IS IT dead? Or alive? That’s an enigma which faced Epic Records excecutives more than once in the roller-coaster chart ride of ‘You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)’, by the latest of Liverpool’s seemingly inexhaustable supply of chart toppers, the utterly exquisite Pete Burns and his musical plaything Dead Or Alive, who dethroned Paige & Dickson last week and continue a grand tradition of Scally number ones stretching back to Gerry And The Pacemakers in 1963.
’Spin’ bears the distinction of faltering not once, not twice, but three times on its way to the top. It first entered the chart on November 17 last year, breezing in at number 79. The following week it dipped to number 87, but overcame potential disaster by immediately surging to number 55. A week later it was in the top 50, but only for seven days.
It ultimately dropped to number 65, before improving four weeks in a row to stand on the threshold of success at number 41. After slipping a notch to 42, it somehow edged its way to number 40, on a week when little else was moving, and earned a place on Top Of The Pops almost by default. After that, it was plain sailing.
’Spin’ arrived at the summit after 15 weeks in the top 75, three weeks longer than it took previous record holders ‘Moulin Rouge’ by Mantovani and Louis Armstrong’s ‘What A Wonderful World’ to progress from chart debut to chart summit.
A year ago, I reported that FGTH’s ‘Relax’ had also taken 12 weeks to reach the top, but since it has been generally agreed that ‘the next 25' (chart positions 76-100) do not form part of the chart proper, the Frankies’ two weeks at number 77 have been wiped from the record. ‘Relax’ therefore reached number one in its tenth week on the top 75, considerably more quickly than ‘Spin’.
‘Spin’s’ weekly progress on the way to the top was as follows: (79)-(87)-55-49-51-58-65-48-45-41-42-40-19-5-2-1. It sold over 85,000 copies before entering the top 40, and over 500,000 by last Friday. Finally, it’s surprisingly the first number one single to include the word ‘record’ in its title, albeit parenthetically…