1 FASTLOVE (George Michael)
Hanging in there, but only just. Last week he barely held off the challenge of Mark Morrison and this week a resurgent Gina G makes George Michael's hold on the top slot ever more precarious. Nonetheless Fastlove spends a third week at the summit - incidentally the same number of weeks that Careless Whisper, A Different Corner and The Five Live EP all spent at the top. None of his solo chart-toppers have ever notched up a month at Number One - neither for that matter did any of the four Wham! singles to reach the top. The chances of this single thus becoming his most successful ever are pretty slim not least of course due to the release of the Older album this week which will inevitably take the edge off sales of the single.
2 OOH AAH... JUST A LITTLE BIT (Gina G)
Seven weeks on the chart and its sales appear unabating. Gina G's single last reached this position a month ago and then dropped down a place whilst George Michael and Mark Morrison tussled above her. Now, with a renewed sales surge, she climbs back to the runners-up slot. What happens over the next two weeks will be extremely interesting. The Eurovision Song Contest itself is held this coming Saturday - too late for this to affect sales over the coming week. The following week should see the knock-on effect of performing the song before a continent-wide audience. Virtually all Eurovision singles receive a sales boost after the telecast and Ooh Aah.. Just A Little Bit is bound to be no exception. With the single riding as high as this in the charts it is by no means unthinkeable that she could have the first Eurovision Number One for 14 years on her hands... the last being Nicole's 1982 German winner A Little Peace.
4 PASS AND MOVE (IT'S THE LIVERPOOL GROOVE) (Liverpool FC & The Boot Room Boyz)
Irony of ironies. Just days after a late Eric Cantona goal sunk Liverpool in the Cup Final itself, their tribute single makes its chart debut and in the process beats not only the single of their fellow finallists but also a tribute to their goalscoring nemesis. In the manner of many footballing records of late this goes for the dancefloor credibility angle - and misses. An attempt at a serious rap record, it actually carries it with less aplomb than their last chart hit the tongue in cheek Anfield Rap which made Number 3 in May 1988 and was at the time the biggest ever cup final chart hit. This the fifth Liverpool FC record to chart, the first coming way back in 1977 when the We Can Do It EP made Number 15.
6 MOVE MOVE MOVE (THE RED TRIBE) (1996 Man Utd FA Cup Squad)
Less of a footballing record and more a hardcore rave track, Man Utd's chart effort stays solid at what looks like being its chart peak of Number 6 although after having won the trophy last weekend the sales of their record are unlikely to be the thing uppermost on the team's minds.
7 THERE'S NOTHING I WON'T DO (JX)
The first hit of 1996 for JX, alter ego of producer Jake Williams. He scored two hits last year, You Belong To Me and a remix of hit 1994 debut Son Of A Gun which reached Number 6 and so for the moment is his biggest hit.
8 TONIGHT, TONIGHT (Smashing Pumpkins)
On the up and up are the Smashing Pumpkins, consolidating the Top 20 success of their last hit 1979 to land straight in the Top 10 this time out, sailing past the Number 11 peak of 1994's Disarm to give them their biggest UK hit ever.
10 NOBODY KNOWS (Tony Rich Project)
My view of this hit is that the more you hear it the more you grow to love it - a good thing given the way it is gradually penetrating the playlists of radio stations up and down the country. After a slow start the track suddenly accelerates up the chart having moved 23-19-10. This is the sort of momentum that marks out a sleeper hit and as the song grows ever more in popularity a challenge for the very top of the chart may not be out of the question.
11 OOH! AAH! CANTONA (1300 Drums featuring Unjustified Ancients Of M.U.)
You guessed it, another football record and again connected with one of the two teams in last weekend's FA Cup Final. This particular hit concentrates on what many regard as Manchester United's most inspirational player - one Eric Cantona. Astonishingly enough this is not the first time he has inspired a chart hit. Back in the summer of 1992 he was a part of Leeds United's championship winning side and inspired Oo La La's Ooh Aah Cantona which reached Number 64, possibly on the strength of sales in the Leeds area alone and suggesting that the concept behind this particular chart hit is not as original as it might seem. For individual footballers to be associated with chart hits is by no means unusual although a veil is best left drawn over the efforts of Paul Gascoigne, Glenn and Chris and Kevin Keegan. Many tribute records have been made by others about individual players but the last completely independent song about a footballing star to actually chart was George Farndon's 1970 tribute to George Best Belfast Boy which reached Number 32. Much interest surrounded the release of this track owing to the crediting of the "Unjustified Ancients Of M.U."... its similarity to one of the many guises of Jimmy Cauty and Bill Drummond aka The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu aka the KLF led to speculation that the notorious million pound pyromaniacs may have had a hand in the track. In actual fact they didn't but every little hype helps... Watch out next week for nothing less than a fourth football hit to chart [no, a bit premature it is the week after next that the most famous football record of the modern era makes its chart bow].
12 ONE FOR THE MONEY (Horace Brown)
Full marks to the promotion company charged by Motown to break their latest discovery in this country. Horace Brown makes his Top 40 debut at an impressive Number 12.
14 PRETTY NOOSE (Soundgarden)
The first hit after a long break for Soundgarden and inevitably a high chart position. This is their first Top 40 single since Fell On Black Days reached Number 24 in January 1995 and comes pretty close to the Number 12 peak of Black Hole Sun, their biggest hit single from August 1994.
22 BULLY BOY (Shed Seven)
Shed Seven's chart placings slip back a notch with the release of this new single. So far this year their fortunes have been on the up with the Top 20 success of Getting Better and the Top 10 smash Going For Gold which cut across their usual fan base to become a genuine radio crossover hit. Bully Boy is slightly less commercial and is released in the shadow of their new album, hence this lower chart position. My one claim to fame with Shed Seven is almost beating the lead singer in a drinking contest in the bar of the Hilton Hotel in Leeds when they were on tour a few months ago... for some reason I could never hear the records in quite the same light after this.
24 PEARL'S GIRL (Underworld)
A Top 40 hit after several misses for Underworld, the dance duo who first charted at the end of 1993 with the Number 63 hit Spikee. The closest they have come to a hit single before now has been June 1994s Dark And Long which could still only reach Number 57.
26 YOU LIFT ME UP (Rebekah Ryan)
A seemingly never-ending tour of clubs, radio stations and TV shows has reaped dividends for Rebekah Ryan who scores her first Top 40 hit with this bouncy pop-dance hit. It may struggle to progress beyond the Top 30 but I suspect this is the first of several hits for her.
33 PERFECT DAY (Skin)
I suspect they are superstitious about release dates. Perfect Day becomes Skin's first Top 40 hit for a year, charting 12 months to the very week since Take Me Down To The River reached Number 26. The Anglo-German rockers do appear to be watching their chart positions slide, however, this being a far cry from the Top 20 peaks of Money and Tower Of Strength from mid-1994.
35 RADIO ON (Ricky Ross)
Having seen Deacon Blue pass into history with the release of their hits collection two years ago, frontman Ricky Ross steps into the breach and launches his solo career. The first rule of making a radio-friendly track is apparantly to write a song about listening to the radio - so this is what he has done and has consequently found his way onto a number of playlists. This hasn't helped the single too much, however, and it can only manage a lowly Number 35. Something tells me he'll be back.
37 LOVE FOR LIFE (Lisa Moorish)
The quest to make Lisa Moorish a star continues with the release of her third single. Her first two each had something to recommend them - I'm Your Man being a slowed down cover of the Wham! hit with none other than its author on backing vocals (peak position Number 24) whilst Mr Friday Night was a rather brilliant radio-friendly pop track (peak position Number 24 again). This new single borders on the mediocre which I suspect is the cause of the rather deflated chart position.