24 July 2020

Week commencing 24 July 1989

This week's new entries are split between big names having flop singles and new and upcoming acts struggling to make a dent.  Among them are two singles that peaked at number 101, and another that peaked at number 102!  Let's take a look...

Kiss: let's put the hair in Cher.

Top 150 debuts:

Number 101 "One" by Bee Gees
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 24 July 1989
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
Weeks on chart: 15 weeks

Peaking 100 places lower than the title would suggest, I've written about this "one" previously in my special post on singles peaking at number 101 between 1989 and 1991.  "One" was the second single lifted from the album One, and followed up "Ordinary Lives", which we saw in May.  "One" was a much bigger hit in the US, where it peaked at number 7.  Bee Gees (note: no 'The') will join us again in October.

Number 139 "(You Make Me) Rock Hard" by Kiss
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 14 August 1989
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

Coincidentally, here's another single that peaked at number 101, which I have also already written about.  The second single lifted from their Smashes, Thrashes & Hits greatest hits compilation, the subtly-titled (!) song failed to register on a reputable national chart anywhere, that I am aware of, other than coming within a whisker of making the ARIA top 100.  But, such is the size of their fan-base that the music video (embedded below) currently has over 5.5 million views on YouTube, in spite of being a flop single.  Kiss will join us again in 1990.

Number 142 "A Friend Is a Friend" by Pete Townshend
Peak: number 113
Peak date: 7 August 1989
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

Former frontman of The Who, Pete Townshend was last on the Australian singles chart in 1986 with "Give Blood", peaking at number 77.  Immediately prior to that, he scored his biggest, and only real, solo hit single down under with "Face the Face", which peaked at number 9 in Australia in February 1986.  This track was lifted from The Iron Man: The Musical by Pete Townshend, which peaked at number 59 on the ARIA albums chart in July 1989.  "A Friend Is a Friend" did not manage to chart anywhere else.

Number 145 "Naturally" by Clive Young
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 7 August 1989
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks

Follow-up to Australian singer-songwriter Clive Young's single "Something Special" (number 50, June 1989), "Naturally" narrowly missed the top 100.  "Naturally" follows in much the same vein as its predecessor.  Oddly, Clive did not release an album until 1992, and neither "Something Special" nor "Naturally" appear on it, owing to Clive changing record labels in the interim.  The rear sleeve of the "Naturally" single states that the song is from the forthcoming album Naturally, but this does not appear to have ever been released.

On the state charts, "Naturally" performed much stronger in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 50, than elsewhere.  A similar feat occurred with "Something Special", which peaked at number 15 on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart vs. its national peak of number 50; although it also reached number 21 in South Australia/Northern Territory.

We will next see Clive in 1991.

Number 147 "Take Me" by Adult Net
Peak: number 137
Peak dates: 14 August 1989 and 4 September 1989
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

Britain-based American singer Brix Smith formed Adult Net as a side project after joining The Fall in 1983.  "Take Me" peaked at number 78 on the UK singles chart in March 1989, and was lifted from the album The Honey Tangle.  Given that nothing released by the group peaked higher than number 66 anywhere in the world, I am pleasantly surprised that this one even registered on the Australian charts - especially since I wasn't aware of it at the time.
"Take Me" performed strongest on the Queensland chart, where it reached number 111.  This would be Adult Net's only charting release in Australia.

Number 148 "Youth Gone Wild" by Skid Row
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 24 July 1989
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

When writing the 'next week' preview blurb on last week's post, I was going to write that we would see the arrival of a new hair metal act... except Skid Row weren't exactly 'hair metal', were they?  When googling to see what genre the group's music is considered being (Metal? Hair metal? Rock?), I came across a comment that Skid Row were the missing link between 80s hair metal and 90s grunge, and I think that is an apt description.  One thing I vividly remember from this period is that the cassette sleeve for their album Skid Row (number 12, May 1990) was one that had been replaced by a photocopy in a record store I visited, "to prevent theft".  What that says about their (presumably teenage) fans of the time, I don't know.  Now, onto the song itself, this was the group's debut release, peaking at number 99 in the US in June 1989, and number 42 in the UK in November 1989.  I am surprised that "Youth Gone Wild" didn't perform better on our chart, as I remember hearing it and seeing the video several times (and I was not a 'metal' kid).  Perhaps their fans were stealing the single instead of buying it...  We will see Skid Row again in December.

Number 149 "Little Fighter" by White Lion
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 21 August 1989
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

Now, for something less-ambiguously glam 'metal', "Little Fighter" was White Lion's second foray onto the Australian singles chart, following their debut in May 1989.  "Little Fighter" was the lead single from the band's third album, Big Game (number 119, August 1989). "Little Fighter" peaked at number 52 in the US.

On the ARIA state charts, "Little Lion" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 99.

We will see White Lion next in December.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 24 July 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week
Lisa Lisa (real name Liza Velez), Alex "Spanador" Moseley and Mike Hughes together formed Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam.  The group formed in New York in 1984, and placed two singles on the Australian top 100 in 1987, "Head to Toe" (number 52, July 1987) and "Lost in Emotion" (number 83, November 1987).
"Little Jackie Wants to Be a Star" was the first single, and only one released in Australia, from the band's third album Straight to the Sky.

Internationally, "Little Jackie..." peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1989, number 90 in the UK in May 1989, and peaked within the top 10 in the Netherlands and New Zealand, and the top 20 in the Flanders region of Belgium.

We will see Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam again in 1992.

Next week (31 July): Four new top 150 entries, and three bubbling WAY down under debuts.  You can follow my posts on facebook here.

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