Wednesday, 4 July 2018

This Week In 1993: July 4, 1993

By 1993, sampling was well-established as part of music - and was generally being done much more legally than at first. 

Great samples helped PM Dawn and Us3 into the top 50 

This week that year, two singles based heavily on samples made their debut on the ARIA top 50 and also worked well as new songs in their own right.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending July 4, 1993

A track with a couple of samples in it was still at number 1 this week in 1993. "Informer" by Snow spent its fifth and final week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 96 "Space Time Disco" by Def FX
Peak: number 70
Not even their most commercial offering yet could prevent Def FX being unlucky on the chart yet again. The band would eventually benefit from continuing to plug away and land a top 50 hit... but not until 1994.

Number 92 "Break It Down Again" by Tears For Fears
Peak: number 82
With Curt Smith off doing his (far superior) solo thing, Roland Orzabal was left to fly the Tears For Fears flag on his own with this lead single from the Elemental album.

Number 89 "Animal Nitrate" by Suede
Peak: number 89
In the UK, this punningly titled track gave Suede their first top 10 hit, but Australia was less keen, with the band failing to land a second hit and not returning to the top 100 for another six years.

Number 81 "Down With The King" by Run-DMC
Peak: number 81
Returning with their first studio album in three years, hip-hop trio Run-DMC were back on form musically and in terms of their US chart success, but this style of hip-hop was probably not mainstream enough for Australian palates at this point.

Single Of The Week
"Pets" by Porno For Pyros
Peak: number 68
Jane's Addiction had never crossed over in Australia, with "Been Caught Stealing" stalling at number 56 just ahead of the grunge explosion at the end of 1991. From the ashes of that band came Porno For Pyros, which included singer Perry Farrell and drummer Stephen Perkins in its line-up. The subdued, psychedelic "Pets" was the closest the band ever came to scoring a hit locally.  

New Entries
Number 50 "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" by Us3
Peak: number 32
Our first sample-ridden hit comes from jazz fusion group Us3, who spliced together hooks from Blue Note Records' back catalogue with present day hip-hop. On their breakthrough hit "Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)" they incorporated elements from Herbie Hancock's 1964 track "Cantaloupe Island". A flop first time around in their homeland of the UK, the song reached the US top 10 before catching on around the world. The type of tune that continues to pop up in films and ads, and on TV shows, it was the perfect blend of old and new genres.

Number 42 "Looking Through Patient Eyes" by P.M. Dawn
Peak: number 20
Not since their breakthrough hit, "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss", had P.M. Dawn visited the ARIA top 20 and they did so for a second time following the same template as that top 10 smash. Taking an easily recognisable hook from an '80s classic - in this case George Michael's "Father Figure" - and using it as the foundation of a new song, the duo released what I consider to be their best song in "Looking Through Patient Eyes". It came out just ahead of their second album, on which the Cordes brothers once again indulged their love for a lengthy title: The Bliss Album...? (Vibrations Of Love And Anger And The Ponderance Of Live And Existence). Deep.

Number 27 "Gloria" by Van Morrison / John Lee Hooker
Peak: number 22
It didn't feature a sample, but the week's highest new entry did revisit the past, with Van Morrison updating a song he'd first recorded with his former band, Them, in 1964. A collaboration with blues legend John Lee Hooker, this new version of "Gloria" matched the exact peak the original version reached in Australia in 1966.

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

Next week: new chart hits by top 50 regulars R.E.M., Rod Stewart, Diesel and Baby Animals.

Back to: Jun 27, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jul 11, 1993

1 comment:

  1. 'Break It Down Again' isn't as good as I remembered. I do like the lead single from the next album though, 'Raoul and the Kings of Spain'. It always seems a bit silly to me when a duo carries on after one member leaves, using the same name. It sounds to me as though they've tried to emulate Curt's vocal style with some of the vocals/backing vocals on this track. I hadn't heard the solo Curt track before. The split was fairly acrimonious, I believe, as one of them (I think Roland) made a comment in an interview I read around this time that it was a mistake to think that he and Curt were "two old friends" who formed a band.

    Suede always seemed to me to be one of those hyped acts you were supposed to like if you wanted to be seen as being cool/'alternative'.

    I don't recall the Run-DMC track.

    The Us3 track I associate with the likes of Gang Starr.

    Somehow, I didn't spot the 'Father Figure' sample in 'Looking Through Patient Eyes' until many years later.

    The Van Morrison track being the highest new entry is the perfect example of everything that was wrong with our chart in 1993. Just awful. It was a weird time, when these 'adult-oriented' acts could score big(-ish) hits (for them) on the chart. And another week with only one female vocal entry.