25 Years Ago This Week: February 12, 1995
There had been successful female artists in previous decades, but there was a whole army of female megastars in the 1990s, when singers like Madonna, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Toni Braxton regularly sold huge amounts of albums.
Two more female singers who were part of that group returned to the ARIA singles chart this week in 1995 with their latest hits, both taken from albums that did incredibly well in Australia and around the world.
Also this week in 1995, there was finally some relief at the top of the chart as MC Sar & The Real McCoy dislodged "Zombie" and took "Another Night" to number 1 for the first of six weeks.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 98
Yet another Eurodance artist proving to be a one-album wonder, Sweden's Melodie MC only just made the top 100 with this lead single from second album The Return. From memory, I actually bought the CD single of this, before deciding I didn't really like it and getting rid of it.
Number 97 "Viva La Megababes" by Shampoo
Peak: number 97
I actually found this follow-up to "Trouble" less irritating, but not even a cover of East 17's "House Of Love" as a bonus track could help this single become mega.
Peak: number 91
Just as "Unfinished Sympathy" and "Sly" had done before it, this Massive Attack classic, which features the Everything But The Girl singer on vocals, inexplicably landed in the 90s on the ARIA chart.
Number 90 "Planet Caravan" by Pantera
Peak: number 90
Originally recorded by Black Sabbath in 1970, "Planet Caravan" became the third single lifted from Far Beyond Driven in Australia - and Pantera's final top 100 appearance.
Number 88 "Cuban Pete" by Jim Carrey
Peak: number 88
Confession time: I have never seen The Mask. This song (made famous by Desi Arnaz) that Jim Carrey peformed in the movie was given a makeover by C+C Music Factory for single release - and does not convince me that I've missed out on anything.
Number 58 "Fell On Black Days" by Soundgarden
Peak: number 52
"My Wave" had just scraped into the top 50 in November, and this final single from Superunknown, which is about a sudden realisation that you're unhappy, just missed it.
Peak: number 48
It might be stating the obvious, but touring Australia can do wonders for a band's fortunes on the ARIA chart, as demonstrated by this understated third single Give Out But Don't Give Up reaching the top 50 in the wake of Primal Scream being part of 1995's Big Day Out. Having the much more commerical "Rocks", which had only managed a peak of number 43 in May 1994, as a bonus track on "(I'm Gonna) Cry Myself Blind" can't have hurt its chances, either.
Peak: number 7
"Chains" dropped out of the top 40 in its 22nd week on the chart this week, which made it perfect timing for this follow-up to start its ascent towards the top 10 - the only time Tina Arena has managed back-to-back top 10 singles in her career. After the melodrama of "Chains", "Sorrento Moon (I Remember)" was a more laidback, summery offering, inspired by Tina's holidays in coastal Sorrento, Victoria. And its success helped spur Don't Ask, which was currently hovering around the lower reaches of the top 50, back up the chart, where it would remain for the rest of the year.
Number 45 "Cathy's Clown" by You Am I
Peak: number 36
After a couple of top 50 misses - including "Berlin Chair" - from debut album Sound As Ever and a limited edition 7" single in late 1994, You Am I landed their first hit with this track from second album Hi Fi Way, which debuted at number 1 in early March before exiting the chart 10 weeks later. Despite sharing a title with The Everly Brothers hit from 1960, this was a different song.
Number 25 "Tongue Tied" by Boom Crash Opera
Peak: number 25
On the Chart Beats Facebook page, I recently posted a video compile of my favourite Australian bands of the 1980s. Spoiler alert: Boom Crash Opera came in at number 4. I also liked their '90s output. Well, I did up until this second single from Born. What a mess. I'm all for bands being musically adventurous, and I guess BCO had to do something after their business-as-usual third album, Fabulous Beast, had under-performed. But you still need to produce good songs. "Tongue Tied" was not a good song, and it's little surprise it only last one week in the top 50, with its chart progression going 89-63-25-55-61-66. Unfortunately, this was the beginning of the end for BCO, who never returned to the top 100.
Number 24 "What'll I Do" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 14
Like Primal Scream, Janet Jackson was also in the country around this time, but it's likely this seventh single from janet would have charted regardless, especially since its rocky feel distinguished it from the previous tracks to have been lifted from the 1993 album (just as "Black Cat" had stood out late in the run of Rhythm Nation 1814 singles). A remake of 1967 single "What'll I Do For Satisfaction" by Johnny Daye, Janet's version also featured a sample of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and she even ended up with a writing credit on the track as well. And although you would have been excused for thinking this would be the last single taken from janet, you would also have been wrong, with an eighth hit still to come.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: another female artist scores a hit with a cover of an obscure song, while a female duo tell it exactly like it is with their one and only hit.