25 Years Ago This Week: April 16, 1995
So far, in the battle of the '90s British boy bands, East 17 had trounced their biggest rivals, Take That, in Australia (although the reverse was true back home). Here, East 17 had one chart-topper and five more top 10 hits to their name, while Take That had briefly visited the top 10 with a re-release of "Pray" and otherwise landed in the 30s, if they were lucky.
And the last time we saw both pop groups enter the ARIA singles chart in the same week, East 17 predictably dominated. But this week in 1995, everything changed (pardon the pun) and Take That not only debuted higher than East 17, but would end up going all the way to number 1.
The dance track that Take That would eventually dethrone continued its reign at number 1 this week in 1995. "Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus spent a fourth week on top.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 95
After finally breaching the top 50 with previous single "Bug Powder Dust", Bomb The Bass were faced with another flop on their hands with this reggae-infused follow-up.
Number 87 "Here I Go" by 2 Unlimited
Peak: number 80
A return to form after the disappointing "No One", this third single from Real Things was too little, too late for 2 Unlimited, whose hit-making days were behind them.
Number 57 "I Go Wild" by The Rolling Stones
Peak: number 57
Fresh from their tour of Australia, the veteran rockers landed another top 100 single from Voodoo Lounge, which held steady at number 6 on the albums chart.
Number 38 "Baby It's You" by The Beatles
Peak: number 33
Ah, Live At The BBC - that Christmas cash-in release by The Beatles that the music department where I worked as a casual ordered way too many copies of, thinking The Fab Four = big sales. And yes, the double CD of peformances (and some dialogue) did debut at number 2 in December but only spent nine weeks on the top 50. Despite being the first album including previously unreleased music by The Beatles in years, it was clearly only for die-hards. Similarly, this belatedly released single had a brief tenure on the chart. A remake of a 1961 song by The Shirelles, "Baby It's You" had featured on The Beatles' debut album, Please Please Me. This live rendition marked their first top 50 appearance since a Ferris Bueller-related re-release of "Twist And Shout" in 1986.
Number 24 "Let It Rain" by East 17
Peak: number 12
"Gold" aside, East 17 had enjoyed a fantastic run on the ARIA chart, with "Steam" their only top 50 hit to miss the top 10. And the week "Steam" had debuted on the chart, Take That's "Love Ain't Here Anymore" had also arrived, peaking 20 places lower than the East 17 song. Since then, both boy bands had charted with another single - East 17's "Stay Another Day" (number 3) and Take That's "Sure" (number 31). So it was quite a turn-up for the books for East 17 to play second fiddle to Take That this week in 1995. In all fairness, "Let It Rain" was the fourth single from Steam (albeit a slightly remixed one), so a number 12 peak was nothing to whinge about, but it did signal a shift in the boy band power stakes. Incidentally, "Let It Rain" did reach number 1 on my personal weekly chart (thanks to the album version, which I prefer). That said, it's one of my least favourite personal chart-toppers - it didn't even make my year-end top 100 for 1995.
Number 22 "Back For Good" by Take That
Peak: number 1
In the 1990s, Take That pretty much released two types of song - perky pop tunes or emotional ballads. When it came to the latter, UK hits "A Million Love Songs", "Babe" and "Love Ain't Here Anymore" hadn't worked (or even been released) in Australia, but "Back For Good" became the exception to the rule, finally turning them into a phenomenon locally and going all the way to the top of the chart. They'd been massive in the UK for years and "Back For Good", which was apparently written by Gary Barlow in 15 minutes, was their sixth number 1 - but it sold more copies more quickly than anything they'd released before. It even did well in America, giving the five-piece (but soon-to-be four-piece) their only hit there, reaching number 7. But just as Take That hit their stride, things were about to break apart in spectacular fashion...
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: two new R&B acts make their debut and a Eurodance follow-up with a complicated back story.