No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Sugar - Favorite Thing
A new album and a new single for Bob Mould and Sugar and a hit first time out. The first single from the first Sugar album A Good Idea could only reach No.65 and it took the poppy If I Can't Change Your Mind to bring them into the Top 40 for the first time when it reached No.30 in January 1993. Sugar have now therefore had three chart hits - three more than Husker Du or Bob Mould solo ever had...
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Peter Gabriel - SW Live EP
A return to the charts after a long gap for Peter Gabriel - his last Top 40 hit was Steam back in January 1993. The new hit takes the form of an EP of live recordings of old hits of his, the lead track being a version of Red Rain. The long brooding track first appeared on the So album back in 1986 and was surprisingly considered for a late single release in July 1987 where it could only reach No.46. It's not the first time Peter Gabriel has released a live recording - a live version of Biko made No.49 in November 1987.
No. 38: NEW ENTRY. Arrow - Hot Hot Hot
One of the first Soca tracks ever to cross over and make the charts, Hot Hot Hot only reached No.59 when first released in the summer of 1984. Despite this lowly position it has become something of a party classic since, instantly recognisable and guaranteed to fill dance floors with holidaying Britons all across Europe. Clearly it was an obvious candidate for reissue and it finally makes a Top 40 appearance albeit in an unintrusive but still unneccessary remix that cuts in the loop from Give It Up. Extensive radio play may yet make it a late summer hit. Arrow only ever had one other chart single, Long Time which took him to No.30 in July 1985. Altogether now: "Ole Ole...."
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Beautiful South - Prettiest Eyes
A third hit this year for the Beautiful South, hot on the heels of their cover of Everybody's Talkin which gave them their biggest hit for some time when it reached No.12 in June. The new single is along similar lines, a heartachingly beautiful Paul Heaton ballad that is almost certain to fail to achieve what it deserves. The Beautiful South, despite their early run of hits appear to have become something of a minority taste - a set of circumstances that I suspect will come only once they have disbanded and a greatest hits collection becomes their popular renaissance. [A strangely maudlin attempt to predict their future, although it was indeed a Greatest Hits collection which made everyone appreciate them all the more.]
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. Dave Stewart - Heart Of Stone
Whilst Annie Lennox has continued to be a star her former partner in the Eurythmics has struggled somewhat to score hits in his own right, despite critical acclimation for all his solo projects. The worldwide smash of Lily Was Here aside, Dave Stewart has since 1990 formed the Spiritual Cowboys who could only reach No.69 with their first single Jack Talking. In 1992 he tried again, teaming up with Terry Hall to form Vegas. Despite rave reviews, they only reached No.32 with the gorgeous Possessed and No.43 with their inspired cover of Charles Aznavour's She. Finally he gets another hit, Heart Of Stone being a straightforward Rock/Pop song but radio friendly enough to become a hit. Will it finally kick-start his solo career though?
No. 34: NEW ENTRY. John Mellencamp - Wild Night
Here's a face from the past, John (Cougar) Mellencamp has always had difficulty having hits in Britain, despite sustained popularity in the States. To date his only previous Top 40 hit was Jack And Diane in October 1982 which still only reached No.25 despite its now classic status. His second ever UK hit then is a cover of an old Van Morrison song which has never been a hit in this country despite a plethora of cover versions by a variety of artists, the track last surfacing as sung by Martha Reeves on the soundtrack of Thelma and Louise.
No. 30: NEW ENTRY. Duke Baysee - Sugar Sugar
I detect another craze developing here. Reggae versions of classsic pop hits are nothing new but CJ Lewis has got a lot to answer for by showing that they can chart as well. The song of course is known to virtually everyone, making No.1 for the Archies in 1969. It stayed on top for 8 weeks to tie Wonderful Land by the Shadows as the longest running No.1 hit of the decade. The ubiquitous Jonathan King recorded a version in 1971 and took it to No.12. These are the only two versions to chart but a plethora of others makes Sugar Sugar one of the most covered songs in history. Sadly Duke Baysee's version shows little respect for that pedigree.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Robert Palmer - Know By Now
The first chart hit in a long while for Robert Palmer who has been silent since his crooning of the classic Witchcraft reached No.50 in October 1992. His last Top 40 hit of any kind was his 1991 coupling of Mercy Mercy Me and I Want You which reached No.9. In a solo chart career that stretches back to 1978 he has notched up surprisingly few big hits - only 9 in all made the Top 40, five making No.1s. To be fair this is ignoring his three hits with the Power Station and several albums made in the early 1970s as a member of Vinegar Joe.
No. 27: NEW ENTRY. Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories - Stay (I Missed You)
The second hit from the "Reality Bites" soundtrack to chart, following in the wake of Big Mountain's Baby I Love Your Way. It has already been a smash in the states and now seems set to repeat that success over here, possibly in a more minor fashion though, the pretty ballad being nothing to write home about. Harmless in a Suzanne Vega/Edie Brickell kind of way. [Didn't rate it then, never really did. But history records this turned into a rather large and memorable hit. So another victory for my hit-predicting powers.]
No. 25: NEW ENTRY. Terrorvision - Pretend Best Friend
The fourth hit of 1994 for Terrorvision who have seen their support this year grow steadily. The new single will progress little further though, having little of the commercial charm of Oblivion or Middleman.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. R.Kelly - Summer Bunnies
Something tells me it isn't rabbits he is singing about, but never mind. The second hit for R.Kelly whose brand of lovers swingbeat has yet to win him large numbers of fans, his last hit being Your Body's Calling which made No.19 back in May.
No. 13: CLIMBER. Sophie B Hawkins - Right Beside You
A further climb for Sophie B, overtaking the No.14 peak of Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover to giver her her biggest hit ever.
No. 10: NEW ENTRY. Blur - Parklife
I suppose after last week's dearth of outstanding new singles it is refreshing to see an active chart. The third Blur hit of the year is the title track from the album that is one of the front-runners for next month's Mercury Music Prize. Featuring actor Phil Daniels to the fore, the track is another flawless piece of music from the band it is currently impossible to rubbish without appearing horribly out of touch. It's the bands third Top 10 hit, following There's No Other Way and Girls And Boys.
No. 6: NEW ENTRY. Boyz II Men - I'll Make Love To You
Just as All-4-One release their domination of the upper reaches of the Top 10 along comes another piece of immaculate close-harmony soul to take its place. The first single from Boyz II Men since the start of 1993 is a smash before it has ever started, reworking the themes that helped End Of The Road become such a worldwide smash, yet at the same time avoiding being a straight copy of that hit. With Wet Wet Wet's stranglehold at the top looking ever shaky it would be a bold man to suggest that this is not the track to depose them - maybe even as soon as next week although a certain Ms Minogue may upset calculations slightly.
No. 2: CLIMBER. Red Dragon - Compliments On Your Kiss
Almost unobtrusively Red Dragon appear to have slipped up the charts with this piece of harmless poppy ragga. Still not enough to shift this lot though...
No. 1: FOURTEENTH WEEK. Wet Wet Wet - Love Is All Around
Love Is All Around now pulls alongside 'Bohemian Rhapsody's total to become the joint third longest running No.1 hit of all time. It's not inconceivable that they could hang on ever longer to overhaul Bryan Adams but with Boyz II Men set to make a strong challenge and Kylie Minogue exploding back onto the chart next week they will have their work cut out to do so. A detailed comment on the success of what is almost certain to be the best seller of the year is obviously called for but that can wait until it finally slips from the top - assuming I don't die of old age first...