dispatches from the pop scene...minus the corn syrup.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Interviewed Ace Of Base & Real McCoy For Idolator's 50 Best Singles Of 1994 Roundup

One day in mid-October, I was sitting in Margot Patisserie here in New York's Upper West Side, and it hit me that it's been 20 years since my favorite year for music in the 1990s — that would be 1994 — and so I thought it might be fun to round up the 20 best pop singles from that time period on Idolator. Simple, right? Well, not so much.

As it turned out, there were far too many great songs released as singles in '94 (or in late '93 that spilled into '94) to exclude, and as the staff and I were bouncing around ideas for what to include, suddenly our list grew to 30 singles...then 40...then, finally, 50.

I didn't want this to be some throwaway Buzzfeed-esque list, so aside from myself, I gathered up 10 writers, including Idolator staffers Mike Wass (@mikewassmusic), Bradley Stern (@muumuse) and Bianca Gracie (@BiancaEnRouge), plus longstanding Chart Rigger sidekick John Hamilton (@foreverhamilton), Steve Sears (@xolondon) and my friends/old Instinct Magazine colleagues Jonathan Riggs (@farleyflavors), Mike Wood (@mikewoodwriter) and Alex Cho (@alexcho47). Rounding it all out was Idolator freelancers Christina Lee (@MinaAnnLee) and Kathy Iandoli (@kath3000).

Once everyone was on board, I had the surprisingly tough task of ranking all 50 of our single choices from 1994, and then dividing the songs up amongst the 11 writers. Then, because life isn't nearly difficult enough, I decided we should get quotes from at least the artists who made up the top five on our big list. I first reached out to Olaf "O-Jay" Jeglitza, from Real McCoy, as he and I have been friends for nearly a decade now. I hadn't seen him since we had a fun drunken night in Berlin while I was on the Rihanna 777 Tour two years ago, and my email asking for a couple general quotes about 1994 turned into us having an hour-long phone conversation. Once O-Jay was on board, the rest fell into place: Chilli from TLC, Lisa Loeb, Haddaway and Jonas Berggren from Ace Of Base (who proved to be a bit tough to track down — but I found him!).

Anyway, all of this took took five weeks to put together, but it's now posted online! What you have, then, is what I call "mini essays" on the songs we ranked #50 through #6, and then full interviews for #5 through #1 (again, with Ace Of Base, TLC, Real McCoy, Lisa Loeb and Haddaway).

So do me a solid and go check out Idolator's roundup of The 50 Best Singles Of 1994. I don't think you'll be disappointed. Well, maybe with some of the ranking, but you now me — I love to stir it up a bit.

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