February 1994. I was a third-year student at university, living in room D210 in Lonsdale Annexe on the Lancaster University campus and steadily running out of time to actually study properly for the degree I was supposedly doing.

I was also actively and diligently posting the then-current incarnation of “James Masterton’s Chart Analysis” to USENET every week, postings which you can now read for yourself courtesy of the archives on the rest of this site. We may revisit some of the bolder predictions I made at the time later on.

30: FKW – Jingo

FKW? France, King and Waterman since you ask, the result of Pete Waterman gathering his remaining PWL staffers together after the departure of co-producers Mike Stock and Matt Aitken and attempting to prove he could still make hit records with the best of them. The trio released a handful of club tracks from mid-1993 onwards but this was the only one to reach the Top 40. One of the more enduring ethnic rhythm tracks in popular music history Jingo began life as Jin-go-lo-ba by Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olatunji in 1959 before being popularised under its more familiar title by Santana in 1971. The FKW club version was no less than the third to reach the UK Top 40 in a little over a decade, following on from remakes by Candido in 1980 and Jellybean in 1988. As befits its status as a little known club track from the early 90s, streaming copies are hard to come by – but it is amazing what you can find on YouTube if you look hard enough isn’t it?

 

29: Atlantic Ocean – Waterfall

Another early trance record, this the first in a handful of hit singles for Atlantic Ocean, the trading name of Dutch producers Rene van der Weyde and Lex Van Coeverden. Waterfall would climb to Number 22 and was followed into the charts by Body In Motion which reached the Top 20 later that summer. Waterfall had longevity all of its own and was reactivated in a new set of mixes in late 1996, a release which beat its original chart peak when it landed at Number 21.

28: Aretha Franklin – A Deeper Love

The last (for now) Top 10 hit for the Queen Of Soul took a rather tortuous route to the top end of the charts all over the world. A Deeper Love began life as the b-side of Clivilles and Cole’s (aka C&C Music Factory) club remake of Pride (In The Name Of Love) in early 1992. When it swiftly became clear that the original song on the flip was more popular than the rather naff cover on the front, A Deeper Love was swiftly re-released as a single in its own right. The rack, at the time with Deborah Cooper on lead vocals, swiftly reached Number 15 in March 1992 to match the peak of Pride (In The Name Of Love) just five weeks earlier. Two years later the song was back, this time a hit on both sides of the Atlantic thanks to this version by Aretha Franklin which she performed as part of the “Sister Act 2” film soundtrack. Once more produced by Clivilles and Cole the single went a long way towards reinventing Aretha Franklin as a dance diva, a path she could have easily followed to an even bigger career revival. Somehow you got the feeling she just couldn’t be bothered.

27: K7 – Come Baby Come

The one and only UK hit single for rapper K7, member of Latin freestylers TKA and who had a short run of personal success with his solitary solo album in 1993. Mixing in some not too unpleasant jazz elements, Come Baby Come made the Top 20 in the USA and charged its way to a Top 3 placing on these shores in early 1994.

26: EYC – The Way You Work It

What is it with all the initials all of a sudden? EYC stood for Express Yourself Clearly and were a three-piece R&B boy band from America who found British audiences to be far more receptive towards their sound than those back at home who pretty much ignored them. The Way You Work It was the second of their six Top 40 hits and followed hard on the heels of Feelin’ Alright which had peaked at Number 16 in December 1993. A new entry here this week, The Way You Work It would eventually scramble its way to a Number 14 peak. Their debut album followed a month later. It took forever for this stuff to make it to Spotify too. Perhaps all the more extraordinary that it there today.

 

25: Cypress Hill – Insane In The Brain

A second bite at the cherry for Cypress Hill’s most notorious and most quotable single. Insane In The Brain had already been a chart hit for the group in the UK previous, hitting Number 32 in the summer of 1993. After follow-up releases When The Shit Goes Down and I Ain’t Going Out Like That crept into the Top 20 it was decided to give their most famous single another go, just in time for the trio’s arrival in the country for a series of concert dates. Truth be told the tactic was only partially successful and Insane In The Brain peaked at Number 21 second time around, beating its original run but never quite cementing its status as supposedly their best record. Never mind, it still remains as diverting as ever. In truth, did Cypress Hill ever record anything as good as this again?

24: Gabrielle – Because Of You

Still riding the wave of success generated by her sensational debut back in 1993 with the Number One single Dreams, this was Gabrielle’s fourth single and the final one lifted from her debut album Find Your Way. This was its peak chart position, a little disappointing given the easy Top 10 success of her first two singles but at the very least an improvement on its immediate predecessor I Wish which had only crept to Number 26. She would return in 1996 sans eyepatch with a set of songs that in many ways were even better than her first and would still be having hits well into the 21st century.

23: Barbara Tucker – Beautiful People

Although never the biggest name on the scene, Barbara Tucker remains to this day one of the better-regarded dance divas of her era. It was perhaps her background in dance and choreography that gave her the edge, something which meant she always brought something more to a live performance than just standing on stage and belting out a tune. Beautiful People was her first-ever chart single and arrived here this week as a new entry although it failed to progress any further up the charts. Little heard since, it remains a shining example of the mid-90s garage house sound, the production by Kenny Gonzalez and Little Louie Vega achieving the miracle of still sounding fresh even to 21st-century ears, although it was the CJ Mackintosh club edit that was the most popular mix here, so that is the one playlisted.

22: Elvis Costello – Sulky Girl

Elvis Costello’s first chart hit for three years attracted more than the usual level of attention upon release. This was largely thanks to the collection of musicians performing on Sulky Girl and indeed many of the tracks on its parent album Brutal Youth. Their names? Nick Lowe, Pete Thomas, Bruce Thomas and Steve Nieve – despite not being directly credited on the record this was an Attractions reunion in all but name, their first appearance together on record since the Blood and Chocolate album in 1986. The resulting publicity helped Sulky Girl to this chart debut just outside the Top 20, at a stroke Costello’s biggest hit single since Good Year For The Roses went Top 10 in October 1981. The Brutal Youth album was a similar success, landing at Number 2 to become his highest-charting album since Get Happy in 1980.

21: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Two Tribes

To round off this section, time for the token re-release of this particular chart. The single that had spent the summer of 1984 at Number One was back on the chart ten years later as part of a re-release program that had begun the previous year in support of the Greatest Hits collection Bang. Two Tribes was no less than the fourth old FGTH single to reappear following the release of the hits collection but sadly for purists this new version was in the form of a rather grotty sounding remix by Fluke which lacked something of the sparkle of the original version, although this did not stop the single reaching Number 16 in late January. Funnily enough, the obsession with remixing Frankie singles returned again six years later when another cluster of re-releases stormed back into the charts, one of which just happened to be Two Tribes which again hit Number 17 this time thanks to Rob Searle’s magic fingers.

Part two over then and that was, less exciting somehow wasn’t it? Still, we live in hope for the Top 20.


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