Saturday, September 30, 1995

Mariah Carey debuted at #1 with “Fantasy”


Mariah Carey

Writer(s): Mariah Carey, Adrian Belew, Christopher Frantz, Dave Hall, Steven Stanley, Martina Weymouth (see lyrics here)

Released: September 12, 1995

First Charted: September 30, 1995

Peak: 18 US, 19 CB, 19 GR, 16 RR, 8 AC, 16 RB, 4 UK, 12 CN, 11 AU, 15 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.25 US, 0.48 UK, 3.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 116.42 video, 164.5 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Fantasy” was the lead single from Daydream, Mariah Carey’s fifth studio album. It was the second song in history – following Michael Jackson’s “You Are Not Alone” – to debut at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. It spent eight weeks on top and also hit the pinnacle in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. It wa her ninth song to reach the top in the U.S. In Canada, its 12 weeks at #1 tied it with six other songs for the most weeks at the top. SF

Lyrically, the up-tempo R&B, dance-pop song talks about a woman in love with a man and fantasizing about an impossible relationship with him. The song samples Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love” from 1981, a song which peaked at #31, but was popular in dance clubs. SF Carey got the idea to sample the song after hearing it on the radio. WK

The New York Times’ Stephen Holden said that with the song, Carey “glides confidently into the territory where gospel-flavored pop-soul meets light hip-hop.” WK’s Bill Lamb called the song “truly inspiring” and a “career high water mark” for Carey. WK All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said “she has earned her status as an R&B/pop diva.” WK Slant magazine called it “escapism perfected, [a] summer bubblegum gem with a sweet, flawless vocal line driven by a diva in her prime.” WK

A remix featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard was credited with introducing collaborations between R&B and hip-hop to the mainstream pop culture. WK Carey had wanted to branch into hip-hop for a while, but her husband, Tommy Mottola (the head of Sony Music), dismissed the genre as a “passing fad.” SF She later referred to the song as “a major turning point” in her career and one of her “proudest and happiest moments.” SF

The Fader’s Judnick Mayard, said it “may still be the best and most random hip-hop collaboration of all time.” WK The New Yorker’s Sasha Frere-Jones said that Carey’s “idea of pairing a female songbird with the leading male MCs of hip-hop changed R&B and, eventually, all of pop.” WK She said that because of “Fantasy,” “It became standard for R&B/hip-hop stars like Missy Elliott and Beyoncé, to combine melodies with rapped verses.” WK


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First posted 4/2/2021; last updated 4/10/2023.

Monday, September 25, 1995

David Bowie Outside released


David Bowie

Released: September 25, 1995

Peak: 21 US, 8 UK, -- CN, 55 AU

Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.2 UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: glam rock/classic rock veteran


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Leon Takes Us Outside [1:25]
  2. Outside (Armstrong/Bowie) [4:04]
  3. The Heart’s Filthy Lesson [4:57] (9/16/95, 92 US, 20 MR, 35 UK)
  4. A Small Plot of Land [6:34]
  5. Segue – Baby Grace (A Horrid Cassette) [1:39]
  6. Hallo Spaceboy (Bowie/Eno) [5:14] (3/2/96, 12 UK, 36 AU)
  7. The Hotel (Bowie) [6:50]
  8. I Have Not Been to Oxford Town (Bowie/Eno) [3:49]
  9. No Control (Bowie/Eno) [4:33]
  10. Segue –Alberta Touchshriek [2:03]
  11. The Voyeur of Utter Destruction (As Beauty) (Bowie/Eno/Gabrels) [4:21]
  12. Segue – Ramona A. Stone/I Am with Name [4:01]
  13. Wishful Beginnings (Bowie/Eno) [5:08]
  14. We Prick You (Bowie/Eno) [4:35]
  15. Segue – Nathan Adler, Pt. 1 [1:00]
  16. I’m Deranged (Bowie/Eno) [4:31]
  17. Thru These Architects’ Eyes (Bowie/Gabrels) [4:22]
  18. Segue – Nathan Adler, Pt. 2 [0:28]
  19. Strangers When We Meet (Bowie) [5:07] (12/2/95, 39 UK)

Songs written by Bowie/Campbell/Eno/Gabrels/Garson/Kizilcay unless indicated otherwise.

Total Running Time: 74:36

The Players:

  • David Bowie (vocals, saxophone, guitar, keyboards)
  • Brian Eno (synthesizers)
  • Reeves Gabrels (guitar)
  • Carlos Alomar (rhythm guitar)
  • Erdal Kızılçay (bass, keyboards)
  • Mike Garson (grand piano)
  • Sterling Campbell, Joey Baron (drums) Yossi Fine (bass)


3.537 out of 5.00 (average of 22 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“David Bowie seemed like an artist without direction ever since the success of Let's Dance, switching styles and genres with a speed that made him appear nervous, not innovative. Recorded with his former collaborator Brian Eno, Outside was intended to return some luster to his rapidly tarnishing reputation. Instead of faux soul or mainstream pop — or even dissonant hard rock, for that matter — Bowie concentrates on the atmospheric, disturbing electronic soundscapes of his late-'70s ‘Berlin’ trilogy (Low, Heroes, and Lodger), adding slight, but detectable, elements of industrial, grunge, and ambient techno.” AMG

“Bowie also raised the stakes by making Outside the first in a series of concept albums about mystery, murder, art, and cyberspace. Everything that would have made Outside a triumphant comeback seemed to be in place, but the album is severely flawed. Not only is the story poorly developed and confusing, but the album is simply too long. Throughout the record, good ideas bubble to the surface, yet are never fully explored, and the sheer bulk of the album means that the good songs — Hallo Spaceboy, Strangers When We Meet, The Hearts Filthy Lesson — are buried underneath the weight of the mediocre material.” AMG

“Furthermore, nothing on the album is a departure from Bowie's late-‘70s records; when he does experiment with newer musical forms or write about futuristic technology, he seems unsure of himself. That said, Outside is Bowie's most satisfying and adventurous album since Let's Dance. It’s clear that he’s trying once again, and when he does hit his mark, he remains a brilliant artist.” AMG

Notes: ”Strangers When We Meet” was originally on 1993’s The Buddha of Suburbia. Also, an Australian import release features another version of “Hallo Spaceboy.” In 2004, Columbia Records reissued the album with B-side “Get Real” tacked on to the original album.

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First posted 2/20/2008; last updated 8/3/2021.

Saturday, September 9, 1995

Coolio's “Gangsta’s Paradise” hit #1

Gangsta’s Paradise

Coolio with L.V.

Writer(s): Artis Ivey Jr. (Coolio), Larry Sanders (LV), Doug Rasheed, Stevie Wonder (see lyrics here)

Released: August 8, 1995

First Charted: August 19, 1995

Peak: 13 US, 13 CB, 20 GR, 21 RR, 2 RB, 12 UK, 5 CN, 113 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 4.9 US, 2.4 UK, 9.56 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1278.75 video, 1325.32 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The original intent for the Dangerous Minds soundtrack was alternative music. However, the movie’s story line was about Michelle Pfeiffer as an ex-marine who becomes a teacher at a high school in the ghetto so Kathy Nelson, who supervised soundtrack music for producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, suggested a more urban approach. She liked the sound of rapper Coolio’s voice on the song “Fantastic Voyage” and brought him in to see footage of the movie. He was sold on the movie’s positive message about school. FB

Coolio grew up in Compton and experienced drugs, gangs, and jail. He crafted a “more compassionate and more realistic” TC version of Compton than rap group NWA, one that “was agreeable rather than abrasive.” TC Author Alan Lewens called him “the gangsta rapper you could just about take home to meet the parents.” LW

He wrote “Gangsta’s Paradise” as “a warning shot across the bows of those intoxicated with the lifestyle of the gangsta rappers.” LW The song grew out of an unexpected moment. Coolio was picking up a package at a studio and heard gospel singer Larry Sanders (known as L.V. for Large Variety) crafting a song out of Stevie Wonder’s “Pasttime Paradise.” Coolio was a big Stevie Wonder fan, but had not heard the album cut from 1976’s Songs in the Key of Life. Coolio started writing on the spot and finished the song three hours later. FB

Wonder originally rejected it, but approved it after Coolio took out a few vulgarities. Nelson was excited by the end result. She said, “It didn’t fit any of the trends happening in hip-hop or rap music at the time. And it was very different for Coolio. With ‘Fantastic Voyage’ everyone was expecting a fun party record from him. Instead they got this gothic, dramatic, much slower-paced song” FB which captured the “despair and abandonment felt by the kids at the school” SF featured in the film. Disney executive Joe Roth was sold on the song as well, even deciding to center the movie’s promotional campaign around the song and a video of Coolio and Pfeiffer which featured clips from the movie. FB

The song hit #1 in Australia, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. WK It was the first rap single to sell more than a million copies in the UK and its 13-week stay atop the Australian charts made it the biggest #1 there until Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” broke the record 22 years later. SF While it only spent 3 weeks at #1 in the U.S.A., it spent another 9 weeks at #2, making it Billboard’s biggest song of 1995.


First posted 10/31/2019; last updated 6/24/2023.