25 Years Ago This Week: August 13, 1995
In the mid-'90s, it seemed like dance acts were trying to outdo each other with the bizarre and unexpected things they could turn into club records. A snatch of dialogue from an old film, a decades-old dance craze, an obscenity-ridden take on a '70s rock song and, this week in 1995, a piece of music from a cantata written in the 1930s.
Like those other inventive (and often quite terrible) dance tracks, the song that debuted on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1995 was massive... and only just kept off the number 1 spot.
That number 1 spot was occupied this week, as it had been for the previous five weeks, by U2's "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me". Also noteworthy was that behind the Batman Forever single for the entirety of its six-week run on top was Bryan Adams' own soundtrack hit "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?", which spent a total of eight non-consecutive weeks at number 2, broken up by its one-week stint at number 1 in the week prior to U2's debut.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "December" by Collective Soul
Peak: number 97
Just like the second single from their debut album, this follow-up to "Gel" peaked in the 90s, but it wasn't all over for Collective Soul's self-titled second album.
Number 99 "Remember Me This Way" by Jordan Hill
Peak: number 99
Signed by super producer David Foster, this teenage singer belted out this big ballad from the soundtrack to live action-meets-CGI film Casper, but although the film was a hit, the song was not.
Number 92 "Rock Dog" by Swoop
Peak: number 83
A third top 100 entry for the Australian funk/rock band, this noisy single from upcoming album The Woxo Principle was not going to be the one to give them a hit.
Number 89 "Feel Me Flow" by Naughty By Nature
Peak: number 89
Their previous two albums has each yielded a top 40 hit, but Naughty By Nature were out of favour with the singles from Poverty's Paradise.
Peak: number 37
We saw the remake by Corona debut last week, but some people clearly favoured the original "Try Me Out" (or bought it by mistake). First released in 1993, the Lee Marrow version of the Eurodance track featured vocals by Annerley Gordon under the alias Charme (although I'm not sure that's her in the music video). After many years performing behind-the-scenes, Annerley would have a hit in her own right - as Ann Lee - with "2 Times", an ARIA top 5 hit in 1999. Quite why anyone would purposely choose to buy this version of "Try Me Out" over the far superior Corona version is unclear to me, although I assume it has its supporters. As I noted last week, Lee Marrow (aka Francesco Bontempi, who was behind Corona) was a winner either way.
Number 45 "Can't Cry Anymore" by Sheryl Crow
Peak: number 41
After two back-to-back top 3 hits, Sheryl Crow's latest release from Tuesday Night Music Club peaked just outside the top 40 - and I can see why. Not as strong a single as "All I Wanna Do" or "Strong Enough", "Can't Cry Anymore" did about as well as it should have, especially since the album had been on the top 50 since October 1994 and spent two weeks at number 1 in June 1995.
Number 14 "Excalibur" by F.C.B.
Peak: number 2
Australia couldn't get enough of novelty-ish techno tracks in 1995, with this "O Fortuna"-sampling epic blasting into the top 100 at number 14 before making the leap to number 2 the following week. Making use of the piece of music from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana made a lot of sense since it seemed to be everywhere in the '90s (including in an ad for coffee), but that didn't make it pleasant to listen to - and this is coming from someone whose personal year-end countdown for 1995 is littered with dance tracks (playlist here).
Remixed by Nick Skitz (who was the first person I ever conducted a face-to-face interview with a couple of years later), "Excalibur" came out of Italy - where else? - with the F.C.B. coming from the surnames of the three men responsible: Carlo Favilli, Maurizio Cristofori and Alex Bresil. And it's been pointed out to me on the ChartBeat Facebook page that I wasn't the only one who didn't care for "Excalibur", with action taken in 1997 by the late Orff's publishers to claim the track was a debasement of his original work. The claim was unsuccessful. Side note: this wasn't the first techno track to take on "O Fortuna" - a 1991 song by Apotheosis also transformed the operatic anthem.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: another awful dance smash, the end of an era for a big boy band and an event ballad with an interesting video from the King of Pop.