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 a 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 two bubbling WAY down under entries.

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

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