Wednesday, 29 January 2020

25 Years Ago This Week: January 29, 1995

In the mid-'90s, pretty much any song you could think of was turned into a dance track - from grunge hits to big ballads to current chart-topper "Zombie".

"Total Eclipse Of The Heart" almost hit number 1 a second time

This week in 1995, a song that had held down the number 1 spot for six weeks in 1983 returned to the chart in a hi-NRG remake produced by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, who'd already been responsible for a number of chart-toppers in their time.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 29, 1995

As mentioned, the unconquerable "Zombie" by The Cranberries remained at number 1 this week in 1995 for a seventh week, despite another big new hit challenging it for the top spot.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "Love Will Keep Me Alive" by Wendy Matthews
Peak: number 68
After the under-performance of "Standing Strong", this return to sensitive ballad territory was an attempt to course correct. "Love Will Keep My Alive" was co-written by Paul Carrack and had been recorded by Eagles (as "Love Will Keep Us Alive") on Hell Freezes Over in 1994.

Number 96 "Let Me Be Your Fantasy" by Baby D
Peak: number 54
Originally released in 1992 and a UK chart-topper on re-release in late 1994, this breakthrough single for the British breakbeat group was unlucky to miss the top 50.

Number 94 "Move It To The Rhythm" by Technotronic featuring Ya Kid K
Peak: number 52
Another dance track falling just short was the latest by one-time top 10 act Technotronic with regular vocalist Ya Kid K. "Move It To The Rhythm" came from the Belgian group's final album, Recall

Number 86 "Day In The Sun" by James Reyne
Peak: number 86
Like Wendy Matthews, James Reyne had faltered with "Red Light Avenue", the lead single from his 1994 album, The Whiff Of Bedlam, stalling in the 30s. This follow-up similarly tanked.

Number 84 "Voodoo Lady" by Ween
Peak: number 58
Having not seen the inside of the top 100 since "Push Th' Little Daisies" in mid-1993, Ween's return with this track from second album Chocolate And Cheese may have had something to do with their impending appearance at Alternative Nation in April.

Number 75 "Cantgetaman Cantgetajob (Life's A Bitch!)" by Sister Bliss with Colette
Peak: number 74
One of a string of sassy dance tracks released in the mid-'90s (see also: "Fee Fi Fo Fum" by Candy Girls), this tune from Faithless founding member Sister Bliss featured the vocals of Colette Vam Sertima.

Number 69 Days by Died Pretty
Peak: number 69
They'd made a few chart appearances in 1993 with songs from Trace - notably top 50 hit "Harness Up"This EP included "Stops 'N Starts", the first taste of follow-up Sold, which was released in February 1996.

Number 68 "Crush With Eyeliner" by R.E.M.
Peak: number 55
"Bang And Blame" was only in its sixth week in the top 50, but with R.E.M. having just wrapped up their Australian tour, a third single from Monster was rushed out in an attempt to capitalise on that.

Number 63 "Land" by Midnight Oil, Daniel Lanois, Hothouse Flowers, Crash Vegas and The Tragically Hip
Peak: number 63
This collaborative anti-logging single dated back to 1993, when the five acts had performed at that year's Another Roadside Attraction festival in Canada. I'm not sure why it made such a belated appearance on our chart. Anyone?

New Entries
Number 50 "Run To You" by Roxette
Peak: number 49
The writing had been on the wall for a while for the once unstoppable Roxette, with their previous two singles missing the top 50. They back sneaked onto the chart with this fourth single from Crash! Boom! Bang! - a typically catchy mid-tempo tune that would end up being their final top 50 appearance. Unfortunately, not even 1999's excellent "Wish I Could Fly" was able to return them to chart glory in the years to come.

Number 47 "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Nicki French
Peak: number 2
It took a long time for this remake of Bonnie Tyler's number 1 hit from 1983 to catch on. Originally released in 1993 and produced by John Springate, Nicki French's version of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" came to the attention of producers Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, who'd previously made up two-thirds of Stock Aitken Waterman and were working together once again. In 1994, they gave it their magic touch and then... nothing. Well, number 54 in the UK in October that year. 
Remixed in a slow-to-fast style and re-released in early 1995, it started to take off, which is when the fast-all-the-way-through second version began to gain attention in Australia. Released locally on Central Station Records (who I talked about last week), "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" almost made it to number 1 again, getting stuck behind label-mate Hocus Pocus for four non-consecutive weeks. It was the only hit for Nicki, who also released remakes of hits by Carpenters, Belinda Carlisle and The Supremes, and represented Britain at Eurovision in 2000.

Number 46 "Supernova" by Liz Phair
Peak: number 43
Rock music had been a boys' club since, well, rock was invented, but the mid-'90s saw the rise of a new breed of female rock singer-songwriters. Ahead of that curve was Liz Phair, who broke through in Australia with this single from second album Whip-Smart. This was the only time we saw Liz on the top 50, but where she (and others like Sheryl Crow) led, many more would follow.

Number 44 "Out Of Tears" by The Rolling Stones
Peak: number 43
One top 50 hit from a Rolling Stones album wasn't always a certainty by 1995, but two was definitely unexpected. Possiblly helped up the chart by the fact that the rock veterans were due in Australia in a matter of weeks for the Voodoo Lounge Tour, "Out Of Tears" may also have benefitted from sounding unlike what you'd expect from the band, being a piano-driven ballad.

Number 40 "Soul Feeling" by Kulcha
Peak: number 16
After a couple of new jack swing tracks and an R&B ballad, Kulcha dipped their toe into pop/reggae territory for this fourth and final single from their self-titled debut album. The genre switch worked. Not only did "Soul Feeling" return the Sydney boys to the top 20, but it helped Kulcha jump back into the same region of the albums chart in February.  

Number 2 "Pure Massacre" by silverchair
Peak: number 2
This second single by teen rock trio silverchair had debuted on the top 100 the previous week at number 92 and rocketed up to its peak position of number 2 this week, ultimately unable to match the number 1 status of "Tomorrow". The song was inspired by the Bosnian War, which had been fought since 1992 and would end in December 1995.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):

Next week: the second of my favourite dance tracks from summer '94-'95 arrives, plus the reunion of two rock legends.

Back to: Jan 22, 1995 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 5, 1995

Monday, 27 January 2020

This Week In 1980: January 27, 1980

For celebrities in 2020, multi-tasking means appearing on a reality TV show and maintaining an Instagram account. In the '70s and '80s, multi-tasking stars would do a bit of signing and a bit of acting, pop up on Blankety Blanks and Hey Hey It's Saturday, and tour on the RSL circuit.

Edith Bliss: pop star one minute, kids' TV reporter the next

Two of the entries on the Australian singles chart this week in 1980 came from two such multi-taskers - stars who moved from music to TV with seeming ease.

Australian Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending January 27, 1980

Displacing The Buggles from number 1 this week in 1980 was Michael Jackson, who returned to the top spot for the first time since 1972's "Ben" with "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough".

Off The Chart
Number 100 "Star Of The Show" by Dolly Parton
Peak: number 99
"You're The Only One" had reached number 33 when it was released as the lead single from Great Balls Of Fire, but this more uptempo follow-up didn't generate the same interest.

Number 94 "Peter Piper" by Frank Mills
Peak: number 82
Here's another follow-up to a hit - in this case, this instrumental by Canadian pianist Frank Mills fell significantly short of the number 14 peak scaled by "Music Box Dancer" in 1979.

New Entries
Number 49 "I'm An Aussie, Yes I Am" by Salvador Smith
Peak: number 41
Releasing singles of patriotic jingles was a real thing around the turn of the decade. Following "C'mon Aussie C'mon" and its sequel, which was at number 25 this week, came this tune, which celebrated Australia's emerging multiculturalism just in time for Australia Day - sample lyric: "I'm as Greek as a souvlaki, I'm as Irish as a stew." The song, which was written by Pete Best (although I'm not sure if it's ex-Beatle Pete Best), was clearly too ahead of its time - after all, SBS had only just been established - and it didn't crack the top 40. Forty years later, Australia's multiculturalism - not to mention Australia Day itself - is still the subject of much debate.

Number 46 "Locomotion" by Ritz
Peak: number 12
The original version by Little Eva (titled "The Loco-motion") reached the top 50 twice - it got to number 16 in 1962 and number 49 when re-released a decade later. Then, in 1974, a rockier version by Grand Funk cracked the top 10, peaking at number 7. Proving that the song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King would be a hit no matter who recorded it or in what genre, this disco remake by French trio Ritz took the slightly retitled track back into the top 20. Of course, it would be another seven years before the biggest version of all, which has overshadowed this prior cover - in fact, I wasn't even aware of this "Locomotion" until now.

Number 43 "If It's Love You Want" by Edith Bliss
Peak: number 24
In 1979, Edith (real name: Eda) Bliss was working in a shoe store in Bondi when she tagged along with a friend for a singing audition. Edith ended up getting the gig instead and released this poppy debut single, which launched the music division of TV production company Grundy Organisation. Twenty years old at the time, Edith released a few more singles with decreasing success as 1980 went on, but that coincided with her joining the cast of kids' afternoon show Simon Townsend's Wonder World. Edith faded from public view later in the decade and raised her four kids. She passed away from cancer in 2012.

Number 39 "You're Only Lonely" by J.D. Souther
Peak: number 17
He'd co-written some of the best-known songs by Eagles, including "Heartache Tonight", which sat at number 32 on the chart this week, but John David Souther's own musical career hadn't been as successful... until this point. The title track of his third solo album, "You're Only Lonely" reached the US top 10 and the Australian top 20 - his only hit locally.

Number 37 "Hot Town" by Jon English
Peak: number 11
Here's another locally based multi-tasker - British-born singer/actor Jon English had been releasing music since 1973, with his biggest hit coming in early 1979 with "Six Ribbons" from miniseries Against The Wind, in which he also appeared. The lead single from sixth album Calm Before The Storm, "Hot Town" almost gave him a third top 10 hit (following "Six Ribbons" and 1978's "Words Are Not Enough"). Jon, who died in 2016, didn't have a hit as big again and reached the top 50 for the final time in 1983, but continued to enjoy a high profile in the decades following, particularly as the star of 1990s sitcom All Together Now

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: a new smash hit by a duo that reached the top 10 three times in the mid-'70s, plus a song by one of the biggest groups in the world that would just miss the top 10.

Back to: Jan 20, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 3, 1980

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

25 Years Ago This Week: January 22, 1995

Most of the new entries on the ARIA singles chart came from one of the major record companies, which in 1995 were Sony, BMG, EMI, Warner, Polygram and Festival. But every so often an independent release would find its way into the top 50.

Techno, techno, bloody techno, darling

This week in 1995, three of the week's five newcomers were distrubuted by smaller labels - and it was something we'd be seeing more of as the year continued. One of the debuts even made it all the way to number 1.

ARIA Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 22, 1995

Still at number 1 this week in 1995 was "Zombie" by The Cranberries, which stayed put on top for a sixth week.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "You Don't Know How It Feels" by Tom Petty
Peak: number 98
This lead single from Wildflowers, his first solo album since 1989 despite featuring most of The Heartbreakers anyway, was Tom Petty's final top 40 hit in the US.

Number 87 "Feels Like I'm In Love" by Raffles
Peak: number 66
The Kelly Marie original had reached number 7 in 1980, but this frenetic, locally produced cover version wasn't able to come close to that. Fun fact: Josh Abrahams played keyboard on this track.

New Entries
Number 47 "Come Back" by Londonbeat
Peak: number 14
Londonbeat were a band I didn't expect to ever see in the top 50 again after their initial couple of hits, number 1 "I've Been Thinking About You" and follow-up "A Better Love" - especially since 1992's "You Bring On The Sun" had missed the top 100 completely despite sounding quite similar to their chart-topper. But they rallied with this lead single from their self-titled fourth album. The sort of vaguely dance-ish music that FM radio stations were happy to play, "Come Back" made the ARIA top 15 despite flopping in both the UK and the US.

Number 46 "Private Universe" by Crowded House
Peak: number 46
About a year after the Together Alone album had been released, this ballad was issued as its fourth Australian single in October 1994. And after weeks of bouncing around between the 50s and 60s, "Private Universe" finally dipped its toe into the top 50 for a single week. A fifth single, the similarly downbeat "Fingers Of Love" would follow in April, but it missed the top 100 entirely.

Number 41 "Self Esteem" by The Offspring
Peak: number 6
Here's the first of our three independently released singles to join the top 50 this week. Coming out through Shock Records, "Self Esteem" was the follow-up to "Come Out And Play", a song that was still in the top 10 after 18 weeks on the chart, and became a second top 10 hit for The Offspring, peaked two places higher than its predecessor. And shock of all shocks (no pun intended), it is actually a '90s rock song that I kinda like thanks to its sing-along melody and bass riff. I remember getting boxes filled entirely with product by The Offspring - both singles, the Smash album and their previous albums - at my casual music retail job at this point, but we would soon be ordering other releases from Shock...

Number 40 "Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus
Peak: number 1
For years, Central Station Records had been bubbling away as an independent record label specialising in dance music - as well as an import record store that I'd been going to in Sydney since the late '80s. Thanks to this techno track by the Dutch duo who'd also been behind "Doop" by Doop, the label, which was distributed by Shock Records, landed their first ever chart-topper. Musically, "Here's Johnny" was a harder track than most of the dance songs that had become hits in Australia, but it owed at least some of its popularity to its sample of Jack Nicholson saying "here's Johnny!" in The Shining - an element that made it almost a novelty record and an easy number 1 hit despite superior techno tracks by the likes of Ultra-Sonic not doing anywhere near as well around the same time.

Number 33 "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins
Peak: number 6
The week's highest new entry didn't come through Shock but MDS, which also did a fine trade in alternative and dance releases. The former singer for short-lived new wave band Orange Juice, who'd reached the UK top 10 with 1983's "Rip It Up", Edwyn Collins had been a solo artist since 1986 but had yet to crack the British top 40 in his own right. Indeed, his Expressly EP, which included "A Girl Like You", had fallen just short there in late 1994, peaking at number 42. In Australia, the song, which sounded like it might have been released in the 1960s thanks to its sample of "1-2-3" by Len Barry, went top 10 - somewhere Edwyn would finally reach in the UK when it was re-released later in 1995.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):

Next week: a remake of one of the biggest songs from 1983, plus a follow-up to one of the biggest hits of summer 94-95.

Back to: Jan 15, 1995 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 29, 1995

Monday, 20 January 2020

This Week In 1980: January 20, 1980

OK, let's get this 1980 party started for real. I wrote about the first new chart for the decade in 2018 and updated my post last week - now, let's continue our journey through the Australian top 50 singles from 40 years ago.

Colleen Hewett's days of dreaming of another hit single were over

And it's the Australian singles chart and not the ARIA singles chart, since the industry body wouldn't be established until 1983. Featuring this week, is an Australian actress and singer who returned with a big hit that would almost take her all the way to number 1 (again).

Australian Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending January 20, 1980

At number 1 this week in 1980, The Buggles remained on top with "Video Killed The Radio Star" for what would be their seventh and final week.

Off The Chart
Number 100 "Fins" by Jimmy Buffett
Peak: number 100
This lead single from the American singer's ninth album was a top 40 hit in the US, but did not return him to the same portion of the Australian chart - somewhere he hadn't visited since 1974 with "Come Monday".

Number 99 "$60 Duck" by Lewie Wickham
Peak: number 99
One thing I didn't factor into my decision to recap the charts from 1980 was the prospect of having to listen to songs like this jaunty little tune which combines two of my least favourite genres: country and comedy.

Number 98 "Making Plans For Nigel" by XTC
Peak: number 94
On the upside, I get to rediscover tracks like this lead single from the British band's third album. It was their third top 50 miss in Australia - something they would rectify later in the year.

Number 93 "Judas" by Voyager
Peak: number 93
Another British band now, but one that'd already had a hit in 1979 with "Halfway Hotel" from the album of the same name. This follow-up, though catchy enough, didn't follow suit.

Number 92 "Lay Down Beside Me" by Don Williams
Peak: number 88
More country now - I always forget that it was reasonably popular at the start of the '80s. This track was taken from the American singler's Expressions album.

Number 90 "When The Money Runs Out" by Leo Sayer
Peak: number 90
He'd been having hits since 1974 and reached number 1 with a best of collection in 1979, but things weren't looking so good for the next stage of Leo Sayer's career with this single, co-written by Ray Parker Jr, flopping. Leo would be back on form before long, however.

New Entries
Number 42 "Dreaming My Dreams With You" by Colleen Hewett
Peak: number 2
I grew up being aware of Colleen Hewett without ever really knowing why. I wasn't born when she enjoyed her original trio of hits in the early 1970s - "Superstar" (made famous by Carpenters), "Day By Day" (from Godspell) and a cover of The Beatles' "Carry That Weight". And I don't recall seeing any of her acting work on stage or TV, which includes playing three different characters in Homicide and a stint on Prisoner later in the '80s. But she was always around, and back on the charts with this comeback single which also didn't make an impression on five-year-old me at the time, despite it matching the number 2 peak of "Day By Day". Another remake, "Dreaming My Dreams With You" was originally recorded by country star (yep, another one) Waylon Jennings in 1975, and Colleen gave a pretty faithful rendition - sluggish pace and all. 

Number 41 "Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love" by Lobo
Peak: number 41
Between 1971 and 1973, American singer Lobo (real name: Kent LaVoie) had reached the Australian top 10 on three occasions, hitting number 1 with "I'd Love You To Want Me" for two weeks in early 1973. But it had been a while between hits for the man born Kent LaVoie - even in the US, where he'd had a four-year gap between top 40 appearances. This breezy disco-meets-soft rock number turned things around for him, and although it didn't progress any higher on the chart, it did register 21 weeks in the top 100.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: hits from another couple of local double threats, plus another patriotic jingle reached the top 50 - this time representing multicultural Australia.

Back to: Jan 13, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 27, 1980

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

25 Years Ago This Week: January 15, 1995

Despite collecting and now blogging about the ARIA charts from decades past, I've long followed the UK charts from here in Australia. Back in the '80s and '90s, it was always hard to predict which songs that had been big hits in Britain would do the same here - sometimes following a delay of up to six months.

Eternal struggled to land another Australian hit; Bomb The Bass finally scored one

This week in 1994, a British girl group who'd recently reached the ARIA top 5 missed the top 50 for the second time in a row with their latest single, while a UK dance act that'd been registering hits at home for years finally broke through locally. Not sure I would have seen either of things coming.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 15, 1995

One thing I did see coming was that there was no change at the top of the ARIA singles chart this week in 1994 as The Cranberries remained at number 1 for a fifth week with "Zombie".

Off The Chart
Number 94 Mother Hubbard by Mother Hubbard
Peak: number 94
Before he became an ARIA Award-winning solo artist, Alex Lloyd played in pub rock bands as a teenager and, by his early 20s, had his first top 100 appearance on his hands as frontman for Mother Hubbard. Featuring "Pain", this self-titled EP was the band's debut release.

Number 90 "Just A Step From Heaven" by Eternal
Peak: number 62
Performing marginally better than "Save Our Love" (but nowhere near as well as it deserved), this third single from Always & Forever went to number 8 in the UK back in May 1994. The girl group released two more singles from the album in Australia, "So Good" and "Oh Baby I...", but neither made the top 100. 

Number 72 "Shed A Tear" by Wet Wet Wet
Peak: number 70
Having brought "Goodnight Girl" back to the top 50, Wet Wet Wet's Australian record company continued to mine their back catalogue to try and find another hit. Despite being among their better singles, "Shed A Tear" had missed the top 100 when it was released here at the start of 1994 as a brand new track from their greatest hits album.

New Entries
Number 44 "Big Powder Dust" by Bomb The Bass featuring Justin Warfield
Peak: number 34
Their 1988 debut album had yielded three top 10 singles in the UK - the sample-packed "Beat Dis", the superb "Don't Make Me Wait" (the double AA-side to "Megablast") and their cover of "Say A Little Prayer". Given Australia's aversion to club tracks at the time, none of them became hits here. Then, when they shifted gears to more of a trip-hop sound in 1991 with singles "Love So True" and "Winter In July", they also failed to ignite interest. Third time was the charm for Tim Simenon (who is Bomb The Bass), with this lead single from third album Clear finally giving him a hit in Australia. Featuring a rap from Justin Warfield, the rock-inflected hip-hop track was another change of pace for the project, and the type of genre-blurring we'd be hearing a lot more of on the top 50 from British dance acts in the years to come. 

Number 27 "Beautiful In My Eyes" by Joshua Kadison
Peak: number 5
Debut single "Jessie" had reached number 15, but this follow-up eclipsed that by going all the way to the top 5. Otherwise, it was business as usual - a rousing adult contemporary ballad accompanied by a music video in which Joshua rode a motorcycle down the highway, his flowing locks blowing in the wind. I recall selling vast quantities of this song to the local grandmothers who frequented the department store where I worked at the time, but, listening to it now for the first time since 1995, I'm surprised how low Joshua's voice is. Not Crash Test Dummies-level low, but still much lower than I remember.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):

Next week: a bit more action on the top 50 with the arrival of a techno chart-topper, a new hit by a band that'd reached number 1 four years earlier and a couple of big indie (in terms of label and in terms of music) hits.

Back to: Jan 8, 1995 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 22, 1995

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

25 Years Ago This Week: January 8, 1995

Welcome back for another year of flashbacks to the ARIA singles chart of decades past, and we're up to 1995. At the time, I was in the middle of my university degree and working casually in the music department of Grace Bros. Even though we had a Brashs and a Sanity in the same shopping centre, we actually did a roaring trade - and not just selling truckloads of Mariah Carey, Tina Arena and Celine Dion CDs. 

The first big new hit of 1995

CD singles were big business for us, and because I followed the charts and new release schedule slavishly, I helped out ordering stock in (whether the full-time staff liked it or not). One of the CD singles I made sure to get plenty of debuted on the top 50 this week in 1995, and sure enough it went all the way to number 1.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending January 8, 1995

Still at number 1 this week in 1995 was "Zombie" by The Cranberries, which, thanks to the Christmas shutdown, was now up to its fourth week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 97 "I Alone" by Live
Peak: number 97
They'd just crept into the top 50 with "Selling The Drama", and US rock band Live did the same with the top 100 with the second single fromThrowing Copper. Bigger things were to come in 1995.

Number 92 "Am I Wrong" by Love Spit Love
Peak: number 89
When Psychedelic Furs went on hiatus in 1992, singer Richard Butler went on to front this new band, best known for their version of The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" which was used in The Craft and as the theme for Charmed.

Number 91 "Buddy Holly" by Weezer
Peak: number 68
Not even its Spike Jonze-directed, MTV VMA-winning, Happy Days-inspired music video could propel this second single by Weezer any further up the chart than, once again, the 60s.

Number 85 "Turn Me Out" by Praxis featuring Kathy Brown
Peak: number 67
This club classic would be an even bigger hit internationally in 1997 when it was mashed up with the Armand van Helden mix of CJ Bolland's "Sugar Is Sweeter" as "Turn Me Out (Turn To Sugar)", but I prefer this original version from the duo comprised of Cevin Fisher and David Shaw with vocals by American Kathy Brown.

Number 71 Life Was Better by Magic Dirt
Peak: number 71
They'd split up briefly in early 1994, but it was a good thing for Australian rock band Magic Dirt that they got back together - this EP featuring "Ice" became their first top 100 entry, although it would take until 2003 for them to breach the top 50.

This week also saw the return of Enya's "Oiche Chiúin (Silent Night)" for one week at number 94 - something I previously mentioned when it reached the top 50 in early 1993.

New Entries
Number 44 "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" by Urge Overkill
Peak: number 21
The film had been released at the end of November 1994 and the accompanying soundtrack was on its way to becoming one of 1995's biggest albums, and this week, Pulp Fiction brought a two-year-old remake of Neil Diamond's 1967 single onto the top 50. Initially included on Urge Overkill's 1992 EP, Stull, the American rock band's cover memorably featured in the Quention Tarantino film when Uma Thurman's character danced to the song and was issued as a single in its own right. By reaching number 21, the track beat Neil's original chart peak by 13 places.

Number 38 "Another Night" by MC Sar & The Real McCoy
Peak: number 1
If you happened to pass by Grace Bros Roselands during the 1994-95 holiday season, chances are you would have heard one of two dance tracks playing at some point during my shift. This was one of them; the other we'll see enter the chart in a few weeks' time. Originally released in Europe in 1993, "Another Night" hit Canada in mid-1994 and went on to become a worldwide smash, peaking at number 3 in the US (for 11 non-consecutive weeks) and number 2 in the UK. In Australia, the he raps, she sings Eurodance track topped the chart, proving there was life in the genre still. 
There's a complicated history to MC Sar & The Real McCoy, who would end up shortening their name to just Real McCoy - a misnomer if ever there was one, since the video for "Another Night" featured that Eurodance staple: a female "singer" (Patsy Petersen) lip syncing to the vocals recorded by someone else (Karin Kasar). The line-up of the group, which dated back to 1989 and a quickie remake of "Pump Up The Jam", fluctuated throughout their existence, but at this point, it was fronted by Patsy and Olaf "O-Jay" Jeglitza, who actually rapped on the song and appeared in the video, but on previous releases had allowed someone else to lip sync to his performances. Told you it was complicated.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):

Next week: another couple of new entries, and a couple of top 50 misses from groups who'd had big hits in 1994.

Back to: Dec. 25, 1994 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jan 15, 1995