27 February 2020

Week commencing 27 February 1989

A mixed bag of debuts this week - one by an act with a previous minor hit in Australia, another by an act with a decent-sized hit that they couldn't follow up, an act with a few hits under their belt's final release, and two new acts who would never go on to make the top 100 (at least in their current form).  There isn't really a common thread there that I can write about... so let's just get on to the debuts.

The State: One of them would go on to write non-hits for Collette.

Top 150 debuts:

Number 122 "Heaven in My Hands" by Level 42
Peak: number 115
Peak date: 6 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Level 42 scored 20 top 40 hits in their native UK, but could chart no higher than number 43 down under, with 1987's "Running in the Family".  They'll be back later in the year with another top 150 entry.

Number 131 "I Won't Bleed for You" by Climie Fisher
Peak: number 124
Peak date: 6 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

Climie Fisher returned to the top 150 this week, following in the footsteps of "This Is Me" from January,  with their second consecutive single to peak in the 120's.  Two more singles of theirs were released in Australia in 1989: "Love Like a River" (April) and "Facts of Love" (October), but both failed to chart.

Number 138 "Cars & Planes" by Machinations
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 13 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

This fourth and final single from 1988's Uptown album was also Machinations' final single, after front man Fred Loneragan was injured in a car accident in April 1989.  "Cars & Planes" failed to connect with the record-buying public.

Number 142 "Is This Love?" by King Swamp
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 20 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks

Formed in 1988, UK band King Swamp scaled the lower end of the top 100 in their homeland, reaching number 92 with this track.  In Australia, they did nearly as 'well', but missed the top 100.


Number 150 "So Lonely Now" by The State
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 27 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Before roping in Jack Jones (real name Irwin Thomas) and morphing into Southern Sons, The State had their first taste of chart 'success' with "So Lonely Now", which spent a solitary week at number 150.   CD copies of their album Elementary fetch upwards of $70 on discogs.com now!  Interestingly, Peter Bowman from the group would later go on to co-write most of Collette's second album, Attitude.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 159 Ballad of the Streets EP by Simple Minds
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 27 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week

From time to time, I notice what I think (sometimes it's clear; other times, more a matter of opinion) are mistakes on the ARIA chart.  This is one of them.

Ballad of the Streets was the name - across all formats - given to the single containing the track "Belfast Child" by Simple Minds.  However, the single cover also listed "Belfast Child" and the other track(s) - depending on which format, so there was no mistake it was the 'Belfast Child single' if you were browsing the stock in a record store.

My only guess - and it is just a guess - as to why ARIA have listed Ballad of the Streets separately to "Belfast Child", which was at number 23 this week, is that it represents sales of the 12" vinyl or CD single, with extra track "Biko" on it.  Sales of the 12" or CD single really should have just been added to the tally for "Belfast Child".

We will next see Simple Minds in 1992.

Number 166 "Eyes for the Blind" by The Everys
Peak: number 166
Peak date: 27 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

Adelaide band The Everys only released one studio album, Everyone, which did not chart at its time of release, in February 1989.  It did, however, manage to chart... at number 1280, in June 2018, following its digital release.  I suspect the album would have peaked higher in 1989 had the chart extended lower back then.

"Eyes for the Blind" was the third of four singles issued from the album; the other three - "This Town" (January 1988, released as The Every Brothers), "Paved with Gold" (July 1988) and "Stranger You Are" (July 1989) - did not chart.
Number 175 "Four Letter Word" by Kim Wilde
Peak: number 165
Peak date: 13 March 1989
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks 
Poor Kim could only manage sporadic chart success in Australia, after her string of four consecutive top 10 singles in 1981-2.  A four letter word is what Kim might be thinking if she looked at her Australian chart history... though we at least gave her a number one hit - something she somehow couldn't manage in her home country - in 1987.  Kim will join us next in 1990.

Next week (6 March):  Another 5 new top 150 entries, though one of them isn't really 'new'.  Other acts debuting next week include another return act, and a double A-side from a female rap act who looked like they were going to become one-hit wonders.

Please note that next week's post will be on Friday, rather than Thursday, due to the leap day this year.  My posts for the next 4 years (assuming I continue writing these posts) will now be on a Friday.

< Prevous Post: 20 February 1989                               Next Post: 6 March 1989 >

20 February 2020

Week commencing 20 February 1989

We're only into the fourth top 150 chart, and this week we have two returning acts already.  Who was 'lucky' enough to score back-to-back top 150 'hits' in the opening months of 1989?  Read on to find out!

Blondie's Deborah Harry: Once more into the lower region of the top 150.

Top 150 debuts:

Number 137 "Cyclone Season" by Graeme Connors
Peak: number 135
Peak date: 6 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Another track from his North album, this gave Connors his second single peaking within the 101-150 region of the Australian singles chart in early 1989.  I recapped the first one in the very first chart recap I posted.

Number 138 "Jack to the Sound of the Underground" by Hithouse
Peak: number 129
Peak date: 13 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 12 weeks

With a small number of exceptions, the Australian charts generally weren't ready for this kind of music yet, hence the low peak for one of the more notable acid house tracks from the time.  Of note is that the song samples Kelly Charles' "You're No Good for Me" from 1987, which was also prominently sampled on The Prodigy's "No Good (Start the Dance)" in 1994.  On the state charts, "Jack to the Sound of the Underground" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 80.

Peter Slaghuis, the man behind Hithouse, died in 1991 when his car, traveling at 220km/hour crashed into an oncoming truck.  Hithouse will score another top 150 'hit' in 1990.

Number 139 "Lost Soul" by Ordinary Mortals
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 20 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Ordinary Mortals were an Australian band, and "Lost Soul" was their 'sole' top 150 entry.  However, this is quite a reasonable feat, as, according to band member John Gordon whom I contacted, "Lost Soul" was only distributed in the Brisbane area!  He was surprised that the single registered a place on the national chart.  John also managed to track down a copy of the music video, which I have embedded below.

Number 140 "Don't Worry Baby" by The Everly Brothers with The Beach Boys
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 10 April 1989
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks

Due to the way they have been entered onto the ARIA database, this, along with the plain ole Everly Brothers without The Beach Boys version of the track, charted simultaneously for a few weeks, as the same title, so it is technically impossible to know which is which, and which one peaked higher.  Given the higher profile of the duet version, I am going to assume that it was this which had the higher peak of the two.

Number 148 "Denis (The '88 Remix)" by Blondie
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 6 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Recently enjoying top 150 'success' with "Liar, Liar", which I recapped in my second top 150 chart post, Debs was back already, but with her old pals in Blondie, in this remixed version of their number 12 hit from 1978, from the Once More into the Bleach remix album.  One thing I didn't know, until now, was that this version was remixed by Danny D of D Mob.  I've had to resort to uploading the video below, as it is blocked on YouTube.  On the state charts, the 1988 remix of "Denis" performed much stronger in South Australia/Northern Territory than anywhere else, where it reached number 64 (it missed the top 100 on the other state charts).

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 154 "After the War" by Gary Moore
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 27 March 1989
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
Northern Irish guitar maestro Gary Moore had placed five singles on the Australian top 100 chart at this point, although only one of those, a cover version of The Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind" (number 25, September 1987) had troubled the top 40.
"After the War" was the lead single and title track from Gary's seventh studio album After the War (number 62, March 1989).  The single peaked at number 37 in the UK in January 1989, number 14 in Ireland, number 12 in Sweden in January 1989, number 4 in Norway, number 17 in Switzerland in March 1989, and number 36 in New Zealand in March 1989.
On the ARIA state charts, "After the War" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 87.

I hadn't heard "After the War" until writing this post, and enjoyed it.

Gary will join us next in April 1989.

Number 156 "All I Ask of You" by Barbra Streisand
Peak: number 156
Peak date: 20 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
At this point in time, Barbra Streisand had placed 15 singles on the Australian top 100, with "Woman in Love" (number 1, November 1980) being her biggest hit down under.
"All I Ask of You", a song from the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical The Phantom of the Opera, was recorded by Cliff Richard and Sarah Brightman in 1986, peaking at number 24 in Australia in March 1987.  Their version would bubble under again later in 1989.

Barbra's version of "All I Ask of You" was issued as the second single from her Till I Loved You (number 21, January 1989) album, following the title track, which reached number 34 in January 1989.
Internationally, "All I Ask of You" peaked at number 77 in the UK in February 1989, and number 56 in the Netherlands during the same month.

On the ARIA state charts, "All I Ask of You" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 95.
We will see Barbra next in November 1989.

Next week (27 February):   Another five new entries, including a return act, plus three other singles that were bubbling WAY down under.

< Previous Post: 13 February 1989                                     Next Post: 27 February 1989 >

13 February 2020

Week commencing 13 February 1989

Unusually, there are no new top 150 debuts of singles peaking within the 101-150 range of the chart this week; the only time this occurs in 1989.

Rod Stewart: Advanced Hair?  Oh yeah!

There are, however, three outside the top 150 debuts/peaks I have information for.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 162 "Harvest for the World" by The Christians
Peak: number 162
Peak date: 13 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week
Liverpudlian band The Christians were so-named owing to Christian being the surname of the band's three founding members, who were also brothers.  The group placed two singles on the Australian top 100 chart in 1988: "When the Fingers Point" (number 73, April 1988) and "Ideal World" (number 89, May 1988).  Both tracks were lifted from the band's debut album The Christians (number 64, April 1988).
Nothing else The Christians released would dent the top 100 in Australia, other than the Hillsborough tragedy charity single "Ferry Cross the Mersey" (number 45, June 1989), on which they performed, along with other recording artists from Liverpool.  "Forgotten Town" registered on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, peaking at number 88 in July 1988, but did not chart nationally - this was when the ARIA chart did not extend beyond number 100.

"Harvest for the World", an Isley Brothers cover version, was a non-album single recorded for charity.  The single reached number 8 in the band's native UK in October 1988, becoming their highest-charting single there (not counting "Ferry Cross the Mersey", which went to number 1).  "Harvest for the World" also reached number 4 in Ireland, and made the top 40 in the Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium.
On the ARIA state charts, "Harvest for the World" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 77.

We shall see The Christians again in 1990.

Number 164 "My Heart Can't Tell You No" by Rod Stewart
Peak: number 164
Peak date: 13 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week

The third single from the Out of Order album, and the second to miss the ARIA top 100, following "Forever Young" (released locally in August 1988), this track peaked at number 49 in Rod's native UK - though oddly three months after it charted here!  Rod will join us next in August 1989.

Number 165 "Burn It Up" by The Beatmasters with P.P. Arnold
Peak: number 165
Peak date: 13 February 1989
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
English electronic group The Beatmasters landed their biggest hit in Australia with "Rok Da House" (number 37, June 1988), featuring rap duo Cookie Crew on mic duties.  "Burn It Up", the follow-up release, was a collaboration with P.P. Arnold (real name Patricia Ann Cole), who had been a recording artist since the late 1960s, and was aged 42 at this point.

While the single flopped in Australia, "Burn It Up" reached number 14 in the UK in October 1988, number 15 in Ireland, number 24 in New Zealand in November 1988.

"Burn It Up" took some time to register on the chart in Australia, having been released on 7 November 1988.  Had the ARIA singles chart extended beyond number 100 before 30 January 1989, I suspect that "Burn It Up" may have peaked higher than number 165, as it reached number 96 on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart on 12 December 1988; a peak equalled in Western Australia this week in 1989.

Both "Rok Da House" and "Burn It Up" appeared on the album Anywayawanna (number 129, October 1989).

We will next see The Beatmasters bubble under in June 1989.

Next week: the return of two artists who've already had one top 150 'success' in 1989, and a song that samples a song which was prominently sampled on a Prodigy hit from the mid-90s.

< Previous Post: 6 February 1989                                             Next Post: 20 February 1989 >

12 February 2020

The very first (unpublished) ARIA top 50 singles chart

In my last post, I mentioned that there exists an unpublished ARIA top 50 singles chart, that was presumably compiled as a test-run before going 'live' the following week with the first published ARIA-produced top 50 chart.

Although the first published top 50 chart is dated 'week ending June 26, 1988', it actually reflects the chart survey conducted by ARIA on Monday 13 June 1988, covering sales from the week prior.  During the transition from the Australian Music Report (formerly Kent Music Report) chart, ARIA kept the week-ending dates on the top 50 chart a week after the chart survey was conducted, in keeping with AMR method of dating their charts, right up until the end of 1988.

So... this unpublished chart from the week prior reflects the chart survey conducted on 6 June 1988.  Had the chart been used on the printed top 50 ARIA charts available in record stores, it would replace the chart dated week ending June 19, 1988.

Of interest to chart-watchers, this unpublished chart actually results in a couple of different peaks, highlighted in orange on the chart below:

(TW = this week, LW = last week, TI = times in, HP = high point, w/c = week commencing.  Note: the TI tally reflects weeks spent in the top 100.)

Singles peaking higher as a result of this unpublished chart include New Order's 'Blue Monday 1988' (previous peak: #4; new peak: #3), INXS's 'New Sensation' (previous peak: #9, new peak #8), Prince's 'Alphabet St.' (previous peak: #20; new peak #14), Michael Jackson's 'Dirty Diana' (previous peak: #27; new peak: #26), and Robert Plant's 'Tall Cool One' (previous peak: #46; new peak: #30).

Singles peaking lower as a result of this unpublished chart include Tiffany's 'Could've Been' (previous peak: #8; new peak #9), and Pet Shop Boys' 'Heart' (previous peak: #18; new peak: #19).

Is this unpublished chart considered 'official'?  Should these 'new' peaks replace the old ones?  My opinion is 'yes' to both, because ARIA produced this chart.  I am not sure why it was not used in place of the last AMR chart ARIA licensed, for the week ending June 19, 1988 top 50 printed chart.  I'm guessing that maybe ARIA wanted to have a trial-run at it first, before going 'live'.

08 February 2020

Singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 - Winter 1988

This post is the first in a series to take a look at singles that 'bubbled under' the Kent/Australian Music Report chart, before the ARIA chart extended beyond number 100.  This first instalment covers the AMR charts from winter 1988, coinciding with the first few months of the ARIA-produced chart.

Tiffany: The Australian record-buying public's feelings for Tiff weren't, unfortunately, forever.

Prior to the advent of the first ARIA-produced chart (that was published) in June 1988, ARIA had been licensing the top 50 portion of the Kent Music Report (which was later known as the Australian Music Report, from the edition dated 6 July 1987) since late June 1983.

I say "that was published", as ARIA actually produced an unpublished top 50 chart, as a trial run, a week prior to 'going live' with the chart linked above.  But we'll get to that in another post.

The Kent/Australian Music Report, since 23 August 1982, had included a list of "singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100" - if that is not a contradiction in terms.


Usually, the titles listed in this section were singles that had not yet entered the national top 100 chart.  But, curiously, the list also included titles falling out of the top 100 from time to time.

The singles were ranked in order of sales, with the best-selling title among them being listed first, and so on.  These lists were akin to the US Billboard 'Bubbling Under' chart, listing titles that were on the cusp of entering the Hot 100 chart, but had not yet done so.

The number of titles listed varied week by week.  Sometimes, only a few titles were listed.  Other weeks (mainly later on), the list could contain as many as 25-30 titles!  Some weeks (not very often, thankfully), there was no list of these 'bubbling under' titles at all.

As there are no available records of the Kent/Australian Music Report chart extending beyond number 100, these lists provide the next best thing in giving an indication of what was lurking outside the top 100.  The songs listed are not literally positions 101, 102 etc., however.

After that rather lengthy intro, this post will look at singles that 'bubbled under' the Australian Music Report (AMR) top 100 chart between June and August 1988 that also did not make the ARIA top 100 or top 150 charts.  I will take a look at other periods in later posts.  Note that this list does not include singles that entered the AMR top 100, but missed the ARIA chart.  That will be yet another topic for another day!

Non-charting singles that bubbled under the Australian Music Report chart June-August 1988:

"Towers of Strength" by Died Pretty
AMR chart first listing: 6 June 1988
Highest rank: 15 (on the 'bubbling under' list)

Five years before they finally broke into the top 100, Australian band Died Pretty bubbled under with this release.

"Rise to the Occasion" by Climie Fisher
AMR chart first listing: 13 June 1988
Highest rank: 5 (on the 'bubbling under' list)

Before 'Love Changes (Everything)' became a number 23 hit, this ballad, which peaked at number 10 in the UK in January 1988, bubbled under the top 100.


"The Way I Live" by Tony Johns
AMR chart first listing: 20 June 1988
Highest rank: 12 (on the 'bubbling under' list)

I've never heard of Tony Johns before... but noticed that one YouTube upload for this song declares that he is a "6'4" 100% Italian ladies man from Salt Lake City".


"Hold on to Love" by Jon Anderson
AMR chart first listing: 27 June 1988
Highest rank: 12 (on the 'bubbling under' list)

I wrongly assumed I'd never heard of Jon Anderson before.  It turns out that he was the lead singer of Yes, they of 'Owner of a Lonely Heart', which peaked at number 14 on the Australian singles chart in February 1984.

"Responsible" by The State
AMR chart first listing: 4 July 1988
Highest rank: 2 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

The State would later evolve into Southern Sons, after recruiting new singer Jack Jones (real name: Irwin Thomas).  But for now they had to settle with bubbling under the top 100.  They will also make an appearance among the top 150 debuts in a couple of weeks.

"Diamond Sun" by Glass Tiger
AMR chart first listing: 4 July 1988
Highest rank: 3 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Glass Tiger found it an impossible task following up 'Don't Forget Me (When I'm Gone)', which peaked at number 9 on the Australian singles chart in January 1987, with no subsequent single release charting higher than number 91 in Australia.

"Love Takes Care" by The Angels
AMR chart first listing: 4 July 1988
Highest rank: 9 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

The Angels seemed to have so many singles released during 1980s.  I've never heard of this uncharacteristically-subdued song, which was a live release, following up their live rendition of 'Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?', which peaked at number 11 in March 1988.

"Don't Stand So Close to the Window" by Paul Kelly & The Coloured Girls
AMR chart first listing: 4 July 1988
Highest rank: 10 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

This one is interesting, as this song somehow made it onto the various artists 'hits' compilation Hit Pix '88 Volume II, despite never reaching the top 100.  There also does not seem to be a music video for the song.

"The Colour of Love" by Billy Ocean
AMR chart first listing: 11 July 1988
Highest rank: 1 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

After having a fairly successful few years on the Australian chart, Billy was unable to score a chart entry higher than number 76, after his number one smash from earlier in 1988.

"Soldier of Love" by Donny Osmond
AMR chart first listing: 11 July 1988
Highest rank: 2 (on the 'bubbling under' chart) 

The former teen idol scored a US Billboard number 2 hit with this single.

"Get It" by Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson
AMR chart first listing: 18 July 1988
Highest rank: 7 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

I wasn't previously aware of this track's existence, or that it received a single release.  This single stalled at number 80 on the US Billboard Hot 100, though made the top 15 in the Flanders region of Belgium.

"Don't Blame It on That Girl" by Matt Bianco
AMR chart first listing: 1 August 1988
Highest rank: 5 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

I have heard this one before.  Matt Bianco, who are a group rather than a solo artist as the name might suggest, scored Australian top 100 hits with 'Whose Side Are You On?' (number 57 in June 1985) and 'Yeh Yeh' (number 64 in March 1986).


"Paved with Gold" by The Everys
AMR chart first listing: 8 August 1988
Highest rank: 6 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

An Australian band, this was the best The Everys managed on the chart; although 'Eyes for the Blind' spent one week at number 100 on the AMR chart in February 1989 (it did not reach the ARIA top 150).


"Life at a Top People's Health Farm" by The Style Council
AMR chart first listing: 15 August 1988
Highest rank: 8 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Quite an interesting song title, I've never heard of this one before.  It peaked at number 28 in the UK.  The Style Council scored a top 150 'hit' in 1989 which will be coming up in April in my weekly recaps.

"Baby Boom Baby" by James Taylor
AMR chart first listing: 15 August 1988
Highest rank: 3 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Wikipedia tells me that this one peaked at number 24 in Canada, but didn't do much elsewhere.  Australia did not break that trend.

"Live in Hope" by Train of Thought
AMR chart first listing: 22 August 1988
Highest rank: 8 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Unfortunately, I cannot tell you anything about this one, as it is not on YouTube or discogs.com, and I have never heard it.  Can anyone reading this help?

"I Wasn't the One (Who Said Goodbye)" by Agnetha Fältskog & Peter Cetera
AMR chart first listing: 22 August 1988
Highest rank: 8 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Unlike her fellow ABBA-bandmate Frida, Agnetha wasn't able to score a solo hit down under, with 1983's 'Can't Shake Loose' being her only top 100 hit, at number 76.  Not even this duet with Peter Cetera could turn her solo chart fortunes around.

"Skin Deep" by Cher
AMR chart first listing: 22 August 1988
Highest rank: 13 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Cher might have had a comeback earlier in the year with 'I Found Someone', but this release wasn't a chart success anywhere, peaking at number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100.


"Waiting" by V. Spy V. Spy
AMR chart first listing: 22 August 1988
Highest rank: 16 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Australian band V. Spy V. Spy had scored 6 top 100 hits, with 'Don't Tear It Down' (number 31 in March 1987) performing the best among them.

"Chains of Love" by Erasure
AMR chart first listing: 22 August 1988
Highest rank: 11 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Two number 13-peaking singles (1986's 'Oh L'amour' and 1992's 'ABBA-Esque' EP) aside, Erasure didn't exactly set the Australian charts on fire, with no other single peaking higher than number 45.  While 'Chains of Love' missed both the AMR and ARIA national top 100, it did manage to peak at number 91 on the South Australian/Northern Territory ARIA state singles chart, on 29 August 1988.


"Feelings of Forever" by Tiffany
AMR chart first listing: 29 August 1988
Highest rank: 14 (on the 'bubbling under' chart)

Tiffany's string of three top 15 hits in Australia came to a screeching halt with the release of this fourth (in Australia) single from her self-titled debut.  Quite a pity, really, as it's a nice song, I think.  It did manage to dent the South Australian/Northern Territory ARIA state singles chart, though, peaking at number 93 on 29 August 1988.

Stay tuned for the second instalment of this series, covering AMR bubbling under singles from Spring 1988, at a date yet to be determined.

06 February 2020

Week commencing 6 February 1989

These days, it's not that unusual for album tracks to chart if they're from a new album released by a popular artist.  Back in late 80s, the charts were the exclusive domain of proper singles, with the occasional EP or double A-side.  Flop singles that weren't later re-released in the hope of becoming hits the second time around would sometimes get a second lease of life by being recycled as B-sides for later singles.  One such track debuts in the top 150 this week.

Sinéad O'Connor had to make do with modest chart peaks before conquering the world in 1990.

Top 150 debuts:

Number 115 "World to Me" by Huey Lewis & The News
Peak: number 113
Peak date: 13 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

The third consecutive single release by Huey Lewis & The News to contain the word "world" in its title, 'World to Me' followed the number 22-peaking "Perfect World", and "Small World", which failed to chart at all in Australia.  I suspect that the latter probably bubbled under, if the chart had gone further than number 100.  We will next see Huey Lewis & The News in 1991.

Number 131 "Quit This Joint" by Martin Kaye
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 6 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

When I wrote this post, the video embedded below (which isn't a music video or live performance) had received just 19 views on YouTube since its upload in September 2017.  From that, I can conclude that Martin was Australian, not widely known, and not remembered too well.  He doesn't even have a page on discogs.com.  Googling "martin kaye" "quit this joint" yields a grand total of three search results.  I assume that this post will become the fourth!

Number 139 "Want My Love" by Jabulani
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 20 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Unfortunately, I can't tell you much about this one, as it's not on YouTube, and I can't find it anywhere to listen to online.  I can post the single sleeve, though, which I have done below.  They may be a South African group.

Number 142 "Talk to Your Daughter" by Robben Ford
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 27 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

I was expecting this to be a female artist, going by the name.  The sleeve below and higher-register-for-a-man voice didn't make it clearer to me, but wikipedia tells me that Robben is indeed a man.  It also tells me that he has collaborated with lots of big, important artists - everyone from George Harrison, to Joni Mitchell, and even Rick Springfield and Kiss!

Number 145 "Walk on Water" by Eddie Money
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 20 February 1989
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks

The recently-departed Eddie Money didn't have a whole lot of chart success in Australia, with 1978's "Baby Hold On" (number 19) being his only top 40 hit.  The closest he came again was in 1986 with "Take Me Home Tonight" (number 46).  Eddie would be back with another top 150 'hit' next year.

Number 148 "Jump in the River" by Sinéad O'Connor
Peak: number 134
Peak date: 10 April 1989
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks

Sinéad had her first taste of Oz chart success in 1988 with "Mandinka", but follow-up single "I Want Your (Hands on Me)" failed to chart.  Released locally on 12 December 1988, 'Jump in the River' didn't appear on the first chart that extended beyond number 150, last week.  Sinéad was quite prolific with side-projects such as soundtracks and duets during this era, and this track was lifted from the Married to the Mob soundtrack - coincidentally, the same album from which the Debbie Harry track that debuted last week was taken.  "Jump in the River" was included on Sinéad's second album, over a year later.  'Jump in the River' was also used as the B-side for her 1990 mega-hit, "Nothing Compares 2 U".

Sinéad will join us next in 1990.

Number 149 "Twins" by Philip Bailey/Little Richard
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 6 March 1989
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

From the soundtrack to the 1988 movie of the same name, starring Danny DeVito and Arnold Schwarzenegger, this track has that classic mid-late 80s 'soundtrack' sound to it.

Next week (13 February): there are unusually no new top 150 debuts for singles peaking within the 101-150 region of the chart!  There are, however, three bubbling WAY down under entries to write about.

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03 February 2020

Livin' on the Edge of the Top 100: 13 singles that peaked at number 101 in Australia (1989-1991)

This post is the first in a series of occasional 'special' posts, that differ in content from my weekly recaps of top 150 debuts.

Since following the charts, it has always been a fascination of mine to see which releases have just missed out on reaching certain coveted positions - whether that's a number 2 single that missed reaching the top, a number 11 single that just missed the top ten, or a number 41 single that narrowly missed the top 40.

Remember that time that Gail and Jane from Neighbours tried to become pop stars?  Thought not.

In this post, we'll take a look at singles that just missed the top 100, between January 1989 and December 1991.

Singles peaking at number 101 on the Australian singles chart (1989-1991):

"Hey Ciao" by Albie Wilde & The Dayglos
 Peak date: 12 June 1989

The most interesting thing about this release is that it features Jane (Annie Jones) and Gail (Fiona Corke) from Neighbours, who also appear in the video, as backing vocalists!  I remember this track being reviewed in either Smash Hits or rival Hit Songwords, with the comment that it was probably the first time an act's backing singers were more-famous than the front person of a group.  Still, 'Hey Ciao' performed better on the charts here than fellow Neighbour Stefan Dennis's attempt at becoming a pop star - though I'm not certain that got a local release, as it does not appear in the Australian Music Reports new releases lists, despite rage playing the video.

"Sky High" (1989 Remix) by Jigsaw UK
Peak date: 17 July 1989

I guess we must have had an Australian band called Jigsaw for the UK act to be re-branded 'Jigsaw UK' down under.  Before Newton's Stock/Aitken-produced cover version of the 1975 Jigsaw track in 1994, Pete Hammond (also associated with Stock Aitken Waterman) had a go at remixing the original for a 1989 release.  This sounds remarkably similar to the Newton version, to my ears - at least vocally.  Curiously, this version took eight weeks to reach its peak of number 101, before falling off the chart the following week.

"One" by Bee Gees
Peak date: 24 July 1989

This 'one' interestingly debuted at its peak of number 101 and could not manage to climb 'one' place higher to reach the top 100.  The Australian top 100 singles chart remained a hit-free zone for the Bee Gees for nearly a decade, between when 'You Win Again' left the top 100 in February 1988 and 'Alone' gave them another hit in June 1997.  A case of the tall poppy?

"(You Make Me) Rock Hard" by Kiss
Peak date: 14 August 1989

Gotta love that title, eh?  The follow-up to 'Let's Put the X in Sex', '(You Make Me) Rock Hard' was also lifted from their Smashes, Thrashes & Hits greatest hits album.  Except that this one didn't become a hit - or even chart - anywhere else, from what I can gather.

Kiss seemed to be well into their glam metal phase, with several if not all of the band members (dare I say it) not looking that unlike Cher in the late 80s in the music video.

"Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis
Peak date: 11 September 1989

Jerry re-recorded his 1957 hit for the soundtrack of the 1989 movie of the same name.  Surprisingly, this had no connection to Jive Bunny and The Mastermixers, who sampled this song on one of their two 1989 hits.

"Prayer for You" by Texas
Peak date: 12 February 1990

Texas had a hard time following up their top 10 single from 1989 with anything substantial.  Until 1997, their next-biggest hit on the Australian singles chart could reach no higher than number 52.  They'd have to settle for number 101 with this, the fourth and final single from their Southside album.

"Livin' on the Edge of the Night" by Iggy Pop
Peak date: 26 March 1990

Iggy actually wears a shirt and jacket in the video for this one, unusually.  Iggy would score a hit later in 1990 with his duet with Kate Pearson, but for now, he'd have to settle for livin' on the edge of the top 100.

"Don't Be Cruel" (Rapacious Edit) by Bobby Brown
Peak date: 11 June 1990

The original peaked at number 72 in 1989, but this remixed version fared even worse on the Australian chart.  Bobby would peak 100 places higher though with his next release.

"All I'm Missing Is You" by Glenn Medeiros
Peak date: 29 October 1990

Speaking of Bobby Brown, Glenn seemed to have undergone a 'Bobby Brown' makeover in 1990, with the aforementioned star featuring on his second and final hit.  It didn't seem terribly convincing.  Neither did this.

"From a Distance" by Cliff Richard
Peak date: 7 January 1991

Debuting on the chart a mere six weeks after the Bette Midler version of the same song, Cliff's version landed just a small distance from the top 100.  Now Cliff is the sort of artist who seems more likely to sing lyrics like "God is watching us" than Bette...

"Auberge" by Chris Rea
Peak date: 25 March 1991

'Auberge' is a French word for inn, and Chris Rea couldn't quite make it in to the top 100 with this one.  In fact, Chris wouldn't make it into the top 100 singles chart in Oz again.

"Happy" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Peak date: 3 June 1991

I remember hearing Ned's Atomic Dustbin being mentioned on the ABC's The Afternoon Show, but don't recall hearing any of their music before.

"Only You" by Keith Urban
Peak date: 1 July 1991

Everyone's got to start somewhere, and for Keith, that was at number 101, with his second single release - a whole 11 and a half years before scoring his first top 100 entry on the Australian singles chart.

Normal service will resume with my recap of new top 150 entries on 6 February.

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