This Week In 1994: May 29, 1994
Having a song I liked from my youth featured in an animated movie is a double edged sword. On the plus side, it brings an often forgotten track back to prominence and introduces it to a new audience.
On the down side, kids are only aware of trolls and dancing lemurs performing the tracks, and not the original artists. This week in 1994, a song that was quite an edgy dance track at the time but has since become synonymous with comedy zoo animals debuted on the ARIA top 50.
At number 1 this week in 1994, Prince's name change did nothing to alter his ability to land hits, with "The Most Beautiful Girl In The World" becoming the second number 1 of his career - his first since "When Doves Cry" a decade earlier.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Bull In The Heather" by Sonic Youth
Peak: number 90
The American indie band registered a second top 100 appearance with this single taken from eighth album Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star.
Number 97 "So Much In Love" by All-4-One
Peak: number 62
Before they made a career out of covering songs by country singer John Michael Montgomery, the vocal harmony group remade a 1963 single by The Tymes. A US top 5 hit, the quartet's version of "So Much In Love" would reach its ultimate peak here in October, following the chart-topping success of "I Swear".
Peak: number 92
The singer-songwriter's top 10 hit from 1978 was given an update by PWL remixer Dave Ford for 1993 European compilation Hidden Treasures. It would also be included on upcoming best of Greatest Hits: The Platinum Collection.
Number 90 "Joy" by Staxx
Peak: number 90
One of 1993's best dance tracks finally found its way into the lower reaches of the top 100 for the British duo comprised of Tom Jones (no, not that one) and Simon Thorne. Vocals on "Joy", which would be remixed to even greater effect in 1997, were handled by Carol Leeming.
Number 73 "Liberation" by Pet Shop Boys
Peak: number 63
One of the highlights of Very, this exquisite synth ballad from Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe became the album's first single to miss the top 50. They'd have another couple of hits on their hands in the coming months.
Peak: number 47
Proving remarkably consistent if nothing else, the American hip-hop group landed a third straight single in the 40s from Black Sunday. "When The Shit (or Ship, in the case of the clean version) Goes Down" was the smallest of their three hits to date, spending a couple of weeks at number 47 before dropping back out of the top 50. Not issued as a single in the US, the track's local release coincided with Cypress Hill's Australian tour with Ice Cube in May 1994, which no doubt was the reason for Black Sunday rebounding into the top 20 this week and going on to reach its peak position of number 13.
Peak: number 6
Kids like my five-year-old daughter might now love this song thanks to its use in the Magagascar movies, but in 1994, Reel 2 Real's combination of dance beats and ragga vocals was anything but cutesy. One of those songs that pushed music forward and, for me anyway, took me a little while to get my head around "I Like To Move It" was the breakthrough hit for the act formed by American DJ/producer Erick Morillo. Of course, the song wouldn't have been anything without the toasting by The Mad Stuntman (real name: Mark Quashie), which walked a fine line between cool and irritating. This was the only hit for Reel 2 Real in Australia, but the act managed four more top 20 singles in the UK, including "Can You Feel It?" and "Raise Your Hands", which both missed our top 100 completely.
Number 35 "More Wine Waiter Please" by The Poor
Peak: number 10
In mid-1992, as The Poor Boys, their Rude, Crude And Tattooed EP had ventured into the top 100. Two years, another EP and lots of touring later, the newly monikered (to avoid a clash with an overseas outfit) band released their debut single. "More Wine Waiter Please" became a substantial hit for them, succeeding where so many other local hard rock bands (Defryme, Mantissa/Killing Time, Candy Harlots) had fallen short by reaching the top 10.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: the UK's biggest pop group finally take off in Australia, plus an understated cover of a top 10 hit from early 1987 revitalises a local band's career.