This week's Official UK Singles Chart
1 HOW DEEP IS YOUR LOVE (Take That)
[Oh how odd, the archived version of this piece is entirely missing the writeup of the Number One single of the week. But you know the details really, a cover of the old Bee Gees song to accompany a Greatest Hits collection but most significantly of all a release which followed the shock announcement they were calling it a day and splitting up. But more on that in subsequent weeks].
2 DON'T LOOK BACK IN ANGER (Oasis)
If Oasis can be accused of anything it is being unlucky with release dates. Their first Number One hit Some Might Say was turfed out after just one week by the unstoppable force of Livin' Joy's Dreamer; Roll With It lost out in the battle with Blur's Country House last August and now their second chart topper is disposed after one week yet again thanks to the swansong perormance of Take That. They can at least take consolation from the fact that they have taken what will inevitably be an enduring classic to the top of the charts and in any case Take That owed them one - Some Might Say knocked Back For Good off the top slot in May last year.
3 CHILDREN (Robert Miles)
The flood of new releases means that many current hits get shouldered out of the way by new entries despite increases in sales. Not one single record climbs the chart this week. If any record deserved to climb it is Robert Miles' hit, now attracting newspaper articles for the way it has come from nowhere to sell almost half a million copies inside 3 weeks to make it one of the most popular instrumental hits for years. Remember but for two Manchester bands it would be Number One.
4 COMING HOME NOW (Boyzone)
A record equalling five new entries inside the Top 10 distinguish this week's chart and Take That aside, the highest of these is Boyzone. The demise of Britain's premier pop band leaves Boyzone in an interesting position. The Irish lads were fast becoming the only ones to rival Take That in terms of popularity and adulation and the way is now clear for them to become the Number One pop band in the country. With records like this they are hardly likely to go wrong as they follow up Christmas' Father And Son with another Top 10 smash. Coming Home Now is far from your average teeny pop band single being instead a swirling atmospheric track which builds up to create a quite magical effect. I have rubbish Boyzone records in the past for being a little bit on the uninspiring side but there is no denying the originality of this release. It gives them a fifth consecutive Top 5 single with just 1 place to go to make it 5 out of 5 singles inside the Top 3.
5 GOING OUT (Supergrass)
1995 was a good year for Supergrass with a couple of in and out hits and one massive summertime smash in the shape of Alright which even gave them American exposure when it found its way into the 'Clueless' soundtrack. They rounded it off last week with the Brit award for 'Best British Newcomers'. Sensibly they resisted the temptation to quickly followup Alright and so this is their first hit single since. Less immediately commercial that its predecessor, Going Out owes more to late 1960s psychedelia than 1990s Britpop but that has not harmed its commercial appeal as it creashes into the Top 5 to become Supergrass' third Top 10 hit.
6 PASSION (Gat Decor)
Reissue fever strikes again. Passion was first released in May 1992 at the height of the original rave music crossover scene. It peaked at Number 29. Four years later and for apparantly no other reason that it sounded like a good idea, the track appears again in a new set of mixes and this time comes alive commercially, crashing straight in to the Top 10. [For reasons too complex to explain here, at this point in time I was essentially doing two jobs at once, the first involving some hectic 4am starts. Hence I wasn't paying as much attention to hit singles as a nationally renowned chart commentator should have been. This is actually the famous Do You Want It Right Now mash-up - essentially the first of its kind - meshing the Gat Decor hit with the Degrees Of Motion vocal track. To rather brilliant effect].
8 GOOD THING (Eternal)
For their third single in recent months Eternal switch back to uptempo dance divas. Their popularity is such that they can have hit singles with whatever style of music they choose to do, this Number 8 hit comparing favourably with the spiritual ballad I Am Blessed which made Number 7 just after Christmas. This is their seventh Top 10 hit since their first appeared with Stay in 1993 but what is most interesting is that the 'No we are not rivals' relationship with ex-member Louise continues next week with the release of her new single - the second time releases by the two acts have coincided.
12 THESE DAYS (Bon Jovi)
The hit singles continue for Bon Jovi. 1995 turned out to be one of their most successful chart years ever with no less than 4 Top 10 hits to add to the two they scored at the tail end of 1994. With Jon Bon Jovi now actively pursuing an acting career it is best to appreciate the band whilst they are here and so the title track from their current album charges onto the chart to give them another easy Top 20 hit.
16 OUT OF THE SINKING (Paul Weller)
Paul Weller is currently celebrating his Brit award for Best British Male artist so the time was clearly right for a single release to help give the Stanley Road album another push. Rather than mine the album for any more potential singles, Go! Discs have elected to give this track another push. It was first released well in advance of the album in November 1994 when it reached a perfectly respectable Number 20. Since then Weller's commercial stock has accelerated dramatically with two straight Top 10 hits so the time has clearly come for a re-evaluation of this track. As a result it makes a return to the chart, beating by just four places its original peak. [Subsequently immortalised by becoming Sky Sports' theme to Super Sunday for most of the rest of the decade].
17 BE AS ONE (Sasha and Maria)
Of all the dance hits out this week, this one has attracted the most controversy before its release. Maria Naylor's vocals on this Sasha track meant that it was clear from the start that it was going to be a major hit and DeConstruction records snapped up the licence for its release as quickly as they could. They reckoned without a strongly organised team of bootleggers who began touting around record shops offering illicit copies of the track a few weeks ago. The record company contacted the BPIs anti-piracy unit and set up a special hotline to try to counteract this threat to the record's chart potential and even took out full page ads in the trade press to warn people away from the illegal white labels. Finally the track is released officially and explodes onto the chart to give legendary producer Sasha his biggest hit single ever, eclipsing the Number 19 peak of Higher Ground from February 1994.
18 TOO MUCH LOVE WILL KILL YOU (Queen)
Queen continue to prove that the death of your lead singer need not preclude you having hit singles with his voice, this being the third release from the Made In Heaven album. Too Much Love Will Kill You will be a familiar track to many Queen fans. The beautiful Brian May song was first performed by the author himself in a tear-jerking performance at April 1992's Freddie Mercury tribute concert. He released it as a solo single later that year when it reached Number 5. The song had also been recorded by Freddie before he died and so it is now his vocal that replaces May's on the track in a new power ballad production that is in marked contrast to the gentle acoustic sound of the 'original' release.
20 READY OR NOT (Lightning Seeds)
Time for a new album from the Lightning Seeds following the steady success of last year's Jollification which produced a string of hit singles and reinforced the popularity of Ian Broudie's music. This new single follows the same theme of virtually every track he has ever made, a bright breezy guitar-led pop track based on the principle that life and love are both wonderful things and deserve to be sung about as joyously as possible. What always puzzles me about the Lightning Seeds is that they have still yet to have a genuine smash hit single. All their tracks are popular on the radio, this being no exception, and all sell steadily enough (all four of their hits last year climbed for a week after first charting, bucking all current trends) but he has still yet to notch up a Top 10 hit. This is his fifth Top 20 hit but so far Ian Broudie's biggest hit ever has been Change which reached Number 13 in January 1995.
22 LADYKILLERS (Lush)
The second hit in recent months for Lush, following on from Single Girl which reached Number 21 back in January. [1996 James with better things to do than do a proper write up of Lush's most famous and memorable hit, sorry about that].
24 TWO PAINTINGS AND A DRUM (Carl Cox)
It is turning into something of a week for dancefloor legends to hit the charts. Carl Cox makes his first chart appearance for many months with this new track. The producer/remixer has been responsible for many hit singles over the past few years but the last time he reached the Top 40 under his own name was in August 1992 with Does It Feel Good To You. This new hit falls just short of becoming his biggest hit ever, one place below the peak of 1991s I Want You (Forever).
28 REACH (Lil Mo' Yin Yang)
Dance music rears its head again in the shape of this track from the bizarrely named Lil Mo' Yin Yang. The name actually hides a number of dance celebrities who have collaborated on this record, the track being a result of a meeting of minds between legendary producer Lil Louie Vega and Real 2 Reel. Of the two, Real 2 Reel are the best known after a string of hits in 1994 including the immortal I Like To Move It. Vega is less well known outside dance circles, the closest he has ever come to a commercial hit in his own name was 1991s Ride On The Rhythm which staggered to Number 70. None of this can detract from the fact that the single is actually nothing to write home about. Sometimes I am tempted to release a dance record and call it 'A Horrid Collection Of Bleeping Noises' just to see if it becomes a hit.
32 TIMELESS (Daniel O'Donnell and Mary Duff)
With a chart pedigree that far outstrips that of Mike Flowers, Daniel O'Donnell is easily the King of middle of the road easy listening. Many remember him for the controversy he attracted in early 1992 when CIN withdrew his records from the Country and Western chart only reinstate them a few weeks later after enormous protests from his fans. Since then he has somehow managed to chart a string of hit singles inside the Top 40 - a feat all the more surprising when you consider that hardly anyone under 30 is likely to find them at all appealing. This latest hit is his fifth Top 40 success since 1992. His last came in June last year when he reached Number 28 with Secret Love. Like that last hit, this new track is a duet with Mary Duff and is a sweet and as trite as anything you will hear this side of Hospital Radio. Nonetheless a hit it is, but it will fall some way short of being his biggest hit, that honour falling to his version of I Just Want To Dance With You which reached Number 20 in September 1992.
36 HENRY LEE (Nick Cave and P J Harvey)
After years on the fringe of popular music tastes Nick Cave is suddenly starting to have hit singles thanks to his current album Murder Ballads which features a string of astonishing duets with various female stars. One of these has been a hit already - Where Wild Roses Grow on which he was accompanies by Kylie Minogue. I always felt a strange affinity for that track, partly because I ended up being the first person to play it on the radio anywhere in this country [true story]. It was also a beautiful song and made a well deserved Number 11 in October last year. Now comes his second straight Top 40 hit, this time featuring the dulcet tones of PJ Harvey who is thus registering her first Top 40 hit since Send His Love To Me made Number 34, also back in October.
38 THE SOUND (X-Press 2)
In a week when a flood of dance tunes have invaded the chart once more it seems fairly appropriate that things should round off with yet another. It has been a long while since this pair had a chart hit, X-Press 2 first making a name for themselves in 1993 when they had a number of minor hits, the biggest being Say What! which reached Number 32 in October 1993. Thus this new track marks only their second ever Top 40 entry.