Wednesday, 4 December 2019

25 Years Ago This Week: December 4, 1994

Some songs are ahead of their time, failing to connect with the public when they are initially released. Songs like one of the new entries on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1994.

A decade and a remix finally gave Severed Heads a hit

Originally released in 1984, it had no impact on the mainstream. Revived and remixed a decade later, it became a top 20 hit and lauded as one of the best homegrown dance tracks of all time.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending December 4, 1994

One of the most popular homegrown rock tracks of all time came to the end of its run at number 1 this week in 1994. "Tomorrow" by silverchair spent its sixth and final week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "Atomic (remix)" by Blondie
Peak: number 98 (original peak: number 12)
Here's a song that had been successful when initially released back in 1980 (and is my favourite single for that year), but didn't enjoy another burst of popularity when remixed for The Platinum Collection by British DJ Diddy (although I also liked this version).

Number 95 "Space" by Prince
Peak: number 91
Not even a substantial remix from the album version could help this second single from Come follow "Letitgo" into the top 50.

Number 82 "Melody Of Love (Wanna Be Loved)" by Donna Summer
Peak: number 79
This brand new track, co-written by Clivill├ęs & Cole, was included on Endless Summer: Donna Summer's Greatest Hits, however it didn't become one of them.

Number 65 "A Conspiracy" by The Black Crowes
Peak: number 62
A final top 100 appearance for the band with this lead single from their third album, Amorica, which had one of the most memorable front covers in some time. Look it up.

New Entries
Number 50 Gyroscope by Tumbleweed
Peak: number 50
They'd peaked just outside the top 50 at the start of the year with "Daddy Long Legs" and managed to sneak just inside with this EP, which preceded second album Galactaphonic. I'm not sure about this, but I have a feeling the title of the EP (which was also the name of its lead track) inspired the name of the Perth band Gyroscope.

Number 49 "Dead Eyes Opened" by Severed Heads
Peak: number 16
Around in one form or another since 1979, Australian dance act Severed Heads had remained underground favourites for the first 15 years of their career. And then, a track from their 1983 album, Since The Accident, which had flopped when released as a single the following year, was remixed a decade later by Robert Racic and made the top 20, thanks in no small part to high rotation on Triple J. Featuring a spoken word sample from Edgar Lustgarten, the host of BBC serial Scales Of Justice, "Dead Eyes Opened" was given this new release to promote the band's 10th album, Gigapus, on which it did not feature (but was included as a bonus disc in a two-CD set). It's safe to say it achieved its purpose of drawing attention to the band.

Number 44 "Love Spreads" by The Stone Roses
Peak: number 36
Five years after they led the Madchester charge, The Stone Roses returned with their second album, appropriately enough called Second Coming. And the religious overtones of the title were also about right, at least in the UK, where the band were treated like musical gods and "Love Spreads" became their highest charting single, peaking at number 2. In Australia, the band had only ever graced the top 50 once, with "Fools Gold/What The World Is Waiting For" - shockingly, "She Bangs The Drums" had been all but ignored by the general public - and so "Love Spreads" only became a minor hit here.

Number 40 "Baby Come Back" by Pato Banton featuring Ali & Robin Campbell
Peak: number 11
Who said reggae was over? I probably did, once the deluge of massive reggae hits from 1993 died down. But proof that the genre could never really be counted out came with this remake, which fell just short of the top 10. Originally released by The Equals in 1966 (and reaching number 10 in Australia two years later), "Baby Come Back" was reinterpreted by Pato Banton with a little heavyweight help from UB40's Campbell brothers. 

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

Next week: two follow-ups to number 1 hits, plus the return of a singing legend who'd last made a comeback six years earlier covering Prince.

Back to: Nov 27, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 11, 1994

1 comment:

  1. I found the Severed Heads "Dead Eyes Opened" cassingle lying on the ground. Just the cassette, no plastic case or cover or anything (although it could have been one of those cheapo ones which didn't even come with a plastic case).

    Anyway, I can't remember if I'd heard of the song, but I took it home and played it, and it was incredibly creepy. I thought at first they named themselves Severed Heads after the subject matter of this song, but it seems they formed 5 years before it was released.

    I just listened to the 1983 version and it's okay until the narration ends. The 1994 remix is far superior. And that's all I have to say about that cassette I found in the street.