Summertime has most definitely arrived, and with it one of the slackest seasons for the Top 40 (or at least as slack as it ever gets these days). Plenty of action down the bottom, but just for a change a stagnation in the Top 10 as records reshuffle but none make a significant impact. 13 new entries to compensate at least, 9 climbers and just one non-mover.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Rupaul - Supermodel
First up this week comes a track that has been bubbling under for a couple of weeks and finally crosses over. An unremarkable dance/pop tribute to the world of the supermodels sung by the larger than life Rupaul, drag queen extraordinaire.
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Moby - I Feel It
Moby is American college student [not by then he wasn't] Richard Hall. Back in 1991 he had a Top Ten hit with the second release of Go, a haunting dance track that had been an underground hit for most of that summer. His first chart outing since is this, another semi-instrumental dance hit although in a rather more high powered vein. Maybe not a massive smash but worth seeing it in the charts if only to hope that he makes a return to Top Of The Pops. In November 1991 he became the first embarrassing casualty of their new rule which demanded live vocals - forcing him to to shout Go over the instrumental track live.... Worthy of note also is the flip side to this single, reputed to be the
fastest dance track ever.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Gloria Estefan - Mi Tierra
If Latin rhythms such as this are going to hit in Britain it is at this time of year with the summer sun blazing down. Gloria's chart resurgence which began at Christmas with the Miami Hit Mix and at Easter with Go Away continues with this, the title track from her brand new album. It is the first time she has ever charted a single sung in Spanish, which may restrict its appeal somewhat.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Aerosmith - Eat The Rich
Although it appears, never destined to have the same level of chart success as they have done in America, the veteran rockers are slowly carving a chart niche for themselves. This followup to the Top 20 success of Living On The Edge marks the first time they have ever had two consecutive hits from the same album.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Alexander O'Neal - In The Middle
Time was when it seemed Alexander O'Neal would never make it back to a recording studio, following the string of hits from the Hearsay album that stretched in one form or another for nearly 2.5 years. Since those heady days, however, his fortunes have waned. This track is his second hit in a row, although with a long gap between them - his last chart outing being Love Makes No Sense which scraped a Top 40 place back in November 1992.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Smashing Pumpkins - Cherub Rock
Darlings of the inky music press for 1.5 years now and recently crossing over to the likes of Select and Vox, the Smashing Pumpkins have been building up a credibility on the alternative scene for a while now. Despite being on major-financed "indie" Hut Records, it comes as no surprise then to report that the first single from the follow up to the Gish LP has charted here. Unfortunately every article concerning them of late has pointed to a band split [they'd manage another seven years]. Don't expect this here next week. [The credits at the bottom of the original article note that I actually handed the duties of that particular paragraph over to my friend Andy who had been a silent partner in many of the commentaries that year. These days he is a big deal in music retail, but his secret is safe with me].
No. 30: CLIMBER. Billy Idol - Shock To The System
Consistent radio airplay has helped propel this upwards briefly but it will take a major promotional push to make this another big hit for Idol.
No. 29: NEW ENTRY. Coverdale/Page - Take Me For A Little While
Jimmy Page becomes the second former Led Zeppelin member to chart in recent months following the success of Robert Plant's 29 Palms. His decision to team up with Whitesnake singer David Coverdale for an album was greeted with critical acclaim but was not expected to produce any hit singles. Surprisingly enough here is one, but it will be straight out again, appealing only to the listeners of Virgin 1215.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Taylor Dayne - Can't Get Enough Of Your Love Baby
Taylor Dayne first made her name in 1988 with the high energy pop of Tell It To My Heart and Prove Your Love. Attempts to mature her sound and become a more sophisticated artist worked wonders in the US with Love Will Lead You Back making No.1. Over here the track stalled at No.69 on a par with most of her recent offerings. Back with avengeance then as she shoots in with this hit, summery soul being the order of the day and may well give her her first Top 20 hit for 5 years.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Deborah Harry - I Can See Clearly
None of this 'Deborah' business. To everyone she is still Debbie 'Blondie' Harry. Making a more consistent solo career than many would have expected, Ms Harry heralds a new album with a new single. It's her first Top 40 hit since I Want That Man in October 1989 and after subsequent releases flopped. By no means as catchy as her previous hit, it sounds almost like an old Blondie track, suggesting she may be looking to her roots to kickstart a flagging career.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. New Order - Ruined In A Day
Second single from the 'Republic' album finds the mysterious Mancs in reflective form, and thus maybe not crossing over for another massive pop hit in the shape of Regret. It just leaves us to wonder why the radio-friendly World is being passed over for a single for the moment. [It is coming in September].
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. 4 Non-Blondes - What's Up
A big radio hit for weeks, this track becomes the first record for ages to enter the top 20 from outside the Top 40 since Bryan May achieved it at Christmas (they were at 43 last week). The all-girl group make their debut with a wonderful piece of laid back summer rock (well, almost) and are certain to climb just a little further next week.
No. 19: NEW ENTRY. Evolution - Everybody Dance
With the current Rogers/Edwards revival in the shape of Sister Sledge it was perhaps inevitable that their most famous creations would reappear. Not quite in the form expected though as Evolution cover the 1978 Chic hit. The original made No.8 in April of that year and with the current disco mini-revival well underway this may well be able to command good odds on doing the same.
No. 16: CLIMBER. Joey Lawrence - Nothing My Love Can't Fix
Gosh, that was unexpected. The teeny market suddenly rallies around the sitcom hearthrob to catapault him 16 places and bang into the Top 20. Heading for the 10 next week if this trend continues.
No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Jade - I Wanna Love You
Whilst SWV crash out at the lower end, the leaders in the girly soul race notch up another big hit. This is the followup to Don't Walk Away which made the Top 10 in early May.
No. 11: CLIMBER. East 17 - West End Girls
In many ways defying all sales expectations, first of all by entering in the 20 rather than the Top 10 last week as was expected, and now failing even to capitalise on even that
strong start. Top 10 next week may be a possibility but further progress may well prove tricky.
No. 5: CLIMBER. Rod Stewart - Have I Told You Lately
A small but assured climb gives Rod his biggest hit since Rhythm Of My Heart made No.3 in April 1991.
No. 1: SECOND WEEK. Gabrielle - Dreams
The most famous eyepatch in pop sustains her lead at the top, and looking further down the list seems bereft of challenges for another couple of weeks at least...