25 Years Ago This Week: April 2, 1995
Variety is the spice of life, as the saying goes, and by the mid-'90s many releases had a range of remixes on offer. Didn't like one version of a song? Maybe you'd like one of the many others on the CD single.
Record companies increasingly spent huge amounts of money recruiting top name remixers to inject new life into songs, and it often worked. All but one of the songs we'll look at this week came with a range of remixes.
A song with five different mixes was number 1 on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1995. "Here's Johnny" by Hocus Pocus spent a second week on top.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 83
The American singer's disco cover of the Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes song had reached number 6 in 1977. Re-recorded for 1995, "Don't Leave Me This Way" came in a variety of remixes - like the one in the link above and this alternate mix, with Joe T Vannelli one of the producers involved.
Number 46 "Run Away" by The Real McCoy
Peak: number 4
This follow-up to chart-topper "Another Night" had seven different mixes on the Australian CD single, including a longer version of a mix by Berman Brothers that was used in an alternate music video. Despite all the versions and videos, I didn't think "Run Away", which had been released in Europe in mid-1994, was anywhere near as good as "Another Night", but Australia did not agree, sending the song hurtling into the top 5. The name of this dance act also received a bit of a remix around this time, dropping the "MC Sar &" and just calling themselves The Real McCoy on the single cover (but not, bizarrely, on the actual CD label, which still had the full name intact).
Number 45 "I Wanna Be Down" by Brandy
Peak: number 12
Still only 16 at this point, Brandy Norwood launched her music career with this US top 10 hit, which I had forgotten almost achieved the same feat here in Australia. The type of laidback R&B that didn't always do so well locally, "I Wanna Be Down" was also given a remix featuring rappers Queen Latifah, MC Lyte and Yo-Yo. The Human Rhythm Hip Hop Remix wasn't included on the Australian CD single, but did feature on the European release. This was the first of 10 ARIA top 50 hits for the singer/actress, who would soon appear as the title character in sitcom Moesha.
Number 41 "Just A Man" by The Cruel Sea
Peak: number 39
The only song this week that just came in one version was the latest by Australian rock band The Cruel Sea. The second single from their upcoming fourth album, "Just A Man" was a predictably minor hit for the band, but, true to form, they shifted plenty of albums instead, with Three Legged Dog debuting at number 1 at the end of the month.
Number 37 "Speed" by Alpha Team
Peak: number 16
Novelty samples continued to be the way for techno acts to have hits in Australia, with this track by American duo Andy Adams (aka DJ Attack) and Dane Roewade, which had first been released in the US in 1992, following "Here's Johnny" into the upper reaches of the ARIA chart. The sample in this case was taken from 1960s anime series Speed Racer. Naturally, there were three different mixes of the song on the CD single.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: a future number 1 that took its time to get going, an instant top 5 single from a regular hit-maker and a dance duo return in a new guise.