Thursday, 30 July 2020

25 Years Ago This Week: July 30, 1995

Sometimes a song needs a well-timed re-release to find its audience, who missed it first time around. Or perhaps a remix to freshen up a track that didn't work the first time.

Seal's song went from chart-flopper to chart-topper in 1995

And sometimes a song just needs to feature in a Hollywood blockbuster for it to become the chart-topping hit it was always destined to be. No prizes for guessing what new entry from this week in 1995 I'm talking about.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending July 30, 1995

A song from that very same big budget film kept the number 1 spot warm for its soundtrack-mate this week in 1995. "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me" by U2 spent its fourth week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 100 "Devil's Diary" by The Caulfields
Peak: number 61
Possibly better known by its unofficial subtitle "Bigger Than Jesus Now", which seems to have been added by way of a sticker on the single's cover, this was the debut single by the Delaware rock band.

Number 82 "Common People" by Pulp
Peak: number 65
This quintessential Britpop track might not have made much impact locally, but it put Pulp in the big league in the UK when it reached number 2 (held off by Robson & Jerome).

Number 69 "Alice, Who The X Is Alice? (Living Next Door To Alice)" by Gompie
Peak: number 54
Last week, we saw the dance version by The Steppers enter the top 50, but mercifully, Australia showed some restraint and didn't allow the original, more traditional-sounding revamp of "Living Next Door To Alice" join it. 

New Entries
Number 50 "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal
Peak: number 1
When this second single from Seal's second self-titled album reached number 87 in 1994 it seemed likely "Kiss From A Rose" would be little more than a chart footnote for a singer whose success had dwindled since his 1991 solo debut. But then the ballad, which Seal had written in the late '80s but only shared with producer Trevor Horn when they were working on Seal II, found its way onto the soundtrack for Batman Forever, playing over the closing credits. Re-released with a new film-related music video, the song blossomed (sorry!) into a major international hit, going all the way to number 1 in Australia and bringing the album back to the top 50 after an absence of 10 months. The meaning of the song, which has typically vivid but unclear lyrics, has been left up to interpretation by Seal, who never returned to the Australian top 50 after this in his own right - "My Vision" with Jakatta reached nunber 43 in 2002 - but did wind up as a coach on the local version of The Voice for a few seasons.

Number 49 "Party" by Christine Anu
Peak: number 20
She'd missed the top 50 with her first few singles, but Christine Anu finally broke through with the third track lifted from Stylin' Up. And while feel-good tune "Party" was a great song in its own right, I wonder how many of its sales came thanks to criminally overlooked previous single "Island Home" being included as a bonus track. In fact with three mixes of each song on the CD single and cassingle, this was effectively a double A-side release. "Party" remains Christine's highest-charting single, with the singer/actress coming closest to matching its top 20 performance five years later when her remake of "Sunshine On A Rainy Day" peaked at number 26.

Number 47 "I Believe" by Blessid Union Of Souls
Peak: number 18
Time now for some Christian soft rock with the debut single from Cincinnati band Blessid Union Of Souls. US top 10 hit "I Believe" does have a subtle religious component to it, but it works as a straight romantic love song as well and was written by the band's singer, Eliot Sloan, about an earthly relationship he'd been in. It was one of two top 20 hits the band managed in Australia - the other would come in four years' time.

Number 46 "Under The Water" by Merril Bainbridge
Peak: number 4
"Mouth" was one of the biggest songs of 1995 and remained in the ARIA top 5 this week in its 17th week on the top 50, but what plenty of people forget is that Merril Bainbridge had a second substantial hit with the follow-up, "Under The Water", which featured backing vocals from the late Chris Wilson. Written by two members of Tlot Tlot, the song had started life as a track called "Marshall", featuring frente!'s Angie Hart and appearing on the band's 1991 debut album, A Day At The Bay. 

Number 45 "Accidentally Cool" by Chocolate Starfish
Peak: number 39
Their self-titled debut album had yielded four top 50 hits, including two songs that just missed the top 10, and so expectations would have been relatively high for this first taste of Chocolate Starfish's second album, Box. As it turned out, lead single "Accidently Cool" only did marginally better than the fourth of those hits from the previous album, "4-Letter Word".

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):

Next week: one of the angriest songs of all time makes its performer a massive star, plus the latest Disney ballad to reach the chart.

Back to: Jul 23, 1995 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 6, 1995


  1. I was never a big fan of 'Mouth'but i can understand why it did so well as it is quite catchy but i don't like 'Under The Water'at all. It does sound like a song better suited to the vocals of someone like Angie Hart. UTW is not terrible,it's just bland. 'Party' would have been used a lot in advertising(for horse racing events here in south australia). I really like the Blessid Union Of Souls song but for the life of me have no idea what an earthly relationship is. Twenty five years later maybe the singer ought to tell us.

    1. Oh, I meant earthly relationship as opposed to his (religious) relationship with his heavenly father.

  2. 'Common People' is a classic, and I'd hazard a guess is a lot better known locally than its #65 peak would suggest. Well, if you were a late teen or uni (St. Martin's College?) student at the time, anyway.

    It's kind of an indictment on public taste that it took a Batman soundtrack tie-in for 'Kiss From a Rose' to become a huge hit.

    I discovered a few years ago, when going through some VHS tapes of clips I recorded from rage, that the music video for 'Party' premiered on a new releases episode of rage in early January '95, some months before its eventual release. The 'Island Home' video premiered in late January '95, so it seems that the record company changed their mind, and went with that first.

    'I Believe' is different to the typical schmaltzy love songs from this era due to the racial themes in the third verse, including use of the N word... and those sweeping strings, which were rather nice, I thought. It sounds very different to their second hit.

    I never knew that 'Under the Water' was more or less a cover, and that Angie Hart had a crack at it first. I can definitely imagine her singing it - it would really suit her voice.