Songs of 1993

Songs of 1993

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Posted 2023-04-18 by Steven Gfollow
Looking back at various years of music can be simultaneously fun, nostalgic, and depressing. You find some great music you'd forgotten about, it makes you think about years gone by, and it makes you realise it was a long time ago.

For example, this column looks at 1993, and that is now 30 years ago.

30 years!


I was not long out of university (the first time) and was still in my night-club going mode. I was also an aerobics instructor and ran gym sessions, so I was right on the pulse of modern music, while still getting out to the pubs for live music. My collection from the time is really weird.

As usual for these, let's start with the honourable mentions list! 'All About Soul' by Billy Joel; 'Animal Nitrate' by Suede; 'Are You Gonna Go My Way?' by Lenny Kravitz; 'Asshole' by Denis Leary; 'Believe In Me' by Duff McKagan; 'Big Boys Bickering' by Paul McCartney; 'Distant Sun' by Crowded House; 'Distant Thunder' by Richard Clapton; 'Everything Louder Than Everything Else' by Meat Loaf; 'Full Moon, Dirty Hearts' by INXS with Chrissie Hynde; 'Get A Haircut' by George Thorogood & The Destroyers; 'Hope Of Deliverance' by Paul McCartney; 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' by Sting; 'Insane In The Brain' by Cypress Hill; 'Jump They Say' by David Bowie; 'Liar' by New Order; 'Monday's Experts' by Weddings, Parties, Anything; 'My Country' by Midnight Oil; 'Never Miss Your Water' by Diesel; 'Never Said' by Liz Phair; 'No Limit' by 2 Unlimited; 'Ordinary World' by Duran Duran; 'Over You' by Laura Branigan; 'Persuasion' by Tim Finn; 'Right In The Night' by Jam & Spoon; 'Romeo' by Dolly Parton feat. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Billy Ray Cyrus, Kathy Mattea, Pam Tillis & Tanya Tucker; 'Scratch My Back' by The Sharp; 'Sleepy Head (Serene Machine)' by Ed Kuepper; 'Stand Up' by Jimmy Barnes; 'Systems Of Love' by Ultravox; 'The Lumberjack' by Jackyl; 'The Right Time' by Hoodoo Gurus; 'What Is Love?' by Haddaway; 'Years May Come' by Bonnie Tyler.

What a list already!

So, let's start with an awesome parody song!
'Jurassic Park' by "Weird Al" Yankovic

Take the old Richard Harris 'McArthur's Park' hit and use it to tell the story of the film Jurassic Park. Perfect! One of 'Weird Al's' better movie parodies.
So, here are my favourite songs from 1993! No remixes, no live recordings, no re-releases (and there were lots of all of those in the charts in 1993), all songs had to be released first, either as singles or on albums, in 1993. In the main list, one song per artist, one version of each song, I need to like the song. Standard rules. There will be a second list of cover songs, by the way, so if your favourite cover song is not here, stay tuned!
'Biker Like An Icon' by Paul McCartney

My favourite track from the album Off The Ground. I saw McCartney live around this time, and live this was so good, and so there may be some bias here, but I do enjoy this track.
'Boom! Shake The Room' by DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince

This was my go-to track for the warm-up section of my aerobics classes. And at night-clubs, this got all of us onto the dance floor. Such a fun song, back before Smith took himself so seriously.
'Happy Birthday Helen' by Things Of Stone & Wood

A song that feels more designed to celebrate the city of Melbourne than a woman named Helen, this is one of those great Australian rock tracks that feels like it has been all but forgotten nowadays.
'I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)' by Meat Loaf

Bat Out Of Hell II is such an amazing album that to distil it down to one song was so hard, but here it is – the song that is still played on the radio today. Such an amazing track.
'Killing In The Name' by Rage Against The Machine

Wow. This song starts with a solid bass line and then it just hits you in the face so hard. This is the song that started to turn me onto the new version of heavy metal or harder music, expanding my joy from classic rock heavy metal and NWOBHM. This song rules.
'Laid' by James

(NSFW lyrical content)
This song I have on CD single, and is the only James song I have really liked (that I have found so far). It is short, sharp and shiny, and I still know every lyric. What a weird but good song.
'Numb' by U2

Zooropa was a strange U2 album, and it is one I struggle to listen to today. However, this track, "sung" by guitarist Edge, is one I still like. It was released as a video single on VHS… and, yes, I bought it. Strange, but in a good way.
'Pride And Joy' by Coverdale/Page

The combined forces of David Coverdale of Whitesnake and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin released a stunning album in the blues-rock genre in 1993, and this was the lead single and best track from a really strong collection.
'Runaway Train' by Soul Asylum

A song written about the lead singer's battles with depression, it has come to be the anthem for missing people, thanks to a stunning music video. And, away from all that, it is a really good song as well.
'Seemed Like A Good Idea (At The Time)' by John Farnham

A fun track from a few years after Farnham's "comeback" album Whispering Jack shows that he still had the voice and could still deliver the goods.
'Shock To The System' by Billy Idol

Billy Idol was always an individual, doing his own thing, so when he released the album Cyberpunk it was just another part of that. Pity the album was not the best. But this single from it – as good as anything in his canon.
'Slave To The Music' by Twenty 4 Seven

A dance track, yes, but one I really liked, and used all the time in my aerobics classes. The version without the rap verses is better, in my opinion, but this song would always get me onto the dance floor as well.
'The Honeymoon Is Over' by The Cruel Sea

Another Australian song that has fallen by the wayside for reasons I don't understand. This is a great bit of latter-day Australian pub rock, and should be held in higher regard.
'The Journey' by Tommy Emmanuel

A great instrumental from Australia's master guitarist. He kept coming up with these tunes and songs that stand the test of time. I should point out that when you bought the CD single, you got a special guitar pick. I still own mine.
'The River Of Dreams' by Billy Joel

My favourite track from Joel's last studio album is a fine way for him to finish his studio career. Just a smooth and relaxing song. And the perfect way to finish this list.
And there we are – 15 songs (plus one) for 1993. The cover songs list is coming soon, so there is more from a surprisingly good year to come.

Hope you enjoyed this one!
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82774 - 2023-06-11 06:34:23

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