Post by misterhamster on Feb 9, 2021 22:05:14 GMT 1
We move on to 1995 and there were two big music stories in the UK this year. There was the Battle of the Bands, which saw the two most popular bands in the country, Blur and Oasis, go head-to-head by releasing new singles on the same day in a battle for supremacy. The battle generated a huge amount of media hype in newspapers, magazines and even the national news on TV.
The other big story was Robbie Williams' departure from Take That, which spelled the beginning of the end for the group's first run. After he'd been pictured partying with Oasis at Glastonbury, he was given an ultimatum by the rest of the group: rein in the partying and drugs or leave the group. He chose the latter.
After a slow start to the decade in terms of turnover in the charts, things started to speed up in 1995 as the way singles were marketed leaned more towards maximising first week sales, rather than relying on a gradual build. The number of no.1 singles returned to the totals seen at the start of the decade after three slow years and the number of singles reaching the top 10 was the highest since 1988. However, the changes this year were nothing compared to the way things exploded in 1996, which would set the tone for the next decade.
Musically, we saw a healthy variety towards the top of the charts. Britpop meant indie bands were becoming more common inside the top 10. Dance music was still incredibly popular, R&B was gaining a bigger following and there was still room for straight-up pop.
A reminder of the points system: 1 point for no.40 in the singles chart, 2 points for no.39, all the way up to 37 points for no.4, then it's 40 points for no.3, 45 points for no.2 and 50 points for no.1.
Before the countdown, here are some of the songs that didn't make the top 40:
(position in end-of-year sales chart in brackets)
41(37) MARIAH CAREY - Fantasy (243 points)
The main thing this song proved is the UK public were more interested in Mariah's covers of old songs than her own stuff (unless it was Christmas-related). 14-year-old me had a bit of a crush on her in her daisy dukes before she went and overdosed on comedy plastic surgery.
46(54) DEF LEPPARD - When Love And Hate Collide (228 points)
This ballad gave the band their second no.2 single and while Joe Elliott was never going to be as big a star as Jon Bon Jovi, it showed once again that the Sheffield lads were, man-for-man, a more talented band than their New Jersey counterparts.
49(79) SCARLET - Independent Love Song (227 points)
A rare top 50 appearance for a non-top 10 single. This track only peaked at no.12 but spent 10 weeks inside the top 40, seven of which were in the top 20. It was the debut hit for the Hull duo of Cheryl Parker and Jo Youle, but the follow-up "I Want To Be Free (To Be With Him)" would be their only other top 40 appearance.
57(40) LIVIN' JOY - Dreamer (208 points)
Originally a top 20 hit in 1994, this dance classic got the re-release treatment and shot to no.1. It was one of several no.1s completely missed by ITV's Chart Show, as it got increasingly bad at predicting the chart during its latter years. The song was written and sung by American Janice Robinson, who performed it during an audition in the 2018 series of X Factor, eventually making it through to the live shows.
68(83) LOVE CITY GROOVE - Love City Groove (184 points)
The UK's Eurovision entry in 1995. It was the result of Jonathan King's (ugh) efforts to find the UK's first winner since 1981. He put together an eight-song shortlist, featuring a mixture of cheesy pop, soul and even grunge but it was this rap track that beat established acts like Londonbeat and Sam Fox to win the vote to represent the UK. It only finished 10th (how we'd love 10th today) but was probably ahead of its time. It was also the first UK entry to reach the top 10 of the singles chart since Bardo in 1982.
69(20) OASIS - Roll With It (182 points)
The song that lost out in the Battle of the Bands, though its huge first-week sales saw it finish among the top 20 sellers of the year. In hindsight, this wasn't a great choice of single as there were much stronger tracks on the subsequent album "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?" and it was probably hindered further by its bog-standard video, compared with Blur's Benny Hill routine, complete with celebrity cameos. Blur won the battle, but Oasis would end up winning the war...
77(76) DE'LACY - Hideaway (162 points)
Dance music was thankfully starting to move away from the godawful eurodance that littered the charts in 1993 and 1994 and instead, we were being treated to cuts like this from American act De'Lacy. Dance music bible Mixmag would rate it as their second favourite track of the year.
81(92) GRACE - Not Over Yet (155 points)
And there was some good stuff being produced on this side of the Atlantic too, with this track by Grace (whose members included superstar DJ Paul Oakenfold) a highlight. It would later be covered by the Klaxons on their Mercury Prize-winning album "Myths Of The Near Future".
88(42) BEATLES - Free As A Bird (145 points)
My dad always said if the Beatles ever released a new single, it would be the biggest-seller of all-time. He was very wrong. And it's not like it didn't have enough help, getting its premiere on prime-time ITV as part of a documentary series ahead of the release of their "Anthology" collection. Released at the start of December, it fell one place short, kept off the top by the eventual Christmas no.1, which we'll see later. I've always felt the song didn't get the credit it deserved and the video is a true work of art, featuring visual reference to numerous Beatles songs.
93(-) McALMONT & BUTLER - Yes (134 points)
An unexpected next step in the career of guitarist Bernard Butler after his depature from Suede, this track saw him team up with the distinctively-voiced David McAlmont, reaching no.8 in the charts, despite very little promotion.
150(-) BLACK GRAPE - Reverend Black Grape (54 points)
Speaking of unexpected next steps, perhaps even more unexpected was the teaming of former Happy Mondays frontman Shaun Ryder (along with Bez) with former members of the Ruthless Rap Assassins. The funk/rock/rap crossover led to the acclaimed album "It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah", which was nominated for the 1996 Mercury Prize.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 11, 2021 1:50:04 GMT 1
Part 1 (40-36):
40(58) CORONA - Try Me Out (245 points) Top 40 run: 14-8-6-6-7-10-16-19-38
The third and final top 10 hit for the Italian-Brazilian dance act.
39(44) BABY D - Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime (I Need Your Loving) (245 points) Top 40 run: 5-4-4-3-6-12-21-32-39
The follow-up no.1 hit "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" didn't quite match its predecessor but still gave Phil Fearon's outfit a second top 3 hit.
38(3) MICHAEL JACKSON - Earth Song (250 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-1-1
The Christmas no.1, entering at the top at the start of December and remaining there for six weeks. It held off competition from the Beatles, Mike Flowers Pops and a song we'll see later as Jackson notched up his sixth (and penultimate) no.1 single and the second from his "History" album. It spent a further 10 weeks in the top 40 in 1996 - will that be enough for it to make that year's points top 40...?
37(49) SUPERGRASS - Alright (255 points) Top 40 run: 2-2-3-5-8-14-20-33
The song that put the Oxford band well and truly on the map. This was the second of six top 10 singles for the trio (plus unofficial fourth member Rob Coombes, brother of lead singer Gaz). Steven Spielberg was so impressed with the song and video, he offered the band the chance to star in their own Monkees-style TV show but they politely turned him down. This was officially a double a-side with "Time" but the airplay it received compared to "Alright" was virtually zero.
36(27) TAKE THAT - Never Forget (255 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-4-8-15-32
The group's first single after Robbie Williams' departure, though the video had been put together before he'd quit. This was the first single to feature Howard Donald on lead vocals, leaving Jason Orange as the only member of the group not to sing lead vocals on a single.
Oasis stuck by what they always did, released a single CD single with 3 fairly good B-sides priced at £2.99, of which 2 were brand new songs, the other a live performance.
The new songs that were B-sides are "It's Better People" and "Rockin' Chair" the latter of which is among their "classic" B-sides.
Given that they maintained a certain standard throughout, it's not surprising they sold more albums than Blur. We'd get an album with "She's Electric" and "Champagne Supernova" among its tracks that were not singles. Tell me what album tracks from "The Great Escape" are as well known as those two?
Oasis won't do well on your lists because they tended to have very high first-week sales but not long top-40 runs except twice (so you'll pick those two up) and lots of weeks in the lower end of the top 75 which don't count towards this but did accumulate them slow sales.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 11, 2021 22:37:36 GMT 1
Part 2 (35-31):
35(59) TINA ARENA - Chains (261 points) Top 40 run: 13-7-7-6-7-9-11-18-30
The first of five UK top 40 hits for the Australian singer but the only one to reach the top 20. She'd already been hugely successful back home and continues to be, combining her recording career with one in stage musicals. She performed one of her follow-up singles "Sorrento Moon" at the Radio 1 Roadshow in Middlesbrough in 1996. I didn't go. Though I did later visit Sorrento.
34(12) BLUR - Country House (265 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-2-4-11-19-26-30-36
The song that beat Oasis's "Roll With It" to the top spot, this gave Blur the first of two no.1 singles. However, neither are their best known song. The price of "Roll With It" was mentioned earlier and that may have been another reason why Blur won the battle, as their label gave away free copies of the single, allowing it to be sold for £1.99, with two CDs available (the second consisting of live versions of "Country House", "Girls & Boys", "Parklife" and "For Tomorrow"). And there was also the video, directed by Damien Hirst and featuring Keith Allen, Matt Lucas, Sara Stockbridge and page 3 model Jo Guest. Like "Roll With It", it's not really considered a classic track today, unlike its follow-up "The Universal", which remains one of the band's most enduring songs.
33(48) NICKI FRENCH - Total Eclipse Of The Heart (266 points) Top 40 run: 12-7-5-5-5-8-12-18-31
Originally missing the top 40 in October 1994, this dance-ified cover of Bonnie Tyler's classic became a top 5 hit at the second attempt. Produced by Stock and Aitken, it was an inexplicably big hit in the US, reaching no.2. French later represented the UK at Eurovision, finishing 16th in the 2000 edition with "Don't Play That Song Again", the track giving her a second top 40 hit in the UK.
32(33) EAST 17 - Thunder (271 points) Top 40 run: 4-5-6-12-12-16-19-23-21-21
Following the monster success of "Stay Another Day" was always a big ask but East 17 were still managing to have some big hits, albeit with a lower success rate than Take That. For this release, they even recorded a long-form video, like Take That had been recently. It's more entertaining than the song.
31(13) BOYZONE - Father And Son (276 points) Top 40 run: 8-4-5-3-2-3-2
Having first hit the chart with their version of "Love Me For A Reason", the Irish lads enjoyed moderate success with their follow-ups but seemed also-rans in the boy band stakes. That was until this Cat Stevens cover came along just in time for Christmas. It spent a total of three weeks at no.2, was the Christmas no.3 and remained inside the top 40 until March, putting them firmly in pole position to replace Take That as the UK's most popular boy band. This single's points total across both years would have put it at no.4 on this list.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 13, 2021 18:28:52 GMT 1
Part 3 (30-26):
30(32) MADONNA - You'll See (277 points) Top 40 run: 11-8-5-6-9-13-16-21-19-25
Madonna had had at least one top 10 hit in all but one year since 1984 and was on a run of seven years in a row (which she would later extend to 15) but this is her first appearance in the points chart top 40 since 1990, suggesting that perhaps she was becoming more of a fanbase act than one with broader appeal. Her early 90s phase of wearing next to no clothing may well have alienated a few people but this song dragged them back in, spending 10 weeks inside the top 40 at the end of the year.
29(36) PULP - Common People (277 points) Top 40 run: 2-2-3-6-11-13-18-23-31-38
Both an indie classic and a pop classic, as well as a cutting piece of social commentary, Jarvis Cocker's tale of a girl who wanted to pretend to be poor because she thought it was cool will go down as one of the great songwriting achievements of the decade. It was the first single from their acclaimed album "Different Class", which would win the Mercury Prize the following year. The band also stepped up to play a triumphant headline set at Glastonbury in the absence of the Stone Roses. Pulp had suddenly gone from being the thinking man's indie band to superstars on the same level as Blur and Oasis.
28(46) BUCKETHEADS - The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind) (283 points) Top 40 run: 13-5-6-8-11-11-10-14-19-30
The 70s-themed house track came from producer Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez of Masters At Work. The video was co-directed by the not-yet-famous-or-with-Madonna Guy Ritchie. It was a hit across Europe but didn't crack the top 40 in the US.
27(30) SCATMAN JOHN - Scatman (286 points) Top 40 run: 6-4-3-4-5-8-14-19-29-34
Perhaps the year's unlikeliest pop star was John Larkin. This autobiographical track told the story of how he overcame a severe stammer by taking up "scat" singing. Originally a jazz pianist from California, he later relocated to Berlin and teamed up with producer Antonio Catania, resulting in this worldwide hit at the age of 53. Three years later he was diagnosed with lung cancer but he continued to work throughout his illness until shortly before his death in December 1999.
26(38) MN8 - I've Got A Little Something For You (296 points) Top 40 run: 7-6-5-3-2-4-8-16-30
The first of seven top 40 hits across two years for the R&B boy band. They should've gone on to bigger and better things, having worked with the likes of P Diddy and the Spice Girls but after their second album flopped, they went on hiatus, and despite much talk of a reunion in subequent years there has been no new material.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 15, 2021 0:58:46 GMT 1
Part 4 (25-21):
25(51) EDWYN COLLINS - A Girl Like You (305 points) Top 40 run: 13-10-10-9-9-4-7-10-16-23-35
The first solo top 40 hit for the former Orange Juice frontman, over a decade after his old band reached no.8 with "Rip It Up". Having had limited success over the next 10 years, he scored a big hit from out of nowhere with this track, which reached no.4. He had a second top 40 hit in 1997 with "The Magic Piper (Of Love)", taken from the Austin Powers soundtrack. In 2005, he suffered two near-fatal strokes which left him having to learn to walk, talk and sing again. Miraculously, Collins recovered and started to release new music and perform live again in 2007. He's gone on to release three further albums, most recently in 2019, as well as publishing a book of bird illustrations.
24(22) REMBRANDTS - I'll Be There For You (307 points) Top 40 run: 6-3-3-5-7-11-10-12-22-28
Best known as the theme from "Friends", this was the only top 40 hit for the LA group, though it did manage to do it twice, returning to the top 10 in 1997. The song was commissioned by Warner Bros. after REM refused to let them use "Shiny Happy People" as the show's theme tune. It was initally only the minute-long version seen on the show's titles but after its popularity grew, the group were persuaded to produce a three-minute version. Friends producers David Crane and Marta Kaufmann co-wrote the songs lyrics, while the music was composed by Kaufmann's husband Michael Skloff.
23(39) SEAL - Kiss From A Rose (313 points) Top 40 run: 14-8-5-4-4-5-9-12-16-27-34
The first of two big hits we'll see from the Batman Forever soundtrack. This one was on its second second attempt, having reached no.20 in 1994. It was Seal's biggest hit for five years and topped the US chart, making him the first British act to do so since Rod Stewart and Sting appeared alongside Bryan Adams in 1994, and the first entirely British act since UB40 in 1993. There wouldn't be another British chart-topper in the States until the Spice Girls in early 1997.
22(23) BOBBY BROWN - Two Can Play That Game (318 points) Top 40 run: 5-3-3-3-3-4-8-16-25-30
Another song that made it big at the second time of asking thanks to a re-release. Originally peaking at no.38 in June 1994, it returned to the chart nine months later, spending seven weeks in the top 10 and giving Brown his biggest UK hit.. The track was a version of a song from his album "Bobby", remixed by K-Klass but wasn't released in the US.
21(21) PEREZ 'PREZ' PRADO & HIS ORCHESTRA - Guaglione (318 points) Top 40 run: 11-3-3-2-3-6-9-13-23-31
Five years after his death and 37 years after his last UK hit, the Cuban bandleader returned to the charts thanks to this track's use in a Guinness ad. Initially reaching no.41 just before Christmas 1994, it fared much better when re-released a few months later, peaking at no.2, only kept off the top by the year's biggest-selling single. The track was an instrumental mambo version of a popular Italian song from the 1950s. Prado's version was recorded in 1958 but found a new audience thanks to the advert. Unsurprisingly, it topped the singles chart in Ireland.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 16, 2021 20:35:16 GMT 1
Part 5 (20-16):
20(10) OASIS - Wonderwall (322 points) Top 40 run: 2-3-4-5-8-11-9-7-6
After the much-hyped Battle of the Bands, Oasis's next single would end up out-selling both "Roll With It" and "Country House". The third single from "(What's The Story) Morning Glory?", it was released at the end of October, three days before the album, entering the chart at no.2. It was also their breakthrough hit in the US, reaching no.8 - their only top 40 hit on the Billboard chart (though that's partly due to physical copies of some of their other singles not being available). This single also saw Creation Records and the band make a bit of an effort with the video for the first time and it paid off, with it winning Best Video at the 1996 Brits, where they also won Best Group and Best Album. The video features bass player Scott McLeod, who was briefly part of the band after Paul "Guigsy" McGuigan had quit. It remains the band's biggest-selling single, spending 17 weeks in the top 40 across 1995 and 1996 during its initial run, returning in November 1996 after the band re-released all their previous singles. Its combined points total would have put it at no.3 on this list. One of the b-sides on the single was "The Masterplan", itself now considered one of the band's classic tracks.
19(15) SHAGGY - Boombastic (326 points) Top 40 run: 1-2-3-3-4-7-10-18-27-29
Another big jeans ad hit and one that gave the Jamaican his second no.1. This is the original version of the track but the one most commonly found on YouTube is an absolutely awful remix based around Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On".
18(29) TLC - Waterfalls (336 points) Top 40 run: 13-9-4-5-7-7-8-12-18-20-23-30
The group's first top 10 hit in the UK and their second US no.1, helped by its big-budget video at a time when MTV was at is peak. It was taken from their album "CrazySexyCool" which remains the biggest selling album by a girl group in the US.
17(25) DIANA KING - Shy Guy (346 points) Top 40 run: 4-3-3-2-3-5-8-11-20-23-35
The debut hit for the Jamaican singer, this was taken from the film "Bad Boys", starring Will Smith (in one of his first movie roles) and Martin Lawrence. King would later have top 20 hits with covers of "I Say A Little Prayer" and "Ain't Nobody" and was also part of the Jamaica United line-up in 1998 to celebrate the country's debut appearance at the football World Cup, as was our next act...
16(24) INI KAMOZE - Here Comes The Hotstepper (350 points) Top 40 run: 5-4-4-4-4-6-10-10-14-17-25-39
So the highest placed Jamaican track on this year's list is this one. Taken from the film "Pret-A-Porter", it entered the chart in the final week of 1994 and soon climbed, eventually spending four weeks at no.4. The track topped the US chart but would be his sole top 40 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Post by Earl Purple on Feb 16, 2021 22:38:22 GMT 1
Perez Prado wasn't the first act to chart with Guaglione, Dean Martin's "The Man Who Plays The Mandolino" reached #21 in 1957 and that's an English language version of the song which was originally a vocal song in Italian.
Here Comes The Hotstepper is a strange one: a bit like "Bitter Sweet Symphony" later, it samples an instrumental part of a cover version, but the part it samples wasn't in the original, so it's difficult to know who gets the royalties. Wilson Pickett's version contained the sampled part (although it was a different act, Cannibal & the Headhunters, whose actual bit was used) but the original was Chris Kenner in 1962, and he also wrote the song.
Nevertheless Chris Kenner is credited as a co-songwriter for Here Comes The Hotstepper.
Post by misterhamster on Feb 18, 2021 0:08:09 GMT 1
Part 6 (15-11):
15(28) ALEX PARTY - Don't Give Me Your Life (353 points) Top 40 run: 10-6-3-2-2-5-8-10-14-21-31
The second hit for the Italian dance act, after "Saturday Night Party (Read My Lips)" the previous year. This track was actually a re-working of their first hit but featured British singer Robin Campbell (also known as Shanie, presumably to avoid any confusion with the UB40 member of the same name), who wrote the song's lyrics.
14(16) REDNEX - Cotton Eye Joe (355 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-2-3-4-8-11-27-35
This novelty track was released in December 1994, presumably as a stab at the Christmas no.1 spot. It was no.5 at Christmas but kept climbing and became the first new no.1 of 1995. Rednex were a group of Swedes masquerading as inbred American hicks, adopting names to suit the premise. For example, lead singer Mary Joe's real name was Annika Ljungberg. Their second (and last) hit a few months later, "Old Pop In An Oak" sounded exactly the same as this one. The group continues today but with an almost entirely different line-up.
13(19) U2 - Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me (369 points) Top 40 run: 2-2-3-6-10-6-4-7-13-17-26
The year's other big hit from the "Batman Forever" soundtrack and it gave U2 their biggest hit since "The Fly" topped the chart in 1991. This track was recorded during the sessions for the band's "Zooropa" album but wasn't finished in time to be included, though its name is hidden in the purple letters on the album's cover. "Batman Forever" director Joel Schumacher approached Bono about making a cameo in the film. It ultimately didn't happen but the band ended up offering this track for use in the film instead. The video combines specially-created animated sequences with shots from the film. It's not available on YouTube but several fan-made edits are available, this one being the best. This was the band's 15th of 32 top 10 hits (not including the absolutely ridiculous credit they were given for "Take Me To The Clouds Above").
12(4) TAKE THAT - Back For Good (371 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-1-2-4-8-14-22-31
Widely-regarded as the group's finest moment during their original run, "Back For Good" saw them reach beyond their teenage girl fanbase and score a hit that was popular with grown-ups as well. It remains Take That's biggest-selling single and even gave them their only US hit, reaching no.7 on the Billboard chart. It also won Best Single at the 1996 Brits, beating "Wonderwall", "Country House", "Common People" and a track we're yet to see...
11(3) ROBSON & JEROME - I Believe/Up On The Roof (377 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-1-2-6-8-9-9
Having pushed several novelty records on the British public in recent years, such as those by the Power Rangers and the WWF Superstars, Simon Cowell's latest money-making scam was to take two actors from a popular ITV drama series and get them to release a single. It wasn't exactly original but it had worked before. This was their second single and second no.1. We'll see the first later...
Post by Earl Purple on Feb 18, 2021 10:19:07 GMT 1
Rednex had a much later hit in my chart which sounded different to those two. Possibly the different line-up (other than the one key member who has the right to that name).
Robson & Jerome could not sing and whilst they did sing some of the notes on their songs, session singers were also brought in to sing others.
You could at least have posted the video for "Up On The Roof" which is the only Robson & Jerome song I mildly like (albeit the Drifters did it far better, and even Kenny Lynch did it better than them).
Post by misterhamster on Feb 19, 2021 0:28:14 GMT 1
Part 7 (10-6):
10(7) SIMPLY RED - Fairground (378 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-1-1-3-5-9-13-20-26-35
Simply Red's first and only no.1 single, this was a radical departure from their usual soul fare, instead offering a thumping dance-influenced sound. It sampled the Goodmen's 1993 top 5 hit "Give It Up". The subsequent album "Life" also reached no.1 and was the 4th best-selling album of the year.
9(17) N-TRANCE - Set You Free (381 points) Top 40 run: 6-3-3-3-2-3-5-5-8-19-27
Having been a no.39 hit in 1994, this track, featuring vocalist Kelly Llorenna became a big hit when re-released at the start of the year (at least the third time the track had been released). The group's subsequent hits went in a different direction, serving up a series of lazy disco covers. "Set You Free" got yet another re-release in 2001, returning to the top 10, leading to some brief success for Llorenna as a solo artist. N-Trance's founders Kevin O'Toole and Dale Longworth also had another top 10 hit as Freeloaders in 2006 with "So Much Love To Give", effectively a cover of a track by French act Together (one half of which was Thomas Bangalter, who is one half of Daft Punk).
8(18) SMOKIE & ROY 'CHUBBY' BROWN - Living Next Door To Alice (386 points) Top 40 run: 34-28-20-9-8-5-5-4-3-5-8-14-22-25
A re-recording of their 1970s hit (which was a cover), inspired by the response the track received from crowds in Ireland. Dutch novelty act Gompie also made an x-rated version of the track around the same time, which actually reached the top 40 first, reaching no.34 at first but later peaking at no.17 when Smokie's version climbed up the chart. Teaming up with foul-mouthed Teesside comedian Roy 'Chubby' Brown, Smokie's new version managed to outperform Gompie's, reching no.3 and spending 14 weeks in the top 40. Smokie member Alan Barton (also formerly of Black Lace) died shortly after the track was recorded, after the band's tour bus crashed during a hailstorm in Germany but the band carried on and appeared with Chubby on TOTP. The above video gives yet another example of Simon Mayo's appallingly bad craic as TOTP presenter.
7(9) EVERYTHING BUT THE GIRL - Missing (402 points) Top 40 run: 8-6-6-4-3-3-4-4-5-5-5
Originally released in 1994, missing the top 40, it was given a killer remix by US DJ Todd Terry (of which there were several variations) and it gave the married duo of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt their first top 10 hit in seven years. It entered the top 10 in October and remained there until late January, giving it a combined points total that would've put it at no.2 on this list. The track was also the other nominee for Best Single at the Brits (see "Back For Good" earlier). It sparked an unprecedented run of success for EBTG, with their next two singles also reaching the top 10. Thorn effectively retired from music a few years later in order to concentrate on the couple's children, while Watt made a living as a DJ and label owner, as well as releasing solo material.
6(8) MICHAEL JACKSON - You Are Not Alone (429 points) Top 40 run: 3-1-1-2-3-4-5-7-9-13-25-30-31
The second single from "History" and Jackson's first no.1 since 1991. It was written by R. Kelly, the dirty fecker.
The first of two no.1s for the US duo, whose success seemed to be based solely around schoolkids getting all giddy at the thought of buying CDs containing naughty words.
4(2) COOLIO ft LV - Gangsta's Paradise (454 points) Top 40 run: 1-1-3-2-2-2-3-5-7-6-7
This was the first UK top 40 hit for the Compton-born rapper, spending two weeks at no.1 late in the year. It was taken from the film "Dangerous Minds" starring Michelle Pfeiffer. It was based around the Stevie Wonder song "Pastime Paradise" with the chorus sung by LV (which apparently stands for Large Variety, not Luncheon Voucher). Coolio was already established in the US and this single topped the charts there as well. He would go on to have three more top 10 hits in the UK over the next couple of years. More recently, he has starred in his own web-based cookery show "Cookin' With Coolio" and also stood as the running mate for porn star Cherie DeVille in her surprisingly unsuccessful bid to win the Democratic Party nomination for the 2020 US Presidential election.
So the year's best-selling single came about thanks to an episode of ITV's "Soldier Soldier" towards the end of 1994. Robson Green and Jerome Flynn performed the song in character in the show, leading to loads of middle-aged women wandering confused around Woolworths the next day, wondering why they couldn't buy it. When word reached Simon Cowell, the pound signs appeared before his eyes and Robson & Jerome the pop act was born. Their self-titled album was also the biggest seller of the year (though subsequently overtaken by Oasis and Alanis Morissette's "Jagged Little Pill"). The follow-up album "Take Two" also went to no.1 in 1996, as did its triple a-side single "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted/Saturday Night At The Movies/You'll Never Walk Alone".
1(5) CELINE DION - Think Twice (641 points) Top 40 run: 2-2-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-4-12-17-22-34
For the first time since 1990, the points chart no.1 isn't among the top 3 sellers of the year. Released in mid-October 1994, the single had an amazing 16-week climb to the top, even spending three weeks outside the top 40 when first released. The points it picked up in 1994 would've been enough to make the points chart in some years but it came in at no.51 on that list. This was the 3rd of her 14 UK top 40 hits and the first of two no.1s. The single's combined points total puts it in the top 3 for the decade so far.