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04 December 2020

Week commencing 4 December 1989

Now in the final month of 1989, the chart year is drawing to a close, with this week's chart being the third-last one for the year.  Unusually, of the ten songs I write about this week, I only knew two of them at the time - and they are both from the bubbling WAY down under section.  At least one of this week's new entries does not have a music video, and two of the songs I write about were not even on YouTube until creating this post!  Shall we take a look?
 
The charts weren't the only thing Olivia Newton-John was on the 'fringe' of in 1989.
 
Debuts:
 
Number 108 "The Arms of Orion" by Prince with Sheena Easton
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 4 December 1989
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks
 
Prince, under the pseudonym Alexander Nevermind, first collaborated with Sheena Easton through writing the infamous "Sugar Walls" (number 87, June 1985), recorded for her A Private Heaven album (number 88, March 1985).  The pair then recorded a duet, "U Got the Look" (number 90, October 1987) for Prince's Sign "☮︎" the Times album (number 20, May 1987).  While neither of these collaborations had much chart success in Australia, both reached the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100.

"The Arms of Orion" was released as the third single from Prince's Batman soundtrack (number 4, July 1989), without an accompanying music video, which probably hindered its chart success.  The single performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 88.  "The Arms of Orion" also peaked at number 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1989, and number 27 in the UK during the same month.
 
While I saw this single in the shops, I never heard the song until looking it up on YouTube out of curiosity a few years ago.  That is, unless it is featured in the 1989 Batman movie, which I saw at the cinema, but can barely remember anything about (was there actually a plot?).

Sheena will pay us another visit in 1991, and Prince will join us again in 1996.
 
 
 
Number 114 "The Time Warp (PWL Remix)" by Damian
Peak: number 114 
Peak date: 4 December 1989
Weeks in top 150:  7 weeks
 
The original version of "The Time Warp", by The Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Cast, like the 1975 film that spawned it, had a 'rocky' start, eventually peaking at number 3 in December 1980, spending 15 weeks in the Australian top 10.  Damian, hailing from Manchester in the UK, in a similar fashion, kept re-releasing his version of the track until it became a hit - well, in the UK, anyway.  Originally peaking at number 94 in the UK in September 1986 (after debuting on the chart in March of the same year), it was re-recorded and re-released as "The Time Warp II" - having two separate chart runs between December 1987 and September 1988, peaking at number 51 there in January 1988.  Finally, Damian's version of "The Time Warp" was remixed by Pete Hammond at PWL (home of hit-makers extraordinare Stock Aitken Waterman), and his Midas touch propelled the single to number 7 in the UK, for two weeks in September 1989.  Phew!

In Australia, we got "The Time Warp II", released in November 1988.  The PWL remix of "The Time Warp" was released locally in early November 1989.  Judging by the embedded music video, Damian moonlighted as a clown/stilts walker.   Sadly, he died from cancer in 2017, aged 52.



Number 123 "Our Children's World" by Oz Art for Ozone
Peak: number 123 
Peak date: 4 December 1989
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
 
This track was (obviously) a charity record, by an ensemble of Australian artists - presumably to raise funds for environmental causes.  Artists participating in this project included: Andy McLean (21 Guns), Brian Canham (Pseudo Echo), David Janz (Janz), Grace Knight (Eurogliders), Jim Keays (Masters Apprentices), John Swan (Swanee), Juno Roxas (Roxus), Lisa Edwards, Lisa Schouw (Girl Overboard), Matthew De La Hunty (Tall Tales & True), and Wendy Stapleton (Wendy & The Rocketts).  I have no recollection of hearing this track before, so lack of exposure/promotion might have been a problem.  Like almost all charity records, it kind of... sucks.

Going by the rear sleeve used as an image still for the (audio-only) video below, there was a music video filmed for this one - but no-one has yet uploaded it to YouTube.
 
 
 
Number 133 "Pretending" by Eric Clapton
Peak: number 106 
Peak dates: 18 December 1989 (chart repeated 25 December 1989 and 1 January 1990) and 8 January 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks 

Up until now, Eric had placed eight singles within the top 100 on the Australian singles chart, with the biggest of those being "I Shot the Sheriff" (number 11, November 1974).  "Pretending" was the lead single from his Journeyman album (number 27, December 1989).  "Pretending" performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 85.  "Pretending" peaked at number 55 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in December 1989, and at number 96 in Eric's native UK in July 1990.  Eric will join us again in 1990.
 
 
 
Number 134 "Good Love" by Zan
Peak: number 134 
Peak date: 4 December 1989
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks 
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks

Zan, real name Suzanne Abeyratne, was co-lead vocalist in the Australian band I'm Talking, who placed five singles in the Australian top 40 between 1985 and 1986, with the biggest of those being "Do You Wanna Be?" (number 8, June 1986).  Of the singles the band released, Zan only sang lead on one of them, "Holy Word", which peaked at number 9 in September 1986.  I'm Talking disbanded in 1987, prompting both of its vocalists - Zan and Kate Ceberano - to launch solo careers.  Zan's debut single, "It's Your Move", peaked at number 82 in April 1989, and this was its follow up.  Zan released one further solo single, "Nobody Else", in January 1991, but it failed to chart.

As this song was not previously on YouTube, I've had to resort to uploading the video below, which is just the audio of the 12" mix - the only version I was able to source.



Number 141 "Radar Love" by White Lion
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 8 January 1990
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks

A cover version of the Golden Earring classic (number 10, September 1974), "Radar Love" was released as the second single from the Danish/American band's third album, Big Game (number 119, August 1989).  White Lion's version of the track peaked at number 59 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and followed their Australian top 150 single from July 1989, "Little Fighter".
 
 
Number 142 "Guitar Concierto de Aranjuez" by Tommy Emmanuel
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 18 December 1989 (chart repeated 25 December 1989 and 1 January 1990)
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
Guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel's first foray onto the Australian charts came in 1988, when the album Up from Down Under peaked at number 48 in July 1988.  "Guitar Concierto de Aranjuez" was a version of "Concierto de Aranjuez", composed in 1939 by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo, and lifted from Tommy's Dare to Be Different album (number 13, August 1990).  Tommy will join us again in 1990.

 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 155 "Free Fallin'" by Tom Petty
Peak: number 155 (in 1989); number 59 in 2017
Peak dates: 4 December 1989 (1989 chart run); 9 October 2017 (2017 chart run)
Weeks on chart: 40 weeks (1989 and 2017 chart runs combined)
 
Sometimes, some of an artist's most well-known songs are not their biggest chart hits, and here we have a prime example of that, with Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'".  Despite peaking at number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1990, becoming his biggest hit there, "Free Fallin'" stalled outside the top 150 in Australia in 1989.  Tom's biggest chart hits in Australia had been "I Won't Back Down" (number 16, July 1989), and, with The Heartbreakers, "Refugee" (number 24, May 1980) and their duet with Stevie Nicks, "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (number 10, September 1981).
 
"Free Fallin'" was lifted as the third single from Tom's Full Moon Fever album (number 13, June 1989), following "I Won't Back Down" and "Runnin' Down a Dream" (number 68, September 1989).

Following Tom's death in October 2017, "Free Fallin'" re-entered the ARIA singles chart, and peaked at number 59 during the same month.  "Free Fallin'" was Tom's highest-peaking single to re-enter the ARIA chart in the week following his death, placing higher than "I Won't Back Down" at number 78 in the same week.  This would suggest that "Free Fallin'" could now be regarded as being Tom's 'signature' track in Australia, despite its low peak of number 155 in 1989.

 
Number 165 "London Nights" by London Boys
Peak: number 165
Peak date: 4 December 1989
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

London Boys nudged the lower end of the top 150 back in September, and here they were with the second single lifted from their The Twelve Commandments of Dance album (number 137, August 1989) in Australia.  "London Nights" fared much better in the UK, where it became the duo's highest-charting single, peaking at number 2 in July 1989.  London Boys will visit us again in 1992.
 
 
 
Number 178 "Reach Out for Me" by Olivia Newton-John
Peak: number 153 
Peak date: 15 January 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Here's one I hadn't heard before.  As Olivia explains during the spoken intro to the embedded music video, this one was written for her daughter, Chloe, who was almost 4 years old at this point.  Olivia recorded an album of children's songs, Warm and Tender (number 109, February 1990), from which this track is lifted.  "Reach Out for Me"'s two weeks on the chart were non-consecutive, with the single re-entering and reaching its peak in mid-January 1990.  Disregarding the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart (which I don't consider a 'real' chart), Australia was the only place this single charted.

Olivia will next visit us in 1992.




Next week (11 December): a quieter week, with three new top 150 entries, and one bubbling WAY down under debut.  You can also follow my posts on instagram and facebook.
 
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