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14 May 2021

Week commencing 14 May 1990

This week's new entries are an odd bunch.  Among them we have a band and a solo artist who started out in the 1970s but have only recently scored their first chart hits in Australia, three acts who would only score one top 150 'hit', one act who would only score one top 150 'hit' and one bubbling WAY down under 'hit', and a veteran artist who scored her biggest hits in her mid 40s.  Shall we take a look?

Tina Turner: look me in the charts!
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 139 "Wonderful Life" by The Celibate Rifles
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
"Wonderful Life" was the third top 150-peaking 'hit' from Australian band The Celibate Rifles' Blind Ear album (number 85, July 1989), following "Johnny" in March 1989, and "O Salvation" in June 1989.  This single took its time to register in the top 150, having been released in late March 1990, as a double 7".  "Wonderful Life" was also issued on cassingle, but as this format is not currently listed on discogs, I cannot confirm that it too was a double release.

The Celibate Rifles, who never scored a top 100 ARIA singles chart entry, will next grace our presence at the end of 1991.
 
 
 
Number 142 "Nick of Time" by Bonnie Raitt
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
American blues singer/songwriter and guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in 1971, but landed her first album on the Australian chart when Nick of Time (number 58, April 1990) crept into the ARIA top 150 albums chart in September 1989.  Eight months later, the title track - released locally in February 1990 - would belatedly scrape into the top 150 singles chart for a solitary week.
 
Nick of Time was Bonnie's tenth studio album, and was her major commercial breakthrough in the US, where it topped the Billboard 200 albums chart in April 1990, and was certified 5 times platinum.
 
"Nick of Time" was the second single from the album issued locally, following "Thing Called Love" in August 1989.  As with the album, "Nick of Time" performed stronger in the US, peaking at number 92 there in May 1990.  The single also peaked at number 67 in the Netherlands in June 1989, number 82 in the UK in April 1990, and number 73 in Germany in June 1990.

Bonnie would eventually break into the ARIA top 100 singles chart when "Something to Talk About" peaked at number 57 in November 1991.  But before then, Bonnie will join us again next week, with another track from the Nick of Time album!



Number 143 "Baby, It's Tonight" by Jude Cole
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 13 weeks
 
American Jude Cole released his debut album Jude Cole in 1987.  "Baby, It's Tonight" was the lead single from his second album, A View from 3rd Street (number 114, July 1990).

I wasn't expecting to know this song, but it sounds familiar to me.  Presumably, it received some airplay in Melbourne.  Alternatively, I may have heard it on the American Top 40 radio program, as the single peaked at number 16 there in June 1990.

"Baby, It's Tonight" performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 79.  Jude would break into the ARIA top 100 singles chart in 1992 with "Start the Car" (number 59, November 1992) - his only single to do so.  Before then, Jude will bubble under again in September 1990.
 

 
Number 145 "Drag My Bad Name Down" by The 4 of Us
Peak: number 121
Peak date: 28 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
The 4 of Us hail from Northern Ireland.  "Drag My Bad Name Down", which peaked at number 79 in the UK in March 1990 and number 6 in Ireland, was their sole ARIA top 150 entry.  This one is another that I must have heard at the time, despite not recognising the artist name or song title, as it sounded familiar to me when I picked up a VHS compilation it was on around 2012.



Number 146 "Going Back to My Roots" by FPI Project featuring Sharon Dee Clarke
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
 
Despite seeing this title listed in the UK chart in imported pop magazine Number One at the time, I don't think I've actually heard this track before.  Instantly recognisable is the James Brown "woo! yeah!' sample that was ubiquitous on dance tracks around this time.
 
This track was released as "Rich in Paradise" or "Going Back to My Roots "Rich in Paradise"" in most European countries, but the title was pared back to just "Going Back to My Roots" on the Australian pressing.  To add to the confusion, there were two versions of the track released - one with vocals by Sharon Dee Clarke, as embedded below, and one which was more instrumental in nature, with vocals by Paolo Dini (I assume the latter was the "Rich in Paradise" version).
 
Sharon Dee Clarke would later go on to sing for Nomad, whose biggest hit was "(I Wanna Give You) Devotion" (number 37, August 1991), and whom we will see bubble under next year.
 
"Going Back to My Roots" was originally recorded by Lamont Dozier in 1977.  This version of the track peaked at number 9 in the UK in January 1990, and also reached the top 10 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
 


Number 147 "Gotta Lambada" by Absolute
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
The risqué lambada dance, originating in Brazil, was a brief 'craze' in Australia and elsewhere at the end of the 1980s/early 1990, thanks to Kaoma's "Lambada" (number 5, April 1990), which showcased the dance in the music video.
 
To cash in on the fad, two movies about the lambada - Lambada: Set the Night on Fire and The Forbidden Dance - were filmed.  "Gotta Lambada" was recorded for the former.  However, unlike the Kaoma track, "Gotta Lambada" sounds more like a generic early 90s US r&b pop track than something originating from Brazil.
 
We will see another lambada-related track bubble under next week.



Number 149 "Look Me in the Heart" by Tina Turner
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
Up until this point, Tina Turner, real name Anna May Bullock, placed 15 solo singles on the Australian top 100 chart, including two duets (not with Ike), and two number ones.
 
"Look Me in the Heart" was issued as the fourth and final single in Australia from Tina's Foreign Affair album (number 15, October 1989), following "The Best" (number 4, October 1989), "Steamy Windows" (number 34, January 1990), and "I Don't Wanna Lose You" (number 59, February 1990).

Tina previously had two solo singles released locally that missed the top 100: "Show Some Respect" (February 1985), which reached first place on the Kent Music Report 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list in March 1985, and "Two People" (November 1986).

"Look Me in the Heart" fared better in France, where it reached number 44 in March 1990, and in the UK, where it peaked at number 31 in August 1990.

Tina will next visit us in late 1991 - an unusual pattern that seems to be emerging this week.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 151 "Love Don't Come Easy" by The Alarm
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Welsh band The Alarm bubbled under in October 1989, and here they are with their second - and final - appearance on the Australian singles chart, with another track from their Change album (number 155, December 1989).

"Love Don't Come Easy" performed better in the UK, peaking at number 48 there in February 1990.



Next week (21 May): A bumper week with ten new top 150 entries and one bubbling WAY down under debut from the artist who released the first album I ever bought.

< Previous week: 7 May 1990                                               Next week: 21 May 1990 >

07 May 2021

Week commencing 7 May 1990

As with last week, all of this week's top 150 debuts enter at position number 140 or below.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Tears for Fears offer advice for those wanting to look nonchalant in photographs.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 140 "Advice for the Young at Heart" by Tears For Fears
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
Between 1983 and 1989, British band Tears For Fears placed seven singles on the Australian chart, with "Shout" going all the way to number 1 for one week in March 1985.  All seven of the group's top 100 singles in Australia peaked within the top 40, with "Woman in Chains" (number 39, January 1990) being the final one.
 
Surprisingly, four singles released locally by the group failed to chart - "Pale Shelter" (released August 1983), "The Way You Are" (February 1984), "Mothers Talk" (November 1984), and "I Believe" (November 1985).  "Pale Shelter" made the Kent Music Report's 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list for two weeks in August 1983, however, reaching fifth place on this list.

"Advice for the Young at Heart" was the third single lifted from Tears For Fears' third album The Seeds of Love (number 18, October 1989).  The single fared better in their native UK, peaking at number 36 in March 1990.  A fourth single from the album, "Famous Last Words", was issued in the UK in August 1990, peaking at number 83 there during the same month, but was not released in Australia.

Unlike the previous two singles, "Advice for the Young at Heart" predominantly features band member Curt Smith on lead vocals.  Curt, of course, also sang lead on the band's earlier hits "Mad World" (number 12, April 1983) and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World" (number 2, June 1985).  Oleta Adams, whose voice was featured on "Woman in Chains", also appears in the video for this song, playing piano and singing backing vocals.  Oleta will go on to score some bubbling under 'hits' of her own in the coming years.

On the state charts, "Advice for the Young at Heart" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 68.  I remember seeing the video for this track on Countdown Revolution, and have viewed it on YouTube a couple of times, but can never remember how the song goes.

Following completion of the The Seeds of Love campaign, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith parted ways, and would not reunite until 2000.  Roland continued to record and release under the Tears For Fears name during the interim years, while Curt would release a solo album Soul on Board in 1993.

We shall see Tears For Fears next in 1992, although they are behind a track that we will see in 1991.

 
 
Number 146 "What "U" Waitin' "4"?" by Jungle Brothers
Peak: number 146
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
"What "U" Waitin' "4"?" was the second release from American hip-hop trio Jungle Brothers' second album Done by the Forces of Nature (number 102, April 1990), and was their first single to crack the top 150 in Australia.  It followed "Beyond This World", released locally in February 1990.

Jungle Brothers would eventually break into the ARIA top 100 in 1999, when "V.I.P." peaked at number 62, in July 1999.  By that time, the group had notched up seven UK top 40 singles.

In the interim, Jungle Brothers contributed a radically-reworked version of the Cole Porter-written track "I Get a Kick out of You" - which could have been a hit had it been released as a commercial single - to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Blue (number 38, January 1991).
 
 
 
Number 147 "The Sex of It" by Kid Creole and The Coconuts
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 28 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
 
Kid Creole and the Coconuts, fronted by August Darnell, placed two singles in the Australian top 100 chart: "I'm a Wonderful Thing Baby" (number 82, November 1982), and "Annie, I'm Not Your Daddy" (number 89, April 1983).  A third single, "Me No Pop I", bubbled under on the Kent Music Report's 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list in August 1981, reaching fifteenth place on this list.

"The Sex of It", unsurprisingly - with lines like "the thrills of it, the chills of it, the spills of it, you just want me for the sex" - was written by Prince, who also recorded a demo version that has not been officially released to date.

"The Sex of It" returned Kid Creole and The Coconuts to the top 40 region of the UK singles chart, where it peaked at number 29 in May 1990.  The song gave the band their first top 40 entry there since 1983.  "The Sex of It" also reached the lower region the top 40 in the Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium.

 
 
Bubbling WAY down under: 
 
Number 159 "Blue Savannah" by Erasure
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
We saw Erasure bubbling WAY down under back in November 1989 with the first single from their Wild! album (number 107, January 1990), and here they are again in the same region of the chart with the album's third release; one of my favourite Erasure singles.  "You Surround Me", which failed to chart in Australia, was released in-between, in January 1990.
 
"Blue Savannah" had much greater success in Erasure's native UK, peaking at number 3 in March 1990, becoming their eighth top 10 single there.  "Blue Savannah" also peaked at number 3 in Ireland, and at number 13 in Germany in April 1990.  As with the duo's previous charting single, "Blue Savannah" performed strongest on the Western Australian state chart, where it peaked at number 117.

The music video for "Blue Savannah", which I remember seeing once or twice on Countdown Revolution, makes extensive use of blue paint and gold star gift bows.

Erasure will next grace our presence in June 1990.


 
Number 161 "Cruising for Bruising" by Basia
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks 

Basia peaked at number 161 with her last single, in February 1990, and here she is at the same peak position again, three months later, with "Cruising for Bruising" - which I have to say, is one of the best song titles ever!
 
I think it's fair to assume that Basia is the kind of artist who would appeal more to album-buyers, with her sophistipop sound, but the album this track is from, London Warsaw New York (number 114, March 1990), didn't exactly set the ARIA albums chart alight.

"Cruising for Bruising" had marginally more success in the UK, peaking at number 86 in April 1990.  The single scraped into the top 50 in France, peaking at number 46 there in October 1990, and just missed the top 50 in the Netherlands, peaking at number 51 there in June 1990.  On the state charts, "Cruising for Bruising" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 122.

A third single from London Warsaw New York, "Until You Come Back to Me (That's What I'm Gonna Do)", was issued locally in November 1990, but failed to chart.

Basia will make one more appearance on the ARIA singles chart, in 1994.
 
 
 
Next week (14 May): Seven new top 150 debuts, and one bubbling WAY down under entry.
 
< Previous week: 30 April 1990                                      Next week: 14 May 1990 >

30 April 2021

Week commencing 30 April 1990

Among the new entries this week in 1990 are three return artists, two artists whom we shall never see again on the chart, and one group whom - as far as I know - only ever placed one single on the Australian chart.  One interesting thing about this week's debuts is that they all enter in the bottom 10 positions of the top 150.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Paul Carrack's about to retire from the battlefield that is the ARIA singles chart.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 141 "Zobi La Mouche" by Les Negresses Vertes
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
 
Les Negresses Vertes were a French band whose name translates as either 'Green Black Girls' or 'Fresh Black Girls'.  It was a term of abuse hurled at the band following their first live concert - green is the colour of the garbage collector uniforms in France, and most of the band were people of colour.  "Zobi La Mouche" translates as 'Zobi the fly'.  The band's sound merges accordian with acoustic guitar, and is not the sort of thing you typically find on the Australian singles chart.

Despite hailing from Paris, I cannot find evidence of this single charting in France.  It did, however, make the UK chart, where it peaked at number 93 in July 1989, and the Dutch chart, where it peaked at number 78 in September 1989.

I recall seeing the black and white music video for "Zobi La Mouche" on Video Hits, when they used to play selections from the Australian Music Report top 100 chart, as well as Hit Predictions and Classic flashback clips, on Saturday morning.  "Zobi La Mouch" peaked at number 100 on the Australian Music Report singles chart.  One thing I didn't remember is the open-mouthed kiss between the lead singer and another man 30 seconds into the video.

Les Negresses Vertes lead singer Helno (real name Noël Rota) died in 1993 from a heroin overdose, aged 29.
 

 
Number 146 "Everything" by Jody Watley
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Jody graced our presence last August with "Friends", the second single from her Larger Than Life album (number 96, May 1989), and here she is with the third single lifted from it.  As I wrote last time, I can't understand why Jody did not have much greater success on the Australian charts.  Like "Friends", I heard this one on the Top 8 at 8 radio program on Triple M (supposedly voted for by listeners), but I had not seen the music video until now.
 
"Everything" performed much better in Jody's native US, where it peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1990.  The single flopped in the UK, peaking at number 74 in February 1990.  Within Australia, "Everything" performed best on the Western Australian state chart, where it peaked at number 118.

A fourth single from Larger Than Life, "Precious Love", was released in the US, making number 87 there in March 1990, but was not issued in Australia.

Jody will never make the top 150 ARIA singles chart again in her own right, but will bubble WAY down under on a few more occasions, with the next time being in 1994.
 
 
 
Number 147 "True Blue Love" by Lou Gramm
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 30 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm (real name Louis Grammatico) had placed two solo singles within the Australian top 40: "Midnight Blue" (number 8, May 1987) and "Just Between You and Me" (number 31, March 1990).  "True Blue Love" was released as the second single from his Long Hard Look album (number 56, March 1990).  At this point, Lou was still a member of Foreigner, though not for long, as he would leave the group in May 1990.  Gramm would rejoin Foreigner in May 1992.

"True Blue Love" found greater success on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 40 in March 1990.  The single peaked at number 98 on the Australian Music Report singles chart, 49 places higher than its ARIA peak.  On the state charts, "True Blue Love" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 103.

"True Blue Love" was Lou's final solo single to chart in Australia.
 
 
 
Number 148 "In Private" by Dusty Springfield
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 21 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
 
We saw Dusty bubble under in June 1989, and here she is with the belated second single from her then yet-to-be-released album Reputation (number 144, September 1990).  As with the previous single, "In Private" was another track written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys, together with Julian Mendelsohn on co-producing duties.

"In Private" gave Dusty back-to-back top 20 hits in the UK, peaking at number 14 there in December 1989.  The single reached the top 10 in Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and peaked within the top 20 in Ireland.
 
Unfortunately, this excellent track was another flop for Dusty in Australia.  "In Private" performed strongest on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart, where it peaked at number 107.

To my ears, it sounds like Pet Shop Boys were going for a Motown-esque sound updated for the late 80s with the instrumental backing track for "In Private", not unlike Brother Beyond's "The Harder I Try" (number 78, May 1989), or indeed the verses of Neil Tennant's side project Electronic's "Getting Away with It" (number 40, July 1990).  Of course, Dusty's unmistakable blue-eyed soul voice gives the song that extra special something.

Dusty will next visit us in August.
 
 
 
Number 149 "Battlefield" by Paul Carrack
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Paul Carrack bubbled under back in November 1989, and he returns this week with the second single from his Groove Approved album (number 116, January 1990).  "Battlefield" did not chart anywhere else, and as with Paul's previous single, "Battlefield" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it peaked at number 114.
 
"Battlefield" would become Paul's last solo single to register on the Australian chart.  He would, however, place another album on the ARIA chart, with Blue Views peaking at number 247 in April 1996.

"Battlefield" was co-written by Paul with long-time friend Nick Lowe, whose biggest hit in Australia - "Cruel to Be Kind" - interestingly peaked at number 12 in Australia, the UK and the US in 1979.  We shall see Nick bubble under in his own right in June.
 
 
 
Next week (7 May 1990): three new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 23 April 1990                                        Next week: 7 May 1990 >

23 April 2021

Week commencing 23 April 1990

This week I have only two singles to write about; both are from artists we have seen previously in the 101-150 region of the chart.
 
Fine Young Cannibals probably wouldn't be 'satisfied' with their chart placing this week.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 136 "I'll Be Your Everything" by Tommy Page
Peak: number 103
Peak date: 21 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
 
Nineteen year-old American singer Tommy page never broke into the ARIA top 100, but placed three singles in the 101-150 region of the chart between 1989 and 1991, and "I'll Be Your Everything" was the second of those.  We saw Tommy previously in May 1989.

"I'll Be Your Everything" was the lead single from Tommy's second album, Paintings in My Mind, which missed the top 150 albums chart in Australia.  In the US, however, it was a different story, and "I'll Be Your Everything" topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart for a solitary week in April 1990.  The album was less-successful there, however, peaking at number 38 during the same month.
 
"I'll Be Your Everything"'s success was no doubt helped by teen idols New Kids on the Block providing backing vocals on this track.  Jordan Knight and Danny Wood from New Kids also co-wrote the track with Tommy, with Jordan and Donnie Wahlberg co-producing it.  To my ears, it sounds like part 2 of New Kids on the Block's sappy "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)".

Tommy had more luck with this single on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 89.

Tommy left us in 2017, aged 46, leaving behind a husband and three children.  Tommy will bubble under again in 1991.
 
 
 
Number 145 "I'm Not Satisfied" by Fine Young Cannibals
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 23 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week 
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We saw Fine Young Cannibals back in February, and here there are again with the the fifth - or sixth, if you count their earlier Something Wild soundtrack release "Ever Fallen in Love" (number 20, May 1987), which was tacked on as the last track - single issued from their triple-platinum album The Raw & The Cooked (number 1, July 1989).  The first two singles from the album, "She Drives Me Crazy" (number 1, March 1989) and "Good Thing" (number 7, June 1989), were top 10 hits, but "Don't Look Back" (number 38, October 1989) just scraped into the top 40, and "I'm Not the Man I Used to Be" (number 109, February 1990) missed the top 100.  "I'm Not Satisfied" continued this downward trajectory.
 
"I'm Not Satisfied" was the first single from The Raw & The Cooked to miss the top 40 in the Cannibals' native UK, peaking at number 46 there in February 1990.  The single also flopped in Germany, where it peaked at number 66 in April 1990, and in the US, where it peaked at number 90 in March 1990.  "I'm Not Satisfied" had more success in Ireland, where it peaked at number 19 in February 1990.  Rather than reflecting a lack of quality with the song, I assume that "I'm Not Satisfied"'s lower peak was due to people already owning the album.
 
On the state charts, "I'm Not Satisfied" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it peaked at number 95.
 
Oddly, as sometimes happened in those days, "I'm Not Satisfied" received heavy rotation on Melbourne FM radio around August 1989, as though it was a contender for third single from the album.  Had it been up to me to make these decisions, I would have released "I'm Not Satisfied" as the second or third single from the album, as it is one of my favourite Fine Young Cannibals tracks.

Fine Young Cannibals will join us again with another track from The Raw & The Cooked in early 1991.


Next week (30 April): Five new top 150 debuts, including three artists we have seen bubbling down under previously.

< Previous week: 16 April 1990                                     Next week: 30 April 1990 >

16 April 2021

Week commencing 16 April 1990

This week in 1990, both of the top 150 debuts spent 9 weeks in the top 150, and both of the bubbling WAY down under entries spent a solitary week on the chart.  Let's take a look at them.
 
The Cult had a somewhat 'cult' following when it came to the Australian charts.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 124 "Deliverance" by The Mission
Peak: number 112
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
The Mission were a quartet hailing from Leeds in the UK.  "Deliverance" was released in Australia as the lead single from their fourth studio album Carved in Sand (number 109, April 1990), and became their first single to chart locally.
 
In the UK, "Deliverance" was issued as the second single from the album, and reached number 27 in March 1990.  The single that preceded "Deliverance" in the UK will make an appearance in the ARIA top 150 in September.

I hadn't heard "Deliverance" before, though have heard the (Australian) follow-up release.
 


Number 135 "Sweet Soul Sister" by The Cult
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 30 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
 "Sweet Soul Sister" is one of those tracks I heard at the time (seeing the video on Countdown Revolution), but had completely forgotten about until catching it on rage, following The Cult lead singer Ian Astbury's guest programming in 2014.  While I wouldn't call myself a Cult fan, it's one of their singles I enjoy.
 
"Sweet Soul Sister" was lifted from the Sonic Temple album (number 13, April 1989), and followed "Fire Woman" (number 24, May 1989) and "Edie (Ciao Baby)" (number 77, August 1989).  In between "Edie" and this single, "Sun King" was released in the band's native UK, but I cannot find evidence of this being issued locally.
 
"Sweet Soul Sister" peaked at number 42 in the UK in March 1990.

The Cult will join us again in 1993.


 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 158 "Just a Friend" by Biz Markie
Peak: number 158
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Biz Markie, real name Marcel Hall, hails from New York City.  "Just a Friend" was his sole US Billboard Hot 100 hit, peaking at number 9 in March 1990.  It was via the American Top 40 radio show that I became acquainted with this song.
 
"Just a Friend" is based on the 1968 Freddie Scott song, "(You) Got What I Need", and would be Biz Markie's only ARIA singles chart entry.  Biz would, however, score a charting album in Australia in 2004 with Weekend Warrior (number 434, April 2004).  On the state charts, "Just a Friend" performed strongest in Queensland, where it peaked at number 134.

Despite - or perhaps because of - being a one-hit wonder, Biz Markie appears to be remembered fondly, as "Just a Friend" seems to get chosen regularly by guest programmers hosting the Australian music video program rage.
 
 
 
Number 159 "Passion" by Kandu
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Odds are, you've never heard of Kandu (pronounced 'can do' as in can-do attitude) before.  Kandu were an Australian female vocal quartet, who happened to all be airline hostesses, moonlighting as a pop group.  Given that this single - their sole release - failed to break the top 150, it's probably for the best that they (presumably) kept their day-jobs.
 
This track was released on DSK Records, which appears to have been an independent label, on which this is the only release listed on discogs.com.  Kandu were biggest in Queensland, where this single reached number 138 on the state chart.
 

 
Next week (23 April): A mere two new entries debut next week.  One of them is the second of three singles from an artist who never cracked the ARIA top 100, and the other is the fifth single from a number 1 album from 1989.
 
< Previous week: 9 April 1990                                     Next week: 23 April 1990 > 

09 April 2021

Week commencing 9 April 1990

I can't identify a common thread running through this week's new entries, so let's just jump straight in.
 
They Might Be Giants roost on the charts this week.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number  135 "Into My Life" by Colin Hay Band
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 23 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
Formerly the lead singer of Men At Work, whose biggest hit "Down Under" (number 1, December 1981) remains an iconic song about Australia, Colin Hay embarked on a solo career following the band's demise in 1986.  Released under the name of Colin James Hay (why, I am not sure), Colin's first - and only - solo foray into the Australian top 100 singles chart came in 1987, with his debut solo release "Hold Me" (number 40, March 1987).
 
Now recording under the name of Colin Hay Band, "Into My Life" was the first release from the album Wayfaring Sons (number 118, April 1990).  In case you were wondering, the other members of the Colin Hay Band were Gerry Hale, Paul Gadsby, and Robert Dillon.  The band released two other singles from the album, "Wayfaring Sons" in July 1990, and "Storm in My Heart" six weeks later in August 1990, but neither single dented the top 150.

 
 
Number 138 "Darlin' Please" by Weddings, Parties, Anything
Peak: number  136
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
We saw Weddings, Parties, Anything back in September 1989 with "Streets of Forbes", and here they are with the third single from their The Big Don't Argue album (number 58, October 1989).  In between "Streets of Forbes" and this one, "The Wind and the Rain" was issued as a single in November 1989, but missed the top 150.  Unfortunately, whoever is behind the band's official YouTube channel has done a total botch job, and the (audio only) video uploaded to it titled "Darlin' Please" actually contains the audio for "The Wind and the Rain"... and (you guessed it) the video titled "The Wind and the Rain" is actually something else.  Oh dear.

So, instead, I have had to go to the drastic lengths of creating my own (audio only) 'video' for "Darlin' Please", after sourcing the audio from... shall we say, 'elsewhere', just so you (and I, for the first time) can hear it.



Number 139 "Birdhouse in Your Soul" by They Might Be Giants
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 30 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
We saw They Might Be Giants back in April 1989 with their first single to chart nationally in Australia, and here they are a year later with the lead single from their third album, Flood (number 99, May 1990).  Probably a bit too quirky for mainstream US success, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" became a major hit for the American group in the UK, where it peaked at number 6 in April 1990.  The single also peaked at number 12 in Ireland, but, unfortunately, this success was not replicated elsewhere.

Bordering on novelty (but hey, there's nothing wrong with that in my book), I tend to agree with a description of They Might Be Giants I read many years ago - that they make kindergarten music for adults.  Music nerds might be interested to know that this song contains no fewer than 18 (!) key changes.

I first learnt of this song's existence through seeing it listed on the UK chart in British pop magazine Number One, which would arrive in Australia about 3 months after its publication date.  I remember thinking to myself, "That's an interesting song title."  I am not 100% certain, but I think I may have caught the video once on rage before the top 50 started, early one Saturday morning.  To my ears, it sounds like "Birdhouse in Your Soul" should have been a much bigger hit locally - it probably suffered from a lack of mainstream exposure.
 
On the State charts, "Birdhouse in Your Soul" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 73.  It also reached number 76 in Western Australia, but missed the top 100 on the remaining three state charts.

They Might Be Giants will grace us with their presence again in 1992.
 
 
 
Number 140 "Stronger Than That" by Cliff Richard
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 9 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
"Stronger Than That" was the fourth and final single released from Cliff's Stronger album (number 16, April 1990), and the second, following "Lean on You" in January 1990, to peak within the 101-150 region of the ARIA singles chart.  None of the singles lifted from the album peaked higher than number 59 in Australia.

"Stronger Than That", as you might expect, fared much 'stronger' in Cliff's native UK, where it peaked at number 14 in March 1990.

Cliff, who is now 80, was a mere 49 when this energetic music video - showing him performing some choreographed moves with an ensemble of back-up dancers (one of which I think I've spotted in a Sinitta video) - was shot.  The video also displays some nifty shoulder-dancing by the backing dancers, from 0:11 to 0:16, which is well worth checking out.

Cliff will visit us again in December.
 
 
 
Number 143 "Natural Thing" by Innocence
Peak: number 116 
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
Innocence were a British quartet consisting of production trio Jolley/Harris/Jolley and frontwoman Gee Davis.   The group's sound - based on my impression from listening to their singles - was at the more laid-back or 'downtempo' end of electronic music.  The kind of thing you might put on at the end of the day to help you unwind and relax, rather than to get you boogieing on the dance floor.

The group released two studio albums and notched up six UK top 40 singles between 1990 and 1992, with "Natural Thing" being the biggest of those, peaking at number 16 in the UK in March 1990.  In Australia, Innocence peaked 100 places lower with this, their debut single.  Sadly, the group would never dent the ARIA top 100.  That being said, Innocence would achieve consistent top 200 'success' locally throughout their brief recording career.  While that may sound unimpressive, it's not too bad, considering that I - someone who has a penchant for music that flopped in Australia from this period - had never heard any of their music at the time.

While "Natural Thing" spent an unremarkable six weeks in the top 150 (which is about average for a single that missed the top 100), those six weeks were spread across three and a half months.  The single did not peak in Australia until July 1990.

"Natural Thing" was lifted from the album Belief (number 115, February 1991).  Despite its low peak, Belief performed a similar feat to "Natural Thing", racking up 24 weeks in the top 150 over a seven-month span, between December 1990 and July 1991.

We shall next see Innocence in 1991.



Number 147 "The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley
Peak: number 127
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

Eagles singer-gone-solo Don Henley visited us back in November 1989, and returns with either the third or fourth single from his The End of the Innocence album (number 40, August 1989).  I say 'either' the third or fourth single because "New York Minute" is listed in the Australian Music Report new releases schedule in November 1989 - a mere three weeks after the "The Last Worthless Evening" single - and on CD single format only, which is highly unusual for 1989.  I don't know what to make of that.

I also don't know what to make of this song, as it seems that all studio versions of it are blocked on YouTube (so I have resorted to embedding a live version).
 
"The Heart of the Matter" peaked at number 21 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1990.



Number 148 "Women" by Def Leppard
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 9 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
Now we come to the final single released in Australia from a now almost-three-year-old album, Hysteria (number 1, July 1989).
 
Hysteria was released in Australia on 7 September 1987, and was something of a textbook definition of a 'slow burner', debuting at number 59 on the albums chart, and initially peaking at number 33 in October 1987.  The album took almost two years to reach its eventual peak.

The singles lifted from Hysteria in Australia were "Animal" (September 1987, peaked at number 46 in December 1987), "Hysteria" (January 1988, failed to chart), "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (May 1988, failed to chart), "Love Bites" (September 1988, peaked at number 21 in November 1988), "Armageddon It" (January 1989, peaked at number 34 in February 1989), "Rocket" (May 1989, peaked at number 15 in July 1989), "Pour Some Sugar on Me" (re-issued August 1989, peaked at number 26 in September 1989), "Hysteria" (re-issued October 1989, peaked at number 77 in November 1989), "Animal" (re-issued January 1990, peaked at number 83 in February 1990), and finally, "Women", which was released on 19 March 1990 but made its top 150 debut now.  Phew!  That's a total of ten single releases for seven different tracks from the album.  Eat your heart out Michael and Janet Jackson!

Unusually, "Women" was not issued as a single in Def Leppard's native UK, but was released in the US, Canada, and locally.  It seems that "Women" was chosen as the lead single from Hysteria in North America, as it peaked at number 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in September 1987, prior to "Animal" peaking at number 19 there in December 1987.
 
"Women" performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 100.

With the Hysteria album campaign finally drawing to a close, the group had one more re-release in Australia up their sleeve before their next album was released in 1992.  "Photograph", a track from their Pyromania album (number 70, February 1984) and originally issued as a single in Australia in May 1983, was re-issued in June 1990, but missed the top 150.  "Photograph" narrowly missed the Kent Music Report top 100 singles chart in June 1983, where it placed fourth for one week on the 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list.


 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 151 "The Miracle" by Queen
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 9 April 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
The fifth and final single and title track from Queen's The Miracle album (number 4, June 1989) had a less-than-miraculous run on the ARIA singles chart, peaking just outside the top 150.  "The Miracle" became the third consecutive single released from the album to miss the top 100.  I suspect that a lack of promotion was largely to blame - as I hadn't heard any of the post-"Breakthru" singles from the album at the time - combined with Queen being more of an 'albums' act.

As usual, "The Miracle" performed better in the band's homeland of the UK, where it peaked at number 21 in December 1989.

One interesting thing about "The Miracle" is the music video, where the band are replaced by child imitators, and there are several different Freddie Mercury characters portrayed.  My initial thought was that this decision was probably made for the video due to Freddie's declining health, but the band appear on stage just before 4 minutes into the video to perform with their replacements.  Hmmm.

Queen will join us again in 1991.
 
 
 
Next week (16 April): Next week there are only two new top 150 debuts, but they will be joined by two new bubbling WAY down under entries.   You can also follow my posts on instagram, facebook and twitter.
 
< Previous week: 2 April 1990                                        Next week: 16 April 1990 >

02 April 2021

Week commencing 2 April 1990

This week, there are four new singles debuting and peaking within the number 101-150 region of the chart, and one bubbling WAY down under entry for me to write about.  Given that I can't find a common thread among them, let's jump straight in.
 
But before we do that, here are couple of earlier posts I have updated recently, with newly-uncovered bubbling WAY down under entries:
 
* 6 November 1989 - with a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Exposé; 
* 29 January 1990 - with a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Liza Minnelli.
 
Tim Finn comes... not even close to making the top 100 this week.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 124 "Not Even Close" by Tim Finn
Peak: number 124
Peak date: 2 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
 
Coming not even close (ho ho ho... that pun was begging to be made) to making the top 100, ex-Split Enz band member Tim Finn's latest single, "Not Even Close", was the third release from his third album, Tim Finn (number 47, May 1989).  It followed "How'm I Gonna Sleep" (number 27, May 1989) and "Crescendo" (number 120, July 1989).  Tim's biggest solo success in Australia was his debut solo single, "Fraction Too Much Friction" (number 8, July 1983).

Tim would go on to join Crowded House for their third album, Woodface (number 2, July 1991), though only stuck around long enough for the first three of the five singles lifted from the album.  Following this, Tim returned to his solo career, and would again score top 100 success in 1993.

Tim will bubble under again in 1993, and would continue to score occasional bubbling under 'hits' until 2006.
 
 
 
Number 143 "I Feel Love" by Fan Club
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
Not a Donna Summer cover version, "I Feel Love" was an original track from New Zealand band Fan Club (no 'the').  "I Feel Love" was the first release from their second album, Respect the Beat (number 139, September 1990), and peaked at number 8 in the band's native New Zealand in November 1989, becoming their biggest hit there by one place.

"I Feel Love" was Fan Club's second single released in Australia, following the title track from their debut album Sensation in June 1988.  The "Sensation" single was also re-issued locally in August 1989, but missed the top 150.
 
"I Feel Love" would become the only Fan Club single to dent the top 150 in Australia.
 
 
 
Number 147 "Almost Hear You Sigh" by The Rolling Stones
Peak: number 118
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
Now onto a band with a 'the' at the start of their name... except they seem to have dropped it from their album and single artwork during this era.  You can almost hear me sigh, right?
 
I wouldn't call myself a Stones fan, but don't mind some of their songs that I am familiar with.  "Almost Hear You Sigh" is one that I like; so, naturally, it flopped in Australia.

"Almost Hear You Sigh" was the third single lifted from the veteran British rockers' nineteenth studio album (or twenty-first American album - thanks Wikipedia!), Steel Wheels (number 7, September 1989).  It followed "Mixed Emotions" (number 25, September 1989) and "Rock and a Hard Place" (number 99, January 1990).

Going by its chart entry date in the UK, it appears that "Almost Hear You Sigh" was released in Australia some months prior to its UK release, where it peaked at number 31 in July 1990.  The single peaked at number 50 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1990.

OK, as an aside, while researching this week's new entries, I stumbled upon this on the Billboard website, and had to write something about it:


Um... what the heck?  'Google's Top Hummed Songs 2020'.  Is this an April Fool's joke?  (It can't be, as I wrote this post on Monday 29 March 2021.)  And I thought Billboard/today's charts were generally meaningless.

We shall see The Rolling Stones again in 1991.
 
 
 
Number 148 "Good Things" by BoDeans
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 2 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
The first I, and probably most other Australians, had heard of American band BoDeans was when their 1993 single, first released in Australia in April 1994, "Closer to Free" was used as the theme for the TV drama Party of Five.  It became a belated number 11 hit here in September 1996, as a result.  But, a decade prior to that, BoDeans scored their first chart 'hit' in Australia, with "Fadeaway" (number 76, September 1986), which I like a lot more.  The group also landed another top 100 single in Australia in 1988 with "Only Love" (number 95, April 1988).

"Good Things", which isn't even listed on their Wikipedia discography, was lifted from the band's fourth album, Black and White (number 101, August 1991), which was not released until 1991.  "Good Things" does not appear to have charted in any other country.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 171 "Shine On" by The House of Love
Peak: number 171
Peak date: 2 April 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
At the time of writing this post, number 171 is the lowest ARIA chart peak - or position, for that matter - I have from 1990.  Given that I have (again, at the time of writing this) 19 singles from 1989 that debuted at number 170 or lower, with the lowest of those being number 181, my impression is that the ARIA singles chart generally did not extend as low during 1990 as it did in 1989.  There is even one week in November 1990 when the singles chart stops at number 140.
 
We saw The House of Love bubble WAY down under back in August 1989, and here they are in the same region of the chart again, with the third single (though apparently only the second one in Australia) from their (second album with the same title!) The House of Love album (number 134, May 1990).

"Shine On" performed much better in the band's native UK, where it peaked at number 20 in February 1990, becoming their biggest hit.

I caught the video for "Shine On" on Video Smash Hits once, at the time, and its catchy "she-she-she shine on" chorus stuck with me.  Something I didn't know until now is that the band released an earlier version of this track in 1987.

The House of Love would not trouble the ARIA singles chart again after this, although they had a couple of top 250 (!) albums in 1992 and 1993.
 

 
Next week (9 April): Seven top 150 debuts, and one bubbling WAY down under entry.  Among them we have the final single from an almost three year-old album (and no, it's not one of the Jacksons).  You can also follow my posts on instagram, facebook and twitter.
 
< Previous week: 26 March 1990                                          Next week: 9 April 1990 >

26 March 2021

Week commencing 26 March 1990

After last week's mammoth post containing ten new debuts, this week is a more sedate affair, with only two new top 150 entries.   A common thread running through this week's debuts is that three of the four songs are from artists whom we have already seen this year.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Warrant: Dirty rotten filthy stinking rich?  Not with these Australian chart placings.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 127 "Beautiful Love" by Adeva
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 23 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Adeva, real name Patricia Daniels, has previously bubbled under twice, with "Respect" and "Musical Freedom (Free At Last)", and here she is again, with the fifth single from her debut album Adeva! (number 14, February 1990).
 
Unusually for a dance artist, Adeva's album charted much better than the singles lifted from it - a feat that was replicated in the UK, where the album peaked at number 6 in September 1989 - 11 places higher than any of the singles lifted from it.
 
Unlike the previous four uptempo singles, "Beautiful Love" is a ballad.  This soulful song about lurve was quite a change in style for Adeva, but she pulled it off convincingly.  Not that the record-buying public was sold on it, however, as this single also majorly underperformed in the American diva's prime market, the UK, where it stalled at number 57 in December 1989.  Perhaps most people who liked the song already owned the album.

Frustratingly, "Beautiful Love" missed the national top 100 despite reaching the top 100 on four of the five state charts, peaking highest at number 84 in South Australia/Northern Territory.  "Beautiful Love" also performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 88.

A sixth single from Adeva!, "Treat Me Right", was issued locally in July 1990, but failed to chart.  It did manage to peak at number 62 in the UK, however, in April 1990.

We will see Adeva again in 1992.



Number 148 "Tender Lover" by Babyface
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 9 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

Babyface, real name Kenneth Brian Edmonds, bubbled WAY down under in February with "It's No Crime", and here he is with the second single and title track from the Tender Lover album (number 143, May 1990).  Bobby Brown, who Babyface had written and produced for, appears as the featured rapper on this track, to boot.

"Tender Lover" performed much stronger in Babyface's native US, where it peaked at number 14 in February 1990.

We will next see Babyface (as the performing artist) in 1992.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 159 "Get Busy" by Mr. Lee
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 26 March 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Although I was only 12, had I been living in Sydney and a regular reader of The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper at the time, I might have seen this article from 21 December 1990, written by Helen Marie Dickenson, reviewing her top 10 favourite dance tracks of 1990.  In it, this song by Mr. Lee is listed, along with its ARIA chart peak of number 159 (Spoiler alert: there is a peak outside the top 100 listed for another song from later in the year in the article).  Had I seen this article at the time, I would have been clued in to the fact that the ARIA chart extended beyond number 100 - something I did not discover until 2014!

Anyway, back to the song at hand... Mr. Lee, real name Leeroy Haggard Jr., is an American rapper, hailing from Chicago, who was one of the pioneers of hip-house, merging rap and house music together.  While Mr. Lee had released a string of singles on minor labels dating back to 1986, "Get Busy" was his debut release for Jive Records, and the title track from his debut album Get Busy.

"Get Busy" was a top 20 hit in Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, and also registered in the top 50 in the UK and New Zealand.  It also peaked at number 2 on the very dubious US Billboard Dance chart.

While Mr. Lee never scored a top 100 hit in Australia, he will dent the top 150 in September 1990.
 
 
 
Number 161 "Sometimes She Cries" by Warrant
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 26 March 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Warrant have graced our presence twice previously, with "Down Boys" and "Big Talk".   "Sometimes She Cries" was the fourth and final single lifted from Warrant's debut album, Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich (number 72, November 1989).  As you might have guessed from the title, it's not one of their more 'rockin'' tracks, though it still has some trademark late 80s hair metal guitar licks on it.

"Somtimes She Cried" performed much better in the band's native US, where it peaked at number 20 in March 1990.

Warrant will next pay us a visit in 1992.
 

Next week (2 April): four new top 150 debuts, including one from a band who've been around since the 60's, and another from a band who would have to wait until 1996 to score their only real hit in Australia.  There is also one bubbling WAY down under entry.  You can also follow my posts on instagram, facebook and twitter.

< Previous week: 19 March 1990                                              Next week: 2 April 1990 >