25 Years Ago This Week: February 19, 1995
I've talked before about covers albums being an interesting choice for artists still in the prime of their careers to make, and this week in 1995, we saw a female singer up to only her second solo album deciding to release a batch of remakes.
The difference was that she kicked off the exercise with a song that very few people would have heard before since the original version was not a hit. It certainly wasn't a song I knew.
A song that I did know, together with an awful lot of the country, remained at number 1 this week in 1995. "Another Night" by MC Sar & The Real McCoy stayed on top for a second week.
Off The Chart
Number 97 "Hard Love" by Vika & Linda
Peak: number 81
The Bull sisters were having no luck landing a hit single, with this Paul Kelly-written third release from their self-titled debut album also missing the top 50. The album, which had been re-released with a bonus live disc, did re-enter the top 50 this week, however.
Number 50 "Inside" by Stiltskin
Peak: number 40
This song started out as the musical accompaniment for a British ad for Levi's jeans, with songwriter Peter Lawlor putting a band together to release it as a single. So popular was the ad in the UK that "Inside" duly went to number 1 there. In Australia, where I don't believe the ad was shown, the grungy rock track barely made the top 40. "Inside" was actually one of the few rock songs I liked in 1995, and I'm not sure why it didn't perform better here given Australia's love for all things rock.
Number 43 "She's A River" by Simple Minds
Peak: number 29
Back with their first studio album since 1991's Real Life and first album of any type since the chart-topping best of compilation Glittering Prize 81-92, Simple Minds slipped into the top 30 with this lead single from Good News From The Next World. The bad news was this song, which had lyrics inspired by the novel Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, would be the Scottish band's final top 50 hit in Australia.
Peak: number 34
Also charting with what would be their final hit were Things Of Stone And Wood, who released this follow-up to "Wild Flowers" ahead of their second album, Junk Theatre. I have no memory of this song at all at the time, but it's pleasant enough in a Party Of Five theme song kind of way.
Number 41 "15 Feet Of Snow" by Diesel
Peak: number 29
I didn't think I recalled this single either, but listening to it now, the chorus is definitely familiar, although I can't think of the last time I would have heard it played anywhere. "15 Feet Of Snow" was the second release from Solid State Rhyme and would end up being the singer's final top 50 appearance for over a decade as Diesel (although he'd slip in a hit under his real name, Mark Lizotte, in 1999).
Number 35 "No More "I Love You's"" by Annie Lennox
Peak: number 16
Annie Lennox's debut solo offering, Diva, had been a success around the world, although its singles could have done better in Australia. Somewhat unexpectedly, the Eurythmics singer decided to put out an album of cover versions as her second album. Medusa contained reworkings of songs previously recorded by everyone from Al Green to The Clash, but the first single, "No More "I Love You's"", was a little-known song by duo The Lover Speaks from 1986. Her biggest success locally since 1992's "Why", the cover would also become her last hit in Australia, with subsequent tracks taken from Medusa failing to reach the top 50.
Number 34 "You Suck" by The Murmurs
Peak: number 25
You couldn't go wrong with an indie song containing an insult in the mid-'90s, could you? Although most of them, like "Creep", "Asshole", "Loser" and the upcoming "Bitch", were self-directed, this one-and-only-hit by the American duo comprised of Heather Grody and Lesiha Hailey kept its venom for the listener. Given its straight-shooting lyrics, "You Suck" was always going to be successful, and hard to follow with a subsequent, less-novel hit. The Murmurs released a couple more albums before dissolving at the end of the decade.
Peak: number 10
Despite the fact that Cross Road - The Best Of Bon Jovi had only just dropped out of the top 10 after debuting at number 1 back in October, it's a little surprising the greatest hits album's other new song (besides mega-hit "Always") also went top 10. Then again, Bon Jovi were (still) one of the most popular bands in Australia at the time. The song itself took the band further away from their hair metal roots with its almost country-sounding hard luck story.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: Gloria Estefan's next single from her covers album arrives, while the follow-up to the number 1 song of summer and my personal number 1 single for 1995 debut.