30 July 2021

Week commencing 30 July 1990

In once sense, all of this week's new entries are 'all in the same gang', as they all missed the ARIA top 100 singles chart.  Ho ho ho... I couldn't resist making that quip.  You'll see what I am referring to if you read on.  Let's do just that...
 
Paula Abdul: knocked out of the top 100.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 135 "We're All in the Same Gang" by The West Coast Rap All-Stars
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

During the 1980s, it became commonplace for artists to unite together to record a song for a cause - usually a charity, such as the famine in Ethiopia.  Unfortunately, the quality of the records in question was not always that great.

The West Coast Rap All-Stars was a 90s take on the theme, uniting rap artists to record a song with an anti-violence message.  The artists in question who perform on this track are: King Tee, Body & Soul, Def Jef, Tone Lōc, Above the Law, N.W.A., Michel'le, Digital Underground, Young MC, Ice-T, Eazy-E, Oaktown's 3.5.7, MC Hammer, and J.J. Fad.  We have seen Young MC and Michel'le bubble under on the Australian singles chart in 1989-1990, while others will bubble under in years to come.  The song was produced by Dr. Dre.
 
"We're All in the Same Gang" was not a huge commercial success, peaking at number 35 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in August 1990.  In Australia, the single narrowly missed the top 100.  It performed much better across the ditch, though, reaching number 11 on the New Zealand singles chart in September 1990.



Number 138 "Knocked Out" (Remix) by Paula Abdul
Peak: number 115
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

Before Paula Abdul became known as the 'nice' judge on American Idol in the early 2000s, she had a happening recording career in the late 80s and early to mid 90s.  But before that, she was an in-demand choreographer, best-known for being behind the nifty dance routines in the classic music videos from Janet Jackson's Control (number 25, September 1986) album.

Paula's chart career got off to a decent, if not massive, start in Australia when "Straight Up", her first single released locally, peaked at number 27 in May 1989, and spent 23 weeks in the top 150.  But it was followed by a string of singles that missed the top 50: "Forever Your Girl" (number 51, June 1989), the original version of "Knocked Out" (number 82, September 1989), "Cold Hearted" (number 68, December 1989), and "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" (number 76, February 1990).

Paula finally scored a major hit down under when "Opposites Attract", the sixth and final single from her debut album Forever Your Girl (number 1, May 1990), topped the ARIA singles chart for two weeks in April 1990.

In Paula's homeland, the US, she scored five top 3 singles from Forever Your Girl, with only one of these, "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me)", missing the number 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100.  The album also topped the US Billboard 200 albums chart for 10 non-consecutive weeks (one week in 1989, and 9 weeks in 1990), and spent over a year in the top 10.

The Forever Your Girl album campaign took a while to get off the ground in the US, though.  "Knocked Out" was issued as Paula's debut single there, stalling at number 41 on the Hot 100 in August 1988.  The original release of "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me" performed even worse, peaking at number 88 in November 1988.  But then "Straight Up" was released just a few weeks after that, and the music video, with Paula's impressive dance skills on display and a cameo from Arsenio Hall, started receiving heavy rotation on MTV.  The rest is history.

Paula released a remix album, Shut Up and Dance (number 16, May 1990), in 1990.  "Straight Up" (Ultimix Mix) from the album was issued as a single in Australia, and nowhere else, peaking at number 55 in June 1990.
 
Shep Pettibone, who produced Madonna's "Vogue", remixed "Knocked Out" for Shut Up and Dance, and an edited version of this mix was issued as a single in Europe and Australia.  A new video for the remixed "Knocked Out" was produced, embedded below, using footage from Paula's earlier videos set on a screen at a boxing match.
 
The remixed version of "Knocked Out" peaked at number 21 in the UK in July 1990, number 17 in Ireland in July 1990, and number 45 in France in September 1990.  The single performed stronger on the Australian Music Report chart, where it reached number 95.
 
One further single from Shut Up and Dance was issued in Australia - another Australia-only release - the "1990 Medley Mix", which was a megamix of the six Forever Your Girl singles (plus "State of Attraction" on the full-length LP version), and peaked at number 33 in October 1990.

Paula will bubble under again on the Australian chart in 1996.



Number 145 "The Crying Scene" by Aztec Camera
Peak: number 123
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks

Scottish band Aztec Camera formed in 1980, but had to wait until 1988 to score their first Australian hit, with "Somewhere in My Heart" (number 34, September 1988).  Despite that, I recall hearing an earlier single of theirs, "Deep & Wide & Tall" - released in Australia in October 1987, on the radio.
 
"The Crying Scene" was the first single released from Aztec Camera's fourth studio album Stray (number 107, September 1990).  The single peaked at number 70 in the UK in July 1990.  I recall seeing the music video for "The Crying Scene" on Countdown Revolution more than once, so its low chart peak in Australia is surprising.
 
A chorus lyric from "The Crying Scene" - you only get one hit, that's the beauty of it - could, ironically, describe Aztec Camera's Australian chart career.  The band would, however, score a second and final top 100 single in Australia with "Good Morning Britain" (number 65, February 1991), a duet with Mick Jones from Big Audio Dynamite II, formerly of The Clash.

We shall see Aztec Camera again in 1992.


 
Number 146 "Red Dress" by Andrew Ridgeley
Peak: number 110 
Peak date: 20 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
 
Together with former Wham! band-mate George Michael, Andrew Ridgeley placed 11 singles on the Australian chart between 1983 and 1986, with only two of those missing the top ten.

George Michael launched a successful solo career in 1984 with "Careless Whisper" (number 1, September 1984) at the height of Wham!'s fame, although the duo did not split until 1986.

Andrew took a little longer to embark on a solo career, releasing "Shake" (number 16, June 1990) earlier in the year.  Interestingly, Australia appears to have been the only country in the world where "Shake" made the top 40 - the single stalled at number 58 in Andrew's native UK in April 1990, and peaked at number 77 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1990.  "Shake" also charted in the Netherlands, where it reached number 48 in April 1990.  In Australia, "Shake" was the 81st highest-selling single of 1990.

In a similar fashion, "Red Dress" does not appear to have charted anywhere but in Australia.  While I remember seeing the single in the shops, I don't think I actually heard the song or saw the video at the time.  Both "Shake" and "Red Dress" were lifted from Andrew's only solo album Son of Albert (number 63, June 1990).  Son of Albert did not even chart in the UK, and peaked at number 66 in the Netherlands in May 1990, and number 130 in the US in June 1990.

Andrew did not release any further singles or albums, although Son of Albert received an expanded re-issue in 2018.  Since 1990, Andrew has largely shunned the limelight.  He has been in a long-term relationship with Keren Woodward from Bananarama since 1990, although the couple split for two years in 2017.

Although we don't see Andrew Ridgeley charting again, we will see his Wham! partner George Michael bubble under in 1991.



Number 147 "Stay Forever" by Bang the Drum
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks

Australian band Bang the Drum scored two minor hits earlier in the year with "Only You" (number 31, April 1990) and "Passion" (number 43, May 1990).  Both singles were lifted from the band's only album Bang the Drum (number 51, May 1990).

"Stay Forever" was the band's third and final single release.  Despite missing the top 100 nationally, it peaked within the top 100 on four of the five state charts, performing strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 44.

I don't recall hearing this one before, but it presumably received airplay, as it was just the kind of 1927-esque middle-of-the-road soft rock/pop that Australian radio programmers of the time lapped up.



Number 150 "Baby Says" by The Shivers
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Melbourne band The Shivers first made an appearance in the top 150 on the first ARIA chart for the 1990s, back in January.
 
While the group issued two more singles in Australia - "Not in Love" (released in Australia in October 1990) and "Downtown Sister (Town Is Gone)" (April 1991), neither of which is on YouTube at the time of writing this - "Baby Says" was their last release to dent the top 150.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 169 "Heartbeat" by Seduction
Peak: number 169 
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Seduction started out as a studio project produced by Robert Clivillés and David Cole, who were the studio boffins behind C+C Music Factory.  Seduction's second single and first Australian release (in October 1989), "(You're My One and Only) True Love", featured the uncredited vocals of Martha Wash, who was the (again, uncredited) vocalist on all of the singles from Black Box's Dreamland album, minus "Ride on Time". Martha's vocals were also used, again without credit, on C+C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" (number 3, February 1991).  Martha successfully sued Clivillés and Cole for royalties and a credit on the song.

While "(You're My One and Only) True Love" failed to chart in Australia, it became an unexpected mainstream hit in the US, reaching number 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1989.  As the single started to gain traction, Clivillés and Cole assembled "a group of women who displayed talent, sex appeal, and multi-format potential", to quote Wikipedia, as a front for the group.

The band's third single, and second Australian release, "Two to Make It Right", was released in Australia in June 1990, but failed to chart.  However, it became Seduction's biggest hit in the US, peaking at number 2 in February 1990.  This time, two of the group members actually sang on the track.

"Heartbeat", the band's third release in Australia, just scraped into the top 170, but reached number 13 in the US in April 1990.  An album, Nothing Matters without Love, peaked at number 36 in the US in March 1990, and number 142 in Australia in September 1990.
 
On the state charts, "Heartbeat" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 142. 

Listening to this track for the first time, it sounds like an instrumental hook from it was used on the remix of Donna Summer's "Breakaway", released as a single in the UK (but not in Australia) at the end of 1990.

We will see Seduction again in early 1991.


Next week (6 August): Five new top 150 entries, and one bubbling WAY down under debut.

< Previous week: 23 July 1990                                    Next week: 6 August 1990 >

23 July 2021

Week commencing 23 July 1990

Two of this week's top 150 debuts are the final singles released in Australia by the artists in question.  One of the other artists would not enter the Australian top 100 singles chart again, and another would only do so when collaborating with another artist.  Let's take a look.

Sinitta: hitchin' a ride dressed like that.
 
 
Top 150 debuts: 

Number 118 "The Healer" by John Lee Hooker with Carlos Santana and The Santana Band
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 6 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

American blues singer John Lee Hooker, who died in his 80s (his birth year is disputed) in 2001, commenced his recording career in 1948.  While I haven't made an effort to determine whether any of his earlier works charted in Australia, John placed three top 25 albums on the ARIA chart during the 1990s.  Two of these albums achieved gold certification, including The Healer (number 17, August 1990), from which this track is lifted.

Seven of the ten tracks on The Healer are collaborations with other artists, including Bonnie Raitt, Robert Cray, Los Lobos, and George Thorogood, among others.  Carlos Santana, who experienced a career resurgence in the late 1990s, placed 11 singles and 24 albums on the Australian chart between 1970 and 1988.

John Lee Hooker would eventually score a top 50 single in Australia with "Gloria" (number 22, July 1993), a collaboration with Van Morrison, in 1993.

We will next see John Lee Hooker in 1992.



Number 144 "Hitchin' a Ride" by Sinitta
Peak: number 131
Peak dates: 13 August 1990, 20 August 1990 and 3 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks

American-born but UK-based Sinitta Malone is the daughter of Miquel Brown, whose sole Australian chart 'hit' "So Many Men, So Little Time" peaked at number 94 in March 1984.  Sinitta is also known for once having dated David Essex, Brad Pitt, and Simon Cowell - who co-founded Sinitta's record label, Fanfare Records.  She is also known for wearing skimpy outfits.

When it comes to music, Sinitta notched up 9 UK top 40 singles between 1986 and 1992, with the biggest of those being the double A-side release "So Macho"/"Cruising", which peaked at number 2 in the UK in August 1986 and spent a whopping 30 weeks on the chart.

In Australia, Sinitta's recording career was less successful, with only three of her singles reaching the top 50: "So Macho" (number 14, October 1986), "Toy Boy" (number 49, December 1987), and "Right Back Where We Started From" (number 7, August 1989).
 
A further three Sinitta singles registered on the Australian top 100: "G.T.O." (number 62, April 1988), "Cross My Broken Heart" (number 56, June 1988), and "Love on a Mountain Top" (number 81, November 1989).  "Right Back Where We Started From" reached number 1 on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart.  "Toy Boy", "G.T.O." and "Cross My Broken Heart" were written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman.

Sinitta previously bubbled under in Australia on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, when "Feels Like the First Time" reached second place on the list in December 1986.

"Hitchin' a Ride", originally recorded by Vanity Fair in 1969, was the fifth and final single lifted from Sinitta's second album Wicked (number 136, March 1990).  Two of the album's earlier singles, "I Don't Believe in Miracles" (released in Australia in October 1988) and "Lay Me Down Easy" (February 1990), failed to chart in Australia.

Despite missing the national top 100, Sinitta's version of "Hitchin' a Ride" peaked within the top 100 on three of the five state charts, performing strongest in Queensland where it reached number 85.  The single had greater success in the UK, where it peaked at number 24 in May 1990, and in Ireland, where it reached number 19.

Although the music video for "Hitchin' a Ride" makes extensive use of animation, one can't help but notice its overall cheap-looking aesthetic.

Sinitta will join us again in 1992.



Number 147 "Rocksteady" by Jamie J. Morgan
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 23 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

British photographer, filmmaker and now-former recording artist Jamie Morgan, then known as Jamie J. Morgan, was one half of the duo Morgan McVey, with Cameron McVey.  The pair's only release,  "Looking Good Diving", produced by Stock Aitken Waterman and issued in Australia in April 1987, failed to chart anywhere.
 
Neneh Cherry, Cameron McVey's wife, appeared in the music video for "Looking Good Diving", and recorded an early version of "Buffalo Stance" (number 21, March 1989) on the single's B-side, titled "Looking Good Diving with the Wild Bunch".  Despite producing the track, Pete Waterman was not interested in signing Neneh as a solo artist, as he felt she lacked star quality.  That decision probably worked out the best for everyone concerned.

Jamie launched his short-lived solo career with a cover version of Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side", which peaked at number 27 in the UK in March 1990, number 22 in Ireland in March 1990, number 25 in Australia in May 1990, and number 1 in New Zealand for two weeks in May 1990.

"Rocksteady", an original track co-written by Jamie, was the second and final release from the album Shotgun (number 113, July 1990).  The single also peaked at number 97 in the UK in June 1990, but both it and the album do not appear to have charted anywhere else.  I have mentioned before that the music department of my local K-Mart seemed to place bulk-orders on flop albums, and Shotgun was another that they stocked loads of copies of.

Jamie released one other single, "Why", in 1992, which seems to have been his final release, but it was not issued in Australia.



Number 150 "Sunshine's Glove"/"Girl Soul" by The Someloves
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 23 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

We saw Australian band The Someloves in March 1990, and here they are again.  Both "Sunshine's Glove" and "Girl Soul" are lifted from Something Or Other (number 80, April 1990), the band's only studio album.  Although a double A-side release, it appears that a music video was filmed only for "Sunshine's Glove", and this was conveniently uploaded by the band to YouTube a few months ago.

I hadn't heard either track before.  "Sunshine's Glove" is quite catchy, and seems like the sort of thing that might have been a hit had it been released a year or so later, once 'indie' music was starting to break into the top 50.

Another factor possibly hindering the single's success is the $9.99 recommended price sticker on the CD single listed on discogs.com.  CD singles were ridiculously expensive in Australia in the very early 90s, and this was their going price - more than a third of the cost of a full CD album back then.

Despite releasing only one studio album, the band released a 2-CD compilation, Don't Talk About Us: The Real Pop Recordings of The Someloves 1985-89, in 2006.  I assume, based on the year range in the title, that the group disbanded soon after this release.  "Sunshine's Glove"/"Girl Soul" was the band's final single released in Australia.




Next week (30 July): Six top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 16 July 1990                                          Next week: 30 July 1990 >

16 July 2021

Week commencing 16 July 1990

One thing all of this week's top 150-peaking entries have in common is that they spent at least 7 weeks in the top 150.  This is slightly above both the average (5.32 weeks) and median (6 weeks) amount of time singles peaking within the 101-150 region of the chart that debuted in 1990 spent on the chart.  Yes, I really calculated those stats for this week's post...

In case you were curious to know, the majority of singles peaking between number 101 and 150 on the ARIA singles chart in 1990 spent no more than one week in the top 150.  Sixty-five, or 23.9%, of the year's 272 singles peaking within this region of the chart spent a solitary week in the top 150.
 
Enough of the stats lecture, let's look at this week's new entries:
 
Richard Marx probably wouldn't be 'satisfied' with his chart placing this week.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 114 "Anything I Want" by Kevin Paige
Peak: number 102 
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, Kevin Paige scored one top 50 hit in Australia, with his debut single "Don't Shut Me Out" (number 43, June 1990).  The climb to number 43, however, was slow, taking 22 weeks to peak from its Australian release date of 15 January 1990.  In the US, "Don't Shut Me Out" peaked at number 18 in November 1989, and it also reached number 6 in Sweden in March 1990.

"Anything I Want" was the second single lifted from Kevin Paige (number 129, June 1990), his only solo album release.  Kevin, however, went on to record Christian music with his wife, Bethany Paige.  "Anything I Want" peaked at number 29 in the US in March 1990.

Kevin would release no further singles in Australia, although two other singles from the album were issued overseas.  "A Touch of Paradise", a version of the same song that John Farnham took to number 24 in Australia in April 1987 (originally recorded by Mondo Rock in 1982), was released in the US and Sweden, but failed to chart.  "Black and White" was released as a single in Germany.



Number 115 "What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me" by Joe Cocker
Peak: number 115
Peak date: 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

We have seen Joe bubble under twice already this year; first in January, and then in May.

"What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me" was the lead single, and only one released in Australia, from Joe Cocker Live (number 17, October 1990).  As the title of the album suggests, it was as a live recording of a concert Joe performed in Lowell, Massachusetts on 5 October 1989.  However, two new studio tracks were recorded and tacked onto the album, of which this is one.

"What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me" peaked at number 39 in Germany in June 1990, and at number 23 in Switzerland during the same month.  The single did not chart in the US or the UK.

"What Are You Doing with a Fool Like Me" had an interesting chart run in Australia.  After spending 7 consecutive weeks in the top 150, it dropped out, before re-entering for a single week on 10 September 1990, and again on 5 November 1990, almost 4 months after its debut.

Joe will join us next in 1992.



Number 144 "Children of the Night" by Richard Marx
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
 
"Children of the Night" was the fifth and final single issued from Richard Marx's second album Repeat Offender (number 1, September 1989).  It followed "Satisfied" (number 20, July 1989), "Right Here Waiting" (number 1, September 1989), "Angelia" (number 32, November 1989), and "Too Late to Say Goodbye" (number 99, February 1990).  The song was written about children who had run away from home.

In Richard's native US, "Children of the Night" was a much bigger hit, peaking at number 13 in June 1990.  The single also peaked at number 54 in the UK in July 1990, and number 58 in Germany during the same month.

On the ARIA state charts, "Children of the Night" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 86.
 
Richard previously bubbled under in Australia with his debut single, "Don't Mean Nothing", which placed fourth on the Australian Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in November 1987.
 
Richard Marx would go on to score a second number 1 single in Australia with the haunting "Hazard" in July 1992.  Interestingly, "Hazard" took 22 weeks to reach the top on the ARIA singles chart, debuting at number 154 and yo-yoing between number 101 and 115 for eight of its first eleven weeks on the chart.

Richard will join us again in 1994.


 
Number 146 "Every Time I Turn Around" by Little River Band
Peak: number 134
Peak date: 30 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

Australia's Little River Band previously bubbled WAY down under on the ARIA chart in June 1989.  Before that, the group registered on the Kent Music Report's 'Hit Predictions' list in March 1982 with "Take It Easy on Me".  The Hit Predictions list served a similar function to the later lists of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, but listed singles in alphabetical order by song title rather than ranking them in order of sales.
 
"Every Time I Turn Around" was the second single from the band's eleventh studio album Get Lucky (number 54, April 1990).  It followed "If I Get Lucky", which peaked at number 75 on the ARIA singles chart in April 1990.
 
"Every Time I Turn Around" did not register on any other sales-based chart, but reached number 27 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.  On the ARIA state charts, "Every Time I Turn Around" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it peaked at number 97.

This was Little River Band's last single to register on the Australian charts.



Next week (23 July): Another four top 150 debuts.

< Previous week: 9 July 1990                                       Next week: 23 July 1990 >

09 July 2021

Week commencing 9 July 1990

Among this week's new entries, we have a single that was not released in the group's homeland due to their record label going bust, a group where 80% of the members were sporting bowl haircuts at this point in time, a song about same-sex relationships (quite avant-garde for 1990), and a song with a music video that apparently captured a ghost on film.  Ooh!  Let's dive straight in.
 
Inspiral Carpets: bowl haircuts were all the rage in 1990.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 125 "More Than One Kind of Love" by Joan Armatrading
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Born in what was then the British Leeward Islands, now Saint Kitts and Nevis, England-based singer-songwriter Joan Armatrading placed 10 singles on the Australian top 100 between 1978 and 1986.  Her biggest hit in Australia, "Drop the Pilot", peaked at number 6 in May 1983.  Its follow-up, "(I Love It When You) Call Me Names" (number 20, September 1983), also reached the top 20.

Joan previously bubbled under on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 with "The Shouting Stage", which reached eleventh place on the list in September 1986.  "Living for You" also reached the the top 100 on all five of the ARIA state charts in 1988, but missed the national chart (when it ended at number 100).  "Living for You" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 58 in October 1988.

"More Than One Kind of Love" was the first single released from Joan's twelfth studio album, Hearts and Flowers (number 56, July 1990).  The single registered in the top 100 on three of the state charts, peaking highest in Victoria/Tasmania at number 92.  In the UK, "More Than One Kind of Love" peaked at number 75 in May 1990.

"More Than One Kind of Love" is presumably - at least in part - about non-heterosexual relationships, although Joan had not publicly declared her sexuality at the time (do heterosexuals ever need to do this?).

Two further singles from Hearts and Flowers were issued in Australia - "Free" (released in Australia in October 1990) and "Promise Land" (March 1991) - but both failed to chart.

Joan will next join us in 1992.



Number 143 "Here's Where the Story Ends" by The Sundays
Peak: number 123
Peak date: 6 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

English band The Sundays landed a number 74 'hit' in Australia with "Can't Be Sure", their debut single, in April 1990, 14 months after it peaked at number 45 in the UK.
 
"Here's Where the Story Ends", the follow-up, was surprisingly not issued in the UK, owing to the band's label Rough Trade Records entering receivership.  The song did, nonetheless, top the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart (then known as the Modern Rock Tracks chart), which I don't consider a real chart, in May 1990.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Here's Where the Story Ends" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 88.   Both "Can't Be Sure" and "Here's Where the Story End" are lifted from the band's debut album, Reading, Writing and Arithmetic (number 40, April 1990).
 
Following Rough Trade Records' bankruptcy in 1991, The Sundays decided to manage themselves.  The group would eventually land a top 50 single in Australia with "Summertime" (number 41, February 1998).

We shall see The Sundays again in 1992.



Number 145 "Blood Is Thicker Than Water" by Swanee
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Jimmy Barnes' older brother John Swan, known as 'Swanee' for most of his recording career, placed 7 singles on the Australian chart between 1979 and 1984, with the biggest of those being "If I Were a Carpenter" (number 5, September 1981).
 
More-recently, John sang lead vocal on The Party Boys' "He's Gonna Step on You Again" (number 1, July 1987) and "Hold Your Head Up" (number 21, October 1987).  John also sang lead on The Party Boys' version of "Gloria", which reached fifth place on the Australian Music Report list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in March 1988.

Swanee reverted to his real name for three single releases in 1985-6.  One of those singles, "Say You'll Do Something", placed sixth on the Kent Music Report list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in November 1985.

"Blood Is Thicker Than Water" was preceded by another non-album Swanee single, "Lucille", in March 1990, but it missed the top 150.



Number 147 "Across the River" by Bruce Hornsby & The Range
Peak: number 110
Peak date: 3 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks

American band Bruce Hornsby & The Range placed 4 singles on the Australian top 100 between 1986 and 1988, with the biggest of those being "The Way It Is" (number 12, November 1986).  The group only landed one other Australian top 40 single, with "The Valley Road" (number 36, June 1988).

"Across the River" was the lead single from the band's third and final studio album A Night on the Town (number 59, August 1990).  The single performed much better in the US, where it reached number 18 in August 1990.

Bruce Hornsby & The Range released one further single in Australia, "Set Me in Motion", from the Backdraft soundtrack, in July 1991.  It missed the top 150.  Bruce embarked on a solo career following this, with the album Harbour Lights (number 118, May 1993).



Number 149 "This Is How It Feels" by Inspiral Carpets
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

English band Inspiral Carpets were part of the 'Madchester' (indie-dance bands originating from Manchester, associated with the late 1980s/early 1990s) scene, and "This Is How It Feels" was the lead single from their first studio album Life (number 140, September 1990).  The band had previously released a couple of demo albums and EP's in the UK, but this was their first Australian release.
 
Released in Australia on 30 April 1990, "This Is How It Feels" took more than two months to dent the top 150.  The single found much greater success in the band's native UK, where it peaked at number 14 in March 1990, becoming their first top 40 entry.
 
The second single from Life, and one of my favourites from the band, "She Comes in the Fall", was released locally in September 1990, but failed to chart here.  In fact, the band never dented the top 100 in Australia with any of their releases.  In contrast, Inspiral Carpets managed to notch up 11 top 40 singles in the UK between 1990 and 1995, although only four of those (including this one) made the top 20.
 
We shall see Inspiral Carpets bubble under again on the Australian chart a few times over the coming years, with the next occasion being in December 1990.



Number 150 "Wildland" by Wildland
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 23 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Australian band Wildland have graced our presence twice previously, in January and March 1990, and here they are for a third and final time, with the fourth single from their only album In This Lifetime (number 80, June 1990).
 
Unlike their last single to bubble under, I don't recall hearing this one before.   Eponymous singles are uncommon, unlike (often debut) albums; however, we will see another one, from a completely different act, in January 1991.

While perusing the comments on the music video embedded below, it became apparent that some people see a 'ghost' in the music video.  At around the 2:33 mark, a figure appears in the background (circled in the still I've embedded below, for your convenience) as the band walks by, before vanishing into thin air at around 2:35.  Spooky!


"Wildland" appears to have been the band's final single.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 155 "You Keep It All In" by The Beautiful South
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 9 July 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

We first saw The Beautiful South back in September 1989, with their debut single, and here they are, belatedly, with the follow-up.  "You Keep It All In" was released in Australia on 4 June 1990, but took just over a month to chart.

I'm not sure why it took so long for "You Keep It All In" to be issued locally, as it peaked in the band's native UK at number 8 back in October 1989.  The single also peaked at number 3 in Ireland, and number 37 in Germany in November 1989.  On the ARIA state charts, "You Keep It All In" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 113.

Never making it big in Australia, "You Keep It All In" was the first of seven singles from The Beautiful South to peak outside the top 150 on the ARIA singles chart between 1990 and 1999.  The band managed to land one top 100 single in Australia, though, with "A Little Time" peaking at number 72 in May 1991.

We will next see The Beautiful South in 1991.



Next week (16 July): A quieter week, with only four top 150 debuts.

< Previous week: 2 July 1990                                          Next week: 16 July 1990 >

02 July 2021

Week commencing 2 July 1990

Obscure artists often feature in my chart recap posts, but this week we have quite a few 'big names' debuting.  However, that doesn't necessarily mean the artists in question were big in Australia.
 
Among this week's new entries, we have a band who notched up over 40 top 40 hits in their homeland but only ever landed one major hit in Australia.  We also have the lead singer from a band name-checked on one of the biggest singles of the early 2000s, who are touted to have sold more than 100 million albums worldwide - but who only scored one top 40 single in Australia!  We also have one of the most influential recording artists of the last century, and the manager of the Sex Pistols.  Phew!  Shall we take a look?
 
Depeche Mode seemed to have a policy of flopping when it came to the Australian charts.
 
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 102 "Book of Dreams" by Suzanne Vega
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
Between 1985 and 1987, American singer-songwriter Suzanne Vega placed four singles on the Australian chart: "Marlene on the Wall" (number 39, April 1986), "Left of Center" (number 35, July 1986), "Luka" (number 21, August 1987), and "Solitude Standing" (number 91, October 1987).

"Book of Dreams" was the lead single from Suzanne's third album Days of Open Hand (number 74, July 1990).  The album's title is a lyric from this song.  "Book of Dreams" peaked at number 66 in the UK in May 1990, but failed to chart in the US.  On the ARIA state charts, "Book of Dreams" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 76.
 
As a casual fan of Suzanne's singles, I picked up her Tried and True: The Best of (number 96, November 1998) compilation in early 2000, and quickly became obsessed with it.  I listened to the album all the way through about 18 times in the first three days of buying it - something I had never done with an album before, or since.  Naturally, I then tracked down her studio albums proper.  I must say, though, that while I like "Book of Dreams", I don't think it is one of her stronger singles.

Some earlier Suzanne Vega singles not released in Australia that I think are worth checking out if you've not heard them before include: "Small Blue Thing" (number 65 in the UK in January 1986), "Knight Moves" (released as a single only in Germany in 1985 or 1986) and "Gypsy" (number 77 in the UK in November 1986).

Suzanne scored her biggest hit in Australia later in 1990, credited as featured artist, with D.N.A.'s remix of her 1987 a cappella "Tom's Diner" (number 8, November 1990).  But before that, we shall see another single from Days of Open Hand bubbling under in October.

 
 
Number 107 "Deep in Vogue" by Malcolm McLaren and The House of McLaren
Peak: number 107
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Before Madonna's "Vogue" (number 1, April 1990), Malcolm McLaren released a song in 1989 about the dance style incorporating modelling poses that originated in the New York LGBT African-American/Latin American house-ballroom subculture.  As I have noted previously, Jody Watley's "Friends" music video from 1989 also prominently featured voguing.
 
"Deep in Vogue", originally credited to Malcolm McLaren and The Bootzilla Orchestra, appeared as the B-side on Malcolm's "Waltz Darling" (number 65, August 1989) single.  A music video was filmed for "Deep in Vogue" to accompany this release, so it was more like a double A-side than a B-side, though not formally credited as such.  I saw the "Deep in Vogue" video on TV in 1989, and the song also received airplay - at least on Triple M's listener-voted Top 8 at 8 - which is a lot more exposure than your typical B-side gets.

Prior to its release, Malcolm asked Mark Moore from S'Express to remix "Deep in Vogue", which he did together with William Orbit.  Malcolm was so impressed with their re-working of "Deep in Vogue" that he used it in place of his original recording on the Waltz Darling (number 60, August 1989) album.  We saw Malcolm bubble under with another track from the album back in January.

Two music video edits were produced for "Deep in Vogue" - a 4 minute 7 inch version, and the full 9 minute Banjie Realness 12 inch mix, which I have embedded below.  The Banjie Realness version of the track contains audio samples from the footage recorded for Paris Is Burning, a film documentary on Harlem ball culture that was released in 1990.  Willi Ninja, credited as the godfather of voguing, appears in Paris Is Burning, and flew to London to record vocals for "Deep in Vogue".  Willi also appears prominently in the music video, as the man with long hair and dangling earrings.
 
The female vocals on "Deep in Vogue" were performed by Lourdes Morales, who is credited here as just 'Lourdes'.  She does not appear in the music video for "Deep in Vogue", but does for the second video shot for "Waltz Darling", which she also sang lead on.  Lourdes' experience working with Malcolm McLaren was not a positive one - you can read about that in her comments on this post for "Deep in Vogue" on Into the Popvoid.

Both Malcolm McLaren and Willi Ninja have since passed on - Malcolm in 2010 aged 64, and Willi in 2006 aged 45.


 
Number 114 "You Can Sleep While I Drive" by Melissa Etheridge
Peak: number 105 
Peak date: 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
We saw Melissa bubble under with the second single from her second album Brave and Crazy (number 9, October 1989) in December 1989, and here she is with the album's fourth release, following "Let Me Go" (number 70, March 1990).

"You Can Sleep While I Drive" appears to have only charted in Australia and the Netherlands, where it reached number 56 in August 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, the single performed equal-strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 89.  Interestingly, "You Can Sleep While I Drive" registered within the top 100 on four of the five state charts, only missing out in Victoria/Tasmania, but could not break into the top 100 nationally.

Melissa will next join us towards the end of 1992.



Number 119 "Satin Sheets" by Sharon O'Neill
Peak: number 106
Peak dates: 9 July 1990 and 23 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

Between 1980 and 1988, New Zealand singer-songwriter Sharon O'Neill placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100 chart, with "Maxine" (number 16, September 1983) being the biggest of those.
 
Sharon's career went on hiatus in 1984, due to a contractual dispute with her record company CBS.  After a 4 year-gap of not being able to release new material, Sharon returned in 1987, now signed to Polydor, with the album Danced in the Fire (number 45, November 1987).  Two singles released from the album charted in Australia: "Physical Favours" (number 39, November 1987) and "Danced in the Fire" (number 98, March 1988).  A third single, "We're Only Human" - released in Australia in August 1988, failed to chart.

"Satin Sheets" was the lead single from Sharon's sixth - and to date, final - studio album Edge of Winter (number 147, October 1990).  On the state charts, "Satin Sheets" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 81.  A second single from Edge of Winter, "Poster Girl", was released in March 1991 but failed to chart.
 
"Satin Sheets" was Sharon's last single to chart in Australia.  A compilation album, The Best of Sharon O'Neill, peaked at number 366 on the ARIA albums chart in September 2005.  Before then, she shared a The Very Best of compilation album with fellow New Zealand-born recording artist Collette, but it failed to chart.



Number 131 "Better World" by Rebel MC
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks

English toaster (as in the Jamaican rapping style - not a kitchen appliance!) Rebel MC, real name Michael West, scored a number 85 single in Australia with "Street Tuff", together with Double Trouble, in February 1990.  That single performed much better in the UK, where it reached number 3 in October 1989.  We saw Rebel MC bubble under on the ARIA chart with another collaboration with Double Trouble in March 1990.
 
"Better World", Rebel MC's third single release and first on his own, peaked at number 20 in the UK in April 1990.  Lifted from the album Rebel Music (number 98, July 1990), "Better World" reached the top 5 in New Zealand, the top 20 in the Netherlands, and the top 30 in Ireland, Switzerland, and the Flanders region of Belgium.

"Better World" peaked 43 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 88.

This single would be Rebel MCs last to enter the top 150 in Australia, although two later singles of his were released here: "Rebel Music" (released in Australia in October 1990), and "Tribal Base" (September 1991) - the latter track unusually samples Enya's "Orinoco Flow" (number 6, February 1989).



Number 139 "Pretty Pink Rose" by Adrian Belew featuring David Bowie
Peak: number 127
Peak date: 16 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

Adrian Belew is an American songwriter, producer, and musician, most well-known as a guitarist in the formed-in-London band King Crimson.  While King Crimson did not land any charting singles in Australia, their song "Sleepless" probably sounds familiar to most Australians who follow music, through to its use in an interlude for the long-running music video TV program rage.  Five King Crimson albums also made the top 100 in Australia.

"Pretty Pink Rose" was recorded for Adrian's fifth solo studio album Young Lions (number 149, June 1990), and is a duet with David Bowie, who, of course, needs no introduction.  Up until this point in 1990, David had placed 31 singles on the Australian top 100 singles chart.  Bowie previously bubbled under on the Australian Music Report list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 when "Time Will Crawl" reached second place on this list in July 1987.

While we won't see Adrian in the top 150 again, David Bowie will bubble under next in 1992.



Number 143 "Policy of Truth" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
English band Depeche Mode (French for 'fashion news' or 'fashion update') have, at the time of writing this, landed 43 top 40 singles in their native UK, although none of these have peaked higher than number 4.
 
In Australia, Depeche Mode have been much less successful, placing 15 singles in the top 100 between 1982 and 2001, with only 5 of these reaching the top 40.  However, their biggest hit in Australia, "Just Can't Get Enough" (number 4, April 1992), actually bettered its UK peak by 4 places, and matched their highest UK singles chart position.
 
"Just Can't Get Enough", from the album Speak & Spell (number 28, April 1982), was written by Vince Clarke, who left the band shortly after the album was released.  Vince went on to score chart success with Yazoo, who landed two top 10 singles in Australia with "Only You" (number 7, August 1982) and "Don't Go" (number 6, November 1982), and Erasure - whom we saw last week but were under-appreciated in Australia.
 
Band member Martin L. Gore assumed songwriting duties following Vince's departure, and penned the band's only other Australian top 40 hit during the 1980s, "People Are People" (number 25, August 1984).
 
It is criminal, really, the general lack of commercial success Depeche Mode achieved in Australia.  Even "Enjoy the Silence", widely regarded as their classic, only peaked at number 71 in September 1990 - six months after its release, boosted by a live show in Sydney on 31 August 1990 (their only concert performed in Oceania on the World Violation Tour).

"Policy of Truth" was the third release from the band's seventh studio album Violator (number 42, September 1990).   It followed "Personal Jesus" - which peaked later in 1990 following a re-release - and "Enjoy the Silence".  On the state charts, "Policy of Truth" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it peaked at number 131.  "Policy of Truth" had greater success in the UK, where it peaked at number 16 in May 1990, and in the US, where it reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1990.
 
Although the Violator era was not so successful in Australia, the album peaked at at number 7 in the US in May 1990, shifting over 4.5 million copies there and becoming their best-selling release worldwide.

Before "Policy of Truth", Depeche Mode appeared three times on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100.  "Shake the Disease" reached third place on the list in August 1985, "Stripped" reached fourth place on the list in June 1986, and "Strangelove" reached tenth place on the list in June 1987.
 
Some Depeche Mode singles released in Australia during the 1980s that did not chart at all, but which I recommend checking out if you are unfamiliar with them, include: "New Life" (released in Australia in April 1982), "See You" (June 1982), "Get the Balance Right!" (April 1983), "Everything Counts" (August 1983), and "A Question of Time" (October 1986).  "But Not Tonight", the B-side of "Stripped", was released as a single in the US in 1986 to promote the film Modern Girls, and is another favourite of mine.

Between 1990 and 2011, eight Depeche Mode singles peaked outside the top 100 on the ARIA singles chart.  We will next see Depeche Mode bubble under in December 1990.



Number 144 "Kiss My Ass" by The Booz'n Bang'n Dance Crew
Peak: number  144
Peak dates: 2 July 1990 and 9 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks

Occasionally I am dumbfounded by a song/artist I've never heard of, who somehow managed to scrape into the ARIA top 150 singles chart.  This is one of those moments - and that's just from the artist name and song title, before we get to the profound lyrics such as "I love you, kiss my ass."

Going by the record label credits, even on the Australian pressing, it appears that The Booz'n Bang'n Dance Crew are a Finnish act.  The "song" contains numerous samples - two I spotted are from Kraftwerk's "The Robots" and "Pocket Calculator".

While this "song" presumably charted in Finland, the Finnish charts are not archived online prior to 1995, so I am not able to verify that.  "Kiss My Ass" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.



Number 149 "Tattooed Millionaire" by Bruce Dickinson
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 2 July 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
Iron Maiden are perhaps best known - to the masses - in Australia via being name-checked in the chorus of Wheatus's "Teenage Dirtbag" ("listen to Iron Maiden baby with me"), which reached number 1 on the ARIA singles chart for four non-consecutive weeks between November 2000 and January 2001.
 
Iron Maiden were much less successful with their own music on the Australian singles chart, with only three of their singles registering within the top 100 by this point.  Only one of those, "Run to the Hills", made the top 40, peaking at number 27 in September 1982.
 
Bruce Dickinson, the lead singer of Iron Maiden, launched a solo career in 1990 with the album Tattooed Millionaire (number 103, August 1990).  The album's title track peaked at number 18 in Bruce's native UK in May 1990.

Bruce never made the top 100 in Australia with any of his solo releases - single or album, but scored seven top 40 singles and two top 40 albums in the UK.

Aside from fronting one of the most popular heavy metal bands (just not with the record-buying public in Australia), Bruce is also a trained commercial pilot, and even flew Iron Maiden's own Boeing 747 jet on their 2016 world tour!

Bruce will join us again as part of Iron Maiden, who will bubble under in 1992.


 
Next week (9 July): Six top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.
 
< Previous week: 25 June 1990                                    Next week: 9 July 1990 >