No. 40: NEW ENTRY. Queensryche - I Am I
Some metal to start off with from the US band who haven't been treated too badly by the charts over the years. Their biggest commercial success ever came with the ballad Silent Lucidity which became their first ever Top 40 hit when it made No.34 in April 1991 before being reissued in August 1992 and making No.18. This is their first chart hit since.
No. 39: NEW ENTRY. Eve - Good Life
The second hit single for Eve, following on from Groove Of Love which made No.30 in October last year.
No. 37: NEW ENTRY. Secret Life - Love So Strong
As I've commented before, the dance scene has been around long enough to have created its own generation of 'lost classics' and a constant series of re-promotions has been successful in making many of them hits for the first time. Love So Strong was the second chart single for Secret Life and their first to break into the upper reaches, making No.38 in August 1993. Since then the anthemic piece of deep house has become something of a dancefloor classic and now here it is, remixed and reissued, possibly never destined to become a massive hit but no less welcome all the same.
No. 36: NEW ENTRY. DJ Scott featuring Lorna B - Do You Wanna Party
Just to show that intelligent lyrics and a strong tune are by no means required these days, this slice of Hi-NRG goes down to basics with a singer wailing 'Do You Wanna Party' over a frantic dance beat. Inane maybe, but it sounds great at a club and that is all that matters surely.
No. 35: NEW ENTRY. Vanessa Mae - Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
One of those freak hits that occasionally springs from out of nowhere. Vanessa Mae is a 16 year old violinist from Singapore and her treatment of the famous Bach piece gives her a Top 40 new entry. Toccata has always been one of those classical pieces which lends itself to contemporary interpretation and this production is no exception, the violin being virtually the only classical instrument present on the piece which uses drums and synthesisers to create a pop hit out of a centuries old tune. It isn't the first time the piece has been a hit single either, Sky's famous version making No.5 in April 1980.
No. 32: NEW ENTRY. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band - We've Got Tonite
Oh wow. We've Got Tonite is something of a long lost classic on these shores. First released in February 1979 it could only reach No.41. even that making it the biggest ever hit for the band who in the late 70s/early 80s were American superstars. The song refused to die though but reissues in 1982 and 1986 failed to make it a hit. Things are about to change though with the beautiful ballad now making the Top 40 for the first time ever. If there is a reason for this, such as its inclusion in a film, I confess I'm at a loss to say what it is [nothing more complex than to promote a Greatest Hits album] but when a record is as classic as this, looking for excuses for its presence is as pointless as apologising for being in love.
No. 31: NEW ENTRY. Wildhearts - If Life Is Like A Lovebank...
A third Top 40 hit for the Wildhearts who always appear to be on the verge of their first major hit only to find it out of reach. They first appeared with Caffeine Bomb which made No.31 just over a year ago and followed it up with Sucker Punch which made No.38 in July 1993. This record at least gains the distinction of having a longer title than any other on the chart this week - If Life Is Like A Lovebank I Want An Overdraft.
No. 28: NEW ENTRY. Jimmy Somerville - Heartbeat
The first chart appearance in a long time for Jimmy Somerville who first hit the charts over ten years ago. His first tenure was with Scottish band Bronski Beat whose biggest success came in 1984 with the immortal Smalltown Boy. He left the band in 1985 and hooked up with keyboardist Richard Coles to form the Communards whose Hi-NRG pop seemed almost a chart fixture in the late 1980s and who scored three Top 10 hits - most notably their chart-topping version of Don't Leave Me This Way which wound up the biggest hit of 1986. In 1988 Jimmy split the band and went solo to be met with more understated chart success. Good though his own songs are his biggest hits always seem to be covers. His last solo hit was his version of the Bee Gees' To Love Somebody which made No.8 in 1990. This new single marks his re-emergence from a musical lay-off with an inoffensive piece of Hi-NRG pop but not a record that is destined to make major waves on the chart.
No. 24: NEW ENTRY. Soundgarden - Fell On Black Days
Another chart hit for Soundgarden who are looking to build on the success they enjoyed last year when Black Hole Sun reached No.12 to give them their biggest hit ever. This new hit is unlikely to scale those dizzy heights but is at least another Top 30 hit to add to their tally.
No. 23: NEW ENTRY. Morrissey - Boxers
The Messiah of alternative pop returns once more for us all to briefly worship at his altar. As I've said many times in the past, Mozza has such an aura that he doesn't really _need_ to have hit singles, which by all account is just as well. A steady stream of middling chart hits is all he ever seems to manage, this being the first since The More You Ignore Me made a brief stop at No.8 in March 1994 and which was followed by his summer duet with Siouxsie on Interlude which made No.25. In all this characteristic slice of misery is his 15th Top 30 hit to date.
No. 21: CLIMBER. New Order - Nineteen63
Something of a novelty for New Order, not only having a hit climb the charts but also becoming the biggest mover of the week. The band's fan base is normally such that their hits will chart big first week out before suffering a slow burnout as everyone else catches on. Not so for 1963 as it vaults from last week's No.37.
No. 20: NEW ENTRY. Jodeci - Cry For You
The current success of R Kelly is clearly opening the doors for other American swing acts at the moment. A strong promotional push for Jodeci sends them flying into the Top 20 with their second hit single, the followup to Feenin' which made No.18 in July 1994.
No. 19: CLIMBER. Deuce - Call It Love
Slow progress so far for the latest catchy slice of European pop to hit the charts. Call It Love has all the right elements to make it a smash and with a little patience could yet go Top 10. Funny this, I'm trying to make articulate comment on a record that is certainly good but so simplistically so as to be average - if that makes sense. [No it doesn't, go back and rewrite that bit].
No. 13: NEW ENTRY. Let Loose - One Night Stand
The breakthrough finally came for Let Loose in 1994 after what seemed like an age of trying. Crazy For You made No.2 in the summer and ended up one of the biggest hits of the year whilst Seventeen became a creditable follow-up. What both of those hits had in common was that they were reissues of singles that had failed before and so had a sort of cosy familiarity about them. Their third Top 20 hit is a brand new track from their soon to be released album and in many ways is one of the band's most accomplished recordings yet. By no means as instant as past hits, its one of those records that grows on you and in style begs comparison with several Johnny Hates Jazz tracks from 1987. No.13 is a good start and if there is any justice a further Top 10 hit is on the cards.
No. 11: NEW ENTRY. MC Sar & The Real McCoy - Run Away
All the elements that made Another Night such a smash are here once again, it may be a standard Eurohit formula but it works so why argue? MC Sar mutters and grumbles to an electronic backing pausing only to let the chorus in at regular intervals. To comment further is a little pointless.
No. 9: NEW ENTRY. Simple Minds - She's A River
These days hardy chart perennials rather than just another Scottish rock band, Jim Kerr and simple minds crash back on the scene with their first new material for nearly 4 years. The band started out in the 1970s as dodgy punk rockers before making a series of now-classic power-pop singles of which Love Song was the biggest making No.47 in 1981. They then transformed again into fully fledged stadium rockers and have now notched up a string of epic-sounding singles, each one begging to be called a classic. She's A River is no different to all the others, starting with Kerr's growling vocals on the opening verse and then gradually stepping up the pressure and adding more layers of sound at every line until the song has sucked you in completely and you are in the middle of yet another epic. Tried and tested the formula may be but it works every time and gives the band a seventh Top 10 hit.
No. 7: NEW ENTRY. Green Day - Basket Case
In a week which sees a frightening number of new hits the biggest of all is in many ways the most surprising. Green Day first hit the chart with Welcome To Paradise in October 1994 and now smash straight into the Top 10 with a reissue of their first single which just missed the Top 40 on its first release. Something of an instant classic, nominated for a Grammy as best rock track, it is certainly one of the most alternative Top 10 smash since Radiohead's Creep. As to where it goes next it is hard to tell but it could potentially open the door for a flood of the post-Nirvana young American rock bands who are currently making waves on the other side of the Atlantic. Grant Lee Buffalo, Hootie and the Blowfish and even veterans Toad The Wet Sprocket - your time could well have come over here.
No. 1: THIRD WEEK. Rednex - Cotton Eye Joe
In a week of frantic action in the lower reaches, the irony is that the top end of the chart stagnates to the greatest extent for over a year with none of the first four records shifting from last week. This enables Rednex to extend their lead over Celine Dion for a third week at the top. Possibilities for next week are still wide open, Rednex look to be safe but with sales at the moment suffering their annual January volatility it could still be anyone's game.