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


  1. The raffles track sounds more like a direct sampling of Kelly Marie's vocals played over a techno beat than a cover but as there is little information about this version of the track that i can find on the interweb we'll probably never know for sure.

    1. Vocals were handled by someone called Nico D, who also sang on a rival version of Macarena by Los Del Mario in 1996.

    2. Jesse, Raffles had a singer (with a visual presence) in the previous single, 'Megambomb Bass' (the video is on one of my YouTube channels). Though I'm not sure whether she also sings 'Feels Like I'm In Love', as the voice sounds a little different to me. It's definitely not Kelly Marie, though.

  2. I hadn't heard that tom petty song until about a week ago when i listened to it as part of me compiling an audio version of the weekly top 100 and honestly i thought could be better.
    Not a fan of crowded house by any means but private universe is a nice song
    Rare in that time for something that was quite hardcore techno to not only debut top 40 but to be at number one for such a long time.Ultra Sonic were that only other band that i was aware of that had minor success that was in that hardcore techno style.
    I've worked out the first of your clues for next week,but am stumped on the second...

  3. Coming back to this post after first reading the following week's, I was going to mention the Shock/Central Station Records thing, and how it must have shaken up the major labels. I guess the conservatism of FM radio in Australia was matched by the major labels up until this point, with dance tracks that weren't deemed as being surefire-hits form artists with proven track-records often coming out here on minor or independent labels, such as Shock, Colossal, and MDS.

    I have seen the Tom Petty clip on rage before, but never listened to it properly. "Let's roll another joint" doesn't exactly match his (I assume) strongest US-audience demographic of conservative-leaning Boomers from the South.

    The then-branded TT FM in Melbourne still had 'Come Back' as a staple track as late as 1997. I remember hearing it reguarly on my (cassette) Walkman on the tram to uni. It's kind of the Lighthouse Family 'High' of '95! I also didn't expect them to have another hit. It's weird that the song did much better here than anywhere else.

    'Private Universe' is an excellent song whose chart success was surely hampered by it being the 4th (or whatever number it was up to) single from a year-old album.

    I also like 'Self Esteem', even though it's kinda dumb (I'm not a dweeb!).

    'Here's Johnny' is another song that I'd never even heard of until it debuted within the top 50 on rage. Gotta love that cheap animated video; there must have been a bulk lot of them made in Australia in early '95, with this, the Raffles one embedded here, and forthcoming entries from Mozaic and Alpha Team. 'Here's Johnny' seems to have broken in NSW/ACT first, entering the top 20 this week.

    It's interesting that 'A Girl Like You' broke in Australia first, if my memory of editing the wikipedia page is correct - no doubt thanks to Triple J. I didn't know it was based on a sample of an older track - though it seems obvious now.

  4. "Here's Johnny!" was nertz! Who would have thought a song made up mostly of rhythmic bleeps (Erasure on speed) would go all the way to number 1 and stay there? In retrospect it was actually a work of genius.