This Week In… 1996
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This Week In… 1996

September 20, 2016

Check out what was #1 on the ARIA Charts 20 years ago!

ALBUM

R.E.M. - New Adventures In Hi-Fi

The tenth studio album from American alternative rock godfathers R.E.M. was the only release in the band’s 30-year history to top the ARIA Charts. Recorded during and after the tour for Monster (#2 Oct. ’94), New Adventures In Hi-Fi debuted at #1, its sole week in the top spot. The album spent a total of three weeks in the top ten and nine weeks in the top 50. It was accredited Gold.

New Adventures In Hi-Fi includes the Patti Smith-featuring single ‘E-Bow The Letter’ (#23 Sept. ’96). It was the last album recorded with original drummer Bill Berry who retired from the group in 1997 to become a farmer.

New Adventures In Hi-Fi was one of eight R.E.M. albums to hit the top ten on the ARIA Albums Chart. Their first top ten was Out Of Time (#4 Apr. ’91) and their last was Around The Sun (#6 Oct. ’04).

R.E.M. announced their amicable split in 2011 following the release of their 15th album, Collapse Into Now (#15 Mar. ’11).

Single

Los Del Rio - Macarena

It was the worldwide dance craze of 1996 and for nine straight  weeks between August and October of that year, Los Del Rio’s ‘Macarena’ topped the ARIA Singles Chart. Los Del Mar was formed by Spaniards Antonio Romero Monge and Rafael Ruíz Perdigones in 1962. The duo first recorded a rumba version of the track in 1992. This version was remixed by producers The Bayside Boys, who also added English lyrics. It was this version that became the international hit.

‘Macarena’ debuted at #36 in early August 1996. It hit #1 for the first time in its fourth week in the top 50. The track spent a total of 15 weeks in the top ten and 19 weeks in the top 50. It was accredited 3x Platinum and was #1 on the ARIA End Of Year Singles Chart in 1996.

Another version of ‘Macarena’, by the similarly-named Los Del Mar, was released around the same time as Los Del Rio’s. Los Del Mar’s version peaked at #2 whilst the Los Del Rio version was still at #1.

As a follow-up, Los Del Rio released the seasonal ‘Macarena Christmas’ (#5 Dec. ’96). It was their only other song to appear on the ARIA Singles Chart.