Tag Archives: Gina G

FLASHBACK: Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit Of Chart History

text

“Meant for” a top ten record.

The CHR/Top 40 airwaves were starting to rebuild their identity by the end of 1996, after a tumultuous few years of ratings slides, faceless new acts and lost songs. Before the Spice Girls swept the nation with “girl power”, and Lillith Fair ruled the summer tour season, a number of female singers began to perform well at the format. During that year, Alanis Morissette, Celine Dion and Donna Lewis (and others) had a super run at the top, leaving only two published charts with a #1 song by a male soloist. Then, as the hits kept piling up, the inevitable result occurred: just as 1997 began, the top ten songs on the pop chart were all sung by female soloists or female-led bands. It’s the only time this kind of event took place on the format, pre-PPW (plays per week) or PPW era.

Now, just because it’s been two decades since this historic chart week, that doesn’t mean that female-led top threes, fours and fives are going away anytime soon. An all-female top seven occurred on the pop chart as recently as September 2014, which included big hits by acts like Ariana Grande, Meghan Trainor and Taylor Swift. So, keep that dream of a top ten led by the ladies alive. It may just happen again when you least expect it…

Let’s get into those sensational songs that gave the top ten a special feminine touch for a little Throwback Thursday action:

(Stats taken from: Radio & Records – issue dated January 10, 1997, airplay period of December 30, 1996 – January 5, 1997)

10. CELINE DION, “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” (down 3)
Album: Falling Into You
Label: 550 Music/Epic

1996 was a year of sevens for Dion on the pop chart. “Because You Loved Me” spent seven weeks at #1, and “All” spent seven at #2.

09. JEWEL, “You Were Meant For Me” (up 10)
Album: Pieces Of You
Label: Atlantic

Though 1996 was her breakout year, 1997 was even more successful for this singer. Her two #1 songs totaled nine weeks at the top.

08. GINA G, “Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit” (up 6)
Album: Fresh!
Label: Eternal/Warner Bros.

The number of U.S. hits that originated at Eurovision is quite small, but “Ooh” connected with pop radio’s audience, peaking at #5.

07. THE CARDIGANS, “Lovefool” (up 9)
Album: First Band On The Moon
Label: Mercury

Nina Persson led this Swedish group to a huge smash in early 1997, spending six weeks at #1. They never made the pop chart again.

06. ALANIS MORISSETTE, “Head Over Feet” (=)
Album: Jagged Little Pill
Label: Maverick/Reprise

With her third in a run of five consecutive #1 singles on the pop chart, Morissette dominated the airwaves across multiple formats.

05. SHERYL CROW, “If It Makes You Happy” (=)
Album: Sheryl Crow
Label: A&M

Crow was likely “Happy” to reach the top five again after a couple of misses. “If” also went top ten at Alternative and Hot AC radio.

04. MERRIL BAINBRIDGE, “Mouth” (=)
Album: The Garden
Label: Universal

This Australian singer’s biggest U.S. hit held at #2 for four weeks in late 1996. Her two other chart singles stalled below the top 40.

03. TONI BRAXTON, “Un-Break My Heart” (=)
Album: Secrets
Label: LaFace/Arista

This iconic ballad became Braxton’s penultimate top ten hit on the pop listing, later making it there with “He Wasn’t Man Enough”.

02. EN VOGUE, “Don’t Let Go (Love)” (=)
Album: EV3
Label: EastWest/EEG

Shortly before the messy circumstances that made them a trio, this soundtrack cut gave the girls their biggest pop hit in four years.

01. NO DOUBT, “Don’t Speak” (=)
Album: Tragic Kingdom
Label: Trauma/Interscope

With a giant 11 (two frozen) weeks at #1, “Don’t” became the group’s signature song and one of the biggest radio hits of the decade.

Listen to Ooh Aah… A #TBT List on Spotify, featuring these songs and more top tunes from this week in 1996!

For more PGTC, check out our Facebook, Instagram, SoundCloud, Spotify and Twitter pages!

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers

Eurovisions Of Paradise: From The Song Contest To The States

Thank you for the music.

Thank you for the music.

Once a year, dozens of European nations come together for the Eurovision Song Contest, in which each country picks an act who performs their song live on television, after which they are voted upon and a winner is crowned. This year, the Contest is being held in the city of Malmö, Sweden, with a tagline of “We Are One”. 39 countries are participating in this event, and after two semi-finals earlier this week, that pack is down to 26, who will perform in the live final later on today. You can stream it at Eurovision’s official website or if you’re outside of North America, you can probably find a national broadcaster that will air the show on television.

In the U.S., we generally aren’t in the loop with what goes on at Eurovision. We don’t even have our own Amerivision where all fifty states could participate in a contest such as this. (Wouldn’t that be fun?) Despite this, we’ve seen established acts in the United States go onto success at the annual contest. Cliff Richard and Katrina & The Waves have both scored highly for the United Kingdom with their original songs, though those specific compositions were never issued in the States. In 1988, future superstar Celine Dion, representing for Switzerland, won that year’s contest with the French song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” (“Don’t Leave Without Me”), competing against Luxembourg’s Lara Fabian, best known for her 2000 single, “I Will Love Again”. This year, German dance and electronic act Cascada, who hit the top ten here in 2006 with “Everytime We Touch”, will be competing for Germany with “Glorious”, which has yet to see a release here. There have also been a few cases of songs that did well at Eurovision that became hits in the United States in an alternate version or cover. For example, fourth-place entry at the 1967 Contest, “L’amour Est Bleu” by Luxembourg’s Vicky Leandros, became a #1 on the Hot 100 the following year in an instrumental version by Paul Mauriat, “Love Is Blue”.

To date, only four finalists from the Eurovision Song Contest have ever made the top 40 on the Hot 100 in their original form by the original artist or band. Remember these pop ditties?

“Nel Blu Dipino Di Blu (Volare)”, Domenico Modugno (#1, 1958) [English: “In The Blue-Painted Sky (I Will Fly)”]
Though the Eurovision Song Contest began in 1956, it gained worldwide popularity two years later when this song competed in it. Though Italy’s entry only made it to third place, it became a smash hit in the United States, spending five non-consecutive weeks at #1 on the then-newly created Hot 100, becoming the top song of the year. Furthermore, it also received Record and Song Of The Year honors at the very first GRAMMY Awards in 1959. Modugno would only ever chart one other song in the U.S., his next year’s entry in the Contest: “Piove (Ciao, Ciao Bambina)” (#97). [English: “It’s Raining (Bye, Bye Baby)”.]

“Waterloo”, ABBA (#6, 1974)
Here’s the biggest act to come out of Eurovision with the amount of international success that the group has had. Back in 1974, the quartet competed with their debut single, “Waterloo”, and it won the Contest by six points, giving the country their first ever win. Released in both English and Swedish versions, the song did very well all over Europe and also cracked the top ten in the U.S., going as high as #6. ABBA would have a total of fourteen songs hit the Hot 100’s top 40, with “Dancing Queen” going to #1 in 1977, their biggest single. They last charted in 1982 and have never created new material together since that date.

“Save Your Kisses For Me”, Brotherhood Of Man (#27, 1976)
You may recall that this group first made the top 40 in the U.S. as a quintet with their song “United We Stand”. It went to #13 during the summer of 1970. Six years later, a totally revamped group reduced to a quartet, all new members, won that year’s Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom, and became so popular that it registered a minor charting here nationally, as well as a #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Though it reignited their career in their homeland for several more years, this was it for them in the U.S., and the song quickly faded away. The quartet is still together today and play live on occasion.

“Ooh Aah… Just A Little Bit”, Gina G (#11, 1997)
Australian-born Gina G was the United Kingdom’s pick for the 1996 Eurovision Contest, though her song ranked in 8th place when all was said and done. However, it did climb to #1 in the United Kingdom, the last single (thus far) by any participating act from the U.K. to hit #1 on that country’s Singles Chart. Several months later, the song charted in the United States, becoming a top ten radio hit and a #11 smash on the Hot 100. Though she had a string of large singles overseas, she only charted one more time here with the #46 “Gimme Some Love” in the summer of 1997. She’s largely done with recording and performing.

Check out the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest when it airs later today. I’m personally rooting for Denmark, Finland, Ireland and the United Kingdom! Let me know your picks in the comments or on Twitter: @AdamFSoybel.

Leave a comment

Filed under Charts/Trade Papers, Music News