25 Years Ago This Week: September 10, 1995
The B-side used to be an important part of music. Even in 1995, when they were more likely to be bonus tracks on a CD single or cassingle, there were some artists who put a great deal of thought into what accompanied their main song.
This week in 1995, a duo with an incredibly prolific B-side and bonus track output celebrated a decade's worth of other sides by collecting them all together on a double album. They even released two of their best-known B-sides as a single, and although it didn't come anywhere near the top of the chart, it was one of my favourite releases for the year.
The song at the actual top of the chart this week in 1995 was still "Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, which celebrated three weeks at number 1.
Off The Chart
Number 96 "Bridge Building Man" by Rick Price
Peak: number 72
Seemed like the shorter Rick Price's hair got, the less commercial his sound became, with this second single from Tamborine Mountain seeming like a bit of an odd choice when the album had a duet with Tina Arena on it.
Number 81 "Caroline" by The Badloves
Peak: number 63
Also missing the top 50 with music from their second album were The Badloves, with this cruisy lead single from Holy Roadside ending up as the highest-charting of its four singles.
Number 77 "Ricochet" by Faith No More
Peak: number 58
Apparently written the day Kurt Cobain died, this third single from King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime became the album's first to peak outside the top 50.
Number 50 "Every Little Thing" by Margaret Urlich
Peak: number 50
I have zero memory of the singles from this era of Margaret Urlich's career or the fact that her normally slickly produced pop sound took a turn for the acoustic on this second single from The Deepest Blue. I imagine a fair few other people may not recall "Every Little Thing" given its bottom of the printed chart placing. The song would be Margaret's final top 50 appearance — a third cut from the album, "All For The Love", didn't make the top 100.
Number 47 "Somebody Else's Body" by Urge Overkill
Peak: number 47
Here's another song that didn't progress any further than this position — and only got as far as it did because the band were playing shows locally at the time. Quite a different sound from Urge Overkill, who were best known locally for their Pulp Fiction contribution, "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon", the bouncy tune was taken from fifth album Exit The Dragon.
Number 45 "I Kissed A Girl" by Jill Sobule
Peak: number 36
More than a decade before Katy Perry and her cherry ChapStick took an identically named song to the top of charts around the world, American singer/songwriter Jill Sobule had her own minor hit with a track called "I Kissed A Girl". More cutesy and less sexually aggressive, Jill's tune was accompanied by a video featuring '90s phenomenon Fabio and nowhere near the level of scandal that followed in the wake of Katy's release. Jill even got in on the act in a 2009 interview in which she jokingly referred to "title thieving" Katy in none-too-flattering terms.
Number 44 "Eternal Life" by Jeff Buckley
Peak: number 44
Another song that received a boost by the artist touring Australia, this was the first top 50 hit for the late Jeff Buckley, whose year-old album, Grace, had only begun to take off in July and reached its top 10 peak this week. "Eternal Life", which wasn't indicative of the sound of the rest of the album, had first appeared on 1993 EP Live at Sin-é.
Number 41 "Paninaro '95" by Pet Shop Boys
Peak: number 30
There are certain things for which you can rely on Pet Shop Boys: one-word album titles, intelligent lyrics and great B-sides that didn't feature on their albums. In 1995, they had already amassed enough flip sides to release a 30-track double collection comprising them all. Sequenced in chronological order, of course. For a PSB fan like me who hadn't ever been able to afford to buy all their singles when I was younger, Alternative was a godsend. Included among the tracklisting bursting with songs that were good enough to have been singles was 1986 track "Paninaro", one of two B-sides to "Suburbia".
One of the rare PSB songs to feature vocals from Chris Lowe, "Paninaro" got its name from a breed of Italian youth who were obsessed with fashion and music, and was a firm fan favourite, having been performed during their Discovery tour. The obvious choice of B-side to be spruced up and promoted to A-side, the new Paninaro '95 was one of my favourite songs from 1995 and my top PSB single for the decade. Naturally, it had its own B-sides: a remix of the duo's very first B-side, "In The Night", and a live version of Blur's "Girls And Boys", which they had originally remixed and then covered in the Discovery setlist.
Number 26 "Rock And Roll Is Dead" by Lenny Kravitz
Peak: number 26
Despite its debut in the top 30, the lead single from Lenny Kravitz's fourth album, Circus, stayed put the following week before beating a hasty retreat out of the top 50. And I have to say I'm not mad about that, since I generally prefer Lenny's more soothing output ("Believe", "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over") than tracks like this and fellow raucous lead singles "Are You Gonna Go My Way" and "Always On The Run".
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: we reach peak cheesy Eurodance cover, plus more pop out of than inside the top 50.