25 June 2021

Week commencing 25 June 1990

Of the eight songs I write about this week, two of them are from artists who had their greatest period of success in the early 1980s, and one is a medley of songs from a band who were massive in the 1970s.  In addition, there are two tracks from artists who had much greater success overseas.  Shall we take a look?
Adam Ant: there is always room for a flop!
Top 150 debuts:
Number 126 "Abbacadabra" by The Flares
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Just a fortnight ago an ABBA-tinged dance track by an Australian act who only released one single and nothing else graced the top 150... and here we are with another of those!  What was it with Australia and ABBA in the 90s?  Though the ABBA revival didn't really kick off until Erasure's (who also debut this week!) Abba-esque EP (number 13, August 1992) in 1992.
I have no idea who was behind The Flares, but "Abbacadabra" (a name adopted by a 90s Australian ABBA tribute band, not to be confused with Björn Again) was their only release.  Stewart Peters, who wrote the single's B-side "The Old Songs" and was in Australian band The Colonial Boys, presumably had something to do with this.
The track in question is a megamix/medley of covered ABBA songs, including "Mamma Mia" (number 1, November 1975), "Ring Ring" (number 7, March 1976), "S.O.S." (number 1, January 1975), "Money Money Money" (number 1, November 1976), and "Waterloo" (number 4, August 1974).
But that's not all!  The track also contains covered excerpts of LaBelle's "Lady Marmalade" (number 13, July 1975), Amii Stewart's "Knock on Wood" (number 2, May 1979), K.C. & The Sunshine Band's "That's the Way (I Like It)" (number 5, February 1975), Earth, Wind & Fire's "Boogie Wonderland" (number 5, July 1979), Village People's "Y.M.C.A." (number 1, December 1978) and The Trammps' "Disco Inferno" (number 32, June 1978).  In other words, it's a total 1970s-fest.
If you ask me, the best ABBA 'tribute' Australia did during the 1990s was this hilarious ABBA parody sung by Gina Riley on sketch comedy TV show Fast Forward.
Number 137 "Room at the Top" by Adam Ant
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

English singer Adam Ant, real name Stuart Leslie Goddard, fronted Adam and the Ants, who scored five top 50 hits in Australia in 1981-2, with the first one of those, "Antmusic", going all the way to number 1 in March 1981.
'Adam' then launched a solo career, with his first single "Goody Two Shoes" topping the Australian singles chart in August 1982.  Follow-up releases "Friend Or Foe" (number 49, November 1982) and "Puss'n Boots" (number 84, December 1983), Adam's only other solo singles to enter the top 100, were much less successful.

The American-sounding "Room at the Top", co-written and produced by Prince's former bass guitarist André Cymone, was the lead single from Adam's fourth solo album Manners & Physique (number 138, March 1990).  It was Adam's first single released in Australia since "Vive Le Rock" (released August 1985, did not chart).  The Australian record company made the curious decision to release the album (12 March 1990) nearly two months before the first single (7 May 1990) - I wonder if this may have hampered "Room at the Top"'s chance of becoming a hit.

"Room at the Top" had greater chart success in Adam's native UK, where it peaked at number 13 in March 1990, giving him his first top 20 entry since 1984.  The single also reached the top 20 in the US, peaking at number 17 in May 1990, and gave Adam his second biggest hit there.  "Room at the Top" also peaked at number 21 in Ireland.

Adam's 'comeback' wasn't to last, however.  A second single from Manners & Physique, "Rough Stuff", was issued in Australia in September 1990, but missed the top 150.

Number 141 "High Hopes" by The Havalinas
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
The Havalinas were a Californian band fronted by Tim Scott McConnell.  "High Hopes", which does not seem to have charted anywhere else, was lifted from the album The Havalinas (number 130, July 1990).  Tim originally recorded the song for his 1987 solo album High Lonesome Sound.
"High Hopes" is probably better known via its Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band cover version, recorded during the sessions for Bruce's Greatest Hits (number 1, March 1995) but ending up on the 1996 Blood Brothers EP.  Bruce later recorded a version with Tom Morello in 2013, becoming the title track of his High Hopes (number 1, January 2014) album.

Number 143 "Brave Young Boy" by Money Talks
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Norwegian band Money Talks were duo Sverre (guitar, vocals) and Harald Wiik (drums), presumably brothers.  Unusually, for a band hailing form Norway, the pair were signed to American record label Curb Records.
"Brave Young Boy" was lifted from the album Money Talks, and reached number 4 on the Norwegian singles chart.  Oddly, both the album and single appear to have been the band's only release.

Assuming the text in the description of the video uploaded to YouTube below is correct, Harald Wilk is now the manager of fellow Norwegian band a-ha, whom we shall see in November 1990.

Number 149 "Hungry" by Lita Ford
Peak: number 137 
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
English-born but US-based metal singer-songwriter and guitarist Lita Ford previously landed a number 97 'hit' on the ARIA singles chart in June 1988 (on the first ARIA-produced top 100 singles chart, no less) with "Kiss Me Deadly", her first single to register on the Australian chart.

"Hungry" was the lead single from Lita's fourth studio album Stiletto (number 77, August 1990).  "Hungry" peaked at number 76 in the UK in July 1990, and number 98 on the US Billboard Hot 100 during the same month.  On the state charts, "Hungry" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 114.

"Hungry" would be Lita's second and final single to register on the Australian singles chart.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 152 "Star" by Erasure
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We saw Erasure bubble WAY down under a mere seven weeks ago, and here they are with the fourth and final single from their Wild! album (number 107, January 1990) - and the third release from it to stall in the 150s on the ARIA singles chart.  Nonetheless, "Star" was the highest-peaking single from the album in Australia.
"Star" had much greater success in Erasure's native UK, where it peaked at number 11 in June 1990.  The single also peaked at number 11 in Ireland, and number 33 in Germany in July 1990.
On the state charts, "Star" performed strongest in Western Australia - as did the previous two charting singles from Wild!, reaching number 107.
Erasure will join us next in 1992.

Number 156 "The Look of Love" (1990 Mix) by ABC
Peak: number 156
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We saw English band ABC, now pared down to a duo, bubble under in September 1989.  Their first compilation Absolutely (number 133, June 1990) had just been released, and their 1982 single "The Look of Love" (number 7, October 1982) was remixed by Paul Staveley O'Duffy - without the band's oversight or approval - for inclusion on the album.
Of course, this remix is not a patch on the original, which is a classic, thanks in part to Trevor Horn's production.  One slightly interesting thing about this version, however, is its interpolation with some of the melody of Kraftwerk's "Computer Love" from 1981, which was the B-side of their single "The Model" (number 33, May 1982).

The 1990 remix of "The Look of Love" peaked at number 68 in the UK in April 1990, number 31 in Germany in June 1990, and number 44 in New Zealand in June 1990.  On the state charts, the single performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 133.

While this version of "The Look of Love" would be ABC's final charting single in Australia, they later registered two compilations on the albums chart, albeit rather lowly.  Look of Love: The Very Best of ABC peaked at number 404 in January 2002, and Very Best of peaked at number 529 in November 2005 - although I'm not sure what the latter compilation is, as no album of theirs with that specific title is listed on discogs.

Number 162 "99 Worlds" by Peter Wolf
Peak: number 162
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

American singer Peter Wolf was the lead singer in The J. Geils Band, who scored a number 1 single in Australia in March 1982 with "Centerfold", from 1967 to 1983.
After going solo, Peter landed two top 100 'hits' in Australia, with "Lights Out" (number 46, October 1984) and "Come As You Are" (number 72, June 1987). 

"99 Worlds" was the lead, and only, single from Peter's third studio album Up to No Good.

Internationally, the single peaked at number 78 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1990.

Within Australia, "99 Worlds" was most successful in Western Australia, where it reached number 126.

Next week (2 July): a bumper week with 9 new top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.  Among them, we have a flop from an artist who will go on to score a top 10 single later in 1990 as a featured artist, and a re-release of a song that no doubt inspired one of the biggest hits of 1990.

< Previous week: 18 June 1990                                          Next week: 2 July 1990 >

18 June 2021

Week commencing 18 June 1990

All of this week's chart entries that peaked in the 101-150 region of the chart spent at least 5 weeks on the chart, with two of them notching up 12 weeks.  Three of this week's five top 150 debuts peaked within the top 100 on the Australian Music Report, and one of these peaked 68 places lower on the ARIA chart!  Let's take a look at them.

Salt 'N' Pepa... 'n' Spinderella: A blitz of flop releases in Australia.

Top 150 debuts:
Number 122 "To Be Number One (Summer 1990)" by Giorgio Moroder Project featuring Paul Engemann
Peak: number 118 
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
I'm not remotely a fan of sport, and that usually extends to songs about sport, like this track, recorded for the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy.  The song is the English version of "Un'estate Italiana" (meaning 'an Italian summer').
Despite being a Moroder composition, the song sounds nothing like his signature electronic sound - as evident in his 1984 collaboration with Philip Oakey, "Together in Electric Dreams", or Donna Summer's 1977 disco classic "I Feel Love" - and instead has a late 80s soft metal sound.

Not quite nearing 'number one', "To Be Number One..." was Giorgio Moroder's first Australian singles chart entry since "Good-Bye Bad Times", another collaboration with Philip Oakey, reached number 26 in September 1985.  Before his hits with Philip Oakey, Giorgio scored a hit in Australia in his own right, with "Chase" (number 26, June 1979).

Number 123 "Never Do That" by Pretenders
Peak: number 107
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

Following a string of 11 top 100 singles in Australia, every Pretenders single released between "Hymn to Her" (number 7, June 1987) and "I'll Stand by You" (number 8, June 1994) missed the top 100.  During that seven year spell, three of the band's singles bubbled under outside the top 100, with this one being the second, following "Windows of the World" in March 1989.
Before that, "Day After Day" reached second place on the Kent Music Report's list of singles with significant sales reports beyond the top 100 - or the 'Predictions for National Top 100 Singles' list as it was then known - in October 1981.

"Never Do That" was the lead single from Packed! (number 55, June 1990), the band's fifth studio album and their first in three and a half years.  The single was not a hit anywhere, but peaked at number 81 in the UK in June 1990.
Despite peaking outside the top 100 nationally, "Never Do That" registered within the top 100 on three of the five ARIA state charts.   On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Never Do That" reached number 98.

I have a vague recollection of lead singer Chrissie Hynde commenting nonchalantly on the then-new album Packed! in Smash Hits that it was "just ten new songs", but after checking the tracklist on discogs.com, I see that the album actually has 11 songs on it.

We will see the Pretenders next in November 1990.

Number 137 "Heavenly Pop Hit" by The Chills
Peak: number 118
Peak date: 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
New Zealand band The Chills formed in 1980 in Dunedin.  "Heavenly Pop Hit", the lead single from their second studio album Submarine Bells (number 90, August 1990), was The Chills' highest-peaking single in their homeland, where it reached number 2 in July 1990.  Between 1982 and 1996, the group notched up eight top 40 hits in New Zealand, and Submarine Bells topped the albums chart there.

While "Heavenly Pop Hit" wasn't quite a 'pop hit' in Australia, it did, nonetheless, have a decent chart run for a single peaking at only number 118, spending 12 weeks in the top 150.  The single also registered on the UK chart, where it reached number 97 in March 1990.

A second single from Submarine Bells, "Part Past Part Fiction", was released in Australia in September 1990, but missed the top 150.  The group placed a second album within the ARIA top 100 charts, when Soft Bomb peaked at number 99 in August 1992.

Number 141 "Expression" by Salt 'N' Pepa
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 18 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Salt 'N' Pepa's Australian chart career started off with the enduring mega-hit "Push It" (number 3, October 1988), but then quickly petered out, with the trio (Spinderella included!) not seeing inside the top 40 again until "Do You Want Me" (number 19, October 1991), three years later.
In the interim, Salt 'N' Pepa released two studio albums: A Salt with a Deadly Pepa (number 126, December 1988) and Blacks' Magic (number 149, July 1990) - neither of which set the ARIA albums chart alight.

On the singles chart, the trio peaked no higher than 47 in the years waiting to score a second Australian hit, with "Shake Your Thang (It's Your Thing)" (number 47, November 1988).  We saw Salt 'N' Pepa bubble under with another single in March 1989.
"Expression" was the first single penned by Salt 'N' Pepa, written by Cheryl "Salt" James.  It was also the first single lifted from Blacks' Magic, and the album version of the track reached number 26 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1990.  The single version for the European and Australasian markets, however, was the Brixton Bass Edit (embedded below), and peaked at number 40 in the UK in April 1990.

To complicate matters further, after the success of "Don't You Want Me", "Let's Talk About Sex" (number 1, January 1992), and "You Showed Me" (number 24, April 1992) - all originally Blacks' Magic tracks remixed for their single releases - another remix of "Expression", the Hard Ecu Edit, was issued in Europe, reaching a new peak of number 23 in the UK in March 1992.

With all of these different mixes, it was only fitting that Salt 'N' Pepa would release a remix album, A Blitz of Hits (number 104, September 1991) - not to be confused with The Greatest Hits (number 2, February 1992).

Another puzzling fact about "Expression" is that it peaked 68 places higher, at number 73, on the Australian Music Report singles chart.  On the ARIA state charts, "Expression" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 127.

This will be the last time we see Salt 'N' Pepa bubble under, as all subsequent charting singles of theirs made the ARIA top 100.  However, we will see them again as an uncredited featured artist, later in the year.
Salt 'N' Pepa released two singles in Australia that did not chart: "Independent" (released September 1990) - with Sybil, who we saw in February, singing the chorus - and "R U Ready" (released 1997).

Number 147 "All Men Are Liars"  by Nick Lowe
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks

English singer Nick Lowe scored a number 12 hit in Australia with "Cruel to Be Kind" in November 1979.  Coincidentally, "Cruel to Be Kind" also peaked at number 12 in the UK, the US and Canada!  Nick scored two other top 100 hits in Australia, with "I Knew the Bride (When She Used to Rock 'N' Roll)" giving him a second top 40 hit, reaching number 26 in April 1986.

"All Men Are Liars", the lead and only single released in Australia from Nick's eighth studio album Party of One (number 127, July 1990), surprisingly failed to chart in his homeland... or anywhere else!

The song contains some rather... choice lyrics, like: "Do you remember Rick Astley?  He had a big fat hit, it was ghastly."

"All Men Are Liars" is another single that performed significantly better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 76.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 157 "How 'Bout Us" by Grayson Hugh and Betty Wright
Peak: number 157
Peak date: 18 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

American singer-songwriter Grayson Hugh landed a major hit in Australia with "Talk It Over", which peaked at number 4 in November 1989.  Follow-up single "Bring It All Back" didn't perform nearly as well, peaking at number 88 in January 1990.

Third single from Blind to Reason (number 25, October 1989), "How 'Bout Us", was a duet with American soul and r&b singer Betty Wright, and reached number 67 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Betty passed away in May 2020, aged 66.

Grayson will join us again in 1992.

Next week (25 June): Five new top 150 debuts and three bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 11 June 1990                                    Next week: 25 June 1990 >

11 June 2021

Week commencing 11 June 1990

Four of this week's seven top 150 debuts registered on the Australian Music Report singles chart, but missed the ARIA top 100.  Let's take a look at them.
Kim Wilde: Australia kept her hanging outside the top 100.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 101 "Don't Be Cruel" (Rapacious Edit) by Bobby Brown
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Bobby was originally part of teen pop group New Edition, whose single "Candy Girl" reached number 10 in August 1983.  Bobby quit the group in 1986, launching a solo career with the King of Stage album, which was not released in Australia.

Bobby's first solo release in Australia, "My Prerogative" (number 40, May 1989), was lifted from his second album Don't Be Cruel (number 5, November 1989), which didn't really take off in Australia until "Every Little Step" (number 8, November 1989) was released.  In the interim, the title track - the original version of "Don't Be Cruel", peaked at number 72 in June 1989.

"Don't Be Cruel" was the lead single from the album in the US and Europe, reaching number 42 in the UK in August 1988, and number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1988.  After "My Prerogative" became a top 10 hit in the UK, a remixed version of "Don't Be Cruel" - the Rapacious Mix, was issued in the UK, reaching number 13 in April 1989.  In Australia, we got this release belatedly in May 1990.
This remixed version of "Don't Be Cruel" has the unusual distinction of debuting in the top 150 at number 101... and then not climbing any higher.  It seems Australia preferred the original mix of this track - or fans already owned the album, although I don't recall being aware of this new version of "Don't Be Cruel" at the time. 

This version of "Don't Be Cruel" performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 90.

Bobby will next join us as a featured artist in 1992, and in his own right in 1995.

Number 107 "Feel Like Going Home" by The Notting Hillbillies
Peak: number 107
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
The Notting Hillbillies were Mark Knopfler from Dire Straits' side project, although they only recorded one album Missing... Presumed Having a Good Time (number 6, May 1990).  Interestingly, their debut single "Your Own Sweet Way" (number 28, April 1990) performed much better in Australia than it did in their native UK, where it only reached number 76 in March 1990.

This track, which I hadn't heard until now, was sung by band member Brendan Croker.  "Feel Like Going Home" did not chart anywhere else.  It reached number 89 on the Australian Music Report singles chart.

A third single, "Will You Miss Me", was released in Europe, but was was not issued locally.

Number 125 "Heaven Is a 4 Letter Word" by Bad English
Peak: number 124 
Peak date: 25 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
Fronted by John Waite, who was in The Babys and had a major solo hit with "Missing You" (number 5, October 1984), Bad English formed in 1987, and scored a number 4 hit in January 1990 with "When I See You Smile".

Prior to "When I See You Smile", Bad English released "Forget Me Not", which failed to chart, in August 1989.  Third single "Price of Love" (number 44, April 1990) scraped into the top 50, and this, their fourth release from Bad English (number 12, February 1990), missed the top 100.

On the state charts, "Heaven Is a 4 Letter Word" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 70.  On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Heaven Is a 4 Letter Word" dented the top 100, peaking at number 98.

We will see Bad English again in 1991.

Number 128 "Abbatak (The House ABBA Built)" by Donald Wasn't
Peak: number 128
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Donald Wasn't, I assume a pun on record producer and Was (Not Was) founding member Don Was's name, were presumably an Australian act.  I say that as only Australian pressings of this - their only single - are listed on discogs.com.
It's just as well that Australian music video program rage aired this video during a 'vault' episode in 2020, as without the embedded clip below, I wouldn't have been able to hear the single version of this track.

As for the connection to ABBA... the track contains samples of the piano intro from ABBA's "Dancing Queen" (number 1, September 1976), as well as a few vocal lines of them singing "Fernando" (number 1, April 1976), but that's it.

Number 136 "It's Here" by Kim Wilde
Peak: number 104
Peak dates: 18 June 1990 and 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Kim Wilde's Australian chart career started off with a bang, with four consecutive top 10 hits: "Kids in America" (number 5, June 1981), "Chequered Love" (number 6, October 1981), "Cambodia" (number 7, February 1982) and "View from a Bridge" (number 7, July 1982).  But since then, she had only scored one major hit down under - though quite a big one - when "You Keep Me Hangin' On" spent two non-consecutive weeks at number 1 in February and March 1987.

Kim's previous album Close (number 82, November 1988) gave her a career resurgence in her native UK, where three singles lifted from it reached the top 10.  In contrast, only one of those, "You Came", dented the ARIA top 100, peaking at number 34 in November 1988.

Kim previously bubbled under on the Australian chart with "Four Letter Word" in early 1989, and prior to that, "Dancing in the Dark" was ranked first on the Kent Music Report list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in January 1984.  "Never Trust a Stranger", the third single from Close, registered on the Western Australia state chart at number 74 in December 1988, but did not chart nationally, as it was prior to the ARIA singles chart extending beyond number 100.  The lead single from Close, "Hey Mister Heartache", missed the ARIA chart, but peaked at number 96 on the Australian Music Report singles chart in July 1988.

"It's Here" was the lead single from Kim's seventh studio album Love Moves (number 126, August 1990) - an album my local K-Mart seemed to order in bulk, which was always a bad omen.  Unfortunately for Kim, the Love Moves era was largely a flop for her in the UK, with none of the four singles lifted from the album there reaching the top 40.  Nevertheless, "It's Here" was a top 40 hit for Kim in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and the Flanders region of Belgium.

Locally, "It's Here" performed strongest on the Western Australia state chart, where it reached number 82.  Frustratingly, "It's Here" dented the top 100 on four of the five ARIA state charts (only missing out in South Australia/Northern Territory), but couldn't dent the top 100 nationally.  The single did, however, reach number 92 on the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart.

One other single from Love Moves, "Can't Get Enough (Of Your Love)", was released in Australia (and, oddly, not in the UK) in August 1990, but failed to chart, despite being aired at least twice on Countdown Revolution.  In contrast, I never heard or saw the video for "It's Here" anywhere at the time.  Go figure.

We shall see Kim next in 1992.

Number 146 "Driving" by Everything But the Girl
Peak: number 146
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks (1990 and 1997 chart runs combined)

Before reinventing themselves as a dance/drum 'n' bass sensation in the mid 1990s, Tracey Thorn and Benn Watt, aka Everything But the Girl, were purveyors of jazz-tinged sophisti-pop.  Although romantically-involved since their university days, the couple's relationship was not publicised, and they did not marry until 2009, after 28 years together.

The duo's first foray into the Australian singles chart came in 1987, when "Don't Leave Me Behind", from their third studio album Baby, the Stars Shine Bright, peaked at number 85 in April of that year.  Their version of "I Don't Want to Talk About It" registered on the Western Australia state chart, but not the national chart, where it reached number 68 in September 1988.

"Driving" was the lead single from the duo's fifth studio album The Language of Life (number 90, April 1990), and peaked at number 54 in the UK in January 1990.  The single first registered on the ARIA chart at the end of February 1990, when it entered at number 152, but took over three months to dent the top 150.  "Driving" performed strongest on the Western Australia state chart, where it reached number 68, matching the state chart peak there for "I Don't Want to Talk About It".
Unless you were living under a rock, you would know that Everything But the Girl scored a major hit with the Todd Terry remix of "Missing", which spent six weeks at number 2 on the ARIA singles chart in March and April 1996.  Capitalising on this success, the duo's sound shifted from being largely acoustic to electronic for their next album Walking Wounded (number 11, June 1996).

A change in record label post-"Missing" resulted in "Driving" being remixed by Todd Terry for inclusion on the The Best of Everything But the Girl (number 58, April 1997) compilation, and that version will go on to reach a new peak in early 1997.  But before then, the duo released the single "Take Me" in Australia, which failed to chart, in June 1990.

We will next see Everything But the Girl in 1992.

Number 147 "The Banks of the Bogan" by Norma O'Hara Murphy
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
What could be more Australian than a song about bogans?  For those outside of Australia who may not be familiar with the term, 'bogan' in the Australian vernacular loosely refers to an unsophisticated person with unrefined tastes, often associated with lower educational attainment and low socioeconomic status; though that has changed, with the rise of the cashed-up bogan (nouveau riche) in the early 2000s.  A bogan is Australia's version of a chav or white trash.
Except this isn't a song about that; it's instead a song about the Bogan River in New South Wales.  Other than that, I can't tell you much about it, other than Norma is an Australian country singer.  This track appeared on Norma's compilation album Norma's Best, which peaked at number 132 in August 1991.

Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "No More Lies" by Michel'le
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
"No More Lies" was the debut single for American r&b singer Michel'le (pronounced "Michelle-ay"), full name Michel'le Toussaint, and reached number 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in March 1990.  The single also dented the top 30 in New Zealand - who always seemed to be more open to this kind of music than Australia at the time, and crept into the top 80 in the UK.
"No More Lies" was lifted from the Michel'le album, which peaked at number 143 on the ARIA albums chart in April 1990.  On the state charts, "No More Lies" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 146.

"No More Lies" was produced and co-written by Dr. Dre, Michel'le's fiancé at the time.  The couple's relationship soon became volatile, however, and Michel'le has since spoken out about Dre severely beating her and even shooting at her with a gun, missing by inches.

One thing you'll notice about Michel'le's speaking voice is that it is much higher-pitched and Minnie Mouse-like than her singing voice on this track.

Follow-up single "Nicety" (a portmanteau of 'nice' and 'nasty') does not appear to have been released commercially in Australia, but peaked at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in June 1990.

Michel'le's second album Hung Jury was not released until 1998.  She did not place a second single or album on the ARIA chart.

Next week (18 June): Five new top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 4 June 1990                                       Next week: 18 June 1990 >

04 June 2021

Week commencing 4 June 1990

In contrast to the last few weeks, this week in 1990 there were only two singles entering the top 150 that peaked in the 101-150 region of the chart.  Let's take a look at them.
UB40 scored nearly 40 UK top 40 hits.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 131 "Kingston Town" by UB40
Peak: number 128 (in 1990); number 17 (in 1992)
Peak dates: 2 July 1990; 13 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks (in 1990);  31 weeks (1990 and 1991-1992 chart runs combined)
Weeks on chart: 32 weeks

Up until this point, English reggae band UB40 had placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100, with their version of "I Got You Babe" going all the way to number 1 in October 1985.  Their second-biggest hit down under at this point, "Red Red Wine", was also a cover version, lifted from their covers album Labour of Love (number 14, December 1983).  UB40 would go on to score another Australian number 1 single in 1993 with "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love with You", a cover of an Elvis Presley song.
The band previously bubbled under in July 1989, and before that, "Please Don't Make Me Cry" was ranked first on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in January 1984.

Cover versions had worked so well for UB40 that they released a second covers album Labour of Love II (number 20, January 1992).  The album got off to a relatively slow start in Australia, however, originally peaking at number 28 in March 1990.
"Kingston Town", a cover of a 1970 Lord Creator song, was issued as the third single from Labour of Love II, and became the third consecutive release from the album to miss the ARIA top 50, following "Homely Girl" (number 52, March 1990) and "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" (number 96, April 1990).
"Here I Am...", of course, became a much bigger hit when re-released following its belated US success - where it reached number 7 in July 1991 - peaking at number 3 in Australia in September 1991.  "Kingston Town" was then similarly re-issued, making its way into the top 20 on the ARIA chart in December 1991, reaching a peak of number 17 in January 1992.

Like its re-released predecessor, "Kingston Town" was certified gold in Australia.  It missed the ARIA annual top 100 charts, however, presumably due to the re-release's chart life being split between 1991 and 1992.
An interesting fact about "Kingston Town"'s chart run is that it hovered between number 128 and 131 for all seven of its weeks in the top 150 in 1990.

In the UK, "Kingston Town" peaked at number 4 in April 1990.  The song also reached number 1 in France in October 1990, and was a top 10 hit in Ireland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Belgium, and a top 20 hit in Sweden and New Zealand.

UB40 front man Ali Campbell quit the band in 2008, citing financial mismanagement, and was replaced by his brother Duncan.  The band, which also includes Ali's brother Robin, continued to own the rights to and record under the UB40 name.  Ali now fronts a second, rival band - UB40 featuring Ali - with former members of the original UB40 Mickey Virtue and Astro.
Ali and five other members of UB40 filed for bankruptcy in 2011, despite the group achieving 39 top 40 singles and 15 top 10 albums in the UK across their career.  Duncan Campbell had a stroke in 2020, and when asked on Good Morning Britain whether this could be an opportunity for Ali to reconcile with his brothers, Ali's response was: "Not really.  I have no contact with them."  Ali earlier commented in 2014 that "I sat back for five years and watched my brother Duncan murdering my songs. We're saving the legacy."  Ooh-er.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, Ali Campbell from UB40 revealed that Lord Creator was able to build a house with the proceeds from their version of "Kingston Town".

UB40 will join us again in August 1990.

Number 148 "Ooh La La (I Can't Get Over You)" by Perfect Gentlemen
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 4 June 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Now here's a song I heard at the time, via the American Top 40 radio show, but had completely forgotten about until getting hold of these charts.
Perfect Gentlemen were a teen vocal trio put together by Maurice Starr, who was behind New Edition and New Kids on the Block, in 1988.  Maurice's son, Maurice Starr Jr., was also part of the group.  "Ooh La La..." reached number 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Next week (11 June): Seven new top 150 debuts, and one bubbling WAY down under entry.  Among them is a remixed version of a song that was a minor hit in 1989, and a song that will go on to achieve a higher peak when remixed in 1996.

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