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.

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