Wednesday, 27 February 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: February 27, 1994

It's weeks like this that make looking back at the ARIA top 50 singles chart from 1994 enjoyable - six new entries that I (mostly) like and not a gloomy grunge song among them.

Dr Alban and Melodie MC reached the top 5 with the bigger of their two hits

In fact, there was a deluge of (mostly) new dance tracks - some of which were among the biggest hits of the year.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending February 27, 1994

The biggest hit of the week was another dance track: "Give It Up" by Cut 'n' Move spent its fourth and final week at number 1.


Off The Chart
Number 90 "Seems Twice" by The Cruel Sea
Peak: number 90
A fourth and final single from the soon-to-be crowned ARIA Album Of The Year, which would stick around on the albums top 50 until the middle of the year.

Number 88 "Long Train Runnin'" by The Doobie Brothers
Peak: number 67 (original peak: number 58)
Both this remixed version of the 1973 single and the compilation it was taken from, Listen To The Music: The Very Best Of The Doobie Brothers, were released internationally in 1993. Australia took its time to get around to it, and although the single flopped (again), the album went top 10.


New Entries
Number 47 "Without You" by Mariah Carey
Peak: number 3
We start off our debuts with a song that's about as far removed from a dance track as you can get - Mariah Carey's glacially paced rendition of "Without You", a song originally recorded by Badfinger and made famous by Nilsson. I've never been a huge fan of this ballad in any of its versions - something about those long-held notes ("I can't liiiiiiiiiiiive") gets on my nerves, just as they do in "All By Myself". But this was always going to be massive, and it actually became Mariah's biggest Australian hit up until this point, taking her into the top 5 for the first time.




Number 40 "One Night In Heaven" by M-People
Peak: number 23
This is more like it. Originally released before "Moving On Up", which was still comfortably in the top 10 this week, "One Night In Heaven" had made no impression in Australia whatsoever first time around. But in the wake of their breakthrough hit, the former UK top 10 single cracked the chart. Although it was the smaller hit both here and in the UK, "One Night In Heaven" is actually my favourite not only of the two but out of M-People's entire catalogue.




Number 37 "Dum Da Dum" by Melodie MC
Peak: number 5
This was kind of irritating, right? Naturally, it was huge. The biggest hit from Swedish Eurodance act Melodie MC (aka Kent L√∂vgren), "Dum Da Dum" is one of those dance tracks that I kind of like (see also: "The Hitman" by AB Logic and Twenty 4 Seven's "Slave To The Music"), but also find a bit basic. 




Number 26 "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos
Peak: number 19
Very much a cult favourite up until this point, Tori Amos enjoyed her commercial breakthrough with this lead single from second album Under The Pink. But it's likely many people had no idea "Cornflake Girl" was about female genital mutilation (I didn't!). Sort of. The song's title was a reference to women who would turn on or betray other women - in the case of genital mutilation in parts of Africa, it is women who take younger girls to have the procedure done. And Tori, who "never was a cornflake girl", sees herself more as a "raisin girl" - someone who is found less frequently, but is open to new ideas. She may not have been a cornflake girl, but Tori was at point a Just Right girl.




Number 25 "Sing Hallelujah" by Dr Alban
Peak: number 5
Back to the clubs, and, like "One Night In Heaven", "Sing Hallelujah" had featured in my personal top 10 for 1993. A top 20 hit in the UK back in April 1993, the anthemic dance tune finally took off in Australia months later, becoming one of the biggest hits of 1994 locally for the Nigerian-born, Swedish-based former dentistry student. To be fair, though, the best things about "Sing Hallelujah" aren't really Dr Alban's mostly indecipherable mutterings - it's all about the piano hook and the gospel choir-sung chorus.




Number 14 "Anything" by Culture Beat
Peak: number 12
On a hot streak, Culture Beat stormed straight into the top 15 with their third smash in a row. The follow-up to "Got To Get It" (which was slowly sliding down the chart), "Anything" kept a fairly frenetic pace and is easily the weakest of the German group's three hits, which may explain why it only progressed a couple more places up the chart, falling just short of giving them a third top 10 in a row. "Anything" was also the last time Culture Beat would be seen on the top 50 - their short burst of success par for the course for most Eurodance acts in the '90s.




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





Next week: another two dance tracks arrive, as does a collaboration between hip-hop's premier all-female act and a group of funky divas.


Back to: Feb 20, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Mar 6, 1994


2 comments:

  1. When I first heard Bananarama's version of 'Long Train Running', I knew it was a cover of a song I'd heard before, but I don't know how. Guess the original must have had some heavy airplay still, in the 80s.

    The only good thing about 'Without You' is the 'Ken Lee' Idol audition (worth looking up on YouTube if you've not seen it).

    'One Night In Heaven' is good, but this sound for them became formulaic before long.

    I can see how some would find 'Dum Da Dum' irritating, and it is rather tacky and silly... but I like it.

    I'd seen 'Cornflake Girl' get a mention in the UK top 5 on Video Smash Hits, but never actually heard the song until it entered the top 60 on rage. It prompted me to buy 'Under the Pink' a couple of weeks alter, and then 'Little Earthquakes' quickly after that (I remembered and liked 'Winter' from '92). Becoming a mega-fan, I learnt soon what 'Cornflake Girl' was about. The song also makes reference to how 'guys have no idea' how brutal women can be to one another ("the man with the golden gun thinks he knows so much"). Having been the sole male in an otherwise all-women work environment, I can vouch for that. I had never seen the pre-fame Just Right ad in which Tori appears until the advent of YouTube, but it adds a funny, extra twist to the song's meaning.

    I can't say with certainty, but I wonder if 'Sing Hallelujah's belated release came about due to Hitz FM, Melbourne's test licence youth-oriented dance station, having it on heavy rotation (its #8 Victorian/Tasmanian state chart debut this week suggests it may have been spurred on by that). Either way, I'm glad it became a hit here. The video you've embedded (as I type this, anyway), cuts out early. The breakdown towards the end is the best part of the song, for me.

    I actually preferred the LP version of 'Anything' to the single remix.

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  2. PS I just noted the 17 3 2020 date on the CC camera scenes in the 'Anything' video. Scary that's only a year and a bit away!

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