Monday, 15 April 2013

The Best Of 1993 - part 2

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

As well as being the year I turned 18, 1993 was also when I started university, but I managed to remain immune to the grunge and alternative rock music that was sweeping the world. The fact that I didn't spend much time in the university bar (it was right at the other end of campus) probably had something to do with that.

They just don't make pop stars like Jeremy Jordan anymore

In Australia, bands like Ugly Kid Joe, Rage Against The Machine, 4 Non Blondes and Pearl Jam were massive, but the closest I got to liking rock in 1993 was going to a Crowded House concert. As we count down from numbers 75 to 51 from my favourite songs for the year, expect more pop, dance and R&B, and one track from another genre that made a huge resurgence in 1993.

Number 75 "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston
Mentioned below

Number 74 "Ooh Child" by Dino
He made my top 100 for 1990 with "Romeo" and in 1993, American singer Dino scored with this version of the 1970 single by Five Stairsteps. "O-o-h Child" (as it was originally titled) has been recorded a bunch of times over the years, including by Nina Simone, Beth Orton and Hall & Oates.

Number 73 "Gotta Get It Right" by Lena Fiagbe
Like Dee Fredrix, who we saw back in Part 1, Lena was a British singer I heard on radio show UK Chart Attack - but unlike Dee, Lena actually cracked the British top 20 with this song from her debut album, Visions.

Number 72 "Hat 2 Da Back" by TLC
The fourth and final single from debut album Ooooooohhh... On The TLC Tip was another slam dunk for T-Boz, Left-Eye and Chilli, who were only just getting started with their unique spin on life, love, music and apparel.

Number 71 "Back Again" by General Base
Taken from debut album First, "Back Again" was one of the better known songs released by German DJ Thomas Kukula under his first pseudonym: General Base. He'd later record as Red 5, Candy Beat and THK - but it was this guise that I liked the best.

Number 70 "Too Much Information" by Duran Duran
Mentioned below

Number 69 "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran
Before Duran Duran returned with their second self-titled album (also referred to as The Wedding Album) in 1993, most people would probably have assumed that the '80s hitmakers had broken up. Their most recent album, 1990's Liberty had been their least successful release by some margin, while the side projects and line-up changes throughout the second half of the '80s had likely left many fans confused about the status of the group. With their profile boosted by the UK and US success of this lead single (as well as "Come Undone" and "Too Much Information"), there was no denying Duran Duran were, if not as big as ever, certainly bigger than they'd been in a very long time.

Number 68 "Sweet Harmony" by The Beloved
Things had changed for British synthpop group The Beloved by 1993. SInger Jon Marsh's original musical partner, Steve Waddington, had quit and Jon's life partner, wife Helena, joined. Jon and Helena co-wrote and co-produced this track, which became The Beloved's sole UK top 10 hit.

Number 67 "Right Here (Human Nature)" by SWV
R&B girl group SWV (Sisters With Voices) had a few good songs in 1993, like "I'm So Into You" and "Weak", but it wasn't until they mashed up debut single "Right Here" with Michael Jackson's 1983 hit "Human Nature" that they achieved pop perfection. The new version of "Right Here" became their biggest song in most parts of the world, except in the US, where "Weak" had made it to number 1. The girls continued to score US hits throughout the rest of the decade and reunited after a lengthy break in the mid '00s, although the most attention any of the group has received recently is member Tamara "Taj" Johnson-George's appearance on season 18 of US reality show Survivor.

Number 66 "The Right Kind Of Love" by Jeremy Jordan
In Part 1, we saw contributions to the Beverly Hills, 90210 soundtrack from Shanice and Vanessa Williams & Brian McKnight, and here is the third and final song from the album to make my list. Performed by the blond-haired, blue-eyed, perfectly formed Jeremy Jordan, "The Right Kind Of Love" was the soundtrack's biggest hit in Australia, reaching number 5. Unfortunately for Jeremy, it would be his only significant hit, with follow-up "Wannagirl" unable to sustain the momentum, despite another pec-tastic film clip.

Number 65 "Again" by Janet Jackson
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 64 "I Feel It" by Moby
Years before Richard Hall sold several truckloads of copies of chillout album Play, he was responsible for rave anthems like this, "Go" and "Move (You Make Me Feel So Good)". "I Feel It" was actually a remixed version of prior single "Next Is The E", which improved the chart fortunes of the track and crept into the lower reaches of the UK top 40.

Number 63 "(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You" by UB40
Reggae was bigger than ever in 1993. Thanks to artists like Inner Circle, Snow, Shaggy and Chaka Demus & Pliers (to name a few), the sound of Jamaica wasn't far from the upper reaches of the charts throughout the year. As one of the most commercially successfully reggae acts of all time, it was only natural that UB40 would benefit, too - and they scored their biggest hit in years with their remake of the Elvis Presley classic. Taken from the soundtrack to Sharon Stone flick Sliver, the cover version hit number 1 in Australia, the US and the UK, and wound up as one of the year's highest-selling singles.

Number 62 "Hobart Paving / Who Do You Think You Are" by Saint Etienne
The British electronic band (named after a French soccer team) had been making the right kind of waves since the start of the decade, garnering a great deal of cred with cool indie music publications. For this single release, they teamed a track from their second studio album, So Tough, with a cover of "Who Do You Think You Are" by '70s band Jigsaw. I preferred the remake and it became my favourite song of theirs since their debut release, a cover of Neil Young's "Only Love Can Break Your Heart". 

Number 61 "I Never Felt Like This Before" by Mica Paris
These days, you're more likely to see her hosting British lifestyle programs on TV, but in 1993, soul singer Mica Paris released her best album to date in the form of Whisper A Prayer. This lead single was the biggest hit from it, reaching the UK top 20, while I also liked the title track (number 88 on this list). Two additional singles, "Two In A Million" and "I Wanna Hold On To You" just scrape into my top 200 for the year.

Number 60 "Going Nowhere" by Gabrielle
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 59 "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love" by Taylor Dayne
After going a bit pop/rock with songs like "Heart Of Stone" and "I'll Be Your Shelter" in 1990, Taylor was back in dance diva mode with this cover version of Barry White's 1974 single (which dropped the "Babe" from the title). In Australia, it would be Taylor's biggest hit, spending three weeks at number 2.

Number 58 "Trippin' On Your Love" by Kenny Thomas
His 1991 debut album, Voices, had proved to be quite successful in the UK, with a string of hits taken from it, but in 1993, soul/dance singer Kenny Thomas struggled to achieve the same heights with his second album, Wait For Me. The singles lifted from it averaged about 10 to 20 places lower on the British chart than first time round, with "Trippin' On Your Love" the best performer (it reached number 17) and my favourite.

Number 57 "Tears Of A Clown" by Caligula
They'd been releasing music since 1990, but it wasn't until they released this cover of the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles hit from 1970 that Australian indie rock band Caligula came to my attention. I wasn't the only one - "Tears Of A Clown" gave the group a top 30 hit, and they followed it up with the almost as good original track "Roundabout" (at number 62 above), with both tracks proving to be very much the exceptions to my musical taste in 1994.

Number 56 "To Love" by Fits Of Gloom
Time for a Eurodance triple play (with a brief interruption). First up, a song which merged the riff from Michael Sembello's "Maniac" and a vocal hook from Queen's "Somebody To Love" (which was also covered in 1993 by George Michael for the Freddie Mercury tribute EP, Five Live). I can't tell you much about Fits Of Gloom, except that I think they were from Italy.

Number 55 "Feel The Rhythm" by Jinny
Next up, another Italian group that scored a minor hit on the Continent with this Eurodance stormer. Greater success would come for Jinny in 1995 thanks to a re-release of their 1991 single, "Keep Warm" but this did nicely for the time being.

Number 54 "Queen Of The Night" by Whitney Houston
A brief respite from the Eurodance with Whitney, who dominated 1993 thanks to the singles from The Bodyguard. She started the year with "I Will Always Love You" still riding high on charts around the world and the hits kept coming - "I'm Every Woman" (number 86 on this list), "I Have Nothing" (number 76), "Run To You" (number 124) and this track, which featured in the scene where Whitney's character, Rachel Marron, got rushed from the stage.

Number 53 "Somebody Dance With Me" by DJ Bobo
We return to the Eurodance, this time with the breakthrough hit for the Swiss artist born Peter Baumann. Unlike the other tracks by Jinny and Fits Of Gloom, this one was actually a hit in Australia, reaching number 13 with its mix of rapped verses and sung choruses - a template followed by many crossover tracks in 1993 (see also: AB Logic, Melodie MC).

Number 52 "Will You Be There" by Michael Jackson
It would be unheard of these days, but in 1993, the singles were still being lifted from Michael's 1991 album, Dangerous. One thing that couldn't be said, though, was that the King Of Pop was repeating himself. On the one hand, the album's seventh single, "Give In To Me" (number 100 on this list) featured Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash, while this track, the eighth single, featured the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus in a rousing ballad. A ninth single, "Gone Too Soon", was issued before the end of the year.

Number 51 "Looking Through Patient Eyes" by PM Dawn
Making just as excellent use of George Michael's "Father Figure" as they had borrowing Spandau Ballet's "True" for 1991's "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss", PM Dawn sampled their way back into the Australian top 20 in 1993. "Looking Through Patient Eyes" was taken from the excellent The Bliss Album...?, which, of course, came with the typically tripped out subtitle of Vibrations Of Love And Anger And The Ponderance Of Life And Existence. Um, OK.

On Wednesday, we'll catch up with the ARIA chart action from 25 years ago, and then I'll conclude my 1993 list by counting down my top 50.

1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019


  1. > "Gotta Get It Right" by Lena Fiagbe
    > I heard on radio show UK Chart Attack
    > YouTube doesn't have the clip

    I uploaded the video to 'Gotta Get It Right' on youtube last year, but unfortunately it's blocked worldwide. As for hearing it on UK Chart Attack, that radio show was scrapped in Vic for Dr Feelgood's 'Pillow Talk' on Sunday nights, in early 1993. I was gutted! Though I'd only discovered the show in May '92.

    1. It's so weird what is and isn't blocked on YouTube - and what is blocked in Australia and not elsewhere. Obviously related to record companies and local rights but highly annoying.

      And bizarrely, I can link to some songs but not embed the clips - which could also be down to record labels, or a BlogSpot issue.

      Thank goodness for all the clips you've posted. I know I've linked to quite a lot of your videos. I think half of my 1996 personal countdown had links to your clips.

    2. Re UK Chart Attack. I lived for that show every week. I think Sydney got Pillow Talk eventually as well, but we definitely got UK CA throughout 1993. I'm pretty sure I remember them playing Take That's Babe at the end of the year. Not sure how much longer it aired beyond that.

    3. One of the last (and maybe the last) UK Chart Attack shows that aired in Victoria (on Fox FM) featured Snap!'s 'Exterminate!'. I also remember hearing Go West's 'What You Won't Do For Love', probably from the same show. There may have been another week or 2 after that, but that was it. 'Could It Be Magic' was the last Take That song to air on the show here.