Wednesday, 17 April 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: April 17, 1994

As big a fan of dance music as I was in 1994, not every club classic appealed to me - not even the ones that everybody else seemed to like.

I wasn't right into this Jam & Spoon smash 

This week in 1994, a song that almost topped the Australian chart was the highest new entry on the top 50, but it's a track that left me a little bored. The same can be said of a couple of the other new entries you'd think would've been right up my alley.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending April 17, 1994

A song that did top the Australian chart (and that I liked a lot) spent its final week there this week in 1994. "It's Alright" by East 17 registered seven weeks at number 1.


Off The Chart
Number 100 "Where Would We Be Without A.B." by Doug Parkinson
Peak: number 100
The veteran performer returned to the Australian chart with this OTT ode to cricketer Allan Border, who had just retired from international games. Doug Parkinson wouldn't be back in the top 100 until 2003, when he was part of another tribute.

Number 99 "If I Had A Ticket" by Ed Kuepper
Peak: number 72
The Saints co-founder had been releasing solo music for some years by this point, but this single from eighth album Character Assassination became only his second to chart.

Number 97 "Lady In The Front Row" by Redd Kross
Peak: number 97
This American indie rock band never really took off - either here or in the US - but this single from fourth album Phaseshifter did at least take them into the top 100.

Number 62 "Move On Baby" by Cappella
Peak: number 58
I wasn't familiar with any of the three songs above before now, but here's a single I was a big fan of in 1994. The middle of a string of five UK top 20 hits from the U Got 2 Know album, "Move On Baby" came closest to crossing over for the Italo dance act locally.


New Entries
Number 49 "Steppin' On Remix" by Sexing The Cherry
Peak: number 42
In the 1990s, there was no bigger dance label in Australia than Volition, home to Boxcar, Severed Heads, South End and Itch-E & Scratch-E. Also signed were this trio comprising Cherryn Lomas, Edwin Morrow and Luke Paramor. Disco-infused dance track "Steppin' On" had originally appeared on a Volition compilation in 1992 and was brushed off by the trio and co-producer Robert Racic for single release. Not a bad song, but also kind of forgettable.




Number 47 "The Way You Work It" by E.Y.C.
Peak: number 41
As "Feelin' Alright" dropped out of the top 20, boy band E.Y.C.'s next offering joined it on the top 50, but unfortunately "The Way You Work It" was nowhere near as successful as the debut effort from Damon, Dave and Trey. I say "unfortunately" because, in my opinion, it's a much better song that toned down the shoutiness of "Feelin' Alright". The trio would be back in the top 40 before long, but the next East 17 they would not be.




Number 43 "Groove Thang" by Zhané
Peak: number 17
As well as dance music and pop, I was into a fair bit of US R&B in 1994 - this is a good chart week, from that point of view. But when it came to the two hits by Zhané, they were songs I kind of liked rather than tunes I had on high rotation. The duo were proving quite popular with the rest of Australia, however, with "Hey Mr DJ" spending its 20th (and final) week in the top 40 and follow-up "Groove Thang" debuting not far below on its way to the top 20. The song features a sample of "Haven't You Heard" by Patrice Rushen (of the much-sampled "Forget Me Nots" fame).




Number 31 "Right In The Night (Fall In Love With Music)" by Jam & Spoon featuring Plavka
Peak: number 2
Speaking of samples, here's a dance track built around a riff from "Asturias (Leyenda)", a late 19th century instrumental work by Spanish composer Isaac Albéniz. The breakthrough hit for German trance duo Jam & Spoon, "Right In The Night (Fall In Love With Music)" was one of the biggest hits of 1994 in Australia and massive across Europe. For me, the track, which features vocals by singer Plavka Lonich, only ranks as my 148th favourite song for the year - I've always found it a bit monotonous. Kept from the top by Prince and Crash Test Dummies, it was the first of four hits for Rolf Ellmer and Markus Löffel - two as Jam & Spoon and two as Tokyo Ghetto Pussy.




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





Next week: the final big hit for a Swedish duo that'd dominated the chart as the '80s became the '90s, plus new singles from Pearl Jam, Snoop Doggy Dogg and Hunters & Collectors.


Back to: Apr 10, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Apr 24, 1994


2 comments:

  1. I really quite liked Right in the Night by Jam & Spoon especially the dub mix "Follow Me" on the single, because of its baroque minor mode sound. It was one of the more interesting pop dance songs being played in the clubs. I still have the CD single in the garage! Of course there was way better underground stuff around at the time. The Melbourne electronic scene had really taken off by then and Zen Paradox's "From the Shore of a Distant Land" was massive.

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  2. I liked 'Right In the Night', but preferred the follow-up, 'Find Me'.

    I don't mind the Ed Kuepper track, which I don't recall hearing before.

    I loved the Cappella track, though it was quite obvious that it wasn't a white woman singing (and definitely not the one in the video). The had-to-be-sung-live Top of the Pops performance is quite something.

    I like both 'Feelin' Alright' and 'The Way You Work It', though they're quite different from each other.

    It's odd that Zhané never troubled the top 100 again after this release.

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