Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

1994 in British music

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1994 in British music

This is a summary of 1994 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.



The first number 1 single of the year was the 700th since charts began, a reggae version of "Twist and Shout" by Chaka Demus & Pliers. The next month saw Mariah Carey get her first (and, to date, only) solo UK number 1 with "Without You", after having 8 previous chart-toppers in the United States. Coincidentally, "Without You" did not top the US Billboard Hot 100.

In late May, Wet Wet Wet reached number 1 with "Love Is All Around", from the film Four Weddings and a Funeral. It would remain at number 1 for fifteen weeks, the second longest consecutive run at No. 1 ever in the UK Singles Chart, and become the biggest selling single of the year. When Danish singer Whigfield replaced it in September with "Saturday Night", she became the first ever act to enter the UK singles chart at No.1 with their debut single.

Manchester rockers Oasis found their success on their debut album, Definitely Maybe, which shot to number No. 1 on its first week out in September.

December saw the debut of Boyzone to the charts, with a No. 2 cover of The Osmonds 1974 No. 1 "Love Me For a Reason". They would go on to have another fifteen singles, six reaching No. 1 and the rest reaching the top five, as well as four No. 1 albums.

Aside from Wet Wet Wet and Whigfield, the only other million selling single this year came from Céline Dion, with "Think Twice" (though it wouldn't reach number 1 until 1995). In all, 15 singles topped the chart this year, the second lowest number for any year in the decade.

1994 also saw a first for Prince, who scored his only UK No.1 single with "The Most Beautiful Girl in the world"

This was the year when Karl Jenkins, soon to be the UK's favourite classical composer, launched his crossover project, Adiemus, with the album, Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary. Popularized through its use in TV commercials, the title track became known to classical and popular music fans alike. It also made the name of vocalist Miriam Stockley.

Another British composer, Stephen Warbeck, won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music in a Play, awarded for achievements in Broadway theatre; the award was made for his music for a production of An Inspector Calls.

A record was broken in 1994 for the longest song to become a UK top 10 hit when Bon Jovi released the single "Dry County" in March, when it peaked at #9. The song was 9 minutes and 52 seconds long.


Classical music: new works

  • Thomas Adès - Living Toys
  • Peter Maxwell Davies - Symphony No. 5
  • Graham Fitkin - Length
  • Jonathan Harvey - One Evening...
  • Alun Hoddinott - The Silver Swimmer, Op. 152/1 - for soprano and ensemble
  • Michael Nyman - MGV
  • John Rutter - "I will sing with the spirit"
  • Opera

  • Harrison Birtwistle - The Second Mrs Kong
  • Andy Vores - Freshwater
  • Judith Weir - Blond Eckbert
  • Film and Incidental music

  • Richard Rodney Bennett - Four Weddings and a Funeral.
  • Howard Goodall - The Vicar of Dibley (setting of Psalm 23)
  • Musical films

  • Backbeat
  • Brave
  • BRIT Awards

    The 1994 BRIT Awards winners were:

  • Best soundtrack: "The Bodyguard"
  • Best British producer: Brian Eno
  • Best selling album & Single: Meat Loaf
  • British album: Stereo MC's – "Connected"
  • British breakthrough act: Gabrielle
  • British dance act: M People
  • British female solo artist: Dina Carroll
  • British group: Stereo MC's
  • British male solo artist: Sting
  • British single: Take That – "Pray"
  • British video: Take That – "Pray"
  • International breakthrough act: Björk
  • International female: Björk
  • International group: Crowded House
  • International male: Lenny Kravitz
  • Outstanding contribution: Van Morrison
  • Mercury Music Prize

    The 1994 Mercury Music Prize was awarded to M People – Elegant Slumming.


  • 1 February - Harry Styles, singer (One Direction)
  • 25 June - Connor Fogel, pianist, singer and composer
  • 23 September - Andrew Johnston, boy soprano
  • Deaths

  • 6 February - Norman Del Mar, conductor, horn player, and music writer, 74
  • 1 March - Tim Souster, songwriter and composer of electronic music, 51
  • 23 March - Donald Swann, pianist, composer and comedy entertainer, 70
  • 23 May - Ronald Hanmer, conductor, composer and arranger, 77
  • 14 June - Lionel Grigson, jazz pianist, cornettist, trumpeter, composer and teacher, 52
  • 26 June - Thomas Armstrong, organist, conductor, composer, educationalist and adjudicator, 96
  • 29 July - William Mathias, composer, 57
  • 31 July – Anne Shelton, British singer, 70
  • 2 September – Roy Castle, musician and all-round entertainer, 62 (lung cancer)
  • 6 September - Nicky Hopkins, pianist and organist, 50 (complications from intestinal surgery)
  • 22 September - Leonard Feather, jazz pianist, composer, producer and music journalist, 80
  • 11 November – Elizabeth Maconchy, composer, 87
  • References

    1994 in British music Wikipedia