1 BOOM BOOM BOOM (The Outhere Brothers)
Four weeks at the top now for the Outhere Brothers and still with a commanding lead over the opposition. Attention this week has centred on the circumstances surrounding the duo's debut album and the lyrics it contains. Despite being on release for a couple of weeks now and despite containing the two Number 1 hits sales have been poor and this has been attributed to the somewhat 'adult' nature of the lyrics which have caused several retailers cause for concern and which have led to Woolworths refusing to stock both single and album. The response of the record company has perhaps surprisingly been to withdrawn the album and to arrange for several vocal tracks to be re-recorded in order to placate the retailers and stimulate sales. The whole thing strikes me as rather curious. In the past I've compared the antics of the Outhere Brothers to those of the 2 Live Crew in America back in 1990. Back then the controversey over the lyrical content of the music became a rights issue and prompted protests and chat show appearances on both sides. In 1995 Freedom of Speech has been turned into Freedom to Sell As Many Records As Possible Without Upsetting People. All of this is of course an aside from the chart prospects of the single, and for once I can say with almost 99% certainty that this will be their last week at the top, as a glance over next week's release schedules will confirm.
4 HOLD ME, THRILL ME, KISS ME, KILL ME (U2)
In one of the most astonishing chart turnarounds of recent years, U2 prove that their momentum-reversing climb last week was no fluke as the theme from "Batman Returns" goes back up the charts yet again. This means the single has now moved 2-2-3-6-10-6-4, giving it the most oblique chart history of any record since Reel 2 Real's I Like To Move It moved 9-10-12-12-10-9 on its way to an ultimate No.5 peak in February/March 1994.
8 TRY ME OUT (Corona)
A strong climb for Corona to give them a third Top 10 hit in a row.
10 I'LL BE THERE FOR YOU/YOU'RE ALL I NEED TO GET BY (Method Man featuring Mary J Blige)
The highest new entry of the week comes from a rather unusual source. In from nowhere comes this eclectic cover version of the Marvin Gate/Tammi Terrell classic which first made No.19 in 1968. Mary J Blige sings the melody whilst Method Man raps over the top and the effect is surprisingly not all that unpleasant. It gives Ms Blige her second hit of the year and the biggest hit of her career following the No.12 peak of I'm Going Down back in April. The single also marks a welcome return to the Top 10 after a long absence for legendary Rap label Def Jam.
12 STUCK ON U (PJ and Duncan)
The success of PJ and Duncan is a strange tale to relate. The two teenage actors started out as stars of the BBC TV Series 'Byker Grove' and released their first single Tonight I'm Free to coincide with the plot of the show. Since then they have gone from strength to strength with an ever-lengthening string of pop-rap singles, several of which have even managed a certain dancefloor credibility. Thus it is that Stuck On You becomes their fifth Top 20 hit in a row since last summer and matches the peak of of December's Eternal Love at a stroke. The way the pair are marketed is curious too. The real life Ant and Dec have now left 'Byker Grove' and have carved out a new career path as TV presenters in their own right, yet continue to release singles in the name of the characters from the series.
13 TONGUE (R.E.M.)
Not so much one of the biggest bands in the world at the moment as the biggest bunch of invalids on the road at the moment. The bizarrely-fated Monster tour lurches in the UK this week and is preceded by the release of the understated falsetto ballad Tongue which becomes the fifth single from the album to chart. Even in this day of single-frenzy albums to make the Top 20 from the fifth single is impressive going, especially as the third - Crush With Eyeliner could only reach No.23 back in February. In all it is the band's 11th UK Top 20 hit.
17 VIOLET (Hole)
Yoko Ono would probably have something to say about it, but Courtney Love continues in her role as rock's most famous widow [a Professional Widow some might say] and scores a second Top 20 hit with Hole, following on from Doll Parts which reached No.16 back in April.
18 PERFECT (Lightning Seeds)
"Climb" seems the wrong word to use for such an effortlessly summery record, so I'll settle for saying that Ian Broudie et al drift upwards 8 places to give them the biggest climb of the week and the third Top 20 hit of their career following Sense in 1989 and Change early this year.
23 BULLET (Fluke)
Celebrated remixers Fluke pop their heads up above ground once more with a release under their own name. It is actually only their second Top 40 hit as such, following on from Bubble which reached No.37 in April 1994, but this is not to overlook the tracks they have remixed for many other artists, most notably Bjork and Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
24 RUN, BABY, RUN (Sheryl Crow)
Just as there is no such thing as a guaranteed hit, there is clearly no such thing as an unchartable flop as recent hits by Jinny and Joshua Kadison have proved. Such is the case with Run Baby Run which started life as one of Sheryl Crow's first singles in this country when first released in September 1993. The anthemic track finally becomes a British hit on its third release and to the surprise of many leaps straight into the Top 30, eclipsing the No.33 peaks of her last two singles to become her biggest hit single All I Wanna Do launched her in this country in such spectacular style.
25 IT'S LULU (Boo Radleys)
The Boo Radleys make it 3 out of 3 for the year with the release of this new single. Wake Up Boo! was such a triumph, such an instant classic that it has become something of a hinderance to them. Every other track on the album is just as brilliantly conceived yet each one ends up sounding little more than a pale imitation of the first single. It is just that fate which is likely to befall It's Lulu, another anthemic brassy pop song which is likely to be simply dismissed as Wake Up Boo! part 97...
28 JUST IN LUST (Wildhearts)
Turbulent times for Newcastle's finest with the Wildhearts getting through guitarists faster than Spinal Tap do drummers. Not that this stops their hit-making, Just In Lust becoming their third Top 40 hit of the year and follows in the wake of I Wanna Go Where The People Go which became their biggest hit ever when it reached No.16 in May.
32 DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL (JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS) (Monica)
The current US Top 3 hit puts in an appearance over here, but like many recent American chart smashes may find the going tough in the current Top 40 climate. Not that this is a bad record though, a very radio-friendly summer groove that deserves more than No.32, but it will do well to progress further.
33 EVIDENCE (Faith No More)
On the back of their Phoenix Festival performance recently, Faith No More chart their third Top 40 hit of the year and prove once again what makes them a cut above many other rock bands, switching with ease from one style to another. Evidence finds them in a jazzy, bluesy mood which makes for one of their more interesting hit singles, if not one of the biggest.
35 ONLY ME (Hyperlogic)
More dance crossover, this time from Hyperlogic's frantic floor-filler which quite openly pays homage to its influences and samples extensively from U2's New Year's Day, Alyson Williams' Sleep Talk and even Quantum Jump's 1979 classic Lone Ranger. Part of the challenge with dance hits these days is not predicting which ones will become major hits on this chart run but rather which ones will do so six months down the line when they are reissued.