25 Years Ago This Week: March 26, 1995
When people talk about female artists from the 1990s, it's usually about big ballad divas like Mariah and Celine, chart-topping rock chicks like Alanis and Sheryl, R&B singers like Brandy and Monica, country crossovers like LeAnn and Shania or singer-songwriter types like Jewel and Tori.
But every so often a woman would come along who didn't fit into convenient categories. Hard to pigeonhole singers like Björk, Neneh Cherry and the woman who debuted on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1995 with her fusion of rock and R&B.
Meanwhile, at number 1 this week in 1995, one dance track made way for another as "Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus dethroned "Another Night".
Off The Chart
Number 95 "Crazy For You" by Let Loose
Peak: number 67
It took a couple of attempts for this debut single by British three-piece Let Loose to take off in the UK. After missing the top 40 in 1993, it went all the way to number 2 in 1994, and was one of my favourite songs from that year.
Number 89 "Be Happy" by Mary J Blige
Peak: number 76
She'd already scored her first US top 10 hit - with 1992's "Real Love" - but this Puff Daddy co-written tune, released as the lead single from second album My Life, was Mary J Blige's first taste of ARIA chart action.
Number 87 "Down By The Water" by PJ Harvey
Peak: number 84
Also entering the top 100 for the first time was English singer-songwriter PJ Harvey, with the lead single from her third album, To Bring You My Love.
Number 74 "Never Lie" by Immature
Peak: number 55
This breakthrough hit for the American teen R&B trio made the US top 5, but just missed the top 50 here. Unexpectedly, Immature are still together, albeit under their revised name, IMx.
Number 57 "Closer To Hogs" by Nine Inch Richards
Peak: number 51
The original Nine Inch Nails track was 1994's most controversial hit. Leave it to Australia to parody it with a barnyard animal-featuring comedy track.
Number 49 "Hey Girl (This Is Our Time)" by CDB
Peak: number 14
Last week, we saw that not all R&B vocal harmony groups can pivot from ballads to upbeat tracks with ease, but CDB proved able to land hits with either tempo as they followed up debut single "Hook Me Up" with this old school tune (complete with shoo-bee-doo-wops) and found themselves back in the top 20.
Number 40 "I Know" by Dionne Farris
Peak: number 16
She'd first gained attention as one of the vocalists on Arrested Development's "Tennessee" back in 1992, and despite being offered a record deal by their label (provided Speech produced her album), Dionne Farris held out and ended up being signed by future American Idol judge Randy Jackson to Sony Music. Debut single "I Know" was a Grammy-nominated mix of rock and R&B that sounded great on radio, but despite reaching the US top 5 and ARIA top 20, which suggested big things lay in store for Dionne, it ended up being her only hit, and she is not often remembered these days, possibly because she's not able to be lumped in with any particular trend in '90s music.
Number 26 "When I Was A Sperm" by Master Wel
Peak: number 26
Sounding like something Gang Starr or Dream Warriors might have put out, but with lyrics that pushed it into novelty record territory, this was the only chart hit for Weldon Irvine, a multi-talented songwriter and musician who was in his 50s by this stage. With lyrics such as "one time resident of the prostate/now I make my home the placenta", the song was told from the perspective of sperm fertilising an egg, and really could have been used in sex education classes, given how precise its details were. (I bet there was a "cool" teacher or two out there who did just that.)
Number 16 "Digging The Grave" by Faith No More
Peak: number 12
Last seen on the top 50 with their second chart-topper "Easy", Faith No More returned with a song that was closer to the hard rocking sound with which they'd made their name. The lead single from fifth album King For A Day... Fool For A Lifetime, "Digging The Grave" didn't have the crossover appeal of their more substantial hits and exited the top 50 after seven weeks.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: another techno tune enters the top 50, as does the follow-up to a dance number 1. Plus the debut of a new teen star.