"White Rabbits". There, spring is upon us and over the next few weeks the charts should drag themselves out of their customary winter sluggishness with a crop of major new releases on the cards. Strange happenings near the top mean many records recover places they lost a week ago. 10 new entries, 9 climbers and 3 non-movers.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Motley Crue - Hooligan's Holiday
Even US Soft Metal can have its wrinklies it seems. Stalwarts of the rock scene since the mid-80s, Motley Crue return with their first single for over two years. Yet to score a major UK hit, their last chart single was a remix of their 1986 track Home Sweet Home which peaked at No.51 first time round and made No.37 in January 1992. This new track is likely to end up their fourth consecutive hit single to make the '40 but fall short of the Top 30, with only Girls Girls Girls (No.26) and the classic You're All I Need (No.23) making it any further.
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. Funkdoobiest - Bow Wow Wow
It makes a change I suppose for an act like this not to be a one-hit wonder. Funkdoobiest poked their head into the charts back in December when Wopbabalubob made No.37. That has now prompted a re-release of their first single, released without success last year. Now it charges in to give them a second successive hit, although like the first it will probably charge straight out again.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Michael Bolton - Soul Of My Soul
Dear old Michael. Forever to be regarded by the record-buying populace at large as a tedious MOR soulster with a voice like a strangled cat he notches up a second straight hit from the current album to follow Said I Loved You But I Lied which charged in at No.15 last November before rapidly moving out again. It's his 12th Top 40 hit since 1990 though, a total not to be sniffed at but it seems he will never again scale the heights of his first UK hit How Am I Supposed To Live Without You which made No.3 in March 1990.
No. 30: NEW ENTRY. FKW - Jingo
It's ironic really that one of Carlos Santana's most famous compositions [a common misconception, but it should be noted that he did not write it] should never have been a hit for him personally yet has now popped up on the chart in three different cover versions. The rampant Latin rhythms of Jingo were last seen in the Top 40 in late 1987/early 1988 when Jellybean took his version to No.12. Before that the track had been a minor hit for Candido who took his version to No.51 in July 1981. The new version by the mysterious trio of FKW sounds pretty much like all the others, proving possibly that the track can remain timeless as a dance record 25 years after it was first recorded.
No. 26: NEW ENTRY. EYC - The Way You Work It
Second hit in a row for new US stars EYC (standing apparently for Express Yourself Clearly) who scraped above the Christmas rush to reach No.16 with Feeling Alright. The new hit is more of the same, tight US pop/dance of the sort that used to give NKOTB massive hits but which now seems to have left them floundering.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Barbara Tucker - Beautiful People
Only 3 other people called Tucker have made the UK charts before, all with one hit apiece. The latest addition to this global family equals at a stroke the biggest of these, Hi-Heel Sneakers by Tommy Tucker which reached No.23 in April 1964. All of that irrelevant info is really to distract attention away from the record itself which is a rather samey bit of soul which might make the Top 20 at a pinch next week.
No. 22: NEW ENTRY. Elvis Costello - Sulky Girl
Well as fallen Deities come they don't come better than this. The singer/songwriter who rode the crest of the New Wave boom in the late 1970s to mature throughout the 1980s retaining a sizable and passionate fanbase whose cries of anguish rang loud and long in recent years as he churned out a string of albums that seemed for some reason to only antagonise the purists. Those cries could well be silenced now though with the presence on the new album Brutal Youth of messrs Nick Lowe, Pete Thomas, Bruce Thomas and Steve Nieve. The Attractions are back in town. The resultant hype causes Sulky Girl to become his first Top 40 hit since Veronica back in 1989 and moreover his biggest hit since Pills And Soap was released under the pseudonym of 'The Imposter' and peaked at No.16 in June 1983. Throughout his chart career which stretches back to 1977 he has only ever had 3 Top 10 hits, his biggest being the now accepted classic of Oliver's Army which made No.2 in March 1979.
No. 19: CLIMBER. Level 42 - Forever Now
A small but reassuring climb for Level 42 to give them what is only their third Top 20 hit in the last 6 years and their 11th overall.
No. 18: NEW ENTRY. Inspiral Carpets - I Want You
A mere 5 weeks after Saturn 5 made No.20 the Inspirals are back once again with a rapid follow-up. Despite having none of the pure pop brilliance of the last single, I Want You enters two places higher. The interest and indeed the rush to get this released is due in part to the presence on guest vocals of Mark E. Smith of the Fall. Despite having been around for donkey's years the Fall have never had a hit this big, only making the Top 30 once with There's A Ghost In My House in 1987. Whilst no great fan of his music I have to admire Mark E. Smith for being able to appear in public saddled with the knowledge that his wife ran off with Nigel Kennedy. I know something like that would destroy me.
No. 16: NEW ENTRY. Beck - Loser
Having caused waves underground for weeks now, America's greatest purveyor of weirdness finally achieves a crossover hit with this glorious piece of eclecticism that on reflection could never really fail. I'm unsure about it's potential for a climb next week though, but it deserves all credit for single of the week if only for track No.4 on the CD single. A tender ditty entitled MTV Makes Me Want To Smoke Crack which must go down as one of the funniest records I've heard all year.
No. 11: NEW ENTRY. Smashing Pumpkins - Disarm
The recent success of the Cranberries proved that there is some justice in the world and here is the final bolt to sway any doubts. The US duo made the Top 40 for the first time ever last summer when 'Cherub Rock' made No.31. Despite this a subsequent single release could only reach No.46 but now they bounce back with this track. Disarm is a glorious acoustic ballad finally giving the inky press darlings a major hit. As the highest new entry this week it also makes this week the first since Christmas without a new entry inside the Top 10.
No. 10: FALLER. Suede - Stay Together
After the phenomenal first week sales of the single, Suede slide down dramatically and reveal just what an effect they had on the rest of the chart last week as several singles which were shifted down to make way for them go into revival and move back up.
No. 8: CLIMBER. Cappella - Move On Baby
On such record on the yo-yo is Cappella, up from 10 last week following their decline from an initial No.7 placing.
No. 7: CLIMBER. Elton John and RuPaul - Don't Go Breaking My Heart
The strongest climb of the week gives Elton John his 22nd Top 10 hit, moving him ahead of the Rolling Stones to place him joint 9th with Status Quo on the all-time list. The record for Top 10 hits is of course held by Cliff Richard with a staggering 63 to his name. It's the first time anyone has ever duetted with two different singers on the same song and had a Top 10 hit both times. This new version of Don't Go Breaking My Heart is produced by the legendary Giorgio Morodor, who should really know better. It's the first time he has had a record in the Top 10 for a very long time. All guesses as to what the last single produced by him to get this high are welcomed...
No. 2: CLIMBER. Ace Of Base - The Sign
Climbing ahead of chart reversals by Toni Braxton and Enigma, Ace of Base make a strong challenge for the top and look to be in with a strong chance next week.
No. 1: THIRD WEEK. Mariah Carey - Without You
In the meantime Mariah Carey clings on although she has a little way to go before she equals the success of the original which stayed on top for 5 weeks in 1972. For the British and American charts to mirror each other so closely is unusual in this day and age but this is what has happened this week with Billboard ranking Ace of Base at No.2 and Mariah at No.1.