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 two bubbling WAY down under entries.  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.

< Previous week: 28 May 1990                                         Next week: 11 June 1990 >


  1. That whole thing of band members splitting from bands and then renaming the bands they are in with the same name is a pain. Starship did it with lead singer Mickey Thomas forming his own starship band. It's the whole band vs brand thing. I've only ever seen one other perfect gentleman video that was played on a (partial) video hits top 30 from 1994.

    1. Agree with you that it's annoying (and stupid) when band members fall out. New Order are another example that immediately springs to mind. The fans don't care about squabbles between band members from their heyday/'classic' line-up. They should work it out and stay together as a band - unless they decide to quit altogether, even if they can't get along/hate each other.

      I didn't think to check for Perfect Gentlemen releases from later years. I see now that 'Don't Forget To Call' was released locally in 1994.


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