1 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (Take That)
Three weeks at Number One for Take That but the gap between them and Robert Miles is shrinking by the day. By taking this cover of the Bee Gees song to the top they have reinforced the reputation of the Gibb brothers as one of the most successful songwriting teams of the past couple of decades. The Bee Gees themselves scored five Number One hits between 1967 and 1987 and have also in the past penned chart-topping hits for Barbra Streisand (Woman In Love in 1980) and Diana Ross (Chain Reaction in 1986). This is the first time anyone has actually covered one of their own hits and taken it to the top, although N-Trance came close with their own take on Staying Alive which made Number 2 in September last year.
3 STUPID GIRL (Garbage)
The highest new entry of the week comes from a rather interesting source. Much of the smart money this week was on Madonna or much-hyped stars Menswear. Instead it falls to Garbage to sneak up the outside and push all the compeition out of the way. In retrospect this is probably no surprise with the most commercial release from the band fronted by Scot Shirley Manson and featuring one Butch Vig on drums - the producer and engineer of Nirvana's Nevermind. Their two hits last year Only Happy When It Rains and Queer were just a taster of what was to come and this new single wastes no time in establishing them as a pop force to be reckoned with. Proof of the way their appeal is growing is that this is the third single released from their debut album which has been on release since last Autumn.
5 GIVE ME A LITTLE MORE TIME (Gabrielle)
Just to prove that when it comes down to it there is no stopping a great song, Gabrielle's tender ballad makes a leap this week following a month ricocheting around the Top 20. For a record to climb into the Top 10 after 5 weeks on the chart is pretty unusual in this day and age and it is normally indicative of a track with a great deal of staying power - we watch with interest.
8 GOING FOR GOLD (Shed Seven)
Shed Seven are on a roll and there is frankly no stopping them. Going For Gold opens with a guitar riff that is lifted straight from Suspicious Minds and yet is all the better for it as the band score their biggest ever hit with their most commercial hit to date. If you thought their Top 20 hit from earlier this year Getting Better was good then prepare to be impressed by this hit.
10 BEING BRAVE (Menswear)
Having got through a series of new entries by great British bands without using the term 'Britpop' I see no reason to start now. Menswear have long been seen as the latest great white hopes of British music and spent 1995 establishing a reputation for some cracking music in the shape of Top 20 hits such as Stardust and Daydreamer. They enter 1996 at a pace and score their first ever Top 10 hit with the most astonishing single they have ever recorded. Being Brave features not so much squealing guitars as lush male harmonies as the band hark back to their earliest influences and produce a single that sounds more like the Byrds than, oh sod it, Britpop. An extremely worthy Top 10 hit to put the seal on one of those charts that in later years will be looked back upon with dewy-eyed nostalgia. Look at it this way - new entries for all-time classics from Garbage, Shed Seven and Menswear to accompany acknowledged standards from the likes of Oasis and Gabrielle. It could happen. [Let's be charitable and say the jury is still out on this one].
11 ONE MORE CHANCE (Madonna)
Whilst the promotional juggernaut for the filming of the long-awaited 'Evita' movie rumbles on, Madonna still manages to have a chart career with the latest single to be released from her current collection of ballads. This track is one of the three new tracks recorded for the project and is possibly the most conventional Madonna track you are ever likely to get, a moving acoustic ballad that shows off her voice brilliantly. It will still cause a few frayed nerves at Maverick records by debuting just outside the Top 10. Given that Oh Father only managed to reach Number 16 if this hit fails to progress next week it will be the first time ever in her career she has had two consecutive hits miss the Top 10.
21 SOMETHING DIFFERENT/THE TRAIN IS COMING (Shaggy)
Shaggy notches up his second hit of the year, his career now on a roll following the globe-busting success of Boombastic. It is a far cry from the time in 1993 when he was desperately trying to follow up his debut Number One hit Oh Carolina but with little success. This new double-headed single follows on from Why You Treat Me So Bad which made Number 11 in January and is his fourth Top 40 hit.
22 TALULA (Tori Amos)
A second hit single of 1996 for Tori Amos, this new hit being backed up by a series of dance remixes that make her voice sound almost bearable. It falls just short of the Number 20 peak of Caught A Lite Sneeze back in January. [Tori Amos dance mixes? Whoever heard of anything so ridiculous. Unless you click ahead a year].
23 WHATEVER YOU WANT (Tina Turner)
Here's a surprising fact: Tina Turner has not released a studio album since 1989's Foreign Affair. The relatively quiet period since then has seen her make chart appearances on the back of a Greatest Hits collection in 1993 and more recently with her theme from the latest James Bond film Goldeneye which reached Number 10 last November. Just like her last hit, this new single features an all-star cast in backup with the single being written by Arthur Baker and produced by Trevor Horn. The effect is really Goldeneye part two as the new single is a dark, pondering track which allows the legendary lady to build up and finally let rip at the end with her uniquely powerful voice. Many might have expected a higher chart position than this for a brand new single from a brand new album but then again Tina Turner hits are one of the few that can be counted on to build an audience. Given her track record of 12 Top 20 hits since her 1983 comeback there is a strong possibility that she will climb slightly next week.
31 EVERY LITTLE THING I DO (Soul For Real)
Many acts suddenly make fresh appearances on the chart this week after long absences. One such set of hitmakers are Soul For Real with this, their first hit single since Candy Rain reached Number 23 in July last year.
32 HOW LUCKY YOU ARE (Skin)
Hardcore rockers Skin make their first Top 40 appearance for nearly a year with this typically uncompromising track. Their last hit was Take Me Down To The River which made Number 26 in May last year. Their biggest hit came in April 1994 in the shape of Money which reached Number 18.
33 KEEP THE MUSIC STRONG (Bizarre Inc)
Andrew Meecham, Dean Meredith and Carl Turner make up Bizarre Inc. The ravers first appeared in 1991 with the club anthems Such A Feeling and Playing With Knives. A year later they turned into pop stars with the recruitment of vocalist Angie Brown and this incarnation spawned two hits in the shape of I'm Gonna Get You and Took My Love. After a three year break the group are back with another Angie Brown voiced track and a vigorous promotional tour to promote this latest single. The tactic has worked - sort of. They notch up their first chart hit for three years with this piece of dance but it looks very much as if it will fall short of the Top 20 peak of their other hit singles.
34 DON'T LEAVE (Faithless)
The third Top 40 hit for dance outfit Faithless. Their previous two both came at the tail end of last year in the shape of Salva Mea which reached Number 30 and Insomnia which made Number 27 just before Christmas. [Their last minor hit before stardom beckoned. Rollo, Sister Bliss and Maxi Jazz are about to become huge].
36 SECRETS (Sunscreem)
The second hit of the year for the returning Sunscreem, following directly from the Number 25 peak of White Skies back in January. This is their sixth Top 40 hit in all.
39 DEMOCRACY (Killing Joke)
The Killing Joke resurgence continues. The scariest band of the 1980's reappeared in 1994 with two Top 40 hits in the shape of Millennium and The Pandemonium Single. Two years on and they crash into the charts once again with a new hit that stays true to their original post-punk roots... and Jaz Coleman still looks like the last person you would like to meet down a dark alley.