This Week In 1993: December 12, 1993
I recently held a poll on the Chart Beats Facebook page about whether I should continue my journey through the ARIA singles charts of decades past into 1994 or skip back in time to carry on looking at the Australian top 50 from 1980. And it's weeks like this one from 1993 that had me questioning how much more time I wanted to spend in the mid-'90s.
Three of the five new entries are bloated five-minute ballads from male singers that clogged up the chart with their mega-selling MOR music. And a fourth is a pleasant but also quite bland remake by two local singers. Then in between all the grunge and reggae in 1993, it wasn't always the best time for a pop fan like me. But the people - well, those that voted - have spoken, and we'll tackle 1994 in early January.
A song that remained at the top of the chart until early January was spending its third week at number 1 this week in 1993. Yep, "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams was still the most popular song in the country.
Off The Chart
Number 91 "In My Life" by Kim Wilde
Peak: number 78
As "If I Can't Have You" fell out of the top 10, the other new track on The Singles Collection 1981-1993 entered the top 100 but didn't perform anywhere near as well.
Peak: number 85
"Monday's Experts" had been a minor top 50 hit, but this jangly, bouncy second single from King Tide progressed no further.
Number 82 "Demolition Man" by Sting
Peak: number 71
A much bigger soundtrack effort was just around the corner for Sting, but this reworking of the song that had originally been recorded by Grace Jones and later by The Police for the Sylvester Stallone/Wesley Snipes movie of the same name fizzled out.
Peak: number 65
Number 50 "Tears Of A Clown" by Caligula
Peak: number 25
Before we get to our three musical bores, Sydney's Caligula crept into the very bottom of the top 50 this week with their radical revision of the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles tune from 1970, which had been a number 7 hit in Australia. I'm not sure what the band's following made of the thrashy update of the Motown classic, but I thought it was pretty great and even bought it on cassingle. Plus, I ended up getting the band's album Rubenesque on CD - admittedly, years later for a heavily reduced sum - but I probably would never have ventured anywhere near Caligula if not for this track. The song starts up at the 2:20 mark in the video below, after a particularly awkward interview on Video Smash Hits.
Peak: number 2
I'm not going to lie - I like the odd Michael Bolton tune. OK, pretty much just "How Can We Be Lovers". But with this first taste of ninth studio album The One Thing, the mulleted one was firmly back in dreary ballad territory. Co-written with Robert "Mutt" Lange, "Said I Loved You... But I Lied" sent Michael back to number 2 on the ARIA chart - his highest placing since he reached the same position in 1990 with "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". If you can stand to listen to the song, the desert-set video is worth a look for its cliché-ridden shots of wild horses, soaring eagles, burning flames, and Michael astride the cliffs with his shirt wide open and hair gently blowing in the breeze.
Number 47 "Angels" by John Farnham
Peak: number 36
Not to be confused with "We're No Angels", the fourth single from Age Of Reason, which had missed the top 100, this second single from Then Again... was a change of pace after the album's lead single "Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time". Despite having all the makings of another Farnsey smash, it only made the top 40 - another sign that John's popularity was on the wane. The song is essentially a duet with Annie Crummer, who appears in the music video but does not receive featured billing on the release.
Peak: number 31
Don't get me wrong, I really like this song - when performed by Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway or Mica Paris and Will Downing. And while Rick Price and Maragaret Urlich do a decent rendition, it's also a bit like elevator music. Plus, with their matching flowing locks, it's hard to tell which is which in the music video. OK, I jest. Anyway, this type of bland muzak was hardly going to set the charts alight... and it peaked outside the top 30, which is not quite what you'd expect for a brand new recording from these two given their chart pedigree. It did, however, outperform the original, which only reached number 55 for Roberta and Donny in 1972.
Peak: number 18
The first single from Bat Out Of Hell II: Back Into Hell was still inside the top 20 after 15 weeks, and it was joined on the top 50 by this next song, which had originally been recorded by songwriter Jim Steinman on his 1981 album, Bad For Good. Less overblow than its predecessor, "Rock And Roll..." once again came with a Michael Bay-directed music video, which features a young Angelina Jolie as a teenage runaway.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: things get better for the final chart of 1993, with a trio of new dance hits. As usual, we'll also take a look at the year-end top 100.