This Week In 1994: March 13, 1994
Each week, there's usually something really obvious for me to talk about before I dive into the new entries on the ARIA singles chart. It could be a major release or a pattern among the debuts or even a song I really hate.
But there's nothing jumping out at me about the five new entries from this week in 1994. I like some, but don't like others; most of the songs weren't particularly big hits; the one that did reach the top 5 is by an artist I'm not that big a fan of. You see my dilemma.
Anyway, having managed to string out having nothing to say for two paragraphs, I'll just get on with it. The number 1 single this week in 1994 was "It's Alright" by East 17, which spent a second week on top.
Peak: number 43
"Insane In The Brain" had put dope-loving hip-hop group Cypress Hill on the map in late 1993, and they returned to the top 50 with this double A-side release, which had actually been the third single from Black Sunday internationally. The group's fondness for marijuana landed them in trouble with Saturday Night Live when band member DJ Muggs lit up onstage, which resulted in a ban from the comedy show - the fact they also trashed their instruments and the set might also have had something to do with it. Guess that's one way to "go out" instead...
Number 41 "Return To Innocence" by Enigma
Peak: number 16
Last time we saw Michael Cretu's dance act on the top 50, it had been with the Gregorian chant-featuring "Sadness", but for his second album, the Romanian-born, German-based producer traded music from the Middle Ages for world music, sampling a chant by two Amis men on this Deep Forest-style track - the lead single from Enigma's second album, The Cross Of Changes. Turned out he didn't have permission to use the vocals - although he says he thought they were in the public domain - and legal proceedings ensued. The other vocals on "Return To Innocence" came mostly from German singer Angel X, with a short spoken word contribution from "Sadness" singer and Michael's wife, Sandra. The music video for "Return To Innocence" was memorable for showing a man's life in reverse, starting with his death and going back in time until we see him as a baby - a literal return to innocence, if you will.
Number 39 "Life" by Haddaway
Peak: number 34
More dance music from Germany now and the follow-up to "What Is Love", which had spent all summer in the top 20 and was still inside the top 30 this week. Unlike in many countries, where "Life" was as big as if not bigger than "What Is Love", "Life" didn't do anywhere near as well here, not even venturing into the top 30. Personally, I think it deserved a lot better. Fun fact: in the US, the song was released as "Life (Everybody Needs Somebody To Love)".
Peak: number 4
A decade earlier, Bruce Springsteen had graduated to the big time, registering seven top 50 hits from the Born In The U.S.A. album (including two top 10 singles, one of which was the number 1 song of 1984 in Australia), but since then, he hadn't done so well, getting no further than number 17 with both "Brilliant Disguise" and "Human Touch". That changed with this song, written especially for the film Philadelphia at the request of director Jonathan Demme. Apparently Bruce thought his lyrics didn't work with a heavier rock beat and so he sent a more subdued track, which he considered an unfinished demo, to Jonathan, who was happy with what he heard. So too were music fans, as well as voters for the Oscars and Grammys, with "Streets Of Philadelphia" going on to the Oscar for Best Original Song and four Grammys, including Song Of The Year.
Number 27 "Because Of Love" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 25
Janet Jackson had been enjoying the best start to an album campaign of her career with the singles from janet, and that continued with another top 30 hit: fourth single "Because Of Love". The poppiest of the singles released so far, the track was a straightforward love song that, while immensely enjoyable, maybe lacked some of the edge of earlier singles. Perhaps as a result, it became Janet's first single since 1987's "The Pleasure Principle" to miss the US top 5, peaking at number 10.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: we'd had "Creep" and "Asshole", next came "Loser". Plus, the arrival of one of the '90s' premier balladeers.