This Week In 1993: November 21, 1993
There are some voices that are unmistakable - for better or for worse. And this week in 1993, one of the most distinctive singers on the dance music scene made her first ARIA top 50 appearance as the vocalist for a hot new(ish) British band.
For the next few years, her voice would soar over a seemingly endless stream of pop-dance tracks, although she had actually already performed on one big hit, having been drafted in to provide replacement vocals on Black Box's "Ride On Time" when the use of the original sample prompted legal issues.
For a third and final week, the highest-selling single in Australia this week in 1993 was Ace Of Base's "All That She Wants", with not even the Scandipop quartet able to withstand the might of Bryan Adams for much longer.
Off The Chart
Number 97 "Headaround" by Died Pretty
Peak: number 96
"Harness Up" had taken the Sydney indie band into the top 50, but this catchy next single didn't follow suit. Album Trace had made a better showing, reaching number 11 at the end of September.
Number 96 "Wild World" by Mr Big
Peak: number 53
Had Maxi Priest's version of the Cat Stevens song not been a top 10 hit five years earlier, this lead single from the former chart-toppers' Bump Ahead album might have done better here.
Number 94 "Anarchy In The UK" by Green Jelly
Peak: number 94
"Three Little Pigs" might have been massive, but thankfully the Australian public saw sense and didn't turn this Sex Pistols-meets-Flintstones novelty any higher up the chart.
Number 91 "Carly's Song" by Enigma
Peak: number 91
In 1991, their ethereal brand of dance music had been massive, but this single taken from the Sliver soundtrack - home also to UB40's number 1 hit - didn't connect in the same way.
Number 90 "Silent Witnesses" by Southern Sons
Peak: number 88
Their last single had flopped and so another ballad from Nothing But The Truth was lifted in one last ditch effort to breathe some more life into the pop/rock band's career. It didn't work.
Number 88 "Waiting" by Tiddas
Peak: number 88
The former backing singers-turned-ARIA-nominated trio didn't have a huge hit with this lead single from Sing About Life, but that debut album went gold and won an ARIA Award.
Number 80 "So Natural" by Lisa Stansfield
Peak: number 69
After two non-charting soundtrack releases, Lisa Stansfield was back in the top 100 for the first time in a couple of years with this title track from her third album.
Number 50 "All About Soul" by Billy Joel
Peak: number 34
Former number 1 smash "The River Of Dreams/No Man's Land" was on its last legs inside the top 50, but Billy Joel got nowhere near as high with this follow-up, which I actually prefer to his chart-topper. That said, "All About Soul" was not a patch on the string of chart hits he'd unleashed in the '80s, and with songs like this that didn't have the cross-generational appeal of, say, "Uptown Girl" or "A Matter Of Trust", his time as a hit-maker was running out. In fact, "All About Soul" would turn out to be Billy's final top 50 appearance.
Number 46 "Moving On Up" by M-People
Peak: number 4
When it came to M People, fronted by the big-voiced Heather Small, Australia was a bit slow on the uptake, with "Moving On Up" becoming their first single to breach the ARIA top 100. And how, going all the way to number 4 and becoming one of the party season's most inescapable songs. But the Manchester band had been releasing great singles since 1991, including the predecessor to "Moving On Up", "One Night In Heaven", which was re-released here in 1994.
Actually, Britain had also taken a while to warm up to the band, with the four singles from debut album Northern Soul floundering as mid-level hits before a remix of debut single "How Can I Love You More" gave them their first UK top 10 hit ahead of the release of second album Elegant Slumming. Now on track in both the UK and Australia, M People became the rare dance act that could also shift albums as well as singles, and over the next few years bombarded the charts with a slew of great tracks.
Number 45 "This Is The Way" by Dannii Minogue
Peak: number 45
Next up, the first of a triple play of songs from artists who could have been justified in expecting better positions, especially in the case of Dannii Minogue, who'd just enjoyed her biggest hit since her debut with "This Is It". The similarly titled "This Is The Way", however, wasn't anywhere near as catchy as her hit remake and not even the presence once again of her soon-to-be husband, Julian McMahon, in the music video could lift it any higher up the chart.
Number 44 Yeah I Want You by The Sharp
Peak: number 44
Also progressing no further than this entry position were trio The Sharp, whose last three releases had all reached the top 40. What's even more surprising about Yeah I Want You not doing any better is that included on the five-track EP were the band's remakes of well-known songs like "The Love Cats" and "Hanging On The Telephone".
Peak: number 41
If you wanted a sign of the changing times then you needed look no further than the failure of a brand new song by one-time chart dominator Phil Collins to make the top 40. The lead single from his fifth album, Both Sides, this almost title track probably would have done quite well a few years earlier, but by 1993, Phil, like Billy Joel, was yesterday's hero. The song, which suggests people look at things from more than one perspective, wasn't the Genesis frontman's final hit in Australia, but he charted similarly over the next few years with the lead singles from his next two albums.
Number 38 "All Over Me" by Chocolate Starfish
Peak: number 33
Entering the top 50 one place below their descending remake of "You're So Vain", Chocolate Starfish's follow-up hit was an original track (produced, once again, by Psuedo Echo's Brian Canham) that had a strong enough chorus, but failed to ignite in the same way as their debut. The band would return to favour in 1994 with another big hit and an album that also did quite well.
Number 8 "Lemon" by U2
Peak: number 6
As the Zoo TV tour continued to make its way around the country, U2 burst into the singles top 10 with the latest cut from Zooropa and back into the albums top 10 with the album itself. Yet another song that pushed the band in new musical directions, "Lemon" combined their new-found interest in all things electronic with a classic U2 rousing chorus. What I didn't know until now is that the song was inspired by old video footage Bono had been sent of his mother as a young woman in which she wore a lemon-coloured dress. "Lemon" came with a remix by Perfecto (the team behind the dance mix of "Even Better Than The Real Thing"), which would later form the basis of "Skin On Skin" by Grace.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: a local band finally get a big hit, thanks to their appearance on a song by Australian rock royalty, while another local singer with a string of successes hits a chart roadblock.