29 January 2021

Week commencing 29 January 1990

This week marks a year since ARIA extended the Australian singles chart beyond number 100, and when I started writing these recaps.  If you're just discovering this blog, you've got some reading to catch up on!  But if trawling through a year's worth of posts isn't your thing, there's a search box you can use on the right to search for specific artists or songs, to see whether they've charted outside the ARIA top 100 so far.  Alternatively, I made a post earlier this month which just lists the singles that peaked between number 101 and number 150 for 1989.
I can't identify a common thread among this week's new entries, other than I hadn't heard five of the six debuts before.  Let's take a look at them.
Lisa Stansfield: doing home haircuts since 1990.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 119 "All That You Have Is Your Soul" by Tracy Chapman
Peak: number 119
Peak date: 29 January 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Tracy Chapman's chart career in Australia started off promisingly, with "Fast Car" peaking at number 4 in June 1988.  Subsequent singles from her Tracy Chapman album (number 2, July 1988) fared less well on the chart, with "Talkin' 'bout a Revolution" peaking at number 67 in September 1988 (it would eventually peak one place higher in 2011), and "Baby Can I Hold You" peaking at number 68 in February 1989.

Now onto her second album, Crossroads (number 4, October 1989), "All That You Have Is Your Soul" was the album's second release, following the title track, which peaked at number 58 in October 1989.  Tracy would have to wait until 1995 to score a second decent-sized hit single down under, with "Give Me One Reason" (number 3, February 1996).
Although "All That You Have Is Your Soul" - which I had not heard until writing this - failed to set the Australian charts alight, it does not appear to have charted anywhere else.  On the state charts, "All That You Have Is Your Soul" performed best in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 86.

Tracy will bubble down under again in 1996.

Number 141 "Hold Me" by Wildland
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 29 January 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Australian band Wildland scored their first chart entry, and biggest hit, in 1989 with their debut single "One for Unity" (number 53, August 1989).  "Hold Me" was the follow-up, released back in October 1989, but somehow took until now to dent the lower region of the chart.  Both singles were lifted from the band's In This Lifetime album (number 80, June 1990).

We will see Wildland on two more occasions this year, with the next time being in March.

Number 145 "Lean on You" by Cliff Richard
Peak: number 107
Peak date: 12 February 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
"Lean on You" was the third single from Cliff's Stronger album (number 16, April 1990), following "The Best of Me" (number 59, August 1989) and the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced "I Just Don't Have the Heart" (number 100, October 1989).  Listening to this track for the first time as I write this post, it reminds me a little bit of Cliff's "Some People" (number 7, April 1988), only not as good.

"Lean on You" fared significantly better in Cliff's native UK, where it peaked at number 17 in October 1989.  "Lean on You" also performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 93.

Cliff will become a regular visitor to this section of the chart in the coming months, with this being the first of three of his singles to peak outside the top 100 in 1990.  Cliff would need to wait until 1995 to score another top 100 hit down under, with his live duet with Phil Everly "All I Have to Do Is Dream" (number 93, March 1995), and until 1999 to score another (his last) top 50 single in Australia with "The Millennium Prayer" (number 2, December 1999).

We will next see Cliff in April.

Number 146 "This Is the Right Time" by Lisa Stansfield
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 28 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
Before embarking on a solo career, Lisa scored a minor 'hit' down under with her former band Blue Zone, "Jackie" (number 99, February 1989).  Yes, the same "Jack-Jack-Jackie" song that became a hit for B.Z. featuring Joanne in 1998.  Despite only peaking at number 99, "Jackie" spent 15 weeks in the top 150.  Then, Lisa scored another minor hit in Australia as the featured vocalist on Coldcut's "People Hold On" (number 78, June 1989).

Lisa then struck out on her own... well, kind of.  You see, although Blue Zone was her "band", the other members of the group, Andy Morris and Ian Devaney, continued to collaborate with Lisa throughout her solo career.  Ian and Andy were more than OK with Lisa being the sole representative of the 'band', doing promotional work/interviews etc. while they remained out of the spotlight.  So "Lisa Stansfield" is, essentially, a 'band' - but Lisa is the only visible member.  Make sense?

Lisa's "solo" career was launched with "This Is the Right Time", produced by recent collaborators Coldcut.  The single peaked at number 13 in the UK in August 1989.  Released in Australia in October 1989, it was finally the right time for this single to make a dent on our chart, spurred on by the ascent of Lisa's second solo single, "All Around the World" (number 9, February 1990), which was at number 13 this week.
But if you thought that was complicated, "This Is the Right Time" wouldn't actually peak on the ARIA chart until the end of May 1990, after a re-release following the next single, "Live Together" (number 62, March 1990).  All three of these singles were lifted from Lisa's Affection album (number 7, February 1990) - an album I purchased on the strength of "All Around the World", although "This Is the Right Time" was my favourite song on it.  A fourth single from Affection, "What Did I Do To You?" was released in Australia in July 1990, but failed to chart.
On the state charts, "This Is the Right Time" performed strongest in New South Wales/A.C.T., where it peaked at number 117.

Two music videos were filmed for "This Is the Right Time" - the original 1989 version, filmed for the UK market, is currently blocked on YouTube.  A second video was filmed for the single's US release in 1990 (it peaked at number 21 there in June 1990), embedded below, and memorably shows Lisa snipping off her trademark 'kiss curl' with a pair of scissors at the start.

Lisa will become a regular visitor to this region of the chart in the coming years - no fewer than nine of her singles charted outside the ARIA top 100 during the 1990s!  The next time we see Lisa will be in 1992.

Number 149 "Shanghaid" by J.J. Cale
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 29 January 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week 

J.J. Cale, real name John Weldon Cale, is best known for his 1977 single, "Cocaine", which I am shocked to discover only peaked at number 45 in Australia in June 1978.  The song did, however, top the New Zealand singles chart in March 1977.

"Shanghaid" was lifted from the album Travel-Log (number 102, January 1990), Cale's first studio album since 1983.  "Shanghaid" does not appear to have charted elsewhere.

J.J. Cale passed away in 2013, aged 74, due to a heart attack.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 161 "So Sorry, I Said" by Liza Minnelli
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 29 January 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
Liza Minelli scored her first chart hit in 1989 with "Losing My Mind" (number 72, November 1989), despite already being a familiar name, through her work as an actress and stage performer, and being Judy Garland's daughter.  Liza was aged 43 at this point, which seemed 'old' to me - for a pop star, as an 11 year-old boy.

Like "Losing My Mind", "So Sorry, I Said" was another track from the Pet Shop Boys-produced album Results (number 94, January 1990).   In the UK, "Don't Drop Bombs" was issued as the second single from the album, but did not receive a local release.  I was going to surmise that "Don't Drop Bombs" was skipped because it flopped there (number 46, October 1989), but "So Sorry, I Said" performed even worse (number 62, December 1989) - so who knows what the record company's rationale was.

A fourth single from Results, "Love Pains", was released as the album's third single locally in April 1990, but failed to chart here.  "So Sorry, I Said" would become Liza's second and final single to chart in Australia.

Next week (5 February): a bumper week with eleven new top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry!  You can also follow my posts on instagram and facebook.
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