Wednesday, 19 June 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: June 19, 1994

In 1979, sports-related singles "Up There Cazaly" and "C'mon Aussie C'mon" had both topped the Australian singles chart. While in 1983, a rush of tracks linked to Australia's victory in the America's Cup entered the top 50.

Dance act Southend were on to a winner with their Olympics-related hit

This week in 1994, another sports-related moment inspired a top 10 hit. The dance track fell short of the number 1 spot, but not for want of trying to appeal to the entire nation.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending June 19, 1994

The number 1 single this week in 1994 was "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies, which remained on top for a second week.


Off The Chart
Number 96 "In The Neighbourhood" by Sisters Underground
Peak: number 62
As 3 The Hard Way jumped into the top 20, another slice of New Zealand hip-hop entered the top 100 by the duo comprised of Hassanah Iroegbu and Brenda Makamoeafi. A top 10 hit at home, it didn't reach the same audience locally.

Number 86 "The Eyes Of Truth" by Enigma
Peak: number 71
"Return To Innocence" spent its 15th week in the top 50 this week, but this follow-up, which sampled an eclectic array of music, was the first of a string of singles from The Cross Of Changes to miss the printed chart.

Number 78 "Always In My Heart" by Tevin Campbell
Peak: number 60
After two top 30 hits, Tevin Campbell missed the mark with his third Babyface and Daryl Simmons creation in a row. Next up, Australia went with "The Halls Of Desire" instead of US single "Don't Say Goodbye Girl", which was co-written by Narada Michael Walden and Burt Bacharach.

Number 64 "Miss World" by Hole
Peak: number 57
Two months after the death of Kurt Cobain, his widow's band entered the chart for the first time with this lead single from second album Live Through This - a track which the Nirvana singer had played on an early version of.


New Entries
Number 48 "Anytime You Need A Friend" by Mariah Carey
Peak: number 12
She'd scored the biggest hit of her career to date with "Without You", which took a dive down the top 50 this week, and Mariah Carey followed it up with one more ballad release from Music Box. Unlike "Without You", which I found kind of plodding, the rousing "Anytime You Need A Friend" was my favourite Mariah single since her other remake, "I'll Be There". It was also the last song of hers I really liked until 1998, with her next few years of overblown ballads and R&B ditties not really doing anything for me. "Anytime You Need A Friend" also came with a dance remix courtesy of Clivill├ęs & Cole, something that was increasingly de rigueur for ballads in the 1990s.




Number 45 "4-Letter Word" by Chocolate Starfish
Peak: number 41
I have to admit that, since I wasn't really a fan of this Australian band's three previous singles, I didn't give "4-Letter Word" the time of day back in 1994, but it's probably my favourite of their singles. The chart position of the song no doubt suffered due to the fact that their self-titled debut album had recently been released and had spent the first eight weeks of its life inside the top 20, peaking at number 2. A fifth single, "Sign Of Victory", would be lifted from Chocolate Starfish, but it didn't reach the top 100.




Number 42 "The Winner Is..." by Southend with Nik Fish
Peak: number 9
Like their label-mates Boxcar, Southend were an Australian dance act signed to Volition Records that sailed under the radar chart-wise but whose music I really liked. In 1993, they'd released the EP Fanatical that's worth a listen, and in 1994, they (together with DJ Nik Fish) came up with a way to attract some mainstream attention - sampling the September 1993 announcement by International Olympics Committee president Juan Antonio Samaranch and commentary by radio station 2UE that Sydney had been selected as the host city for the 2000 Olympic Games. 
The snatches of dialogue and atmospheric crowd cheers were weaved into a frenetic techno track that took me right back to Circular Quay in the early hours of the morning when the announcement was made in Monte Carlo. Yep, I was there. Was the song gimmicky? Sure, but I actually enjoyed "The Winner Is..." on its own merits, being quite into dance music and clubbing at this stage. In an effort to extend the appeal of the song beyond Sydneysiders, a remix known as the Six Cities And An Island Remix was also released, which from memory added chants of "Melbourne", "Brisbane", etc. after "Sydney". An additional remix was also released in 2000 just in time for the Olympics themselves.




Number 39 "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree
Peak: number 9
Having warmed the world up with debut album Mind Adventures, in particular single "Feel So High", UK soul singer Des'ree unleashed an even bigger hit to kick off second album I Ain't Movin'. Only problem was, it took a while to reach its true potential. In Australia, "You Gotta Be" was a relatively rapid hit, entering the top 50 in its seventh week on the chart and reaching the top 10 by its 13th week. In the US, it started its climb towards to the top 5 in September 1994, finally reaching its peak in March 1995. In the UK, it took three releases for it to finally land at number 9 - having to settle for number 20 in 1994 and number 14 in 1995, when it was re-released following its US success. It is the third and final UK remix of the song from 1999 that is featured in the official music video below, although it's not massively different from the original mix.




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





Next week: a British band whose 1988 debut bombed locally finally hit the top 50 and one of the biggest dance tracks of the year arrives.


Back to: Jun 12, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jun 26, 1994


4 comments:

  1. All Babyface-penned songs from this era sound pretty much the same to me.

    '4-Letter Word' was a big radio 'hit' on Melbourne FM stations. Had airplay been incorporated into our chart, it probably would have been a top 10 hit.

    I also liked 'The Winner Is...', but not for the Olympics tie-in, which would have normally put me off.

    I liked 'You Gotta Be' at first, but like it less after it became Oprah-fied (i.e. an anthem for annoying people who enjoy reading self-help books). I remember the song taking a while to take-off, and see that it was released locally more than two months before it cracked the top 50 (11 April 1994).

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    1. "An anthem for annoying people" sums up that song admirably!

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  2. I Ain't Movin' (the track itself) was to be so much better than You Gotta Be, but of course did nothing.

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  3. Annoying Olympics tie-in aside, "The Winner Is" was quite a catchy sort of track. Outside of the postcode 2000, it was hard to get excited by it though.

    I wonder if you've heard the version of "Miss World" with Kurt Cobain on backing vocals. Richard Kingsmill on Triple J commented that he sounded "disinterested" while singing, but later there was this rumour that he played a role in the writing of Hole's Live Through This album, which Courtney Love later denied. If anything, it at least proves he was there while they were recording it.

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