This Week In 1993: April 18, 1993
Kicking off your music career with two top 10 hits is a pretty good start to things, but even though it looked like soap star-turned-singer Toni Pearen was destined to be Australia's big new pop star, things didn't play out that way.
This week in 1993, the former E Street and future Home And Away star debuted on the ARIA singles chart with the second of those hits, but as we'll see, this was as good as it got for Toni - something that remains one of pop's biggest missed opportunities.
Lenny Kravitz was making the most of his opportunity on top of the ARIA chart, registering a third straight week at number 1 with "Are You Gonna Go My Way".
Off The Chart
Number 97 "Be My Baby" by Vanessa Paradis
Peak: number 96
She'd had a big European hit in 1987-88 with "Joe Le Taxi", but it's surprising Vanessa Paradis's English-language debut didn't make a bigger impact locally given it was co-written and produced by her then-partner (and current number 1 single holder) Lenny Kravitz.
Peak: number 55
This fourth single from Waking Up The Neighbours Adrenalize became the first to miss the top 50 - just! - for Def Leppard. They'd be back with new music and in the top 50 in a matter of months.
Number 90 "What Can You Do For Me" by Utah Saints
Peak: number 90
Given the success of "Something Good", it made sense to give Utah Saints' Eurythmics- and Gwen Guthrie-sampling debut effort another shot. At least it made the top 100 this time.
Number 48 "I Want You" by Toni Pearen
Peak: number 10
As well as being a missed opportunity, one of the greatest pop mysteries of the early '90s was just what went wrong with Toni Pearen's music career. Things had got off to a good start with her debut single, "In Your Room", reaching number 10. Follow-up "I Want You", which was a breezier, more laidback track, repeated the feat and then... nothing for a year-and-a-half, by which time any momentum had been lost. Quite why a third single and/or an album didn't come hot on the heels of a second top 10 hit is unclear, but whatever the reason for the delay, it was undoubtedly a major factor in Toni never reaching anywhere near as high on the chart again.
Number 47 "Open Your Mind" by U.S.U.R.A.
Peak: number 29
When it came to Euro dance music of the late '80s and early '90s, as a famous T-shirt worn by Madonna once claimed, Italians really did do it better. From Black Box (and spin-off project Starlight) to 49ers, Cappella to Corona, Jinny to Livin' Joy, Italy is to commercial dance music what Sweden is to pop. And this week in 1993, another Italian outfit debuted with one of the year's best club tracks. Based on a synth riff from Simple Minds' "New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)", "Open Your Mind" also features samples from "Solid" by Ashford & Simpson and the film Total Recall.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: two iconic Australian bands that'd been releasing music since the start of the '80s appear to have run out of steam.