25 Years Ago This Week: January 22, 1995
Most of the new entries on the ARIA singles chart came from one of the major record companies, which in 1995 were Sony, BMG, EMI, Warner, Polygram and Festival. But every so often an independent release would find its way into the top 50.
This week in 1995, three of the week's five newcomers were distrubuted by smaller labels - and it was something we'd be seeing more of as the year continued. One of the debuts even made it all the way to number 1.
Still at number 1 this week in 1995 was "Zombie" by The Cranberries, which stayed put on top for a sixth week.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 98
This lead single from Wildflowers, his first solo album since 1989 despite featuring most of The Heartbreakers anyway, was Tom Petty's final top 40 hit in the US.
Number 87 "Feels Like I'm In Love" by Raffles
Peak: number 66
The Kelly Marie original had reached number 7 in 1980, but this frenetic, locally produced cover version wasn't able to come close to that. Fun fact: Josh Abrahams played keyboard on this track.
Number 47 "Come Back" by Londonbeat
Peak: number 14
Londonbeat were a band I didn't expect to ever see in the top 50 again after their initial couple of hits, number 1 "I've Been Thinking About You" and follow-up "A Better Love" - especially since 1992's "You Bring On The Sun" had missed the top 100 completely despite sounding quite similar to their chart-topper. But they rallied with this lead single from their self-titled fourth album. The sort of vaguely dance-ish music that FM radio stations were happy to play, "Come Back" made the ARIA top 15 despite flopping in both the UK and the US.
Number 46 "Private Universe" by Crowded House
Peak: number 46
About a year after the Together Alone album had been released, this ballad was issued as its fourth Australian single in October 1994. And after weeks of bouncing around between the 50s and 60s, "Private Universe" finally dipped its toe into the top 50 for a single week. A fifth single, the similarly downbeat "Fingers Of Love" would follow in April, but it missed the top 100 entirely.
Number 41 "Self Esteem" by The Offspring
Peak: number 6
Here's the first of our three independently released singles to join the top 50 this week. Coming out through Shock Records, "Self Esteem" was the follow-up to "Come Out And Play", a song that was still in the top 10 after 18 weeks on the chart, and became a second top 10 hit for The Offspring, peaked two places higher than its predecessor. And shock of all shocks (no pun intended), it is actually a '90s rock song that I kinda like thanks to its sing-along melody and bass riff. I remember getting boxes filled entirely with product by The Offspring - both singles, the Smash album and their previous albums - at my casual music retail job at this point, but we would soon be ordering other releases from Shock...
Number 40 "Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus
Peak: number 1
For years, Central Station Records had been bubbling away as an independent record label specialising in dance music - as well as an import record store that I'd been going to in Sydney since the late '80s. Thanks to this techno track by the Dutch duo who'd also been behind "Doop" by Doop, the label, which was distributed by Shock Records, landed their first ever chart-topper. Musically, "Here's Johnny" was a harder track than most of the dance songs that had become hits in Australia, but it owed at least some of its popularity to its sample of Jack Nicholson saying "here's Johnny!" in The Shining - an element that made it almost a novelty record and an easy number 1 hit despite superior techno tracks by the likes of Ultra-Sonic not doing anywhere near as well around the same time.
Number 33 "A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins
Peak: number 6
The week's highest new entry didn't come through Shock but MDS, which also did a fine trade in alternative and dance releases. The former singer for short-lived new wave band Orange Juice, who'd reached the UK top 10 with 1983's "Rip It Up", Edwyn Collins had been a solo artist since 1986 but had yet to crack the British top 40 in his own right. Indeed, his Expressly EP, which included "A Girl Like You", had fallen just short there in late 1994, peaking at number 42. In Australia, the song, which sounded like it might have been released in the 1960s thanks to its sample of "1-2-3" by Len Barry, went top 10 - somewhere Edwyn would finally reach in the UK when it was re-released later in 1995.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: a remake of one of the biggest songs from 1983, plus a follow-up to one of the biggest hits of summer 94-95.