This Week In 1994: November 20, 1994
Some songs are immediately successful, blasting into the upper reaches of the chart; others are more of a slow burning, taking their time to work their way up to their peak.
This week in 1994, there was an example of each type of song among the new entries on the ARIA singles top 50, with both peaking near the number 1 spot - one much more quickly than the other.
Still at number 1 this week in 1994 were silverchair, who spent a fourth week on top with "Tomorrow".
Off The Chart
Number 100 "All By Myself" by Margaret Urlich
Peak: number 100
Her previous Australian hit had been a cover, but this remake of the Eric Carmen power ballad scraped the very bottom of the top 100 and didn't end up being included on Margaret Urlich's next album.
Number 96 "Hard Days Night (live)" by Billy Joel
Peak: number 85
Another cover, this time of The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night", which was taken from A Voyage On The River Of Dreams, a repackage of Billy Joel's 1993 album. The single, released only in Australia, was his second live Beatles remake, following 1987's "Back In The USSR".
Number 88 "I Wish It Would Rain" by Jon Stevens
Peak: number 67
And yet another cover - and one that would also end up being a between albums release. "I Wish It Would Rain" was originally recorded by The Temptations in 1967.
Peak: number 70
Peaking 30 places lower than their previous single, the title track of the Canadian band's second album became their final release to visit the ARIA top 100.
Number 71 "Circle Of Life" by Elton John
Peak: number 60
I had to double check this was right because I would've sworn this follow-up to "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" had also been a hit, so ubiquitous has it become. But my memory failed me and it did, indeed, miss the top 50.
Peak: number 46
While his latest solo release didn't make the top 50, Jon Stevens did get a look-in with this guest appearance on the second single from The Black Sorrows' Lucky Charm album. Like its predecessor, "Snake Skin Shoes", it's not a song I have any memory of and would end up as the final hit for the band, which was essentially just Joe Camilleri and a floating line-up of musicians at this point.
Number 49 "Think Twice" by Celine Dion
Peak: number 2
I guess it made sense to mix things up and release "Misled" after Celine Dion's cover of "The Power Of Love", but as it would turn out, people really just wanted power ballads from the Canadian belter and that more uptempo track fizzled. And so it was back to the ballads in the form of this third single from The Colour Of My Love, although "Think Twice" sure took its time to become the massive hit it ended up being. In fact, it dropped back out of the top 50 in seven days' time before re-entering at number 45 on the December 4 chart. Then, it disappeared again from the top 50 until late January, when it began its tortuously slow climb to number 2, finally reaching its peak in late April. In the UK, it was a similar story, with "Think Twice" not hitting number 1 until its 16th week - a rarity for the much more rapid British chart. I don't think it's any coincidence that most of Celine's future singles (and big hits) were ballads.
Number 43 "Cruise Control" by Headless Chickens
Peak: number 26
Here's a song that took three years to become a hit in Australia, although this release of the New Zealand top 10 hit was a completely different version to the original mix from 1991 that had been successful there. Remixed by British electronic band Eskimos & Egypt, "Cruise Control" gained new layers of synths and a poppier aesthetic, while still retaining its early '90s indie-meets-dance feel. This was actually the third release of the track locally, with the original 1991 version and a 1992 UK remix both missing the top 100 previously.
Number 3 "Spin The Black Circle" by Pearl Jam
Peak: number 3
Here's the new entry that smashed its way into the top 5 first week out. And it's easy to see why - "Spin The Black Circle" was a brand new song from one of the world's biggest bands and would serve as the lead single for upcoming album Vitalogy. The frenetic song is about Pearl Jam's regard for vinyl records, which was so high that Vitalogy was released on that format in the US two weeks ahead of its release on CD and cassette. In Australia, Vitalogy was released on vinyl on November 28 (possibly as an import of the US pressing), one week ahead of the other formats, but that didn't result in an early chart entry for the album, which debuted at number 1 following its full release on December 5.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: Speaking of songs that took a long time to reach their peak, a festive favourite that took almost a quarter of a century to reach number 1 debuts. And if banjos weren't enough to ruin dance music, how about yodelling?