Top Adult Contemporary Songs of 1995
by Alex Cosper
SEAL - Kiss From A Rose
MARIAH CAREY & BOYZ II MEN - One Sweet Day
BOYZ II MEN - On Bended Knee
HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH - Let Her Cry
MADONNA - Take A Bow
BRYAN ADAMS - Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman
MICHAEL JACKSON - You Are Not Alone
SOPHIE B. HAWKINS - As I Lay Me Down
PEARL JAM - Better Man
ANNIE LENNOX - No More "I Love You's"
1995 Top Pop Hits
1995 Top Albums
1995 Top Ballads/Adult Contemporary
1995 Top Country Hits
1995 Top Dance Hits
1995 Top Modern/Alternative Hits
1995 Top R&B Hits
1995 Top Rock Hits
The continued ripple effect of r&b's conquest of the pop charts in the mid-90s was felt at adult contemporary radio, which dabbled with "Waterfalls" by TLC, after completely ignoring their big pop hit from earlier in the year called "Creep." Both songs had a soft grinding slow jam feel.
AC radio was more receptive to established acts like Michael Jackson, who had the huge crossover hit "You Are Not Alone" in 1995. It topped both the pop and AC charts, as did "One Sweet Day" by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men or the more upbeat "Fantasy" by Mariah Carey. A more traditonally sounding soul ballad called "Kiss From a Rose" by Seal also saturated adult contemporary radio.
While alternative radio had grown to be a separate culture there was evidence by 1995 that AC programmers were interested in cherry-picking hits from the format. The two best selling albums of the year were from Alanis Morissette and Hootie & The Blowfish, two artists that may have otherwise fallen through the cracks if not for the openness of the alternative format to play melodic music that was ignored by regular top 40 or adult pop stations.
At the same time a few stands of the alternative format were beginning to fragment into more adult versions. "Adult album alternative" or "AAA," aka "triple A," was one of seed of this fragmentation. Alanis and Hootie would find homes in the AAA format for awhile, along with Counting Crows, Blues Traveler and other more retro-pop sounding rock artists.
The ballad "Stay (I Missed You)" by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories had broken at alternative radio in 1994 as an indie track featured in the movie Reality Bites. In 1995 it was nominated for a Grammy as best pop performance but was beaten by the more r&b-oriented "I Swear," by All-4-One. Nevertheless, it became a widely known song that at first was only embraced by alternative radio and ultimately became a big pop and AC hit.
It's important to point out that 1995 was the peak year in sales and radio ratings for the alternative radio format. In subsequent years many alternative acts would be embraced by other formats, including adult contemporary.
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