25 Years Ago This Week: February 26, 1995
1995 was turning out to be a big year for cover versions. Already, we've seen hit remakes by Urge Overkill, Nicki French, Janet Jackson and, just last week, Annie Lennox.
This week in 1995, two more cover versions debuted on the ARIA singles chart - and one was the number 1 song on my year-end chart (and it did pretty well nationally as well).
A song continuing to do very well nationally was "Another Night" by MC Sar & The Real McCoy, which spent a third week at number 1.
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Something About You" by All-4-One
Peak: number 98
Something about this uptempo new jack swing track didn't work for the vocal quartet in the way mega ballad "I Swear" had, and it got no further on the top 100.
Number 97 "The Celts" by Enya
Peak: number 97
The Irish new age star's self-titled debut album had been re-released as The Celts in 1992 and was currently in the top 10, prompting this song, which was now the title track, to pop its head inside the top 100.
Number 95 "Turn It On" by The Angels
Peak: number 77
Peaking two places below the other new song on Evidence, this second release coincided with the band performing acoustic shows on their Never Before And Never Again tour.
Peak: number 85
Unable to match what former band-mate Izzy Stradlin had managed, the latest Guns n' Roses member to strike out with solo music missed the top 50 with this debut effort.
Peak: number 48
The first of two remakes debuting on the top 50 was the second single from and title track of Gloria Estefan's covers album, which had already yielded a big hit in the form of "Turn The Beat Around". "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" had been originally released by Karen Chandler in 1952 and reached number 4 in Australia the next year, and also turned into a number 21 hit in 1965 by Mel Carter. Gloria's version wasn't as successful as either of those or her previous single, only spending two weeks in the top 50, but she'd be back in a matter of weeks with the third single from the album.
Number 43 "When I Come Around" by Green Day
Peak: number 7
They'd warmed Australia up with a couple of singles, and now Green Day exploded into action, with this song about singer Billie Joe Armstrong's long-distance relationship with future-wife Adrienne Nesser giving the band their first top 10 hit. Speaking of top 10 hits, parent album Dookie finally became one this week as it jumped up to number 9 on its way to a three-week stint at number 1.
Number 42 "Sky High" by Newton
Peak: number 8
In 1975, the original had reached number 3 for British Jigsaw - so named to distinguish them from Australian band Jigsaw - and two decades later, "Sky High" was back in the chart thanks to a Stock and Aikten-produced remake by Newton (real name: Billy Myers). I say "by Newton", although there is a rumour that the vocals on this track were by original singer Des Dyer - they do sound quite similar, but I can't find a definitive answer on this one. Like Stock and Aitken's other hit remake, Nicki French's version of "Total Eclipse Of The Heart", "Sky High" had initially been released in the UK in 1994 but could only manage a peak of number 78 there. It would be released another twice, but without success, while in Australia, Newton's version returned the song to the top 10. It was also my favourite song for 1995 - hardly surprising given my track record with the producers' previous work as part of the PWL Hit Factory, where the Jigsaw version had also been remixed in 1989.
Number 35 "Not For You" by Pearl Jam
Peak: number 29
We finish off this week's new entries with two bands who would kick off Australian tours in the first week of March and each charted with the second single from their latest album. In Pearl Jam's case, "Not For You" was the follow-up to their biggest hit to date, "Spin The Black Circle", and was about all the parts of the music industry and media that got between them and their fans
Number 31 "Ode To My Family" by The Cranberries
Peak: number 5
Also following up their biggest hit to date (and of all time) were The Cranberries, whose "Zombie" actually moved back up a spot to number 3 this week. Clearly there were people who weren't completely sick of that song by now. The gentle, lullaby-like "Ode To My Family", meanwhile, was more in line with the Irish band's earlier hits, and it's one I don't mind listening to at all. Written about the disconnect between Dolores O'Riordan's new life as a rock star and her upbringing in County Limerick, the song gave the band a second consecutive top 5 hit.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: the return of one of the most successful girl groups of all time, plus a second 90s hit involving vaseline.