25 Years Ago This Week: January 15, 1995
Despite collecting and now blogging about the ARIA charts from decades past, I've long followed the UK charts from here in Australia. Back in the '80s and '90s, it was always hard to predict which songs that had been big hits in Britain would do the same here - sometimes following a delay of up to six months.
This week in 1994, a British girl group who'd recently reached the ARIA top 5 missed the top 50 for the second time in a row with their latest single, while a UK dance act that'd been registering hits at home for years finally broke through locally. Not sure I would have seen either of things coming.
One thing I did see coming was that there was no change at the top of the ARIA singles chart this week in 1994 as The Cranberries remained at number 1 for a fifth week with "Zombie".
Off The Chart
Number 94 Mother Hubbard by Mother Hubbard
Peak: number 94
Before he became an ARIA Award-winning solo artist, Alex Lloyd played in pub rock bands as a teenager and, by his early 20s, had his first top 100 appearance on his hands as frontman for Mother Hubbard. Featuring "Pain", this self-titled EP was the band's debut release.
Number 90 "Just A Step From Heaven" by Eternal
Peak: number 62
Performing marginally better than "Save Our Love" (but nowhere near as well as it deserved), this third single from Always & Forever went to number 8 in the UK back in May 1994. The girl group released two more singles from the album in Australia, "So Good" and "Oh Baby I...", but neither made the top 100.
Number 72 "Shed A Tear" by Wet Wet Wet
Peak: number 70
Having brought "Goodnight Girl" back to the top 50, Wet Wet Wet's Australian record company continued to mine their back catalogue to try and find another hit. Despite being among their better singles, "Shed A Tear" had missed the top 100 when it was released here at the start of 1994 as a brand new track from their greatest hits album.
Peak: number 34
Their 1988 debut album had yielded three top 10 singles in the UK - the sample-packed "Beat Dis", the superb "Don't Make Me Wait" (the double AA-side to "Megablast") and their cover of "Say A Little Prayer". Given Australia's aversion to club tracks at the time, none of them became hits here. Then, when they shifted gears to more of a trip-hop sound in 1991 with singles "Love So True" and "Winter In July", they also failed to ignite interest. Third time was the charm for Tim Simenon (who is Bomb The Bass), with this lead single from third album Clear finally giving him a hit in Australia. Featuring a rap from Justin Warfield, the rock-inflected hip-hop track was another change of pace for the project, and the type of genre-blurring we'd be hearing a lot more of on the top 50 from British dance acts in the years to come.
Number 27 "Beautiful In My Eyes" by Joshua Kadison
Peak: number 5
Debut single "Jessie" had reached number 15, but this follow-up eclipsed that by going all the way to the top 5. Otherwise, it was business as usual - a rousing adult contemporary ballad accompanied by a music video in which Joshua rode a motorcycle down the highway, his flowing locks blowing in the wind. I recall selling vast quantities of this song to the local grandmothers who frequented the department store where I worked at the time, but, listening to it now for the first time since 1995, I'm surprised how low Joshua's voice is. Not Crash Test Dummies-level low, but still much lower than I remember.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: a bit more action on the top 50 with the arrival of a techno chart-topper, a new hit by a band that'd reached number 1 four years earlier and a couple of big indie (in terms of label and in terms of music) hits.