14 May 2021

Week commencing 14 May 1990

This week's new entries are an odd bunch.  Among them we have a band and a solo artist who started out in the 1970s but have only recently scored their first chart hits in Australia, three acts who would only score one top 150 'hit', one act who would only score one top 150 'hit' and one bubbling WAY down under 'hit', and a veteran artist who scored her biggest hits in her mid 40s.  Shall we take a look?

Tina Turner: look me in the charts!
Top 150 debuts:
Number 139 "Wonderful Life" by The Celibate Rifles
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
"Wonderful Life" was the third top 150-peaking 'hit' from Australian band The Celibate Rifles' Blind Ear album (number 85, July 1989), following "Johnny" in March 1989, and "O Salvation" in June 1989.  This single took its time to register in the top 150, having been released in late March 1990, as a double 7".  "Wonderful Life" was also issued on cassingle, but as this format is not currently listed on discogs, I cannot confirm that it too was a double release.

The Celibate Rifles, who never scored a top 100 ARIA singles chart entry, will next grace our presence at the end of 1991.

Number 142 "Nick of Time" by Bonnie Raitt
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
American blues singer/songwriter and guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in 1971, but landed her first album on the Australian chart when Nick of Time (number 58, April 1990) crept into the ARIA top 150 albums chart in September 1989.  Eight months later, the title track - released locally in February 1990 - would belatedly scrape into the top 150 singles chart for a solitary week.
Nick of Time was Bonnie's tenth studio album, and was her major commercial breakthrough in the US, where it topped the Billboard 200 albums chart in April 1990, and was certified 5 times platinum.
"Nick of Time" was the second single from the album issued locally, released in early February 1990.  The single debuted at number 161 on 12 March 1990, but took until now to crack the top 150.  We also saw Bonnie bubble WAY down under with the album's first single in September 1989.
As with the album, "Nick of Time" performed stronger in the US, peaking at number 92 there in May 1990.  The single also peaked at number 67 in the Netherlands in June 1989, number 82 in the UK in April 1990, and number 73 in Germany in June 1990.
On the ARIA state charts, "Nick of Time" peaked highest in Western Australia, where it reached number 103.

Bonnie would eventually break into the ARIA top 100 singles chart when "Something to Talk About" peaked at number 57 in November 1991.  But before then, Bonnie will join us again next week, with another track from the Nick of Time album!

Number 143 "Baby, It's Tonight" by Jude Cole
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 13 weeks
American Jude Cole released his debut album Jude Cole in 1987.  "Baby, It's Tonight" was the lead single from his second album, A View from 3rd Street (number 114, July 1990).

I wasn't expecting to know this song, but it sounds familiar to me.  Presumably, it received some airplay in Melbourne.  Alternatively, I may have heard it on the American Top 40 radio program, as the single peaked at number 16 there in June 1990.

"Baby, It's Tonight" performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 79.  Jude would break into the ARIA top 100 singles chart in 1992 with "Start the Car" (number 59, November 1992) - his only single to do so.  Before then, Jude will bubble under again in September 1990.

Number 145 "Drag My Bad Name Down" by The 4 of Us
Peak: number 121
Peak date: 28 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
The 4 of Us hail from Northern Ireland.  "Drag My Bad Name Down", which peaked at number 79 in the UK in March 1990 and number 6 in Ireland, was their sole ARIA top 150 entry.  This one is another that I must have heard at the time, despite not recognising the artist name or song title, as it sounded familiar to me when I picked up a VHS compilation it was on around 2012.

Number 146 "Going Back to My Roots" by FPI Project featuring Sharon Dee Clarke
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Despite seeing this title listed in the UK chart in imported pop magazine Number One at the time, I don't think I've actually heard this track before.  Instantly recognisable is the James Brown "woo! yeah!' sample that was ubiquitous on dance tracks around this time.
This track was released as "Rich in Paradise" or "Going Back to My Roots "Rich in Paradise"" in most European countries, but the title was pared back to just "Going Back to My Roots" on the Australian pressing.  To add to the confusion, there were two versions of the track released - one with vocals by Sharon Dee Clarke, as embedded below, and one which was more instrumental in nature, with vocals by Paolo Dini (I assume the latter was the "Rich in Paradise" version).
Sharon Dee Clarke would later go on to sing for Nomad, whose biggest hit was "(I Wanna Give You) Devotion" (number 37, August 1991), and whom we will see bubble under next year.
"Going Back to My Roots" was originally recorded by Lamont Dozier in 1977.  This version of the track peaked at number 9 in the UK in January 1990, and also reached the top 10 in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Number 147 "Gotta Lambada" by Absolute
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
The risqué lambada dance, originating in Brazil, was a brief 'craze' in Australia and elsewhere at the end of the 1980s/early 1990, thanks to Kaoma's "Lambada" (number 5, April 1990), which showcased the dance in the music video.
To cash in on the fad, two movies about the lambada - Lambada: Set the Night on Fire and The Forbidden Dance - were filmed.  "Gotta Lambada" was recorded for the former.  However, unlike the Kaoma track, "Gotta Lambada" sounds more like a generic early 90s US r&b pop track than something originating from Brazil.
We will see another lambada-related track bubble under next week.

Number 149 "Look Me in the Heart" by Tina Turner
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
Up until this point, Tina Turner, real name Anna May Bullock, placed 15 solo singles on the Australian top 100 chart, including two duets (not with Ike), and two number ones.
"Look Me in the Heart" was issued as the fourth and final single in Australia from Tina's Foreign Affair album (number 15, October 1989), following "The Best" (number 4, October 1989), "Steamy Windows" (number 34, January 1990), and "I Don't Wanna Lose You" (number 59, February 1990).

Tina previously had two solo singles released locally that missed the top 100: "Show Some Respect" (February 1985), which reached first place on the Kent Music Report 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list in March 1985, and "Two People" (November 1986).

"Look Me in the Heart" fared better in France, where it reached number 44 in March 1990, and in the UK, where it peaked at number 31 in August 1990.
On the ARIA state charts, "Look Me in the Heart" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 88.  Despite missing the top 100 nationally, "Look Me in the Heart" peaked within the top 100 on four of the five state charts, with  New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory being the only exception.

Tina will next visit us in late 1991 - an unusual pattern that seems to be emerging this week.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 151 "Love Don't Come Easy" by The Alarm
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 14 May 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
Welsh band The Alarm bubbled under in October 1989, and here they are with their second - and final - appearance on the Australian singles chart, with another track from their Change album (number 155, December 1989).

"Love Don't Come Easy" performed better in the UK, peaking at number 48 there in February 1990.

Next week (21 May): A bumper week with ten new top 150 entries and two bubbling WAY down under debuts, including one from the artist who released the first album I ever bought.

< Previous week: 7 May 1990                                               Next week: 21 May 1990 >

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