Wednesday, 30 January 2019

This Week In 1994: January 30, 1994

Few would have guessed this week in 1994 that the rapper making his first appearance on the ARIA top 50 would go on to have one of the most successful careers in modern music, appearing on no less than 26 hits to date.

Before long, "What's My Name" isn't a question this rapper would need to ask

Yes, many of those appearances were as a guest on someone else's track or in collaboration with other performers, but his impact is not to be denied, especially since the turn of the century when he finally made the top 10 and even went as far as number 1. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 30, 1994

Three performers who all know a thing or two about enduring careers were together at the top of the chart this week in 1994. "All For Love" by Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting stayed at number 1 for a second week.

Off The Chart
Number 99 "I Love Music" by Rozalla
Peak: number 90
Unfortunately for the dance singer, not many Australians loved her remake of The O'Jays song from 1975. Rozalla's update of "I Love Music" had featured in 1993 film Carlito's Way

Number 93 "Going Nowhere" by Gabrielle
Peak: number 77
In the UK, Gabrielle's second single gave her another top 10 hit to follow "Dreams", which fell out of the ARIA top 20 this week. In Australia, she wouldn't reach that high again until 2001.

Number 85 "I Got You Babe" by Cher with Beavis & Butt-head
Peak: number 69
Ever the good sport, Cher revisited her debut single with ex-husband Sonny Bono on this irreverent cover duet with animated sensations Beavis & Butt-head.

Number 76 "Creep" by Stone Temple Pilots
Peak: number 76
Released in the wake of the identically named hit by Radiohead (which was still inside the top 20 this week), this "Creep" didn't follow "Plush" into the top 50 for STP.

Number 68 "Hey Joe" by Body Count
Peak: number 67
Another remake, this time of a rock standard once performed by Jimi Hendrix that was included on tribute album Stone Free by the band led by Ice-T.

New Entries
Number 44 "Estranged" by Guns n' Roses
Peak: number 40
Two-and-a-half years after the Use Your Illusion era of Guns n' Roses' career began with "You Could Be Mine", the band finally finished extracting singles from their double albums, with nine-minute epic "Estranged" becoming the eighth lifted from either of the two volumes. A return to the top 40 after previous single "Civil War" peaked at number 45, "Estranged" came with another large-scale production music video that formed the third part in the trilogy that had begun with "Don't Cry" and "November Rain".

Number 39 "Will You Be There (In The Morning)" by Heart
Peak: number 24
The last time we saw the Wilson sisters (and band-mates) on the ARIA top 50 was with chart-topper "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" (or, as I like think of it, "All I Wanna Do Is Never Hear This Song Again"). For the lead commercial single from 11th album Desire Walks On, Heart turned once again to Robert "Mutt" Lange, who had written their number 1 hit, but "Will You Be There (In The Morning)", despite having a decent chorus, didn't rank as one of the band's or the songwriter's most successful tracks. This would be the final time we'd see Heart on the chart.

Number 37 "What's My Name?" by Snoop Doggy Dogg
Peak: number 13
He'd slipped into the top 100 in mid-1993 alongside the man who'd discovered him and would go on to produce his debut album, Dr Dre, and this week in 1994, the rapper born Calvin Broadus Jr became a star in his own right with his first solo single, "What's My Name?". The sample-heavy tune made use of elements from tracks by the likes of Parliament and George Clinton, taking the West Coast-born G-funk genre into the mainstream and becoming one of the most influential hip-hop tunes of the decade. Thousands of miles away in suburban Australia, I feel like Snoop Doggy Dogg was viewed as something of a novelty at first, with that moniker and the sing-song hook in "What's My Name?" no doubt helping the song cross over to a more mainstream market than many just as credible rap tracks managed at the time.

Number 34 "Now & Forever" by Richard Marx
Peak: number 16
Quite surprisingly, since I generally wasn't a fan of Richard Marx's slushier material, I bought the CD single of this lead release from fourth album Paid Vacation at the time. Like former chart-topper "Right Here Waiting", "Now & Forever" was written about Richard's then-wife, Cynthia Rhodes. Unfortunately, the "forever" part of the title didn't pan out, with the couple divorcing in 2014.

Number 29 "Dirty Dawg" by NKOTB
Peak: number 20
Exactly two years since their last single, "If You Go Away", entered the ARIA top 50, New Kids On The Block were back, except they were now going by NKOTB in an effort to appear all cool and grown up (well, they were all in their 20s by now). Unlike the last time they'd attempted to go in an edgier direction, their new jack swing-flavoured, James Brown-sampling, Nice & Smooth-featuring comeback track, "Dirty Dawg", was met with a relatively warm reception, returning them to the top 20 for the first time since 1990's "Tonight". But when follow-up "Never Let You Go" flopped and Jonathan Knight quit the band due to panic attacks, the band split before the year was out, not reforming for 14 years. 

Number 27 "Daughter" by Pearl Jam
Peak: number 18
Also returning to the top 20 for only the second time so far in their career was Pearl Jam with this second single from second album Vs about a girl with dyslexia whose learning disability is misunderstood by an abusive parent.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:

Next week: a number 1 ballad from 1985 receives an energetic makeover, plus two music veterans return to the top 50 with a little help from some much more modern artists.

Back to: Jan 23, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 6, 1994


  1. 'I Love Music' received a fair amount of airplay on (then known as) TT (double T) FM in Melbourne - its brief foray into the lower region of top 50 of the Vic/Tas state chart is probably partly due to this. Despite being a decent song, I think Rozalla's problem, when she signed to Sony for her second album, is that they didn't understand (or care) what style of music made her famous. Instead of being the queen of rave, it seemed they wanted to market her as a solo version of M People or something - the kind of 'dance' music that would be acceptable on the station your parents listened to.

    Vocally, I always thought that 'Going Nowhere' sounded very Michael Jackson-esque, especially during the "if you need someone to hold you, I'll be right here" line.

    I remember seeing on 'Entertainment Tonight', after Sonny's death, seeing Cher in tears, talking about how wonderful he was... yet she had indirectly 'slammed' him, by agreeing with Beavis or Butthead's comment that he was a wuss on this, just 5 or so years earlier. Hmmmm.

    I found 'Estranged''s release interesting, given the 2.5 year gap between the 'Use Your Illusion' albums' release, and why they invested so much into the video's budget, given how late it was in the albums' campaign.

    It's funny how quickly Richard Marx's chart career (here, anyway) was over, following a relatively successful lead single from this album.

    Wasn't it Jon, and not Jordan, Knight who quite NKOTB around this time? I could be wrong, though. Already 'hating' them for several years by this point, I remember thinking 'Dirty Dawg' was a laughably bad attempt at appearing 'hard' - though perhaps not as much as 'Games' was.

    I hate 'Daughter'.

    1. Yes, Jonathan. I think I misread the name when I was reading about it. But of course that makes more sense!