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 151 "Boy, I'll House Ya" by 2 Static
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 11 June 1990
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
From what I can gather, 2 Static were a Dutch act, and essentially an alias of Martin Boer, who would later form 2 Brothers on the 4th Floor with his brother Bobby Boer.  We shall see that act in 1994.
"Boy, I'll House Ya" was the first of two singles 2 Static released in Australia.  The track samples Technotronic featuring Ya Kid K's "Get Up (Before the Night Is Over)" (number 7, April 1990) and Partners Rime Syndicate's "54-46 (That's MyNumber)", which we saw in May 1990.
Internationally, "Boy, I'll House Ya" peaked at number 41 in the Netherlands in May 1990.
On the state charts, "Boy, I'll House Ya" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 96. 

We shall see 2 Static again in November 1990.

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 fiancĂ© 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 >


  1. Video Hits played the 'It's Here' clip at the time.

  2. Bit surprised Never Trust A Stranger didn't chart higher than it did

    1. Yeah, but it didn't get much promotion, really. I caught it on The Factory once, which was the only place I heard or saw it at the time.


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