Saturday, 13 April 2013

The Best Of 1993 - part 1

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


If you've been following my journey through my favourite songs of each year since I began getting into music, we've now finally arrived at the year in which I became an adult. If you're just tuning in, the links down the side will take you all the way back to my top tunes from each year since 1979.

Swedish pop exports Ace Of Base were as big as ABBA... for a second

Turning 18 in the first week of 1993 meant my weekends that year were largely spent in nightclubs. Having not bothered with the whole fake ID thing (I had one, but I never used it), I made up for lost time by "going clubbing" (do the kids still call it that?) regularly and, as a result, I first heard many of the songs in this top 100 on the dance floor.


Number 100 "Calling Out" by Curt Smith
But first, a more radio-friendly pop track from the Tears For Fears singer, who'd left the TFF name in the hands of his former (at the time) band-mate Roland Orzabal. While Curt went properly solo, Roland continued to release music as Tears For Fears, but I wasn't interested in those albums (especially 1995's oddly titled Raoul And The Kings Of Spain). 




Number 99 "Don't Look Any Further" by M-People
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 98 "Rain" by Madonna
1993 was an interesting time for Madonna, who had stretched the friendship with the public somewhat thanks to projects like the Sex book and the Erotica album. Not everything she touched turned to platinum, or even gold, anymore, and singles like "Bad Girl" and "Fever" gave her some of her least successful chart positions of all time in Australia and the US. That all changed when "Rain" became the fifth song lifted from Erotica, and its simple charm turned back the tide... for the time being.




Number 97 "Buddy X" by Neneh Cherry
As I mentioned in my 1992 countdown, Neneh struggled to have the kind of success she'd enjoyed first time around with her second album - although this second single from Homebrew should have been a hit. Years later, a UK garage remix would see it improve its chart position by 20 places, when the Dreem Teem revamp made it to number 15 in the UK.




Number 96 "Comin' On" by The Shamen
The singles kept coming from The Shamen's Boss Drum album - each one given a sparkly pop makeover by remixers The Beatmasters. "Comin' On" was the lead track from 1993's The SOS EP, which would be the last we'd hear from the dance act for two years.




Number 95 "Rockin' For Myself" by Motiv8 featuring Angie Brown
Meanwhile, here's a song we'd be hearing a lot of over the next two years - the original version of the Motiv8 anthem which started my obsession with the work of Mr Steve Rodway. Featuring vocals by Angie Brown, who'd performed on Bizarre Inc's "I'm Gonna Get You", "Rockin' For Myself" popped up on an Energy Rush compilation I bought on import from Central Station Records in Sydney.
During the mid-90s, I'd regularly purchase UK various artists CDs like the Dance Zone series, the Now! That's What I Call Music series and other random titles since I'd end up with 40 or so tracks, many of which wouldn't be released in Australia - and it was a hell of a lot cheaper than buying a stack of import CD singles. More on this Motiv8 song in my 1994 countdown...




Number 94 "Elated" by Euphoria
They had dominated my 1992 countdown with the singles from Total Euphoria, and after a line-up change - Holly Garnett left, Jodie Meares joined - this new track was released to, well, universal disinterest. That pretty much ended things for Euphoria, with the musical brains behind the group, Andrew Klippel, going on to form Elastic and A.K Soul. Main vocalist Keren Minshull has continued to work in music, Jodie changed her name to Jodhi and married well, and Holly tragically passed away towards the end of the decade. The version of "Elated" below isn't the original radio mix, but is the only version on YouTube.




Number 93 "The Floor" by Johnny Gill
Although Australia hadn't shown much interest in the New Edition member's 1990 solo album (which boasted great singles like "Rub You The Right Way" and "Fairweather Friend"), we made up for it by embracing this track from his Provocative album. "The Floor" became a top 10 hit locally - much better than it performed back home in the US - but it would be his last solo hit of note in any territory. These days, Johnny regularly performs with the five other members of New Edition.




Number 92 "So In Love (The Real Deal)" by Judy Cheeks
The Deconstruction label had been responsible for some of the biggest dance hits of the decade so far, and in 1993, new label Positiva quickly became just as reliable for releasing huge dance tunes - including this track by US singer Judy, who'd been making music since the 1970s. The single version of the track isn't on YouTube, but one of the better remixes is below.




Number 91 "All That She Wants" by Ace Of Base
In 1992, the world fell in love with ABBA all over again, so what better time for a new Swedish foursome to enter the music scene? Ace Of Base quickly took the world by storm, selling singles and albums in quantities that suggested the comparisons to ABBA might not be so silly. Their debut single, "All That She Wants", hit number 1 around the world and came close to the top in many more countries (including the US, where it stalled at number 2 for three weeks, but stuck around in the top 50 for longer than may chart-toppers).




Number 90 "Saving Forever For You" by Shanice
By 1993, teen TV series Beverly Hills, 90210 was absolutely massive and a must-watch for me on a Friday night (before going out, of course). With soundtracks bigger than ever thanks to the success of The Bodyguard and Boomerang, 90210 received its own compilation album - and "Saving Forever For You" is one of three singles taken from the album to appear in this top 100. For Shanice, the ballad would be her last big hit in the US for six years.




Number 89 "Hero" by Mariah Carey
Thanks to reality TV singing competitions, this song has become a bit of a cliché, but in 1993, it was another instant classic for multi-octave Mariah, who didn't seem to have time to film proper music videos - with both this and follow-up "Without You" released with live clips. The second single from the unstoppable Music Box album, "Hero" became Mariah's eighth number 1 US single out of 10 releases. 




Number 88 "Whisper A Prayer" by Mica Paris
Mentioned in Part 2

Number 87 "And So I Will Wait For You" by Dee Fredrix
In 1993, UK Chart Attack was still airing on 2Day FM on a Sunday night and, even though I was a uni student and didn't have to sit at my desk doing my homework on a Sunday evening, I tried not to miss an episode of the weekly radio show. This is one of many tracks it introduced me to. Never a big hit in the UK, the Dina Carroll-ish song and accompanying album, Grace, were quickly added to my collection.




Number 86 "I'm Every Woman" by Whitney Houston
Mentioned in Part 2

Number 85 "Too Young To Die" by Jamiroquai
After an impressive debut in 1992, Jay Kay and pals released their first studio album, Emergency On Planet Earth in 1993, and this second single became their first UK top 10 hit. Australia, like the US, wouldn't properly catch on to Jamiroquai for a few more years, but the UK music press and record-buying public were already hooked.




Number 84 "How Can I Love You More (remix)" by M-People
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 83 "Love Is" by Vanessa Williams / Brian McKnight
Another single from the Beverly Hills, 90210 soundtrack teamed the former Miss America, who was by now a chart regular, with R&B newcomer Brian, who was yet to score a hit in his own right. The ballad would end up being one of the biggest songs for both artists, reaching number 3 in the US - a position Brian wouldn't better for six years until the release of his signature song, "Back At One", which spent eight weeks at number 2 in 1999.




Number 82 "That's The Way Love Goes" by Janet Jackson
Mentioned in Part 3

Number 81 "In All The Right Places" by Lisa Stansfield
Another ballad and another soundtrack hit - this time, the theme to Demi Moore movie Indecent Proposal. "In All The Right Places" would end up being Lisa's biggest single in the UK for the decade, but, despite the track's appearance in a Hollywood film, her period of success in the US had come to an end.




Number 80 "If I Ever Lose My Faith In You" by Sting
In 1993, I bought singles in one of two ways - on cassingle or CD single, since vinyl had been phased out by this point in Australia (except in specialty stores). And, I would make the decision about which format to purchase depending on how much I liked a song - with the songs I liked more coming home with me on CD, since they cost more. Sting didn't make the cut, and I ended up buying the cassingle of this, the first and biggest single from the Ten Summoner's Tales album.




Number 79 "Little Bird" by Annie Lennox
Talk about saving the best for last. "Little Bird" was the fifth single from the Eurythmics singer's debut solo album, but despite being far superior to tracks like "Cold" and "Why", it took until 1993 to finally get a single release. Backed by double A-side "Love Song For A Vampire" (from the soundtrack to Bram Stoker's Dracula), it out-performed all the other singles from Diva in many countries and remains the best thing Annie has done in her solo career.




Number 78 "The Music Is Movin'" by Fargetta
I promised dance music, and here is a classic slice of Italo House from Mario Fargetta which was big in 1993. The CD single I bought contained the mix below, which, since I've always preferred neat three-and-a-half minute radio versions, I edited for my mix tapes by cutting out the long intro and fading out the end.
I'd bought a fancy new Yamaha stereo in 1993 (which actually lasted me for over a decade until I blew up the amplifier at my 30th birthday party) and it allowed me to really perfect the art of the mix tape. We wouldn't hear much more from Fargetta until 1998 when he'd emerge as The Tamperer... but that's a story for another countdown.




Number 77 "In The Morning" by Boom Crash Opera
"Bettadaze" had been a chart disappointment in 1992, and this follow-up single, which coincided with the release of third album Fabulous Beast, was at least consistent in that it didn't set the Australian charts alight. It's a shame, since that album was just as good as their previous two albums, but, with the onslaught on grunge rock, BCO were possibly just too behind the times.




Number 76 "I Have Nothing" by Whitney Houston
Mentioned in Part 2

In Part 2, a slew of dance tracks, two of the biggest American recording artists of all time and the only sound I liked from a genre which returned out of nowhere to dominate music in 1993: reggae.


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

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