1 UNDER THE BRIDGE/LADY MARMALADE (All Saints)
In a week when the Top 3 singles all sold in very similar amounts it is All Saints who emerge victorious and return to the top of the chart after being displaced by Aqua last week. In doing so they become the latest in a long line of chart hits to have had two spells at Number One with the same single within a few weeks of each other, a phenomenon that was previously almost exclusively confined to the 1950s with a few incidents in the 1960s. Now it has happened three times this year, Under The Bridge following in the footsteps of Perfect Day and My Heart Will Go On. Striking a blow for the ladies once again, All Saints and Celine Dion are the first women to rebound to the top in this manner since Rosemary Clooney did the same in 1955 with Mambo Italiano and indeed at the time she shared the honour with Doris Day (who had had two runs with Secret Love a year earlier) as the only female singers to do so.
2 FEEL IT (The Tamperer featuring Maya)
This single is fast becoming this year's Free, a dance hit that has crossed over to pop audiences to such an extent its chart run is a lengthly and erratic one. Now five weeks since its release it climbs this week from a career low of Number 5 to its highest chart position to date. Even the Jacksons song on which it is based could only manage Number 6.
3 TURN BACK TIME (Aqua)
Not their biggest of hits then, Turn Back Time toppled after just a week, but only by a narrow margin so don't write it off just yet. As a side note, this single is the latest step along the way to another historic chart milestone. Turn Back Time is officially the 790th single to make Number One in this country. It will be a few months yet, but watch out for a frenzy of speculation developing soon as to what the 800th chart-topper will be.
5 STRANDED (Lutricia McNeal)
The world first heard of Lutricia McNeal at the end of November last year when she released Ain't That Just The Way, a cover of a little known Barbi Benton song from the 1970s. It did not remain little known for long, the single may have only spent two weeks in the Top 10 (peaking at Number 6) but somehow survived the Christmas frenzy to spend an impressive 15 weeks in the Top 40 which included a six week run when the single rebounded between the Number 22 and Number 25 positions. Her second single is similar in tempo and formula to her first but with all the above to consider, could it really have failed to become a hit?
9 HOT STUFF (Arsenal F.C.)
There are three general certainties in the life of the singles chart. There will be at least one Christmas-themed single on the chart at the end of the year, at least one song from the Eurovision Song Contest will chart and at least one of the teams playing in the FA Cup Final will chart a rather terrible record. The annual showpiece climax to the football season was played at Wembley Stadium last weekend with Arsenal the hot favourites to win following their League triumph to become only the second team to win the League and Cup double for the second time. So it proved with Arsenal emerging 2-0 winners over Newcastle United and as if in celebration they hit the Top 10 with this reworked version of Donna Summer's 1979 classic, forever immortalised in the 1990s thanks to that scene in the Full Monty. Arsenal have a remarkeably consistent record when it comes to cup final songs, having made the Top 40 on the last two occasions they have reached the final. In 1993 their victory over Sheffield Wednesday was marked with a Number 34 placing for Shouting For The Gunners whilst in 1971 (the last time they managed the double) they made Number 16 with Good Old Arsenal. In a rare case of art imitating life the single by the losing side at Wembley has charted much lower down the Top 40...
13 KUNG FU FIGHTING (Bus Stop featuring Carl Douglas)
First it was 80s revivalist chic now the 70s are suddenly back in vogue. I can't keep up. Hot on the heels of Adam Garcia's remake of Night Fever, another cover version of at 1970s Number One hit reaches the Top 20. Bus Stop have elected to make a bubbly rap version of Carl Douglas' 1974 chart-topping hit. Complete with samples from the original (hence Carl Douglas' credit) it is by definition slightly inferior to the original but as a pre-summer pop hit it is hard to fault. [A single which marks the chart debut of future United Kingdom Eurovision star Daz Sampson].
15 WHERE ARE YOU (Imaani)
As expected, the exposure given to the losing British entry for the Eurovision Song Contest has given it a major push up the chart, a leap of 17 places is the biggest chart leap this year and sits nicely with the 28 place leap it made to reach the Top 40 last week. Gradually picking up the airplay it struggled to manage before the contest, the single still has a little way to go if it isn't to become the first British Eurovision entry for four years to miss the Top 10.
18 THE HEROES (Shed Seven)
This is a respectable enough followup for Shed Seven after their first single of the year She Left Me On A Friday made Number 11. They may have reached the stage of their career when even the NME is happy to be rude about them but their chart positions remain as consistent as ever.
19 DEEPER LOVE (Ruff Driverz)
Similar in formula to the last, the second Ruff Driverz single sends them shooting further up the charts, leaving the Number 30 peak of Don't Stop in its wake.
25 LET'S RIDE (Montell Jordan)
Remember Montell Jordan? The popstar first emerged in 1995 with a deal on the legendary Def Jam label and a brace of Top 20 hits in the shape of This Is How We Do It and Somethin' 4 Da Honeyz. In the three years since his spelling has improved but his chart prospects clearly haven't, especially if all he has to offer is this distinctly average hybrid of R&B and rap.
26 BLACK & WHITE ARMY (Black & White Army)
Smarting from their defeat on Saturday, Newcastle now suffer the double ignominity of losing out in the chart battle to their southern rivals. Still, the fact this single has appeared at all is an achievement and a half. Newcastle United's lack of major sucess in the FA Cup over the last generation has meant that until now they have never had cause to make a single and so reach the singles chart for the very first time. It also marks the first time in two years that both sets of finallists have reached the Top 40 together. Whilst the 1997 winners Chelsea scored a Number 22 hit with Blue Day their rivals Middlesbrough failed to reach the Top 40 at all.
27 A PESSIMIST IS NEVER DISAPPOINTED (Theaudience)
The former achievements of the members of a band are no guarantee of success of course but they do appear to count a great deal. Hence Theaudience are poised to become the sensations of the year. Founder Billy Reeves is a former record company press officer, drummer Patrick Hannan is ex of the Sundays, Nyge Butler played keyboards for the Charlatans whilst Rob Collins was in prison whilst their lead singer is the photogenic Sophie Ellis Bextor who has no form herself but just happens to be the daughter of 1980s childrens TV presenter Janet Ellis. As for the single itself, it is magical. Their second release, it is a marvellous blend of summery indie with a distinctive jazz flavour. Perhaps Number 27 is a disappointment but they have better things to come.
30 WISHLIST (Pearl Jam)
Pearl Jam have become the Iron Maiden of grunge haven't they? Look at the facts, great survivors of a bygone musical era continuing to produce music to the same formula, long after it has ceased to have any relevance to anyone other than a tirelessly loyal band of hardcore fans. Their support alone is enough to ensure that their releases will sell in enough quantities to give them a serious of moderate chart hits. Take this second single from their current album, the followup to the Number 12 hit Given To Fly and their tenth Top 30 hit since 1992.
33 THIS FEELING (Puressence)
A welcome Top 40 debut for Puressence a full two years since they released their first album. A new set of recordings with a distinguished selection of producers has now made them yet another 'hot prospect' for this summer and this single only helps to back up that claim. Comparisons are being made with Embrace and Unbelievable Truth and whilst This Feeling is a fine single there is apparantly better to come from the album. Top 20 next time round perhaps?
36 TRUE TO US (Vanilla)
[Now, here is the single which rather squashes all the theories of how Vanilla were a deliberate joke designed to get the worst record ever to the top of the charts. After all, why would you try a second time? Even if this single was actually just as bad as the first]. Vanilla's first single No Way No Way was boldly released a week before Christmas and made a fine debut at Number 14. This was despite the fact that it was hailed as one of the worst singles of the year, tuneless and relying on, of all things, a sample from the old novelty song Mahna Mahna as a hook, a classic example of getting things badly wrong. The manufactured girl band are sadly one of the biggest jokes going, lacking in sex appeal, and highly suspect when it comes to talent. Had things clicked then this second, and somewhat better, single should have reinforced their position as a Top 20 act. As it turns out True To Us has stiffed badly by barely scraping the Top 40 and the prospects for Vanilla do not look too bright at present. Maybe if they did a duet with Upside Down...
38 SINCERE (MJ Cole)
The first Top 40 hit for producer Matt Coleman, calling himself MJ Cole for the purposes of record releases. That fact alone is more interesting than the experience of listening to this single. [Although a single which has a far greater significance now than anyone appreciated at the time, the first ever 2-step garage track to break into the Top 40. Within two years it would be the defining sound of British dance music].