25 Years Ago This Week: January 8, 1995
Welcome back for another year of flashbacks to the ARIA singles chart of decades past, and we're up to 1995. At the time, I was in the middle of my university degree and working casually in the music department of Grace Bros. Even though we had a Brashs and a Sanity in the same shopping centre, we actually did a roaring trade - and not just selling truckloads of Mariah Carey, Tina Arena and Celine Dion CDs.
CD singles were big business for us, and because I followed the charts and new release schedule slavishly, I helped out ordering stock in (whether the full-time staff liked it or not). One of the CD singles I made sure to get plenty of debuted on the top 50 this week in 1995, and sure enough it went all the way to number 1.
Still at number 1 this week in 1995 was "Zombie" by The Cranberries, which, thanks to the Christmas shutdown, was now up to its fourth week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 97 "I Alone" by Live
Peak: number 97
They'd just crept into the top 50 with "Selling The Drama", and US rock band Live did the same with the top 100 with the second single fromThrowing Copper. Bigger things were to come in 1995.
Number 92 "Am I Wrong" by Love Spit Love
Peak: number 89
When Psychedelic Furs went on hiatus in 1992, singer Richard Butler went on to front this new band, best known for their version of The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now?" which was used in The Craft and as the theme for Charmed.
Number 91 "Buddy Holly" by Weezer
Peak: number 68
Not even its Spike Jonze-directed, MTV VMA-winning, Happy Days-inspired music video could propel this second single by Weezer any further up the chart than, once again, the 60s.
Peak: number 67
This club classic would be an even bigger hit internationally in 1997 when it was mashed up with the Armand van Helden mix of CJ Bolland's "Sugar Is Sweeter" as "Turn Me Out (Turn To Sugar)", but I prefer this original version from the duo comprised of Cevin Fisher and David Shaw with vocals by American Kathy Brown.
Number 71 Life Was Better by Magic Dirt
Peak: number 71
They'd split up briefly in early 1994, but it was a good thing for Australian rock band Magic Dirt that they got back together - this EP featuring "Ice" became their first top 100 entry, although it would take until 2003 for them to breach the top 50.
This week also saw the return of Enya's "Oiche Chiúin (Silent Night)" for one week at number 94 - something I previously mentioned when it reached the top 50 in early 1993.
Peak: number 21
The film had been released at the end of November 1994 and the accompanying soundtrack was on its way to becoming one of 1995's biggest albums, and this week, Pulp Fiction brought a two-year-old remake of Neil Diamond's 1967 single onto the top 50. Initially included on Urge Overkill's 1992 EP, Stull, the American rock band's cover memorably featured in the Quention Tarantino film when Uma Thurman's character danced to the song and was issued as a single in its own right. By reaching number 21, the track beat Neil's original chart peak by 13 places.
Peak: number 1
If you happened to pass by Grace Bros Roselands during the 1994-95 holiday season, chances are you would have heard one of two dance tracks playing at some point during my shift. This was one of them; the other we'll see enter the chart in a few weeks' time. Originally released in Europe in 1993, "Another Night" hit Canada in mid-1994 and went on to become a worldwide smash, peaking at number 3 in the US (for 11 non-consecutive weeks) and number 2 in the UK. In Australia, the he raps, she sings Eurodance track topped the chart, proving there was life in the genre still.
There's a complicated history to MC Sar & The Real McCoy, who would end up shortening their name to just Real McCoy - a misnomer if ever there was one, since the video for "Another Night" featured that Eurodance staple: a female "singer" (Patsy Petersen) lip syncing to the vocals recorded by someone else (Karin Kasar). The line-up of the group, which dated back to 1989 and a quickie remake of "Pump Up The Jam", fluctuated throughout their existence, but at this point, it was fronted by Patsy and Olaf "O-Jay" Jeglitza, who actually rapped on the song and appeared in the video, but on previous releases had allowed someone else to lip sync to his performances. Told you it was complicated.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1995 (updated weekly):
Next week: another couple of new entries, and a couple of top 50 misses from groups who'd had big hits in 1994.