Wednesday, 12 September 2018

This Week In 1993: September 12, 1993

You've got to hand it to the Swedes - they really do know their way around a good pop song. This week, the third most successful Swedish act of all time (after ABBA and Roxette, of course) made their debut on the ARIA singles chart.

All that Ace Of Base wanted was an international chart-topper... and they got one

Fusing Eurodance and reggae (how very 1993), the two-boy, two-girl quartet's breakthrough hit reached the number 1 spot around the world... except in their native Sweden.

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

For the time being, the number 1 hit in Australia this week in 1993 was "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf - and it wasn't going anywhere any time soon. 

Off The Chart
Number 96 "I Can See Clearly" by Deborah Harry
Peak: number 96
The lead singles from her previous two studio albums had been massive, but this Arthur Baker-produced track from Debravation proved things would be different in the '90s for the Blondie singer.

Number 92 "Cryin'" by Aerosmith
Peak: number 80
The biggest hit from Get A Grip in the US, this power ballad, which featured Alicia Silverstone and Stephen Dorff in its music video, did suprisingly little locally.

Number 90 "Somebody's Baby" by Pat Benatar
Peak: number 90
Not seen on the top 100 since 1988, when she scored one of her biggest hits, this was the second single from Gravity's Rainbow - a return to pop/rock after her blues album, True Love.

Number 76 "Bower Of Bliss" by The Clouds
Peak: number 69
Not as commercial as their previous charting efforts, this single from third album Thunderhead still had a great hook buried in its chorus.

Number 57 "Outbreak Of Love" by Midnight Oil
Peak: number 57
This latest single from Earth And Sun And Moon was a change of pace from what you'd normally expect from the Oils. I'd look up the meaning behind the song, but this week's post is already late enough...

New Entries
Number 49 "Scratch My Back" by The Sharp
Peak: number 40
Was the novelty wearing off the skivvy-wearing trio's rockabilly sound? This third chart entry was their least successful yet, although their debut album, This Is The Sharp, out-performed their singles chart peaks by reaching number 13 when it appeared the following week. Speaking of novelty, "Scratch My Back" was the song lampooned by The Late Show with one of their send-up clips titled "Skivvies Are Back".

Number 45 "Insane In The Brain" by Cypress Hill
Peak: number 40
Gone were the days when seminal hip-hop tracks did nothing in Australia - and although it only scraped into the top 40, the song often referred to as "Insane In The Membrane" seemed to have quite a large presence at the time thanks to its title (real or mistaken) being imminently quotable. The breakthrough hit for Cypress Hill returned to the chart six years later when Jason Nevins tried to do with this track what he'd done with Run-DMC's "It's Like That" (and, to a lesser extent, "It's Tricky") in 1997-98. His remix reached number 35.

Number 42 "All That She Wants" by Ace Of Base
Peak: number 1
If not for a faulty car casette player, the Ace Of Base phenomenon may never have come to be. The group sent an early version of "All That She Wants" to producer Denniz Pop (who, before his death in 1998, helped establish the Scandipop sound that would define the late '90s and much of the 2000s), but he hated it, so the story goes. The demo tape became jammed in his car stereo, however, and he was forced to listen to it whenever he drove. Eventually, he worked out how to fix the song. The result: the new and improved version of "All That She Wants" became a global smash. More massive hits would follow for Ace Of Base, but, as we'll see in coming months, not immediately. For now, though, the world couldn't get enough of the song that wasn't actually about a woman who wanted to get pregnant, but about one who wanted another boyfriend (i.e. "baby").

Number 36 "If I Had No Loot" by Tony! Toni! TonĂ©!
Peak: number 12
I'd been a big fan of their previous US top 10 hit, "Feels Good", in 1990, but Australia hadn't got behind that song. It was a different story with this new jack swing-meets-old school soul track taken from the trio's third album, Sons Of Soul. Fun fact: none of the group's members were called Tony (no matter how you spell it). Instead, Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! was comprised of brothers Dwayne and Raphael Wiggins, and their cousin Timothy Riley. You may know Raphael better under the name he later adopted, Raphael Saadiq. He's produced everyone from TLC to Solange to D'Angelo to Paloma Faith.

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

Next week: the debut of an eyepatch-wearing female artist who broke a UK chart record, and Australia's own record-breaker returned with his least successful album since his 1986 comeback.

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


  1. I only caught the Deborah Harry track once on the new releases show rage aired at the time on a Friday morning, and could barely remember how it went until hearing it again in the mid 00s. I liked the next (flop) single, 'Strike Me Pink' a lot, though.

    'Somebody's Baby' is another one I first heard/saw on the rage new releases show, though think I also caught it on Video Hits (perhaps even with a tie-in competition - not that it did any good for the song's chart fortunes). It's a nice song, but I guess she was forever thought of as being an 80s artist, and by 1993, not many were still interested. There's another mini-theme coming up, combining this song with a soon-debut from Soul Asylum - that being videos featuring social issues such as homeless people or runaways/missing people.

    'Outbreak of Love' was another VHS single, though not exclusively (like 'Numb'), as I had thought at the time.

    Going by the YouTube views, 'Scratch My Back' seems to be The Sharp's most enduring 'hit', despite peaking lower than 3 other singles of theirs. Perhaps the 'Skivvies Are Back' helped to cement it in people's memories? It's a somewhat naughty song, actually, if you listen to the lyrics.

    If you look up Kayo's 'Another Mother' on YouTube, from 1990, you'll see that this song was virtually the prototype for 'All That She Wants'. Awesome pop song though (before it got overplayed).

    I much preferred 'Feels Good' to 'If I Had No Loot'.

  2. I'm guessing next week is when "Insane In The Brain" was played for the first (and only?) time on Take 40, and it got through uncensored as I recall. But I'm surprised it only got as high as number 40.