25 Years Ago This Week: July 23, 1995
Like all genres, dance music has its good songs and its bad. But what exactly did anyone do to deserve the cavalcade of crap that debuted on the ARIA top 50 this week in 1995?
Three songs, all of which made the top 20, that I couldn't stand at the time and still find painful to listen to all these years later. And I like dance music.
At number 1 this week in 1995, U2 remained in place with "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me", which spent its third week on top.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 99
The future had looked bright for this American group back in 1986, but this lead single from what would be their final album, A Hundred Lovers, was a long overdue second visit to the top 100.
Number 89 "Lick It" by Roula
Peak: number 65
Although credited to singer Roula, this was effectively a follow-up by 20 Fingers to their hit "Short Dick Man". Available in an array of mixes and versions, "Lick It" (which is about one of the two things you might think it is) took until mid-September to move higher than this debut position.
Peak: number 59
A top 40 hit in the US, this single by the rapper born Anthony Forté sampled the 1972 song of the same name by The Spinners (which peaked 20 places lower here in early 1973).
Number 47 "I Can Love You Like That" by All-4-One
Peak: number 12
Last week, we saw that the latest hits by Boyz II Men, MN8 and Kulcha all peaked in the 30s, and the week before, we saw the same thing happen to 4PM. One vocal harmony group bucking the trend were All-4-One, and they did it with another cover of a song originally performed by John Michael Montgomery, who had also performed "I Swear" before they turned it into a mainstream chart-topper. Although not as big as their number 1 smash, "I Can Love You Like That" did take the quartet back towards the top 10 and returned them to the US top 5.
Number 45 "I Wanna Be A Hippy" by Technohead
Peak: number 20
One of the many aliases of husband-and-wife electronic duo Michael Wells and Lee Newman (who were also behind Tricky Disco and GTO), Technohead's debut offering was "I Wanna Be A Hippy", a happy harcore track that sampled "I Like Marijuana" by David Peel from the film Rude Awakening. Remixed by Dutch duo Flamman & Abraxas into a gabber atrocity, which to me sounded like the musical equivalent of a jackhammer digging up the footpath, the song became a UK top 10 hit and reached the ARIA top 20. Tragically, Lee passed away from skin cancer in August 1995 just as "I Wanna Be A Hippy" was taking off here. Now I feel bad for my harsh words.
Number 44 "I Like It" by A.K. Soul
Peak: number 28
It's not exactly a terrible dance song, but this latest release by Andrew Klippel, who tried his hand as Elastic in 1994, was not a patch on his work as the musical brains behind dance-pop group Euphoria. As this latest rebranding suggests, A.K. Soul took things in more of an R&B and hip-hop direction, complete with a drum sample from an Ice Cube track. Its mid-table peak position was about right as far as I was concerned.
Number 42 "Right Type Of Mood" by Herbie
Peak: number 10
In theory, I should like this only hit for Herbert Crichlow, given it was co-written by Max Martin, and produced by the future Swedish hit machine and Denniz PoP (who'd been behind hits by Ace Of Base and Dr Alban, and would work with Max until his untimely death in 1998). But with a vocal that sounds like Shaggy shouting over a particularly aggressive Eurodance accompaniment, it was not for me. Herbie redeemed himself in my eyes by going on to be responsible for some rather fine pop efforts as a songwriter, contributing to hits by Robyn, Five and Backstreet Boys, among others.
Peak: number 2
In a week where there is some tough competition for worst new entry, this abomination takes the prize. First recorded by New World in 1975 before being made famous by Smokie the next year, "Living Next Door To Alice" gained its crowd participation "Alice, who the fuck is Alice?" line in a version by Dutch band Gompie (whose release we'll see miss the top 50 in due course). The Steppers, about whom I know nothing, whacked a dirty big dance beat onto the concept and raced into the top 2, proving that Australia's traditional resistance to dance music had completely disappeared by 1995. In the UK, Smokie had the last laugh, with their new version featuring comedian Roy "Chubby" Brown reaching number 3 and triumphing over Gompie's single. Almost needless to say, this was The Steppers' only hit.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: another chart-topping hit from the Batman Forever soundtrack (which thankfully kept The Steppers from reaching the top), plus a female singer follows up her recent number 1 single.