22 October 2021

Week commencing 22 October 1990

The nine new top 150-peaking entries this week cover all bases.  Everything from metal to hip-hop to radio station themes to rock ballads to... opera is there.  Shall we take a look?
Sam Brown: the hits suddenly 'stopped'.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 108 "Nessun Dorma" by Luciano Pavarotti
Peak: number 108
Peak dates: 22 October 1990 and 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Best known - to me, anyway - as one of The Three Tenors, Italian operatic tenor Pavarotti's greatest success in Australia came on the albums chart, where he landed two number ones in 1990 and 1994, alongside José Carreras and Placido Domingo.

When it came to the singles chart, however, it was a different story, and the only single Pavarotti landed on the Australian top 100 was as a guest vocalist on U2 side project Passengers' "Miss Sarajevo" (number 7, December 1995).
"Nessun Dorma", which translates from Italian as "let no-one sleep", is an aria from the opera Turandot.  Pavarotti famously performed "Nessun Dorma" at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, leading to the song becoming known to a wider audience outside of opera-appreciating circles.
Pavarotti's version of "Nessun Dorma" reached number 2 in the UK in June 1990, and number 4 in Ireland.  Following Pavarotti's death from pancreatic cancer at age 71 in 2007, "Nessun Dorma" peaked at number 12 in the UK, number 7 in Ireland, and also hit the top 40 in the Netherlands and Switzerland.  While the song may not have technically been a hit in Australia, its climactic ending is surely familiar to many more people than its number 108 peak would suggest.

To me, Pavarotti is the kind of music you might hear while browsing in a furniture store, or while waiting to get your hair cut at an Italian barber's (at least, that was my experience in the 1990s).
We will next see Pavarotti bubble under as part of The Three Tenors in 1994.

Number 129 "Stranded" by Heart
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

American band Heart's career can be broadly split into two eras: the 1970s, when they were a hard rock/metal band, and the 1980s/90s, when their music was slickly produced soft rock.  The band, fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, achieved success in both eras, although were bigger in their second incarnation.
Up until this point, Heart had placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100, with three of those reaching the top 10: "Magic Man" (number 6, March 1977), "Alone" (number 6, August 1987) and "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" (number 1, June 1990).  Three of my favourite Heart singles that were US top 10 hits but didn't do quite as well on the Australian charts are "What About Love" (number 28, December 1985), "Never" (number 48, February 1986) and "These Dreams" (number 27, May 1986).

"Stranded" was the third single lifted from Heart's tenth studio album Brigade (number 11, June 1990).  It followed "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" and "I Didn't Want To Need You" (number 64, July 1990).  Ann sang lead on the majority of Heart's singles, but "Stranded" is one where Nancy sings lead vocals, as she did on "These Dreams" and their 1993 single "Will You Be There (In the Morning)" (number 24, March 1994).

Internationally, "Stranded" peaked at number 60 in the UK in November 1990, and number 13 in the US in December 1990.  On the state ARIA charts, "Stranded" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 92.
I don't believe I had actually heard "Stranded" before viewing the video to write this post, though I saw the single in the shops.  I remember at the time finding it odd how little promotion the singles from Brigade received in Australia following the number one success of "All I Wanna Do...".   While I heard "I Didn't Want To Need You" on the radio a couple of times in 1990, I didn't see the video until... linking it in this post!
During this era, Ann's physique was deemed 'unmarketable' by the band's record label, and all of the shots of her in the videos from Brigade are from the neck up.  In a video podcast interview from earlier this year, Ann details the impact body-shaming from the media had on her during the height of Heart's commercial success, leading to her developing anxiety and stage fright.
A fourth single from Brigade, "Secret", was released in Australia in March 1991, but failed to chart.  Again, it received zero promotion, and I had not heard it before now.
We shall next see Heart in 1994.

Number 130 "Once in Your Life"  by Sam Brown
Peak: number 125
Peak dates: 5 November 1990 and 12 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks

Since her debut single "Walking Back to Me" was released in Australia in April 1988 (did not chart), English singer-songwriter Sam Brown placed four singles within the ARIA top 100, with her biggest hit being "Stop!" (number 4, May 1989).  We also saw Sam bubble under back in September 1989.

"Once in Your Life" was the third single issued from Sam's second album April Moon (number 30, July 1990) in Australia.  It followed "With a Little Love" (number 27, June 1990) and "Kissing Gate" (number 89, August 1990).

For reasons I do not know, "Once in Your Life" was not released as a single in Sam's native UK, despite a music video being filmed for the song.  Instead, "Mindworks" was issued as the third single from the album there, where it peaked at number 77 in July 1990.  "Mindworks" was released as the fourth and final single from April Moon in Australia in February 1991, but failed to chart.  One interesting thing about the "Mindworks" music video, if you have not seen it before, is how similar parts of it are to Kylie Minogue's "Put Yourself in My Place" video, recorded four years later.

"Once in Your Life" was issued as a single in continental Europe, though Australia is the only country where it charted.  On the ARIA state charts, "Once in Your Life" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 83.  The single also made the top 100 in Western Australia, where it peaked at number 94.

One thing I fondly remember about "Once in Your Life" is the group-singalong-in-the-rain part towards the end of the music video, with Sam bursting into laughter just before the video fades to black.

Following April Moon, Sam parted ways with her record company A&M Records.  Her next album, 1993's 43 Minutes (number 132, June 1993), was released independently.  We shall see Sam bubble under with a single from it in 1993, but before then, a duet with Black (who we saw bubble under in March 1989), "Fly Up to the Moon" - complete with a claymation video, was released in Australia in October 1991, but failed to chart.

Number 139 "Doowutchyalike" by Digital Underground
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
American hip-hop group Digital Underground are categorised as alternative hip-hop, according to their Wikipedia article.  Not knowing what "alternative" hip-hop meant, I read further that it is rap music that does not conform to the conventional styles of rap such as hardcore or gangsta, and that it may also incorporate elements of pop, jazz, soul, reggae, or folk.  The first examples of alternative hip-hop I could think of after reading that description were De La Soul, P.M. Dawn and Gang Starr, who were less-concerned with rap clichés such as boasting about how good you are or who you're going to kill...

"Doowutchyalike" was Digital Underground's second single, and their first Australian release.  The single did not register on the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 29 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in August 1990, and number 20 on the Billboard Dance chart in September 1990 - neither of which is a 'real' chart if you ask me.  Elsewhere, "Doowutchyalike" reached number 79 in the UK in September 1989.  It is interesting that it charted nearly a year earlier in the UK than in the group's homeland.

Digital Underground would score a much bigger hit with their following single in the US, "The Humpty Dance" (US number 11, June 1990), but this missed the ARIA top 150 when issued locally in November 1990.

Digital Underground's biggest 'hit' in Australia would come when "Kiss You Back" reached number 97 in March 1992.

Number 141 "Dr. Dan's Theme" by Dieter Kleeman
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
This song, which is credited as "Doctor Dan's Theme" on the single sleeve and "Dr. Dan's Theme" on the record label and rear sleeve (don't ya love that?), served as the 'theme' song for the Australian radio station Triple M.  That being said, although I listened to some Triple M back in the day (mainly for the Top 8 at 8 countdown in 1989-90), I had completely forgotten about this theme song, and only the whispered "triple M" parts really remained in my consciousness.  I'm sure it will ring a bell to those who were regular Triple M listeners in the early 90s, though.

Another point of confusion - Dieter Kleeman's name should really be Dieter Kleemann.  It has been misspelt with only one N on the single sleeve and record label.
"Dr. Dan's Theme" peaked at number 99 on the Australian Music Report singles chart.
I reached out to Dieter to obtain a copy of this track (embedded below), as only the 1981 and 1984 versions were on YouTube - so thank you Dieter!

Number 144 "Bonita Applebum" by A Tribe Called Quest
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest formed in 1985.  "Bonita Applebum" was their first single issued in Australia, lifted from their debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
Following in the footsteps of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" (number 25, December 1978) and preceding Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" (number 8, August 1992), "Bonita Applebum" was a song about the appreciation of... women with amply-sized derrieres.
While the original version of "Bonita Applebum" is uploaded on the band's official YouTube channel, the single version of "Bonita Applebum" in Europe and Australasia, which I have embedded below, features a prominent sample of Carly Simon's "Why".  Despite being written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, and sounding like something of an early 1980s classic now, "Why" somehow did not chart at all when issued in Australia in August 1982.  "Why" was a number 10 hit in the UK in October 1982, however.

"Bonita Applebum" missed the US Billboard Hot 100, but registered on the following Billboard dubious charts: number 28 on Dance Singles Sales in May 1997 (I'm not sure why this charted 7 years later), number 58 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in October 1990, and number 4 on Hot Rap Songs in October 1990.  As to what some of these charts even reflect - your guess is as good as mine.

Elsewhere, "Bonita Applebum" charted at number 47 in the UK in August 1990; a real, sales-based chart.
For some reason, I always mentally associate "Bonita Applebum" with Christina Applegate, as though the song's title was a cute nickname for her or something - even though her figure (I didn't know this at the time, because I pay little attention to US sitcoms) hardly resembles the women this song is an ode to.

To my surprise, A Tribe Called Quest never landed a top 100 entry - single or album - in Australia, until 2016 when the We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service album peaked at number 13 in November 2016.  During the same year, Phife Dawg (real name Malik Taylor) died in March, aged 45, following complications arising from diabetes.

Number 145 "Real Real Gone" by Van Morrison
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 7 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
Van Morrison, in my mind, is the kind of artist who has been around forever, who your uncle (back in the day) might have appreciated, and who could just drop an album out there, with no hit single accompanying it, and land in the top 10.  Yet, if pressed, you couldn't actually name one of his songs, right?  Well, OK, he did that "Gloria" (G-L-O-R-I-A!) song with his band Them in the 1960s, but you didn't know who actually sung that, or that he was involved.
"Real Real Gone" was the lead single from Van's (real name George Ivan Morrison) twentieth studio album Enlightenment (number 39, November 1990).  It was his first single since "Have I Told You Lately" (number 93, August 1989) to chart in Australia.  Although the song was written by Van for his 1980 album Common One, it was first recorded by Tom Fogerty as an album track for his 1981 album Deal It Out.

Internationally, "Real Real Gone" peaked at number 79 in Van's native UK (well, he's Northern Irish) in October 1990, and number 28 in Canada in February 1991.  On the more-dubious US Billboard charts, "Real Real Gone" peaked at number 18 on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in December 1990, and number 34 on the Adult Contemporary chart in January 1991.

Although it's not the sort of thing I'd normally listen to, I don't actually mind this track, hearing it now for the first time - perhaps it's because I'm now at that 'uncle who listens to music from the olden days' stage of my life...

Van will next bubble under in 1995.

Number 147 "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Double Trouble
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

You might have guessed from the title that this track is a cover version of Rose Royce's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (number 10, July 1979), which is one of those songs that seems to be a standard to cover.  A few other covers of the song that immediately spring to mind are those by I'm Talking (number 21, October 1985), Jimmy Nail (UK number 3, May 1985), Madonna (number 27, June 1996), and Yazz (recorded for her 1997 covers album The Natural Life).

Despite the name, Double Trouble were actually a trio of dance music producers and remixers.  They scored a minor hit in Australia with "Street Tuff" (number 85, February 1990), featuring Rebel MC, whom we saw again last week, on vocals.  Pairing up again with Rebel MC, we saw Double Trouble bubble under previously in March 1990.

"Love Don't Live Here Anymore" featured the vocals of Janette Sewell, who sang back-up vocals on "Street Tuff".  Janette's backing vocal credits also include Simply Red's Men and Women album and The Beloved's Happiness album, among others.

In the UK, "Love Don't Live Anymore" peaked at number 21 in July 1990.  The single also reached number 29 in Ireland in July 1990, number 35 in Germany in September 1990, and number 11 in New Zealand in October 1990 (yet another example of the Kiwis being more evolved than us).

Tragically, one third of Double Trouble, Michael Menson, died in 1997, aged 30, succumbing to injuries two weeks after being set alight in a racially-motivated street attack.  Family and friends felt that the police did not adequately investigate the attack, treating Michael's death as though it was a suicide instsead.  Following campaigning and a public outcry, a fresh investigation team was assigned and one man was charged with murder in December 1999, and another with manslaughter.

This would be Double Trouble's final release to chart in Australia.

Number 150 "Empire" by Queensrÿche
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Queensrÿche (pronounced kweenz-rike) are an American heavy metal/hard rock band, formed in 1980.  "Empire" was the title track and lead single from their fourth studio album Empire (number 127, November 1990).  It was also the band's first release to chart in Australia.

Internationally, "Empire" peaked at number 61 in the UK in November 1990, and at number 22 on the questionable US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in November 1990.
The song deals with the subject matter of illicit drug trafficking in the United States, and the detrimental effect this has on society.  As of 2016, the band have played the song over 1,000 times at live concerts.

We will see Queensrÿche again in July 1991.

Next week (29 October): Another busy week, with eight top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 15 October 1990                               Next week: 29 October 1990 >

19 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 19 October 1981

This week 40 years ago, we have another mixed bag of artists bubbling under the Australian top 100.  Among them, we have a veteran singer-songwriter from the 1960s, the second single from a new pop band who appealed largely to teenage girls at this point in their career, and an obscure New Zealand band who only recorded one album.  Let's take a look.
Art Garfunkel: how could only one of his solo releases burn so brightly in Australia?
Beyond the top 100:
Position 38 "Don't Wanna Go Home" by Tigers
Highest rank: 21st
Peak date: 9 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
Tigers were a New Zealand band, formed in 1979 and splitting in 1983.   The band released only one album, Tigers, which was recorded in Australia.  During its tenure, the group released five singles, of which "Don't Wanna Go Home" was the only one to (almost) register on the Australian chart.  Nothing Tigers released charted in their home country.

The performance clip of "Don't Wanna Go Home" below was lifted from the iconic Australian music TV show Countdown.  It seems that, from time to time, Countdown aired some more-underground stuff, rather than just the chart hits, like this - at least in the early 1980s.

Position 39 "Careless Memories" by Duran Duran
Highest rank: 2nd  (single peaked at number 60 in 1982)
Peak date: 16 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
"Careless Memories" was Duran Duran's second single, following "Planet Earth" (number 8, August 1981).  Interestingly, "Planet Earth" peaked higher in Australia than it did in the band's native UK, where it only reached number 12 in March 1981.

"Careless Memories", however, was more or less a flop in both countries, peaking at number 37 in the UK in May 1981.  While "Careless Memories" would eventually reach a peak of number 60 in Australia in May 1982, upon its initial release, it narrowly missed the top 100.  It was only after "Girls on Film" (number 11, February 1982), "My Own Way" (number 10, May 1982) and an Australian tour in April 1982 that "Careless Memories" finally hit the top 100.

I'm not sure why "Careless Memories" was not a bigger hit for Duran Duran.  My only guess is that it lacks a big chorus, and as it was only their second single, they had not yet established a devoted fan-base.  "Careless Memories" was the only Duran Duran single to miss the top 20 in the UK until 1987, and their only single to miss the top 30 there until late 1989.

Duran Duran will next bubble under in 1987.
Position 42 "A Heart in New York" by Art Garfunkel
Highest rank: 20th
Peak date: 9 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
Art Garfunkel is best known as one-half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with Paul Simon.  Between 1965 and 1970, the pair landed six top 10 singles in Australia, including "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  1970's "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" topped the Australian singles chart.

Art embarked on a solo career in 1973.  While he placed seven singles on the Australian top 100 between 1973 and 1985, Art only had one major solo hit in Australia, with "Bright Eyes" (number 2, July 1979).

"A Heart in New York" was the lead single from Art's fifth studio album Scissors Cut (number 70, October 1981).  To my surprise, I actually knew this song already - though I've no idea how, as I was not yet 3 years old when it was released, and it wasn't a hit.

Internationally, "A Heart in New York" peaked at number 66 in the US, number 39 in the Netherlands , and number 37 in the Flanders region of Belgium - all in September 1981.

Art would score one final top 100 entry on the Australian singles chart, with "Sometimes When I'm Dreaming" (number 96, June 1985).  Art's former bandmate Paul Simon landed his biggest solo hit in Australia with the inescapable "You Can Call Me Al" (number 2, November 1986) the following year.

Next week (26 October): Two singles bubbling beyond the top 100.

< Previous post: 12 October 1981                                     Next post: 26 October 1981 >

15 October 2021

Week commencing 15 October 1990

There isn't much I can find linking this week's debuts together, so let's just jump straight in...  But, before we do, I want to highlight that I have now added all of the 'peak date' data to my 1989 chart recaps - a reader requested I do that some time ago.  Also, I have updated a post from September 1989 with a newly-uncovered bubbling WAY down under entry from Bonnie Raitt.
Belinda Carlisle: the runaway horses have bolted from the ARIA top 100.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 123 "All I'm Missing Is You" by Glenn Medeiros
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Hawaiian singer Glenn Medeiros made an appearance on the first ARIA singles chart that extended beyond number 100, in January 1989.  Glenn landed two major hits in Australia, "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" (number 10, February 1988) and "She Ain't Worth It" (number 8, August 1990), which sound quite different to each other.  The latter track featured Bobby Brown as a guest rapper, and the former took just over 6 months from its release to reach its eventual peak on the Australian chart.
"All I'm Missing Is You", produced by Ray Parker Jr., was the second single lifted from Glenn's third album Glenn Medeiros (number 69, September 1990), which was actually his second self-titled album!  Glenn's 1990 self-titled album performed better in Australia than 1987's Glenn Medeiros (number 98, February 1988) and Not Me (number 124, March 1989).
In the US, "All I'm Missing Is You" peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1990.  The single also reached number 70 in Germany in November 1990.

"All I'm Missing Is You" performed slightly better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 95.
This would be Glenn's last ARIA top 150 entry.  Glenn is now employed as a school principal in Honolulu.
Number 125 "(We Want) The Same Thing" by Belinda Carlisle
Peak: number 103
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
Belinda Carlisle's chart career started when she was the lead singer of Go-Go's (technically there is no 'the' in their name!).  Their 1981 single "Our Lips Are Sealed" reached number 2 on the Australian singles chart in January 1982.  Three other Go-Go's singles, "We Got the Beat" (number 29, May 1982), "Vacation" (number 43, August 1982) and "Head Over Heels" (number 60, July 1984) registered on the Australian chart.

To my surprise, "Our Lips Are Sealed" was much bigger in Australia than it was in the Go-Go's native US, where it only reached number 20, in December 1981.  "Our Lips Are Sealed" also bombed in the UK at number 47 in June 1982.  The Fun Boy Three version of the track (the song was co-written with Terry Hall from the group) was a UK number 7 hit, though, in May 1983.

While the group would later reform, Go-Go's disbanded in 1985, and two of its members, Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin (who wrote "Our Lips Are Sealed" with Terry Hall), launched solo recording careers.
Jane Wiedlin's only solo release to (kind of) register on the Australian chart was her single "Rush Hour", which did not chart nationally, but reached number 88 on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart, and number 63 in Western Australia in November 1988.  If the ARIA chart extended beyond number 100 in 1988, "Rush Hour" probably would have peaked just outside the top 100.

Belinda's first solo release, "Mad About You", peaked at number 9 on the Australian singles chart in October 1986.  A second single from the Belinda (number 42, November 1986) album, "I Feel the Magic" (released in Australia in October 1986), failed to chart.
Belinda achieved greater, and more-consistent, commercial success after switching record labels in 1987.  "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" topped both the US (December 1987) and UK (January 1988) singles charts, and also went to number 1 in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.  In Australia,"Heaven..." peaked at number 2 in February 1988.
Subsequent singles from Belinda's second album Heaven on Earth (number 13, March 1988) were less-successful, but both "I Get Weak" (number 34, April 1988) and "Circle in the Sand" were top 10 hits in the US and UK.  "Circle in the Sand", issued in Australia in May 1988, missed the national chart (when it ended at number 100), but registered on the Queensland and Western Australia state charts, where it peaked at numbers 97 and 84, respectively, in July 1988.  A fourth single from Heaven on Earth, "World without You", was issued in Australia in September 1988, but did not chart.

That brings us to Belinda's third solo album Runaway Horses (number 6, June 1990).  While the album was Belinda's most successful in Australia, being certified double platinum, it did not perform as well as Heaven on Earth in the US or UK, and marked the start of Belinda's commercial decline, particularly in the US, where the album peaked at number 37 in December 1989, and only two singles from it charted.

Six singles were issued from Runaway Horses in Australia, with "(We Want) The Same Thing" being the last of those.  It followed "Leave a Light On" (number 5, January 1990), "La Luna" (number 21, January 1990), "Summer Rain" (number 6, May 1990), "Runaway Horses" (number 44, July 1990), and "Vision of You" (number 84, August 1990).

Despite its lack of success in Australia, "(We Want) The Same Thing" gave Belinda a career resurgence in the UK, where it peaked at number 6 in November 1990, following a string of underperforming singles that peaked at numbers 38, 40, and 41.  The UK follow-up release of "Summer Rain" propelled the Runaway Horses album back into the top 10, more than a year after its release.
"(We Want) The Same Thing" peaked at number 22 in Ireland in November 1990, and number 53 in Germany in December 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, "(We Want) The Same Thing" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 69.  The single also peaked within the top 100 on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (number 99) and South Australia/Northern Territory (number 83) state charts.
"(We Want) The Same Thing" was remixed for its single release, and sounds quite different to the original album version.  The music video for "(We Want) The Same Thing" is a bit of a botched job, using live footage as well as excerpts from earlier Belinda Carlisle videos.
One memory I have regarding this track is that my dad heard it on the radio when moving our car from the driveway into the garage, liked it, and asked me about it - not that this helped the song become a hit in Australia.

Belinda will bubble under four more times between now and 1997, with the next occasion being in 1992.

Number 132 "In the Evening" by Girl Overboard
Peak: number 130
Peak date: 12 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
Australian band Girl Overboard formed in 1985, although were named Separate Tables until the second half of 1989.  As Separate Tables, the group issued three singles: "When the World Came Down" (number 82, February 1988), "Change My Sex" (released in May 1988, did not chart), and "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" (number 71, April 1989).  The latter track ended up on Girl Overboard's debut album Paint a Picture (number 18, March 1990).
Following a name change, the first Girl Overboard single, "I Can't Believe" (number 43, December 1989), was released in October 1989.  The second Girl Overboard single, "The Love We Make", became the band's biggest hit, reaching number 23 in March 1990.  Then followed "Permanent Friend"/"Some Things Never Change" (number 85, June 1990), which didn't fare as well on the chart.

"In the Evening" was the fourth... or sixth, if you count "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" and the titles from the previous double A-side release separately, single from Paint a Picture, and its final release.  "In the Evening" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 95.

Lisa Schouw, the band's lead singer, later became a psychotherapist, but sadly died in October 2020, aged 62, from melanoma.

We shall next see Girl Overboard in 1992.

Number 144 Rollercoaster E.P. by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Peak: number 110
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Led by the title track "Rollercoaster", The Jesus and Mary Chain's Rollercoaster E.P. was the Scottish band's second single to dent the Australian top 150, following "Head On" back in December 1989.

The EP peaked at number 46 in the UK in September 1990, number 25 in Ireland in September 1990, and number 28 in New Zealand in October 1990.

"Rollercoaster" eventually appeared on the band's fourth studio album Honey's Dead (number 44, April 1992).

One thing I always remember about The Jesus and Mary Chain is that Australian Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja said they were her favourite band, though I don't remember where I read or heard this... perhaps during a Triple J radio interview.

We shall next see The Jesus and Mary Chain in 1994.

Number 148 "Your Love Takes Me Higher" by The Beloved
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week

There are artists who are underrated, and then there are artists who are criminally underrated.  British group The Beloved fall into the latter category when it comes to the Australian charts.  Nothing the band released locally - and they did try, with 10 singles and 4 albums issued locally between 1990 and 1996 - peaked higher than number 88 on Australian charts.

The Beloved formed in 1983, and had been releasing music independently in the UK since 1986.  Their first major label album Happiness (number 104, June 1990) landed them three top 40 hits in their homeland.

The first release of "Your Love Takes Me Higher" in the UK, promoted with an earlier music video showcasing singer Jon Marsh's dancing... talents, peaked at number 91 there in February 1989.  The track achieved a new peak of number 39 in the UK in March 1990 when re-issued, with a higher budget video (embedded below).

In Australia, "Your Love Takes Me Higher" was the third single released from Happiness, following "Hello" (number 94, May 1990) and "Time After Time" (released in Australia in June 1990, did not chart).  I am surprised that "Time After Time", one of my favourite Beloved singles, did not chart at all in Australia, given that the music video received at least two airings on Countdown Revolution during prime-time viewing.  I also feel that "Your Love...", which received exposure via Countdown Revolution too, should have done much better.

On the state charts, "Your Love Take Me Higher" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 124.

The Beloved bubbled under on the Australian singles chart no fewer than seven times between 1990 and 1996.  We will next see The Beloved in January 1991.

Number 149 "Dr. Dynamite" by Mighty Big Crime
Peak: number 121
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

Mighty Big Crime were the Melbourne-based hip-hop duo Tricky J (real name Julien Lodge) and Gumpy (Andrew Phillips).  Between 1987 and 1991, the pair released six singles, although none of these made the top 100.  Their cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" did, however, make the Australian Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, reaching fourth place on the list in December 1988.
The Wikipedia page for the group mentions a 1989 album titled Get Outta My Face, but this is not listed in the weekly Australian Music Report or The ARIA Report lists of new release titles I have, and there does not seem to be any trace of the album's existence online.  Similarly, at the time of writing this, there is no trace of "Dr. Dynamite" online either, other than vinyl copies of the single listed for sale (I don't care for vinyl at all).  This sort of thing seems to happen a lot to Australian artists, unfortunately.

I do, however, remember the song, as from memory it made the voted-for-by-listeners Top 8 at 8 radio show hosted by John Peters, which aired on Triple M in Melbourne.  A music video for "Dr. Dynamite" does exist, and was nominated for best video at the 1991 ARIA Awards.  Just, it hasn't made its way onto YouTube or other video streaming sites... yet!

Tricky and Gumpy went on to form Freaked Out Flower Children, who scored a top 40 hit with "Spill the Wine" (number 31, February 1992); but before then, we will see Mighty Big Crime bubble under again in 1991

Number 150 "To Sir with Love" by Ngaire
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Ngaire Fuata, not to be confused with the second series of Australian Idol contestant Ngaiire, was a New Zealand-based soul-pop singer who was born in the UK.  I say 'was' because she now works as a television producer for TVNZ, New Zealand's public broadcasting station.

"To Sir with Love", a cover of the Lulu song, was released as Ngaire's (pronounced ny-ree) debut single, and went to number 1 in New Zealand for five weeks in October and November of 1990.  In Australia, Ngaire wasn't so fortunate, and the single just scraped into the top 150 for a solitary week.

While "To Sir with Love" was Ngaire's only foray into the Australian top 150, she landed another five top 50 singles in New Zealand between 1991 and 1996 - although none of these peaked higher than number 18.
Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 155 "Rebel Music" by Rebel MC
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
UK rapper Rebel MC has visited us on two prior occasions, in March 1990 with Double Trouble, and in July 1990 on his own.  Here he is for the third, and final, time, on his own again.

"Rebel Music" was the fourth and final single issued from the Rebel Music (number 98, July 1990) album.  The track features guest vocals on the chorus from Jenni Evans, who became the female vocalist in Matt Bianco after Basia left.  Jenni died around five years ago if what I am reading on discogs.com is correct.
In the UK, "Rebel Music" peaked at number 53 in June 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, "Rebel Music" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 139.
I don't remember hearing this track at the time, but veteran Australian music video program rage aired the clip in 2020 during a dance music from 1990-themed vault episode.

"Rebel Music" would be Rebel MC's last release to chart in Australia, although another single, "Tribal Base", was released locally in September 1991.  We will see his former collaborative partners Double Trouble next week.
Next week (22 October): A bumper week with nine new top 150-peaking debuts.
< Previous week: 8 October 1990                                   Next week: 22 October 1990 >

12 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 12 October 1981

Of the three acts peaking outside the Australian top 100 this week 40 years ago, two are regarded as electronic music pioneers, and the other achieved commercial success by incorporating elements of electronic music into their otherwise 'rock' sound.  Two of this week's debuts were also the only single released from their accompanying albums.  Shall we take a look?
Kraftwerk: calculators are for dummies.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 32 "Pocket Calculator" by Kraftwerk
Highest rank: 14th
Peak date: 19 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk formed in Düsseldorf in 1969, although the band was initially just singer and keyboardist Ralf Hütter and multi-instrumentalist and backing singer Florian Schneider.
While their first two albums Kraftwerk and Kraftwerk 2 were moderate successes in their homeland, the group's major commercial breakthrough came in 1975, with the release of their third album Autobahn.  The album peaked at number 9 in Australia in August 1975, and the album's title track reached number 30 during the same month, becoming Kraftwerk's highest-peaking single in Australia.

Kraftwerk would not land a second top 100 single in Australia until "The Model", backed with "Computer Love" (my favourite Kraftwerk track), peaked at number 33 in May 1982.  This single topped the UK singles chart in February 1982.
In the interim years, Kraftwerk placed another two albums on the Kent Music Report albums chart, with Radio-Activity reaching number 96 in February 1976, and The Man Machine peaking at number 56 in September 1978.  Another album, 1977's Trans Europe Express did not chart in Australia until its 2003 re-issue, when it reached number 437 on the ARIA albums chart in February 2003.

Computer World, the album containing "Pocket Calculator" and "Computer Love", peaked at number 51 in Australia in October 1981.
In its German language incarnation as "Taschenrechner", which just translates as 'calculator', "Pocket Calculator" peaked at number 63 in West Germany in July 1981.  The single reached number 30 in the UK in May 1981.  Check out this unusually-animated-for-Kraftwerk live Austrian TV performance of the track.
Although "The Model" became a big hit for the band in 1982, it had actually been released four years earlier on the album The Man Machine, suggesting that Kraftwerk's sound really was ahead of its time.  Even today, the band's recordings from this era sound somewhat futuristic, as do some of the themes explored in the lyrics.
The success of "The Model" as a single in 1982 spurred The Man Machine to re-enter the Australian top 100 albums chart, reaching number 65 in June 1982, falling short of its peak of number 56 in 1978.

Kraftwerk would only land one other top 100 single in Australia, with "Tour de France" (number 60, September 1984).  They will bubble under a few times again, though, in the 1990s and 2000s, with the next occasion being in 1991.

Two Kraftwerk singles I enjoy that were released in Australia but did not chart locally are "Radioactivity" (1976) and "Musique Non Stop" (December 1986).

Kraftwerk founding member Florian Schneider passed away from cancer in April 2020, aged 73.

Position 34 "She's Got Claws" by Gary Numan
Highest rank: 14th
Peak dates: 26 October 1981 and 2 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
From one electronic music pioneer to another, English artist Gary Numan first came to fame as the lead singer for Tubeway Army.  Their single "Are 'Friends' Electric?" peaked at number 12 in Australia in October 1979.  It was swiftly followed by Gary's debut solo single "Cars", which reached number 9 in Australia in January 1980.  Although "Cars" and Gary's later singles would be credited solely to him, Gary retained the same musicians as in Tubeway Army, and it was essentially the same band, in which Gary was the singer, songwriter and producer.

While Gary had an enduring chart career in the UK, notching up 23 top 40 singles - 6 of which made the top 10, in Australia, Gary landed only two other top 100 hits - "We Are Glass" (number 15, July 1980) and "I Die: You Die" (number 86, October 1980).  Gary had slightly more success on the Australian albums chart, with five albums registering within the top 100 between 1979 and 1985; although none of these peaked higher than number 24.

"She's Got Claws" was the only single lifted from Gary's third studio album Dance (number 85, October 1981).  "She's Got Claws" peaked at number 6 in the UK in September 1981, and at number 12 in Ireland during the same month.

Gary still records and releases new albums, with his twenty-first studio album Intruder peaking at number 78 on the ARIA albums chart in May 2021.
Position 42 "The American" by Simple Minds
Highest rank: 42nd
Peak date: 12 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 1 week
Simple Minds formed in Glasgow in 1977.  Although they would later be known as a stadium rock band, at this point in their career, Simple Minds were incorporating elements of electronic music into their sound.
Simple Minds landed a few minor UK singles chart entries between 1979 and 1981, but none of these peaked higher than number 47.  Surprisingly, Simple Minds landed their first top 40 single anywhere in the world in Australia!  "Love Song" (number 17, February 1982) entered the Australian top 40 on 25 January 1982, which was almost three months prior to their first UK top 40 single, and a couple of weeks before "Sweat in Bullet" entered the Swedish chart.  Performing "Love Song" on the iconic Australian music television program Countdown no doubt helped with the band's earlier Australian chart success.
But prior to "Love Song", "The American" was the sole single from Simple Minds' fourth studio album Sister Feelings Call, which was later combined with their following album Sons and Fascination (number 31, February 1982).  "The American" became the band's first single to almost register on the Australian chart.  "The American" peaked at number 59 in the UK in May 1981.

Interestingly, Simple Minds had greater singles chart success in Australia than in the UK during the synth-pop period of their career, with singles such as "Love Song", "Promised You a Miracle" (number 10, July 1982) and "Glittering Prize" (number 9, October 1982) achieving higher peaks locally than in their homeland, where they peaked at numbers 47, 13 and 16, respectively.

We shall next see Simple Minds bubble under in 1984.

Next week (19 October): Another three singles bubbling below the top 100. 

< Previous post: 5 October 1981                                   Next post: 19 October 1981 >

08 October 2021

Week commencing 8 October 1990

One unusual thing all four of this week's top 150 debuts have in common is that we will see all of the artists bubble under the top 100 again - but not until 1993.  Shall we take a look?
Suzanne Vega: tired of flopping
Top 150 debuts:
Number 132 "Way Down Now" by World Party
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
For most of its existence, World Party has been Karl Wallinger's one-man band since parting ways with The Waterboys in 1986.  While Karl was with The Waterboys, they scored a hit single in Australia with "The Whole of the Moon" (number 12, May 1986).
World Party landed a major hit in Australia with in 1987 with "Ship of Fools" (number 4, June 1987).  Interestingly, that single performed much better locally than in Karl's native UK, where it only reached number 42 in February 1987.  In fact, "Ship of Fools" peaked higher in Australia than anywhere else in the world.
"Put the Message in the Box" (titled just "Message in the Box" in other countries) gave World Party a second top 100 'hit' in Australia, reaching number 86 in July 1990.

"Way Down Now" was the second single lifted from World Party's second album Goodbye Jumbo (number 70, July 1990).  The single peaked at number 66 in the UK in September 1990, number 53 in Canada in July 1990, and number 17 in the Netherlands in July 1990.

A third single from Goodbye Jumbo, "Thank You World", was issued in Australia in August 1991, but missed the top 150.

We shall see World Party again in 1993.

Number 133 "Guitar Boogie" by Tommy Emmanuel
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
"Guitar Boogie", an instrumental track written and originally recorded by Arthur Smith in 1945, was Australian guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel's second single to enter the ARIA top 150.  The title of the previous one also began with the word 'guitar'.  In case you hadn't guessed, Tommy plays guitar...
"Guitar Boogie" was lifted from the album Dare to Be Different (number 13, August 1990).  The single was issued in Australia on 20 August 1990, and took nearly two months to reach the top 150.  "Guitar Boogie" performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 96.

A third single from Dare to Be Different, "Hearts Grow Fonder", was released in December 1990, but missed the top 150.

Tommy will next join us in 1993.

Number 145 "Tired of Sleeping" by Suzanne Vega
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 8 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week
"Tired of Sleeping" was the second single issued from Suzanne Vega's third studio album Days of Open Hand (number 74, July 1990).  We saw Suzanne bubble under with the first single from the album back in July

Interestingly, "Tired of Sleeping" does not appear to charted anywhere else in the world, making its appearance on the ARIA singles chart a world exclusive!  On the state charts, "Tired of Sleeping" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 139.

I didn't hear this song until going on a Suzanne Vega audio binge in 2000, tracking down her albums after becoming enamored with her Tried and True: The Best of (number 96, November 1998) compilation, on which this track does not appear.  Only one song from Days of Open Hand was included on the compilation, "Book of Dreams".  It seems that this era was considered a relative flop era for Suzanne, despite the D.N.A. remix of "Tom's Diner" (number 8, November 1990) becoming her biggest worldwide hit in the latter part of 1990.

A third and final single from Days of Open Hand, "Men in a War", was released in Australia in February 1991, but failed to chart anywhere in the world.

Suzanne will next join us in 1993.
Number 146 "Kicking Against the Bricks" by Seven Stories
Peak: number 122 
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Seven Stories, initially named Tall Stories, formed in Adelaide in 1986.  Their first single, and first chart entry, "Sleeping Through Another War", reached number 68 on the ARIA singles chart in July 1990.

"Kicking Against the Bricks" was the second single lifted from Seven Stories' debut album Judges and Bagmen (number 76, August 1990).  A third single from the album, "Walk Through Babylon", was released in February 1991, but missed the top 150.

Seven Stories never placed another single within the top 100, but we will see them bubble under again in 1993.  The band split in 1994.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "End of the World" by Sonia
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 8 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

"End of the World" was the fifth and final single lifted from Sonia's debut album Everybody Knows (number 144, September 1990).  The track was originally recorded by Skeeter Davis, as "The End of the World", in 1962.  Another Stock Aitken Waterman production, the trio had earlier produced a version of the song for Brilliant in 1986.
There was a trend for Stock Aitken Waterman-produced artists around this time of dusting off an old ballad to cover, and then release it as a single towards the end of an album campaign.  Other examples include Kylie Minogue's "Tears on My Pillow" (number 20, February 1990), Jason Donovan's "Sealed with a Kiss" (number 8, June 1989) and "Rhythm of the Rain" (number 44, November 1990), and Big Fun's "Hey There Lonely Girl".
Sonia's version of "End of the World" reached number 18 in the UK in September 1990, enabling Sonia to become the first British female artist to score five top 20 singles from one album.  Despite that, Chrysalis Records did not extend her contract for a second album, and Sonia's working relationship with Stock Aitken Waterman ended by the end of 1990.
Outside of the UK, "End of the World" peaked at number 18 in Ireland.  "End of the World" became Sonia's fourth single in a row, including her duet with Big Fun, to peak outside the top 100 in Australia.  On the ARIA state charts, "End of the World" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 122.
Sonia signed with I.Q. Records, owned by Simon Cowell, in 1991.  She achieved another five UK top 30 singles over the following two years, including "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)" (UK number 10, June 1991) and "Better the Devil You Know" (UK number 15, May 1993) - the latter track was recorded for Eurovision and is not a cover of the Kylie Minogue song.  None of Sonia's output after her first album was issued in Australia, however, probably owing to her lack of chart success here.

My favourite post-Stock Aitken Waterman Sonia singles are both cover versions: "Boogie Nights" (UK number 30, September 1992) and "You to Me Are Everything" (UK number 13, November 1991).  Interestingly, Sonia recorded the original version of "Walk Away Lover" for her second album Sonia (UK number 33, October 1991), which was later covered by Australian soap star Toni Pearen, as "Walkaway Lover" (number 35, December 1994).

Next week (15 October): Seven top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 1 October 1990                                Next week: 15 October 1990 >

05 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 5 October 1981

One unusual thing that this week's batch of singles peaking outside the top 100 have in common is that they all peaked during the same week - that being 26 October 1981.  Let's take a look.
Pretenders would probably like to 'pretend' this song was a hit.
Beyond the top 100:
Position 35 "Dancing on the Floor (Hooked on Love)" by Third World
Highest rank: 8th
Peak date: 26 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
Third World formed in Jamaica in 1973.  Only one of the band's singles, "Try Jah Love", charted in Australia, reaching number 55 in June 1982.
The band's biggest international hit, "Now That We Found Love", was a cover version of an O'Jays song.  The 1978 single did not chart in Australia, but reached the top 10 in the UK and the Netherlands, went top 20 in the Flanders region of Belgium, and top 50 in the US.  It also belatedly reached the top 40 in New Zealand in 1985.

"Dancing on the Floor (Hooked on Love)", lifted from the album Rock the World, equalled Third World's highest singles chart peak in the UK, reaching number 10 in July 1981.

Third World's lead singer William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke died from leukaemia in 2014, aged 65.
Position 38 "Day After Day" by Pretenders
Highest rank: 2nd
Peak date: 26 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
At this point in their career, Pretenders had placed five singles on the Australian singles chart, with the biggest of those being their Aussie chart debut, "Brass in Pocket" (number 2, May 1980).

"Day After Day" was the third single lifted from the album Pretenders II (number 18, November 1981).  It followed "Talk of the Town" (number 55, November 1980) and "Message of Love" (number 15, May 1981).  An EP titled Extended Play, containing both of these singles, peaked at number 29 on the singles chart in June 1981.
"Day After Day" also underperformed in the UK, peaking at number 45 there in September 1981 and becoming their first single to miss the top 40.
Two members of Pretenders, James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon, died from drug-related causes in June 1982 and April 1983, respectively.

Pretenders would next bubble under on the Australian chart in 1989.

Position 44 "I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today" by The Crusaders and Joe Cocker
Highest rank: 23rd
Peak date: 26 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
American band The Crusaders formed in Houston, Texas, in 1952.  They placed one single on the Australian chart, when "Street Life", featuring uncredited vocals from Randy Crawford, peaked at number 79 in March 1980.
"I'm So Glad I'm Standing Here Today", featuring guest vocalist Joe Cocker, peaked at number 97 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1981, and number 61 in the UK during the same month.

This would be the last time Crusaders appeared on the Australian chart.  Joe Cocker next bubbles under on the Australian Music Report, after ARIA took over as the 'official' chart, in 1988.  Joe also bubbles under numerous times on the ARIA singles chart, starting in 1990.

Next week (12 October): Three singles bubbling below the top 100.
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