No. 33: (--) Prizna featuring Demolition Man - Fire
Well look at this will you, just one solitary new hit in the bottom quarter of the chart with all the other positions from 31-40 being occupied by hits on their way down and out. It may well mean that next week will see every single one of them replaced by new entries. The charts may have calmed down a little from the hectic times of 1992 which saw records with an average chart life of just over 6 weeks but that is not to say that down at the bottom end there is still an astonishingly high turnover of records.
No. 32: (24) Lightning Seeds - Marvellous
A slide for the Lightning Seeds which is of particular surprise as over the past week the record company has been running radio adverts for the single. Now advertising a single outside printed media is by no means unusual but this is usually confined to TV ads for the new single from a band returning from a long time away. To buy advertising space on the very medium which would normally (and in this case has been) give the song lots of free promotion is very unusual indeed. And in this case hasn't helped a bit...
No. 30: (--) Shane McGowan and Sinead O'Connor - Haunted
My copy of Halliwell's Film Guide refers to the 1986 biopic of Sid Vicious 'Sid and Nancy' as "an example of the dregs to which cinema has been reduced", which is probably not unfair comment. One positive point to the film though was the soundtrack, featuring music from Shane McGowan's old band The Pogues. Haunted started life on that soundtrack and the original version was released as a single to reach No.42 in May of that year. Nine years later the song finally becomes a Top 40 hit in an eclectic duet between two Irish artists whose vocal disparity you would find it hard to match. Its the first hit for either of them since last Autumn, when McGowan charted briefly with Womans Got Me Drinking and O'Connor scored her biggest hit for some years with Thankyou For Hearing Me. There is no denying it is a very beautiful song but at times the record is almost comical to listen to, Sinead O'Connor singing like an angel and Shane McGowan singing just like he always does...
No. 27: (--) Joshua Kadison - Jessie
Legend has it that Robert The Bruce was inspired to 'try try again' whilst sitting watching a spider climbing a thread. I would rather suggest that he was inspired by the efforts of the record company to make this ballad into a hit' Jessie has been around for over a year and has been released on numerous occasions, all of which have been to no avail until now. Quite why everyone was so keen for this to be a hit I am unclear, its a pretty enough romantic ballad but nothing extremely exciting. Aggressive marketing, particularly to radio stations has helped this time though and the record finally makes its Top 40 debut to give Kadison his first ever UK hit.
No. 25: (--) Stone Roses - Fools Gold '95
Incredible. Simply incredible. Fools Gold is without a doubt the definitive Stone Roses track. It was first released at the end of 1989 in a year which had seen the band become the sensations of the year, released their by now classic debut album and set themselves up as a force to be reckoned with. The moody piece of shoe-gazing reached No.8 and prompted a flood of re-releases of their earlier singles a few months later. In September 1990 the track was back again, released due to 'public demand' and it duly staggered to No.22. Then Silvertone records lost a celebrated court case against the band and saw them defect to Geffen records. Keen to capitalise on the one asset they still held, the album was repackaged and re-promoted with a number of singles which included - yes! - Fools Gold in a "remix" which fooled nobody and reached No.73 in May 1992. Three years later on, and in the wake of their chart success with singles from their new Geffen album, their definitive recording is back once again in another alleged remix although you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. More, there is little that can be said apart from commenting that they must be the only alternative indie band to have ever been sampled by Run DMC.
No. 23: (--) Naughty By Nature - Feel Me Flow
Speaking of rap acts, Naughty By Nature, struggling as many US rap acts to do match the dazzling commercial success they have managed in their homeland. Feel Me Flow is their first hit single since they twice reached the Top 30 with Hip Hop Hooray, first of all in January when the track made No.22 and then again in November when they were back at No.20.
No. 22: (--) Shabba Ranks - Let's Get It On
Another act last heard of in 1993 was Shabba Ranks, back with his first single from a forthcoming new album. It remains to be seen whether he can sustain the momentum which saw him score 4 Top 30 hits during that year, the biggest of which was the No.3 hit Mr Loverman.
No. 21: (--) Scarlet - I Want To Be Free (To Be With Him)
Regardless of how their future releases perform, Scarlet are certain to have been immortalised by Independent Love Song which ultimately reached No.12 and became something of an airplay staple in the first part of the year. Their second hit single makes an impressive start, having been on promo for what seems like an age. The song is typical of most on the album, stunningly produced and sung but hardly immediate singles potential. Theere is actually a much better track on the album, I Really Like The Idea which I suspect will be next up for release.
No. 18: (--) Del Amitri - Driving With The Brakes On
The second hit of the year for Del Amitri, improving on the No.21 peak of Here And Now back in February. Its incredibly enough only their third Top 20 single, the other two being Nothing Ever Happens (No.11 in January 1990) and Always The Last To Know (No.13 in May 1992).
No. 15: (10) Deuce - I Need You
After a strong start last week Deuce take a tumble, falling behind the record that beat them in Song For Europe. One can only speculate as to whether the chart life of the record would have been longer had they won...
No. 12: (17) Love City Groove - Love City Groove
In the meantime Love City Groove ease themselves forward in anticipation of the actual contest itself at the start of May. It has now moved past the No.15 peak of Sonia's Better The Devil You Know in 1993 to become the most successful UK Eurovision entry since Love Games by Belle and the Devotions made No.11 in 1984.
No. 8: (--) Let Loose - Best In Me
Let Loose score one of the more surprising entries of the week with their fourth hit single. After the pop classic of their debut hit Crazy For You which made No.2 last summer, the band appeared to have gone downhill a bit, with the frankly lacklustre One Night Stand making a brief appearance at No.12 earlier in the year. Now the band switch into ballad mode. It's not that Best In Me is a bad record, just that it is a bit dull - but just to show that there is no such thing as a defined hit, the record makes an impressive start to give the band their highest new entry to date and their second Top 10 hit.
No. 6: (--) MN8 - If You Only Let Me In
One band who appear to have not needed any hype and become huge on their own merits are MN8 who crashed straight into the Top 10 earlier in the year with I've Got A Little Something For You to ultimately make No.2. Their second hit single is if anything even better than the first, more of a proper pop song and an instant radio smash. It crashes in one place higher than its predecessor and certainly deserves to at least match its peak.
No. 5: ( 4) Bryan Adams - Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
In a week when sales at the top end of the chart remain log-jammed, Bryan Adams slips a place although I suspect this is more of a temporary blip as the unholy trinity at the top have to loosen their stranglehold at some point and with the film from which the song is taken not due for release over here until next week.
No. 4: (--) Boyzone - Key To My Life
The biggest new hit of the week then goes to the Irish lads, auditioned and manufactured of course, but then again so were Take That to begin with. Their first hit in this country was their cover of Love Me For A Reason which not only saw off a rival recording from As We Speak but also did well to ride high in the Christmas rush to reach No.2 in the New Year. Their second hit could have suffered from not being such a well known song but the pretty teen ballad is having none of it, their second instant Top 10 hit in succession and for now there is clearly no stopping them.
No. 1: ( 1) FOURTH WEEK. Take That - Back For Good
For an incredible fourth week the entire Top 3 remain static, immune it seems, to all the changes going on beneath them. Bobby Brown has now what is far and away his biggest selling single ever, the Outhere Brothers sustain sales that under any other circumstances would have seen them dominant at No.1 whilst Take That march inexorably towards their first million seller - only 300,000 to go but their prospects could be dented with the release of the new album Nobody Else next Monday (1st).