Elsewhere in the world in 1993, IRA bombs had gone off in Warrington with two children killed amongst the many shoppers injured. Nigel Mansell moved to Indycars and won his first race, Kim Basinger was forced to pay out for pulling out of the film Boxing Helena (a film so bad you would indeed pay to not have to star in it) and to the dismay of one-handed typists everywhere, the TV channel Red Hot Dutch was banned from the UK and sale of cards to decrypt it were outlawed. The Grand National that wasn't was only just around the corner too...

We move on now to the second C90 cassette containing the broadcast of this weeks Top 40 and one which has sat in its box spooled halfway through. Given I can't have listened to this tape since the mid 90s at least, I wonder what it was that was so pressing that I had to abandon it halfway through?

20: Jade -Don't Walk Away 

A 16 place climb for the debut hit from early period New Jill Swing group Jade. Tonya, Joy and Di were arguably one of the first manufactured R&B groups, thrown together by impresario Vassel Benford after each girl was signed individually. Benford co-wrote and co-produced much of their material, including this debut single which was far from unpleasant and was essentially all over the radio for most of the spring. A Number 4 hit in the US and eventually a Number 7 hit here, they sadly never climbed such heights again on these shores. After their final single Every Day Of The Week made Number 19 in early 1995 the three girls called it quits and went their separate ways.

19: Sunscreem - Pressure Us

The fourth hit single and third Top 20 hit for the techno group whose chart performance never truly reflected the quality of their singles and the commercial potential each of them had. Pressure Us was a reworked version of their first chart single 'Pressure' which originally peaked at Number 60 in February 1992. To be frank it is something of a forgotten classic, lead singer Lucia showing that she was as adept at rapping as she was at screeching the vocal hooks. Although further singles followed during the rest of the 90s and beyond, they never quite reached the chart heights scaled by the singles from debut album O3. In the meantime, if you have a time machine, they are live at Sheffield Sound City 93 on the 9th of April. I can't wait.

18: Monie Love - Born To B.R.E.E.D.

The tale of Monie Love I can never really get my head around. Simone Wilson is far and away one of the best female MCs this country has ever produced, so much so that after being taken under the wing of Queen Latifah she was spirited away to the States to work closely with the likes of the Jungle Brothers. Such was the buzz around her that Warner Brothers records snapped her up worldwide with plans to make her a star. As a result she kind of stopped being "ours" if you take my meaning and by the time she came to actually release her own records (rather than taking cameo roles on others) she was little more than a passing curiosity to the British scene. So it seemed to me anyway, doubtless plenty of others would disagree, such is her reputation. In chart terms she never really made more of a minor impact even though Top 20 singles such as Grandpa's Party and It's A Shame are fine examples of just how good she was and just what the Americans saw in her. The major selling point of the nauseating new mummy tale Born to B.R.E.E.D. was that it was produced by Prince although that still didn't seem to help its prospects too much, this Number 18 placing as far as the single would go. Since her last release in 2000 she has concentrated on being a radio star both on terrestrial and satellite radio as well as bringing up her ever-expanding brood of children. In a way that is the bit of the tale I can't get my head around, she is easily one of the cleverest, funniest and most entertaining British rappers you've ever heard, but somewhere along the way we never got round to treating her like the star she always should have been.

17: Whitney Houston - I'm Every Woman

1970s alert! Whitney's cover of the Chaka Khan classic was the second single lifted from the Bodyguard soundtrack and raced up the chart just as I Will Always Love You slipped from Number One (both singles were at 4 and 5 at one stage, something not so unusual in the digital age but a much talked about rarity back then). The video for the track focused extensively on her expanding waistline owing to her being heavily pregnant with daughter Bobbi at the time [boy, did life end out tragic for both women]. The most notable thing about the credits for I'm Every Woman was the star-studded list of producers - the track credited to Narada Michael Walden, Clivilles and Cole as well as Ashford and Simpson which I'm guessing will have made for a rather crowded booth in the studio. In a nice nod to the original, Whitney purrs "Chaka Khan" over the fadeout. The success of the single was all the more impressive given that a remix of the original version had been a Top 10 hit in this country only four years earlier.

16: Sybil - When I'm Good And Ready

We mentioned the follow-up to The Love I Lost earlier and magically here it is, climbing six places this week on its way to an eventual Number 5 peak. A perfect example of how even after their imperial hitmaking phase had long past, Stock/Aitken/Waterman could turn out a quite magical pop single. A little throwaway and lightweight it may be, but this is still far from the worst way to pass three and a half minutes of your day.

15: Right Said Fred And Friends - Stick It Out

The tie-in single for the 1993 Comic Relief telethon and a shining example of how you need more than an idea for a comedy record, you actually need a tune and jokes as well. Precipitating their dramatic fall from grace, this single features Right Said Fred plodding their way through a series of single entendres about sticking it out in all manner of exciting places with various "friends" helping out along the way. At the very least this is probably the only hit single to have Alan 'Fluff' Freeman introducing it, interjections from Hugh Laurie and Jack Dee, harmonies from the Birds Of A Feather cast and most famously of all a brief cameo at the end from Bernard Cribbins - he the man who sang 'Right Said Fred' originally and gave the group their name. Astounding that the damn thing is on Spotify at all.

14: PM Dawn - Looking Through Patient Eyes

The second biggest and sadly one of the last big hits for PM Dawn who experienced a brief but intense rush of fame when their trademark brand of blissed-out and richly romantic hip-hop grabbed for itself a huge worldwide audience. 1991 classic Set Adrift On Memory Bliss is their biggest and most famous hit, but this release from their second long player The Bliss Album holds a place in many hearts to this day. Watch out for the George Michael samples, the track based heavily on the groove from Father Figure. Sadly after the Boy George duet More Than Likely limped to Number 40 later in the summer they all but vanished from the charts, making this effectively their hit swansong. Time for a revival surely.

13: Jamiroquai - Too Young To Die

The record that started it all for Karen Kay's wiry and enthusiastic son. When You Gonna Learn was actually the first Jamiroquai single released but it had missed the Top 40 in late 1992. This second single marked their signing to Sony BMG and with the extra promotion afforded to it, gatecrashed the Top 10, neatly riding not only the wave of Acid Jazz but also riding the wave of 70s nostalgia that you may have noticed was permeating the charts at the time.

12: Annie Lennox - Little Bird/Love Song For A Vampire

A single that was truly a double a-side in the sense that it contained two tracks that were given equal weight in terms of promotion and airplay and which neatly appealed to two entirely polarising audiences. Love Song For A Vampire was the brand new track, a dreamy ballad recorded for the soundtrack of the film "Bram Stoker's Dracula" and released to coincide with the premiere of the film. On the other side was a track taken from her 1992 album Diva which came complete with a set of remixes that turned Lennox into a bone fide club diva for the first time in her career. The two-pronged attack worked a treat, sending the single soaring to Number 3 (her biggest solo hit to that date) and propelling Diva back to the top of the album chart almost a year after it was first released.

11: Therapy? - ShortSharpShock EP

"Screw that, forget about that.." To this day the one and only Top 10 hit single for the alt-rock trio from Northern Ireland who sounded so authentically miserable that they were hailed in America as the latest element of the grunge rock revolution. Lead track on the ShortSharpShock EP was the memorable Screamager and despite the fact that they had future classics such as Stories and Lonely, Crying, Only still to come remains one of their finest moments on record. Yes, I have a soft spot for them but it is deserved, trust me. "I've got nothing to do but hang around and get screwed up on you..".


SmallLogo