25 Years Ago This Week: September 17, 1995
In the mid-'90s, pretty much any song or artist was fair game for a cheesy Eurodance cover. Often, faceless studio acts would take a big ballad hit and turn it into a hands-in-the-air anthem, but sometimes songs you never expected to hear at your local discotheque would be given a club makeover.
This week in 1995, possibly the most absurd rock-to-dance transformation poked its nose into ARIA top 100. A frenetic Eurodance version of a former ultra-serious chart-topper, it was almost sacrilegeous. I bought the CD single.
"Kiss From A Rose" by Seal, a number 1 song that doesn't seem to have been turned into a dancefloor track (as far as I can tell, but correct me if I'm wrong), remained on top for a fourth week.
Off The Chart
Number 97 "Zombie" by A.D.A.M. featuring Amy
Peak: number 65
This Italian dance remake of the eight-week chart-topper did much better in Europe — of course. But even though I bought it at the time, I find it fairly unlistenable now. A.D.A.M. was named after the four DJ/producers behind the cover, while I'm not sure if that's Amy (aka Melody Castellari) in the music video or some lip-syncing rent-a-model.
Number 89 "Better Than Nothing" by Jennifer Trynin
Peak: number 89
One of the many female rock singer/songwriters to come in Alanis Morissette's wake, American Jennifer Trynin's only top 100 single came from the excellently named Cockamamie album.
Number 86 "Absolute E-sensual" by Jaki Graham
Peak: number 54
Her remake of "Ain't Nobody" had given the English singer a long overdue hit in Australia, but this original follow-up just missed the top 50. There were a range of mixes for this one, with the Sleazesisters remix being my pick.
Number 81 "Crazy Cool" by Paula Abdul
Peak: number 76
And just like that Paula Abdul's days of scoring hits in Australia were over, with the second single from Head Over Heels peaking almost 70 places lower than its predecessor.
Number 67 "Isobel" by Björk
Peak: number 67
"Army Of Me" had provided her with her first top 50 entry, but the second single from Post dropped straight back out of the top 100 the following week. But Björk had a little something up her sleeve...
Number 63 "I'll Stick Around" by Foo Fighters
Peak: number 61
They'd hit the top 10 straight out of the gate, but Foo Fighters would have to wait until album number 2 for another hit, with this second single from their self-titled debut album the first of three releases to get stuck in the 60s.
Peak: number 45
This is the point when Wet Wet Wet lost me. I hadn't been that keen on "Julia Says", but this follow-up was just too twee for my liking. And what's disappointing is that "Don't Want To Forgive Me Now" made the top 50 when so many better singles by the band earlier on in their career had not. But seems the post-"Love Is All Around" uptick they received was all used up following this single, with the band never returning to the ARIA top 100 again.
Number 44 "Monty" by Spiderbait
Peak: number 44
Entering — and peaking — one place above the Wets was a different kind of band altogether. Making their first top 50 appearance were alternative faves Spiderbait with the second single from second album The Unfinished Spanish Galleon of Finley Lake. Since I was more likely to buy a dreadful dance cover of a song by The Cranberries than listen to Triple J, "Monty" is not a song I have ever listened to before. The NSW trio would be back in the top 50 in 1996 with something from their third album I'm more familiar with.
Number 42 "How Deep Is Your Love" by Portrait
Peak: number 15
Boyz II Men had remade "It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday", Kulcha took on Hall & Oates/Paul Young and 4PM had updated "Sukiyaki", so when it was R&B quartet Portrait's turn to release a ballad cover version, they turned to Bee Gees' number 3 hit from 1977. And their version of "How Deep Is Your Love" gave them the top 20 hit that debut single "Here We Go Again!" couldn't become locally. We'd be hearing more of "How Deep Is Your Love" in 1996 when a newly reduced vocal group from the other side of the Atlantic covered it for their farewell (for the time being) single.
Number 31 "Carnival" by Natalie Merchant
Peak: number 24
Australia had never got behind her former band, 10,000 Maniacs — not even their MTV Unplugged version of "Because The Night" — but it was a very different story with the debut solo single for Natalie Merchant. Inspired by her visit to New York City from her rural home, "Carnival" also got Natalie's career off to a good start in the US, where it reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Chart-wise, it was all downhill from here.
Number 12 "Warped" by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Peak: number 12
Red Hot Chili Peppers probably could have released anything at this point and it would have flown into the chart. And that's exactly what this lead single from One Hot Minute did, coming as it did almost two years since their previous release, "Soul To Squeeze". It also flew pretty much straight back out, spending only four weeks on the top 50. But it did its job of creating buzz for the third's forthcoming sixth album, their first with Dave Navarro in the line-up. which debuted at number 1 the following week, and meant they could save its best track for single number two.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: a much better week for top 50 entries, with two future chart-toppers arriving, and two other big pop hits. Plus, a song about flatulence — guess you can't have everything.