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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1994: July 10, 1994

Once upon a time, recording a cover version used to up an artist's chances considerably of achieving chart success. But this week in 1994, two remakes had very different fortunes on the top 50.

Cover versions: not always a guaranteed hit

Further down the chart, a couple more covers failed to connect with the Australian record-buying public, despite coming from previously successful acts.

Speaking of remakes, Wet Wet Wet notched up a second week at number 1 this week in 1994 with their version of "Love Is All Around". 

Off The Chart

Number 97 "Don't Look Any Further" by M-People

Peak: number 75

Previously skipped over, the third single from Elegant Slumming finally got a look-in locally. The track was a cover of the 1984 song by Dennis Edwards featuring Siedah Garrett, which wasn't huge at the time but has been reworked numerous times since.

Number 94 "Jailbird" by Primal Scream

Peak: number 68

This next dose of blues rock from the Give Out But Don't Give Up album didn't go down as smoothly as previous single "Rocks".

Number 93 "Slave To The Rhythm (remix)" by Grace Jones

Peak: number 93

A top 20 hit in early 1986 in Australia, Grace Jones's most famous song was re-energised by remix team Love To Infinity (among others) for a compilation album celebrating 10 years of label ZTT.

Number 90 "Lean On Me" by Michael Bolton

Peak: number 60

Peaking at exactly the same position as his previous single, Michael Bolton's remake of the Bill Withers classic may have come too close behind Club Nouveau's 1987 hit cover (although, as we saw last week, such proximity didn't stop Big Mountain).

Number 80 "Crash! Boom! Bang!" by Roxette

Peak: number 73

Proof that the Swedish duo's hit-making days were over, this second single and title track of their fifth album fell short of the top 50, somewhere they used to call home. 

Number 76 "U & Me" by Cappella

Peak: number 76

After "Move On Baby", it was back to titles starting with "U..." for the Italian dance act, with "U & Me" giving them a fourth straight top 10 hit in the UK.

New Entries

Number 49 "Sweets For My Sweet" by C.J. Lewis

Peak: number 45

A year earlier, at the height of the reggae resurgence that saw massive hits from UB40, Snow, Inner Circle, Chaka Demus & Pliers and more, this might have done much better. But the debut single from British performer C.J. Lewis (real name: Steven James Lewis) merely hovered around the lower reaches of the top 50 for a few weeks. A remake of the song originally recorded by The Drifters in 1961 and taken into the Australian top 30 by The Searchers two years later, "Sweets For My Sweet" was the first of three UK hits for C.J., who followed it up with covers of "Everything Is Alright (Uptight)" and "Best Of My Love"

Number 47 "Wild Night" by John Mellencamp / Meshell Ndegeocello

Peak: number 18

The week's biggest remake was a return to the top 50 for the long-time chart star formerlly known as John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp. Joined by on-the-rise soul singer Meshell Ndegeocello, John reinterpreted a 1971 single by Van Morrison and released it as the lead single from his 13th album, Dance Naked. By reaching the top 20, "Wild Night" was John's best start to an album since the first single lifted from 1989's Big Daddy, "Pop Singer", went top 10. Two videos appear on John's official YouTube account - the one below featuring model Shana Zadrick and another of just John and Meshell performing the track.

Number 38 "Shine" by Collective Soul

Peak: number 8

The only original new entry in the top 50 this week in 1994 was the debut single from American rock band Collective Soul. Although I was never what you could call a fan of grunge, I could appreciate the likes of Nirvana, Pearl Jam and a band we'll see next week with possibly my favourite grunge track. But the next wave of rock bands whose sound was a more watered down version of grunge did little for me. It would seem Billy Corgan shares my views, at least when it comes to Collective Soul and "Shine", with The Smashing Pumpkins' frontman often stating his dislike for the song and his belief that it ripped off his band's sound. I expect, however, that there will be a number of fans of this top 10 hit among my more rock-leaning readers.

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

Next week: two massive cover version hits - one of a country song and the other of a song made famous by a reggae band. Plus the theme to an animated movie which has just been remade as a (kind of) live-action film.

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