This Week In 1994: June 26, 1994
At the start of June, we saw how it took Take That quite some time to establish themselves as a chart force in Australia. This week in 1994, another British act that had been around for a number of years finally started to take of here.
In this case, the band in question had been releasing music since 1988, and scored a top 5 single at home the following year. They didn't quite reach those dizzy heights in Australia, but their music was inescapable in the mid-'90s.
A song that was inescapable this week in 1994 was "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" by Crash Test Dummies, which spent its third week at number 1.
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Anyone Can Play Guitar" by Radiohead
Peak: number 97
In the UK, this follow-up to "Creep" became Radiohead's first top 40 hit in February 1993, since its predecessor had flopped first time round there. Almost a year-and-a-half later, "Anyone Can Play Guitar" couldn't live up to the success of "Creep" in Australia.
Number 78 "Always" by Erasure
Peak: number 78
One of my top 10 songs for 1994, this lead single from I Say I Say I Say returned the duo who kick-started the ABBA revival to the UK top 5 and, after a six-year absence, the US top 20.
Number 74 "Crazy" by Julio Iglesias
Peak: number 67
It had been six years since crooner Julio Iglesias has been inside the ARIA top 50, and he didn't quite make it back there with this cover of the Willie Nelson-written, Patsy Cline-performed classic.
Number 70 "Take Me Away" by Twenty 4 Seven
Peak: number 52
After a number 2 hit and a number 20 hit, the law of diminishing returns set in for Eurodance act Twenty 4 Seven, with this third single from Slave To The Music peaking just outside the top 50.
Number 48 "Only To Be With You" by Roachford
Peak: number 18
"Cuddly Toy". "Family Man". "Kathleen". Three singles from Roachford's self-titled debut album that should've been bigger in Australia. In 1994, third time was the charm as the band fronted by Andrew Roachford cracked the ARIA top 50 with this radio-friendly blend of pop, rock, soul and R&B. Indeed, I seem to remember "Only To Be With You" and Roachford's next two singles being on almost constant rotation on FM radio. It was strange, then, that parent album Permanent Shade Of Blue took a while to take off, barely denting the top 40 in the wake of this song's success and only reaching the top 10 in May 1995. We'll see how those next two tracks fared in the months to come...
Number 44 "Hey DJ" by Lighter Shade Of Brown
Peak: number 12
Three years before Mariah Carey sampled its piano riff for "Honey", The World's Famous Supreme Team's "Hey DJ" was covered by Lighter Shade Of Brown for the soundtrack to Mi Vida Loca. The hip-hop duo's remake came a decade after the original version, which had been TWFST's first release after guesting on Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" a couple of years earlier. As for LSOB, which was comprised of Robert Gutierrez and Bobby Ramirez, this was their only top 50 appearance in Australia, but in the US, "Hey DJ" was only their second biggest hit - 1991's "On A Sunday Afternoon" did marginally better.
Number 40 "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters
Peak: number 2
Here's another act with a 1991 song that did marginally better... in most countries except Australia. Crystal Waters' debut single, "Gypsy Woman (She's Homeless)", had almost reached the ARIA top 10, but this lead single from second album Storyteller did even better - almost reaching the number 1 spot here. The dance singer had to settle for eight weeks in the top 3, including one week at number 2. Not as topical as "Gypsy Woman...", "100% Pure Love" was just as irritating to me. Clearly, I was in the minority, with the song winding up as the 11th highest-selling single of the year. It would be almost a decade before we'd see Crystal on the chart again - this time, with a song I really liked.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: two songs that had previously been hits for other artists returned to the top 50 thanks to new cover versions. Plus, another of 1994's biggest dance hits.