This Week In 1994: March 6, 1994
Before songs were constantly available in the digital age, tracks that hadn't been successful first time around had to be re-released if there was any hope of them charting. The practice was fairly common, with record companies often believing in a song enough (or wanting a chance to recoup some of their initial outlay) to give it a second shot.
Sometimes, a remix and/or new video were commissioned to correct what might have been the original problem. In the case of one of the new entries on the ARIA singles chart from this week in 1994, both of those things happened and the song went all the way to number 1 in the UK and into our top 10.
A song that reached the UK top 10 but hit number 1 here ascended to the top spot this week in 1994. "It's Alright" by East 17 started a seven-week stretch as the highest-selling single in Australia.
Off The Chart
Number 87 "I've Been Lonely" by Peter Blakely
Peak: number 61
He'd had huge success with his previous album, Harry's Cafe De Wheels, but Australian singer Peter Blakeley perhaps left it too long to follow up with this cover of the Frederick Knight track.
Number 83 "YMCA" by Village People
Peak: number 76
Given the renewed interest in the disco group following Pet Shop Boys' remake of "Go West", their 1978 chart-topper was given the PWL remix treatment and a new best of was released.
Peak: number 52
With his popularity at an all-time high thanks to his Logie-winning role in Police Rescue, actor Gary Sweet released his cover of the 1972 hit by Billy Thorpe & The Aztecs, but fell just short of the top 50.
Number 73 "Keep On Dancin'" by DJ BoBo
Peak: number 54
Also peaking just outside the top 50 was this sound-alike (but inferior) follow-up to "Somebody Dance With Me" from the Swiss dance artist.
Number 50 "Mountain" by Chocolate Starfish
Peak: number 12
For their third single, Australian band Chocolate Starfish switched things up, slowing down the pace with rock ballad "Mountain", which followed their first two more energetic releases. And it worked, with the FM radio-ready tune returning them to just outside the top 10 and peaking one place below debut single "You're So Vain".
Number 43 "Peace, Love & Harmony" by Cut 'n' Move
Peak: number 35
As "Give It Up" fell from the number 1 spot, the follow-up from Cut 'n' Move joined it on the top 50, ensuring the Danish dance act wouldn't end up as one-hit wonders in Australia. Although, I think it's fairly safe to say "Peace, Love & Harmony" only reached as high as it did due to the goodwill associated with "Give It Up", since it's not actually that great a track.
Number 42 "Things Can Only Get Better" by D:Ream
Peak: number 9
Here's the song that was on its second go around, having been originally releasedin 1993, when it reached the UK top 30 and gave the pop/dance act centred around singer Peter Cunnah their first hit. But a number 24 placing wasn't high enough and "Things Can Only Get Better" was remixed and reissued with a new music video, soaring to number 1 in the UK for four weeks at the start of 1994. In Australia, where it flopped completely previously, it reached the top 10.
It wasn't the only song by D:Ream that took more than one attempt to realise its true potential - their other Australian hit, which we'll see if the coming months, was released three times. It's just a shame D:Ream's other 1993 singles, "Unforgiven" and "Star / I Like It" didn't receive as much attention. This wouldn't be the last time "Things Can Only Get Better" would hit the UK chart - it would be used by the British Labour Party in 1997 and return to the top 20 there.
Peak: number 2
Blasting straight into the top 10 is another song that had been kicking around for a while. First recorded for En Vogue's Runaway Love EP in 1992, "Whatta Man", which was based on a 1968 track by Linda Lyndell, emerged as a single in its own right as the follow-up to "Shoop", which fell out of the top 10 this week. The perfect combination of Salt 'n' Pepa's feisty rap and En Vogue flawless harmonies, "Whatta Man" was only denied a number 1 placing by the unstoppable "It's Alright", with the rap trio on a real hot streak, scoring back-to-back number 2 hits.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1994:
Next week: the biggest hit in years by a singer who'd scored the year-end chart-topper a decade early and a return to the chart by an electronic act who'd last been heard turning Gregorian chant into pop.