1 MEN IN BLACK (Will Smith)
A reasonably quiet week for new single releases means there is little new competition for the Number One slot, leaving Will Smith to maintain his comfortable margin at the top. Having said that it would have taken a pretty big release to dislodge him at the present time, even the surging popularity of Chumbawamba's single at Number 2 leaves it a long way behind. In notching up a third week at the top, Men In Black now overtakes Boom! Shake The Room as Will Smith's biggest ever UK hit single.
3 YOU'RE THE ONE I LOVE (Shola Ama)
After her massive early summer success with her cover of Randy Crawford's You Might Need Somebody Shola Ama has been labelled as a talent to watch. The acid test is of course can she maintain the momentum with a record that is not a classic soul cover. With this single she seems to have answered the question completely, the biggest new entry of the week is another medium tempo, lilting soul record that is perfect late summertime listening and at a stroke beats the Number 4 peak of her first hit.
7 NEVER GONNA LET YOU GO (Tina Moore)
The second biggest hit of the week comes from a rather surprising source. The original white label copies that heralded the new release of Rosie Gaines' Closer Than Close had a totally different and hitherto unknown track on the flip side. Never Gonna Let You Go was the song in question and despite extensive club support only Closer Than Close was initially picked up for an official release. Happily that situation has now been rectified and after a long gestation period the eagerly-awaited track explodes into the Top 10 to give Tina Moore her first Top 40 hit.
10 QUEEN OF NEW ORLEANS (Jon Bon Jovi)
The second solo hit of the year for Jon Bon Jovi, charting just a few places down from the Number 4 peak of Midnight In Chelsea. The new hit has a slightly harder rock edge which may account for its reduced popularity amongst casual buyers but the way radio airplay has come easily for the record is a testament to the quality of his music, no matter what style he attempts. If one includes the chart hits by the band themselves, this is his 13th UK Top 10 hit since 1986.
12 MY FATHER'S SON (Conner Reeves)
Conner Reeves could almost be regarded as the forgotten talent of pop. For several years he has gained himself a reputation as a songwriter par exellence with artists such as Tina Tuner being the beneficiaries of his talent. Finally he takes the step into the limelight himself and is rewarded by a massive hit single. The gentle ballad My Father's Son may not exactly be a smash hit but his silky vocal style coupled with an immaculately executed song has led to a widespread radio smash and this Top 20 debut.
14 TELL ME IS IT TRUE (UB40)
...and so they seem to go on forever. The most successful reggae band in chart history have been having hit singles for 17 years now and show no signs of slowing up just yet. Their first hit single for two years is their 41st in total, a feat beaten by only 15 other acts. Over the years they have been a favourite with soundtrack compilers and so Tell Me Is It True is taken from the soundtrack of "Speed 2" which was released in this country a couple of weeks ago. Exepct a number of singles from them before the year is out although it remains to be seen if they can manage their first Top 10 hit since 1993, this barren spell is the longest of their career.
16 THE RAIN (SUPA DUPA FLY) (Missy 'Misdemeanour' Ellliott)
[Superstar debut klaxon!] Like Conner Reeves, Missy Elliott is something of a songwriting legend with her CV reading like a who's who as 1990s R&B. Coincidentally the author of 4 Page Letter which hits Number 24 for Aaliyah this week, she now scores her first solo hit single with this rap reworking of the soul classic I Can't Stand The Rain which was first a hit for Ann Peebles in 1974 and which was also covered by Eruption in 1978 (Number 5) and Tina Turner in 1985 (Number 57). [The video as well is quite iconic, marking the mainstream debut of Hype Williams' fisheye technique which he'd spend the next five years milking].
18 EVERLONG (Foo Fighters)
The second Foo Fighters single of the year which again expertly straddles the dividing line between college rock and the more commercial side of what used to be called grunge. The single maintains the consistent run of hits for Dave Grohl's band, after the Number 12 peak of Monkey Wrench back in May this is their fifth straight Top 30 hit.
22 POST MODERN SLEAZE (Sneaker Pimps)
It's sad really. One would have hoped that the movie-inspired reissue of Six Underground would have turned the Sneaker Pimps into massive stars. For the moment it seems that one Top 10 hit aside, their appeal will continue to be rather more exclusive. Post Modern Sleaze is another example of why the Becoming X album has received so much critical acclaim since its release yet for the moment is their smallest hit to date, falling just a place short of the peak of Spin Spin Sugar which was their second hit single back in March.
23 D'YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN (Oasis)
24 4 PAGE LETTER (Aaliyah)
The second hit single of the year for the most alphabetically pronounced act in chart history. Yet to have a major smash hit in this country, Aaliyah continues to notch up mid-range chart hits with ease, this being her ninth UK Top 40 hit of which only 2 have reached the Top 20.
25 FAIRWEATHER FRIEND (Synopsium)
Still on the verge of a major smash hit, this new single from Synopsium is certain to win them many more fans and gives their chart career a major shot in the arm, Fairweather Friend equalling the chart peak of their debut Farewell To Twilight after The Answer To Why I Hate You could only reach a disappointing Number 32 back in May.
31 THE SUN RISING (Beloved)
A much deserved reissue for this epoch-making dance track from The Beloved. The group, consistently led over the years by Jon Marsh have been responsible for some wonderful pop records over the course of the decade, their biggest success coming in 1993 with the hit Sweet Harmony. Their first chart hit was several years before that in 1989 when clubland was wowed by The Sun Rising, an ambient, atmospheric song that seemed tailor-made for winding down at the end of a long evening. Sadly never more than a cult success it peaked at Number 26 in October 1989 but now reappears to delight a new generation of clubgoers. Accompanied of course by a new set of mixes, as is often the case, the original version remains the best, a perfect example of turn of the decade trippiness. What a pity about the chart position once more.
32 LITTLE PINK STARS (Radish)
The debut hit single for this band from Texas whose current major claim to fame is their association with Hole singer Courtney Love who is credited with helping the band get their big break.
33 YOUR FACE (Slacker)
The second Top 40 hit of the year for Slacker, coming four months after Scared made Number 36.
38 CALL ME (Le Click)
Here's an unusual thing, a European dance record becoming a hit in America before it escapes over here. One of a number of continental hits that you can expect to see making an appearance over here as the British return in their hordes from summer holidays, Call Me looks set to become a fairly minor hit. One of the more popular song titles around, this is the fourth different song called Call Me to chart, following classics from Blondie, Go West and the last such song, a hit exactly ten years ago and also a Eurodisco classic by Spagna.
39 REPRESENT (Soul II Soul)
Nine years on from their debut an Soul II Soul are struggling for chart hits. The familiar ingredients are still there, the soft shuffling beat and Jazzie B's immaculate production but their last major chart hit was Love Enuff which made the Top 20 in 1995, their last Top 10 hit was five years ago. [They would sneak one more minor chart entry before the end of the year, but this would turn out to be Soul II Soul's final Top 40 hit single].