1 YOU ARE NOT ALONE (Michael Jackson)
A second week at the top for Michael Jackson and by virtue of a strong surge of sales, by a slightly greater margin than the 800 copies that marked him out last week. Nonetheless his lead on the top remains slender and given the strong showing of several of the records below him he will face an uphill struggle to last another week and turn You Are Not Alone into his longest running Number One hit ever.
2 STAYIN' ALIVE (N-Trance featuring Ricardo Da Force)
The Bee Gees will never sound the same again after this. N-Trance first hit the charts at the start of the year with Set You Free, an astonishing dance track that married some of the most hardcore jungle beats around to a plaintive, passionate ballad. The distinctive track worked its way up to Number 2 and remains one of the best selling singles so far this year. Now almost seven months later comes the followup, and what a followup it is. Using the famous Bee Gees track as a base, N-Trance take the song into a whole new dimension, adding new lyrics and most importantly of all a killer rap from Ricardo Da Force, best known for his work with the KLF. The track has proved itself to be a floor filler for most of the summer and upon commercial release could hardly fail to become a smash hit. It does so in spectacular style, shouldering out of the way a strong set of records in the Top 10. The fact that virtually every reviewer in the land touted this as a potential Number One gives you some indication of the respect and popularity that this track commands. This is no ordinary cover, this is a fantastic reinterpretation that only the bold would bet against being Number One next week.
6 CAN I TOUCH YOU... THERE? (Michael Bolton)
With the release of his greatest hits album imminent, the new single from that album makes a strong climb up the chart to mark itself down as one of his biggest. Turning his back on crooning classics and returning to making proper pop records has clearly working for Michael Bolton as Can I Touch You There becomes what is only his fourth UK Top 10 hit and his first since 'When A Man Loves A Woman' made Number 8 in November 1991. A Number 6 postion for this track makes it his second biggest hit ever - only his debut UK chart hit 'How Am I Supposed To Live Without You' peaked higher, reaching Number 3 in March 1990.
7 TU M'AIMES ENCORE (Celine Dion)
It says a lot for Celine Dion that she can persuade even the linguistically xenophobic British to buy records sung entirely in a foreign language. The French song is one of several records to make a commanding leap up the chart this week, in advance of the album which is due for release on September 18th and looks set to sell very well indeed. Quite where the single advances next will be interesting to see. The last song sung completely in French to go Top 5 was Desireless' Voyage Voyage in 1988 which itself came a few months after Vanessa Paradis' Joe Le Taxi which reached Number 3. The last foreign language hit of any kind to reach Number One was Los Lobos' La Bamba which reached the summit in 1987. [One could argue it was actually Enigma's Sadness Part 1 whose limited lyrics were all entirely in French].
9 LIVING NEXT DOOR TO ALICE (Smokie featuring Roy Chubby Brown)
Look at this, no less than three records actually make climbs into the Top 10 this week, something of a rarity in this day and age. The strongest of these is the 11 place leap made by the ubiquitous Smokie record as it encroaches more and more on public consciousness, and this in spite of the competition from the other version lower down the chart. It gives Smokie their first Top 10 hit since Oh Carol reached Number 5 way back in 1978. I don't have a database listing the longest gap between Top 10 hits, but a 17 year wait must surely rank as one of the longest ones.
15 U GIRLS (LOOK SO SEXY) (Nush)
Presenting the return of a regular Top 40 theme, the re-released dance record. Honours this time go to Nush's U Girls, first released over a year ago when it reached No.58. These past few months have certainly seen a rush of re-releases as a glance at this week's chart will reveal. No less than 10 of this week's hits are records which have been released (in one form or another) in the past.
17 TELL ME THE WAY (Cappella)
The first hit of 1995 for Cappella, one of the most consistent pop/dance acts of recent years let by the not inconsiderable talents of Italian producer Gianfranco Bortolotti. Tell Me The Way, no great departure from any of their previous hits, becomes their seventh Top 20 hit since 1989.
18 I'LL STICK AROUND (Foo Fighters)
The second hit single for the Foo Fighters, Dave Grohl's band having already gone Top 10 back in July with their debut 'This Is A Call'. The second single from the album is by no means as commercial as the first and is in all certainty destined for a quick departure from this initial entry.
19 ALICE (WHO THE X IS ALICE (Gompie)
The cover battle between the two versions continues but the pattern so far is consistent as Gompie's version lags behind the one by Smokie. In all fairness it should be pointed out that Smokie have a 1 week advantage over Gompie, having been on release earlier. Even so, it is still interesting that the two versions are moving steadily up the charts in tandem. The battle between the two is reminiscent of the battle between two versions of I Found Lovin' which crept up the chart in October 1987. Back then both the Fatback Band's original and Steve Walsh's cover charted at the same time and climbed the charts together, never more than a couple of places apart. The battle ended with the Fatback Band peaking at Number 7 and Steve Walsh at Number 9 - both in the same week.
21 COLOURS OF THE WIND (Vanessa Williams)
It must be Autumn and time for the annual Disney classic to dominate cinema takings and spawn a series of schmaltzy hits. Forgive my cynicism, but all of this is in danger of becoming formulaic. The imminent release over here of 'Pochahontas' is heralded by the arrival of this hit from Vanessa Williams who is incredibly enough scoring what is only her second ever Top 40 hit. She seemed set for great things when she broke through with Save The Best For Last which reached Number 3 in March 1992 but since then she has not charted at all. Disney's current cultural renaissance has been responsible for a number of hit singles over the last few years, Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King have all had Top 40 hits taken from their soundtracks.
22 FIND ME (ODYSSEY TO ANYOONA) (Jam and Spoon featuring Plavka)
Following the successful reissue of Right In The Night, Jam and Spoon follow up with another attempt at their second big European smash of 1994. Like its predecessor, Find Me has been released before, in September 1994 when it reached Number 37. Second time around the track does much better and deserves to go even higher, being as it is more of a proper song than Right In The Night with vocalist Plavka sounding almost suspiciously like Madonna at times.
24 LIKE LOVERS DO (Lloyd Cole)
The moody and gallic-looking one makes a welcome return to the Top 40. Lloyd Cole started out in the 1980s fronting his band the Commotions. They scored a number of small chart hits, the biggest of which was Lost Weekend which reached Number 15 in 1985. In 1988 the band split up and Cole went solo, releasing a couple of albums that met with only moderate success and failed to produce any big hit singles. Thus it is that with the release of a brand new album he scores a long-overdue hit single with this sensitive track that brings him into the Top 40 for the first time since Jennifer She Said made Number 31 in January 1988.
26 EVERYBODY ON THE FLOOR (PUMP IT) (Tokyo Ghetto Pussy)
Is it possible to say 'Tokyo Ghetto Pussy' without smiling? I'm not completely convinced. This track was first released earlier this year and was an instant dancefloor hit but the expected chart success never came. As you should know by now, that is not in itself such a bad thing as the chances of a dance record becoming a hit appear to increase second time around. Thus it is that the track is relaunched and lands a Top 40 place, the second of the week for the two people behind the track - Jam and Spoon.
28 LOVING YOU MORE (B.T. featuring Vincent Covello)
Brian Transeau to give him his full name. This is his second hit single of the year following Embracing The Sunshine which reached Number 34 back in March. Most people's attention will have been drawn to the track as a result of the familiar sleeve; yellow writing on blue with a giant 'P' logo in the middle. Perfecto records strike again with the names of Oakenfold and Osbourne prominently on the front.
30 ROUGH WITH THE SMOOTH (Shara Nelson)
The first hit single from a new album for Shara Nelson, the former singer with Massive Attack who created a name for herself solo in 1993/4. This single becomes her first hit since Inside Out reached Number 34 in September 1994.
37 JOE (Inspiral Carpets)
As the end of the year approaches the market readies itself for a number of Greatest Hits collections. The Inspiral Carpets, having parted company with their label and now the subject of one of these. They are probably one of the few remaining stalwarts of the early 1980s Madchester scene. Since the late 1980s they have notched up a string of hits, amongst them a number of pop classics in the shape of This Is How It Feels and Dragging Me Down. Their hits collection is trumpeted, however, with one of their long-lost classics. Joe was the band's very first single, released in 1988 and was popular in its own small way although it never charted outside the Independent charts. Seven years down the line the single finally becomes a hit, although it is destined to only be a small one, being as it is evidence of the way the band gradually developed their talents for making some wonderful records.