With sincerest apologies etc for missing out on last week, here we are back on form once again with another busy chart. 10 new entries, a refreshing 12 climbers and 4 non-movers.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Little Angels - Soapbox
Sheffield. Rock. What havethe two got in common? Def Leppard and Little Angels is theanswer as the latter follow up their biggest hit ever withanother slice of well-crafted commercial rock that never quitemanages to live up to its full potential. It will beinteresting though to see how this situation changes with thearrival in a few weeks time of Virgin 1215, a new AM rockstation that breaks BBC Radio 1s 25 years monopoly on nationalpop radio. Dedicated to providing a more album-orientated rockservice it may well give exposure to this type of music which is so sadly lacking these days on its more famous rival.
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Lindy Layton - We Got The Love
Fortune at first seemed to be smiling on Lindy Layton when in 1990 she was the featured vocalist on Beats International's Dub Be Good To Me remake of the old SOS Band classic which topped the charts in February that year. She subsequently embarked on a solo career which rapidly went off the rails after just one hit - a cover of Janet Kay's Silly Games. Until now that is, with this, a remix of a previous flop single of hers which failed to dent the charts on its first release. Now revamped and picking up airplay it may well give her talent the exposure it seems to have sadly lacked so far.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. The The - Slow Emotion Replay
More of the same from Matt Johnson et al. Strummed guitars, harmonica and moody lyrics that will dive straight in and straight out again with only one interesting point to note. It's only the 4th The The single to make the Top 40 but the first time ever they have had 2 consecutive Top 40 hits.
No. 34: CLIMBER. Positive Gang - Sweet Freedom
The dance hit of the moment makes a slow 2 place progression up from its entry point last week. The track is even more obscure than most dance hits of late, starting off as the unlisted flip side of a European import almost a year ago before taking off rapidly through the clubs once DJs realised what a gem they have had on their hands. The reason? Simple, rather than use a piano as a base this record uses a hammond organ, making one of the most original and catchy dance hits for ages.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Poison - Fire and Ice
More rock, this time from America and Poison who follow up the Top 30 success of Stand a couple of months ago. They have had Top 20 hits in the past but seem to be having difficulty recapturing that form of late, despite churning out some darn good commercial rock tracks.
No. 29: CLIMBER. Midnight Oil - Truganini
Unbelievably only the second ever hit for the lauded Aussie band. They are best know of course for their biggest internation hit ever Beds Are Burning which itself had an interesting chart history in the UK, making No. 48 when first released in April 1988 before being reissued a year later and climbing all the way to No.6. Not bad really for a song about the territorial rights of Native Australians. The current single, whilst not about to match the achievement of its predecessor features a similar political message that clearly has not penetrated the minds of British record buyers - the debate over the future of the monarchy in Australia.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Dance 2 Trance - Power Of American Natives
Another dance hit that crosses over having finally been released, this could well make a big impact on the chart in future having already picked up a great deal of radio airplay even before its release, which probably prompted this relatively strong new entry.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Sting - Seven Days
A new entry from another artist, not previously noted for singles success who is making impressive chart progress. 'Seven Days' is the followup to the first single off the current album, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You which made the 20 back in February. It too is the first time he has ever had two consecutive solo hit singles and as a writer his most successful chart week since the halcyon days of 1983 with the Police as two of his songs, this once and Shinehead's Jamaican In New York (No.40) are on the chart.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. D:Ream - U R The Best Thing
More dance crossover only it is hard to describe it as such this time, with such a strong pop chorus and vocal. This one may well emulate the current success of Robin S and climb slowly and gradually into the 10. [You'll notice here I'd completely forgotten about Things Can Only Get Better which had already been their first hit earlier in the year. I'd become a huge fan in short order.]
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Various Artists - Gimme Shelter
Now this one is interesting. A charity project in support of the homeless, thisis a release of no less than 12 different cover versions of theRolling Stones classic which, despite its familiarity has never charted in this country before. They are released on 3 separate EPs, each subdivided into different musical genres such as rock and 'alternative'. The important point to note is that all 3 share the same catalogue number and through an interesting loophole in Gallup rules count as the same record and thus qualify for one chart position, despite in effect being 3 different records bought most probably by 3 different groups of people. Clever eh?
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Deacon Blue - Only Tender Love
Critical opinion has it that Deacon Blue have lost the plot somewhat with the latest album Whatever You Say Say Nothing. Nevertheless, they arestill notching up hit singles of which this is the 3rd, which makes an impressive debut and outpaces at a stroke the last 'We Will Be Lovers' which barely scraped the Top 30 over new year. Further progress may well be unlikely though as their fan base shrinks ever more gradually. Bring back the days of Chocolate Girl, that's what I say. Incidentally, notice that was an impressive 5 new entries in a row, quite an unusual occurrence.
No. 21: CLIMBER. Rod Stewart - Shotgun Wedding
A four place climb for Rod this week which may well translate into a Top 20 placing next week. His latest album features some revisits of famous tracks from his past as well as covers of some of Rod's favourite songs. Shotgun Wedding is one of them, twice a top ten hit for Roy C. It first made No.6 in 1966 before being reissued and climbing to No.8 in 1972, an exclusive club to which the most recent addition is the current No.1.
No. 15: CLIMBER. REM - Everybody Hurts
4th hit from the Automatic For The People album which also this week makes a dramatic rise back to the top of the Album charts. Clearly a favourite for single release right from the beginning, the most beautiful and moving track on the album makes impressive progress up the chart, most especially for a 4th single off an album well into multi-platinum sales. Just a reflection of how the band can do no wrong at present.
No. 14: CLIMBER. Terence Trent D'Arby - Do You Love Me Like You Say You Do
I can never take TTD very seriously at all. The man clearly has an overrated opinion of his own talent and little regard for what his public really wants to hear. This was of course
admirably demonstrated by the astonishing debacle of his second album Neither Fish Nor Flesh which yielded no hits and was the biggest Turkey to followup at multi-million selling debut the record industry has seen for years. He may look to have addressed the balance now though, with his first Top 20 hit and biggest, since Sign Your Name back in 1988.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Whitney Houston - I Have Nothing
Of course the film was crap, but we still loved it and she can still make good records. A classic ballad like the Whitney we used to know and love showing her voice off to best effect and making a deservedly high new entry. It's the first time she's had 3 consecutive Top 10 hits since 1990 and also gives her an impressive 16th hit single over the last 8 years.
No. 4: CLIMBER. New Order - Regret
It was the record that some feared would never make it. The new New Order album was in the can when Factory records hurtled down the toilet, leaving London records to pick up the pieces and start milking Factory's most celebrated children for their hitmaking potential. Regret surprised many by entering as low as 11 last week but it more than makes up for it this week to give New Order only their 3rd ever Top 10 hit (or 4th if you count World In Motion - their 1990 No.1 with the England World Cup Football Squad') - the others being the ubiquitous Blue Monday (which itself confusingly made the Top 10 twice in '83 and '88) and True Faith which peaked at 4 in August 1987.
No. 2: NON-MOVER. Snow - Informer
The current US chart champion shows astonishing durability of sales as it holds for a second week in the runners up spot, to follow a 2 week stay at No.3 which itself was the result of dropping down from No.2 the previous week. If memory serves this is now its 5th week in the Top 3 - pretty impressive for a record that has yet to make No.1 and looks unlikely ever to do so.
No. 1: FOURTH WEEK. Bluebells - Young At Heart
Despite all challenges it still holds on there, possibly due to the bands refusal to take the reissue all that seriously and augmenting their Top Of The Pops appearances with a series of parodies of current chart companions. Thus it was that on their first appearance they shouted 'Techno Techno Techno' a la 2 Unlimited and last week won the appreciation of many by not only dressing the set to look like a tacky 1980s mobile disco but by doing Shabba Ranks impressions during the instrumental. Bizarre to say the least. Next week looks interesting though, with the release of Five Live, an EP of live tracks from last year's Freddy Mercury tribute, but more of that next week...