Some classic oldies had been re-released in order to promote Greatest Hits collections. The Village People spawned a slight remix of
YMCA - originally a #2 his in 1978, this reworking couldn't rise above #12. The Doobie Brothers'
Long Train Running had never been a UK hit single, but the #10 this year relied on a loose remix.
More recent re-issues around included Soul Asylum's
Runaway Train. This minor-key classic got to the dizzy heights of #32 in July, but didn't leave radio and made #8 in November. Whitney Houston's long-lost
I Will Always Love You had only been out of the top 40 for 38 weeks after spending ten at #1, but still got a re-release to spend Christmas at #25.
The only Christmas themed song in the 40 this year was St Ettienne's
I Was Born On Christmas Day; criminally, this only made #37. Other classics in the bottom end of the list: Nirvana's last ever commercial single
All Apologies, Blind Melon's
No Rain, and Björk's
Big Time Sensuality. Michael Jackson was milking the ninth (count 'em!) and final single from the two year old
Gone Too Soon was the only one of the nine not to make the top twenty.
The week's only new entries were typical of 1993: California pretend-punk band Green Jelly teamed up with pretend-wrestler Hulk Hogan to remake an old Gary Glitter tune,
Leader Of The Gang. It was as bad as it sounds. Reggae act Shabba Ranks had had a #3 hit earlier in the year, but his cover of
Family Affair struggled to find a position in the top twenty.
The fastest climber was K7's
Come Baby Come, up from 37 to 13, and heading to #3 early in 1994. Another long climb went to Haddaway - his soulful ballad
I Miss You slowly rose during January from its #34 entry to peak at #9. How come neither of these make radio any more?
Top of the Billboard survey was Mariah Carey's
Hero, which we'll find spending its third week at #18 in the UK. Cantsing had deposed Janet Jackson's
Again, spending its second of five weeks bobbling between 12 and 18. Regina Belle and Peabo Bryson had been to #2 stateside with
A Whole New World; the theme from Alladin peaked at #12 in the UK.
Two records fall out of the top ten. Bryan Adams had had the second biggest hit of his career when
Please Forgive Me spent three weeks at #2 in November. This week was the first of three his tune would spend at #11; in a feat of utter poinlessness, Bryan is the only act in chart history to spend 11 weeks at #11. Dina Caroll had her biggest hit with
Don't Be A Stranger, spending ten weeks in the top ten without rising above #3. Her record company took the bizarre decision to delete the record two weeks ago, which explains its fall from 8 to 16 this week, and why it would be out of the sales chart next week. There were no more copies to sell.
The Power Of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
In the original scheme of things, this was going to go head-to-head with Wham!'s
Last Christmas for the chart topper in 1984. Michael Buerk and St Bob Geldof scuppered that plan, and the group never hit the top slot again before splitting in 1987. Fast forward nine years, and
Bang!, the First Obligatory Best Of album, is on shelves near you. It spawned a barely-discernable remix of the band's only ballad. The Second Obligatory Best Of album followed in 2000, prompting the return of this single to the upper reaches a-bloody-gain.
True Love - Elton John & Kiki Dee
Duets albums were the fad for 1993. If it wasn't Sinatra inviting some of his best biddies into the studio, it was Elton teaming up with some Radio 2-friendly people. His reunion with Kiki Dee featured a sugary-sweet single and an oh so bizarre video filmed at Marylebone Station. Number two had been top weight, and the mid-November release meant the sought-after Yuletide top slot was never going to be theirs.
Bat Out Of Hell - Meat Loaf
Originally a #15 in 1979, and re-issued to help promote the re-issue of the original and classic
Bat Out Of Hell album. This would turn out to be as high as it got.
The Perfect Year - Dina Caroll
Only one song in this week's top ten for Dina, lifted from some Andrew Lloyd-Webber production or other. It wasn't as good as
...Stranger, and had a shelf life strictly limited to the first week in January. Dina returned in 1996 with an inferior cover of Asia Blue's
Escaping, but her brand of easy sould hasn't had any noticeable success since. Looks like the Rock Gods have been extracting their revenge for the early deletion of
I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That) - Meat Loaf
No danger of an early deletion for this track, which had ruled the roost for seven weeks en route to becoming the biggest seller of the year. Radio stations tended to do their own edits of this song, but the most common edit ran just under five minutes. The full-length single ran to eight and a bit minutes, with the album version (also seen on the video) finally ending after eleven minutes 55 seconds. It was the longest #1 single until Oasis'
All Around The World in 1998.
The reunion of Loaf and über-producer Jim Steinmann was cemented when Jim glued together no less than three songs into one mini-opera, and was the centrepiece to the year's best-selling album
Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell. Unusually, this sequel is better than the original.
It's Alright - East 17
At the start of 1993, the Walthamstow group was looking to be a flash in the pan.
House Of Love had scraped a place in the top ten, but
Gold had missed the top 30, and The Dumper Loomed. The chunky R&B tones of
Deep gave the group another significant hit in February, and this upbeat stomper - don't be fooled by the intro, it's so not a ballad - cemented their place as the Second Biggest Boy Band Of The Moment. The group's only number one single came a year later, with the festive
Stay Another Day.
For Whom The Bell Tolls - Bee Gees
The Bee Gees have mastered the habit of having one big hit every five years or so. 1987:
You Win Again hits the very top, then nothing until this power ballad. 1997 saw the three-piece return to the top end with
Alone, which means we're about due a big Bee Gees hit any minute now.
Twist & Shout - Chaka Demus And Pliers Featuring Jack Radics And The Taxi Gang
Utterly useless rock fact: Chaka Demus And Pliers's three singles totalled eight weeks at #4 during 1993. No act spent more than seven weeks in any other position. It's a cover of the Isley Brothers song popularised by The Beatles. This is the best-placed version of them all, as it became the 700th Number One single at the start of the new year.
Babe - Take That
A clear shoo-in for the Christmas number one slot, right? Nope. It's a drippy ballad, with lead vocals from Mark Owen, complete with a moody video. Only the huge star of The Biggest Boy Band Of The Time saved this track from the dumper. The two decent tracks from their
Everything Changes album -
Relight My Fire had already been #1 singles.
Mr Blobby - Mr Blobby
So, what major rock classic denied the That the top slot? Only the biggest star of the top ten, and that includes Mr Loaf. The run of chart-toppers during 93 had been of reasonable quality, if you'll allow us to exclude 2 Untalented - a classic sunny tune, some reggae, a live cover, some cod reggae, some real reggae, the biggest boy band, a dead rock star, some great eurodance, a hyped rapper, the boys, and someone nice and large. Then, er, it all fell apart.
Mr Blobby was a spoof children's television character, dreamed up by the twisted mind of television entertainer Noel Edmunds. He fell about a lot, and sprouted meaningless gibberish, but could be distinguised from Edmunds by a day-glo pink with yellow polka-dots outfit. This was an expansion of a twenty-second jingle entitled
Mr Jellybun by Paul Shaw and David Rogers into a full single, but unlike Mr Loaf's efforts, the joins showed.
Edmonds would go on to be dropped, promoter Simon Cowell would go on to infamy, and the single would be attacked by Anne Robinson. The host of
Watchdog slammed the single, for including the song we all know and hate, a short ditty, and Blobby's catchprase. The total was just 7 minutes 53 seconds, shorter than the lead track on Loaf's single.
Blobby looked set to join the ranks of one-hit-too-many wonders until 1995. A duet between Blobby and Edmonds rose to the dizzy heights of #37, and the large pink-and-yellow bubble had truly burst.
All things considered, the first thirteen seconds of the song are the best. To verify that means you've got to track down a copy, so good luck. You'll need it.