Wednesday, 21 August 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: August 21, 1994

It's no wonder dance music got a bad rap in the 1990s - so many successful acts from that genre made use of models as frontpeople rather than the actual singers. And it was still going on this week in 1994.

Olga Souza: to Corona what Katrin Quinol was to Black Box

Clearly learning nothing from the troubles faced by the likes of Milli Vanilli, Technotronic, Snap!, Black Box and C+C Music Factory earlier in the decade, a new Italian dance act debuted on the ARIA chart with a song that would be massive around the world, but the woman performing in the music video did not sing on the record.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending August 21, 1994

Meanwhile, at number 1 this week in 1994, All-4-One settled in for the long haul with their remake of "I Swear".

Off The Chart
Number 96 "Oblivion" by Terrorvision
Peak: number 65
They would go on to enjoy a handful of top 10 hits at home, but this was the only charting single for the British rock band locally, and was taken from second album How To Make Friends And Influence People

Number 92 "Away From Home" by Dr Alban
Peak: number 92
Having failed to ignite much interest in the two-year-old "It's My Life", Dr Alban's Australian record company moved on to this rather gloomy-sounding single from next album Look Who's Tallking

Number 88 "Come In Out Of The Rain" by Wendy Moten
Peak: number 52
I was a big fan of this OTT, key change-featuring power ballad in 1994, which was a UK top 10 hit for the American singer but fell just short of the ARIA top 50.

Number 85 "Everybody" by DJ BoBo
Peak: number 85
The Swiss Eurodance act was still lifting tracks from debut album Dance With Me, but not even the fact that this final single sounded like something Ace Of Base would release could push it up the chart.

New Entries
Number 47 "If You Go" by Jon Secada
Peak: number 47
Making a brief appearance in the top 50 was this first taste of Jon Secada's second album, Heart, Soul & A Voice - and the former backing singer served up a familiar musical dish, with "If You Go" sounding fairly similar to his two previous hits, "Just Another Day" and "Do You Believe In Us". That wasn't a bad thing per se - "If You Go" has another great chorus. The song was also made available in Spanish as "Si Te Vas".

Number 42 "Tunnel" by The Screaming Jets
Peak: number 39
I'm sure there's a reason why this fifth and final single from The Screaming Jets' almost two-year-old Tear Of Thought album was given a release, especially since "Tunnel" had also appeared on 1992's Living In England EP. Clearly enough people either a) didn't own either of those two releases or b) liked the song enough to want the shorter single version of it. As far as the band's songs go, this was one of their catchier hits.

Number 32 "Letitgo" by Prince
Peak: number 22
This was where Prince lost me - and, I'd suggest, quite a lot of people. To be fair, it wasn't entirely his fault that he had to resort to pulling stuff out of the Paisley Park vault just to satisfy the terms of his contract with Warner Bros. But even though this lead single from the cobbled together album Come was actually newly recorded for the release, it certainly didn't feel like Prince at his best - and we'd only recently seen what he was capable of at full capacity with chart-topping single "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World"

Number 27 "The Rhythm Of The Night" by Corona
Peak: number 8
You have to wonder why Corona mastermind Francesco Bontempi (aka Lee Marrow) decided it would be a good idea to have Brazilian model Olga Souza appear in the music video for "The Rhythm Of The Night" and not the song's actual vocalist, Jenny B, given all the flak faced by groups like Black Box and Milli Vanilli earlier in the decade. But despite what seemed like a very bad idea, no one seemed to care that Olga didn't sing the insanely catchy slice of Eurodance, with "The Rhythm Of The Night" becoming a huge hit around the world, including in the US who were probably the least accepting of such shenanigans. In Australia, the original Italian mix of the song was the hit version, while in the UK, they went with the superior, in my opinion, Rapino remix. Fun fact: the verses of "The Rhythm Of The Night" are taken from an obscure 1987 song called "Save Me" by Dutch duo Say When! (one half of whom is the mother of Eva Simons).

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

Next week: one of the most iconic rap tracks of the '90s, a dance act that were responsible for some of my favourite songs and remixes of all time and the return of two veteran Australian bands.

Back to: Aug 14, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 28, 1994

1 comment:

  1. I liked 'Away From Home', which is another Ace of Base-sounding track, musically.

    I was not a fan of the Wendy Moten track, though was surprised it didn't become a top 20 hit, or thereabouts, as it was being flogged quite a bit on the then 'love songs and dedications'-themed Melbourne radio station TT FM.

    Unfortunately/annoyingly/oddly, each of the singles from DJ BoBo's first album on YouTube (and his official DVD release/s), including 'Everybody', have been replaced with new videos, compiled from live footage, and the female vocals have been re-recorded with different singers. 'Everybody' received heavy rotation on popular test broadcast station Hitz FM, and subsequently performed stronger on the VIC/TAS state chart, hitting #38 this week.

    I have no real recollection of 'Tunnel' at all. I assume another single was released after the belated success of 'Helping Hand'; though why they chose a track that was already on an EP that reached the top 20, I don't know.

    Yes, Prince did seem to disappear down a black hole when it came to quality control for single releases around this time (though I'd argue it started with later singles from the 'Love Symbol' album).

    It seems ludicrous, in retrospect, that people (including myself) bought that the same woman sang 'The Rhythm of the Night' and later Corona singles from the same album, when they were clearly performed by different vocalists. I guess no-one really cared, though; as long as the music was good. Interestingly, the actual vocalist of 'The Rhythm of the Night' sang on another 1994 dance 'hit' of sorts - Playahitty's 'The Summer Is Magic' - no doubt lip-synced by another model in the video.