It's not often I make a prediction that comes true, I will hold my hand up and admit this, so it is nice to have something to crow about at the top of the charts this week. As for the rest of it, 11 new entries, 7 climbers and 2 non-movers.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Visage - Fade To Grey (Bassheads Remix)
No no no no no no no no no NO!!!!!! If it ain't broke then you do not fix it. The record that summed up an era, the record that WAS New Romanticism in a nutshell, one of the most beautiful records ever created has now been ruined by the addition of a series of bleeping noises. That is really all I can find to say aside from the fact that original made No.8 in January 1981 and was the only top ten hit for the group that were really just a front for Steve Strange and Midge Ure to perform all kinds of studio wizardry. This new version will thankfully not get even close. Excuse me, I have to go lie down for a bit
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Mary J Blige - Real Love
Whilst in America she has had hit after hit with her own brand of slinky soul, over here Mary J Blige has had difficulty getting a toehold. Now a constant reissue programme by MCA records here is finally paying dividends. The re-released Reminisce made a showing at No.31 back in February and now here comes this track, making a comeback after peaking at No.68 back in November. Further progress may be possible but it's not commercial enough to be a major hit.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Lenny Kravitz - Heaven Help
Third hit in a row for the superstar finds him this time wearing his Isley Brothers influences on his sleeve. Are You Gonna Go My Way became his biggest hit ever back in March, peaking at 3 with the followup Believe fizzling out at No.30 in June.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Onyx - Slam
Ooh dear. The hardcore US rappers score a debut hit on the back of their current concert tour of the UK. That tour has been shrouded in controversy, not least last Sunday's concert at the Hammersmith Palais which erupted into violence as 700 ticketless fans tried to gatecrash the gig, leaving the future of the arena in doubt as the local authority stalls over granting it a renewal of its licence.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Joey Lawrence - I Can't Help Myself
Lawrence scored a surprising No. 13 hit earlier this summer with Nothin' My Love Can't Fix - surprising that an average piece of US pop sung by a teen idol should cross over in such a big way here. Similarly, here comes the followup, to its credit a much stronger song which may well go Top 10 in a few weeks time. [I bought this single at the time, it is a cracking pop record].
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Terence Trent D'Arby - She Kissed Me
Both Do You Love Me and Delicate peaked at No.14 giving Terence Trent D'Arby a second run of success a full six years after his initial run. The third hit then is She Kissed Me and the first TTD single I admit to sort of liking, a raucous yet tuneful guitar workout, replete with false introduction and the sort of energy that No.14 hits are made of.
No. 21: NEW ENTRY. Ace Of Base - Wheel Of Fortune
Back in May All That She Wants entered at No.5 and was at No.1 two weeks later. Last week it spent its final week in the Top 75 at No.62 after having become one of the best sellers of the year. The second hit for the Swedish group has as a result been held back for several weeks, to finally debut after having been Top 10 all over Europe. It's pretty similar in style to the last single, poppy dub-reggae but with their current star status and returning holidaymakers to buoy them up, this may well become a second Top 10 hit.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Sisters Of Mercy - Under The Gun
Their new Greatest Hits package is a testament to the longevity of one of the UKs most enduring Goth Rock bands. For years Andrew Eldrich and various floating others notched up a series of underground hits, before dramatically crossing over in 1987 with Jim Steinman produced masterpieces like This Corrosion and Dominion. Since then they have had sporadic hits, although none more spectacular than their last single, a reworking of their most famous early track Temple Of Love which made No.3 in May 1992 on reputation alone. Under The Gun is typical stuff, moody and atmospheric yet strangely commercial, despite finishing just as it seems to be getting going. It may not make much further progress but has done enough already - their sixth Top 20 hit.
No. 18: CLIMBER. Pogues - Tuesday Morning
A small but assured climb for the Pogues to become only their third ever Top 20 hit in the footsteps of The Irish Rover and Fairytale Of New York.
No. 14: NEW ENTRY. Tina Turner - Disco Inferno
In the film this track reflects the stage of Tina Turner's career when she eked out a living making dodgy disco albums which sold well in Germany. Now as a star in the 1990's this cover of the Trammp's original was played to death when the album was first released and is finally released as a single, to vault into the Top 20 as a followup to I Don't Wanna Fight which peaked at No.7 in June. It's coincidentally the second cover in recent months of a track from the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack after Kim Wilde's version of If I Can't Have You. The Trammps' original ranks alongside What A Fool Believes and Shame as records that sold in small amounts for weeks on end but never quite became massive hits. Disco Inferno made a creditable No.16 when first released in May 1977 but then returned to the charts the following year in the wake of the film to spend 10 weeks in the charts without ever climbing above No.47
No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Therapy? - Opal Mantra
Consolidating their position of one of the big crossovers of the year, Therapy? notch up a third Top 20 hit to follow Shortsharpshock (No.9) and Face The Strange (No.18). Like the other two this will be straight in and straight out again.
No. 10: CLIMBER. Mariah Carey - Dreamlover
A climb of four places to give her only her third ever UK Top 10 hit.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. SWV - Right Here (Human Nature)
The girlie harmonisers have thus far struggled to make an impression over here, despite a phenomenal run of success in America. I'm So Into You made No.17 back in May whilst Weak bombed out at No.33 in June. All has changed now though with a track that will be familiar to many, the inspired reworking of a fairly standard album track with Michael Jackson's Human Nature which thus charges in to the Top 10. The Michael Jackson track from Thriller that provides the backing was surprisingly never released as a single in this country and had to suffice for winding up on the b-side of Leave Me Alone which conversely was never a single in America... [And history now records, the first on-record appearance of Pharrell Williams as he ad-libs the spoken vocals].
No. 2: FALLER. Freddie Mercury - Living On My Own
Shifting to the surprise of many in the face of stiff competition above, making this single in a tie with Shaggy's Oh Carolina as the shortest-running No.1 of the year at only 2 weeks.
No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Culture Beat - Mr Vain
To the surprise of many, even myself it's done exactly as I predicted [except you never actually did predict it would top the charts 1993, go back and check if you don't believe me]. As the British flock back from their summer holidays the record that reminds them the most of their holidays - Culture Beat. For this day and age it also makes a strong climb to the top - up from 6 last week. That's the biggest leap to No.1 since KWS's Please Don't Go leaped from 9 to 1 in May 1992 although both of these pale beside the 31 records that have jumped to No.1 from outside the Top 10. It's also the third record by a European act to make No.1 this year following 2 Unlimited and Ace Of Base, making 1993 level with 1986 as the most continental year for No.1 records.