12 June 2020

Week commencing 12 June 1989

Last week, I mentioned that four of that week's six new entries were singles that did not chart in any other country, and this week, it is four of out seven!  Granted, two of those exclusive chart 'hits' are by Australian artists, this time.  It is always interesting, to me, to uncover a chart position for something that didn't chart anywhere else... even if that peak happens to be outside the top 100.

Living Colour: Mishap with hair clippers during lockdown? Just shave half of it off, like Corey Glover from Living Colour.


Number 125 "Birthday Suit" by Johnny Kemp
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 19 June 1989
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

Johnny was a Bahamian-American singer; I say 'was', because he tragically died in a drowning accident in 2015, aged 55.  "Birthday Suit" reached number 36 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in April 1989, but failed to chart anywhere else, from what I can see.  Johnny scored a number 79 'hit' here in early October 1988 with "Just Got Paid", which was a number 10 hit for him in America.

Number 137 "Who's In the House" by The Beatmasters with Merlin
Peak: number 137
Peak date: 12 June 1989
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

The Beatmasters, who seemed to feature a different vocalist with every release, scored a number 37 hit in Australia with "Rok Da House" in May 1988, with Cookie Crew on vocals.  Merlin, real name Justin Mark Boreland, was the nephew of UK reggae singer Smiley Culture.  "Who's In the House" peaked at number 8 in the UK in April 1989.  The Beatmasters later went on to score a number 88 hit down under with Betty Boo, and will bubble down under again, with another featured artist, in 1990.

Number 144 "Sinful Me" by Sunnyboys
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 3 July 1989
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

Australian group Sunnyboys scored five top 50 hits between 1981 and 1984, with "Happy Man" being the highest-peaking of those, reaching number 26 in 1981.  Earlier in 1989, the group had a number 87 'hit' with "Too Young to Despair".  Both tracks were lifted from their Wildcat album, which reached number 63 in August 1989.

Number 148 "Open Letter (To a Landlord)" by Living Colour
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 26 June 1989
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Living Colour had a slow start on the Australian charts, with "Cult of Personality" peaking at number 54 in April 1989.  Issued as the second single from their debut album Vivid in Australia, "Open Letter (To a Landlord)" stalled outside the top 100.  It wouldn't be until 1991 that the group would achieve their breakthrough hit down under.  Before that hit, Living Colour will bubble down under again in 1990.

Number 149 "Western World" by Scary Bill
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 10 July 1989
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

I can't tell you much about Scary Bill, other than they were an Australian group, and this was their only ARIA top 150 'hit' single.  Their self-titled debut album, from which this track is taken, peaked at number 107 in August 1989.  This single performed much better on the Australian Music Report chart, where it peaked at number 74.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 161 "Hold an Old Friend's Hand" by Tiffany
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 12 June 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Tiff's time as a chart star was pretty much over by this point.  The third single lifted from the album of the same name, "Hold an Old Friend's Hand" failed to chart anywhere else, other than on the US Adult Contemporary chart (which, as I've mentioned before, doesn't really count in my book).  Tiffany will join us again in 1990 and 1993!

Number 165 "Cry Little Sister" by Charlie Sexton
Peak: number 165
Peak date: 12 June 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Charlie scored two top 40 hits in Australia in 1986, and a further two top 100 entries; the most-recent of which was "Don't Look Back", peaking at number 82 in February 1989.  Both "Don't Look Back" and "Cry Little Sister" were taken from Charlie's self-titled album, which peaked at number 84 in Australia in March 1989.  "Cry Little Sister" did not chart anywhere else.  Charlie will bubble down under again in 1990.

Next week (19 June): A mere three new top 150 debuts, including the original version of a song that would go on to top the ARIA singles chart in 2004.  Also, two more singles bubbling WAY down under debut.  Remember, you can follow my posts on facebook too.

< Previous post: 5 June 1989                                            Next post: 19 June 1989 >


  1. We hear so much about the ARIA charts that those of us chart busters know the details inside out so it's always nice when you get a little insight into how a song did on the AMR chart. I know they were compiled till at least 1998 but it's a pity they won't see the light anytime soon. I know there's at least 2 top 100 charts from 1986 and nearly half of a top 100 from 1983.

    1. The AMR/KMR chart was always a top 100, from its inception in May 1974. David Kent, who started the chart, has published several chart books, which can still be purchased from him (search for Australian Chart Book if interested). They don't contain full charts, but list releases by entry date, with peak and weeks spent on the chart. Plus, Gavin Scott's Chart Beats blog posts the top 50 charts from (as of writing this) July 1983 onwards - when ARIA started licensing them, plus entries outside the top 50. He also is writing on the 1980 charts this year, every week. The AMR charts have been quite well-published and accessible compared to ARIA's, I think. There's also this site, which has AMR peaks prior to June 1988 - https://www.top100singles.net/, as well as pages listing unique AMR top 100 hits (that missed the ARIA top 100): see https://www.top100singles.net/2019/02/every-unique-amr-top-100-single-of-1980s.html#show and https://www.top100singles.net/2017/07/every-unique-amr-top-100-single-of-1993.html#show .

  2. Unrelated question. I was checking out the FB page for this blog and am aware of your Óhnoit'snathan' channels and you've mentioned that you've had to re-edit some videos because they've been blocked. My question is unless you monetise your channel/s why is it so important to get them unblocked? I mean i have hundreds of videos from episodes of video hits that i recorded on tape but i know i can't upload em even if i could monetise my channel (which i can't and probably wouldn't). Hope this doesn't come across as hostile,i'm just trying to grasp the reasoning behind it.

    1. It's important (for me) to get those videos unblocked so that people can view them. This only applies to the chart compilation videos I have uploaded, where I may need to e.g. edit down a 15 second excerpt of a video to under 7 seconds to get the video unblocked.