25 Years Ago This Week: October 22, 1995
Over the years, I've developed a formula to my ARIA chart recaps. I start off with a little themed introduction to the week, mention what was number 1 on the singles top 50, quickly run through the songs that missed the top 50 in the Off The Chart section and then spend more time on the week's new entries. Well, hold onto your hats, because this week, I'm throwing the routine out the window!
OK, perhaps that was a little melodramatic. But thanks to there only being two rather dull new entries on the top 50 this week in 1995, I'm going to give them the cursory treatment and instead devote more time to the week's much more interesting Off The Chart section. I'll even embed those music videos. Revolutionary!
Sticking with the formula for a second, "Gangsta's Paradise" by Coolio featuring L.V. made a huge leap from number 16 to become the highest-selling single in Australia this week in 1995. The single's earlier distribution problems seemingly behind it, the soundtrack smash would remain at number 1 for an epic 13 weeks, earning it a place among Australia's longest-running chart-toppers.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 89
I have a real soft spot for Peter Cetera and his former band, Chicago. And this lead single from his fifth solo album, One Clear Voice, is a classic big ballad from a man who'd made a career recording some of the biggest. Co-written by another man who knows a thing or two about power ballads, Eric Carmen, "(I Wanna Take) Forever Tonight" was the latest duet for Peter, who'd previously released singles with Amy Grant, Cher and Chaka Khan. His partner on this song was former Happy Days star (well, she appeared in Season 10) Crystal Bernard, who made her music debut with the track.
Number 96 "Alright" by Supergrass
Peak: number 96
A couple of weeks ago, we saw Britpop bands Oasis and Blur duke it out on the top 50, but not every major British rock band made it locally, including Oxford's Supergrass, who scored one of the biggest hits of the genre in the UK when "Alright" reached number 2 there (blocked from the top by The Outhere Brothers). A feel-good summery tune about being young and, well, free, "Alright" is one of many '90s Britpop hits that, for whatever reason, did not translate here, but really should have (see also: "Good Enough" by Dodgy, "Wake Up Boo!" by The Boo Radleys). Because you know when even I'm a fan of a Britpop song, then there's no excuse.
Number 91 "3 Is Family" by Dana Dawson
Peak: number 54
This lead single from Dana Dawson's second album, Black Butterfly, looked like it was going to break into the top 50 a number of times as it bounced around the top 100 until March, but every time it got close, it would drop back again. A UK top 10 single, "3 Is Family" was also the first hit for prolific songwriter Billy Mann, who would go on to have a hugely successful collaboration with Pink. Former child performer Dana had released her first album in 1991 — Paris, New York And Me, which I bought at the time (actually in Paris) and made "Romantic World" my number 3 song for the year. Like her debut album, Black Butterfly was packed with great pop tunes, including subsequent singles "Got To Give Me Love", "How I Wanna Be Loved" and "Show Me". Part of the appeal of the "3 Is Family" single was the remix by Dancing Divas, who were one of my preferred remix teams in the '90s. Sadly, Dana passed away in 2010 after a short battle with colon cancer.
Number 90 "Downtown Venus" by P.M. Dawn
Peak: number 73
Although their chart career in Australia started and ended with two decent-sized hits, the bulk of P.M. Dawn's output really was underrated locally — I might just need to make them the focus of one of my Underrated In Australia videos on the Chart Beats Facebook page at some point. Take this lead single from Jesus Wept, for example. A jangly, effervescent burst of pop that samples Deep Purple, it should have done much better, as should follow-up "Sometimes I Miss You So Much", which didn't even reach the top 100.
Number 50 "Misirlou" by Spaghetti Surfers
Peak: number 50
1995 really didn't let up when it came to terrible dance tracks. This Eurodance version of the Dick Dale surf rock song (used in Pulp Fiction) dropped off the top 50 the following week. It was produced by Ian Anthony Stephens, previously responsible for "Searchin' (I Gotta Find A Man)" by Hazell Dean.
Peak: number 40
Years before Kylie Minogue featured a mass of humans in her "All The Lovers" video, this lead single from and title track of Melissa Etheridge's fifth album had a similar component in its clip. Unfortunately for Melissa, it was another poorly received single in Australia.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: it's back to normal, with a greater number of top 50 new entries, including a local boy band's big remake, the second top 10 single by a two-hit wonder and an actually good dance track.