Wednesday, 13 February 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: February 13, 1994

It's a testament to how massive a music act is when there are huge hits in their back catalogue that can become forgotten. Artists like Madonna, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Kylie Minogue who have hit the top 10 so often that some of those singles have now been somewhat swept under the carpet.

A top 5 hit that I had completely forgotten existed

This week in 1994, a new double A-sided release by the biggest band in the world at the time crashed straight into the ARIA top 5, but it's definitely not a title I would've come up with on my own if asked to name their best chart performers.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending February 13, 1994

The best chart performer this week in 1994 was Cut 'n' Move's "Give It Up", which held off a charge by Denis Leary to hold down the number 1 spot for a second week.

Off The Chart
Number 100 "It's About Time" by The Lemonheads
Peak: number 98
A month after "Into Your Arms" reached the top 50, another jangly single from Come On Feel The Lemonheads made a brief visit to the lower end of the top 100.

Number 96 "Weak" by SWV
Peak: number 92
One week after the enduring "I'm So Into You" fell out of the top 100 and the same week that "Right Here (Human Nature)" left the top 50, this former US chart-topper, which had been released between those two tracks in America, had a much smaller impact locally.

Number 91 "Happy Nation" by Ace Of Base
Peak: number 80
Also proving less popular was this follow-up to "All That She Wants", which remained in the top 15 in its 23rd week on the top 50. The Swedish four-some weren't quite done yet, though.

Number 80 "Welcome To The Pleasuredome" by Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Peak: number 74 (original peak: number 46)
The FGHT re-release project continued with their fourth top 50 from 1985 hit dusted off for another go at the chart, but it fell some way short of its original peak and the position climbed by the remixed "Relax".

Number 78 "Nothin' My Love Can't Fix" by Joey Lawrence
Peak: number 68
Using the Peter Andre/Jeremy Jordan approach to launching his music career - a new jack swing/pop track, shots of his body - the teen heartthrob star of TV's Blossom didn't repeat his US and UK top 20 success in Australia. 

Number 66 "Positive Bleeding" by Urge Overkill
Peak: number 61
They'd strike gold with a soundtrack single later in 1994, but for now American band Urge Overkill could content themselves with a first chart foray with this single from fourth album Saturation

Number 58 Little Eediot! by Ren & Stimpy
Peak: number 58
This four-track EP consisted of songs taken from the Nickelodeon animated characters' debut album You Eediot!, and never bettered this debut position.

New Entries
Number 50 "I'm Looking For The One (To Be With Me)" by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
Peak: number 48
With which normal programming was restored. Number 1 hit "Boom! Shake The Room", which was still inside the top 10 this week, would prove to be the only charting single from the hip-hop duo not to peak in the 40s or 50s, with this S.O.S. Band-sampling follow-up becoming their fifth track to peak in that region. This would be the final time we'd see the pair on the chart... although rapper Will Smith would soon make himself quite at home higher up the top 50.

Number 40 "In Your Room" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 40
After two singles peaking in the 70s, I was a little surprised to see one of my favourite bands of all time back in the top 50 with this fourth track lifted from Songs Of Faith And Devotion. But two things worked in its favour - 1) "In Your Room" was radically changed from the album version thanks to new production from Nirvana's Butch Vig and 2) Depeche Mode were about to embark on their first ever national tour of Australia in March, having only ever played one show in Sydney in 1990. I actually lined up overnight for tickets to their 1994 Sydney show, such was my devotion (sorry!) to the band.

Number 30 "Spoonman" by Soundgarden
Peak: number 23
As it did in other parts of the world, this lead single from fourth album Superunknown took the grunge band into the mainstream. "Spoonman" had been included in an early acoustic version in the film Singles back in 1992, but was remodelled by the band for this later release. The song was inspired by street performer Artis the Spoonman, who, as the name suggests, plays music using spoons.

Number 5 "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" by U2 / "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra / Bono
Peak: number 5
Here's the U2 top 5 I'd completely forgotten about until now - a double A-side release containing the final single lifted from Zooropa and the remake of "I've Got You Under My Skin" by Frank Sinatra and Bono taken from the former's 1993 Duets album. A second version of the single, with different bonus tracks and without the duet, was also available.
After tracks like "Numb" and "Lemon", "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)" was more classic U2 - a rock ballad that actually started out with the working title "Sinatra" and was inspired by the Chairman Of The Board. An alternate version of the song also appeared in the film Faraway So Close, thus its subtitle. 
The Cole Porter-penned "I've Got You Under My Skin", meanwhile, was a song Frank has recorded a number of times, but not one he nor any other artist, including The Four Seasons and Neneh Cherry, had ever taken into the top 50 before. This would be Frank's final singles chart apprearance in Australia.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: 1994's other verson of "The Power Of Love" arrived on the chart, as did one of the biggest boy band hits of all time.

Back to: Feb 6, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 20, 1994

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: February 6, 1994

It's funny how some pop acts can be absolutely massive in one country and barely cause a ripple in another. That was the situaition with the boy band finally making it onto the ARIA top 50 with their latest single this week in 1994.

Not even the addition of Lulu could excite Australians too much about Take That

In the UK, they were starting to rack up number 1 hits like nobody's business, but in Australia, they couldn't even crack the top 30 - a problem that also faced a number of more established acts this week.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending February 6, 1994

Three well-established male performers vacated the number 1 spot this week, allowing Cut 'n' Move to move up to the top with their cover of "Give It Up"

Off The Chart
Number 100 "Born In The Ghetto" by Funky Poets
Peak: number 90
This single by the American four-piece comprised of brothers Paul and Ray Frazier and their cousins Gene Johnson and Christian Jordon passed me - and most others, it would seem - by at the time, but I like it.

Number 97 "Play Dead" by Björk & David Arnold
Peak: number 65
Another top 100 entry from the Icelandic singer, this single from the soundtrack to film The Young Americans became Björk's biggest international hit up until this point and was later added to the Debut album.

Number 96 "Show Me Love" by Robin S
Peak: number 78
Knocking around since the start of the decade, it took a while - and a remix from StoneBridge - for this dance classic to take off... everywhere except Australia. Endlessly sampled, remixed and covered ever since.

Number 88 "Lonely" by Frente!
Peak: number 88
A brief visit to the chart for this latest single from the Australian band, "Lonely" would be back in a couple of months thanks to a re-release and a remake on the B-side.

Number 87 "Songs From The Sixteenth Floor" by Paul Kelly
Peak: number 87
This was the lead single from Wanted Man, Paul Kelly's first album without former band The Messengers and first solo album in almost a decade. It was the only track to chart from the album.

Number 80 "That's How I'm Livin'" by Ice-T
Peak: number 56
Last week, we saw his band Body Count's cover of "Hey Joe" debut on the top 100 and this week, rapper Ice-T charted with the second single from his Home Invasion album.

Number 68 Tour Sampler by Teenage Fanclub
Peak: number 68
This Australian taster EP was led by the indie band's "Hang On" (the lead track from then-current album Thirteen) and would be their only release to chart locally.  

New Entries
Number 48 "The Power Of Love" by Beverly
Peak: number 16
The only one of this week's seven new entries to get beyond number 32 was an Italo dance remake of Jennifer Rush's 1985 chart-topper, "The Power Of Love", which hit the top 50 two weeks ahead of another, more traditional cover version of the song that would once and for all make a star of its performer. Media Records vocalist Beverley Skeete was drafted in for this cash-in effort, masterminded by Gianfranco Bortolotti, the man behind Eurodance acts like Cappella, 49ers and Club House - and although it was fairly cheesy and cheap-sounding, it did the job, transforming the monster ballad into a fun, dancefloor filler.

Number 47 "Open Up" by Leftfield & John Lydon
Peak: number 39
In the 1980s and early '90s, if you drew a Venn diagram with one circle showing fans of dance music and the other showing fans of rock music there would not have been much overlap. But as the '90s progressed, acts like this British electronic duo (and Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy) bridged the divide between the two genres. It obviously helped that guest vocals on this breakthrough hit from Neil Barnes and Paul Daley came from Sex Pistols and PiL member John Lydon. Not a massive single locally, "Open Up" is one of those songs whose stature has grown in the decades since and is regularly cited as one of the most influential tracks of the decade.

Number 45 "Nails In My Feet" by Crowded House
Peak: number 34
While Leftfield were breaking down musical barriers, it was business as usual for Crowded House with this second single from the Together Alone album - a pleasant, melodic pop/rock tune. Possibly a little too dull to have performed any better, "Nails In My Feet" wouldn't have been my choice to follow up "Distant Sun" and it may just have killed off the album campaign with Together Alone dropping out of the top 50 by the end of March, never to return despite three more singles to come (all but one of which missed the top 50).

Number 44 "Is There Any Love In Your Heart" by Lenny Kravitz
Peak: number 32
On the one hand, a peak outside the top 30 for Lenny Kravitz at this stage of his career could be viewed as somewhat of a disappointment; on the other, "Is There Any Love In Your Heart" took him back into the top 50 after the failure of "Heaven Help" and was the fourth single from Are You Gonna Go My Way. I actually quite like this track, which was a return to funk-tinged rock after a couple of ballad releases.

Number 39 "Relight My Fire" by Take That featuring Lulu
Peak: number 33
Their only other top 50 hit to date, their remake of "Could It Be Magic", couldn't climb any higher than number 30 back in mid-1993, and not even the addition of '60s hitmaker Lulu on another cover version, of Dan Hartman's "Relight My Fire", could transform Take That into the type of hit boy band they were back in Britain. At least UK number 1 "Relight My Fire" made the top 50, having slowly climbed the rankings since mid-December. Previous single "Pray", which had been their first UK chart-topper, had stalled here at number 62, although persistence would pay off for the group's Australian record company in the coming months.

Number 36 "Time" by INXS
Peak: number 36
Once as huge in Australia as Take That currently were in Britain, INXS must have been wondering just what they had to do to land another substantial hit. Not to be confused with "This Time" or "Not Enough Time", this third single from Full Moon, Dirty Hearts was classic INXS and easily my favourite single by the band from the entire decade. But like five of their previous releases, it sputtered out in the 30s. Still, that was better than the album's next single. "Freedom Deep", which became their first track to miss the top 100 since 1982.

Number 34 "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" by Pet Shop Boys
Peak: number 34
Another song that deserved way better was the third single from Pet Shop Boys' Very album, with not even a remix from the album version enough incentive for people to rush out and buy it. Possibly the most joyous the duo had ever sounded - could that have been the reason it didn't do so well? - "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" was later covered by Robbie Williams as part of an ongoing mutual admiration society between him and Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: another instant top 5 for one of the world's most consistent bands, plus one of my favourite band returns to the top 40 in the lead-up to their national tour.

Back to: Jan 30, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 13, 1994

Wednesday, 30 January 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: January 30, 1994

Few would have guessed this week in 1994 that the rapper making his first appearance on the ARIA top 50 would go on to have one of the most successful careers in modern music, appearing on no less than 26 hits to date.

Before long, "What's My Name" isn't a question this rapper would need to ask

Yes, many of those appearances were as a guest on someone else's track or in collaboration with other performers, but his impact is not to be denied, especially since the turn of the century when he finally made the top 10 and even went as far as number 1. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 30, 1994

Three performers who all know a thing or two about enduring careers were together at the top of the chart this week in 1994. "All For Love" by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting stayed at number 1 for a second week.

Off The Chart
Number 99 "I Love Music" by Rozalla
Peak: number 90
Unfortunately for the dance singer, not many Australians loved her remake of The O'Jays song from 1975. Rozalla's update of "I Love Music" had featured in 1993 film Carlito's Way

Number 93 "Going Nowhere" by Gabrielle
Peak: number 77
In the UK, Gabrielle's second single gave her another top 10 hit to follow "Dreams", which fell out of the ARIA top 20 this week. In Australia, she wouldn't reach that high again until 2001.

Number 85 "I Got You Babe" by Cher with Beavis & Butt-head
Peak: number 69
Ever the good sport, Cher revisited her debut single with ex-husband Sonny Bono on this irreverent cover duet with animated sensations Beavis & Butt-head.

Number 76 "Creep" by Stone Temple Pilots
Peak: number 76
Released in the wake of the identically named hit by Radiohead (which was still inside the top 20 this week), this "Creep" didn't follow "Plush" into the top 50 for STP.

Number 68 "Hey Joe" by Body Count
Peak: number 67
Another remake, this time of a rock standard once performed by Jimi Hendrix that was included on tribute album Stone Free by the band led by Ice-T.

New Entries
Number 44 "Estranged" by Guns n' Roses
Peak: number 40
Two-and-a-half years after the Use Your Illusion era of Guns n' Roses' career began with "You Could Be Mine", the band finally finished extracting singles from their double albums, with nine-minute epic "Estranged" becoming the eighth lifted from either of the two volumes. A return to the top 40 after previous single "Civil War" peaked at number 45, "Estranged" came with another large-scale production music video that formed the third part in the trilogy that had begun with "Don't Cry" and "November Rain".

Number 39 "Will You Be There (In The Morning)" by Heart
Peak: number 24
The last time we saw the Wilson sisters (and band-mates) on the ARIA top 50 was with chart-topper "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" (or, as I like think of it, "All I Wanna Do Is Never Hear This Song Again"). For the lead commercial single from 11th album Desire Walks On, Heart turned once again to Robert "Mutt" Lange, who had written their number 1 hit, but "Will You Be There (In The Morning)", despite having a decent chorus, didn't rank as one of the band's or the songwriter's most successful tracks. This would be the final time we'd see Heart on the chart.

Number 37 "What's My Name?" by Snoop Doggy Dogg
Peak: number 13
He'd slipped into the top 100 in mid-1993 alongside the man who'd discovered him and would go on to produce his debut album, Dr Dre, and this week in 1994, the rapper born Calvin Broadus Jr became a star in his own right with his first solo single, "What's My Name?". The sample-heavy tune made use of elements from tracks by the likes of Parliament and George Clinton, taking the West Coast-born G-funk genre into the mainstream and becoming one of the most influential hip-hop tunes of the decade. Thousands of miles away in suburban Australia, I feel like Snoop Doggy Dogg was viewed as something of a novelty at first, with that moniker and the sing-song hook in "What's My Name?" no doubt helping the song cross over to a more mainstream market than many just as credible rap tracks managed at the time.

Number 34 "Now & Forever" by Richard Marx
Peak: number 16
Quite surprisingly, since I generally wasn't a fan of Richard Marx's slushier material, I bought the CD single of this lead release from fourth album Paid Vacation at the time. Like former chart-topper "Right Here Waiting", "Now & Forever" was written about Richard's then-wife, Cynthia Rhodes. Unfortunately, the "forever" part of the title didn't pan out, with the couple divorcing in 2014.

Number 29 "Dirty Dawg" by NKOTB
Peak: number 20
Exactly two years since their last single, "If You Go Away", entered the ARIA top 50, New Kids On The Block were back, except they were now going by NKOTB in an effort to appear all cool and grown up (well, they were all in their 20s by now). Unlike the last time they'd attempted to go in an edgier direction, their new jack swing-flavoured, James Brown-sampling, Nice & Smooth-featuring comeback track, "Dirty Dawg", was met with a relatively warm reception, returning them to the top 20 for the first time since 1990's "Tonight". But when follow-up "Never Let You Go" flopped and Jonathan Knight quit the band due to panic attacks, the band split before the year was out, not reforming for 14 years. 

Number 27 "Daughter" by Pearl Jam
Peak: number 18
Also returning to the top 20 for only the second time so far in their career was Pearl Jam with this second single from second album Vs about a girl with dyslexia whose learning disability is misunderstood by an abusive parent.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: a number 1 ballad from 1985 receives an energetic makeover, plus two music veterans return to the top 50 with a little help from some much more modern artists.

Back to: Jan 23, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 6, 1994

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: January 23, 1994

Where New Edition and New Kids On The Block led in the '80s, countless other boy bands followed in the '90s. And this week in 1994, a trio of easy-on-the-eye, all-singing, all-dancing Americans became the latest guy group to visit the ARIA top 50.

(From left) Damon, Dave and Trey got off to a great start

While pop fans embraced the new act, music fans of a different kind snapped up the week's biggest new single, which ended up as the number 1 song on a very different type of countdown.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 23, 1994

This week in 1994, Bryan Adams was back at number 1, alongside Rod Stewart and Sting, with soundtrack hit "All For Love" spending its first week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 80 "Pure Killer" by Defryme
Peak: number 70
Their last single had just missed the top 50 and the latest from the Australian hard rock band was another chart also-ran, but a hit would come in the months ahead.

Number 78 "Just Keep Me Moving" by kd lang
Peak: number 63
She had yet to produce another top 50 single to follow "Constant Craving", and it wouldn't be this lead release from Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, although the soundtrack album would go on to yield a hit.

Number 75 "Lights Out At Eleven" by Baby Animals
Peak: number 54
Another single from Shaved And Dangerous and another top 50 miss for this song that dealt with suicide. On the plus side, the album did re-enter the chart in the weeks to come, returning to the top 20.

Number 69 "Barren Ground" by Daryl Braithwaite
Peak: number 61
It was back to the beach for this music video for Daryl Braithwaite's second single from Taste The Salt, but the Bruce Hornsby And The Range cover didn't come close to matching the success of his other song with an oceanside clip, "The Horses".

New Entries
Number 50 "She Don't Let Nobody" by Chaka Demus & Pliers
Peak: number 37
A couple of months earlier, the ARIA top 50 had been littered with reggae hits, but aside from Inner Circle's lingering smash and a couple of pop/reggae hybrids from Ace Of Base and Peter Andre, the picture was very different in 1994. Former top 5 act Chaka Demus & Pliers limped into the top 40 with the follow-up to "Tease Me" despite their cover of Curtis Mayfield's 1981 single "She Don't Let Nobody (But Me)" being, in my opinion, a much better song.

Number 42 "Feelin' Alright" by E.Y.C.
Peak: number 7
In a tale that would become quite familiar throughout the '90s, American trio E.Y.C. (which stood for Express Yourself Clearly) were actually way more successful outside their homeland than in the US. Debut single "Feelin' Alright" was the type of watered down new jack swing which would form the template for early Backstreet Boys singles, and gave Damon Butler, Dave Loeffler and Trey Parker a top 10 hit locally. The success wouldn't last, although we'll see the guys with a couple of less shouty hits in the months to come. Interestingly, I just discovered Dave is still in the boy band game, being one of the mastermind behind new quintet Why Don't We.

Number 38 "Can We Talk" by Tevin Campbell
Peak: number 12
While E.Y.C. quickly became teen heartthrobs, this singer was still in his teens. Seventeen-year-old Tevin Campbell had been releasing music since 1990, when his Prince-written and -produced debut single, "Round And Round", peaked just outside the US top 10. For the lead single from his second album, I'm Ready, Tevin turned to another prolific hitmaker, Babyface, who co-wrote and produced this R&B ballad, which almost made the ARIA top 10. Tevin's story would end up being much more interesting than this fairly safe hit would suggest, but more on that when we see him on the chart for a second time...

Number 30 "Asshole" by Denis Leary
Peak: number 2
If there's one thing certain to propel a song up the chart it's profanity. And it was little surprise that a novelty track called "Asshole" from a stand-up comedian became an instant hit in Australia - it was like it was the mid-'80s all over again. While I could take a certain satisfaction that Denis Leary's foray into the charts would be denied a number 1 placing by a Eurodance cover version, "Asshole" did end up as the number 1 song on the very first Triple J Hottest 100 that wasn't an all-time ranking but was limited to releases from the previous year. Triple J listeners were welcome to it.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: the return of a chart-topping boy band and the arrival of a rap superstar.

Back to: Jan 16, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 30, 1994

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: January 16, 1994

There's always one - the pop group member who breaks from the band to explore new musical opportunities. From Siobhan Fahey to Geri Halliwell to Camila Cabello; Robbie Williams to Brian McFadden to Zayn Malik, music history is littered with early departures. 

Girlfriend would've been wishing for a bigger hit with this ballad

This week in 1994, Australia's biggest girl group of the decade charted with their final single as a five-piece. Perhaps it was a good time to jump ship - its performance was a far cry for their chart-topping debut two years earlier.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 16, 1994

At the top of the ARIA singles chart this week in 1994, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince provided some respite from Bryan Adams with "Boom! Shake The Room" climbing to number 1 for a solitary week.

Off The Chart
Number 99 "Tear It Up" by Usura
Peak: number 99
Second single "Sweat" had just sneaked into the top 50 and this third slice of Italo dance did the same with the top 100. Surprisingly given my taste at the time, I don't think I've ever actually heard this song before.

Number 93 "Hundreds Of Languages" by GANGgajang
Peak: number 62
Back with their first new music in six years, the Australian band recruited a host of newsreaders and reporters (including Anne Fulwood, George Negus, Mary Kostakidis, Jeff McMullen and Richard Morecroft) to lip sync the song's lyrics in the music video.

Number 92 "Venus As A Boy" by Björk
Peak: number 92
A second top 100 entry for the Icelandic singer, "Venus As A Boy" came with a video directed by Sophie Muller, who'd worked on clips for Eurythmics (and Annie Lennox solo) and Shakespears Sister, among others.

Number 74 "Give It Up" by The Goodmen
Peak: number 65
I wonder how many people bought this mistakenly thinking they were purchasing Cut 'n' Move's much more successful single of the same name. Originally released in 1992, "Give It Up" reached the UK top once reissued in late 1993. The sample-ridden track was in turn sampled by Simply Red for "Fairground", while Dutch duo The Goodmen have also released music as Chocolate Puma and Riva.

New Entries
Number 49 "Into Your Arms" by The Lemonheads
Peak: number 46
How quickly The Lemonheads' chart fortunes faded. The first single from Come On Feel The Lemonheads, the follow-up to breakthrough album It's A Shame About Ray"Into Your Arms" was a surprisingly small hit. I remember it quite distinctly from the time, and if you'd asked me before I sat down to write this post, I would've guessed it had been much more successful. The song was written by former The Hummingbirds member Robyn St Clare, who'd recorded it five years earlier with The Lemonheads' bassist Nic Dalton in their guise as duo Love Positions. This would be the last time the band would see the inside of the ARIA top 50.

Number 47 "Green Limousine" by The Badloves
Peak: number 35
Another act making their final top 50 appearance are Australia's The Badloves with what would be their most successful single, although I'd argue "Lost" is much better known. No doubt benefitting from their recent guest spot on Jimmy Barnes' cover of "The Weight", the band ventured into the top 40 for the only time with this track, which pokes fun at celebrities that champion on-trend causes.

Number 44 "Wishing On The Same Star" by Girlfriend
Peak: number 44
Robyn Loau must have known which way the wind was blowing as far as Girlfriend was concerned. How could she not? "Heartbeat", the lead single from the girl group's second album, It's Up To You, had just scraped into the top 40, while the album itself barely made a dent on the top 30 - a major comedown from their first album. Then came this second single, written by big ballad legend Diane Warren and previously recorded by American pop singer Keedy (whose "Save Some Love" was criminally overlooked in Australia). Apart from being fairly insipid, it's a good pop song and its underperformance pretty much established Girlfriend's time was over. At least, in this form. As it would turn out, Robyn's decision to depart later in 1994 was the best thing she could have done - for both her and her former bandmates.

Number 40 "Maximum Overdrive" by 2 Unlimited
Peak: number 32
While the three previous acts all visited the top 50 for the final time - either at all or in their original form - dance duo 2 Unlimited returned to that section of the chart after the disappointment that was "Faces" and added another hit to a tally that would continue to grow in coming months. It wasn't all good news for "Maximum Overdrive", which was not Anita and Ray's greatest song, but certainly not their worst - it was a damn sight better than "Faces", for one thing. The track would turn out to be the first of three singles by the pair to peak within the 30s that all deserved better, especially the next two...

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: a long-forgotten boy band arrives, as does a teen act of a different kind. Plus, the song that would go on to take out the first ever year-based Triple J Hottest 100.

Back to: Jan 9, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 23, 1994

Wednesday, 9 January 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: January 9, 1994

Welcome to 1994, with our look at the ARIA singles charts from years gone by firmly in the mid-'90s - a post-grunge explosion, pre-girl power era where anything went on the top 50. Although compared to 1993, there was a lot less reggae.

Music's three musketeers swashbuckled their way to number 1

And what better way to start off the year than with the arrival of one of 1994's top 10 highest-selling singles - a three-way sing-off by a trio of superstars who'd all visited number 1 previously.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - three weeks ending January 9, 1994

One of them was even at number 1 this week in 1994 by himself. "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams continued its reign, registering its fifth, sixth and seventh weeks at the summit due to the chart's Christmas shutdown.

And yes, I realise the chart is dated January 8, 1994 - a Saturday - but since the previous chart was dated December 19, 1993 and the next is January 16, 1993 - both Sundays - I'm putting it down as a typo.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "Today" by The Smashing Pumpkins
Peak: number 57
The rock band edged ever closer to their first big song in Australia, and as it happens, this Siamese Dreams single wouldn't reach its final peak until later in the year in the wake of that upcoming top 20 hit.

Number 97 "Let Her Down Easy" by Terence Trent D'Arby
Peak: number 97
It's a shame this one-time hit-maker didn't sustain chart success for longer, with this ballad, which was later covered by George Michael, giving him one last top 100 appearance. 

Number 89 "Don't Give It Up" by Juice
Peak: number 89
Australian record companies really did snap up a lot of bands that aspired to be the next Red Hot Chili Peppers, didn't they? This was the only top 100 visit by Sydney's Juice.

Number 87 "My Cutie" by Wreckx-n-Effect
Peak: number 85
Also finishing off their top 100 career were one-hit wonders Wreckx-n-Effect, who couldn't match the highs achieved by "Rump Shaker" despite this being possible their best effort.

Single Of The Week
"Daddy Long Legs" by Tumbleweed
Peak: number 53
Their previous single, "Sundial", had made the top 50, but Wollongong's Tumbleweed just fell short with with "Daddy Long Legs" despite it being (as far as I can tell) a brand new song not included on their self-titled debut album - and one that wouldn't feature on their next album, from which they'd start releasing music later in 1994.

New Entries
Number 41 "I've Been Loving You Too Long" by Diesel
Peak: number 41
The first of only two new entries on the first chart of the year was the final single taken from Diesel's The Lobbyist album and it saw him venturing into territory he'd visited before, being a remake of an old soul ballad by Otis Redding. Diesel had previously delved into the soul and blues catalogue for singles "Since I Fell For You" and "Please Send Me Someone To Love" during his time with The Injectors. A one-place improvement on his previous single, "The Masterplan", the cover version's chart performance meant Diesel missed the top 40 with two consecutive singles for the first time in his career. Alarm bells must have been ringing somewhere.

Number 5 "All For Love" by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart & Sting
Peak: number 1
Right up at the other end of the top 50, the trio of Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting shot straight into the top 5 with their soundtrack single from the latest film version of The Three Musketeers (starring Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen and Chris O'Donnell as the titular sword-wielding heroes). Written by another trio, Bryan, Michael Kamen and Mutt Lange - the same team behind "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" - the power ballad was only ever going to be massive, and it was number 1 within three weeks. 
For Bryan, it was his third chart-topping single in Australia (following his Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves theme and current number 1 "Please Forgive Me"), while it was Rod's fourth visit to the top and first since "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" got there in early 1979. Sting, meanwhile, had actually only ever been to number 1 on the singles chart as part of Band Aid, peaking at number 2 twice with The Police, who did, however, score four consecutive number 1 albums. 
At a time when duets weren't anywhere near as frequent as they are now, a collaboration of this nature was incredibly rare - another factor that gave "All For Love" the buzz it needed to be among the year's biggest hits.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994 (updated weekly):

Next week: the final top 50 appearance for the original line-up of an Australian pop act, and two rock bands also score their last chart hit.

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