1 DON'T GIVE UP (Chicane featuring Bryan Adams)
Chicane is the musical alter-ego of Nick Bracegirdle, a man who began his life as a printer but who can now claim to be a genuine chart superstar. The first Chicane single to chart came at the back end of 1996 when the frantic instrumental Offshore reached Number 14. It was later to return to the chart in September 1997 complete with a vocal track from Power Circle, and a Number 17 hit was the result. More recently he teamed up with Maire Brennan on the Clannad-inspired Saltwater and ended up with a Number 6 hit in June last year. Said hit single came just a few short weeks after the most celebrated Chicane remix of all - Bryan Adams' single release of Cloud No.9 which became a Top 10 hit in a version far removed from the original album mix. Now it is time for the favour to be returned. You would be hard pressed to find a dance single with a more celebrated and indeed unusual guest singer than this, Don't Give Up combines an atmospheric trance backing with the heavily processed vocals of none other than Bryan Adams himself. Needless to say the single is something of a sensation and would have become a hit on novelty value alone. More than that though the track has blasted none other than Madonna out of the water to give us a brand new Number One single. In his entire career Bryan Adams has only ever once before been associated with a Number One - that one of course being Everything I Do which topped the chart for a record-breaking 16 weeks back in 1991. His almost nine-year wait for another spell at the top is just one of a number of recent Number One hits for acts whose last appearance at the top was several years back. Cliff Richard of course topped the chart in December after a nine-year wait whilst in January, Gabrielle had a Number One single for the first time in almost seven years.
4 MAMA TOLD ME NOT TO COME (Tom Jones and the Stereophonics)
Ah yes, the Brits. I know they were a couple of weeks ago but it is only now that the record sales generated as a result of the awards are filtering through to the chart. Tom Jones can always be relied upon to put on a show-stealing performance and the Best British Male award-winner did just that with a storming live rendition of his brand new single. Said single now crashes into the chart, the third single to be taken from the duets album Reload following collaborations with The Cardigans (Burning Down The House) and Cerys Matthews (Baby It's Cold Outside). Once more he has turned to fellow countrymen for this single, the Stereophonics accompanying the star on a fairly straightforward retread of Mama Told Me Not To Come. The Randy Newman song was turned into a worldwide smash hit in 1970 by Three Dog Night who reached Number 3 in this country. As it turns out this new version very nearly matches that and in the process becomes Reload's biggest hit single so far. Perhaps more than that the single gives the legendary singer his biggest hit single for well over a decade. His last Top 5 appearance came in October 1988 when he covered Kiss and indeed this can now rank as his biggest chart hit since he hit Number 2 with the ballad A Boy From Nowhere in April 1997. Wow. The Stereophonics are no strangers to being this high up the chart of course, this is their fourth Top 10 hit and their first since Pick A Part That's New also made Number 4 in May last year.
9 DON'T WANNA LET YOU GO (Five)
After finally breaking their chart jinx with Keep On Moving which topped the chart for a week back in November, Five suddenly suffer a rather surprising dip in their fortunes. A run of five consecutive Top 3 hits is ended (so it seems for the moment) by this single which barely scrapes into the Top 10 and indeed is set to become their smallest hit since their debut Slam Dunk (Da Funk) hit Number 10 in late 1997. Never mind, fresh from their appearance at the Brit Awards, Don't Wanna Let You Go is a single from an act that are clearly at the height of their appeal and confidence. Stuff credibility, this is the kind of pop record that you want to play to the whole street whilst running around screaming the lyrics as loud as possible. A rather disappointing entry position aside they can at least take consolation from having preserved their 100% strike rate of Top 10 singles with this, their 8th chart single.
11 NATURAL BLUES (Moby)
Moby's album Play is turning out to be the classic example of a sleeper hit. Released almost a year ago, it represented something of a radical departure for the shaven-headed techno wizard. Richard Hall raided the grooves of the most obscure blues tracks he could lay his hands on and constructed each of them into brand new tracks. For whatever reason it took people a while to catch on to just how wonderful this all sounded. The album crept into the listings whilst various singles made relatively modest inroads into the charts. First of all came Run On (Number 33 in May '99) then Bodyrock (Number 38 in July) [this list overlooks Honey which in fairness preceded the rest of the album by almost a year]. By the time last October came around people were starting to cotton on and Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad picked up more airplay than previous singles, helping it to Number 16. Meanwhile more and more tracks from the album began to appear in TV adverts, indeed it is something of a running gag in certain newsgroups that any unfamiliar music from a TV ad can probably be found on Play. Indeed a few weeks ago it was revealed that ever single track from the album has been licensed for commercial use somewhere in the world. Somehow Moby has created a monster. Still, if it is a monster that produces some great singles who are we to complain? So it comes to be that the album's fourth single is its biggest so far, Natural Blues landing at Number 11 to become Moby's biggest hit single since The James Bond Theme went Top 10 in late 1997. Natural Blues incidentally was first written and recorded by T-Bone Walker although this single samples a cover version by Vera Hall. How long now until older singles start being re-released? Or will that mean too many people going around referring to Run On as "The Renault Kangoo music"?
17 STOP PLAYING WITH MY MIND (Barbara Tucker)
An all too rare chart appearance for Barbara Tucker makes up the only new entry in the 11-20 range this week. Although a celebrated dance diva back in New York, Barbara Tucker's hit appearances have been sporadic to say the least in the past. She first charted in this country in March 1994 with the Number 23 hit Beautiful People, following that up in November that year with I Get Lifted which made Number 33. After Stay Together missed the Top 40 altogether in 1995 she was absent from the charts until August 1998 when she added her vocals to DJ Pierre's The Horn Song, turning it into the Number 28 hit Everybody Dance. So it is that Stop Playing With My Mind (featuring one Daryl D'Bonneau in a duet) becomes her biggest hit single to date, arriving in the chart thanks to some strong club support. Something of a refreshing novelty this really, a massive club hit that actually works as a proper pop song as well.
24 WHERE THE POOR BOYS DANCE (Lulu)
Good grief this has taken some doing. Lulu's chart career began of course back in 1964 with her immortal version of Shout, effectively the song with which she will always be associated. Three decades later and her voice (which the Beatles once famously assumed to be that of a black woman) still sounds as fantastic as ever. After being semi-retired in the 1980s she returned to the studio in the 1990s, quite rightly been lending her powerful voice it to club-inspired records, proving that she can hold her own with any other disco diva you care to name. Somehow she seems to have been hampered by a lack of quality material. OK so she ended up at Number One back in 1993 when she played the Loleatta Holloway part on Take That's cover of Relight My Fire but her own solo records have faltered, her last Top 40 appearance coming in August 1994 when Goodbye Baby And Amen made Number 40. After several years away she returned to the charts with the storming single Hurt Me So Bad, again a chart disappointment at Number 42. However her public profile has been helped no small amount by her current role as hostess of the BBCs Red Alert lottery show. Despite poor reviews at the start, the revamped show is now in a second series and has made a point of showcasing Lulu's singing skills as much as possible. Even so, the hits have taken their time coming. Better Get Ready, the song that she sang to close each show in the first series only made Number 59 just after Christmas so you can probably sense the relief from here as Where The Poor Boys Dance lands nicely inside the Top 30 this week, her biggest solo hit since Independence made Number 11 way back in 1993.
25 TAKE A PICTURE (Filter)
Another example of just how divergent US and UK music tastes can be. Take Filter, the band formed in the mid-90s by former NIN member Richard Patrick and who can rank as some of the biggest stars on the US circuit. In this country they are all but unknown. Their controversial debut single Hey Man Nice Shot never once made the charts here, despite being released on more than one occasion. Indeed to date their only British chart showing came in 1997 when (Can You) Trip Like I Do crept to Number 39 but even then - and this is the bizarre bit - the single was promoted with the Final Cut remix to the fore rather than the original album version. So really we should we rewarding the band for their patience this week as they finally follow up with their second chart single, arriving thanks in a small way to its use in TV trailers for Dawson's Creek whose latest series began airing in this country recently.
27 EXPO 2000 (Kraftwerk)
Synthesiser legends never die, they just go away for a while and get called out of retirement by the German government to write the official theme for Expo 2000 - opening in Hanover on June 1st for those of you who want more than the Millennium Dome can provide. It marks the first chart appearance of Kraftwerk for almost nine years, their last chart singles coming in 1991 when the hitched themselves to the dance bandwagon with remixes of older classics, as a result of which they hit Number 20 with The Robots. Sporadic though their hitmaking has been in the past, at least their most famous compositions are amongst their biggest. A single edit of Autobahn reached Number 11 in 1975, Tour De France made the Top 30 in both 1983 and 1984. Their biggest hit single is of course The Model, at the time an old track grafted onto the b-side of Computer Love but which was flipped over and rose to Number One in early 1982.
35 SHIVER (Coldplay)
[Superstar debut klaxon] A new hit for a new act whose debut album is set for release later in the summer. They make their chart debut with a track full of the kind of jangling indie guitars that you thought died out years ago, and quite a joy it is to hear as well. Are they the new Stereophonics?
37 IS IT LOVE? (Chili Hi Fly)
A track on Ministry Of Sound records so you can guess what to expect here. What is more unusual is the origin of this track, Chili Hi Fly is an Australian DJ and this record has already been a hit down under and indeed in Canada of all places. The thumping piano groove and male pop vocal mean that it really should have charted higher over here. Sadly this just isn't dance's week.
39 MR DEVIL (Big Time Charlie featuring Soozy Q)
You may remember Big Time Charlie for their Number 22 hit last October with On The Run, the single that was inspired by a bootleg mix of JXs Son Of A Gun. This follow-up single (featuring the vocal talents of Soozy Q) really deserves better than to creep in at Number 39, but since when were the charts a ranking of quality? See you next week...