Wednesday, 20 June 2018

25 Years Ago This Week: June 20, 1993

Some bands steer well clear of cover versions, preferring to release only self-penned material. And then there's UB40, who early on in their career realised the power of a good remake, especially one that took a song in a new direction, as theirs often did.

The wise men of UB40 knew how to keep scoring hits

This week in 1993, the British reggae collective returned to the ARIA singles chart with their latest cover version - and it would prove so successful that it went all the way to number 1 for seven weeks.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending June 20, 1993

Another of the year's longest-running chart-toppers - and another reggae hit - was still at number 1 this week in 1993. "Informer" by Snow spent a third week on top.


Off The Chart
Number 100 "When She Cries" by Restless Heart
Peak: number 97
Post-Billy Ray Cyrus, the idea of a country crossover hit was back on the table, but it wasn't to be in Australia for this US number 11-peaking lead single from the enduring band's fifth album, Big Iron Horses

Number 96 "Give It Up, Turn It Loose" by En Vogue
Peak: number 96
Another disappointing chart performance for the funky divas, with this fourth single from their second album barely denting the top 100 despite making number 15 in the US.

Number 95 "Fields Of Gold" by Sting
Peak: number 85
It's since become one of Sting's most beloved songs, but in 1993, the Ten Summoner's Tales track, released here as the album's third single, was not very loved at all.

Number 82 "29 Palms" by Robert Plant
Peak: number 79
He'd done OK on the ARIA chart during the '80s - both as a solo artist and with The Honeydrippers - but the '90s weren't so kind to Robert Plant, with this single from Fate Of Nations flopping and becoming his final top 100 appearance.

Number 74 "Black Tie White Noise" by David Bowie
Peak: number 74
Another male performer who'd been much more successful in previous decades, David Bowie struck out once again with the second single from the album of the same name, which features Al B Sure! on guest vocals.


New Entries
Number 49 "Busy Bee" by Ugly Kid Joe
Peak: number 39
With "Cats In The Cradle" still in the top 20 after 16 weeks on the chart, Ugly Kid Joe's next single with an animal in the title joined it on the chart. "Busy Bee", however, would end up as the least successful of the four top 50 hits from the band's debut album, America's Least Wanted. Still, they'd had a pretty good run up until this point. But in two years' time, when Ugly Kid Joe returned with their follow-up album, Menace To Sobriety, they wouldn't be that wanted in Australia, barely able to crack the singles top 40.




Number 44 "Push Th' Little Daisies" by Ween
Peak: number 18
Regular readers can probably guess my feelings about this track - the only top 50 appearance by alternative American duo Ween. It's as irritating now as it was in 1993, but of course, that was the whole point. Taken from the major label debut album by Dean and Gene Ween - aka Mickey Melchiondo and Aaron Freeman respectively - "Push Th' Little Daisies" was a hit on Triple J (of course), but I wonder how many people actually enjoyed listening to the strangled vocals and barely there musical accompaniment. 




Number 30 "Almost Unreal" by Roxette
Peak: number 17
The wheels hadn't quite fallen off the Roxette juggernaut yet, but the Swedish duo's previous flawless chart record had taken a battering thanks to the disappointing placings of the later singles from their Tourism album. They got things back on track with this soundtrack single, which had actually been written for the Bette Midler/Sarah Jessica Parker/Kathy Najimy supernatural comedy, Hocus Pocus, but ultimately ended up on the soundtrack to computer game spin-off Super Mario Bros. Although some of the song's lyrics were changed when the song found a new movie home, the words "hocus pocus" did remain in the chorus. Not quite classic Roxette, "Amost Unreal" was a nice enough song that saw Per and Marie back inside the top 20 for the first time since "How Do You Do!".




Number 27 "(I Can't Help) Falling In Love With You" by UB40
Peak: number 1
Another soundtrack hit now, although despite featuring in Sharon Stone's latest erotic thriller, Sliver, UB40's pop/reggae remake of the Elvis Presley classic would have been massive with or without the movie tie-in. One of those songs that most people were familiar with, it ticked the nostalgia box for older music fans and was part of a resurgent wave of reggae hits that younger music buyers were clearly getting into, as evidenced by Snow and Shaggy's success. 
The slightly retitled version of "Can't Help Falling In Love With You" was just the latest remake by the British band, which followed hot on the heels of their second album comprised exclusively of covers, Labour Of Love II, and gave UB40 their second chart-topper in Australia - their first being 1985's update of "I Got You Babe" with Chrissie Hynde. Would they ever have another hit with an original song? They were clearly hoping so, with the rest of accompanying album Promises And Lies comprised of self-penned tracks.




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





Next week: some big bands bomb out, while a couple of now-long-forgotten acts scrape into the top 50.


Back to: Jun 13, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jun 27, 1993


5 comments:

  1. I think I've chatted to Nathan before about the title of the UB40 cover. It's obviously not the same wording as the original title, but Rage, the ARIA chart itself and the "Best Of 100% Hits 93" compilation all called it "Can't Help Falling In Love". Personally, I think that "(I Can't Help)" bit isn't needed. Come on, UB40. They all got the title right except you.

    It's a good song though -- the only way you're gonna get me to listen to Elvis!

    (Sliver was absolute rubbish, if I could also throw that in there -- to quote Mike Jeavons, "taking the 'erotic' and 'thriller' out of 'erotic thriller'.")

    I did like "Almost Unreal", but the way the words "hocus pocus" are sung is mega-twee.

    No one else is likely to say this, so I will -- Ween were geniuses! "Push Th' Little Daisies" (a song about nipples, apparently) is hardly their best song, but I guess many people saw it as a novelty track. Too bad none of their better songs ever charted; "I Can't Put My Finger On It" is one good example.

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  2. Owing to American Top 40 being pushed back to 1am (or something ridiculous like that) in Victoria following the arrival of Pillow Talk earlier in '93, I don't think I've heard the En Vogue track before.

    'Fields of Gold' is a nice song; pity it flopped here.

    I like(d?) 'Push th' Little Daisies' for its novelty value. When I first heard/saw it on rage, I was fairly puzzled and amused.

    Someone I was friends with at school once referred to the Roxette song as "that Hocus Pocus bullshit." While not quite going that far, I don't think it's one of their best.

    I liked the UB40 track a lot at first, but then it became overplayed.

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    1. That hocus pocus bullshit!!! LOL!!!

      Heeeeerrrrrrreeeee's Johnny!

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  3. I recall the UB40 track extremely vividly. It was much loved by me and many people worldwide, obviously judging it was a number 1 smash. Why wouldn't it be, it's a terrific song!

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  4. I ca't get over the fact that it's been 25 years since that bit of rubbish by Ween was released where does the time go.

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