1 I BELIEVE/UP ON THE ROOF (Robson and Jerome)
A second week at the top for Robson and Jerome, for the moment seemingly impregnable at the top of the charts, at least until their album of re-recorded old standards is released. The success of the track means that I Believe extends its lead as the most successful Number One song of all time. These two weeks added on to the epic 18 weeks that Frankie Laine's version spent at the top means that the song has now had 20 weeks at Number One - four more than Everything I Do which holds the runners up slot. Closely following those two is Love Is All Around with 15 weeks to its name and behind that is the ubiquitous Unchained Melody which now has spent 14 weeks at Number One following Robson and Jerome's 7 weeks at the top with the song earlier this year.
2 GANGSTA'S PARADISE (Coolio featuring LV)
Here is a curiosity - last week Coolio's hit was shouldered out of the way by the twin challenges of Robson Jerome and Oasis. This week the roles are reversed as Oasis slide a place to enable Coolio to reclaim the Number 2 slot.
5 YOU'LL SEE (Madonna)
A three place climb inside the Top 10 may not seem all that significant but in the current chart climate it is at least worthy of a small comment. The climb is the track's second which is all the more impressive when you consider that most Madonna singles peak on either their second or third chart week. In fact this is her first hit single to climb the chart for a second successive week since Erotica climbed from 10-4-3 way back in October 1992, all the more impressive when you consider that the album from which the single is taken charts at Number 3 this week, something which would normally deaden the appeal of the single.
7 I BELIEVE (Happy Clappers)
When the story of the chart of 1995 comes to be written a chapter will be set aside for what at times has appeared to be a frantic programme of dance reissues, not only of classics from yesteryear, but also of hits only months old which had underperformed first time around. The latest of these is the Happy Clappers track, first released in June when it reached Number 21. Obviously and perhaps inevitably that was not enough and so here it comes again, crashing straight into the Top 10 and eclipsing even Tina Turner to become the biggest new hit of the week.
10 GOLDENEYE (Tina Turner)
Bond is back. The forthcoming holiday season is set to be dominated by the long-awaited release of "Goldeneye", the first James Bond film to be made since 1989. The theme song is written by Bono and The Edge and the task of opening the epic has fallen to Tina Turner. Like most Bond themes it tends towards the sweeping style of the early John Barry efforts yet still manages to retain its own identity. It gives Tina Turner her first hit single since 1993s Why Must We Wait Until Tonight and her first Top Ten hit since I Don't Wanna Fight made Number 7 in May 1993. Popular though she is, her hitmaking is often sporadically successful, this being only her eighth Top Tenner since her solo career kicked off in 1983. Bond themes, on the other hand, have a long history of chart success. Every James Bond film since 1985 has had a Top 10 hit to its name and the list of artists to have recorded Bond themes stretches from Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Gladys Knight right through to Sheena Easton, A-Ha and Duran Duran. No Bond theme has ever made Number One, the closest being Duran Duran's A View To A Kill which made Number 2 in 1985.
11 EXHALE (SHOOP SHOOP) (Whitney Houston)
These things have a nice sequence to them. Exactly three years ago this week Whitney Houston released I Will Always Love You, from the soundtrack of her acting debut The Bodyguard which was ultimately to top the charts for ten weeks and become the biggest hit of her career. This weekend by a strange coincidence that film received its terrestrial television premiere just as the first single from Whitney's second feature film explodes onto the chart. That the single should chart this high is a testament either to the popularity of Whitney Houston, or to the discerning nature of record buyers today as the single is possibly one of the most uncommercial she has ever released. The song is a gorgeous piece of very, very hardcore soul with Whitney adopting a breathy, understated vocal style. It's her first hit single since her duet with allegedly estranged husband Bobby Brown, Something In Common made Number 16 in January 1994. A hit single from a film then, but good though it is this is no I Will Always Love You.
12 ANYWHERE IS (Enya)
The closest the British charts have ever come to having a New Age star is Enya, who kicked her chart career off in dramatic fashion in 1988 with the Number One hit Orinoco Flow and has continued steadily in a similar fashion ever since with a string of Top 40 hits in a similar ethereal style. Her last hit single proper came in August 1992 when Book Of Days made Number 10 on the back of its use in the Tom Cruise film Far and Away, although that was followed by The Celts, the theme song to the BBC TV series that she had recorded back in 1986. The new single from her third album is if anything slightly more commercial than many of her previous hits, with a light, almost poppy sound.
16 YOU TO ME ARE EVERYTHING (Sean Maguire)
I will declare a slight bit of bias here as You To Me Are Everything is one of my favourite songs. It was first recorded by The Real Thing back in 1976 and was a massive and deserved Number One. Since then it has become something of a cabaret soul classic, part of the repertoire of virtually any club band and an almost guaranteed source for a hit single. Having said that it is surprising that there have not been more chart versions of it, The Real Thing themselves charting with a remixed version in 1986 and Sonia taking the song to Number 13 in November 1991. Sean Maguire's new chart version is a fairly faithful plod through the song, giving him his third hit of 1995 and beating the Number 18 peak of Suddenly to become the biggest of these. This is by no means a bad record, but a lazy one, trotting through a song which is so timeless you would have to work very hard to spoil it.
17 WRAP ME UP (Alex Party)
Alex Party's hit Don't Give Me Your Life dominated both the charts and the dancefloors at the start of the year, reaching Number 2 in early March, spending an incredible 8 weeks inside the Top 10. It is perhaps surprising then that they should have taken so long to issue a followup. Now it duly arrives and duly places itself inside the Top 20, despite the fact that it really has none of the charm of the earlier hit and I suspect its presence amongst the bestsellers will be fairly brief.
18 PRETENDERS TO THE THRONE (Beautiful South)
I am going to write this fairly cautiously, not least because I know some of the staff at Go! Discs read this article closely every week [I used to get friendly heads ups about forthcoming hits from someone in the office, I forget who]. This is a brand new hit single for the Beautiful South, but not the one they should have had. The basics first of all, this being their first release from a forthcoming new album and the first since their Greatest Hits collection spawned the Number 14 hit One Last Love Song almost exactly a year ago. The single is a typically pretty ballad, sounding more of less a direct relation of their 1991 flop Let Love Speak Up Itself, is an extremely well made record and a deserved hit. Having said that, let us consider the other facts available to us. Earlier in the year the band contributed to the soundtrack of the Meg Ryan film 'French Kiss' by recording their version of the old Mama Cass song Dream A Little Dream. It was stunning. Easily one of the best records they had ever made and doing the timeless classic justice every inch of the way. It was released as a single all over Europe - except here. Here, the track was only available on the soundtrack to the film, or via a stock of imported CD singles that the HMV chain cannily stocked their shelves with. The track was even promo-ed to radio stations and was rapidly added to playlists, giving the band a huge airplay hit to such an extent that it has blocked airtime for the new hit, with stations still playing Dream A Little Dream. Exactly what the motivation was for blocking the release of the track in this country is unclear to me. What is certain, however, is that the track was probably destined to be one of their biggest hit singles ever - a chance that has now apparently been thrown away for good. [In a career drenched with classics, this remains one of the Beautiful South's greatest ever ballads, yet the 1995 analysis was correct - it was utterly eclipsed by demand for a single they never released here].
19 HAPPINESS (Pizzaman)
Good how these things fit together isn't it? Pizzaman is of course one of the many alter-egos of Norman Cook, he of Freak Power, Beats International and ultimately erstwhile of the Housemartins, the band which eventually was to mutate into The Beautiful South. Happiness is his third hit single under this guise, following on from Sex On The Streets which reached Number 24 back in June and Trippin' On Sunshine which made Number 33 in August 1994.
23 IN THE HOUSE (Clock)
Now 4 hit singles in a row for Clock this year, this being the latest. The hits are now becoming a little formulaic which may well restrict the appeal of this new hit. Already it has fallen short of the achievements of its predecessors, all of which made the Top 20 first week out.
26 DIANE (Therapy?)
A third Top 20 hit in 1995 for Therapy?, following Stories and Loose earlier on this year.
34 FEEL THE MUSIC (Guru)
A second hit single for Guru, but still a small one despite the critical acclaim for his second album. This is now his fourth hit single since 1993 yet the biggest remains No Time To Play which could only make Number 25 in November 1993. It is a shame since he is making some of the most innovative rap/soul crossover records around.
36 WHADDA U WANT (FROM ME) (Frankie Knuckles featuring Adeva)
A similar story for Frankie Knuckles and Adeva, their current collaborations producing some of the best garage tunes heard for years, possibly due to the way they are a throwback to the classic garage tunes of the late 1980s. This hit follows on from Too Many Fish In The Sea which reached Number 34 in May.
37 WISHES OF HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY (YEHA-NOHA) (Sacred Spirit)
One curious chart trend of 1995 which has for obvious reasons gone hitherto unremarked upon in these pages is the rise of the moods album. Since Spring the album chart has been dotted with a series of concept albums, marketed through TV advertising which feature renditions of recent hits performed by Pan Pipes and Acoustic Guitars. What would once have been seen as elevator muzak has suddenly become an essential lifestyle purchase. One such album is the 'Sacred Spirit' project, an album of American Indian chants set to a modern new age beat. The album faltered when first released last year but became such a smash on the continent that it has been re-promoted and has spent the past month or so firmly in the Top 20 (this week it slips a couple of places to Number 19). The album now receives a further boost with the release of a single, which duly creeps into the bottom end of the Top 40.
40 EXODUS (Sunscreem)
Hear that? It is the sound of a comeback misfiring. Sunscreem looked set for huge success in 1992 when their second single Love U More made Number 23. That was followed by a string of medium-sized hits such as Perfect Motion and a cover of Marianne Faithful's Broken English. Since the end of 1993 the band have been silent but now return with a new single, similar in style to their earlier hits but one which has falled tragically short of a respectable chart placing.