Wednesday, 9 May 2018

This Week In 1993: May 9, 1993

The problem in being a solo male rapper and having a massive number 1 hit in Australia in the early '90s was that it quickly became all you were known for, even if you had other hits. 

Snow: subtitles required

This week in 1993, a Canadian rapper who'd follow in the footsteps of MC Hammer, Young MC and Vanilla Ice by topping the ARIA singles chart debuted with his future number 1. Yes, it wasn't his only visit to the top 50, but it's the only song anyone ever remembers.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending May 9, 1993

Another male performer with a long-running number 1 in 1993 spent his sixth and final week on top. But Lenny Kravitz is remembered for more than just "Are You Gonna Go My Way".

Off The Chart
Number 98 "Born 2 B.R.E.E.D." by Monie Love
Peak: number 98
Two years after her collaboration with Adeva put her inside the top 50, this Prince co-written single from second album In A Word Or 2 saw rapper Monie Love back towards the bottom of the top 100. "B.R.E.E.D." stands for "Build Relationships where Education and Enlightenment Dominate", in case you were wondering.

Number 94 "Walking In My Shoes" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 74
Depeche Mode's top 50 return was short-lived, with this follow-up to "I Feel You" missing the mark despite a) being a great song and b) having a great B-side in "My Joy".

New Entries
Number 49 "Hip Hop Hooray" by Naughty By Nature
Peak: number 33
If the "yeah you know me" hook from "O.P.P." had been an instant classic, then hip-hop trio Naughty By Nature topped that with the "hey... ho..." chant from this lead single from third album 19 Naughty III. As well as introducing the world to that simple but effective hook, "Hip Hop Hooray" sampled about a gazillion different songs and managed to combine street cred with mainstream appeal. If it had been released a decade later, it would've been an easy top 10 hit, but in 1993, Naughty By Nature had to settle for another top 40 placement.

Number 48 "Metal Mickey / The Drowners" by Suede
Peak: number 39
Here's another key release from a musical genre that was relegated to a minor top 40 entry in Australia. In this case, it's a double A-side comprising the first two singles by hot new British band Suede, who were a major part of the dawning of the Britpop era and hugely hyped at home. Suede's self-titled debut album (and two others in their career) would top the UK chart, but Australia had a more muted reaction to the glam rock-influenced band, holding out instead for the arrival of Oasis to embrace the genre.

Number 40 "Informer" by Snow
Peak: number 1
It wasn't always comprehensible, but there was no denying this debut single by Canadian rapper Snow was one of the year's biggest hits. Written by the artist born Darrin O'Brien about his experience behind bars in 1989 and his attitude towards snitches, it was released just before Snow found himself back in prison. This interview from 2016 covers the background of the song much more thoroughly than I could, but suffice it to say that its runaway success had its drawbacks. There was the obvious problem of having a hit so huge it would be impossible to live up to, but there was the inevitable backlash against a white guy performing a reggae-influenced song, with everyone from Shaggy (who we'll see next week) and Jim Carrey lining up to take shots. Snow did return to the chart again - the top 30, in fact - and we'll see his other hit in the coming months. 

Number 24 "Detachable Penis" by King Missile
Peak: number 17
It's pretty predictable really. Call a song "Detachable Penis" and it's more or less a given it'll be a hit. And so the otherwise niche American rock band King Missile found themselves with a big single on their hands - and yet another inevitable backlash, this time from their cult following who, also predictably, didn't like it when the otherwise unknown band suddenly became popular. As a song, "Detachable Penis" comprised a rambled monologue over a distorted guitar hook as the title was intoned repetitively. Called anything else and I doubt it would've been anywhere near as big. 

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:

Next week: a music superstar scores her biggest ever hit first week on release, plus another charts with a song that would go on to be crucified by countless reality show contestants in a decade's time. Also, one Australian and one British boy band debut with a cover version apiece.

Back to: May 2, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: May 16, 1993

1 comment:

  1. This (printed) chart is memorable for me for being the most elusive one I ever collected. My mum would normally pick them up for me from Brashs during her lunch break on a Monday, except this week they only had the previous week's. She probably went back later in the week to see if it had arrived, but it hadn't. This then resulted in my sister driving me around to various places (including places I wouldn't normally pick up the chart, like the local K-Mart's music section) on the Saturday to find a copy, in a last-ditch frantic effort. Finally, my local Myer's music section had it... although just *one* copy, which I snapped up. Phew!

    It's a pity 'Just Can't Get Enough' and, to a lesser degree, 'People Are People' were Depeche Mode's only real hit singles in Australia; though at least all of the 'Songs of Faith and Devotion' singles dented the top 100, which is the best they ever did from one album.

    Believe it or not, there is an 'Informer 2018' by Snow that has recently been released, complete with video. He looks much older than he did back then in the video; I guess that's to be expected, having not seen someone for 25 years, but it's kind of shocking. I remember a Smash Hits interview asking whether he'd ever cheated on his wife, Tammy (from memory). Before answering (in the affirmative), he asked whether the magazine was syndicated internationally. Ooh-er!

    I didn't find 'Detachable Penis' that amusing - other than its (surely aimed at teens/tweens) appearance on '100% Hits Volume 8' in the middle of the year. I do find one of of their other 'hits', 'Martin Scorcese', moderately amusing, though.