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Thursday, December 22

PH:280 2173 (ADVERTISING)

280 2266 (EDITORIAL)

I

By NICOLE LEEDHAM

IT'S DIFFICULT at the end of each year

to decide which events will go down in history as successes and which as disas

ters.

This is particularly true in the fickle world of rock 'n' roll where today's hero is often tomorrow's "whatever happened to?".

We're nearly half-way through the '90s and we're yet to really have a '90s feel. Most trends have been recyled from • the '70s and '80s. Only grunge is new and that is waning (although Pearl Jam's Vitalogy album should give it a boost).

The most significant event this year was the death of the king of grunge, Kurt Co bain, in early April, by a self-inflicted shot gun wound. The teenage world mourned while adults wondered what the appeal of this unwashed, unkempt, bitter man was. ,

Cobain's death, however, did not stop his band, Nirvana, from releasing possibly its best album yet, Unplugged in New York.

While Pearl Jam, the Stone Temple Pi lots, Alice In Chains, Nirvana and others released albums galore, their California state-mates, Red Hot Chilli Peppers were

noticeably quiet. Flea began building a house on Australia's south coast and An thony Kiedis was busy courting school girls.

An American man, Trent Reznor, who goes under the name of Nine Inch Nails, re

leased The Downward Spiral, one of the de finitive albums of this year. Nine Inch Nails also played no small part in the soundtrack for of the year's best films. Oli ver Stone's Natural Born Killers.

Thanks to Reznor, and a song called Clos er to God, it vvas no longer Madonna who was pushing the envelope of censorship.

English music tended to waft along, nev er really finding its niche. In fact, it's hard to name one that ■ left its mark.

Hip-hop, dance an'd techno were popular on dance floors around the world, helped in no small part by the use of ecstasy, which", apparently, makes everything sound, and everyone seem, just wonderful.

On the home front, The Cruel Sea, with Tex Perkins wearing what looked like a St Vinnies special, ran away with most of the ARIAs, only to have one of them stolen at the after-awards party.

Jimmy Barnes moved to France to be closer to his European audience, seemingly ignorant of his grass-roots Australian audi ence. Barnes' brother-in-law Mark Lizotte, aka Diesel, released Solid State Rhyme, his best, and most .grown-up album to date.

Kylie Min'ogue. defying her criticism signed with De-Construction, the world's premier dance label, and she hit number one with Confide in Me.

Another Australian band, DIG, signed to a premier international label, but this time it was Verve, known for its support-of jazz.

Towards the end of the year, Australian music.fans were.astonished at the depth of talent and young age of Newcastle's Silver chair, three teenage boys who raced to the top of their charts thanks to their debut single, Tomorrow, and to support from Tri ple J, as well as from mainstream radio stations.

So on to the Good Times awards, .some serious, others not so.

Worst dress sense: Tex Perkins, with Ky lie, from the Confide in Me video, coming a close second; Best new talent: Silverchair, by a country mile; Best international sin

I

gle: A tie between Beck's Loser and Nine Inch Nails Closer to God; Best Australian single: Silverchair's Tomorrow, Best inter national concert: For those that got to Syd ney, The Pet Shop Boys were 3 hit. closer to home we'd have to say Concrete Blonde at Raider's Queanbeyan: Worst internation al concert: Again a Sydney one"... Where did Depeche Mode get off not playing Peo ple Are People or Just Can't Get Enough!; Worst music awards show: The Australian Music Awards: Worst music awards show host: Pamela Anderson and her silicon at the Australian Music Awards; Best album: Hunters and Collectors' Demon Flower; Worst album: Mariah Carey' Merry Christ mas (as if Christmas wasn't bad enough): Best revival: ABBA (even though rumour has it that none of them actually speak to each other any more); worst revival: Barry Manilow.

So that's it for another year. Let's hope 1995 is an improvement — the Red Hot Chilli Peppers finally release a follow-up to Blood Sugar Sex Magic and radio stations stop playing "Classic Hits".

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