25 Years Ago This Week: May 28, 1995
American R&B music had really infiltrated the mainstream in Australia by 1995, so much so that no one blinked an eye when the debut single by an up-and-coming new jack swing singer breezed into the top 10.
Years earlier, male R&B singers like Keith Sweat, Ralph Tresvant and Al B Sure! couldn't turn their US success into local chart action, but the times they had a-changed.
Nothing changed at number 1 this week in 1995, with "Mouth" by Merril Bainbridge staying put for a second week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Strange Currencies" by R.E.M.
Peak: number 100
A brief visit to the top 100 for this fourth Australian single from Monster, which was almost left off the album due to its time signature being too similar to that of "Everybody Hurts".
Peak: number 94
While "The Bomb!" was a big hit in Australia, this fellow brass-soaked track from DJ/producers Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne - a revamp of 1981 song "Papa's Got A Brand New Pig Bag" - didn't follow suit.
Number 87 "Hole In The Bucket" by Spearhead
Peak: number 87
Another top 50 miss from the band led by Michael Franti, who'd recently completed a tour of Australia. And yes, "Hole In The Bucket" is built around the children's song, complete with "dear Liza" lyrics.
Number 80 "Poison" by The Prodigy
Peak: number 64
They'd just started to take off in Australia, but this final single from Music For The Jilted Generation saw the dance group back outside the top 50. It was also their least successful single up until this point in the UK.
Number 49 "Army Of Me" by Björk
Peak: number 35
All the singles from Debut had peaked in either the 60s or 90s, but finally Icelandic superstar Björk broke into the top 50 with this lead single from second album Post. A driving piece of industrial electronica, "Army Of Me" was written by the singer as a wake-up call to her brother to get it together.
Number 48 "Hang Around" by Tumbleweed
Peak: number 48
The third and final top 50 for local band Tumbleweed, "Hang Around" was released around the same time as their second album, Galactaphonic, which took them into the top 10. That's all I've got.
Number 47 "This Is How We Do It" by Montell Jordan
Peak: number 7
If "This Is How We Do It" had been released in 1989, it would probably have peaked at number 77 in Australia... if it was lucky. But in 1995, the seven-week US chart-topper was an easy hit locally. Co-written and co-produced by new Def Jam signing Montell Jordan, the song, which sounded like it could have been released at any point in the previous six years, served as his debut single and was easily his biggest hit. For me, though, "This Is How We Do It" fell into the same category of R&B as MN8's "I've Got A Little Something For You". Genre-wise it's something I would normally have liked, but the chorus wasn't melodic enough - something I'd find increasingly in R&B as the decade progressed.
Peak: number 1
If ever you need proof that '80s Bryan Adams > '90s Bryan Adams, it's this song. A Latin-flavoured ballad from the Johnny Depp film Don Juan DeMarco, it was written by Bryan with Robert John "Mutt" Lange and Michael Kamen - the same trio who'd come up with other soundtrack monsters "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" and "All For Love". Like those two songs, "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" also went to number 1, Bryan's third chart-topper in a row. Even more tortuous than "Please Forgive Me", "Have You Ever..." sounded like something my ageing neighbour might cranky up when it came on the community radio station. It certainly did not sound like it was released by the same man who'd given us "Summer Of '69" and "Run To You".
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: a big British dance track with an Australian connection and the original version of a recent remake revisits the top 50.