This Week In 1993: June 6, 1993
Some song lyrics are filled with metaphors and imagery, with the real meaning remaining a mystery forever. Other songs get straight to the point.
This week in 1993, an R&B hit which had a pretty explicit meaning debuted on the ARIA singles chart. And its straightforwardness certainly help it rocket up the chart.
Speaking of rocketing up the chart, Snow leapt from number 6 to number 1 this week in 1993. "Informer" would stay there for five weeks.
Off The Chart
Number 91 "Drop It On The One" by B. Brown Posse
Peak: number 73
Last week, we saw the latest single from Bobby Brown flounder, as did this equally unremarkable new jack swing track by a bunch of his cohorts, who benefitted nothing from the association with him.
Peak: number 86
Here's another well-known figure whose fame wasn't enough to turn a song into a hit. The proud owner of two Logie Awards by this stage, the former Perfect Match host's attempt to launch himself as a country music star fell flat... and earned him a Late Show send-up.
Number 79 "Baby I'm Yours" by Shai
Peak: number 70
As "If I Ever Fall In Love" spent its 16th and final week in the top 40, this buoyant non-a cappella tune didn't match that success, but did give the vocal harmony group a third and final US top 10 hit, and was then turned into... an a cappela tune.
Peak: number 7
I know this song would've been a favourite of some of my more rock-oriented readers, but given the subtitle of this blog, I don't think it can come as any surprise that I found this debut single by metal band Rage Against The Machine unlistenable. And still do. That said, I do appreciate the sentiment behind the song, which dealt with entrenched racism in the police in a post-LA riots America. In 2009, 17 years after its original release (in late 1992), "Killing In The Name" was at the centre of a Facebook campaign aimed at upsetting the stranglehold The X Factor had on the UK Christmas number 1 spot - and ended up taking out the coveted festive chart-topping slot over that year's winner's single by Joe McElderry.
Number 47 "Holy Grail" by Hunters & Collectors
Peak: number 20
Thanks to some hefty discounting, Hunters & Collectors finally cracked the ARIA top 20 with their previous single, "True Tears Of Joy", and returned there for a second time with the latest track lifted from Cut. But unlike "True Tears...", "Holy Grail" has become one of the band's most popular and enduring songs thanks in no small part to its use as an AFL anthem in the decades since. Lyrically, the song referenced Hunters & Collectors' efforts to break America, as evidenced by the more experimental and disharmony-causing Cut.
Number 38 "Freak Me" by Silk
Peak: number 3
With Shai's time in the sun having come and gone (at least in Australia), another American vocal harmony group was just waiting to step into the spotlight. Five-piece Silk had actually been around longer than Shai, having formed in 1989, but it took until 1993 and one very sexy song for the group to break through. Their second single, "Freak Me" was co-written and -produced by Keith Sweat, who'd discovered them, and raced to number 1 in the US thanks to its brazen lyrics ("let me lick you up and down...") and slick production. In Australia, it almost reached the top, held off for two weeks by the combination of UB40 and Taylor Dayne, but in the UK, Silk didn't even make the top 40, leaving the way open for boy band Another Level to cover the song five years later and take it to the top in Britain.
Number 32 "Believe" by Lenny Kravitz
Peak: number 8
While "Are You Gonna Go My Way" made its way down the chart, the follow-up arrived on the top 50 - and couldn't have been more different than its thrashy rock anthem predecessor (except that it was also about God). The spaced out (literally, in the Michel Gondry-directed music video) "Believe" was also the first Lenny Kravitz single I ever bought. It's also the only single of his I've ever bought, although I did later get his Greatest Hits CD. Chart-wise, "Believe" was a second straight top 10 hit for Lenny, who wouldn't return to such heights for another six years.
Number 28 "Walk Away Renee" by Rick Price
Peak: number 21
After the disastrous decision to venture off into a rockier direction for his previous two singles, Rick Price was back firmly in balladeer mode with this fifth and final release from debut album Heaven Knows. A remake of a song originally recorded by The Left Banke in 1966 and taken into the Australian top 40 two years later by The Four Tops, "Walk Away Renee" was exactly the sort of song Rick should've been putting out. And the single came with an added selling point with the inclusion of another cover as a bonus track - his live performance of Peter Allen's "Tenterfield Saddler" from the ARIA Awards in April, when Peter had been posthumously inducted into the Hall Of Fame following his death in mid-1992.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:
Next week: the top 50 debut of one of the biggest non-grunge rock bands of the '90s, plus a female singer who'd lost her musical way (as far as I was concerned) returned with a dance-pop smash.