Busy times for the chart this week, 13 new entries, 6 climbers and 1 non-mover, the best news of all though, being at the very top with a classic record finally achieving the justice many felt it deserved, but more on that later...
No. 40: FALLER. Van Halen - Jump (Live)
I had to mention this one as in many ways it came as something as a surprise, whilst the spirit of 1984 may live on in other areas, it certainly did not inspire the nostalgia for this track. Their live greatest hits album is released this week.
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Almighty - Addiction
Sorry to sound cynical but this is yet again an example of a record charting on the strength of die-hard fans buying it on the first day of release. In and out again I'm afraid...
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Chris Isaak - Can't Do A Thing To Stop Me
Chris Isaak had been around for a number of years, churning out constantly his own particular brand of dreamy guitar ballads. Most people did not notice until 'Wicked Game' was used in the David Lynch film Wild At Heart and became a massive Top Ten hit towards the end of 1990. Followups fared less well so it will be interesting to see how well this new track does, the first single from a forthcoming album which although undoubtedly extremely beautiful may only again appeal to die-hard fans.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Shinehead - Jamaican In New York
Hmmm, so many associations to this record it is difficult to know where to start. First of all Shinehead, a Jamaican rapper/vocalist bred in New York who has been making records for a while, the closest he has come to a hit in the past was when his rap version of Sam Cooke's Workin' On The Chaingang picked up a great deal of radio airplay in November 1988 yet failed to chart. He returns with a vengeance now with this, a tongue in cheek reggae remake of the Sting track Englishman In New York with appropriate lyric changes. Sting's original has had something of a turbulent chart history, first released in February 1988 where it stalled at 51 before returning in a Ben Liebrand remix to make No.11 in August 1990.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. JTQ featuring Noel McKoy - Love The Life
Expand the initials and you get James Taylor Quartet, the semi-legendary jazz/funk group who are the darlings of many a modern jazz fan but have hitherto resolutely failed to sell any records worth talking about. All that changes here, with this track, along with the help of a drum machine and guest vocalist Noel McKoy. The record itself is average enough, almost laidback swingbeat soul which may kill off its chances of crossing over further but it is good to see them chart, given the only other person making crossover Jazz records at the moment is I suppose Kenny G, whose latest single has so far failed to make the impact it has in the States.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Lulu and Bobby Womack - I'm Back For More
Charting in the first instance due to a performance on the BBC's Top Of The Pops last Thursday, this track is from Lulu's latest album Independence whose title track made the Top 20 back in January. For the Scottish singer to be duetting with the veteran soulster is not quite a strange a concept as it sounds. Back in 1964 the Beatles first assumed the singer of Lulu's now legendary hit cover of the Isley Brother's Shout was a black woman, a testament to the power of her voice. It's also the biggest hit ever for Womack himself. Solo, he has never charted higher than No.64 and to date his biggest hit has been as guest vocalist on So The Story Goes by Living In A Box which made No. 34 in September 1987. That was the direct result of Womack's admiration for Living In A Box's eponymous debut hit, which he covered and took to No. 70 later that same year.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Bill Tarmey - One Voice
Granada TVs 'Coronation Street' first aired in 1960. 33 years later the 3 times a week soap is still going strong and one of the most popular characters in it is Jack Duckworth, played by Bill Tarmey. It is doubtful that most people were aware of Tarmey's previous career as a professional singer until his appearance a few weeks ago on a TV chat show whereupon he performed his version of the Barry Manilow classic. Public response was so incredible a studio recording was rush released as a single, all proceeds going to charity. It also heralds what may well be a Manilow revival with the release this week of a remixed version of Copacabana by its composer of which more next week I do not doubt. Tarney is actually the 3rd cast member of the Street, past or present, to have a hit record joining the ranks of Sue Nicholls and one other, whom I confess I have forgotten [thanks for that 1993 James. Although at this precise moment I cannot recall who the third would be either]. This is by no means as impressive as the achievement of its BBC rival 'Eastenders' which has seen hit singles by cast members Wendy Richard (with Mike Sarne), Nick Berry, Letitia Dean, Paul Medford, Anita Dobson and Sophie Lawrence. This is not to mention the number of chart stars produced by Aussie Soap 'Neighbours' from which Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan, Stefan Dennis and Craig McLachlan have all had hit singles.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Mica Paris - Never Felt Like This Before
First single off a new album from UK soul sister Mica Paris, best known for her 1998 debut My One Temptation which made No.7. The record company will no doubt be pleased with this initial showing, her second album only spawned one Top 40 hit, Contribution which made No.33 in October 1990. Never Felt... is her biggest hit since her remake of Where Is The Love with Will Downing peaked at No. 19 in early 1989.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Cappella - U Got 2 Know
And not a Prince in sight either, despite the funny spellings. Cappella pop up out of Italy every so often to deliver to the charts a standard piece of Italia House, this one coming 4 years after the genre was trendy. Impressive. [Although it was also arguably the herald of the mid-90s Eurobeat invasion, take your pick].
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Arrested Development - Tennessee
The group who seemingly can do no wrong at present notch up their third hit. This was actually their first single which peaked at No.46 last summer and follows up the Top 10 success of People Everyday and Mr Wendal.
No. 14: NEW ENTRY. WWF Superstars - Wrestlemania
Give 'em a gimmick to sell records on the back of and they can achieve anything. Second hit for the 'vocalists' from the ranks of the World Wrestling Federation who scored a Top 10 hit over Christmas in a similar vein with Slam Jam. The popularity of the wrestling stars is quite surprising really when you consider their matches are only screened on Sky TV, whose penetration in the UK is still pretty low.
No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Gloria Estefan - Go Away
Finally discovering how to sell large quantities of records to Britain, Gloria Estefan makes a strong comeback with another track from her Greatest Hits album, and in a similar vein to the Miami Hitmix which made the Top 10 over Christmas it is an uptempo dance track [it's mambo!]. At least she seems to be back on track again after all the singles from her last album proper Into The Light all missed the Top 20.
No. 11: CLIMBER. Jade - Don't Walk Away
One of a number of records recently to defy the current trends and climb steadily and slowly. It worked for Shaggy, so who knows?
No. 8: CLIMBER. Sybil - When I'm Good And Ready
Around 1987-1990 a hit record was almost a certainty if it had the message: 'Produced by Stock/Aitken/Waterman' on it. The three men certainly seemed to have the midas touch at the time despite their records all being labelled as disposable pap. Since then their fortunes have waned, their records no longer chart as high as they used to and their most celebrated proteges Rick Astley, Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue have since split from the team whilst Matt Aitken himself took a sabbatical in the summer of 1991 and never returned. It is perhaps significant therefore, that this week there are 4 records on the chart produced by Matt Stock and Pete Waterman, this one by Sybil, the WWF Superstars at 14,
Bill Tarmey at 24 and Bananarama who this week fall to 32. It could almost be 1989 once again.
No. 6: NEW ENTRY. Madonna - Fever
Her crown is intact. It's my guess that Sire records intended the chart success of Bad Girl to ride on the back of the film 'Body Of Evidence' on whose soundtrack it featured before realising just how dreadful the film was and how it may well kill the single. Bad Girl you may remember became the second-lowest peaking Madonna single ever, only able to climb as high as No.10. Thus it is that Fever is released with almost embarrassing haste, just 4 weeks later and instantly becomes another massive hit for Madonna. It is her 29th consecutive Top 10 hit, an all-time record that is going to take a great deal of beating. It's also the 4th version of the song to make the UK charts, having been a hit for Helen Shapiro and the McCoys in 1964 and 1965 and with Peggy Lee's famous version being the biggest hit version making No.5 in 1958. Ms Lee's version also charted last summer after being used as the soundtrack to a TV commercial yet it missed the Top 40. The advert is actually still running and if Madonna's version climbs even higher another timely reissue may well be on the cards.
No. 1: 1st WEEK. Bluebells - Young At Heart
Leapfrogging all the competition in every sense of the word as last week's Top 4 singles all shift down 1 place to allow the Bluebells to take the top. 9 years after it was first released the delighful piece of pure pop, driven by fiddles and folky exuberance ultimately and deservedly hits No.1 following its use in a TV commercial. This is certainly in for a long run so don't hold your breath. It's only the second 'oldie' from the 1980s to be reissued in the 1990s and make No.1, the Clash managing it first with Should I Stay Or Should I Go exactly 2 years ago after being used in a Levi 501s commercial. The only other comment I have to make is that it makes me feel rather old, being the first reissued oldie to top the charts that I actually own an original copy of from first time around....