25 Years Ago This Week: November 19, 1995
Pop music is a fickle thing. One minute you're topping charts around the globe, next minute you're not.
This week in 1995, a Swedish pop group who'd taken the world by storm in 1993-94, including Australia, where they topped the chart twice, didn't receive quite as warm a reception to the first single from their second album. Except in their homeland, where they finally reached number 1.
A man who was getting used to being at number 1 all around the world showed no signs of surrendering the top spot in Australia. Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" (featuring L.V.) was the highest-selling single for a fifth week.
Meanwhile, over on the albums top 50, Tina Arena finally reached number 1 with Don't Ask as the album celebrated a full year on the chart. Only "a few sales" separated Tina from Madonna's Something To Remember, which debuted at number 2, according to that week's ARIA Report.
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Time Bomb" by Rancid
Peak: number 76
The ska revival would explode later in the decade, but perhaps California's Rancid were too ahead of their time with this single from third album ...And Out Come The Wolves.
Number 84 "Walking In Memphis" by Cher
Peak: number 65
She had huge success at the start and end of the '90s, but Australia wasn't that interested in Cher's mid-decade covers album, which was kicked off by her version of Marc Cohn's only hit.
Number 82 "I Remember" by Boyz II Men
Peak: number 59
Not established enough for a pre-Christmas best of, Boyz II Men took stock with The Remix Collection instead. At least, Motown Records did, with the group not that keen on the release, which may be why this non-event single doesn't have a music video.
Number 77 "Grind" by Alice In Chains
Peak: number 77
They might have debuted at number 5 on the albums chart with their self-titled third album, but Alice In Chains just couldn't score a hit in Australia. Guitarist (and the song's writer) Jerry Cantrell took lead vocals on this lead single.
Number 74 "I Got A Girl" by Tripping Daisy
Peak: number 58
I have vague memories of this breakthrough single by the Texas-based rock band, which I expect was a Triple J favourite at the time. It's actually the type of catchy rock I like, so I'm surprised it wasn't more commercially successful.
Peak: number 47
It was only a matter of time, right? First released by Bob Dylan in 1965 and covered by numerous artists in the decades, since, The Rolling Stones put out their own remake of "Like A Rolling Stone" in 1995. A live version, it was included on their album Stripped, which included half a dozen concert recordings (including this track) and another eight songs recorded acoustically in the studio. Oddly, the single came with a Michel Gondry-directed music video that only vaguely referenced its live status.
Number 43 "Lucky Love" by Ace Of Base
Peak: number 30
Over the previous couple of years, Eurodance quartet Ace Of Base had emerged from Sweden to conquer the world, including the all-important US market, with hits like "All That She Wants", "The Sign" and their remake of "Don't Turn Around", taken from their original album, Happy Nation, and its subsequent revision as The Sign. Not all their singles had been hits, but those that were had been massive. So you'd have thought they would have come out all guns blazing with their second album proper The Bridge. Not really. The lead single in Europe and Australia was the tepid "Lucky Love" — a pleasant enough ditty, but more of a "Wheel Of Fortune" than an "All That She Wants". And its chart performance reflected that, except, bizarrely in Sweden, where Ace Of Base had never had a number 1 but achieved that feat with this single. America went with a different lead single, which I much preferred — but I'll discuss that when it shows up on the ARIA chart in 1996.
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 bigger week for new entries, including the ballad duet between two US superstar acts and a couple of party-starting one-hit wonders.