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12 March 2021

Week commencing 12 March 1990

Among this week's meager three new top 150 entries we have... a veteran Aussie band petering out, a Canadian punk with a nose chain (!), and a British hip house act.  That's quite a diverse bunch.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Jane Child welcomes you to the steel world.  You wouldn't want to look at her the wrong way, hey?
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "Overwhelmed" by Mental As Anything
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
At this point, Sydney band Mental As Anything had placed 24 singles within the Australian top 100 chart, since scoring their first hit in 1979.  Their biggest hit, "Live It Up" (number 2, July 1985), was also an international success, reaching the top 20 across Europe, and number 3 in the UK in March 1987.  Both that song and "Overwhelmed" were sung by Greedy Smith, real name Andrew McArthur Smith.  While I don't typically like when bands split lead singing duties between various members, I can say that it doesn't  bother me when it comes to the Mentals.  I can equally enjoy their songs when sung by either Greedy or bandmate Martin Plaza.

Depending on whether you count their 1988 Young Einstein soundtrack single "Rock and Roll Music" (number 5, January 1989), "Overwhelmed" was the third... or fourth single released from the Cyclone Raymond album (number 34, October 1989).  It followed "The World Seems Difficult" (number 19, October 1989) and "Baby You're Wild" (number 79, November 1989).  I didn't know this until now, but another track from the album, "Love Comes Running", was planned to be the first single (ignoring "Rock and Roll Music") from Cyclone RaymondThe single was pressed, but its release was cancelled, other than in New Zealand, oddly.

It seemed at this point that Mental As Anything were perhaps running out of steam, with the underperformance of Cyclone Raymond and the singles lifted from it (again, ignoring "Rock and Roll Music") on the chart.  That's something that seemed to happen to a number of '80s acts' once 1990 clocked over.

Following "Overwhelmed", Mental As Anything went on hiatus, and would not release new material again until 1995, when they scored another (for me) surprise hit with "Mr Natural" (number 27, April 1995).

Greedy Smith sadly passed away in December 2019, aged 63.



Number 141 "Welcome to the Real World" by Jane Child
Peak: number 123
Peak date: 16 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

I remember Jane's "Don't Wanna Fall in Love" (number 97, May 1990), and her distinctive nose chain image, but not this one - other than the title.  Both tracks were lifted from the Jane Child album, which missed the top 150 locally, but peaked at number 49 on the US Billboard 200 albums chart in April 1990.

Canadian Jane Child, real name Jane Richmond Hyslop, scored a minor hit in her homeland (number 59) and the US (number 49, July 1990) with this track, and a top 5 hit in both countries with "Don't Wanna Fall in Love".  Jane's only other chart success, however, was a number 80 single in Canada in 1994 with "All I Do".



Number 149 "Just Keep Rockin'" by Double Trouble and The Rebel MC
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 12 March 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
Double Trouble and Rebel MC had teamed up previously for "Street Tuff" , which was a number 3 hit in their native UK in October 1989.  Surprisingly, because it seemed to get a reasonable amount of exposure, "Street Tuff" only managed to reach number 85 on the ARIA singles chart, in February 1990.
 
"Just Keep Rockin'" was released prior to "Street Tuff" in the UK, peaking at number 11 in July 1989.  Remixed versions of both tracks appear on Rebel MC's Rebel Music album (number 98, July 1990).

Despite these two collaborations, Double Trouble, who were a production and remixing trio, and Rebel MC (real name Michael Alec Anthony West) were separate artists.  Coincidentally, Double Trouble and Rebel MC will each make one other appearance in the top 150 - individually - before the year is out.



Next week (19 March): A bumper edition with no fewer than ten new top 150 entries.  Among them, we have the last release from an interesting Australian side project, and the latest UK indie darlings.  You can also follow my posts on instagram, facebook and twitter.
 
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