...and so the new year begins for real. The chart this week covers sales for the holiday week that followed Christmas and is renowned for being one of the most bizarre of the year. Few new records are released and most sales are to the 'gift token' brigade, people buying up already charting records with their Christmas gifts... Watch and see. 7 new entries, 13 climbers and 2 non-movers.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Tag Team - Whoomp! There It Is
It took it's time but the record that all but held America to ransom over the summer finally gets an official release on these shores and scrapes a chart placing. A typical piece of American dance, the debut hit from Tag Team is largely dependent on circumstance as to whether it can become a massive hit. To these ears it is a bit samey but with K7 and EYC currently riding high the chart climate may just be willing to let another US hit in.
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Alison Limerick - Time Of Our Lives
The first release in a year for the British dance diva who has yet to score a really big smash. Her only two previous Top 40 placings were in April 1991 with Where Love Lives which made No.27 and her No.16 hit from March 1992 Make It On My Own.
No. 37: CLIMBER. Culture Beat - Got To Get It
What did I tell you? Culture Beat, who actually dropped out of the chart two weeks ago make a resurgence. It's not that their sales are growing again, just that they are actually falling slower than the chart overall as sales plummet from their annual high in Christmas week to something approaching below-average levels.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Terrorvision - My House
In sneak Terrorvision with their first Top 40 hit after several near misses. Likely to be out again fairly quickly.
No. 33: NEW ENTRY. Mission - Tower Of Strength
As goth rockers go the Mission were always representative of the more commericial, tamer side as Wayne Hussey et al notched up a string of hits between 1986 and 1992. Remixed and reissued, Tower Of Strength was their second biggest hit, making No.12 in February 1988. Nearly six years later (is it _really_ that long?) it still stands up as one of the more definitive pieces of deep stadium rock - for once a genuine classic has been revived.
No. 24: CLIMBER. Bad Boys Inc - Walking On Air
Bad Boys Inc perform a yo-yo and actually beat the No.26 peak of this track just before Christmas.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Wet Wet Wet - Cold Cold Heart
A steady seller over the holidays has been their greatest hits collection and the second new track included therein charts this week, following Shed A Tear which peaked at No.22 in November and which entered the chart at exactly the same point. It may not be one of their biggest hits ever, unlike Goodnight Girl which was released exactly two years ago this week. At the time their career was all but dead in the water but clever promotion took advantage of the seasonal sales lull and the record spent 4 weeks at No.1.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. DJ Duke - Blow Your Whistle
It's a dance track. 'Nuff said? [No! Do your job properly!]
No. 21: FALLER. Elton John and Kiki Dee - True Love
Only one record leaves the Top 10 this week and this one surprisingly does it in style, dropping from No.9 last week.
No. 18: CLIMBER. Shabba Ranks - Family Affair
Another skywards haul for Shabba to make Family Affair his biggest hit since Housecall made No.8 last May. It's his 4th Top 20 hit.
No. 10: NEW ENTRY. D:ream - Things Can Only Get Better
If ever proof were needed that skilful marketing works this time of year it is this. D:ream's classic pieces of dancefloor soul have been making minor chart inroads all of last year but with little overall success. Things Can Only Get Better was arguably the best of all their hits last year, but it could only peak at No.24 in early February. Now it is in a beefed-up remix and charges into the chart to give the group their biggest hit ever and it is set to become one of the first smashes of the new year. Welcome to stardom guys.
No. 4: CLIMBER. East 17 - It's Alright
A one place climb means It's Alright is now their biggest hit ever, edging past the No.5 peak of Deep.
No. 3: FALLER. Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
Cultural icon Blobby finally succumbs to all the three year olds in the country having bought the single and plummets from his perch. Don't breathe out just yet though - there is talk of a followup.
No. 2: NON-MOVER. Take That - Babe
Frustratingly holding in pole position for a third week now, Take That have the unfortunate experience of propping up two different No.1 singles.
No. 1: FIRST WEEK. Chaka Demus and Pliers - Twist And Shout
Victims, or should that be 'beneficiaries' of the post-seasonal slump, Chaka Demus and pliers hold their sales well to score their first ever No.1 hit. It carries with it several distinctions, not least of which the fact that it is the third reggae No.1 hit in 12 months. The duo, who have been superstars on the underground scene for ages, also score the biggest hit ever of the legendary piece of (well it used to be anyway) rock and roll. It's also, as I mentioned just before Christmas, the 700th single to top the official British singles charts. Out of interest, the other centenary tracks were (in order): Do You Mind by Anthony Newly (1960); Help by The Beatles (1965); Knock Three Times by Dawn (1971); Don't Cry For Me Argentina by Julie Covington (1977); A Little Peace by Nicole (1982) and China In Your Hand by T'Pau (1987). Next week should be interesting though. It is not against the odds for them to hold on another week but next week's chart should see one of the biggest influx of new hits of the year as the Christmas stalwarts finally run out of steam.