Monday, 18 March 2013

The Best Of 1992 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1

I didn't have time for much other than studying in 1992 since it was my final year of high school. Of course, I had a stereo (turntable, double tape deck, CD player, radio) on my desk, so studying usually equalled listening to music in my bedroom.

Take That finally lived up to the hype in 1992... at least in the UK 

As a result, there are some albums from that period of time that I know from beginning to end since I had them on constant rotation. Being a singles fan, I also religiously made compilation tapes since it was a bit of a drag to have to keep stopping what I was doing to change CD single or cassingle every three-and-a-half minutes.

In a pre-iTunes world, mixtapes was the equivalent of playlists - and I think about all the time I wasted making those tapes and how much more I would have got done if iTunes had been around. Although, if the internet had taken off at that point, I probably would've wasted a whole lot more time looking for new music online - and who knows: my top 25 songs from 1992 might look a little different...

Number 25 "Don't You Want Me" by Felix
Another big single from the Deconstruction record label, "Don't You Want Me" was Felix's first and most successful single, reaching number 6 in the UK and number 17 in Australia. It's also one of those dance songs that has refused to go away, charting in the UK in remixed form in 1995 and again in 1996 (with another version), and featuring most recently as a sample in 2011's "Sweat" by David Guetta vs Snoop Dogg.

Number 24 "Too Funky" by George Michael
This is where things got really messy for George, who started legal proceedings against record label Sony Music in 1992 and was musically silent for four years as a result. "Too Funky" was his final release on Sony (for the time being) and was donated by George to the Red Hot + Dance charity album. For the clip, supermodels were again the order of the day, with a young Tyra Banks and Linda Evangelista a couple of the names who stomped the runway in time to the music, while George popped up briefly in the clip behind a camera.

Number 23 "Friday I'm In Love" by The Cure
I wonder what The Cure circa 1979, when they were all dark and broody, would have thought of this unashamedly up song. The end point of a gradual process of commercialisation, "Friday I'm In Love" was the band's last big international hit, although they released new music as recently as 2008.

Number 22 "It Only Takes A Minute" by Take That
Mentioned below

Number 21 "Even Better Than The Real Thing (Perfecto mix) by U2
Speaking of going mainstream - in 1992, nothing said commerical more than a rock band having a dance remix made of one of their songs. What would have been totally unexpected from U2 five years earlier felt kind of natural following the game-changing album that was Achtung Baby. The album version of "Even Better..." was released as the fourth single mid-year, and was closely followed into the UK charts by the remix from the Perfecto team of Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne - with the remix actually bettering the peak of the original. It was my favourite U2 release of the year, beating "One" (number 127 on this list) and "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" by some margin - and is the last single of theirs I've truly loved.

Number 20 "Shine On" by Degrees Of Motion featuring Biti
A club classic if ever there was one, "Shine On" wouldn't actually become a big hit in the UK until 1994, when a remixed version reached number 8, but I preferred this original (complete with dodgy rap) which missed the British top 40 in 1992. Another of their 1992 songs, "Do You Want It Right Now", also got the remix and re-release treatment in 1994 - and ends up on my top 100 for that year.

Number 19 "Perfect Motion" by Sunscreem
Mentioned below

Number 18 "L.S.I." by The Shamen
Mentioned below

Number 17 "Disappointed" by Electronic
Having finished releasing singles from their debut album, synthpop supergroup Electronic carried on with this new track, again featuring Neil Tennant on vocals. It would end up being their highest-charting release in the UK (it reached number 6) but did not lead on to a new studio album. In fact, it would be a four-year wait (to the week) before another new Electronic single would see the light of day.

Number 16 "Love U More" by Sunscreem
Mentioned below

Number 15 ABBA-esque by Erasure
Mentioned below

Number 14 "One In A Million" by Euphoria
The Euphoria juggernaut was seemingly unstoppable in 1992. Their late 1991 single, "Love You Right", topped the ARIA chart in February, and two more singles also reached number 1 in Australia: "One In A Million", which came with a music video that provided a more accurate representation of who did what in the dance group, and "Do For You" (number 91 on this list). The dream run spluttered to a halt once fourth single "I Will Never Leave You" (number 104) only just scraped into the top 50, but it was fun while it lasted. We will see Euphoria pop again in my 1993 countdown, by which time I may well have been the only person still interested in them.

Number 13 "This Is It" by Ruth Campbell
Back in Part 3, I mentioned that Toni Pearen had appeared on a Network Ten promo singing the Melba Moore song, "This Is It", and although she didn't release a single of her version, this alternate remake (which actually dated back to 1990) did pop up on CD single locally in 1992 instead. I know nothing about Ruth at all, but, as any pop fan knows, we would be hearing more from "This Is It" in 1993... 

Number 12 "Pressure" by Sunscreem
Who'd have thought it? Early '90s dance act Sunscreem score three entries in my top 25 for the year. All three songs, "Pressure", breakthrough hit "Love U More" (at number 16 above) and highest-charting UK single of the year "Perfect Motion" (at number 19), were lifted from the group's debut album, O3 (the chemical symbol for ozone), which was one of many albums I bought with the fruits of my 18th birthday party. Since it was fairly well known I liked music, I received over $200 in record vouchers (which was quite good, since records cost around $20 at the time) and I snapped this album up after its release in February 1993, only to be disappointed many of the tracks were different from the single versions - a mistake I would make again with Boss Drum by The Shamen.

Number 11 "Breath Of Life" by Erasure
Four positions above this is the EP that finally gave Erasure a number 1 single in the UK and returned them to the Australian top 50 for the first time since 1986's "Sometimes". ABBA-esque was also, of course, responsible for making ABBA cool again, paving the way for the release of compilation album ABBA Gold in 1992 after which there was a major renaissance for the Swedish group's music. Erasure's cover of "Take A Chance On Me" got the most airplay, something about that MC Kinky rap annoyed me and I preferred the duo's take on both "Lay All Your Love On Me" and "SOS". But, enough about ABBA-esque, pipping that release to the post on my list is this fourth and final single from the Chorus album, which returned Andy and Vince to the UK top 10 after the disappointing "Am I Right?"

Number 10 "Sense" by The Lightning Seeds
Offering a brief respite from all the dance tracks and synthpop, here's a single by a band I liked quite a bit during the '90s. Led by Ian Broudie, they'd end up becoming best known for football anthem "Three Lions" (and its regular re-releases), but it's a shame songs like "Sense" and "The Life Of Riley" (also from 1992) didn't become bigger hits, since they're about as perfect as guitar-based pop can be.

Number 9 "Feel So Real" by Dream Frequency featuring Debbie Sharp
I told you it was only a brief break... it's back to the dance floor for this track, which shares one thing in common with The Lightning Seeds song: it was another minor hit in the UK. I remember winning the Dream Frequency CD (as well as 2 Unlimited's Get Ready) by calling up a competition line in dance music street newspaper 3D World - then convincing my dad to drive me all the way into the city to collect them. Once again, however, the album version of "Feel So Real" wasn't the one I liked, so I eventually tracked down the CD single.

Number 8 "In My Dreams" by The Party
This is an interesting one - a group made up of Mickey Mouse Club members covering a song by heavy metal band Dokken. There's not much more genius than that. The Party had been the first act signed to Disney music label Hollywood Records (eventual home to Miley Cyrus, Jesse McCartney, etc.) and had released a string of forgettable pop singles in 1990 without major success. Then, at the very end of 1991, a covers album was put out to keep fans occupied until a second album of originals could be released - and "In My Dreams" became the group's first and only top 40 hit in the US.

Number 7 "Celebration" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 6 "Did I Say 'Ti Amo'" by Fresh
Previously featured here

Number 5 "Something Good" by Utah Saints
UK dance music really was pretty exceptional in the early '90s - and Utah Saints followed the K-klass approach to releasing music by offering up one outstanding track each year from 1991 to 1993. "Something Good", which sampled Kate Bush's "Cloudbusting", was the biggest and best of the three songs, even cracking the Australian top 10.

Number 4 "Ebeneezer Goode" by The Shamen
Nothing like a bit of controversy to promote your record. Banned by the BBC in the UK (which almost guaranteed the track would fly to number 1), "Ebeneezer Goode" was accused of endorsing the use of ecstasy and, let's face it, the lyrics speak for themselves. The furore in the UK press was so marked, it can't be a coincidence the song was deleted while at number 1 - no matter what the band claimed. 1992 was a particularly busy year for The Shamen, with four singles released between July and the end of the year. Besides this track, "L.S.I." (number 18 on this list), "Boss Drum" (number 73) and "Phorever People" (number 105) were all top 10 hits in the UK.

Number 3 "What Kind Of Fool (Heard All That Before" by Kylie Minogue
Mentioned in Part 2 and previously featured here

Number 2 "Could It Be Magic" by Take That
Everything changed (no pun intended) for Take That in late 1992. They finally scored a top 10 hit in the UK with a cover of the Tavares (and Jonathan King) song "It Only Takes A Minute" (number 22 on this list) after yet another flop with "Once You've Tasted Love" (number 38). They stayed in the UK top 20 with original tracks "I Found Heaven" and "A Million Love Songs", then released this seventh single from Take That & Party.
A cover of the Barry Manilow song, "Could It Be Magic" was radically remixed from the album version (thankfully, since it was nowhere near as good) and gave the boy band their biggest hit to date in the UK (where it got to number 3) and their first charting single in Australia (where it got to number 30). 1993 was going to be even bigger...

Number 1 "Temptation (Brothers In Rhythm remix)" by Heaven 17
The initial release of this song made number 14 on my list of favourite songs from 1983 and this update by Brothers In Rhythm is a rare example of a remix being better than the original. Keeping everything that's great about the original, but adding, among other things, a heavier beat and dramatic strings really added a sense of excitement to the track, which had never sounded so lush. I couldn't stop listening to it! The remix heralded the release of a best of album the same year.

My top 200 for 1992 in full:

2         COULD IT BE MAGIC Take That
4         EBENEEZER GOODE The Shamen
5         SOMETHING GOOD Utah Saints
6         DID I SAY 'TI AMO' Fresh
7         CELEBRATION Kylie Minogue
8         IN MY DREAMS The Party
9         FEEL SO REAL Dream Frequency featuring Debbie Sharp
10        SENSE The Lightning Seeds
11        BREATH OF LIFE Erasure
12        PRESSURE Sunscreem
13        THIS IS IT Ruth Campbell
14        ONE IN A MILLION Euphoria
15        ABBA-ESQUE (EP) Erasure
16        LOVE U MORE Sunscreem
17        DISAPPOINTED Electronic
18        L.S.I. The Shamen
19        PERFECT MOTION Sunscreem
20        SHINE ON Degrees Of Motion
22        IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTE Take That
23        FRIDAY I'M IN LOVE The Cure
24        TOO FUNKY George Michael
25        DON'T YOU WANT ME Felix
26        SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST Vanessa Williams
27        I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU Whitney Houston
28        RHYTHM IS A DANCER Snap
29        LOVE ME ALL UP Stacy Earl
30        I LOVE YOUR SMILE Shanice
31        IF YOU BELONGED TO ME Nancy Davis
32        MOVIN' ON Bananarama
33        FOR YOUR BABIES Simply Red
34        GOTTA LEARN MY RHYTHM Damian Dame
35        HOUSE OF LOVE East 17
36        I'D DIE WITHOUT YOU PM Dawn
37        DEEPER AND DEEPER Madonna
38        ONCE YOU'VE TASTED LOVE Take That
39        RUN TO YOU Rage
40        I'LL BE THERE Mariah Carey featuring Trey Lorenz
41        DON'T YOU WORRY 'BOUT A THING Incognito
42        I'M GONNA GET YOU Bizarre Inc featuring Angie Brown
43        THAT WORD (L.O.V.E.) The Rockmelons featuring Deni Hines
44        WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE Kim Wilde
45        LIFT ME UP Howard Jones
46        IN YOUR ROOM Toni Pearen
47        MILLION MILES AWAY Kim Wilde
48        THE DAY YOU WENT AWAY Wendy Matthews
49        MAKE IT ON MY OWN Alison Limerick
50        AIN'T NO MAN Dina Carroll
51        DON'T STOP K-klass
52        THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE ARE FREE Janet Jackson / Luther Vandross (with BBD and Ralph Tresvant)
53        SLEEPING SATELLITE Tasmin Archer
54        MONEY LOVE Neneh Cherry
55        JESUS HE KNOWS ME Genesis
56        MAN ALIVE Diesel
58        FINALLY CeCe Peniston
59        FAITHFUL Go West
60        MY DESTINY Lionel Richie
61        AIN'T 2 PROUD 2 BEG TLC
62        COLOURED KISSES Martika
63        I DON'T KNOW HOW TO LOVE HIM Kate Ceberano
64        DON’T LOSE THE MAGIC Shawn Christopher
65        LOVE CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS Celine Dion
66        EXCITED M-People
67        SPECIAL KIND OF LOVE Dina Carroll
68        DAMN I WISH I WAS YOUR LOVER Sophie B. Hawkins
69        CRUCIFY Tori Amos
71        DREAM COME TRUE Brand New Heavies
72        IT'S A FINE DAY Opus III
73        BOSS DRUM The Shamen
74        BEWARE Vivienne McKone
75        WHEN YOU GONNA LEARN Jamiroquai
76        BE MY BABY Vanessa Paradis
78        BOY IN THE MOON Margaret Urlich
79        IF YOU DON’T LOVE ME Prefab Sprout
80        JOY Soul II Soul
81        WITHOUT YOU Girlfriend
82        DO YOU FEEL LIKE I FEEL Belinda Carlisle
84        THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT YOU Karyn White
85        (LOVE MOVES IN) MYSTERIOUS WAYS Julia Fordham
86        TEMPLE OF DREAMS Messiah
87        DO FOR YOU Euphoria
88        LOVE IS EVERYWHERE Cicero
89        BETTADAZE Boom Crash Opera
90        STEP IT UP Stereo MCs
91        WOULD I LIE TO YOU? Charles And Eddie
92        GOOD FOR ME Amy Grant
93        LOVE IS HOLY Kim Wilde
94        GOODNIGHT GIRL Wet Wet Wet
96        WINTER Tori Amos
97        BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Celine Dion / Peabo Bryson
98        GOLD East 17
99        IT'S MY LIFE Dr Alban
100      I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU Euphoria
102      I FEEL YOU Love Decade
103      WALKING ON BROKEN GLASS Annie Lennox
104      DO YOU BELIEVE IN US Jon Secada
105      PHOREVER PEOPLE The Shamen
106      EVERYTHING CHANGES Kathy Troccoli
107      KEEP THE FAITH Bon Jovi
108      SKIN TO SKIN Melissa
109      THE LIFE OF RILEY The Lightning Seeds
110      NEVER LET HER SLIP AWAY Undercover
112      WHO CAN MAKE ME FEEL GOOD Bassheads
113      IT WILL MAKE ME CRAZY Felix
114      JAM Michael Jackson
115      FREE YOUR MIND En Vogue
116      YOU SAID, YOU SAID Jermaine Jackson
117      GIVE U MY HEART Babyface / Toni Braxton
118      STAY THIS WAY Brand New Heavies
119      HEARTBREAKER Color Me Badd
120      SOMEDAY M-People
121      AIN'T NO DOUBT Jimmy Nail
122      I FEEL LOVE Messiah featuring Precious Wilson
123      MOTOR CITY (I GET LOST) Company Of Strangers
124      INDIO Indecent Obsession
125      DECEMBER, 1963 (OH WHAT A NIGHT) (REMIX) Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
126      YOU Ten Sharp
127      ONE U2
130      ONE LOVE IN MY LIFETIME Innocence
131      TAKE TIME Chris Walker
132      YOU BRING ON THE SUN Londonbeat
133      ANOTHER MINUTE Cause & Effect
134      A LITTLE BIT MORE Kym Sims
135      HIT & RUN Boxcar
136      WE GOT A LOVE THANG Ce Ce Peniston
137      BAKER ST Undercover
138      KISSING THE WIND Nia Peeples
139      FINER FEELINGS Kylie Minogue
140      DON'T LET IT GO TO YOUR HEAD Brand New Heavies
141      I'M THE ONE YOU NEED Jody Watley
142      SOMEDAY (I’M COMING BACK) Lisa Stansfield
143      PLEASE DON'T GO Boyz II Men
144      JUST ANOTHER DAY Jon Secada
145      CONNECTED Stereo MCs
146      THINKIN’ BACK Color Me Badd
147      WHO IS IT Michael Jackson
148      THE MAGIC FRIEND / MEGAMIX 2 Unlimited
149      KISS ME Indecent Obsession
150      YOU THINK YOU KNOW HER Cause & Effect
151      TAKE ME Dream Frequency featuring Debbie Sharp
152      ROMEO AND JULIET Stacy Earl
153      MOVING ON Dana Dawson
154      HUMAN RACE Margaret Urlich
155      SET YOUR LOVIN’ FREE Lisa Stansfield
156      HANG ON IN THERE BABY Curiosity
157      I'M DOING FINE NOW The Pasadenas
158      MOVE ME NO MOUNTAIN Soul II Soul
159      BOOK OF DAYS Enya
160      REAL LOVE Mary J Blige
161      REMEMBER THE TIME Michael Jackson
162      DON'T WALK AWAY Jade
163      STAY Shakespear's Sister
164      FEEL SO HIGH Des'ree
165      I’LL BE THERE Innocence
166      COLOUR MY LIFE M-People
167      TASTE IT INXS
169      YESTERDAY En Vogue
170      DEEPLY DIPPY Right Said Fred
171      TO BE WITH YOU Mr Big
172      STARS Simply Red
173      SHOW YOU THE WAY TO GO Dannii Minogue
174      RESTLESS HEART Peter Cetera
175      TEARS Jenny Morris
176      GIVE IT UP, TURN IT LOOSE En Vogue
177      TAKE MY ADVICE Kym Sims
178      MOVE THIS Technotronic featuring Ya Kid K
179      CLUNK (EP) Frente
180      I DON’T CARE Shakespear’s Sister
181      YOU DON’T TREAT ME NO GOOD (REMIX) Sonia Dada
182      GOOD ENOUGH Bobby Brown
183      IT'S NOT OVER The Rockmelons featuring Deni Hines
184      HEART OVER MIND Kim Wilde
185      IRRESISTIBLE Cathy Dennis
186      FOREVER LOVE Color Me Badd
187      BOOGIE NIGHTS Sonia
188      FROM A MILLION MILES Single Gun Theory
190      WILL YOU MARRY ME Paula Abdul
191      TWILIGHT ZONE 2 Unlimited
193      IF I EVER FALL IN LOVE Shai
194      HIGH The Cure
195      PENNIES FROM HEAVEN Inner City
196      THIS IS THE LAST TIME Laura Enea
197      SHAKE YOUR HEAD Was (Not Was)
198      DUNNO WHAT IT IS (ABOUT YOU) Beatmasters featuring Elaine Vassell
199      IF YOU ASKED ME TO Celine Dion
200      IN THE CLOSET Michael Jackson

That's it for 1992. This Wednesday, my regular ARIA chart recap when we look back at what was hitting the top 50 this week 25 years ago.

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