Arts and Entertainment Sam Bailey sings

Who will be leaving the competition tomorrow?

Charts

Those oh-so-sassy young things, the Spice Girls, continue to zigazig their way to the bank, monopolising the New Year Number One spots. But with competition like this collection of Christmas leftovers (Fugees apart), who can complain?

Pop & Jazz: Albums Chart

1 Spice SPICE GIRLS

ALBUM CHARTS

THE EYE ON POP & JAZZ

POP: Celine Dion; Wembley Arena, London

Celine Dion is doing her Barbra Streisand thang, chatting with the piano player between numbers and interacting with the audience, because "it's not my show, it's our show. So, did you know that I was raised in French culture?" Yes. "Did you know that I am the last of 14 children?" Yes. "Well, I bet you didn't know that I..." - I'm gay? I'm anorexic? I have both male and female sex organs? - "...that I started singing from the age of four?" Oh. That. Yes, we knew.

ALBUM CHARTS

1 Spice SPICE GIRLS

TOP TEN ALBUMS AND SINGLES

Crowded House? They really should get out more... While the retiring Australasians may be a little claustrophobic for some, there are enough lovers of melody-driven (drivel?) pop lite to get the band's best-of compilation to the top album slot in its first week of release. Crowded House (right) called it quits last month, so there'll be plenty of time to watch the walls.

Arts: Don't talk to me about the Sixties

Courted by Dylan and Dali, Francoise Hardy was the essence of Sixties chic until she retreated from fame. Now she is courted by Damon from Blur and, after eight years' silence, has a new album. Philip Sweeney meets a French national treasure

ROCK : Music for people who prefer mush to Pulp

ANYONE who has read The Ice Opinion, the thoughts of Ice-T, will know that the controversial rapper is a liberal spokesman for leniency and understanding. But at least once in the book, his tolerance becomes intolerable. To wit: "People accept it if it's real. Michael Bolton wins best r'n'b artist because it's not about colour to a lot of people. It's a matter of if you accomplish what you say you're going to accomplish, and Bolton sings his f---ing heart out." Not even a mention of his long- back-and-short-sides, a haircut that even Andre Agassi has given up as a bad job.

POP Celine Dion, Wembley Arena The one-time Eurovision winner and all-round purveyor of anodyne pop bares her innermost feelings to an audience of thousands.

In the new film Canadian Bacon, the US government, fishing for a war to boost the President's popularity, whips up a storm of anti-Canadian propaganda: "It's always winter there! They gave us Michael J Fox! They play Anne Murray 24 hours a day!" You chuckle to yourself - the concept of annihilating a country just because of "Blanket on the Ground" is patently absurd, isn't it? And then you sit through a concert by the French-Canadian singer Celine Dion, and suddenly the film doesn't seem so funny.

chart

TOP 10 ALBUMS

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Remember those naff TOTP compilations? Well now they're back. Sort of. Angela Lewis reports

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