Wednesday, 12 December 2018

25 Years Ago This Week: December 12, 1993

I recently held a poll on the Chart Beats Facebook page about whether I should continue my journey through the ARIA singles charts of decades past into 1994 or skip back in time to carry on looking at the Australian top 50 from 1980. And it's weeks like this one from 1993 that had me questioning how much more time I wanted to spend in the mid-'90s.

Thank goodness for Caligula, who made this week in 1993 more bearable

Three of the five new entries are bloated five-minute ballads from male singers that clogged up the chart with their mega-selling MOR music. And a fourth is a pleasant but also quite bland remake by two local singers. Then in between all the grunge and reggae in 1993, it wasn't always the best time for a pop fan like me. But the people - well, those that voted - have spoken, and we'll tackle 1994 in early January.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending December 12, 1993

A song that remained at the top of the chart until early January was spending its third week at number 1 this week in 1993. Yep, "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams was still the most popular song in the country.  


Off The Chart
Number 91 "In My Life" by Kim Wilde
Peak: number 78
As "If I Can't Have You" fell out of the top 10, the other new track on The Singles Collection 1981-1993 entered the top 100 but didn't perform anywhere near as well.

Number 85 "The Rain In My Heart" by Weddings Parties Anything
Peak: number 85
"Monday's Experts" had been a minor top 50 hit, but this jangly, bouncy second single from King Tide progressed no further.

Number 82 "Demolition Man" by Sting
Peak: number 71
A much bigger soundtrack effort was just around the corner for Sting, but this reworking of the song that had originally been recorded by Grace Jones and later by The Police for the Sylvester Stallone/Wesley Snipes movie of the same name fizzled out.

Number 69 "Always Coca-Cola" by Un Disco In Lattina
Peak: number 65
I had no idea this Eurodance version of the Coke ad existed before now. Unfortunately for the Italian act, this jingle ended up enjoying a Robin Beck rather than a New Seekers level of success.


New Entries
Number 50 "Tears Of A Clown" by Caligula
Peak: number 25
Before we get to our three musical bores, Sydney's Caligula crept into the very bottom of the top 50 this week with their radical revision of the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles tune from 1970, which had been a number 7 hit in Australia. I'm not sure what the band's following made of the thrashy update of the Motown classic, but I thought it was pretty great and even bought it on cassingle. Plus, I ended up getting the band's album Rubenesque on CD - admittedly, years later for a heavily reduced sum - but I probably would never have ventured anywhere near Caligula if not for this track. The song starts up at the 2:20 mark in the video below, after a particularly awkward interview on Video Smash Hits




Number 49 "Said I Loved You... But I Lied" by Michael Bolton
Peak: number 2
I'm not going to lie - I like the odd Michael Bolton tune. OK, pretty much just "How Can We Be Lovers". But with this first taste of ninth studio album The One Thing, the mulleted one was firmly back in dreary ballad territory. Co-written with Robert "Mutt" Lange, "Said I Loved You... But I Lied" sent Michael back to number 2 on the ARIA chart - his highest placing since he reached the same position in 1990 with "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". If you can stand to listen to the song, the desert-set video is worth a look for its cliché-ridden shots of wild horses, soaring eagles, burning flames, and Michael astride the cliffs with his shirt wide open and hair gently blowing in the breeze. 




Number 47 "Angels" by John Farnham
Peak: number 36
Not to be confused with "We're No Angels", the fourth single from Age Of Reason, which had missed the top 100, this second single from Then Again... was a change of pace after the album's lead single "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time". Despite having all the makings of another Farnsey smash, it only made the top 40 - another sign that John's popularity was on the wane. The song is essentially a duet with Annie Crummer, who appears in the music video but does not receive featured billing on the release.




Number 38 "Where Is The Love" by Rick Price / Margaret Urlich
Peak: number 31
Don't get me wrong, I really like this song - when performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway or Mica Paris and Will Downing. And while Rick Price and Maragaret Urlich do a decent rendition, it's also a bit like elevator music. Plus, with their matching flowing locks, it's hard to tell which is which in the music video. OK, I jest. Anyway, this type of bland muzak was hardly going to set the charts alight... and it peaked outside the top 30, which is not quite what you'd expect for a brand new recording from these two given their chart pedigree. It did, however, outperform the original, which only reached number 55 for Roberta and Donny in 1972.




Number 29 "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through" by Meat Loaf
Peak: number 18
The first single from Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell was still inside the top 20 after 15 weeks, and it was joined on the top 50 by this next song, which had originally been recorded by songwriter Jim Steinman on his 1981 album, Bad For Good. Less overblow than its predecessor, "Rock And Roll..." once again came with a Michael Bay-directed music video, which features a young Angelina Jolie as a teenage runaway.




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





Next week: things get better for the final chart of 1993, with a trio of new dance hits. As usual, we'll also take a look at the year-end top 100.


Back to: Dec 5, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 19, 1993


4 comments:

  1. 1980! I have to agree, the mid 90s were a bit drab when it came to pop (with few notable exceptions). Appears the argument has already been won though >:-(

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  2. I assumed you'd probably keep the 25 years ago chart recaps going until the printed charts ended (temporarily) in '98 - if not longer, since I'm pretty sure you liked the late 90s/early 00s 'pop' explosion. Though it must be difficult to muster enthusiasm to write the column in weeks when there are no new entries you like. But - you've made it through '93, which I thought (at the time) was a pretty bad year for the Australian chart. I thought, at the time anyway, that '94 (well, at least the first half) was an improvement on the local chart from '93.

    The Kim Wilde video you've embedded uses the (better) album version audio. The actual single version was this one I've uploaded here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sOO1tuxJyw .

    'Always Coca-Cola' crept into the lower region of the Vic/Tas state top 50 chart on the flip side of the national printed chart in Vic/Tas, so I was aware of its existence at the time... though didn't hear it until looking it up on YouTube a few years ago.

    I am surprised you like 'Tears of a Clown' so much. I think it's OK, but wouldn't really willingly listen to it, and preferred 'Before'.

    I actually really like 'Said I Loved You...'.

    LOL at not being able to distinguish who is who in the Margaret & Rick video. Agree with you that their version is 'OK', but not as good as previous renditions.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it was my intention to carry on up until the 1998 chart I posted earlier this year to complete my original chart collection.

      But yes, some weeks in 1993 have felt like a chore. I did like a lot of music in the 90s - I managed to come up with 200 songs I like for 1993, after all, on my year-end chart. And I'm happy to carry on into 1994 because I know there'll be a lot of stuff I like. But I did want to see if a 1980 post each week might be more popular. I wish I had time to do both!

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