If the chart looks a bit dead at the moment it's because it is. We are now into a kind of stillwater period, with most major releases either out or being held back to cash in on the Christmas rush. The crucial chart is the one published in 5 weeks time when the Christmas records are mostly released. For the meantime, everyone else is forced to tread water. This week sees 13 new entries, 5 climbers and 3 non-movers.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Kenny Thomas - Piece By Piece
First up this week is an inauspicious debut for the third single this year for Kenny Thomas as a followup to Tripping On Your Love which made No.17 back in September.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Captain Hollywood Project - More And More
Captain Hollywood started his chart career as the rapper on the two hits scored by Dutch production troupe Twenty Four Seven who had hits with I Can't Stand It and Are You Dreaming, two of the best dance records from the Autumn of 1990. Since then he has branched out on his own with the Captain Hollywood Project who have actually been producing records for a while, none of which have been hits. All has changed now with More and More which is in all honesty one of the more inspiring dance records this year and deserves a greater chart position than it looks like achieving.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Future Sound Of London - Cascade
It's been a long time since we've heard from these guys. The production crew from the UK who go under a variety of guises were last heard from under this banner in May 1992 when Papua New Guinea reached No.22. Back they come now with this track, the second ambient dance track to chart in as many weeks. Far from being just the sound of whales gestating (given that someone pointed out to me last week that whales do not spawn) this is actually a genuinely beautiful piece of music. It won't chart much further but it makes a welcome breath of fresh air anyway.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. Faith No More/Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. - Another Body Murdered
Just when you thought the rock/rap crossover fad had passed us by, here comes another record that joins hardcore rockers and hardcore rappers. The chart careers of the two could not be more distinct though, Faith No More have notched up a string of UK hits, not least their double a-side of I'm Easy/Be Aggressive which made No.3 back in January. The Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. though are hardly heard of in this country, their only previous chart outing being with Psyko Funk which peaked at No.43 in July 1990.
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Juliet Roberts - Free Love
Ms Roberts here subscribing to the Robin S 'We've had a hit so lets make the followup sound identical to get another one' school of thought. The track it bears a passing resemblance to is Caught In The Middle which peaked at No.24 in August.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Soul II Soul - Wish
The summer of 1989 belonged to Soul II Soul. Barely a car went by without Back To Life, their No.1 hit blasting out of the radio. Since then the fickle hand of chart success has not been kind to Jazzie B et al, reducing them to a series of minor hit singles just to remind people that they are still around. Still around they are and here is a new hit single, their first since Just Right scraped a No.38 placing in September 1992.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Wet Wet Wet - Shed A Tear
Now this is going to be interesting. Wet Wet Wet were minor teen sensations in 1987 and notched up a string of hits from their debut album with a second album providing a few hits as well. After that their teen appeal died and the first two singles from their third album 'High On The Happy Side' failed to chart very high. Then came the release in January 1992 of Goodnight Girl, the tender ballad which took advantage of the post-Christmas lull in sales and settled in for a long run at No.1, all of which served to increase their stock dramatically. This turnaround was hailed as an achievement by the record company in helping their act to cross over to an adult market. Just how true this will be for the pop-soulsters will be shown by the performance of their latest album of which this is the first single. It's not their first single of the year, that honour falls to Blue For You, the live charity track which made No.38 in May. Shed A Tear at least has bettered the first single from High On The Happy Side, Make It Tonight could only make it to No.37.
No. 21: CLIMBER. Aerosmith - Cryin'
A bloody good record, and to prove it it becomes their only single this year to progress further than its initial entry. Further radio play may even give them a Top 20 hit next week.
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Pauline Henry - Feel Like Making Love
A much better showing from the former Chimes vocallist after her debut single Too Many People disappointed many by only peaking at No.38. Her version of the Roberta Flack hit [is it possible I was writing this up without having heard the track at all? This is actually the Bad Company song, as the video below will demonstrate] from 1974 propels her into the Top 20 for the first time since the Chimes' version of I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For made the Top 10 in May 1990.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Shamen - SOS EP
Now here you have to scratch your head in bemusement as the most successful dance act of the last 12 months popup once more, not with a long expected new hit single but an EP leading off with yet another track from the year-old Boss Drum album - the fifth in all. In doing so it matches the peak of the last single Re-Evolution which was only in the shops for a day back in March. Whilst it has to be said that Comin' On is another brilliantly constructed piece of dance/pop for a dance act to milk an album like this is almost unheard of.
No. 14: NEW ENTRY. Whitney Houston - Queen Of The Night
No stranger to milking albums for hits is Ms Houston. Almost one year on from I Will Always Love You, the fifth hit (for her) from the Bodyguard soundtrack is this dance track which dispenses with the notion of a song almost entirely making it the least conventional track she has ever released. It still goes in one place higher than the peak of the last single Run To You but it unlikely to progress any further. It is worth noting that along with the five Whitney hits, the album also contains Lisa Stansfield's Someday I'm Coming Back and the SOUL System's Lovely Day making it the most successful soundtrack ever in terms of hit singles. Pity the film was crap really....
No. 12: CLIMBER. Levellers - This Garden
The Levellers actually crossing over for once and increasing their sales to climb the chart. Clearly This Garden is being bought by people other than their fan base, who will all have bought it in the first week of release. It thus peaks at the same position as the first single from the album Belaruse but still one place lower than 1992's 15 Years which remains their biggest hit to date.
No. 11: NEW ENTRY. Time Frequency - Real Love '93
The third hit of the year from Glasgow's Time Frequency. The first was New Emotion which made No.36 in January. The second was slightly bigger, The Ultimate High the scourge of this chartician as it climbed when I thought it had peaked and peaked just as I began to admit it was going to be a massive hit, making No.17 in July. This latest is even bigger, a remix of their first ever chart hit from June 1992 which peaked at No.60 first time round.
No. 10: FALLER. Phil Collins - Both Sides Of The Story
Not his best hit ever, that is generally agreed and Mr Collins slips three places to make this his first single ever to peak on its first chart week.
No. 8: NEW ENTRY. Mariah Carey - Hero
To followup the No.9 hit Dreamlover Mariah Carey delves into the Music Box and comes up with a gem. The first ever Mariah Carey single that I will hold my hand up and admit to loving, Hero eases back on the vocal histrionics and ups the emotion to produce this tender ballad which crashes straight in to beat the peak of the last single and becomes her highest new entry ever. A strong contender for a Top 3 placing next week.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Culture Beat - Got To Get It
The honour for the highest new hit of the week though goes to Culture Beat, riding on the back of their No.1 hit Mr Vain. Most chart-watchers did not expect this to be such a big hit, sounding as it does like a clone of the last one and bearing in mind also the tendency of this years No.1 hitmakers to have problems scoring further hits. Leaving aside the last couple of months, this year there have been 10 No.1 hit singles this year, all by different acts. Of these only 5 have had followups make the Top 40 (Culture Beat are the 6th). This compares with 12 No.1 hits overall last year, of which only Jimmy Nail failed to secure a followup. You are only as good as your current hit, whatever position the last may have reached.
No. 4: NON-MOVER. Dina Carroll - Don't Be A Stranger
Staying the same and thus probably peaking this week. Nonetheless the success of this single is a staggering achievement. Few albums have ever produced as many as six hit singles. Of these, they mostly get smaller than the rest. It is therefore quite phenomenal that the sixth single from Dina Carroll's So Close album should be the biggest.
No. 1: THIRD WEEK. Meat Loaf - I'd Do Anything For Love
Number One virtually all around the world and in this country holding off a strong challenge from Bryan Adams to hang in there for another week. Next week it is only Mr Adams who could conceivably cause an upset but after 2 weeks in the Top 3 his bolt may already be shot...