make it up.