This Week In 1994: July 3, 1994
Most songs are lucky to be a hit once. But there are plenty of successful tunes that go on to have a second lease of life thanks to a hit cover version. In 1986, Pseudo Echo and Bananarama both took previous chart-toppers back to number 1 in Australia, for example.
But it's the rare song that will be a hit three or more times, with multiple artists enjoying success with it. This week in 1994, one of those songs - a worldwide hit in three different decades - debuted on the ARIA chart.
A song that was becoming a hit for a second time was number 1 this week in 1994. Wet Wet Wet's version of "Love Is All Around" moved up to the top of the ARIA chart for the first of six weeks.
Off The Chart
Number 96 "Hi De Ho" by K7
Peak: number 96
If "Come Baby Come" couldn't reach the top 50, chances were slim for this "Minnie The Moocher"-sampling number, which also appeared on the soundtrack to The Mask.
Number 95 "Get Into You" by Dannii Minogue
Peak: number 79
Seeming like something of an afterthought, this rocky final single from the album of the same name came more than half a year after its predecessor, "This Is The Way".
Peak: number 88
The mid-'90s were a tricky period for Kate Ceberano, who was for a short time signed to US label Elektra. Back at home, while some projects, like jazz album Kate Ceberano And Friends, worked, others, like this brand new self-penned pop single, didn't.
Number 78 "(Meet) The Flintstones" by BC-52's
Peak: number 54
Only The B-52's could get away with something as kitsch as this reworking of the cartoon theme song for the big-screen adaptation. A top 3 hit in the UK, the song received a more subdued reception locally. Check out the film's stars dancing around in the music video, though!
Peak: number 27
Speaking of kitsch... What had started out as a Melbourne-based tribute act in 1989 very quickly became a worldwide phenomenon as the ABBA revival took off in 1992. Before long, Bjӧrn Again were recording music themselves. In answer to Erasure's ABBA-esque EP, they'd released Erasure-ish, and in 1994, unleashed a whole album of covers on the world, including this take on the Irene Cara soundtrack hit from 1983. A fairly unnecessary remake, especially since the original is one of the best songs of all time, "Flashdance...What A Feeling" does lend itself pretty well to ABBA-style vocals and a '90s beat.
Number 48 "Alone Like Me" by The Sharp
Peak: number 20
Swapping their skivvies for t-shirts and leather jackets, The Sharp were back on the singles chart with the lead single from second album Sonic Tripod - and "Alone Like Me" became their first single or EP to reach the top 20. A harder sound than their previous hits, its performance suggested the band were going to be able to avoid being pigeonholed as that band The Late Show once made fun of and evolve. But as it would turn out, this would be the final time they'd visit the top 50.
Number 46 "Son Of A Gun" by JX
Peak: number 6
Some '90s acts rushed out a string of rapid-fire hits and then seemingly collapsed, unable to sustain the brilliance. Then, there was JX, who released one awesome track a year, starting with debut single "Son Of A Gun" in 1994 and continuing up until 1997's underrated "Close To Your Heart". Sounding like something out of Italy, "Son Of A Gun" - like all JX's releases - was actually the handiwork of British DJ/producer Jake Williams, who sampled a vocal line from a 1976 track called "Touch And Go" and got the requisite model to lip sync along in the music video. An instant top 10 success in Australia, "Son Of A Gun" didn't reach its same number 6 peak in the UK until 1995, when it was remixed and re-released (the first time around, it had only reached number 13 there).
Number 44 "The Real Thing" by 2 Unlimited
Peak: number 39
More Eurodance now, and a brand new track from Dutch hit-makers 2 Unlimited, which was also a number 6 hit in the UK. In Australia, Ray and Anita had to settle for the exact same peak as previous single "Let The Beat Control Your Body", despite that being the fifth single from No Limits and "The Real Thing" leading off third album Real Things. For me, it was another great song from the consistent duo, but I suspect its similarity to the much more popular "Right In The Night (Fall In Love With Music)", due to also being based on a classical melody (Toccata And Fugue In D Minor by Bach), may have worked against it. This would end up being 2 Unlimited's final top 50 appearance.
Number 43 "Ease My Mind" by Arrested Development
Peak: number 43
Here's another former top 10 act registering one final hit in Australia, with Arrested Development returning to the top 50 for the first time since "Mr Wendal/Revolution" in early 1993. Taken from second album Zingalamaduni, "Ease My Mind" was a fairly laidback groove that lacked the immediacy of the band's bigger hits. By 1996, Arrested Development had split, although they reunited in 2000, and continue to tour and release new music regularly.
Number 27 "Baby, I Love Your Way" by Big Mountain
Peak: number 4
In 1975, Peter Frampton had a US hit with his original version of "Baby, I Love Your Way". In Australia, it fared less well, only reaching number 65. In 1988, the song was part of Will To Power's US number 1 single, "Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley", which reached the ARIA top 20 in early 1989. Five years later, "Baby, I Love Your Way" was back in what would be its most successful version locally. Recorded by one-hit wonder American reggae band Big Mountain, the song was included on the soundtrack to Reality Bites and flew into the top 5. For me, this version feels a little bit karaoke and, even for 1994, quite dated - like it should've been on the Cocktail soundtrack or something. It wouldn't be the only song the Ethan Hawke/Winona Ryder film helped up the chart...
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: it's another week where I like the top 50 misses more than the chart entries, with tracks by M-People, Cappella and Grace Jones lining up against Collective Soul, CJ Lewis and John Mellencamp & Me'Shell Ndegeocello. I'll let you work out which group is my preferred choice.