Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Best Of 2006 - part 2

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


I mentioned in Part 1 of my look back at my favourite songs of 2006 that downloads were integrated into singles charts around the world for the first time that year - but as we'll see in this batch of songs, it took a while to determine just how wide to open the gates to the new format. 

With "Crazy", Gnarls Barkley ushered in a new era for the charts

In the UK (the nation that's always had the world's superior chart, in my opinion), the eligibility of a digital download for the singles chart was dependent on there also being a physical CD single release. It was very much a case of testing the water - and even if I still preferred my music to come on CD format at that stage, I was happy to see the download sales counting towards chart positions since, after all, a sale is a sale. I haven't been quite as open to streaming counting towards the UK chart (which happened recently), but that's a conversation for another time...


Number 75 "I Still..." by Backstreet Boys

The third and final single from Never Gone (except in the States, where "Crawling Back To You" was released instead) was another Max Martin/Rami power pop ballad. "I Still..." would also turn out to be the final single (for the time being) released with Kevin Richardson, who departed the boy band for six years in mid-2006.




Number 74 "Crash" by Gwen Stefani

Six singles from Love Angel Music Baby and Gwen Stefani still didn't manage to release "The Real Thing" or "Serious", but this final single, which catered more to US tastes, was a decent end to what was a pretty impressive debut solo outing. 




Number 73 "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake

Speaking of solo outings, Justin Timberlake had pretty much written the rule book for going it alone after leaving a hit pop group with 2002's Justified. In a smart move, he didn't rush to follow that up, with this first taste of FutureSex/LoveSounds coming three years after Justified's last single. With super-producer Timbaland once again on production and songwriting duties, "SexyBack" further established JT's cred and cool factor, and came with a flashy music video shot in Barcelona.




Number 72 "Ride A White Horse" by Goldfrapp

It can't be a coincidence that Supernatureone of the most commercial albums by the British duo of Alison Goldfrapp (that's her real name) and Will Gregory, is still their most successful. Although having said that, a far more mainstream sound was a couple of albums away. This third single references the manner in which actress Bianca Jagger once made an entrance to legendary disco Studio 54.




Number 71 "Naïve" by The Kooks"

Mentioned below

Number 70 "Never Be Lonely" by The Feeling

Mentioned in Part 3

Number 69 "Say It Right" by Nelly Furtado

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 68 "Amazing" by Westlife
After a couple of cover versions - including an ill-conceived duet with Diana Ross on a remake of her early '90s hit "When You Tell Me That You Love Me" - Westlife returned to an original song with this typically mid-tempo Scandipop track. As the third single from the Face To Face album, it did well to get to number 4 in the UK - even if that was a flop by their standards.




Number 67 "I Can't Hate You Anymore" by Nick Lachey

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 66 "No Promises" by Shayne Ward

The first winner of the UK version of The X Factor, 36-year-old Steve Brookstein, wasn't exactly the type of hot pop act Simon Cowell envisioned when he launched the new reality show in 2004 - so it must have come as something of a relief when season two was taken out by pretty boy Shayne Ward. Not only did he look like a pop star, but with songs like this Westlife-style ballad, he slotted right into the gap left behind by Gareth Gates and countless other former teen idols.




Number 65 "Irreplaceable" by Beyoncé Knowles

Like Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé had triumphed with her first post-Destiny's Child solo effort and went from strength to strength second time around. Far and away the most successful single from the original tracklisting of the B'Day album was this Australian and US chart-topper, which was co-written by then-emerging star Ne-Yo together with Norwegian production teams Stargate and Espionage.




Number 64 "John The Revelator / Lilian" by Depeche Mode

In 2005, they'd returned with their best single in years, "Precious", and the quality tunes kept coming from Depeche Mode's 11th album, Playing The Angel - including this double-A side release and "Suffer Well" (number 18 on this list). By the end of the year, the band also issued the rather random The Best Of Depeche Mode Volume 1 (there's yet to be a second volume), which contained new track "Martyr" (number 61).




Number 63 "Pictures" by Sneaky Sound System

Mentioned in Part 4

Number 62 "Horny As A Dandy" by Mousse T vs The Dandy Warhols

Both songs have featured individually (and higher) on previous year-end countdowns - "Horny" in 1998 and "Bohemian Like You" in 2002 - but the Mousse T club track and the Dandy Warhols indie rock anthem also worked incredibly well when mashed up together.




Number 61 "Martyr" by Depeche Mode

Mentioned above and previously featured here

Number 60 "Angel" by Pharrell Williams

He might have been massively successful as a songwriter, producer and featured artist, but as a solo performer, Pharrell Williams only enjoyed mid-level success with the singles from his debut solo album, In My Mind. In fact, "Angel" wasn't even released in the States, where the album's other singles, "Can I Have It Like That" and "Number One", failed to set the charts alight despite featuring Gwen Stefani and Kanye West respectively.




Number 59 "Sexy Love" by Ne-Yo

Mentioned in Part 3

Number 58 "Runaway" by Jamiroquai

After a career which began way back in 1992, it was greatest hits time for the man who'd given acid jazz a commercial face. As is so often the case with best ofs, High Times: Singles 1992-2006 was a contractual obligation that brought at end to the band's relationship with Sony Music, with "Runaway" included as one of two new songs on the release.




Number 57 "Love Declaration" by paulmac featuring Aaradhna

For the final single from his Panic Room album, paulmac recruited yet another female artist to join the ranks of Peta Morris, Abby Dobson, Jacqui Hunt and Ngaiire. On "Love Declaration", he introduced Australian audiences to New Zealander Aaradhna Patel, who was best known back home for proving vocals on the chart-topping single "Getting Stronger" by duo Adeaze.




Number 56 "When You're Mad" by Ne-Yo

Mentioned in Part 3

Number 55 "Afterglow" by INXS

Once all the fuss around Rockstar: INXS had died down, the real test of whether the new incarnation of the band would work depended in part on songs like this second single from the Switch album becoming hits. And, while rock ballad "Afterglow" did give INXS another top 30 hit in Australia, it would be their final singles chart appearance with a new release. Unsurprisingly, once touring commitments were complete, INXS parted ways with new singer JD Fortune (who'd only been contracted for a fixed period of time) - although reports conflict about exactly how that split went down.




Number 54 "She Moves In Her Own Way" by The Kooks

In between The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs and Keane, there were a lot of indie bands I liked in the mid-'00s that had names starting with K - and added to that list in 2006 were The Kooks. Each of the band's first four singles steadily improved on the last in terms of UK chart positions, with fourth single "Naive" (number 71 on this list) becoming the first to crack the top 10. "She Moves In Her Own Way" repeated the trick (reaching number 7), helping parent album Inside In/Inside Out to go quadruple platinum in the UK in the process.




Number 53 "Bones" by The Killers

Mentioned in Part 3

Number 52 "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley

Here's the song - one of the year's biggest global hits - that tested the new download rules in the UK when it became the first release to hit number 1 there purely on digital sales. The debut single by the duo formed by singer CeeLo Green and producer Danger Mouse, "Crazy" spent so long (9 weeks) on top of the British singles chart that it was eventually deleted so as not to fall victim to the Bryan Adams or Wet Wet Wet effect - although it has indeed overshadowed everything else the group has released. 
Two weeks after being deleted, "Crazy" fell out of the UK top 40 despite still selling healthy quantities on download. Chart rules at the time only allowed download songs to chart one week before and two weeks after physical release availability. In 2007, when the chart rules changed again and any song became eligible for the chart, "Crazy" miraculously reappeared.




Number 51 "Minimal" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here



In Part 3: the mainstream breakthrough of a French DJ/producer we'd be seeing a lot of in years to come, the latest Disney-related music phenomenon to invade the charts and a song which owed a lot of its success to a treadmill-featuring video.



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 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Best Of 2006 - part 1

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


Charts around the world were going through a massive upheaval in 2006 - and it was all because of three little characters: MP3. As CD singles were fazed out, downloads were incorporated into charts and singles started to get to number 1 without there being a physical product released.

Accidental girl group Young Divas delved into the SAW songbook

In Australia, the changeover happened in October 2006, with ARIA incorporating digital sales into their charts for the first time. For me, giving up CD singles was a big change to get used to - and it took me quite a while to accept that I didn't need a physical CD in my collection for me to "own" a song. Here are some of the songs I did own - one way or another - in 2006...


Number 100 "Dance, Dance" by Fall Out Boy
They'd made little impact with their debut album, Take This To Your Grave, but that all changed with the singles from Fall Out Boy's follow-up, From Under The Cork Tree. "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" gave them their first US and UK top 10 hit, and "Dance, Dance" repeated the feat. My introduction to Fall Out Boy came courtesy of teen soap One Tree Hill, on which bassist Pete Wentz (who wrote the lyrics to this song) made a couple of odd guest appearances in 2006.




Number 99 "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage" by Panic! At The Disco
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 98 "Tell Me Why" by Supermode
Lifting elements from Bronski Beat's first two singles, "Smalltown Boy" and "Why?", "Tell Me Why" was the handiwork of Swedish DJs/producers Axwell and Steve Angello, who'd go on to team up with Sebastian Ingrosso in Swedish House Mafia the following year. The vocals on the track weren't samples of Jimmy Somerville's original performances but were re-sung by British performer Hal Ritson.




Number 97 "U + Ur Hand" by Pink
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 96 "Unfaithful" by Rihanna
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 95 "So Under Pressure" by Dannii Minogue
After releasing the album of her career with 2003's Neon Nights, the younger Minogue lost her momentum, sputtering from one stand-alone single release to another over the next few years, while her various record companies issued more greatest hits and remix collections than any one artist required. "So Under Pressure" was a new track on one of those compilations, The Hits & Beyond, and lyrically dealt with the subject of sister Kylie's cancer diagnosis.




Number 94 "Wait A Minute" by Pussycat Dolls
The singles continued from Pussycat Dolls' debut album - as did the guest appearances, with this track featuring in-demand hitmaker Timbaland. PCD's sixth single, "Wait A Minute", was the follow-up to my favourite track by the girl group, "I Don't Need A Man", which we'll see in Part 3.




Number 93 "This Time I Know It's For Real" by Young Divas
Originally a comeback single for Donna Summer in 1989 - and one which really should have been a bigger hit in Australia (it reached number 40) - "This Time I Know It's For Real" was belatedly taken to number 2 on the ARIA chart by four ex-Australian Idol contestants. Comprised of season one's Paulini, season two's Ricki-Lee, and season three's winner Kate DeAraugo and runner-up Emily Williams, Young Divas was meant to be a one-off project to promote a joint tour.
Following the resounding success of "This Time I Know It's For Real", an album was hurriedly put together - so quickly, in fact, that I remember being asked for my opinion of what songs they should cover. Being the Stock Aitken Waterman fan I am (and since they'd already raided the Hit Factory catalogue once), I suggested tracks by Princess, Hazell Dean, Sybil and Lonnie Gordon - many of which made the album (although I'm sure the girls' team already had those tracks in mind anyway).




Number 92 "All This Love" by The Similou
Some more Swedish dance/pop now from the duo comprised of the confusingly named Joel Eriksson and Erik Niklasson. Debut single "All This Love" actually performed better in Australia and the UK than at home in Sweden, where the track had first been released back in late 2004.




Number 91 "A Public Affair" by Jessica Simpson
They were reality TV's sweethearts, but by 2006 the honeymoon was over for Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey, and the inevitable post-split records emerged. For Jess, that meant the carefree, girls-night-out track "A Public Affair" - she even roped in famous pals like Eva Longoria and Christina Applegate for the glossy roller-rink video. As we'll see further into this countdown, Nick didn't take the end of their marriage so well.




Number 90 "This Old Love" by Lior
Independent artist Lior Attar made a big splash in Australia in 2005 with his debut, Autumn Flow, but he didn't release any singles from the ARIA-nominated album. And, since my charts still (mostly) depended on a physical release, I had to wait until 2006 for "This Old Love" to be issued as a single in the UK for it to register. Lovely song.




Number 89 "Right Where You Want Me" by Jesse McCartney
It was time for album number two from the teen actor/singer, but the project didn't last long, with this title track ending up as the only single released from it in the States. Further singles were released internationally, but for all intents and purposes, it was back to the drawing board for Jesse, who pressed on with his third album. It wasn't all bad news, since Jesse had co-written a little song called "Bleeding Love" and was about to receive much bigger royalty cheques once it was given to the 2006 winner of the UK's version of The X-Factor.




Number 88 "Something About You" by Jamelia
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 87 "Wonderful World" by James Morrison
Mentioned below

Number 86 "After All This Time" by Simon Webbe
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 85 "Elevator Love" by Guy Sebastian
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 84 "Love It When You Call" by The Feeling
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 83 "Sorry's Not Good Enough / Friday Night" by McFly
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 82 "Fill My Little World" by The Feeling
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 81 "Watchin'" by Freemasons featuring Amanda Wilson
For their second single, increasingly in-demand remixers Freemasons once again took inspiration from a minor hit of years past when they turned a 1999 Deborah Cox ballad, "It's Over Now", into this club smash.




Number 80 "Stoned In Love" by Chicane featuring Tom Jones
Given Tom Jones's previous collaborations with Art Of Noise and Mousse T, he wasn't quite as unusual a choice of guest vocalist for dance act Chicane as Clannad's Máire Brennan or Bryan Adams. Nevertheless, the pop/trance track was another first for the Welsh performer - and another UK top 10 hit for both acts.




Number 79 "You Give Me Something" by James Morrison
Even though he's been recording for years now, I still mentally add the words "not the jazz trumpeter" after James Morrison's name whenever I see it. In the UK, where there was no similarly named artist on the scene to cause confusion, James quickly notched up two top 10 hits with this debut single and follow-up "Wonderful World" (number 87 on this list). In Australia, only this track did the business, reaching number 7.




Number 78 "Who Am I?" by Will Young
He might have kicked off his third album campaign with the turbo-charged "Switch It On", but it was back to ballads for singles number two ("All Time Love") and three ("Who Am I?"). The latter of those was accompanied by a fun music video in which Will was superimposed into scenes from British kids' TV show Blue Peter. Despite that, "Who Am I?" became the former Pop Idol champ's first single to miss the UK top 5 - landing all the way down at number 11.




Number 77 "Put Your Records On" by Corinne Bailey Rae
What with Lior, Will Young and James Morrison in this batch of songs, it's all been a bit adult contemporary, hasn't it? Well, add to that list this breakthrough single by British soul singer Corinne Bailey Rae. After peaking at number 2 in the UK, the breezy track, while not a massive chart hit in the US, went on to be nominated for the Grammy Awards' big two: Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year.




Number 76 "You Came 2006" by Kim Wilde
Mentioned in Part 4


In Part 2: Justin Timberlake and Beyoncé Knowles solidify their positions as the hottest singers on the planet, while the first big download-only hits make their mark.


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 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019

Monday, 14 July 2014

Two-Hit Wonders On The Australian Chart - The 90s

JUMP TO: Part 1 II Part 2 II Part 3 II Part 4


I started my look back at one-hit wonders on the Australian singles chart in the '80s and '90s because I was frustrated with music channel programmers and various artist CD compilers including acts that blatantly weren't 1HWs on their lists. And, as we've discovered, there were more than enough genuine 1HWs in both decades - no matter if you take a strict (one number 1 hit only) or more relaxed definition (one top 10 hit only) of what it takes to be a 1HW. 

A festive remix allows Los Del Rio to slip into 2HW status

As I did with the '80s, I'll now look back at several artists who hit the top 10 twice then had no further top 50 hits - in other words: two-hit wonders. Many of these acts are often wrongly included on 1HW lists because the second hit is forgotten for whatever reason - but I'll restore their proper status here. There are a couple of potentially contentious inclusions, but as always, the chart facts don't lie.


Big Audio Dynamite II
Here's one of those tricky inclusions - since Big Audio Dynamite II was, as the name suggests, the sequel to Big Audio Dynamite, who landed two minor chart hits ("The Bottom Line", number 34 and "E=MC2", number 47) in 1986. But, as the name BAD II also implies, it was a different entity from the original band, with former Clash guitarist/singer Mick Jones the only common member. For me, it's the equivalent of DJs/producers who release records under more then one alias - since the name on the record is different, it's a separate act.

Hit 1: "Rush"
Entered the Australian chart: May 12, 1991
Peak position: number 1



Hit 2: "The Globe"
Entered the Australian chart: November 17, 1991
Peak position: number 8





Sonia Dada
Every so often, Australia will embrace an international artist that no one else seemingly has any time for. Toni Childs. Paul Lekakis. Icy Blu. And, in 1993, American soul/rock band Sonia Dada joined those ranks out of nowhere with a four-week chart-topper (which spent seven weeks before that at number 2) and a follow-up that also did pretty well. Then, we lost interest just as quickly.

Hit 1: "You Don't Treat Me No Good"
Entered the Australian chart: November 15, 1992
Peak position: number 1



Hit 2: "You Ain't Thinking (About Me)"
Entered the Australian chart: February 14, 1993
Peak position: number 3





Gabrielle
The second hit was a long time coming, but British soul singer Gabrielle Bobb eventually got there with a song taken from the soundtrack to Bridget Jones's Diary. It was also a new track on Dreams Can Come True, Greatest Hits Vol. 1, since at home in the UK, the BRIT Award winner has a tally of 10 top 10 hits.

Hit 1: "Dreams"
Entered the Australian chart: August 29, 1993
Peak position: number 2



Hit 2: "Out Of Reach"
Entered the Australian chart: July 30, 2001
Peak position: number 9





D:Ream
Proving the adage "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, try again", D:Ream's two Australian top 10 hits were released multiple times in the UK before finding their mark. Indeed, "U R The Best Thing" followed the proverb to the letter, taking three releases to hit the UK top 5. Things were a bit simpler for the dance act in Australia, where their overseas success easily led to a brace of number 9 hits.

Hit 1: "Things Can Only Get Better"
Entered the Australian chart: February 20, 1994
Peak position: number 9



Hit 2: "U R The Best Thing"
Entered the Australian chart: May 8, 1994
Peak position: number 9





Newton
Here's another act that Australia took to its bosom when even the singer's home country weren't that fussed about his brand of high-energy cover versions. First hit "Sky High" was originally recorded by Jigsaw (or British Jigsaw as they were known in Australia since we already had our own band called Jigsaw) in 1975, while "Sometimes When We Touch" was a 1978 hit for Dan Hill. Fun fact: Newton's real name is Billy Myers.

Hit 1: "Sky High"
Entered the Australian chart: February 5, 1995
Peak position: number 8



Hit 2: "Sometimes When We Touch"
Entered the Australian chart: September 1, 1996
Peak position: number 5





Tokyo Ghetto Pussy
A year earlier, they'd landed two chart hits (a number 2 and a number 22) as Jam & Spoon, but in 1995, German duo Rolf Ellmer and Markus Löffel did even better - making it into the top 10 with their first two singles in this guise. Shocking name, though. 

Hit 1: "Everybody On The Floor (Pump It)"
Entered the Australian chart: April 2, 1995
Peak position: number 6



Hit 2: "I Kiss Your Lips"
Entered the Australian chart: October 15, 1995
Peak position: number 8





Diana King
Jamaican singer Diana King has a couple of big Hollywood films to thank for her top 10 singles. "Shy Guy" featured in the Will Smith/Martin Lawrence action comedy Bad Boys - and there's a link to an alternate video featuring scenes from the film in the song title. Meanwhile, "I Say A Little Prayer" was on the soundtrack to Julia Roberts rom-com My Best Friend's Wedding - and there's a link to the official video for that in the song title, although I always preferred the widely played Love To Infinity mix of the song.

Hit 1: "Shy Guy"
Entered the Australian chart: April 9, 1995
Peak position: number 3



Hit 2: "I Say A Little Prayer"
Entered the Australian chart: August 31, 1997
Peak position: number 6





Los Del Rio
Our second contentious inclusion on this list - since everyone would assume the Spanish duo behind the world's highest-selling single of 1996 to be a one-hit wonder. And yet, they had two separate top 10 hits in Australia. Yes, the second is a different version of "Macarena", but it's more than just a remix - with additional festive lyrics added. Add to that the rival version of "Macarena" by Los Del Mar and three separate chart hits resulted from the dance craze that year.

Hit 1: "Macarena"
Entered the Australian chart: August 11, 1996
Peak position: number 1 (9 weeks)



Hit 2: "Macarena Christmas"
Entered the Australian chart: December 15, 1996
Peak position: number 5





Az Yet
A boy band (or vocal harmony group, if you insist) with more personnel changes than your average girl group, Az Yet had the added bonus of being backed by producers LA Reid & Babyface. And, on the second of their two hits, "Hard To Say I'm Sorry", they received the blessing and vocal input of original vocalist Peter Cetera. Az Yet returned their favour, featuring on a new version of "You're The Inspiration" for Peter's next album.

Hit 1: "Last Night"
Entered the Australian chart: January 12, 1997
Peak position: number 2



Hit 2: "Hard To Say I'm Sorry (featuring Peter Cetera)"
Entered the Australian chart: June 29, 1997
Peak position: number 5





Honourable mentions
Here's a list of acts with one top 10 single, one top 20 single and no other top 50 entries - many of them are often mistakenly referred to as one-hit wonders:
  • All-4-One ("I Swear" - number 1, "I Can Love You Like That" - number 12)
  • Betty Boo ("Doin' The Do" - number 3, "Where Are You Baby" - number 19)
  • Enigma ("Sadness Part 1" - number 2, "Return To Innocence" - number 16)
  • Amy Grant ("Baby Baby" - number 5, "Every Heartbeat" - number 17)
  • Montell Jordan ("This Is How We Do It" - number 7, "Somethin' For The Honeyz" - number 19)
  • Monifah ("Touch It" - number 5, "Bad Girl/Suga Suga" - number 17)
  • Mark Morrison ("Return Of The Mack" - number 2, "Crazy" - number 18)
  • Pandora ("A Little Bit" - number 10, "Smile 'N' Shine" - number 17)
  • Chynna Phillips ("Naked And Sacred" - number 15, "I Live For You" - number 9)
  • S.O.A.P. ("This Is How We Party" - number 7, "Ladidi Ladida" - number 15)
  • Spin Doctors ("Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" - number 16, "Two Princes" - number 3)
  • Twenty 4 Seven ("Slave To The Music" - number 2, "Is It Love" - number 20)
  • Vanilla Ice ("Ice Ice Baby" - number 1, "Play That Funky Music" - number 13)
  • Whigfield ("Sexy Eyes" - number 6, "Gimme Gimme" - number 14)
  • Zhane ("Hey Mr DJ" - number 9, "Groove Thang" - number 17)

So there we have it. At some point, I'll tackle one-hit wonders of the '00s but I might need to recover from the musical abominations I rediscovered on this journey through the '90s first. As usual, it's back to 1989 this Wednesday for my look back at the ARIA chart of 25 years ago.

Friday, 11 July 2014

One-Hit Wonders On The Australian Chart - The 90s part 3

JUMP TO: Part 1 II Part 2 II Part 3 II Part 4


So far in my journey through one-hit wonders of the '90s on the ARIA chart, we've seen those acts that hit number 1 and then never troubled the top 50 with their presence again (in Part 1), as well as the second-string 1HWs who scored one top 10 hit and that's it between 1990 and 1994 (in Part 2).

Political satire came to the Australian top 10 in 1998

For my next trick, here are 41 more one-hit wonders who landed a top 10 single in Australia in the second half of the decade and never returned to the top 50 again. And, like all lists of 1HWs, there are some songs so brilliant you wonder how the artists in question couldn't repeat the feat and some tunes so terrible you'll be cursing me for reminding you of their existence.


"Here Comes The Hotstepper" by Ini Kamoze
Entered the Australian chart: December 4, 1994
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
He'd been making music since the early '80s but it wasn't until this sample-heavy song featured in the Robert Altman film Prêt-à-Porter that the reggae artist born Cecil Campbell crossed over to the mainstream. Expectations were high for Ini - especially from Elektra Records, who snapped him up for a multi-album deal - but no further chart action ensued.




"Hot Hot Hot (remix)" by Arrow
Entered the Australian chart: December 11, 1994
Peak position: number 9
No other top 100 entries
More music from the Caribbean, and a song that first came out around the same time Ini Kamoze began his career. "Hot Hot Hot" is the best known single by the artist born Alphonsus Cassell, but until this remix, the most famous version was by comic character Buster Poindexter.





"Short Dick Man" by 20 Fingers featuring Gillette
Entered the Australian chart: December 11, 1994
Peak position: number 4
20 Fingers - no other top 100 entries / Gillette - no other top 50 entries
Gillette - next biggest single: "Mr Personality" (number 80 in 1995)
Proof yet again that a song can be complete rubbish, but if it's controversial enough and/or packed with swear words, it's guaranteed to be a hit. This rap hit which turned the tables on all the genre's anti-female tracks was edited for radio play to become "Short Short Man".




"A Girl Like You" by Edwyn Collins
Entered the Australian chart: January 8, 1995
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
In the UK, his former group, Orange Juice, was a one-hit wonder in the '80s with "Rip It Up", but in Australia it was this solo hit for Scottish singer Edwyn Collins which gave him the 1HW tag. There are two music videos for the song - one's linked to in the song title above and the other is below.




"Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Nicki French
Entered the Australian chart: January 22, 1995
Peak position: number 2
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "For All We Know" (number 89 in 1995)
The original had been a six-week chart-topper for Bonnie Tyler in 1983, and this remake became a hit for Nicki French on the third attempt. Her first version flopped, then it was reworked by producers Stock and Aitken into a high-energy romp. When that didn't work in the UK, they remixed it again, giving it a "Flashdance"-style slow-to-fast tempo change. That third version took off in the UK, while in Australia, we preferred the second mix.




"Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex
Entered the Australian chart: February 5, 1995
Peak position: number 8
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Old Pop In An Oak" (number 70 in 1995)
Brace yourselves: things are about to get incredibly tacky, with some of the worst dance tracks to ever enter the ARIA top 10 - and all in a matter of months back in 1995. This update of the American country standard came out of Sweden and was a hit all across Europe, spending lengthy runs at number 1 in some countries - something Australia thankfully wasn't subjected to.




"Right Type Of Mood" by Herbie
Entered the Australian chart: July 9, 1995
Peak position: number 10
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Gotta Be You" (as 3T featuring Herbie, number 61 in 1997)
He might have gone on to write and produce some quite fine pop moments for Backstreet Boys, Five and Robyn, but this debut single by Herbie Crichlow was the musical equivalent of being shouted at for three-and-a-bit minutes.




"Alice, Who The F*** Is Alice" by The Steppers
Entered the Australian chart: July 16, 1995
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
Better than being sworn at repeatedly, though. Once again - cursing on record resulted in a hit for this track, which is a cover version four-times removed. Originally recorded by New World in 1975, "Living Next Door To Alice" was a bigger hit for Smokie the following year. Two decades later, the "who the fuck is Alice?" refrain was added by Dutch group Gompie and it's this version that The Steppers turned into a holiday resort dance floor hit. Smokie even got back in on the act, recruiting comedian Roy "Chubby" Brown for a re-recorded version of their original hit - which meant the song existed in three different versions in 1995.




"Scatman (Ski-Ba-Bop-Ba-Dop-Bop)" by Scatman John
Entered the Australian chart: July 23, 1995
Peak position: number 8
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Scatman's World" (number 84 in 1995)
Although he was American, John Larkin's chart success came after he moved to Germany (where else?) and fused scat singing, which he'd been doing since he was a teenager, with a dance beat. The Scatman enjoyed a second hit in Europe with the follow-up, but Australia thankfully left it at this abomination.




"Excalibur" by F.C.B.
Entered the Australian chart: August 13, 1995
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
The well-known piece of music which formed the basis of this techno track was Carl Orff's "O Fortuna", but the song was instead named after the 1981 King Arthur film, which also featured the composition. Interestingly, Orff's estate had sued Belgian act Apotheosis over a 1991 techno version of "O Fortuna" claiming copyright infringement - and succeeded in having that record removed from sale.




"Apple Eyes" by Swoop
Entered the Australian chart: November 12, 1995
Peak position: number 9
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Neighbourhood Freak" (number 62 in 1994)
In between Swoop and DiG (Directions In Groove), Australia discovered its funky side in the '90s - and the two bands even shared a common member in bassist Alex Hewetson. Swoop was more successful on the singles chart, with this surprise top 10 hit.




"Tell Me" by Groove Theory
Entered the Australian chart: December 3, 1995
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
A one-hit wonder if the US as well as here in Australia, R&B duo Groove Theory consisted of singer Amel Larrieux and producer Bryce Wilson. After a break of more than a decade the two reformed in 2010 - but no new music seems to have emerged yet.




"Miss Sarajevo" by Passengers
Entered the Australian chart: December 10, 1995
Peak position: number 7
No other top 100 entries
A collaboration between U2 and producer Brian Eno, the Passengers project spawned a one-off album, Original Soundtracks 1, which contained this lead single featuring tenor Luciano Pavarotti on guest vocals. The song was inspired by the documentary of the same name (which Bono produced) about a beauty pageant in the war-ravaged city. We'll be hearing another U2 side-project shortly...




"Breakfast At Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something

Entered the Australian chart: January 14, 1996
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
The Texas band obviously knew they were onto a winner with this tune about a couple on the verge of splitting up who recall that they both "kinda liked" the Audrey Hepburn film. The track was included it on their debut independently released album, 11th Song, before being re-recording for their major label debut, Home.




"Spaceman" by Babylon Zoo
Entered the Australian chart: February 25, 1996
Peak position: number 3
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Animal Army" (number 59 in 1996)
And now, yet another song that featured in an ad for Levi's jeans that topped the UK chart and almost did the same here. "Spaceman" was the possibly the biggest beneficiary of the commercial exposure, going on to sell over a million copies in the UK alone.




"Sexual Healing" by Max-A-Million
Entered the Australian chart: March 10, 1996
Peak position: number 5
No other top 100 entries
Produced by the team behind 20 Fingers, this American trio (comprised of the oddly named A'Lisa B, Duran Estevez and Tommye) took a Marvin Gaye classic and turned it into this reggae-infused travesty. The short-lived act also ruined The S.O.S. Band's "Take Your Time (Do It Right)" before calling it a day.




"X-Files Theme" by Triple X
Entered the Australian chart: April 21, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
Even in Australia, cult sci-fi series The X-Files was a couple of years into its nine-season run when all of a sudden the spooky theme music by Mark Snow and this dance version invaded the chart. The Triple X spin on the tune was much more successful locally, but overseas, it lost out to a rival dance version by DJ Dado.




"Nobody Knows" by The Tony Rich Project
Entered the Australian chart: April 28, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Like A Woman" (number 71 in 1996)
After composing songs for the likes of Boyz II Men, Johnny Gill, TLC and Toni Braxton as in-house writer at LaFace, the artist born Antonio Jeffries got to release his own music and saw this debut single hit number 2 in the US and locally. Although Tony has continued to make albums, nothing has come close to matching the performance of this Grammy-nominated smash.




"Theme From Mission: Impossible" by Adam Clayton & Larry Mullen
Entered the Australian chart: June 16, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
The second of our U2 spin-off projects, the band's bassist and drummer collaborated on this revamped version of the iconic theme tune to TV's Mission: Impossible for the big-screen remake starring Tom Cruise. It's the only chart hit under either of their names, and so here it is as a one-hit wonder.





"Mother Mother" by Tracy Bonham
Entered the Australian chart: July 14, 1996
Peak position: number 5
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "The One" (number 87 in 1996)
In a post-Jagged Little Pill world, angsty female artists were all the rage - and rage is the operative word when it comes to this shout-fest from the American singer, who also happens to be a classically trained violinist.




"Macarena" by Los Del Mar
Entered the Australian chart: July 28, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
Thanks to the fact that it took ages for Los Del Rio's "Macarena" to take off (due to the Bayside Boys remix) in the English-speaking world, there'd been time for this cover by Spanish duo Los Del Mar to be released (in 1995) and also fail to ignite. As Los Del Rio's version gathered steam, the Los Del Mar single caught on in Australia - and actually hit our top 100 first. In the end, Los Del Mar would play second fiddle and end up as a one-hit wonder. As for why Los Del Rio aren't on this list? All will be revealed...




"I Love You Always Forever" by Donna Lewis
Entered the Australian chart: September 1, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "At The Beginning" (with Richard Marx, number 64 in 1998)
Calming things down significantly was this sappy debut single by Welsh singer Donna Lewis - who actually cracked the Billboard chart before anyone back home in the UK took notice.




"Don't Stop Movin'" by Livin' Joy
Entered the Australian chart: September 8, 1996
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Follow The Rules" (number 73 in 1997)
They managed five top 20 hits in the UK in the mid-'90s, but Australia only had ears for this second single by the Italian dance act. The group was comprised of half of Alex Party (the Visnadi brothers) and Tameka Starr, who took over from original vocalist Janice Robinson.




"Break My Stride" by Unique II
Entered the Australian chart: December 1, 1996
Peak position: number 2
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Do What You Please" (number 55 in 1997)
More Eurodance now from the Austrian outfit whose first single had been another cover - "Iko Iko" - but who found much more success with this remake of the 1983 hit by Matthew Wilder. Matthew was himself a one-hit wonder in Australia, thanks to his number 6 placing with "Break My Stride".




"Pony" by Ginuwine
Entered the Australian chart: December 22, 1996
Peak position: number 3
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Tell Me Do U Wanna" (number 100 in 1997)
Elgin Lumpkin just doesn't have the same ring to it, does it? But that's the real name of the R&B act behind this sexually charged pole dance anthem. "Pony" was also one of the earliest hits produced by the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Timbaland.




"Your Woman" by White Town
Entered the Australian chart: March 30, 1997
Peak position: number 2
No other top 100 entries
Sung by a man but generally assumed to be from the perspective of a woman, "Your Woman" was the breakthrough hit for Jyoti Mishra, who'd recorded under the White Town moniker since the early '90s and continues to do so, despite never landing another chart hit.




"Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
Entered the Australian chart: June 15, 1997
Peak position: number 8
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Never Let You Go" (number 63 in 2000)
With grunge on the way out, rock bands like Third Eye Blind, Semisonic and Fastball became the new sound of America. Another things the groups all had in common? Their time of scoring hit records was incredibly short.




"Bitch" by Meredith Brooks
Entered the Australian chart: July 13, 1997
Peak position: number 2
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "What Would Happen" (number 89 in 1997)
In Part 2, we saw "Asshole" and "Loser", and now "Bitch" completes our triumvirate of one-word insult songs by one-hit wonders. The feisty debut single came from yet another female singer who was no doubt snapped up by a record label (in this case, Capitol Records) in search of their own Alanis Morissette - but Meredith's career ran aground after this hit. The song did, however, give rise to a one-hit wonder of the '00s in Australia: Chris Franklin's "Bloke".




"When Doves Cry" by Quindon Tarver
Entered the Australian chart: July 13, 1997
Peak position: number 3
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "It's You That's On My Mind" (number 64 in 1997)
The soundtrack from which it was taken spawned a number of hits - and two volumes - but this vocally astonishing Prince cover from Romeo + Juliet was the only chart appearance by young Quindon Tarver, who featured as a choirboy in the Baz Luhrmann film.




"How Do I Live" by Trisha Yearwood
Entered the Australian chart: August 3, 1997
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
Speaking of soundtracks, this Diane Warren composition was written for the Nicolas Cage film Con Air and originally recorded by then-14-year-old LeAnn Rimes before studio execs insisted upon a more mature vocalist. Enter: fellow country performer Trisha Yearwood, who had a dozen Billboard country chart top 10 hits under her belt. When both versions were released simultaneously, LeAnn triumphed in the US and UK, while Australia opted for Trisha's take on the ballad.




"Coco Jamboo" by Mr President
Entered the Australian chart: August 24, 1997
Peak position: number 7
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Jojo Action" (number 78 in 1998)
Here we go again - get set for a double shot of tragic dance tracks, starting with this pan pipe-featuring Eurodance horror. Sounding like Ace Of Base on a bad day, the German trio enjoyed a number of subsequent hits back home and even released a Christmas version of this track.




"You Sexy Thing" by T-Shirt
Entered the Australian chart: October 19, 1997
Peak position: number 6
No other top 100 entries
Like the theme to The X-Files and "Alice, Who The F*** Is Alice?", a number of rival versions of Hot Chocolate's "You Sexy Thing" sprang up in 1997 following the original's use in The Full Monty. Once again, Australia opted for the dark horse and championed this lazy version by British duo T-Shirt (half of whom was future Xenomania songwriting genius Miranda Cooper), who stayed at number 6 on the ARIA chart for six straight weeks. Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown even popped up in the clip.




"Sex And Candy" by Marcy Playground
Entered the Australian chart: April 6, 1998
Peak position: number 8
No other top 100 entries
As grunge made way for post-grunge, bands like American rock trio Marcy Playground served up a more radio-ready version of the early-'90s genre - typified by the band's 1997 hit single "Sex And Candy" (which hit Australia several months later).




"Sway" by Bic Runga
Entered the Australian chart: July 27, 1998
Peak position: number 10
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Get Some Sleep" (number 92 in 2002)
She may not have enjoyed Lorde-like success, but Kiwi singer/songwriter did gain some exposure Stateside when this sweet Australian and NZ top 10 single was featured on the American Pie soundtrack a couple of years later.




"Music Sounds Better With You" by Stardust
Entered the Australian chart: August 23, 1998
Peak position: number 4
No other top 100 entries
When he wasn't busy launching French house onto an unsuspecting public as half of Daft Punk, Thomas Bangalter was collaborating with countrymen Alan Braxe and vocalist Benjamin Diamond on this Chaka Khan-sampling masterpiece. Who knows what might have happened had Stardust released any further singles...




"I Don't Like It" by Pauline Pantsdown
Entered the Australian chart: September 6, 1998
Peak position: number 10
No other top 100 entries
If any political figure was just asking to be made fun of it's Pauline Hanson, the Queensland MP and fish-and-chip shop owner whose maiden speech caused a right old stir in late 1996. This comedy single by drag performer Simon Hunt, which sampled snippets of Hanson's voice, was actually his second release as Pauline Pantsdown - and despite the politican's protests, it shot into the top 10 around the same time as 1998's federal election.




"If You Could Read My Mind" by Stars On 54
Entered the Australian chart: October 11, 1998
Peak position: number 3
No other top 100 entries
This one-off collaboration by club singers Ultra Naté (biggest hit: "Free", number 31), Amber (biggest hit: "This Is Your Night", number 11) and Jocelyn Enriquez (no solo top 100 appearances) for the soundtrack to disco-era biopic 54 was a dance floor-ready remake of the 1970 tune by Gordon Lightfoot.




"Say It Once" by Ultra
Entered the Australian chart: February 8, 1999
Peak position: number 4
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Say You Do" (number 58 in 1999)
Don't call them a boy band! After all, British four-piece Ultra played their own instruments and wrote their own songs, including this single, which performed significant better locally than it did back at home (where it got no further than number 16).




"She's So High" by Tal Bachman
Entered the Australian chart: June 14, 1999
Peak position: number 8
No other top 100 entries
With a first name that's short for Talmage, Canadian singer Tal Bachman came from rock royalty - his dad, Randy, was lead singer for band Bachman-Turner Overdrive. "She's So High" would go on to be covered by the one and only World Idol champion, Norway's Kurt Nilsen.




"2 Times" by Ann Lee
Entered the Australian chart: July 12, 1999
Peak position: number 4
No other top 100 entries
Italian-based/British-born singer Annerley Gordon had co-written Eurodance smashes like Corona's "Rhythm Of The Night", and "Another Day" and "Think Of You" by Whigfield before briefly stepping into the spotlight with this debut single.




"Sweet Like Chocolate" by Shanks & Bigfoot
Entered the Australian chart: July 12, 1999
Peak position: number 6
No other top 50 entries
Next biggest single: "Sing-A-Long" (number 84 in 2000)
One of the biggest hits from the burgeoning UK garage scene, this track by duo Steven Meade and Danny Langsman featured vocals by Sharon Woolf, who'd also contributed to "Straight From The Heart", a song released under another of the pair's aliases: Doolally.




They aren't all on Spotify, but those one-hit wonders from this post and Part 2 that are online can be found on this playlist:





To conclude my look back at one-hit wonders of the '90s, I'll remember those artists that, although often mistaken as 1HWs, actually had two big hits on the ARIA chart.