This Week In 1993: October 3, 1993
Things change quickly in pop music. One minute you're landing hits and selling a stack of singles, the next you're barely making the top 40 while new acts are taking your spot at the top of the chart.
This week in 1993, the latter situation faced two previously quite successful local acts. Meanwhile, the week's biggest new entry was from a brand new UK dance group.
The week's biggest song of all was still "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" by Meat Loaf — proof that music is also cyclical. You can be up and then down, but chances are if you wait long enough you'll be back up again.
Off The Chart
Number 92 "Nightswimming" by R.E.M.
Peak: number 71
The success of "Everybody Hurts" had sent Automatic For The People hurtling back towards the top 5, which probably hurt the chances of this exquisite fifth single from the album.
Number 87 "World (The Price Of Love)" by New Order
Peak: number 87
There was no reason why this song — one of my favourites from 1993 — didn't do better. Even if fans had the album, the Perfecto remix was worth shelling out for the single.
Number 83 "Condemnation" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 78
Another disappointing performance by one of my all-time favourite bands, this latest from Songs Of Faith And Devotion was probably too sombre to do much better locally.
Peak: number 59
The musical debut of NBA player Shaquille O'Neal, this catchy track from the hip-hop trio's second album seemed like the sort of song Australia was finally getting into in 1993, but fell short of the top 50.
Number 48 "Heartbeat" by Girlfriend
Peak: number 36
Just a year-and-a-half after they took their debut single, "Take It From Me" all the way to the top of the ARIA chart, Australia's premier girl group hit a major speedbump with this lead single from second album It's Up To You!, which spent a solitary week inside the top 40. Another lightweight pop tune — with key change — that wouldn't have sounded out of place on their debut album, "Heartbeat" was probably not enough of a step forward to keep pace with their maturing fan base, which was something they'd remedy in 1994. I'm not sure if I've ever watched the music video for "Heartbeat" before but it's one-take feel (although I'm sure there were some edits in there) reminds me a lot of the clip for "Wannabe" — yet again, Girlfriend proving to be ahead of their time.
Number 44 "Going Down" by Jon Stevens
Peak: number 39
Australians could've been mistaken for thinking this was Jon Stevens' debut as a solo artist, but even if we discount his contributions to the 1992 revivial of Jesus Christ Superstar, the Noiseworks frontman had actually released a couple of albums in the early '80s and enjoyed notable chart success in his homeland of New Zealand. "Going Down" was, however, his first Australian top 50 hit as a recording artist in his own right. Reminiscent of the type of rock-meets-blues-meets-funk that Diesel peddled, the song probably about as successful as it deserved.
Peak: number 4
With a riff that borrowed from "Hell's Party" by Glam, "The Key: The Secret" became one of the biggest club tracks of the year and briefly made Britain's Urban Cookie Collective one of the hottest dance acts. Masterminded by Rohan Heath and with vocals by the late Diane Charlemagne, the song has been revisited and remixed over the years, but the joyous simplicity of the original has never been bettered. Fun fact: apparently it's about taking magic mushrooms.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: one of Australia's most successful musical exports make a triumphant return to the top 20, while a bunch of previously successful acts struggle.