13 May 2022

Week commencing 13 May 1991

Having hits in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s was literally a hit and miss affair.  This week in 1991, a single that was promoted with a Pepsi TV commercial could not become a hit, and an act who landed one of the biggest hits of 1990 will languish outside the top 100 with just their third release. You were only as big as your last single, it often seemed.

Before delving into this week in 1991's new entries, I have updated some earlier posts with the following:
  • 24 April 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Died Pretty;
  • 5 March 1990 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Died Pretty;
  • 27 August 1990 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Ice MC.

Deee-Lite: a good beat, a good song, but not a great chart position.
  
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "Kanon" by Loudest Whisper
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
This track, which I'd never heard of before - and wasn't on YouTube until I uploaded it to embed in this post (rescuing these flops from obscurity is my life's work...) - is a version of Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D".  Coincidentally, we saw another song based on this just three weeks ago.  I wonder if there was a connection, with this track being released to cash-in on the success (well, not in Australia) of The Farm's "All Together Now"?

To my ears, "Kanon" sounds like a Christmas-y song.  The kind of thing that's pleasant to hear over the PA system in a shopping centre, or in a hotel lobby.  This song is presumably one of few charting singles to contain a harp on it.  Other than that, I can't tell you much about this one.  This version of "Kanon" did not chart anywhere else that I can determine.

"Kanon" peaked 38 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 76.
 

 
Number 144 "Seal Our Fate" by Gloria Estefan
Peak: number 112
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan was involved in a nasty tour bus accident in 1990, which left her with broken vertebrae.  Gloria was apparently told that she may never walk or dance again, but fortunately, that grim prognosis turned out to be incorrect, and Gloria made a comeback in early 1991 with her second solo studio album Into the Light (number 9, November 1991).

Gloria's chart career started out as part of Miami Sound Machine, landing the memorable hits "Dr. Beat" (number 11, February 1985) and "Conga" (number 37, March 1986).  After several underperforming singles on the Australian chart, Gloria returned in 1988 - now with lead billing as Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine - with "Anything for You" (number 11, August 1988).
 
Gloria stepped out on her own in 1989 with the Cuts Both Ways (number 1, July 1990) album.  "Seal Our Fate" was the second single from Into the Light, following "Coming out of the Dark" (number 56, February 1991).

Internationally, "Seal Our Fate" peaked at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1991, number 24 in the UK in May 1991, number 35 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1991, number 46 in the Netherlands in May 1991, and number 54 in Germany in June 1991.

Within Australia, "Seal Our Fate" was most popular in Queensland, where it reached number 87.  The single peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 98.

As seemed to be a trend for me in 1991, I first heard/saw "Seal Our Fate" on Coca-Cola Power Cuts.  Coincidentally, the song and music video were used in a TV commercial for rival cola company Pepsi.  I was a bit surprised by Gloria's energetic performance in the video for "Seal Our Fate", given her recent spinal injury.  There's an alternative edit of the video, showing more energetic scenes and fewer close-up shots of Gloria's face here.
 
We will next see Gloria in September 1991.
 

 
Number 147 "Valentine" by Nils Lofgren
Peak: number 119
Peak date: 29 July 1991
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
 
American rock musician and multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren placed three albums on the Australian chart between 1976 and 1981, although none charted higher than number 73.  Nils had greater success recording with other artists, such as Crazy Horse and Neil Young.  Nils has also been part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band since 1984.

"Valentine", lifted from Nils' album Silver Lining (number 122, July 1991), contains guest vocals from Bruce Springsteen on the chorus, although he is not credited as a featured artist or duet partner.  Bruce also appears in the music video.

Internationally, "Valentine" peaked at number 19 in the Netherlands in May 1991.  The song also reached number 37 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in April 1991, for whatever that's worth.
 
In Australia, "Valentine" made a slow 12-week climb to its peak of number 119 - and then exited the top 150 the following week.
 

 
Number 148 "Good Beat" by Deee-Lite
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
Lady Miss Kier (real name Kierin Magenta Kirby - why didn't she just stick with that?), DJ Amitri and Towa Tei formed Deee-Lite in New York City in 1987.  The trio burst onto the charts in 1990 with their heavily-based-on-samples debut single "Groove Is in the Heart" (number 1, November 1990).
 
Unfortunately, Deee-Lite would never replicate the success of "Groove...", and they are generally thought of as being one-hit wonders.  Technically, however, they did land a second top 50 hit in Australia... just, with "Power of Love" (number 47, January 1991).
 
While I like "Power of Love", I think it's fair to say that it would not have been anywhere near as 'big' had it not followed one of the biggest singles of 1990.  If it had it been up to me, I would have gone with "Good Beat", which was instead issued as the third single from Deee-Lite's debut album World Clique (number 33, November 1990), as the follow-up to "Groove Is in the Heart".  That being said, "Good Beat" was not a huge hit anywhere (other than perhaps on the dancefloor?), peaking at number 53 in the UK in May 1991, and number 45 in New Zealand during the same month.  The single also managed to top the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, though that doesn't mean anything in my book.
   
Domestically, "Good Beat" peaked within the top 100 on all five ARIA state charts but, frustratingly, could not dent the national top 100.  The single was biggest in Queensland, where it reached number 87.  "Good Beat" also cracked the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart, where it peaked at number 96.

I recall seeing "Good Beat" as a new release on rage, shown as the first video that evening.  I like the song's perhaps selfish message of blocking out the world's problems and just getting lost in the music, or using music to help you forget about your/the world's problems.  "Good Beat" is probably my favourite Deee-Lite song, and I wish it had've been another hit for them.

Deee-Lite's next single, "How Do You Say...Love", was issued in Australia in August 1991, but failed to chart.

We will see Deee-Lite again in 1992.
 

 
Number 149 "Willy" by Ashley Cleveland
Peak: number 131
Peak dates: 17 June 1991 and 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 13 weeks
 
American singer-songwriter Ashley Cleveland has an extensive list of backing singer credits to her name, performing back-up for artists such as John Hiatt and Emmylou Harris.

"Willy" was Ashley's first single release, lifted from her debut album Big Town.  The single peaked 33 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 98.  I cannot find evidence of the single charting elsewhere.

A second single from Big Town, "I Could Learn to Love You", was released locally in August 1991, but missed the top 150.
 

 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 155 "Signs" by Tesla
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 13 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
One thing I'm not a huge fan of, generally, is live music.  Yes, you read that correctly!  There are a couple of artists I like who I think can (or, more likely, once could) pull their music off well live; but I'd almost always (with a couple of exceptions for the odd track here and there) rather listen to the studio recordings.  I've only ever been to three live concerts in my life.
 
Why do I mention all of the above?  Because this song by Tesla is a live recording.  Tesla, who I'm not familiar with, are a hair metal/glam rock band hailing from Sacramento, California.  This track, though, is much more on the acoustic spectrum of 'metal'.  Perhaps the band foresaw what was happening with metal as it morphed into/was replaced by grunge an alternative music by the end of 1991.
 
"Signs" was a cover version of a song that started out as a B-side for Five Man Electrical Band in 1970, before being flipped and released as an A-side the following year, where it reached the top 5 in the US and Canada.  Tesla's live rendition of the track was lifted from their live album Five Man Acoustical Jam (number 145, May 1991).

Internationally, "Signs" peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in April 1991, and at number 70 in the UK during the same month.

Within Australia, "Signs" was most successful in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 139.

While "Signs" would be Tesla's only single to chart in Australia, they had a couple of other albums that charted locally, including The Great Radio Controversy (number 121, May 1989), Psychotic Supper (number 158, October 1991) and Bust a Nut (number 215, October 1994).
 

 
Number 161 "It Won't Be Long" by Alison Moyet
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 10 June 1991
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
English singer Alison Moyet's first taste of chart success came as the vocalist in electronic music duo Yazoo (known as Yaz in the US - not to be confused with Yazz), with ex-Depeche Mode and future Erasure band member Vince Clarke.  Together, the duo scored a pair of top 10 singles in Australia with "Only You" (number 7, August 1982) and "Don't Go" (number 6, November 1982).

After recording two albums with Yazoo, Alison embarked on a solo career in 1984, launched with the single "Love Resurrection" (number 17, October 1984).  Between 1984 and 1987, Alison placed six singles on the Australian chart, with "Is This Love?" (number 13, March 1987) being the highest-peaking of those.  Then Alison went quiet for a few years, feeling pressure to appease her record company by writing more songs that would become pop hits, despite not wanting to go further down this route.

Alison returned in 1991 with her third solo studio album Hoodoo (number 120, July 1991), from which "It Won't Be Long" was the lead single.  Internationally, the single peaked at number 50 in the UK in April 1991, and at number 43 in the Netherlands in May 1991.

Within Australia, "It Won't Be Long" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 128.

I hadn't heard "It Won't Be Long" until writing this post.  In fact, I didn't hear any of Alison's post-1985 singles at the time; somehow, her 1987 album completely passed me by - though I didn't get into music properly until the second half of in 1987.

We will see Alison next in August 1991.
 

 
Next week (20 May): Three new top 150 debuts, and three new bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
< Previous week: 6 May 1991                                          Next week: 20 May 1991 > 

11 May 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 11 May 1981

This week in 1981's new entries bubbling under the top 100 are certainly an odd bunch.  Among them we have a group who never landed a top 100 hit in Australia, a single for which the A and B-sides were switched in Australia only, and a song from a German-American country artist that only 'charted' in Australia.  Let's take a look.
 
The Teardrop Explodes did not quite 'explode' on the Australian charts.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 22 "When I Dream" by The Teardrop Explodes
Highest rank: 2nd
Peak dates: 31 August 1981 and 21 September 1981
Weeks on below list: 13 weeks
 
British band The Teardrop Explodes formed in Liverpool in 1978.  "When I Dream", their debut single, peaked at number 47 in the UK in October 1980, and was lifted from the band's first album Kilimanjaro (number 92, June 1981).  This track was the band's only release to make a (very small) ripple on the Australian chart.  Despite missing the top 100, "When I Dream" hung around on the beyond number 100 list for several months.  The group disbanded in 1982.
 
The Teardrop Explodes' lead singer Julian Cope will, however, land a top 60 solo 'hit' in Australia with "World Shut Your Mouth" (number 51, March 1987).  We will see Julian bubble under in 1987 and 1995.
 

 
Position 25 "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" by Daryl Hall & John Oates
Highest rank: 15th
Peak date: 25 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
 
At this point in 1981, American duo Daryl Hall & John Oates had placed six singles on the Australian top 100 chart, with "Rich Girl" (number 6, June 1977) being the biggest of those.
 
From what I can gather, "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" was the B-side of the Daryl  Hall & John Oates single "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" in the rest of the world.  In Australia, however, the sides were flipped, and "Diddy Doo..." was the A-side on the single, with "...Lovin' Feelin'" relegated to being the B-side.   I am guessing this might have happened as another version of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", performed by Long John Baldry with Kathi McDonald, was a major hit in Australia in 1980, reaching number 2 in July 1980.  Hall and Oates' Australian record company probably thought it was too soon for another version of the same song to become a hit; not that their strategy of flipping the sides for this single worked either.
 
Both "Diddy Doo Wop..." and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" were lifted from Hall and Oates' ninth studio album Voices (number 19, November 1980).

The "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"-led version of this single peaked at number 55 in the UK in September 1980, and at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1980.
 
Hall and Oates would next bubble under in Australia in 1990.
 
 
 
Position 28 "I Just Wonder Where He Could Be Tonight" by Hilka
Highest rank: 3rd
Peak date: 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
 
Thankfully, the rear sleeve of German singer Hilka Cornelius' one and only studio album Hilka contains a short biography on her, as I couldn't otherwise find much information online.  Hilka's family emigrated to Salt Lake City in Utah when she was 13 years old.  She trained as a school teacher in Texas, teaching German, Russian and Spanish, before realising that her passion lied with singing.  Hilka was one half of singing comedy duo Denim and Lace.

"I Just Wonder Where He Could Be Tonight" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.  Hilka landed a minor 'hit' on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, however, with "(I'm Just the) Cuddle Up Kind" reaching number 96 in February 1980.

Hilka landed a top 50 'hit' in Australia with "Who Were You Thinking of" (number 47, February 1981), credited to Hilka and The Doolittle Band - although I cannot hear Hilka's voice on this, and the lead vocal is sung by a man.
 

 
Next post (1 June): The next Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 post will not be until 1 June, owing to there being no new singles bubbling under on 18 May or 25 May 1981 that missed the top 100.  On the next post, there will be three new entries.
 
< Previous week: 4 May 1981                                     Next post: 1 June 1981 >
 

06 May 2022

Week commencing 6 May 1991

This week in 1991's new chart entries peaking outside the top 100 are a combination of artists who have not charted before, and veteran artists re-releasing old material or recording under a different name.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Sonic Youth: who knew that they were all Boomers?
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 111 "The King Is Half Undressed" by Jellyfish
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
American band Jellyfish formed in San Francisco in 1989.  "The King Is Half Undressed" was the group's first release.  The single peaked at number 39 in the UK in February 1991, and reached number 19 on the US Alternative Airplay chart - for what that's worth (not much).
 
The track was lifted from Jellyfish's debut album Bellybutton (number 112, July 1990).  A second single from the album, "Baby's Coming Back", was released locally in June 1991, but missed the top 150.
 
I remember seeing a Jellyfish single (I'm not sure which one) in the shops in 1991, but didn't hear their music at the time.
 
The group split in 1994, after releasing only two studio albums.

We shall see Jellyfish again in 1993.
 

 
Number 141 "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys (re-issue) 
Peak: number 107 (1991 release); number 12 (1985 release)
Peak date: 13 May 1991 (1991 release); 17 March 1986 (1985 release)
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks (1991 release), plus 18 weeks in the top 100 in 1986.
 
Scottish band The Waterboys first released "The Whole of the Moon" on their 1985 album This Is the Sea (number 23, March 1986).  The track was issued as a single in Australia in December 1985, reaching its peak of number 12 in March 1986, and became the 99th biggest single of 1986 in Australia.
 
Interestingly, "The Whole of the Moon" was a bigger hit in Australia upon its original release than in the band's native UK, where it only reached number 26 in November 1985.  Elsewhere, the initial release of "The Whole of the Moon" peaked at number 19 in the Netherlands in January 1986, and at number 19 in New Zealand in May 1986.

The Waterboys only landed one other top 100 single in Australia, with "Fisherman's Blues" (number 70, February 1989).

"The Whole of the Moon" was re-issued in 1991 to promote the band's The Best of the Waterboys 81-90 (number 101, May 1991) compilation album.  This time around, the single was much more successful in the UK, reaching number 3 there in April 1991 - easily becoming their biggest hit.  The re-issue also peaked at number 2 in Ireland.  The band won an Ivor Novello songwriting award for "The Whole of the Moon" in 1991.

We will next see The Waterboys in 1993.



Number 145 "Dirty Boots" by Sonic Youth
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Sonic Youth formed in New York in 1981.  Their first Australian chart 'success' did not come until 1990, however, when their sixth studio album Goo peaked at number 106 in September 1990.  Goo was also the band's first album to chart in the US, where it reached number 96 in September 1990.
 
"Dirty Boots", lifted from the album Goo, was the first Sonic Youth single issued in Australia, although their song "Titanium Expose" from the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack (number 74, January 1992) was the B-side on Concrete Blonde's "Everybody Knows" single, released locally in November 1990 (did not chart).
 
"Dirty Boots" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.  On the ARIA state charts, "Dirty Boots" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 93.

Although Goo was the band's first album to chart in Australia, several of their earlier albums later charted locally.  1988's Daydream Nation, the band's fifth studio album, peaked at number 144 in September 1994.  1987's Sister, the band's fourth studio album, peaked at number 151 in December 1994.  1986's Evol, the band's third studio album, peaked at number 928 in August 2015.

I first heard of Sonic Youth when catching one of their music videos on rage in 1992.  I also recall that a guy in my Indonesian class in high school answered that he was listening to Sonic Youth when I asked what he was playing on his (cassette) Walkman.
 
One thing I didn't realise until writing this post is that each member of Sonic Youth is a Boomer, with the birth dates for their line up in 1991 ranging between 1953 and 1962.  The band's two lead singers, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, were already 30-something at the start of the 1990s.  I associate Sonic Youth's image and sound much more with Generation X and the 90s alternative music scene.

We will next see Sonic Youth in 1992.
 

 
Number 150 "Stop (Don't Start)" by The Riptides
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 3 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
The Riptides were an Australian band, formed in Brisbane in the late 1970s.  Commercial success largely evaded the group, and they placed only one single ("Only Time" - number 89, December 1981) and one album (Resurface - number 56, March 1988) on the Australian top 100.

"Stop (Don't Start)" was the first single lifted from The Riptides' fourth studio album Wave Rock (number 125, October 1991).

I hadn't heard this one before, but it sounds like it should have had more chart success.
 

 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 152 "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" by Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

"Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams", a re-worked version of Tears for Fears' "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (number 13, October 1989) - minus the song's chorus - originally appeared as the B-side on a Tears for Fears single that bubbled under on the Australian chart in May 1990.  The verses of the song are performed by Biti Strauchn, rather than by Roland Orzabal.

"Johnny Panic..." was remixed and released as a single in its own right, credited to Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.  The single peaked at number 70 in the UK in February 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 139.
 
I first heard/saw this track as a new release on Coca Cola Power-Cuts, when it aired as a weekly program on Sunday afternoons.  I assume that exposure is what lead to the single charting in Australia, albeit rather lowly.


 
Number 169 "Echo Chamber" by Beats International
Peak: number 169
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Masterminded by former Housemartins bass player Norman Cook, who would later be responsible for Fatboy Slim, Beats International landed a major hit on the Australian chart in 1990 with "Dub Be Good to Me" (number 12, July 1990).  It was followed-up by the much less successful "Won't Talk About It" (number 70, September 1990), and the album Let Them Eat Bingo (number 63, July 1990).

"Echo Chamber" was the lead single from the second, and final, Beats International album Excursion on the Version, which does not appear to have been released in Australia.  Lead vocal duties this time were performed by Lester Noel.  The single peaked at number 60 in the UK in March 1991, and at number 49 in New Zealand in April 1991.  Within Australia, "Echo Chamber" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 146.
 
I remember seeing the video for this one on the SBS music video program M.C. TeeVee as a new release.
 
We shall next see Beats International in December 1991.
 

 
Number 186 "Listen Up" by Listen Up
Peak: number 186
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

Eponymous singles seem to be the sub-theme this week, and here is the second one of those.

Listen Up is a non-profit organisation founded by Quincy Jones - whom we last saw in January 1990, which provides support to underprivileged youths in South Africa.
 
The artists featured on this track include Tevin Campbell, Siedah Garrett, Karyn White, Ice-T, Al B. Sure!, The Winans, James Ingram, El DeBarge, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, and Ray Charles.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Listen Up" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 155.
 

 
Next week (13 May): Five new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
< Previous week: 29 April 1991                                      Next week: 13 May 1991 >

04 May 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 4 May 1981

I hadn't heard any of this week in 1981's three new entries that bubbled under the top 100 before.  I'm guessing you probably haven't heard them, either.  Let's take a listen together.
 
John Cougar: looking surprisingly new Romantic on American Bandstand.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 20 "I Want Your Baby" by Inger Lise
Highest rank: 12th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
 
Norwegian singer and actress Inger Lise Rypdal had been releasing albums since 1970, but "I Want Your Baby" was her first - and only - entry on the Australian charts... well, if registering on the beyond top 100 list counts.

There are a few 'interesting' facts about this track:
- only a Dutch pressing of the single is listed on discogs at the time of writing;
- there are no videos - TV performances or otherwise - of Inger Lise performing the track on YouTube;
- the single does not appear to have charted anywhere else, although it is possible that the Norwegian and Swedish charts are not archived online going back far enough to pick this one up.

To my ears, "I Want Your Baby" sounds very much a remnant of the 1970s, rather than a track from the early 80s.
 

 
Position 25 "Ain't Even Done with the Night" by John Cougar
Highest rank: 12th
Peak dates: 25 May 1981 and 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
At this point in 1981, American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp was going by the stage name John Cougar - having previously been Johnny Cougar, a name thrust upon him unwillingly by a manager, believing that his real surname Mellencamp would be too difficult to market.

"Ain't Even Done with the Night" was the second single lifted from John's fourth studio album, and first for the 1980s, Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, which did not chart in Australia.  It followed "This Time" (number 43, February 1981).  John(ny)'s biggest hit in Australia, at this point in time, had been "I Need a Lover" (number 5, August 1978).  His next major Australian hit, equalling his highest position on the singles chart, would come in 1982, with "Hurts So Good" (number 5, September 1982).
 
In John's native US, "Ain't Even Done with the Night" peaked at number 17 in May 1981.

John would undergo another, interim name-change on the way to assuming his birth name.  He became John Cougar Mellencamp for his 1983 studio album Uh-Huh (number 57, March 1984).
 

 
Position 30 "Moonroof" by Sky
Highest rank: 4th
Peak dates: 25 May 1981 and 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
 
Sky were a British/Australian instrumental band formed in London in 1978, and dissolving in 1995.  During their tenure, the group placed one single on the Australian top 100, "Toccata" (number 22, May 1980), an electronic/prog rock re-working of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor".  Interestingly, "Toccata" was also the band's only single to chart anywhere in the world, it seems, reaching number 5 in the UK in May 1980, number 83 in the US, and the top 10 in Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland.
 
"Moonroof" was an Australian-only single, and the only release from the band's third album Sky 3 (number 7, April 1981).  The album reached the top ten despite the single stalling outside the top 100.
 

 
Next week (11 May): Another three new singles bubbling beneath the top 100.
 
< Previous week: 27 April 1981                                       Next week: 11 May 1981 >
 

29 April 2022

Week commencing 29 April 1991

The only common theme I can identify from this week in 1991's batch of new chart entries peaking outside the ARIA top 100 is that they are all from artists who are not Australian.
 
Before we take a look at this week's new entries, I have updated some earlier posts with the following:

You may also have missed that I resumed my 1981 Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 recaps this week.  These will posted on Wednesdays.

Wilson Phillips: Australia was not in love with their latest single in 1991.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "You're in Love" by Wilson Phillips
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks
 
We last saw Wilson Phillips in December 1990.  "You're in Love" was the fourth single lifted from the group's debut album Wilson Phillips (number 7, July 1990), and gave the girls their third US Billboard Hot 100 number one single in April 1991.  The single also peaked at number 3 in Canada in April 1991, and within the top 30 in the UK and Ireland, the top 40 in the Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium, and at number 54 in Germany.

In hindsight, I find it interesting that none of the post-"Hold On" (number 2, July 1990) singles from the Wilson Phillips album dented the top 50 in Australia, and three of the album's singles peaked outside the top 100.  Though, as I wrote last time, the Wilson Phillips sound was probably a bit too squeaky clean for the Australian market, one large hit aside.  Furthermore, I only recall hearing "You're in Love" on the American Top 40 radio show.

We'll next see Wilson Phillips in October 1991.
 
 
 
Number 142 "Stranger Than Fiction" by Joe Jackson
Peak: number 119
Peak date: 1 July 1991
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
 
We last saw English singer-songwriter Joe Jackson in July 1989.
 
"Stranger Than Fiction" was the lead single from Joe's eleventh studio album Laughter & Lust (number 57, September 1991).  The single missed the UK top 75, but peaked at number 53 in Germany in June 1991, and at number 71 in the Netherlands in May 1991.

In Australia, "Stranger Than Fiction" took ten weeks to reach its peak in the top 120, and then fell out of the top 150 the following week.

The music video for "Stranger Than Fiction", embedded below, portrays Joe as being totally disinterested in the 'hot' women, typical of those appearing in male artists' music videos around this time, surrounding him.  Perhaps Joe was dropping some not-so-subtle hints about his own sexuality here.

We shall next see Joe in September 1991.


 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 167 "Can You Dig It?" by The Mock Turtles
Peak: number 167
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

English band The Mock Turtles formed in Middleton in 1985.  While not their first single in their homeland, "Can You Dig It?" was the band's debut Australian release, lifted from their first studio album Turtle Soup.

Internationally, "Can You Dig It?" peaked at number 18 in the UK in April 1991, and at number 12 in Ireland during the same month.

In Australia, "Can You Dig It?" was most popular in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 151.  This single was the band's only release to chart in Australia, although two further singles were issued: "And Then She Smiles" (released locally in July 1991) and "Strings and Flowers" (November 1991).

In 2002, Vodafone used "Can You Dig It?" in a TV commercial in the UK.  This led to Norman Cook (of Fatboy Slim, Beats International and The Housemartins fame) remixing the track - though rather subtly, as I could barely distinguish the difference at first (it is mainly the percussion).  The remixed version charted in the UK, reaching number 19 in March 2003.

I can't say with certainty, because I cannot find any reference to it online, but I suspect that the guitar riff from this track is sampled (at a different pitch) on a track from another artist we will see in 1992.



Number 170 "Town without Pity" by Stray Cats
Peak: number 170
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Stray Cats last graced our presence in February 1991.  "Town without Pity" was the third and final single lifted from the band's sixth studio album Let's Go Faster (number 57, March 1991).  As with the previous single, "Town without Pity" was another Australian-only release.  The song is a cover version of a song originally recorded by Gene Pitney in 1961 for the film Town without Pity.

On the ARIA state charts, "Town without Pity" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 141.

We shall next see Stray Cats in 1992.



Number 186 "Easy Come Easy Go" by Winger
Peak: number 186
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

We last saw American metal band Winger in January 1991.

"Easy Come Easy Go" was the third and final single - and second to chart in Australia - from Winger's second studio album In the Heart of the Young (number 135, September 1991).  The single peaked at number 41 on the US Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in March 1991.

Locally, "Easy Come Easy Go" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 168.
 
When it comes to metal, I generally prefer the softer, 'power ballad' side as with Winger's previous single.  I hadn't heard this one before, and while it's not something I would seek out, I find it OK.
 
"Easy Come Easy Go" was Winger's final single to chart in Australia.  They had another charting album, however, with their next album Pull peaking at number 164 in August 1993.
 

 
Number 187 "Remember the Day" by Innocence
Peak: number 187
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

We last saw Innocence in February 1991, and here they are with the fifth and final single - and fourth to register a place on the ARIA chart outside the top 100 - from their debut album Belief (number 115, February 1991).
 
"Remember the Day" peaked at number 56 in the band's native UK in March 1991.
 
Within Australia, "Remember the Day" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 169.
 
We will next see Innocence in 1992.
 

 
Next week (6 May): Four new top 150 debuts, although one of these is a song from 1986, and three bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
< Previous week: 22 April 1991                                      Next week: 6 May 1991 >

27 April 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 27 April 1981

In September last year, I started re-capping the Predictions for National Top 100 Singles (later 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100') lists from the Kent Music Report chart in 1981.  But these lists started publication over four months earlier, in April 1981.  Why did I skip past the first few months?  I just forgot to start writing about them in April 2021, that's all... but now I am playing catch-up.  So, brace yourself as I dust off some early 80s Australian chart flops.
 
Sister Sledge were not the only sister act bubbling under on the Australian chart this week in 1981.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 6 "I Can't Stand It" by Eric Clapton and His Band
Highest rank: 5th
Peak dates: 4 May 1981 and 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
Eric Clapton's biggest hit in Australia at this point had been his version of Bob Marley and The Wailers' "I Shot the Sheriff" (number 11, November 1974).  He would go on to land a bigger hit, with his MTV Unplugged acoustic versions of "Tears in Heaven" and "Layla", a double A-side single, reaching number 7 in April 1993 and spending a whopping 41 weeks in the ARIA top 150.
 
"I Can't Stand It" was the lead single from the English guitar maestro's seventh studio album Another Ticket (number 30, April 1981).  While the single did not chart in Eric's native UK, it reached number 7 in Canada in April 1981, and number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1981.

We will next see Eric bubble under in 1987.
 

 
Position 7 "Hello Again" by Neil Diamond
Highest rank: 3rd
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

American singer, songwriter, and sometime actor Neil Diamond released his first single in 1962, and his first album in 1966.
 
"Hello Again" was recorded for the soundtrack album to the 1980 movie The Jazz Singer (number 10, March 1981), which was credited as a Neil Diamond release.  Neil also stars in the film.  The single peaked at number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981, and was a top 40 hit in Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium.  "Hello Again" also peaked at number 51 in the UK in February 1981.

Although Neil Diamond is a name I am familiar with, I don't actually know much of his music, and I can't say I enjoyed listening to this one.  I had to turn it off half-way through.

Neil will next join us in 1984.



Position 8 "Night Rider" by Kevin Johnson
Highest rank: 8th
Peak dates: 27 April 1981, 4 May 1981 and 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

Australian singer Kevin Johnson's first single was released in 1967.  His biggest hit would come in 1973, with "Rock and Roll (I Gave You the Best Years of My Life)", which peaked at number 8 on David Kent's retrospective Australian charts.

This track was lifted from Kevin's fifth studio album Night Rider (number 72, May 1981), which was his last album to chart.  Kevin would, however, have one final charting single, with "Reasons" (number 98, October 1981).



Position 13 "Marching Feet" by MEO 245
Highest rank: 13th
Peak date: 27 April 1981
Weeks on below list: 1 week

Australian band MEO 245 formed in Hobart in 1978.  The group placed two singles on the Kent Music Report top 100 chart, with "Lady Love" (number 43, December 1980) being the biggest of those.

The group only released one album Screen Memory (number 69, August 1981), but curiously, neither "Lady Love" nor "Marching Feet" appear on it.

MEO 245 disbanded in 1983.



Position 14 "Telephone Lines" by Linda George
Highest rank: 11th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
 
English-born Australian singer Linda George, initially known as Miss Linda George, placed six singles on the Australian chart between 1973 and 1980.  The biggest of those was "Mama's Little Girl", which peaked at number 8 in October 1974.

"Telephone Lines" was a non-album release from Linda.  Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about it, as the song does not appear to be available to listen to anywhere online.
 
 
Position 16 "It's My Job" by Jimmy Buffett
Highest rank: 5th
Peak date: 25 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 8 weeks
 
American singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett is one of the richest recording artists, with an estimated wealth of $900 million in 2017.  Despite that, I've never heard of him before... but country music is not my thing.
 
Jimmy's biggest hit in Australia, and his only single to reach the top 40 here, was "Come Monday", which peaked at number 19 in November 1974.

"It's My Job" was lifted from Jimmy's tenth studio album Coconut Telegraph (number 51, April 1981).  The single peaked at number 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981.

We will see Jimmy again in June 1981.
 

 
Position 17 "All American Girls" by Sister Sledge
Highest rank: 14th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
American sibling vocal group Sister Sledge formed in 1971.  They landed their first Australian chart hits in 1979 with the disco classics "He's the Greatest Dancer" (number 22, July 1979) and "We Are Family" (number 19, September 1979).  The sisters' biggest hit in Australia, however, came in 1985, when "Frankie" reached number 10 in September of that year.  Aside from these three hits, no other Sister Sledge single peaked higher than number 50 in Australia.

"All American Girls" was the title-track from Sister Sledge's fifth studio album, which did not chart in Australia.  The single peaked at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1981, number 41 in the UK in March 1981, number 8 in the Netherlands in March 1981, number 6 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1981, and number 27 in Germany in April 1981.

I think I've seen this one on a repeat of Countdown during rage retro month before; but I am not certain of that.

Sister Sledge will next bubble under in 1994.
 
 
 
Position 18 "Back of the Woods" by Atla
Highest rank: 18th
Peak dates: 27 April 1981 and 4 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 2 weeks
 
Here's one I'm certain I have seen on a Countdown repeat on rage, as I distinctly recall the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (or 'Mountie') uniforms worn in the video, embedded below.

Atla were an Australian band, and this single was their only "charting" release - of sorts.  It seems the Countdown exposure did not help them.
 
No other release from the band is listed on discogs.com at the time of writing.
 

 
Position 19 "Love You to the Limit" by Cheetah
Highest rank: 9th
Peak dates: 11 May 1981 and 18 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks

Cheetah were another Australian band, and another one whose Countdown exposure with this track (a performance of this song from the show is embedded below) did not help its chart success.

Cheetah were fronted by English-born sisters Chrissie and Lindsay Hammond.  The group placed four singles on the Kent Music Report top 100 between 1978 and 1982, with their first hit, "Walking in the Rain" (number 10, November 1978), being their biggest by far.

"Love You to the Limit" was written and produced by Vanda and Young, although obviously they did not give credit for plagiarising the riff from The Troggs' "Wild Thing" from 1966.

Cheetah's only album Rock & Roll Women, which did not chart, contains this song, but not their biggest hit.

"Love You to the Limit" was Cheetah's final Australian chart entry.



Next week (4 May): Three new singles bubbling under the top 100.

                                                                              Next week: 4 May 1981 >

22 April 2022

Week commencing 22 April 1991

Of the nine new entries I write about from this week in 1991, five of them did not make the top 40 anywhere that I can ascertain (and none of these are Australian artists).  Before we take a look, I have updated the following earlier posts with the following:
  • 10 April 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Tony Llewellyn;
  • 23 October 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entries from Tony Llewellyn and Scary Bill;
 
The Farm: all together in ARIA chart no man's land.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 118 "Mad About You" by Sting
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
We last saw Sting bubble WAY down under in November 1990.  "Mad About You" was the second single issued from Sting's third solo studio album The Soul Cages (number 3, February 1991).  It followed "All This Time" (number 26, February 1991).

Internationally, "Mad About You" peaked at number 56 in Sting's native UK in March 1991, number 44 in the Netherlands in March 1991, and number 59 in Germany in May 1991.

Within Australia, "Mad About You" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 80.

I don't recall hearing "Mad About You" before, but, presumably it received some airplay, as Australian FM radio loved Sting and his former band The Police during this period.
 
Few would have predicted that "All This Time" would become Sting's final solo (non-collaboration) top 40 hit in Australia, at the time.

"Mad About You" dented the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart, peaking at number 95.

We'll next see Sting in June 1991.
 
 
 
Number 122 "Melt in Your Mouth" by Candyman
Peak: number 118
Peak dates: 29 April 1991 and 13 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
American rapper John B. Shaffer III, better known as Candyman, scored a number 9 hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1990 with "Knockin' Boots", a song I became acquainted with via the American Top 40 radio show.  The single did not perform as well in Australia, peaking at number 58 in January 1991.
 
"Melt in Your Mouth" was the second single from Candyman's debut album Ain't No Shame in My Game (number 142, January 1991).  The single peaked at number 69 in the US in February 1991, and at number 41 in the Netherlands in April 1991.  Candyman effectively became a one-hit wonder, or, in Australia, a not-quite one-hit wonder.

I hadn't heard "Melt in Your Mouth" before.  The song's chorus and melodic hook are lifted from The Spinners' "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" from 1972.
 
"Melt in Your Mouth" peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 94.



Number 140 "Loose Fit" by Happy Mondays
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks

We last saw English band Happy Mondays in August 1990.  "Loose Fit" was the third single lifted from the band's third studio album Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches (number 98, March 1991).
 
"Loose Fit" peaked at number 17 the UK in March 1991, and at number 71 in the Netherlands in May 1991.  It's interesting (or so I think) how the peak positions for "Loose Fit" in various countries are all combinations of the numbers one and seven.

Domestically, "Loose Fit" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 53.

I have heard "Loose Fit" before, and like it, but could not remember how the song went until listening to it again to write this post.

Owing to the Gulf War taking place in early 1991, the "Gonna buy an airforce base, gonna wipe out your race" lyric was edited out of "Loose Fit" for the single's release in the UK.  I remember reading about sillier censorship decisions by the BBC around the time of the Gulf War, such as banning Bangles' "Walk Like an Egyptian" (number 1, February 1987).  That's the kind of censorship you might expect from the US.

Happy Mondays will join us next in 1992.



Number 142 "All Together Now" by The Farm
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

English band The Farm last graced us with their presence in January 1991.  "All Together Now" was the second single from the band's first studio album Spartacus (number 106, May 1991).
 
An early version of "All Together Now", titled "No Man's Land", was written after the band's singer Peter Hooton, who had trained as a history teacher, read an article about the unofficial Christmas truce between British and German soldiers during the first World War in 1914.  The troops ditched their weapons to play a game of football on 'no man's land', the space between their trenches.  The song was performed live on John Peel's Radio 1 show in 1983.  When recording the song in 1990, producer Suggs (from Madness) suggested the chorus lyric should be "all together now".  The song interpolates German baroque composer Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D".
 
The single peaked at number 4 in the UK in December 1990, number 9 in the Netherlands in February 1991, number 13 in the Flanders region of Belgium in February 1991, number 5 in Germany in March 1991, and number 18 in Switzerland in April 1991.
 
"All Together Now" crept into the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart, peaking at number 96.
 
I don't recall hearing "All Together Now" in 1991, but became familiar with the song via a 1995 happy hardcore cover version from German eurodance band Intermission.

We will see The Farm again in 1992.



Number 149 "Temple of Love"  by Harriet
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 22 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Here's one I had never heard of before.  Harriet, whose full name is Harriet Roberts, is a soul singer from Sheffield in the UK.  Interestingly, this track was her only release to dent the UK top 100, spending a solitary week at number 100 in August 1990.

"Temple of Love" was lifted from the album Woman to Man; Harriet's only album release.  A much dancier version of the track, which I prefer, was released as the single version in Germany and Japan.

Bizarrely, "Temple of Love" was released in Australia in October 1990, taking six months to scrape into the top 150.  In the interim, Harriet released another single locally, "Woman to Man", in January 1991, but it missed the top 150.



Number 150 "Funk Boutique" by The Cover Girls
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 22 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

The only song by New York-based freestyle group The Cover Girls I had heard before is one that we will see in 1992.

"Funk Boutique", which is quite sparse in lyrics, appears to have been an in-between albums release that was eventually included on the group's third studio album Here It Is (number 236, September 1992) in 1992.

"Funk Boutique" peaked at number 55 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1991.

Domestically, "Funk Boutique" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 144.

The Cover Girls will make their second and final appearance on the ARIA singles chart in 1992.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 154 "All I Want Is You" by Surface
Peak: number 154
Peak date: 22 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

You can tell from the first few seconds of this track that it's going to be a slickly-produced r&b lurve ballad... and that's exactly what it is, listening to this track for the first time.

Surface last 'surfaced' (ho ho) on the ARIA top 150 in February 1991.  "All I Want Is You" was another single from the group's third studio album 3 Deep (number 146, April 1991).
 
Surprisingly, "All I Want Is You" did not chart on the US Billboard Hot 100.  It did, however, reach number 8 on the US Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in April 1991... for what that's worth.
 
Locally, "All I Want Is You" was most successful in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 147.

"All I Want Is You" would be Surface's last single to chart in Australia.



Number 158 "G.L.A.D." by Kim Appleby
Peak: number 158
Peak date: 22 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

We first saw Kim Appleby in January 1991.  "G.L.A.D.", short for good lovin' and devotion, was the second single lifted from Kim's debut solo album Kim Appleby (number 159, April 1991).  The song was co-written with Kim's late sister Melanie, who was the other half of Mel & Kim, and Craig Logan, the former Bros member who Kim was dating at this time.

G.L.A.D. was going to be the title of Mel & Kim's second album, which never eventuated, following F.L.M. (number 2, August 1987) and sticking with the alphabet letters theme.  Kim launched her solo career nine months after Mel's passing in January 1990.  She was driven to showcase the songs she and Mel had written during Mel's illness, as a tribute to her sister.

"G.L.A.D." was remixed from the original album version for its single release by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow, the B-team at Stock Aitken Waterman (who produced the F.L.M. album).  The track features a rap from Aswad's Brinsley Ford.

Internationally, "G.L.A.D." reached number 10 in the UK in February 1991, number 7 in Ireland, number 6 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1991, and top 20 in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

Within Australia, "G.L.A.D." performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 138.

Unlike Kim's previous single, I heard "G.L.A.D." at the time, catching the video on Channel 10's short-lived Coca-Cola Power Cuts as a new release.

A third single from the Kim Appleby album, "Mama", was released in Australia in June 1991, but failed to chart.  It did, however, give Kim a third and final solo top 20 hit in the UK, peaking at number 19 there in July 1991.

A fourth single, "If You Cared", was issued from the album in the UK in October 1991, but did not receive a local release.  Mel & Kim performed a live a cappella excerpt from "If You Cared" in their April 1988 interview on UK TV show Wogan.

We shall see Kim Appleby again in 1993.



Number 180 "Now That We've Found Love" by Love in Effect featuring Jazzie B
Peak: number 180
Peak date: 22 April 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
This track is a cover version of The O'Jays' "Now That We've Found Love" from 1973.   Another version of the song, by Heavy D. & The Boyz, peaked at number 6 in Australia in September 1991.

Love in Effect was an ensemble of artists who came together to release this single and nothing else.  I assume the track was recorded for charity, as these things usually are, but cannot find any evidence of such.
 
The artists featured in Love in Effect include Soul II Soul's Jazzie B (the only one to receive a featuring credit), Ben Vopeliere-Pierrot from Curiosity Killed the Cat, Ruby Turner, Diana Brown and Barry K. Sharpe, The Wee Papa Girl Rappers, Jeninne Levy, and Jay Williamson.

This version of "Now That We've Found Love" missed the UK top 75, and peaked at number 80 in the Netherlands in March 1991.  The single was most-successful in New Zealand, where it reached number 25 in May 1991.

Within Australia, "Now That We've Found Love" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 167.



Next week (29 April): Two top 150 debuts and four bubbling WAY down under entries.  Also, my 1981 Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 recaps will resume on Wednesday (27 April) next week.

< Previous week: 15 April 1991                                         Next week: 29 April 1991 >