25 Years Ago This Week: March 5, 1995
Who's ready for the latest round of How Did That Aussie Classic Flop So Badly? Following previous instalments featuring GANGgajang, Hunters & Collectors, The Triffids and You Am I, this week in 1995 saw the debut of another song that has gone on to become a modern classic, but which didn't chart very well at all when it was released.
A remake of a song that had also flopped for its original performers, the cover version was even released on two separate occasion without either becoming the type of hit you would assume given the place it now holds in our nation's musical history.
By contrast, the number 1 song this week in 1995 was a huge success. "Another Night" by MC Sar & The Real McCoy spent its fourth week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 99 "Hip Today" by Extreme
Peak: number 99
As with their previous album, III Sides To Every Story, just one single reached the top 100 from Extreme's fourth album, Waiting For The Punchline. The band split in 1996, with Gary Cherone going on to replace Sammy Hagar in Van Halen, and reunited for good in 2007.
Number 94 "Island Home" by Christine Anu
Peak: number 67
Originally released (as "My Island Home") by The Warumpi Band in 1987, this cover, which adjusted the lyrics to take into account the fact that Christine Anu is a Torres Strait Islander, became her second top 100 appearance. Although not as big as you'd expect given how famous her version is, "Island Home" did stay in the top 100 for five months. Christine re-recorded the song following her performances of it at the Olympics ceremonies in 2000.
Peak: number 88
"When We Dance", the first new song released from Sting's solo retrospective Fields Of Gold: The Best Of Sting, had peaked just outside the top 100. This remixed version of the other new track came with added input from Pato Banton and made it just inside the top 100.
Peak: number 45
Tommy Emmanuel's last album, The Journey, had yielded a chart hit in the form of its title track. And the virtuoso guitarist repeated the trick for his next release, Terra Firma, which was a collaboration with his older brother, Phil - albeit on a more modest scale. The album marked the first time the siblings had recorded with each other.
Peak: number 25
When The Flaming Lips appeared on Beverly Hills, 90210 to peform their crossover hit, David (Brian Austin Green) walked into the Peach Pit After Dark and asked, "Hey, is that The Flaming Lips?", to which Steve (Ian Ziering) replied, "Well, it's not Michael Bolton." Ha! The latest alternative rock act to score with an almost novelty record (see also: The Murmurs), the Oklahoma band were also the second group in recent history to reference Vaseline (following Stone Temple Pilots' deliberately misspelt "Vasoline"). In this case, The Flaming Lips sang about spreading the petroleum jelly on toast instead of actual jelly (i.e. jam).
Peak: number 43
Given a boost by his recent tour of Australia, this was the singer's second and final top 50 hit in Australia. The album it came from, She, also experiened a lift, returning to the top 10 for a final time this week. The big parade referenced in the song title is the New Orleans Mardi Gras, with which Harry is quite involved, although the song's release locally was timed nicely to coincide with the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Number 40 "Creep" by TLC
Peak: number 20
First time around, TLC had made minor inroads into the ARIA chart, with "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg" reaching the top 30, but in the US, the trio had landed four songs inside the top 30 from their debut album, three of them top 10 hits. Back with the lead single from their second album, CrazySexyCool, TLC started to pick up steam locally, with "Creep" giving them their first top 20 single. A song about cheating, the lyrics were written by Dallas Austin following a conversation with T-Boz about an experience she'd had and came from the perspective of a woman who discovered her boyfriend had played around on her and decided to do the same to him.
Apparently Left-Eye wasn't thrilled about the lyrical content, since the group had always advocated a more responsible approach to sex, but she went along with its release - and it ended up as TLC's first US number 1. Left-Eye did add a safe sex-themed rap to a subsequent version of the song. As well as a shift in subject matter, "Creep" was also accompanied by a glossier, more sophisticated image for the girl group, who traded in the baggy shorts and big hats for silky pyjamas and slicker streetwear in the music video.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: annoying dance track alert. Plus, a classic Australian band register their final hit on the ARIA chart.