The History of Pop Music – 1994

Featured song:

Elton John – Circle of Life

This is a series of articles looking at pop music from 1955 when in my opinion proper pop music began up to 1999 when they stopped making it. One article for each year.

I am only going to select one featured song for each article, which makes it hard. I am going to try and select a different artist for each year.

For many people, and I include myself, you tend to still like the tunes you heard during childhood, which your parents often played. So rather than just pick the top 10 hits of each year, I shall let you know what they were, but also the tunes of that year not necessarily in the top 10 or so, what were in my view classics.  I also add a couple of events in history for that year, it helps bring back memories, and hopefully happy ones.

Not everyone will like my choices of course, and you may remember some from each particular year that you feel should have been included, so do please post a link to the song.

So, on we go with memories from 1994: (Thank you Wiki)

This year was about:

Fred and Rose West.  The rise and rise of Tony Bliar.  Another dreadful year apart from the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

What was I doing: My game of Bridge, with my partner, was much improved and we played regularly for Kent, and we won a few Kent tournaments.  I was doing my umpteenth project with SAP at work, really getting to know my trade.

TV programmes included:

Dumblebore takes over as host of Question Time.  An episode of the television soap Brookside shows a lesbian kiss.  Play Your Cards Right returns to ITV after a seven-year break, once again with Bruce Forsyth as host (can you remember what you got for a pair in this game?).  That’s Life!, presented by Esther Rantzen, is broadcast for the last time following twenty one years on air.  Barbara Windsor makes her EastEnders debut as Peggy Mitchell.  he first episode of the Dawn French sitcom The Vicar of Dibley airs on BBC1. (great series that).  BBC1 airs the first National Lottery draw, which is hosted by Noel Edmonds, I remember watching it and though what a load of old shite, just take 3 mins and draw some numbers.  We saw the Final edition of The Generation Game to be presented by Bruce Forsyth.


Prime Minister – John Major (Conservative)

20 January – Sir Matt Busby, the legendary former Manchester United manager, dies aged 84.

7 February – Stephen Milligan, Conservative MP for Eastleigh in Hampshire, is found dead at his home in Chiswick, West London. Police describe his death as “suspicious”.

11 February – Forensic tests reveal that MP Stephen Milligan died of asphyxiation and that his death was probably the result of an auto-erotic sex practice (not on my list)

28 February – Fred West is charged with the murder of his daughter Heather and of the murder of Shirley Robinson, an 18-year-old woman who was last seen alive in 1978.

8, 10 and 13 March – The IRA launch three successive mortar attacks on Heathrow Airport.

8 March – Police in Gloucester confirm that they have now found the bodies of eight people buried at 25 Cromwell Street (Fred West).

28 April – Rosemary West, 40-year-old wife of suspected serial killer Fred West, is charged with three of the murders her husband stands accused of. Rosemary West was first arrested seven days ago, two months after her husband was first taken into custody.

6 May – The Channel Tunnel, a 51 km (32 miles) long rail tunnel beneath the English Channel at the Strait of Dover, officially opened, though I had been using for many months.

12 May – John Smith (Labour Party leader) dies suddenly of a heart attack in London at 55 years old.

31 May – Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have dinner at the Granita restaurant in Islington and allegedly make a deal on who will become the leader of the Labour Party, and ultimately, the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. (*inserts well known GP word x 2*)

7 June – Television playwright Dennis Potter, 59, dies of cancer in Ross-on-Wye, a week after his wife Margaret died of the same illness.

7 June – Police working on the Gloucester mass murder case find and begin the 2-day recovery of human remains from a field at Much Marcle, near Gloucester (a site located by Fred West), which are identified on 30 June to be those of Anne McFall, who was last seen alive in 1967 at the age of 18 and pregnant with West’s child.

15 June – Britain’s railways grind to a virtual standstill with a strike by more than 4,000 signalling staff.

30 June – Magistrates in Gloucester charge Fred West with a total of 11 murders believed to have been committed between 1967 and 1987, while Rose West is charged with nine murders which are believed to have been committed between 1970 and 1987. On 3 July he is charged with a 12th murder, that of Anna McFall.

21 July – Tony Blair wins the Labour Party leadership election defeating John Prescott and Margaret Beckett.

26 August – Sunday Trading Act 1994 (5 July) comes into full effect, permitting retailers to trade on Sundays, though restricting opening times of larger stores to a maximum of six hours, which must be between 10 am and 6 pm. This will have a significant social effect on shopping habits.

31 August – The Provisional Irish Republican Army declares a ceasefire.

20 October – Cash-for-questions affair: The Guardian newspaper reports that two Conservative MPs, Neil Hamilton and Tim Smith, took bribes from Harrods chief Mohamed Al-Fayed to ask questions in the House of Commons.

19 November – The first UK National Lottery draw takes place.

15 December – Tony Blair continues to enjoy dominance in the opinion polls as the latest MORI poll shows Labour support at an unprecedented 61%, putting them a massive 39 points ahead of the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats have suffered a slump in popularity, gained just 13% of the vote in this poll compared to 20% a year ago. Ian Pearson wins the Dudley West by-election for Labour with nearly 70% of the votes, becoming the new MP for the constituency which was left vacant with the death of Conservative John Blackburn two months ago. The Conservative majority has now fallen to 13 seats.

The Top 10 Singles with a You Tube hyperlink on the title:

Top Tip: Right-click and open in new tab

Top Hits of 1994
   1 Wet Wet Wet Love Is All Around
   2 Whigfield Saturday Night
   3 Pato Banton Baby Come Back
   4 East 17 Stay Another Day
   5 All-4-One I Swear
   6 Mariah Carey Without You
   7 Bon Jovi Always
   8 Let Loose Crazy For You
   9 D-Ream Things Can Only Get Better
   10 Ace of Bass The Sign

The featured song “Circle of Life” – is a song from Disney’s 1994 animated film The Lion King. Composed by Elton John, with lyrics by Tim Rice, the song was performed by Carmen Twillie (the deep female lead vocals) and Lebo M. (opening Zulu vocals) as the film’s opening song. In an interview, Rice said he was amazed at the speed with which John composed: “I gave him the lyrics at the beginning of the session at about two in the afternoon. By half-past three, he’d finished writing and recording a stunning demo. Elton John sang a pop version (with alternative lyrics) of the song with the London Community Gospel Choir, which was included in the film’s soundtrack and made into a music video.

More writings on this song here:  –  “Circle of Life

I am pleased to include Elton John at long last as a featured song.  This particular there was little to choose from though, but it is still a great song.  Love is all around is another one of those songs (15 weeks at No 1), which was played to death, as good as it is, you just do not want to hear it again.  Ace of Bass with The Sign came close, but it had to be Elton.

In my view the best songs of the year, after the featured track:

Bruce Springsteen – Streets of Philadelphia – The Boss with a great track.

Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time in The World – The James Bond sequence with Dianna Rigg.

Jimmy Nail – Crocodile Shoes – brilliant shock when you realise he really can sing.

Youssou N’Dour ft. Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds – haunting tune but nice.

Enigma – Return to Innocence – another haunting tune, but nice.

Ace of Base – Don’t Turn Around

The Cranberries – Linger

The Pretenders – I’ll Stand By You – Chrissy at her best.

Sheryl Crow – All I Wanna Do

The Grid – Swamp Thing – A bit “Deliverance” but nice banjo tune.

Céline Dion – Think Twice – Lovely.

Céline Dion – The Power Of Love – Great version.

Blur – Girls And Boys

Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl In the World

Cyndi Lauper – Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)

Crash Test Dummies – Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – weird deep voice, but most nice.

Dawn Penn – No, No No

Doop – Doop – A most annoying song, but I like it.

Fun song: B52’s – (Meet) The Flintstones

Just 19 songs for 1994 in my favourites list, 7 more than 92 and 5 more than 93.

Hat tips to:  these give the top 100 selling charts for each year   these give the top 10 songs for each year  you know them.

Next Time 1995 – We start a new barrel to get to the bottom of.

© Phil the test manager 2019

The Goodnight Vienna Audio file