Wednesday, 24 April 2013

25 Years Ago This Week: April 24, 1988

If you're a regular reader (there are a couple of you, right?), you'll know I'm a big fan of UK music and the UK charts in general - and the four songs we'll look back at this week were all massive hits in Great Britain. The same wasn't the case in Australia, with only one of the four reaching our top 10.

Taylor Dayne's dress provided easy access for
anyone wanting to take her up on her offer

It always struck me as pretty random which British hits made it big in Australia and which didn't. Even though it's likely there are logical reasons behind what was and wasn't successful locally (radio and TV airplay, and whether the act in question could be bothered coming to the other side of the world for a promotional visit, for example), it did seem a bit more haphazard than that... as we'll see this week.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending April 24, 1988

At number 1 this week 25 years ago, Kylie Minogue was coming to the end of her run at the top with "I Should Be So Lucky", which spent its sixth and final week at the summit.


Single Of The Week
"Beat Dis" by Bomb The Bass
Record company BMG made good use of their turn in the Single Of The Week slot promoting not one but two UK dance hits. While "Rok Da House" by Beatmasters featuring Cookie Crew would eventually crack the top 50 (and will rate a mention on this blog when it does), the debut single by Tim Simenon's project Bomb The Bass did not. In fact, the former UK number 2 hit performed dismally here, not reaching the ARIA top 100 (although it peaked at number 91 on the AMR in July). It was a surprising failure given Australians weren't opposed to sample-heavy dance music, as evidenced by "Pump Up The Volume" spending its 18th week in the top 50. Just another of those random chart anomalies I was talking about at the start.




Breaker
"China In Your Hand" by T'Pau
Peak: number 53
Here's another situation where Australia broke ranks with the UK. T'Pau's debut single, "Heart And Soul", had been a hit in Britain (number 4) and in Australia (number 18).  Second single "China In Your Hand" did even better back home, spending five weeks at number 1. In Australia, it didn't get any further than number 53 and the group led by Carol Decker never saw the inside of the top 50 here again. Although I much prefer "Heart And Soul", it's a shame "China In Your Hand" didn't reach a wider audience in Australia, since it's a great '80s power ballad, the likes of which they just don't make anymore.




New Entries
Number 49 "Sweet Little Mystery" by Wet Wet Wet
Peak: number 33
In the '90s they would become known - and hated - for their long-running chart-topper, "Love Is All Around", but in 1988, British four-piece Wet Wet Wet were much more fun. Lumped in (to their annoyance) with the likes of Brother Beyond and Bros, the Wets did a fine line in breezy pop tunes like this track. In the UK, "Sweet Little Mystery" was one of four big singles from debut album Popped In Souled Out, but Australians wouldn't give the group another hit until "Sweet Surrender" eventually charted in 1990, six months after it was originally released. By that stage, much of the fun had been wrung out of the group, who seemed to want to be taken more seriously by that point.




Number 41 "Tell It To My Heart" by Taylor Dayne
Peak: number 10
Our second and final new entry for this week comes courtesy of the singer born Leslie Wunderman. While Taylor Dayne has a much better ring to it overall, Wunderman is still a pretty awesome surname - shame it went to waste. A top 10 smash in the US and UK, Taylor's debut single repeated the feat here. It would be the first of a number of appearances Taylor would make on our chart over the next few years. These days, she makes regular appearances in small venues around the country on live concert tours of Australia. I'll have to check her out one of these days.




Next week: one of the best music videos of 1988 - for 13-year-old boys, that is. Plus, one of my most hated artists released their first solo single.


Back to: Apr 17, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: May 1, 1988


Monday, 22 April 2013

The Best Of 1993 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


We've reached the top 25 of my list of favourite singles from 1993 and in this batch of songs are a number of groups I'd go on to see perform live in the following years.

There was no mistaking that hair - or M-People
singer Heather Small's voice - in 1993

I'd been a late starter when it came to going to concerts - and I actually saw my first live tour, Madonna's The Girlie Show, in 1993. I had wanted to go to concerts before that but was either too young or couldn't find anyone who wanted to see who I wanted to see (Debbie Gibson, Kylie Minogue).

I made up for my lack of concert-going experience over the next couple of years, seeing M-People, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode when they came to Australia. All three of those groups feature in my top 25 for 1993 - although I won't talk about the PSB or DM songs again, since I've dealt with them elsewhere (follow the links and see!).


Number 25 "Love Me The Right Way" by Rapination featuring Kym Mazelle
Despite the sound of their name, Italian production and remix duo Rapination were dance rather than hip-hop-oriented and had recently turned Take That's overblown album version of "Could It Be Magic" into a fun, radio-friendly single remix. So, the time was right for a single release under their own steam - and they drafted in house vocalist Kym Mazelle for this club anthem and minor UK hit.




Number 24 "Can You Forgive Her?" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 23 "Let Me Show You" by K-klass
Another year, another awesome single from K-klass - and, unlike "Rhythm Is A Mystery" and "Don't Stop", this one actually received some attention in Australia, reaching the dizzy heights of number 16 for two weeks.




Number 22 "Pray" by Take That
Mentioned below

Number 21 "Movin' On Up" by M-People
Mentioned below

Number 20 "Relight My Fire" by Take That featuring Lulu
1992 had been a good year for Take That - but in 1993 the British boy band was unstoppable, landing their first UK number 1 with "Pray" (number 22 on this list) and following it up with two more before the year was out, including this cover of the Dan Hartman single from 1979. Pop legend Lulu seemed an odd choice for guest vocalist, but since the "To Sir With Love" singer was relaunching her own music career, it's easy to see why she jumped at the chance to work with the hottest young pop group around.
1993 was also the year Take That started to gain some traction in Australia, with "Could It Be Magic" reaching the top 30 and "Relight My Fire" peaking at number 33. "Pray" originally missed the top 50 but would become the group's first top 10 hit locally when it was re-released in 1994.




Number 19 "The Key: The Secret" by Urban Cookie Collective
Fronted by vocalist Diane Charlemagne, British dance group UCC scored two big hits in 1993 - this track, which reached number 2 in the UK and spent five weeks at number 4 in Australia, and "Feels Like Heaven" (number 32 on this list), which also made the top 10 in both countries. More singles would follow, but none were as successful as these initial two. Likewise, subsequent remixes of "The Key: The Secret" in 1996 and 2004 didn't hit their mark. 




Number 18 "When I'm Good And Ready" by Sybil
American-born singer Sybil had had an interesting career up until 1993. Signed to PWL in the UK, she landed a couple of hits in 1989/1990 with remakes of Dionne Warwick songs, but an original Stock Aitken Waterman composition, "Make It Easy On Me", flopped completely. So, it was back to the covers for her 1993 single, "The Love I Lost" (number 108 on this list), which was credited to West End featuring Sybil, presumably to fit in with the prevailing trend of dance acts cluttering up the British chart.
Embolded by the top 5 success of "The Love I Lost", Sybil got to release this track under her own steam - and it became another top 5 hit in the UK as well as one of the final big singles produced by Stock and Waterman. Two follow-ups, "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" (number 142 on this list) and "Stronger Together" (number 35) didn't perform as well - and both stalled just outside the UK top 40 at number 41.




Number 17 "Don't Be A Stranger" by Dina Carroll
After mining her So Close album for singles throughout 1992 and 1993, Dina finally scored her long-awaited first top 5 hit in the UK with this big ballad, which was remixed slightly from the album version. Since this was the sixth single taken from So Close, there weren't really any album tracks worthy enough to issue as a follow-up, and so instead a brand new track was released just in time for the Christmas market (and included on a So Close repackage). Taken from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Sunset Boulevard, "The Perfect Year" (number 39 on this list) became Dina's second song to hit the UK top 5 and receives an airing in my house on every New Year's Eve.




Number 16 "Tribal Dance" by 2 Unlimited
Mentioned below

Number 15 "Ain't No Love (Ain't No Use)" by Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams
Before they went all indie rock as The Doves, Jimi Goodwin and brothers Andy and Jez Williams went by the name of Sub Sub and released some of the best dance tracks of the mid-'90s, including this breakthough single - a number 3 hit in the UK and a number 11 in Australia. I'll always associate this track with that year's UNSW Law Revue, in which I was involved. We used this song for one of the musical numbers, but the lyrics were changed to "if there ain't no guava, there ain't no juice". It wasn't my idea!




Number 14 "World (The Price Of Love)" by New Order
It had been five years since there'd been a new New Order album and three years since anything had been heard from the group at all, so it was somewhat of a relief when the band returned sounding better than ever in 1993. "World..." was the third single lifted from Republic and received a Perfecto remix for the occasion. Meanwhile, the album's first single, "Regret" (number 41 on this list), was the group's last top 30 appearance in Australia (it reached number 26) and their highest charting single ever in the US (it reached number 28). There's a link to the original version of "World" in the song title above and the remix is below.




Number 13 "Stay" by Eternal
Previously featured here

Number 12 "If I Can't Have You" by Kim Wilde
I love Kim Wilde (what, you hadn't noticed?), but she'd been struggling the last few years, with her albums, Love Moves and Love Is, failing to register much chart action. So, to coincide with a greatest hits collection which spanned her career to date, she turned to a tried and true method to land a hit: the cover version. Kim's remake of the Bee Gees/Yvonne Elliman track (which had been featured in the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever) did the business - giving her her biggest single in the UK since 1988 and, by spending four weeks at number 3 in Australia, becoming her best performance in Australia since "You Keep Me Hangin' On" in 1986/87. Sadly, it would be her final notable hit in either country... but don't go thinking that I'd given up on Kim. Not by a long shot.




Number 11 "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 10 "It's Alright" by East 17
Previously featured here

Number 9 "U Got 2 Know" by Cappella
Italian dance act Cappella had been around since 1987, scoring a big club hit in 1989 with "Helyom Halib", but 1993 was the year that the brainchild of Media Records head honcho Gianfranco Bortolotti became a real chart force. Taking a leaf out of 2 Unlimited's book, a male rapper (Rodney Bishop) and female singer (Kelly Overett) were recruited to provide faces for the group and the hits came thick and fast over the next couple of years. Both "U Got 2 Know" and the similarly titled "U Got 2 Let The Music" (number 34 on this list) were UK top 10 hits and both sampled synthpop tunes from the '80s for their catchy hooks.




Number 8 "I Feel You" by Depeche Mode
Previously featured here

Number 7 "Never Let Go" by Hyper Go Go
This UK dance act comprised of Jamie Diplock and Alex Bell tried their luck on a series of cool record labels. Their debut single, "High" (number 44 on this list), came out on Deconstruction, while this track was issued on the Positiva label and was one I got very excited about whenever I heard it out clubbing in 1993. Hyper Go Go would also release tracks on Distinctive in the coming years - but despite many of their singles being big club records, the highest they ever got on the UK chart was, funnily enough, with "High", which reached number 30.




Number 6 "Sing Hallelujah" by Dr Alban
Getting his name from the fact that he'd studied to become a dentist, Alban Nwapa already had a UK number 2 single under his belt thanks to 1992's "It's My Life" but, unlike that song, this 1993 single was an Australian hit, reaching number 5 and going platinum. The Nigerian-born performer emerged from Sweden, where he was discovered by producer and hitmaker Denniz Pop, who'd be responsible for some of the decade's biggest songs before tragically passing away at just 35 years of age in 1998. Dr Alban continues to record to this day and charted well throughout continental Europe into the late '90s, but this was where his success in Australia began and ended.




Number 5 "Things Can Only Get Better" by D:Ream
It took them a few goes to get there, but this song finally turned D:Ream into chart stars when it was re-released at the start of 1994. In 1993, the dance act fronted by singer/songwriter Peter Cunnah saw each of their four singles - this track, the original version of "U R The Best Thing" (number 141 on this list), "Star/I Like It" (number 132) and "Unforgiven" (number 49) - fall short of the UK top 20. The persistence paid off and 1994 would be a much better year for them, but I was hooked as soon as I heard their music in 1993.




Number 4 "One Night In Heaven" by M-People
Manchester dance act M-People also benefitted from a timely re-release when a 1993 remix of debut single "How Can I Love You More" (number 84 on this list) took them into the UK top 10 for the first of many times. Moving swiftly on to their second album, Elegant Slumming, the group kept the momentum going with this track, "Movin' On Up" (number 21 on this list) and a cover of Dennis Edwards' "Don't Look Any Further" (number 99), all of which landed in the upper reaches of the UK chart. In Australia, "Movin' On Up" was far and away the group's biggest hit, reaching number 4 and going platinum.




Number 3 "Go West" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 2 "Labour Of Love (remix)" by Hue And Cry
Some fans of the original version of this 1987 single by sibling duo Pat and Greg Kane were horrified by this more dance-friendly remix, but I wasn't familiar with the song until hearing this 1993 update - and this version was fine by me. As was the practice at the time, the remix was for Hue And Cry's greatest hits collection - and although some '80s groups like Talk Talk, Erasure and Heaven 17 had seen their early singles turn into hits all over again (or, occasionally, for the first time) in the early '90s, it wasn't to be for Hue And Cry. The original version of "Labour Of Love" had given them their sole UK top 10 hit, while this remix tanked at number 25.




Number 1 "No Limit" by 2 Unlimited
Speaking of songs that horrified people, there was possibly no pop act more polarising than 2 Unlimited, who were inescapable during 1993. Although "Get Ready For This" is likely the biggest global hit of their career, in the UK, "No Limit" spent five weeks at number 1 at the start of the year. Subsequent singles "Tribal Dance" (number 16 on this list), "Faces" and "Maximum Overdrive" repeated the formula - and the duo inspired a flurry of imitators who'd define Eurodance for the next few years. For me, "No Limit" is still a fantastic dance song, and although my tastes quickly moved away from Eurodance over the next few years, it remains a firm favourite from the era. And yes, the video below does play despite its "screen grab".




My top 200 for 1993 in full:

1        NO LIMIT 2 Unlimited
2        LABOUR OF LOVE (REMIX) Hue And Cry
3        GO WEST Pet Shop Boys
4        ONE NIGHT IN HEAVEN M-People
5        THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER D:Ream
6        SING HALLELUJAH Dr Alban
7        NEVER LET GO Hyper Go Go
8        I FEEL YOU Depeche Mode
9        U GOT 2 KNOW Cappella
10      IT'S ALRIGHT East 17
11      I WOULDN'T NORMALLY DO THIS KIND OF THING Pet Shop Boys
12      IF I CAN'T HAVE YOU Kim Wilde
13      STAY Eternal
14      WORLD (THE PRICE OF LOVE) New Order
15      AIN'T NO LOVE (AIN'T NO USE) Sub Sub featuring Melanie Williams
16      TRIBAL DANCE 2 Unlimited
17      DON'T BE A STRANGER Dina Carroll
18      WHEN I'M GOOD AND READY Sybil
19      THE KEY:THE SECRET Urban Cookie Collective
20      RELIGHT MY FIRE Take That featuring Lulu
21      MOVIN' ON UP M-People
22      PRAY Take That
23      LET ME SHOW YOU K-klass
24      CAN YOU FORGIVE HER? Pet Shop Boys
25      LOVE ME THE RIGHT WAY Rapination featuring Kym Mazelle
26      THIS IS IT Dannii Minogue
27      MR VAIN Culture Beat
28      DREAMS Gabrielle
29      WHAT IS LOVE Haddaway
30      I'LL NEVER GET OVER YOU (GETTING OVER ME) Expose
31      FREE TO LOVE AGAIN Suzette Charles
32      FEELS LIKE HEAVEN Urban Cookie Collective
33      BELIEVE IN ME Utah Saints
34      U GOT 2 LET THE MUSIC Cappella
35      STRONGER TOGETHER Sybil
36      LIGHT OF THE WORLD Kim Appleby
37      IF Janet Jackson
38      LOOKING UP Michelle Gayle
39      THE PERFECT YEAR / HERE Dina Carroll
40      LIFE Haddaway
41      REGRET New Order
42      A WHOLE NEW WORLD (ALADDIN'S THEME) Peabo Bryson / Regina Belle
43      GOOD TIMES WITH BAD BOYS Boy Krazy
44      HIGH Hyper Go Go
45      GOT TO GET IT Culture Beat
46      BETTER THAN YOU Lisa Keith
47      OPEN YOUR MIND U.S.U.R.A.
48      WALKING IN MY SHOES Depeche Mode
49      UNFORGIVEN D:Ream
50      REAL LOVE '93 The Time Frequency
51      LOOKING THROUGH PATIENT EYES PM Dawn
52      WILL YOU BE THERE Michael Jackson
53      SOMEBODY DANCE WITH ME DJ Bobo
54      QUEEN OF THE NIGHT Whitney Houston
55      FEEL THE RHYTHM Jinny
56      TO LOVE Fits Of Gloom
57      TRIPPIN' ON YOUR LOVE Kenny Thomas
58      CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF YOUR LOVE Taylor Dayne
59      GOING NOWHERE Gabrielle
60      I NEVER FELT LIKE THIS BEFORE Mica Paris
61      HOBART PAVING / WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE Saint Etienne
62      (I CAN'T HELP) FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU UB40
63      I FEEL IT Moby
64      AGAIN Janet Jackson
65      THE RIGHT KIND OF LOVE Jeremy Jordan
66      RIGHT HERE (HUMAN NATURE) SWV
67      SWEET HARMONY The Beloved
68      ORDINARY WORLD Duran Duran
69      TOO MUCH INFORMATION Duran Duran
70      CREATION Stereo MCs
71      BACK AGAIN General Base
72      HAT 2 DA BACK TLC
73      GOTTA GET IT RIGHT Lena Fiagbe
74      OOH CHILD Dino
75      GIVE IN TO ME Michael Jackson
76      I HAVE NOTHING Whitney Houston
77      IN THE MORNING Boom Crash Opera
78      THE MUSIC IS MOVIN' Fargetta
79      LITTLE BIRD Annie Lennox
80      IF I EVER LOSE MY FAITH IN YOU Sting
81      IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES Lisa Stansfield
82      THAT'S THE WAY LOVE GOES Janet Jackson
83      LOVE IS Vanessa Williams / Brian McKnight
84      HOW CAN I LOVE YOU MORE (REMIX) M-People
85      TOO YOUNG TO DIE Jamiroquai
86      I'M EVERY WOMAN Whitney Houston
87      AND SO I WILL WAIT FOR YOU Dee Fredrix
88      WHISPER A PRAYER Mica Paris
89      HERO Mariah Carey
90      SAVING FOREVER FOR YOU Shanice
91      ALL THAT SHE WANTS Ace Of Base
92      SO IN LOVE (THE REAL DEAL) Judy Cheeks
93      THE FLOOR Johnny Gill
94      ELATED Euphoria
95      ROCKIN' FOR MYSELF Motiv8 featuring Angie Brown
96      COMIN' ON The Shamen
97      BUDDY X Neneh Cherry
98      RAIN Madonna
99      DON'T LOOK ANY FURTHER M-People
100    CALLING OUT Curt Smith
101    CAN WE TALK Tevin Campbell
102    I WANT YOU Toni Pearen
103    IN MY LIFE Kim Wilde
104    GANGSTA Bell Biv Devoe
105    JOY Staxx
106    PHOTOGRAPH OF MARY Trey Lorenz
107    THIS I SWEAR Richard Darbyshire
108    THE LOVE I LOST Westend featuring Sybil
109    FREE LOVE Juliet Roberts
110    WIND IT UP (REWOUND) The Prodigy
111    DISTANT SUN Crowded House
112    LET'S GET TOGETHER (SO GROOVY NOW) Krush
113    START A BRAND NEW LIFE (SAVE ME) Bassheads
114    GIVIN’ IT UP Incognito
115    LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN Lisa Stansfield
116    LOST The Badloves
117    THE ONES YOU LOVE Rick Astley
118    CONDEMNATION Depeche Mode
119    COME UNDONE Duran Duran
120    BELIEVE Lenny Kravitz
121    SHED A TEAR Wet Wet Wet
122    DEEP East 17
123    STAY Kenny Thomas
124    RUN TO YOU Whitney Houston
125    WE ARE FAMILY ('93 REMIX) Sister Sledge
126    IT'S GONNA BE A LOVELY DAY The S.O.U.L. S.Y.S.T.E.M.
127    ROCKIN' TO THE MUSIC Blackbox
128    THE ULTIMATE HIGH The Time Frequency
129    SPOOKY New Order
130    WHY CAN'T I WAKE UP WITH YOU Take That
131    I WANNA LOVE YOU Jade
132    BABY I'M YOURS Shai
133    STAR / I LIKE IT D:Ream
134    NORWEGIAN WOOD PM Dawn
135    LOVE THING Evolution
136    LOST IN MUSIC (SURE IS PURE REMIX) Sister Sledge
137    SWEAT U.S.U.R.A.
138    STEAM Peter Gabriel
139    I WISH Gabrielle
140    BYE BYE BABY Madonna
141    PIECE BY PIECE Kenny Thomas
142    HOPELESSLY Rick Astley
143    U R THE BEST THING D:Ream
144    BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS Sybil
145    ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG Toni Braxton
146    BREAKAWAY Kim Appleby
147    WHERE ARE YOU NOW Janet Jackson
148    SLAVE TO THE VIBE Aftershock
149    LIVING ON MY OWN Freddie Mercury
150    STILL A FRIEND OF MINE Incognito
151    THE WAYS OF THE WIND PM Dawn
152    FREAK ME Silk
153    MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE 2 Unlimited
154    ENERGIZE Slamm
155    THE HITMAN A.B. Logic
156    BIGSCARYANIMAL Belinda Carlisle
157    EVERYBODY DANCE Evolution
158    WE GOT THE LOVE Lindy Layton
159    EMERGENCY ON PLANET EARTH Jamiroquai
160    SHOW ME LOVE Robin S
161    OUTERSPACE GIRL The Beloved
162    EXPRESS Dina Carroll
163    I’M SO INTO YOU SWV
164    LOVE DON’T LOVE YOU En Vogue
165    FEELS LIKE HEAVEN Peter Cetera with Chaka Khan
166    FOR THE COOL IN YOU Babyface
167    THIS IS THE WAY Dannii Minogue
168    ALMOST UNREAL Roxette
169    NIGHTSWIMMING REM
170    POWER OF AMERICAN NATIVES Dance 2 Trance
171    UNIVERSAL HYMN Boxcar
172    DO YOU SEE THE LIGHT (LOOKING FOR) Snap
173    SOMETHING IN YOUR EYES Bell Biv Devoe
174    SELFISH The Other Two
175    WHEEL OF FORTUNE Ace Of Base
176    YOU'RE THE LOVE OF MY LIFE Sybil
177    WEAK SWV
178    WEST END GIRLS East 17
179    BLOW YOUR MIND Jamiroquai
180    TRUE LOVE Elton John & Kiki Dee
181    LAID James
182    RUINED IN A DAY New Order
183    FORM ONE PLANET The Rockmelons
184    I WILL SURVIVE (PHIL KELSEY MIX) Gloria Gaynor
185    DIRTY MONEY Dee Fredrix
186    HEAVEN HELP Lenny Kravitz
187    LOVE'S ON MY MIND Girlfriend
188    TRACKS OF MY TEARS Go West
189    LOSIN' MYSELF Debbie Gibson
190    SHE KISSED ME Terence Trent D’Arby
191    WISH Soul II Soul
192    NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP FKW
193    THE GIFT INXS
194    DON'T TALK ABOUT LOVE Bad Boys Inc
195    TWO IN A MILLION Mica Paris
196    NOT ENOUGH TIME INXS
197    THE CRYING GAME Boy George
198    I MISS YOU Haddaway
199    EVERLASTING LOVE Worlds Apart
200    COME BABY COME K7


On Wednesday, it's back to 1988 for my weekly look at the ARIA chart from 25 years ago. I'll move on to my favourite songs from 1994 in late June.


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016

Saturday, 20 April 2013

The Best Of 1993 - part 3

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


When I look back at my favourite songs from a given year, I also check online to see what was going on in the world at that period in history - and inevitably I'll a find a list of wars, natural disasters, assassinations and accidents. But, one event from 1993 more than any other jumped out at me just now - and it was an overwhelmingly positive experience.

Dreams came true for Gabrielle in 1993

In September 1993, the IOC announced that the 2000 Olympics would be held in Sydney. Given that the proceedings took place in Monaco, it was the middle of the night here in Sydney when the announcement was made - and I was among the crowd at Circular Quay waiting to hear the result.

I've never been a massive sports fan, but it was still an amazing feeling when IOC preseident Juan Antonio Samaranch uttered those words "...and the winner is Syd-a-ney". Unlike these days, when Australia's international profile in many fields is quite high, it really felt like a victory for the underdog - and the moment would have a musical spin-off in 1994.

Speaking of music, here are numbers 50 to 26 from my list of favourite singles from 1993...


Number 50 "Real Love '93" by The Time Frequency
Some Scottish dance music to start us off, and TTF finally cracked the UK top 10 with this remix of their 1992 single. "Real Love '93" would be the group's biggest hit, although other tracks like "The Ultimate High" and "Such A Phantasy" also made waves, especially up north in Scotland, where trance, techno and rave music have always been particularly popular. Vocalist Mary Kiani would go on to a solo career - and we'll be seeing a fair bit of her in subsequent countdowns...




Number 49 "Unforgiven" by D:Ream
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 48 "Walking In My Shoes" by Depeche Mode
Previously featured here

Number 47 "Open Your Mind" by U.S.U.R.A.
From Scotland to Italy for another dance classic from 1993 which made excellent use of the Simple Minds album track "New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84)". As well as breaching the UK top 10, "Open Your Mind" also reached number 29 in Australia. A follow-up, "Sweat", didn't do quite as well - and seems to have vanished from my CD single collection - then that was it for U.S.U.R.A. in countries other than Italy, where they continued to score hits for some years.




Number 46 "Better Than You" by Lisa Keith
For every backing vocalist who goes on to be a star in their own right (Luther Vandross, Sheryl Crow), there are plenty who only get to step into the spotlight for a brief period of time and even more who never get their chance to shine. Lisa had spent the previous few years providing backing vocals for a number of acts produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and, in 1993, released her debut solo album, Walkin' In The Sun, from which this moderate hit was taken. Her fame was fleeting, and then it was back behind the scenes for Lisa.




Number 45 "Got To Get It" by Culture Beat
Mentioned below

Number 44 "High" by Hyper Go Go
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 43 "Good Times With Bad Boys" by Boy Krazy
The most unexpected hit of 1993 was the Stateside success of "That's What Love Can Do", a song produced by Stock Aitken Waterman and released in 1991 to universal disinterest. Slowly but surely, the song gained ground in the US and wound up going to number 18 there. This follow-up (the group's third single) and a full album surfaced in 1993 but weren't as popular - except among SAW fans like me, who couldn't believe their luck in getting to own an album that would likely have sat in the Hit Factory vaults for years otherwise.




Number 42 "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" by Peabo Bryson / Regina Belle
Starting with 1989's The Little Mermaid, animated films from Disney were suddenly hot property again - and the early '90s trio of Beauty And The Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King firmly re-establishing the House of Mouse as a leader in family entertainment. Not only were the films better than they'd been in years, but the accompanying theme songs became massive hits around the world, including this duet from Aladdin. Soul singer Peabo Bryson (who shared a name with a brand of fly spray) was fresh from the biggest hit of his career, duetting with Celine Dion on the theme from Beauty And The Beast, while Regina Belle had yet to make much of an impression on the US charts. "A Whole New World" took the two singers to number 1 in the US (and number 10 here) but effectively killed their chart careers, with neither scoring a hit beyond the end of 1993.




Number 41 "Regret" by New Order
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 40 "Life" by Haddaway
Mentioned below

Number 39 "The Perfect Year" by Dina Carroll
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 38 "Looking Up" by Michelle Gayle
I didn't know Michelle from her role in EastEnders, but the fact her debut single was credited to First Avenue Records piqued my interest, since the A&R team had also been behind Dina Carroll and Eternal, whose music I was already a fan of before discovering "Looking Up". Michelle's music had a similar glossy sheen and although she was never a massive recording artist, she did have a string of quite enjoyable singles.




Number 37 "If" by Janet Jackson
Here's someone who was definitely a massive recording artist - and who had just landed herself a lucrative new record deal in 1993. Under her contract with Virgin Records, Janet released the album also called janet and the first few of what would be an endless stream of singles. First up was global chart-topper "That's The Way Love Goes" (number 82 on this list), but my favourite track from the album was this energetic second single. Ballad "Again" (number 64) was the third and final single for the year - but the hits from janet would continue well into 1995.




Number 36 "Light Of The World" by Kim Appleby
No one was throwing millions of dollars at Kim Appleby - and not very many people noticed when she also released a new album in 1993. "Light Of The World', the first single from Breakaway, stalled at number 41 in the UK - but it wasn't quite the end for Kim, at least as far as I was concerned.




Number 35 "Stronger Together" by Sybil
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 34 "U Got 2 Let The Music" by Cappella
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 33 "Believe In Me" by Utah Saints
By 1993, we all knew the drill when it came to Utah Saints, who did with Human League's "Love Action (I Believe In Love)" what they'd done with Kate Bush and Eurythmics/Gwen Guthrie on previous tracks. Also in the mix on "Believe In Me" was a sample from "Do You Wanna Funk" by Sylvester and Patrick Cowley, and "You Gave Me Love" by Crown Heights Affair.




Number 32 "Feels Like Heaven" by Urban Cookie Collective
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 31 "Free To Love Again" by Suzette Charles
Previously featured here

Number 30 "I'll Never Get Over You (Getting Over Me)" by Exposé
They'd made a name for themselves on the freestyle music scene, but Exposé's biggest US hit had been ballad "Seasons Change", a number 1 back in 1988 - so it wasn't totally out of the blue for the Miami-based girl group to release this Diane Warren-penned love song in 1993. Still, it would be the group's final hit single and I can't help thinking that the watering down of their sound had a little something to do with that.




Number 29 "What Is Love" by Haddaway
So far, we've seen a lot of faceless dance acts on my top 100 for 1993, but here's a song released by a dance singer rather than a team of producers or DJs. Nestor Haddaway emerged from the German music scene (he was half-German, so that made sense) but soon had the world singing along to "What Is Love", a song that's never really gone away in the years since, popping up locally a couple of years ago in a flavoured milk ad. Haddaway didn't go away either - his second single, "Life" (number 40 on this list), was also successful.




Number 28 "Dreams" by Gabrielle
Here's another new artist who made a big impression in 1993. British R&B singer Gabrielle hit number 1 in the UK and made it to number 2 in Australia with "Dreams", all without a sample of "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman, which had originally been included in the song but wasn't cleared for official release. It would be a long time before she'd have another hit in Australia, but songs like "Going Nowhere" (number 59 on this list) and "I Wish" (number 137) kept her in the UK chart throughout the year.




Number 27 "Mr Vain" by Culture Beat
Like Haddaway, Culture Beat emerged from Germany in 1993 and took the dance floors of the world by storm - but unlike Haddaway, this dance act had been trying to score a hit for a lot longer, with the group's first album dating back to 1989. "Mr Vain" was the first single from the Serenity album and raced to number 1 across Europe and also hit the top in Australia. Second single, "Got To Get It" (number 45 on this list) was another smash, making Culture Beat, for a brief time, one of the biggest acts in the world.




Number 26 "This Is It" by Dannii Minogue
Back on my 1992 countdown, we saw that "This Is It" had been recorded by both Australian actress-turned-singer Toni Pearen for a TV promo and dance singer Ruth Campbell in a timely cover version that year. In 1993, the song finally became successful for the first time since Melba Moore's original version in 1976 - and gave Dannii her biggest hit in three years. "This Is It" reached number 13 and went gold in Australia - her best chart performance since her debut single, "Love And Kisses". The song also returned her to the UK top 10 for the first time since hitting number 8 there with "Jump To The Beat" and, of course, came with a music video featuring Dannii and then-partner Julian McMahon cavorting around in the waves. Pity that union wasn't as successful...




In Part 4: more dance classics and the return of two of my favourite bands of all time.


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
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1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016