30 April 2021

Week commencing 30 April 1990

Among the new entries this week in 1990 are three return artists, two artists whom we shall never see again on the chart, and one group whom - as far as I know - only ever placed one single on the Australian chart.  One interesting thing about this week's debuts is that they all enter in the bottom 10 positions of the top 150.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Paul Carrack's about to retire from the battlefield that is the ARIA singles chart.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 141 "Zobi La Mouche" by Les Negresses Vertes
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
 
Les Negresses Vertes were a French band whose name translates as either 'Green Black Girls' or 'Fresh Black Girls'.  It was a term of abuse hurled at the band following their first live concert - green is the colour of the garbage collector uniforms in France, and most of the band were people of colour.  "Zobi La Mouche" translates as 'Zobi the fly'.  The band's sound merges accordian with acoustic guitar, and is not the sort of thing you typically find on the Australian singles chart.

Despite hailing from Paris, I cannot find evidence of this single charting in France.  It did, however, make the UK chart, where it peaked at number 93 in July 1989, and the Dutch chart, where it peaked at number 78 in September 1989.

I recall seeing the black and white music video for "Zobi La Mouche" on Video Hits, when they used to play selections from the Australian Music Report top 100 chart, as well as Hit Predictions and Classic flashback clips, on Saturday morning.  "Zobi La Mouch" peaked at number 100 on the Australian Music Report singles chart.  One thing I didn't remember is the open-mouthed kiss between the lead singer and another man 30 seconds into the video.

Les Negresses Vertes lead singer Helno (real name Noël Rota) died in 1993 from a heroin overdose, aged 29.
 

 
Number 146 "Everything" by Jody Watley
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 7 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Jody graced our presence last August with "Friends", the second single from her Larger Than Life album (number 96, May 1989), and here she is with the third single lifted from it.  As I wrote last time, I can't understand why Jody did not have much greater success on the Australian charts.  Like "Friends", I heard this one on the Top 8 at 8 radio program on Triple M (supposedly voted for by listeners), but I had not seen the music video until now.
 
"Everything" performed much better in Jody's native US, where it peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1990.  The single flopped in the UK, peaking at number 74 in February 1990.  Within Australia, "Everything" performed best on the Western Australian state chart, where it peaked at number 118.

A fourth single from Larger Than Life, "Precious Love", was released in the US, making number 87 there in March 1990, but was not issued in Australia.

Jody will never make the top 150 ARIA singles chart again in her own right, but will bubble WAY down under on a few more occasions, with the next time being in 1994.
 
 
 
Number 147 "True Blue Love" by Lou Gramm
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 30 April 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Foreigner lead singer Lou Gramm (real name Louis Grammatico) had placed two solo singles within the Australian top 40: "Midnight Blue" (number 8, May 1987) and "Just Between You and Me" (number 31, March 1990).  "True Blue Love" was released as the second single from his Long Hard Look album (number 56, March 1990).  At this point, Lou was still a member of Foreigner, though not for long, as he would leave the group in May 1990.  Gramm would rejoin Foreigner in May 1992.

"True Blue Love" found greater success on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 40 in March 1990.  The single peaked at number 98 on the Australian Music Report singles chart, 49 places higher than its ARIA peak.  On the state charts, "True Blue Love" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 103.

"True Blue Love" was Lou's final solo single to chart in Australia.
 
 
 
Number 148 "In Private" by Dusty Springfield
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 21 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
 
We saw Dusty bubble under in June 1989, and here she is with the belated second single from her then yet-to-be-released album Reputation (number 144, September 1990).  As with the previous single, "In Private" was another track written and produced by the Pet Shop Boys, together with Julian Mendelsohn on co-producing duties.

"In Private" gave Dusty back-to-back top 20 hits in the UK, peaking at number 14 there in December 1989.  The single reached the top 10 in Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and peaked within the top 20 in Ireland.
 
Unfortunately, this excellent track was another flop for Dusty in Australia.  "In Private" performed strongest on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart, where it peaked at number 107.

To my ears, it sounds like Pet Shop Boys were going for a Motown-esque sound updated for the late 80s with the instrumental backing track for "In Private", not unlike Brother Beyond's "The Harder I Try" (number 78, May 1989), or indeed the verses of Neil Tennant's side project Electronic's "Getting Away with It" (number 40, July 1990).  Of course, Dusty's unmistakable blue-eyed soul voice gives the song that extra special something.

Dusty will next visit us in August.
 
 
 
Number 149 "Battlefield" by Paul Carrack
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Paul Carrack bubbled under back in November 1989, and he returns this week with the second single from his Groove Approved album (number 116, January 1990).  "Battlefield" did not chart anywhere else, and as with Paul's previous single, "Battlefield" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it peaked at number 114.
 
"Battlefield" would become Paul's last solo single to register on the Australian chart.  He would, however, place another album on the ARIA chart, with Blue Views peaking at number 247 in April 1996.

"Battlefield" was co-written by Paul with long-time friend Nick Lowe, whose biggest hit in Australia - "Cruel to Be Kind" - interestingly peaked at number 12 in Australia, the UK and the US in 1979.  We shall see Nick bubble under in his own right in June.
 
 
 
Next week (7 May 1990): three new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 23 April 1990                                        Next week: 7 May 1990 >

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