Wednesday, 28 November 2018

This Week In 1993: November 28, 1993

Back in 1993, it was still possible to wring every last possible single out of a smash album, whereas these days the best way to have a hit-laden album is to do a Calvin Harris or Jonas Blue and put the album out after you've already released half a dozen or more successful songs.

Janet Jackson and Bon Jovi kept the singles coming

This week in 1993, two singles from albums that had many tracks lifted from them entered the ARIA top 50 by artists who were used to their albums having a shelf life of a couple of years while they picked song after song from them.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending November 28, 1993

Another performer whose previous album contained a stack of chart hits found himself at number 1 this week in 1993. Bryan Adams knocked Ace Of Base off the top spot with "Please Forgive Me"

Off The Chart
Number 97 "Runaway Love" by En Vogue
Peak: number 87
Having exhausted Funky Divas of singles, the girl group released EP Runaway Love and this unremarkable title track. A much bigger hit from the EP, a collaboration with Salt 'n' Pepa, would follow. 

Number 84 "It Keeps Rainin' (Tears From My Eyes)" by Bitty McLean
Peak: number 83
Had the reggae bubble burst? This cover of the Fats Domino song was massive in the UK and New Zealand, but did next to nothing in Australia for Delroy McLean.

Number 83 "The Price I Pay" by Jenny Morris
Peak: number 78
Her previous studio album had yielded her biggest hit ever, but this cover of a Billy Bragg album track from 1988, which would eventually appear on 1995's Salvation Jane, wasn't the best start to Jenny Morris's new deal with rooArt. 

Number 78 "Reflections" by Jon Stevens
Peak: number 60
Here's another New Zealander who now called Australia home finding it tough going on the ARIA chart, with this second single from Are U Satisfied missing the top 50.

New Entries
Number 49 "I Believe" by Bon Jovi
Peak: number 40
Slippery When Wet had provided four singles; follow-up New Jersey had offered up five - and so it was only logical that Keep The Faith would deliver six singles for Bon Jovi fans, who duly made all six of them top 40 hits in Australia. "I Believe" was the fifth (and least successful) of those singles, and as I write this I have absolutely no idea how it goes. Having now clicked play on the YouTube link below, the song is in no way familiar, while I could definitely sing you the chorus of the album's previous four singles if I had to. It's understandable why this didn't do any better. Still, a top 40 hit is a top 40 hit and this became Bon Jovi's 13th - a string only blighted by 1989's "Living In Sin".

Number 27 "The Weight" by Jimmy Barnes / The Badloves
Peak: number 6
Next up, a singer who was used to landing a decent amount of hits from his usually chart-topping albums - but in 1993, Jimmy Barnes' track record hit a major stumbling block when two of the four singles taken from Heat missed the top 40. Moving swiftly along, Jimmy released a second album in 1993, timed nicely for the Christmas market. His take on an MTV Unplugged-style release, Flesh And Wood saw Jimmy in acoustic mode - a sharp contrast to the loud rock of Heat. And taking no chances, he released a remake as its first single. Aided by The Badloves, Jimmy covered "The Weight" by The Band and was duly returned to the top 10.

Number 26 "Again" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 19
Janet Jackson did not mess around when it came to milking her albums of singles. Seven were lifted from Control (an album with only nine tracks) and eight had been taken from Rhythm Nation 1814. Although sweet ballad "Again", which had previously appeared on the soundtrack to Janet's feature film debut, Poetic Justice, was only the third single released from janet, it was safe to assume it wouldn't be the last. Far from it. As a bonus, by reaching number 19, "Again" marked the first time Janet scored three straight top 20 hits in Australia - a sure sign that subsequent singles from janet would reach a more receptive audience locally than many of the tracks taken from her previous two albums had.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:

Next week: the latest single from another album that had already been mined for a stack of hits. Plus, the chart return of a decade-old song.

Back to: Nov 21, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Dec 5, 1993

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

This Week In 1993: November 21, 1993

There are some voices that are unmistakable - for better or for worse. And this week in 1993, one of the most distinctive singers on the dance music scene made her first ARIA top 50 appearance as the vocalist for a hot new(ish) British band.

British dance act M-People were finally moving on up in Australia this week in 1993

For the next few years, her voice would soar over a seemingly endless stream of pop-dance tracks, although she had actually already performed on one big hit, having been drafted in to provide replacement vocals on Black Box's "Ride On Time" when the use of the original sample prompted legal issues. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending November 21, 1993

For a third and final week, the highest-selling single in Australia this week in 1993 was Ace Of Base's "All That She Wants", with not even the Scandipop quartet able to withstand the might of Bryan Adams for much longer. 

Off The Chart
Number 97 "Headaround" by Died Pretty
Peak: number 96
"Harness Up" had taken the Sydney indie band into the top 50, but this catchy next single didn't follow suit. Album Trace had made a better showing, reaching number 11 at the end of September.

Number 96 "Wild World" by Mr Big
Peak: number 53
Had Maxi Priest's version of the Cat Stevens song not been a top 10 hit five years earlier, this lead single from the former chart-toppers' Bump Ahead album might have done better here.

Number 94 "Anarchy In The UK" by Green Jelly
Peak: number 94
"Three Little Pigs" might have been massive, but thankfully the Australian public saw sense and didn't turn this Sex Pistols-meets-Flintstones novelty any higher up the chart.

Number 91 "Carly's Song" by Enigma
Peak: number 91
In 1991, their ethereal brand of dance music had been massive, but this single taken from the Sliver soundtrack - home also to UB40's number 1 hit - didn't connect in the same way.

Number 90 "Silent Witnesses" by Southern Sons
Peak: number 88
Their last single had flopped and so another ballad from Nothing But The Truth was lifted in one last ditch effort to breathe some more life into the pop/rock band's career. It didn't work.

Number 88 "Waiting" by Tiddas
Peak: number 88
The former backing singers-turned-ARIA-nominated trio didn't have a huge hit with this lead single from Sing About Life, but that debut album went gold and won an ARIA Award.

Number 80 "So Natural" by Lisa Stansfield
Peak: number 69
After two non-charting soundtrack releases, Lisa Stansfield was back in the top 100 for the first time in a couple of years with this title track from her third album.

New Entries
Number 50 "All About Soul" by Billy Joel
Peak: number 34
Former number 1 smash "The River Of Dreams/No Man's Land" was on its last legs inside the top 50, but Billy Joel got nowhere near as high with this follow-up, which I actually prefer to his chart-topper. That said, "All About Soul" was not a patch on the string of chart hits he'd unleashed in the '80s, and with songs like this that didn't have the cross-generational appeal of, say, "Uptown Girl" or "A Matter Of Trust", his time as a hit-maker was running out. In fact, "All About Soul" would turn out to be Billy's final top 50 appearance. 

Number 46 "Moving On Up" by M-People
Peak: number 4
When it came to M People, fronted by the big-voiced Heather Small, Australia was a bit slow on the uptake, with "Moving On Up" becoming their first single to breach the ARIA top 100. And how, going all the way to number 4 and becoming one of the party season's most inescapable songs. But the Manchester band had been releasing great singles since 1991, including the predecessor to "Moving On Up", "One Night In Heaven", which was re-released here in 1994. 
Actually, Britain had also taken a while to warm up to the band, with the four singles from debut album Northern Soul floundering as mid-level hits before a remix of debut single "How Can I Love You More" gave them their first UK top 10 hit ahead of the release of second album Elegant Slumming. Now on track in both the UK and Australia, M People became the rare dance act that could also shift albums as well as singles, and over the next few years bombarded the charts with a slew of great tracks.

Number 45 "This Is The Way" by Dannii Minogue
Peak: number 45
Next up, the first of a triple play of songs from artists who could have been justified in expecting better positions, especially in the case of Dannii Minogue, who'd just enjoyed her biggest hit since her debut with "This Is It". The similarly titled "This Is The Way", however, wasn't anywhere near as catchy as her hit remake and not even the presence once again of her soon-to-be husband, Julian McMahon, in the music video could lift it any higher up the chart.

Number 44 Yeah I Want You by The Sharp
Peak: number 44
Also progressing no further than this entry position were trio The Sharp, whose last three releases had all reached the top 40. What's even more surprising about Yeah I Want You not doing any better is that included on the five-track EP were the band's remakes of well-known songs like "The Love Cats" and "Hanging On The Telephone"

Number 41 "Both Sides Of The Story" by Phil Collins
Peak: number 41
If you wanted a sign of the changing times then you needed look no further than the failure of a brand new song by one-time chart dominator Phil Collins to make the top 40. The lead single from his fifth album, Both Sides, this almost title track probably would have done quite well a few years earlier, but by 1993, Phil, like Billy Joel, was yesterday's hero. The song, which suggests people look at things from more than one perspective, wasn't the Genesis frontman's final hit in Australia, but he charted similarly over the next few years with the lead singles from his next two albums.

Number 38 "All Over Me" by Chocolate Starfish
Peak: number 33
Entering the top 50 one place below their descending remake of "You're So Vain", Chocolate Starfish's follow-up hit was an original track (produced, once again, by Psuedo Echo's Brian Canham) that had a strong enough chorus, but failed to ignite in the same way as their debut. The band would return to favour in 1994 with another big hit and an album that also did quite well.

Number 8 "Lemon" by U2
Peak: number 6
As the Zoo TV tour continued to make its way around the country, U2 burst into the singles top 10 with the latest cut from Zooropa and back into the albums top 10 with the album itself. Yet another song that pushed the band in new musical directions, "Lemon" combined their new-found interest in all things electronic with a classic U2 rousing chorus. What I didn't know until now is that the song was inspired by old video footage Bono had been sent of his mother as a young woman in which she wore a lemon-coloured dress. "Lemon" came with a remix by Perfecto (the team behind the dance mix of "Even Better Than The Real Thing"), which would later form the basis of "Skin On Skin" by Grace.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:

Next week: a local band finally get a big hit, thanks to their appearance on a song by Australian rock royalty, while another local singer with a string of successes hits a chart roadblock.

Back to: Nov 14, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 28, 1993

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

This Week In 1993: November 14, 1993

Cute kids are a sitcom and advertising staple, and this week in 1993, pre-teens were an integral part of two of the new entries on the ARIA singles chart.  

Cute kids were part of the appeal of two of this week's new entries

In one case, a 10-year-old girl provided the enduring visual image for a top 10 hit by a new US band. In the other, a five-year-old French kid entered the chart with his former European number 1 single.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending November 14, 1993

The number 1 single in Australia this week in 1993 was "All That She Wants" by Ace Of Base, which spent its second week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "A Cute, Sweet, Love Addition" by Johnny Gill
Peak: number 89
"The Floor" was still high on the chart after 15 weeks inside the top 50, but this next release from Provocative didn't repeat that success for Johnny Gill, who'd ultimately be a one-hit wonder.

Number 93 "Too Much Information" by Duran Duran
Peak: number 93
The two previous singles from "The Wedding Album" had made the top 20, but this just-as-good third track, which took a swipe at overly commercialised pop, bombed out.

Number 85 "Wild America" by Iggy Pop
Peak: number 85
His last album had provided him with a long-awaited top 10 hit in the form of "Candy", but Iggy Pop had no such luck with anything from American Caesar, including this lead single.

Number 77 "Werewolf" by Doug Mulray
Peak: number 77
Seven years earlier, the radio DJ had reached the top 40 with "You Are Soul" (say the title quickly), but this track from Nice Legs Shame About The Fez couldn't do the same.

New Entries
Number 50 "Dur Dur D'être Bébé" by Jordy
Peak: number 37
Teen idols were nothing new on the charts, but this week in 1993, Australia welcomed a brand new type of chart star to the top 50: French toddler Jordy, with his former European number 1 - a song that was released a year earlier when he was just four-and-a-half. A fairly monotonous Eurodance track, "Dur Dur D'être Bébé" (French for "It's Tough To Be A Baby") was clearly only as successful as it was because of the novelty factor of someone who could barely speak performing on a single. Following this worldwide success, Jordy Lemoine released a few more songs (including a second chart-topper in France) before having the type of career and personal roller-coaster you'd expect for someone who became famous before he'd started school.

Number 47 "Hero" by Mariah Carey
Peak: number 7
Previous single "Dreamlover" had given a glimpse of the R&B direction Mariah Carey would head in as the '90s progressed, but Music Box's second single, "Hero", was about as big a belter as you could get. Interestingly, Mariah was not originally going to record the song herself. Co-written with regular collaboration Walter Afanasieff, it had been intended to be used in 1992 Dustin Hoffman film Hero and was going to be given to Gloria Estefan to perform. But when Sony head honcho and Mariah's then-fiancé Tommy Mottola heard a rough recording with Mariah singing, he insisted she keep it for herself. And so it went on to become one of her best-known songs and gave her a second number 7 hit in a row in Australia.

Number 36 "Got To Get It" by Culture Beat
Peak: number 7
"Mr Vain" was slowly making its way down from the top spot and was joined on the top 50 this week by follow-up "Got To Get It", another slice of Teutonic Eurodance that didn't deviate too far from the formula of their number 1 smash. There's not really much more to say about the song other than it was another of the year's best dance tracks from the act masterminded by DJ/producer Torsten Fenslau.

Number 25 "No Rain" by Blind Melon
Peak: number 8
It's impossible to hear this song - the only hit for American five-piece Blind Melon - without picturing the music video featuring 10-year-old Heather DeLoach in a bee costume. The outfit was based on a photo of drummer Glenn Graham's sister taken in 1975 which was used for the cover of the band's self-titled debut album, with Heather bringing the picture to life in the video directed by Samuel Bayer, who'd also shot "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The song itself, which was written by bass player Brad Smith, might sound sunny, but it's actually about being depressed. The band released a second album in 1995 - the same year singer Shannon Hoon died of a drug overdose. 

Number 6 "Please Forgive Me" by Bryan Adams
Peak: number 1
Blasting straight into the top 10 was a brand new offering from the man who'd dominated the singles and albums charts a couple of years earlier with the behemoth "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" from Waking Up The Neighbours. Having been landing international hits for a decade, Bryan Adams had earned himself a greatest hits collection and "Please Forgive Me" was the obligatory new track contained on So Far So Good. A classic Bryan Adams ballad, the song bored me to tears. Tens of thousands of Australians disagreed, sending it quickly to number 1.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:

Next week: the ARIA chart debut of a dance act with a big-voiced (and -haired) singer... although we had heard her perform on another track four years previously. 

Back to: Nov 7, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 21, 1993

Wednesday, 7 November 2018

This Week In 1993: November 7, 1993

Back in 1988, Salt 'n' Pepa had been one of the first hip-hop acts to enjoy a big hit on the ARIA chart and, as 1992 began, landed one of the earliest rap chart-toppers in this country. And so it wasn't that surprising when the female trio took the top 50 by storm once again in 1993.

Salt, Pepa and Spinderella shooped their way back up the chart in 1993

But, there was a big difference with the song they almost took to number 1 in early 1994: they wrote it themselves. That's right, despite "Push It" and "Let's Talk About Sex" having their personality stamped all over them, those hits were penned for them.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending November 7, 1993

At number 1 this week in 1993, there was a changing of the guard as Culture Beat made way for Ace Of Base. "All That She Wants" rose to the top for the first of three weeks. 

Off The Chart
Number 93 "Them Bones" by Alice In Chains
Peak: number 93
A second top 100 appearance for the US band, "Them Bones" is not a grunge version of the spiritual "Dem Bones", although that would've been interesting.

Number 92 "Hold Me Now" by Rhonda Burchmore
Peak: number 55
I'm surprised the Midday favourite got as high up the chart as she did with this butchering of Johnny Logan's Eurovision-winning ballad from 1987. Listen at your peril.

Number 86 "Spaceman" by 4 Non Blondes
Peak: number 85
"What's Up?" fell out of the top 10 this week, but this follow-up from Bigger, Better, Faster, More! didn't live up to that album title, only creeping up one more place from this debut position.

Number 81 "Stir It Up" by The Black Sorrows
Peak: number 58
It was greatest hits time for Joe Camilleri's band, and as well as including tracks from six of their seven studio albums to date on The Chosen Ones, they added this newly recorded cover of the Bob Marley & The Wailers song.

Number 59 "With Your Hand Upon My Heart" by Michael Crawford / Patti LaBelle
Peak: number 59
Parent album A Touch Of Music In The Night was moving its way back up to spend a second week at number 1, but this slushy duet with Patti LaBelle didn't give the star of stage and screen his first chart hit.

Single Of The Week
"World Turning" by Yothu Yindi
Peak: number 56
It had worked for them last time around, with dance mixes of two of the track from previous album Tribal Voice turning Indigenous band Yothu Yindi into chart stars, but this lead single from third album Freedom, despite coming with a remix that breathed life into the more staid album version, just missed the top 50.

New Entries
Number 50 "The Right Time" by Hoodoo Gurus
Peak: number 41
After their 1992 career retrospective, Hoodoo Gurus got back to putting out new music in 1993 - and it was business as usual with this lead single from the upcoming Crank album. And perhaps that's why "The Right Time" didn't do any better, becoming the band's first lead single to miss the top 40 since their debut. Despite boasting a harder edge than some of their previous releases, "The Right Time" sounded like it could have come from any of the band's previous albums and music had moved on since then.

Number 41 "The World As It Is" by Daryl Braithwaite
Peak: number 35
Here's another Australian rock legend finding the going tough with the first taste of his latest album, Taste The Salt. And again, it's pretty easy to see why since "The World As It Is" was no "The Horses" or "As The Days Go By". A noisier rock track, it probably was an attempt to move with the times, but I'd say it would've put much of Daryl Braithwaite's older demographic off. As a result, Taste The Salt peaked at number 13 and spent only 6 weeks on the top 50, quite a comedown after 1988's Edge had topped the chart and Rise ended up as 1991's highest-selling album (despite only reaching number 4). 

Number 40 "Shoop" by Salt 'n' Pepa
Peak: number 2
As I mentioned at the start of this post, this lead single from Salt 'n' Pepa's fourth studio album, Very Necessary, was their first ARIA top 50 single written by Cheryl James and Sandra Denton themselves. And apparently they had to fight for it to be released, with their usual songwriter and producer, Herby "Luvbug" Azor, not so keen on the song. But "Shoop", on which the ladies rapped about what they wanted to do with the men that caught their eye (shoop, obviously), was always going to be massive. From its suggestive lyrics to the sample from "I'm Blue (The Gong-Gong Song)" to the cameo-packed music video, it was the perfect package (no pun intended).

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1993:

Next week: possibly the youngest chart star of all time, plus two massives power ballads arrives, one from the man responsible for 1991's highest-selling single.

Back to: Oct 31, 1993 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 14, 1993