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.
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 two bubbling WAY down under entries.
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