Wednesday, 3 October 2018

This Week In 1993: October 3, 1993

Things change quickly in pop music. One minute you're landing hits and selling a stack of singles, the next you're barely making the top 40 while new acts are taking your spot at the top of the chart.

Urban Cookie Collective had the key and the secret to one of 1993's biggest dance hits

This week in 1993, the latter situation faced two previously quite successful local acts. Meanwhile, the week's biggest new entry was from a brand new UK dance group.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending October 3, 1993

The week's biggest song of all was still "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf - proof that music is also cyclical. You can be up and then down, but chances are if you wait long enough you'll be back up again.

Off The Chart
Number 92 "Nightswimming" by R.E.M.
Peak: number 71
The success of "Everybody Hurts" had sent Automatic For The People hurtling back towards the top 5, which probably hurt the chances of this exquisite fifth single from the album.

Number 87 "World (The Price Of Love)" by New Order
Peak: number 87
There was no reason why this song - one of my favourites from 1993 - didn't do better. Even if fans had the album, the Perfecto remix was worth shelling out for the single.

Number 83 "Condemnation" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 78
Another disappointing performance by one of my all-time favourite bands, this latest from Songs Of Faith And Devotion was probably too sombre to do much better locally.

Number 66 "What's Up Doc (Can We Rock?)" by Fu-Schnickens with Shaquille O'Neal
Peak: number 59
The musical debut of NBA player Shaquille O'Neal, this catchy track from the hip-hop trio's second album seemed like the sort of song Australia was finally getting into in 1993, but fell short of the top 50.

New Entries
Number 48 "Heartbeat" by Girlfriend
Peak: number 36
Just a year-and-a-half after they took their debut single, "Take It From Me" all the way to the top of the ARIA chart, Australia's premier girl group hit a major speedbump with this lead single from second album It's Up To You!, which spent a solitary week inside the top 40. Another lightweight pop tune - with key change - that wouldn't have sounded out of place on their debut album, "Heartbeat" was probably not enough of a step forward to keep pace with their maturing fan base, which was something they'd remedy in 1994. I'm not sure if I've ever watched the music video for "Heartbeat" before but it's one-take feel (although I'm sure there were some edits in there) reminds me a lot of the clip for "Wannabe" - yet again, Girlfriend proving to be ahead of their time.

Number 44 "Going Down" by Jon Stevens
Peak: number 39
Australians could've been mistaken for thinking this was Jon Stevens' debut as a solo artist, but even if we discount his contributions to the 1992 revivial of Jesus Christ Superstar, the Noiseworks frontman had actually released a couple of albums in the early '80s and enjoyed notable chart success in his homeland of New Zealand. "Going Down" was, however, his first Australian top 50 hit as a recording artist in his own right. Reminiscent of the type of rock-meets-blues-meets-funk that Diesel peddled, the song probably about as successful as it deserved.

Number 36 "The Key: The Secret" by Urban Cookie Collective
Peak: number 4
With a riff that borrowed from "Hell's Party" by Glam, "The Key: The Secret" became one of the biggest club tracks of the year and briefly made Britain's Urban Cookie Collective one of the hottest dance acts. Masterminded by Rohan Heath and with vocals by the late Diane Charlemagne, the song has been revisited and remixed over the years, but the joyous simplicity of the original has never been bettered. Fun fact: apparently it's about taking magic mushrooms.

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

Next week: one of Australia's most successful musical exports make a triumphant return to the top 20, while a bunch of previously successful acts struggle.

Back to: Sep 26, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 10, 1993


  1. I barely recall 'Nightswimming', other than the title.

    'World' deserved to do much better, and had a striking video.

    'Condemnation' I was less-sold on, but still should have done better than #78.

    'Heartbeat''s issue, at least for me, is that there's no real hook in there. I'm pretty sure there's at least one edit in the video, where the camera zooms in on a card held in a guy's hand before zooming out again.

    I wouldn't have heard 'Going Down' since '93. This album and its singles seem to be pretty forgotten, I would would think; if they even registered in the first place. Though I do remember seeing him perform one or both singles on Hey Hey It's Saturday, and I think this single or the next one turned up on a McDonalds 'Hot Hits' (or whatever they were called) cassette, ha ha.

    While I thought 'The Key: The Secret' was alright, I much preferred the next two Urban Cookie Collective singles. I recall reading someone on a music forum's account of meeting Diane several years ago (she was then working as a bouncer), where they told her that 'Feels Like Heaven' was the better single. If I remember correctly, she agreed.

  2. Aw man, I didn't know the singer from Urban Cookie Collective was dead, that sucks.

  3. DIANE from UCC was only 51 when she passed away. Too young...

    Also the Australian CD single of The Key: The Secret billed the group as "Urban Cookie Collection" on the spine. Typo!!