This Week In 1994: September 4, 1994
For some people (i.e. me), it was a major event - a remake of a disco classic that had been a landmark release in 1979, updated by two of the biggest voices in dance music and produced by a couple of hit-makers who'd been behind some of the best pop songs of the previous decade.
But on the ARIA singles top 50 this week in 1994, the track was a one-week wonder - barely a blip on most people's radars at the time. In fact, all four of the new entries on the chart were fleeting hits, with none spending more than two weeks on the countdown.
A song that was proving anything but fleeting was still at number 1 this week in 1994. "I Swear" by All-4-One spent its fourth week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 75 "Feel The Pain" by Dinosaur Jr
Peak: number 61
The only top 100 appearance by the American rock band was the lead single from their sixth (and most commercially successful) album, Without A Sound.
Peak: number 49
Previous single "Breathe Again" had been a more immediate hit, but this follow-up - another ballad from LA Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons - had a much slower trajectory, having first entered the top 100 in late June before bouncing around between the 50s and 70s ever since. This week, "You Mean The World To Me", which I thought was Toni Braxton's best release since debut "Love Shoulda Brought You Home", finally sneaked into the top 50 for a single week.
Peak: number 48
Back in 1979, divas (in the good sense of the word) Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer teamed up for the original version of what would now be described as a girl power anthem, reaching the Australian top 10 late that year with "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)". Fifteen years later, two more divas - albeit ones with slightly lower profiles - united for a cover version of the song.
Since the late '80s, Kym Mazelle had released a number of club hits as a solo artist and featured vocalist on tracks by the likes of Soul II Soul and Rapination. Her partner in song on "No More Tears...", Jocelyn Brown, was another woman who was no stranger to a featured vocalist slot, having guested on hits by Right Said Fred and Incognito in the early '90s. Jocelyn's career dated back to around the time of the original version of "No More Tears...", at which point she performed with a number of different groups (Change, Musique, Cerrone, Inner Life), while her best known solo release was 1984's "Somebody Else's Guy".
It wasn't just "No More Tears..." that returned to the ARIA chart this week. Kym and Jocelyn's cover was produced by Mike Stock and Matt Aitken, who had recently reunited away from PWL. This was their first hit in Australia together since Kylie Minogue's "Shocked" in 1991. The production duo would also work on Kym and Jocelyn's next joint single - a remake of ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'".
Peak: number 45
The only new entry to spend more than one week inside the top 50 (and then, only two weeks) was the first Australian hit for American country megastar Garth Brooks, who wrapped up his first tour of our country on September 5. No doubt receiving a boost from his concerts, "Standing Outside The Fire" also gained attention thanks to its music video, which told the story of a student with Down syndrome wanting to compete in his school's mainstream athletics carnival rather than an event modelled on the Paralympics.
Peak: number 43
If this dance track, which was among my favourite songs for 1994, sounds like it could be a Dr Alban song, that's because the Swedish artist co-wrote, executive produced and featured on "Alrabaiye (Take Me Up)". One of the earliest hits for Cheiron - the Stock Aitken Waterman-style hit factory of the late '90s and early '00s - the song was released by duo Amadin, an alias for songwriters John Amatiello and Kristian Lundin, the latter of whom would go on to produce for Cheiron regulars like Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: the return of Australia's biggest pop star (and former recipient of Stock and Aitken's songwriting and production prowess), plus a disco classic makes a comeback and a new version of one of the most covered songs of all time.
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