This Week In 1994: December 25, 1994
What better way to celebrate Christmas than to look back at the ARIA singles chart from this week in 1994? (OK, you can probably think of a few better things to do.)
Anyway, joining the top 50 this week was an R&B ballad by the Queen of Pop, some UK piano house, a cover version of a rock 'n' roll classic, a remix of an irritating party track and a grunge song - quite the eclectic mix.
At number 1 this week in 1994, The Cranberries made it two weeks at the top with "Zombie", denying Mariah Carey a chart-topper with "All I Want For Christmas" in the process, something that would take her 24 years to rectify.
Off The Chart
Number 91 "Make A Difference" by Mission Squad
Peak: number 91
Until now, I was unaware of this charity record, which featured the likes of Toni Pearen, Margaret Urlich and Peter Andre alongside non-musos like Andrew Denton, Jeff Fenech and Guy Leech, and raised money for the Sydney City Mission. Obviously it didn't raise that much given its lack of publicity and lowly chart peak. It's also not on YouTube, which may be a blessing.
Number 89 "Hold My Hand" by Hootie & The Blowfish
Peak: number 70
Never as big in Australia as they were in the US, where this debut single was the first of four massive hits from Cracked Rear View, Hootie & The Blowfish would enjoy ARIA chart success in 1995.
Number 49 "Hot Hot Hot" by Arrow
Peak: number 9
This song is up there with "Agadoo" and "Tequila" for me - one of those terrible "party" songs that get played by rent-a-DJs at wedding and 21sts. Originally released by Arrow (aka Caribbean artist Alphonsus Cassell) in 1983, it took a 1994 remix for it to become a hit in Australia.
Number 45 "Seether" by Veruca Salt
Peak: number 34
With odd exceptions, grunge had pretty much been a boys' club - this Chicago band fronted by Nina Gordon and Louise Post, and named after the Charlie And The Chocolate Factory character, was one of those exceptions. Their debut single was also one of my favourite songs from the genre, which probably had something to do with the fact that it was a lot poppier than your average Nirvana or Pearl Jam song.
Number 43 "Sight For Sore Eyes" by M-People
Peak: number 20
Australia had been a bit slow off the mark when it came to M-People, but by the time the Bizarre Fruit album came around, we jumped on its lead single, "Sight For Sore Eyes", and make it their second biggest hit locally. Musically, the song cemented the band's radio-friendly piano house sound with its hands-in-the-air chorus and keyboard power chords. There would be a lot more where that came from.
Number 21 "Take A Bow" by Madonna
Peak: number 15
Given Madonna's Bedtime Stories album was a shift into more of an R&B direction, it only made sense that she would work with America's pre-eminent R&B songwriter and producer: Babyface. The collaboration between the world's biggest female singer and the man behind hits for Boyz II Men, Toni Braxton, Tevin Campbell, TLC and himself (to name a few) was a huge success - both commercially, going to number 1 in the US and becoming another top 20 hit in Australia, and musically, with "Take A Bow" being one of the most elegant songs of Madonna's career.
Peak: number 12
After the disaster that was The Spaghetti Incident?, Guns n' Roses returned to chart success with this one-off single - another cover version - taken from the soundtrack to Interview With The Vampire. A remake of The Rolling Stones track, "Sympathy For The Devil" was very much a last hurrah for the band, who did not get around to putting out new music for another 14 years and lost key members in the years following this song's release.
The next 50:
51. "Animal" by Pearl Jam
52. "I Love The Nightlife (Disco 'Round)" by Alicia Bridges
53. "Rockin' For Myself" by Motiv8
54. "Come Out And Play" by The Offspring
55. "Somebody Dance With Me" by DJ BoBo
56. "Mountain" by Chocolate Starfish
57. "Absolutely Fabulous" by Absolutely Fabulous
58. "Do You Wanna Get Funky" by C+C Music Factory
59. "Hero" by Mariah Carey
60. "The Power Of Love" by Beverly
61. "What's My Name?" by Snoop Doggy Dogg
62. "Black Hole Sun" by Soundgarden
63. "Lonely/Bizarre Love Triangle" by frente!
64. "Around The World" by East 17
65. "Shine" by Collective Soul
66. "Whoomp! (There It Is)" by Tag Team
67. "All That She Wants" by Ace Of Base
68. "Jessie" by Joshua Kadison
69. "You Gotta Be" by Des'ree
70. "Loser" by Beck
71. "Feel Like Making Love" by Pauline Henry
72. "I Can See Clearly Now" by Jimmy Cliff
73. "I Believe" by Marcella Detroit
74. "Is It Love" by Twenty 4 Seven
75. "Feels Like Heaven" by Urban Cookie Collective
76. "Twist And Shout" by Chaka Demus & Pliers
77. "Shaka Jam" by Kulcha
78. "Anything" by Culture Beat
79. "Ain't Nobody" by Jaki Graham
80. "Mr Jones" by Counting Crows
81. "Hey DJ" by Lighter Shade Of Brown
82. "Helping Hand" by The Screaming Jets
83. "Pray" by Take That
84. "Return To Innocence" by Enigma
85. "No Rain" by Blind Melon
86. "U R The Best Thing" by D:Ream
87. "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails
88. "Disarm" by The Smashing Pumpkins
89. "Dreams" by Gabrielle
90. "Don't Be Shy" by Kulcha
91. "Daughter" by Pearl Jam
92. "Turn The Beat Around" by Gloria Estefan
93. "Hip Hop Holiday" by 3 The Hard Way
94. "Creep" by Radiohead
95. "Don't Turn Around" by Ace Of Base
96. "Spin The Black Circle" by Pearl Jam
97. "Cornflake Girl" by Tori Amos
98. "Will You Be There (In The Morning)" by Heart
99. "Hands Out Of My Pocket" by Cold Chisel
100. "Got To Get It" by Culture Beat
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next time: 1995 gets off to a slow start, but what it lacks in quantity of entries, it makes up for with a future chart-topping dance smash. And all going well, I may have another surprise for you in the new year.