from the album Fun-tastic (1995)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #46
This week's "robbed hit" comes from the Eurodance act Fun Factory, who came together in Germany from members all over the world. With Balca Tözün from Turkey, Italian Toni Cottura, Stephan Browarczyk from Germany, and American Rodney Hardison, the group released their first successful single "Groove Me" at the end of 1992, which slipped on to the Finnish singles chart at #17. But as they were just about ready to release the single that would break them, Balca was replaced by a French model Marie-Anett Mey, but only in visual form (Balca would continue to sing on all the recording until their breakup, Black Box-style (due to her contract binding her). That next record, "Close To You", became a top-20 hit in Germany at #19, while just missing the American pop Top-40 at #46, and getting to #22 on Billboard's Dance Club Play chart the following year. By that time, the group had scored two more international hits, with "Take Your Chance" getting one notch higher in Germany at #18, while landing their first top-40 hits in Sweden (#35) and Switzerland (#37), while "Pain" reached the top ten in Finland at #8, while reaching the top-40 in Germany (#24), Austria (#25), and Sweden (#25).
So by the summer of 1995 the band's first American hit was waning on radio, who needed fresh material. So the next release would be the single "I Wanna B With U". Written by members Cottura and Hardison. This is prime Eurodance with even a breakthough in America...
While "I Wanna B With U" climbed within the top ten on Billboard magazine's Dance Club Play chart at #10, the single stalled right under the top-40 on the American pop chart in 1995. Internationally, the single did much better internationally, going to #11 in Germany, #12 in Finland, and #18 in Austria. Their next single, "Celebration", became the act's first hit in Spain at #10 and France at #19, while in Germany it stopped at #12. In America, as their third single, it was paired with their earlier hit "Take Your Chance" and went to #88 here. Internationally, the group released a cover of the Manfred Mann hit from the 1960's, "Do Wah Diddy" which became their biggest worldwide success, going to #6 in Germany, #4 in Spain, and #11 in Austria. Americans got the single "Don't Go Away" instead, which spent a month on the Hot 100, peaking at #93, while in Spain it was a third top ten hit at #6, and in Germany it got to #37 and #31 in Austria. A final single from the Fun-tastic album, the ballad "I Love You", managed to rise to #40 in Austria. The act split up in 1997, but Mey, Cottura, and Browarcyzk reunited (with Balca again singing behind the scenes) and with new member Anthony Freeman recorded a new album Back To The Factory in 2016, and continue to tour.
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