03 April 2020

Week commencing 3 April 1989

Once again, I struggle to find a connection between this week's new entries, so let's just get on with the recap.

k.d. lang & Roy Orbison: Before k.d. was cravin' she was cryin'.

Top 150 debuts:
Number 108 "When I Grow Up" by Michelle Shocked
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 3 April 1989
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Michelle scored a number 51 'hit' in Australia in February 1989 with "Anchorage", and this was the follow-up release.  Both singles were lifted from her Short Sharp Shocked album, which peaked at number 61 on the ARIA albums chart.  I remember seeing the music video when I first stayed up a little bit late to channel flick between MTV, rage, and Night Shift around 2-3 a.m. as a 10 year-old.  A lyric that stuck with me from the song was "we're gonna have a hundred and twenty babies".  These days, Michelle is probably more known for her homophobic statements than her music.  Michelle will pay us another visit before the year is out.

Number 127 "I Believe in You" by Stryper
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 17 April 1989
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

The only thing I reallly know about Stryper is that they're a Christian (hair?) metal band.  I remember seeing a TV commercial with them in it circa 1987 and laughing at it with my sister.  This is just another typical overblown rock ballad 'metal' bands were churning out in the late 80s.

Number 136 "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" by Judson Spence
Peak: number 133
Peak dates: 10 April 1989 and 1 May 1989
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

Probably the only charting release to mention lima beans, I don't have much to say about this release, except that his wikipedia page says it was a top 40 hit - presumably in the US - in 1988 (the Billboard website is a bit crap these days for verifying such claims, and no source has been cited).  I can reliably tell you, however, that this single peaked at number 31 in New Zealand in February 1989.

Number 146 "Cryin'" by Roy Orbison/k.d. lang
Peak: number 143 (1989 release); number 71 (1992 release)
Peak dates: 1 May 1989 (1989 release); 23 November 1992 (1992 release)
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks (in 1989); 17 weeks (1989 and 1992 chart runs combined)

This single originally bubbled under on the Australian Music Report chart in April 1988, when it was ranked 13th, for one week, on the list of 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100'.  With the Big O passing away in December 1988, and being the flavour of the month for much of 1989, the time was obviously ripe for a re-issue of this duet with k.d. lang.  The single would have greater success in late 1992, however, when it was again re-issued and peaked at number 71.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "Cry" by Waterfront
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 3 April 1989
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

Waterfront hailed from Wales, and despite its low local peak, "Cry" debuted on the Australian chart almost two months before it entered their native UK singles chart, where it peaked at number 17.  Another interesting fact about this one is that it performed better on the US chart (number 10), and also did better across the ditch, where it peaked at number 30 in New Zealand.  On the Australian Music Report chart, "Cry" peaked at number 100 in July 1989.

Number 161 "Born This Way (Let's Dance)" by Cookie Crew
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 3 April 1989
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

Twenty-two years before Lady Gaga proclaimed that she was "born this way", Cookie Crew declared the same thing, with a 'Let's Dance' subtitle.  Cookie Crew scored a top 40 hit in Australia, teaming up with The Beatmasters, with "Rok Da House" (number 37, June 1988) - a song that the Cookie Crew don't actually like, and refused to perform on Top of the Pops when it became a UK top 10 hit, as they felt it was not representative of their sound.
While "Born This Way..." may have been more indicative of the Crew's typical sound, it didn't perform as well on the charts, either here or in their native UK, where it peaked at number 23.

In between "Rok Da House" and "Born This Way (Let's Dance)", Cookie crew released the single "Females (Get on Up)" in Australia.  While it missed the national chart (before ARIA extended the chart beyond number 100), it registered on two of the state charts in August 1988, peaking at number 94 in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, and at number 66 in Western Australia.

Cookie Crew released two further singles from their Born This Way (number 118, July 1989) album: "Got to Keep On" (released in Australia in July 1989) and "Come on & Get Some" (October 1989), but neither charted locally.

Next week (10 April): another five new top 150 entries, including the flop second single from an album that would go on to be certified 6 times platinum in Australia and spend several years on the chart.  Plus, there are three bubbling WAY down under entries.  Don't forget you can also follow my posts on facebook.

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  1. About 20 years ago, there was a rather amusing website called "Essential Eighties" whose author claimed that "Cry" by Waterfront was issued in no less than 14 different formats in a desperate bid by the record company to make it a hit. (I couldn't seem to verify this on Discogs.com.) He also went on to say that he knew someone who had 13 of those formats in their largely unplayed record collection. And also that the song "sucked".

  2. Crying was also the B side to She's a Mystery To Me, Roy Orbison's last Australian solo Top 50 (unless California Blue charted, which I believe it just missed our top 50).

    1. 'California Blue' peaked at number 65 on the ARIA singles chart.

  3. As you mention, Billboard is not good at verifying things. Hence the famous case of "Ready 'n' Steady" by D.A charting on their Bubbling Under chart when it was never actually released :-)


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