27 August 2021

Week commencing 27 August 1990

This week we have another mixed bag of new entries, with reggae and freestyle, and two veteran 'rockbirds' (there's a clue there).  Let's take a look.
 
Cher: you probably wouldn't know this song
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "Wear You to the Ball" by UB40
Peak: number 132
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

British reggae band UB40 have joined us on two previous occasions, in July 1989 and June 1990.  This week in 1990, they bubbled under with the fourth single from their Labour of Love II (number 20, January 1990) covers album, which was also UB40's sixth single in a row to miss the top 50 in Australia.  You have to admire the undeterred nature of Australian record companies back then, churning out flop after flop.

"Wear You to the Ball" was originally recorded by The Paragons in 1967.  Unusually for a UB40 single, most of the vocals are sung by trumpet player, rapper and toaster Astro (real name Terence Wilson), with Ali Campbell chiming in only for the chorus.
 
UB40's version of "Wear You to the Ball" peaked at number 35 in the UK in August 1990, and number 28 in New Zealand in November 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, the single performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 92.

As with the first Labour of Love II single, "Homely Girl" (number 52, March 1990), "Wear You to the Ball" was not re-issued in Australia following the success of the re-released "Here I Am (Come and Take Me)" (number 3, September 1991).

UB40's next single, "The Way You Do the Things You Do", brought the group back into the ARIA top 100.  It initially peaked at number 78 in February 1991, before reaching a higher peak of number 63 in April 1992 following a re-release.  All up, the Labour of Love II campaign was drawn out over two years in Australia - something only normally reserved for the Jacksons, owing to all of the single re-issues.

We will next see UB40 in 1993, with an updated version of one of their early singles.



Number 148 "Bad of the Heart" by George Lamond
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
American freestyle and salsa singer George Lamond's second single, "Bad of the Heart", was his first Australian release.  The title track from George's debut album Bad of the Heart was also his first single to hit the US Billboard Hot 100, and became his biggest hit there, peaking at number 25 in July 1990.  The single does not appear to have charted elsewhere.

"Bad of the Heart" seems to me like the kind of song Australians probably only heard through being exposed to it on the American Top 40 radio show, as local radio would not have touched anything like this at the time.

George released a follow-up single, "No Matter What" - a duet with Brenda K. Starr, in Australia in April 1991, but it missed the top 150.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 151 "Maybe for Sure" by Deborah Harry
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Deborah Harry, or Debbie Harry - as she was calling herself then, bubbled under on the first ARIA singles chart to extend beyond number 100, in January 1989, and she swiftly repeated that 'feat' with Blondie the following month.
 
One thing I hadn't mentioned on those occasions was that Deborah also bubbled under twice on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100: "Free to Fall" made fourth place on the list in April 1987, and "In Love with Love" reached seventh place in June 1987.  Interestingly, Stock Aitken Waterman remixed "In Love with Love" for the version that was released as the single in Europe and Australasia - not that it helped the song become a hit.

While Deborah scored two major solo hits in Australia with "French Kissin' in the USA" (number 4, February 1987) and "I Want That Man" (number 2, January 1990), no other single she released peaked higher than number 23, and she only landed five Australian top 40 singles overall throughout her solo career.  Nonetheless, that was more success than Deborah achieved in her native US (none of her singles peaked higher than number 43) or the UK (four top 40 hits).  Interestingly, Australia seems to have been solo Deborah's most successful market when it comes to her tally of top 40 singles and top 20 albums.

"Maybe for Sure", from the Def, Dumb & Blonde (number 10, February 1990) album, became the second of five Deborah Harry singles to peak outside the top 100 in Australia between 1989 and 1993.  It followed "I Want That Man" and the double A-side-in-Australia release "Sweet and Low"/"Kiss It Better" (number 30, March 1990).
 
My favourite Def, Dumb & Blonde single, "Brite Side", was not issued in Australia - perhaps because it only peaked at number 59 in the UK, in December 1989.  That being said, "Maybe for Sure" fared even worse there, reaching number 89 in June 1990.  "Maybe for Sure" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.

On the ARIA state charts, "Maybe for Sure" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it peaked at number 142.

We shall see Deborah again in February 1991.



Number 160 "You Wouldn't Know Love" by Cher
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 3 September 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
Although Cher's longevity has been likened to that of the cockroach, her career has certainly been a mixed bag of highs and lows, rather than having consistent success throughout.  But having flop eras - even from an album where you scored one of your biggest hits - makes things that more interesting, right?
 
Since the advent of the Kent Music Report Australian chart in 1974, Cher had landed only nine top 100 singles in Australia between then and now; but two of those - "I Found Someone" (number 8, May 1988) and "If I Could Turn Back Time" (number 1, October 1989) - were quite successful.

Cher also bubbled under twice on the Australian Music Report, with "Skin Deep" reaching thirteenth place on the list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in August 1988, and "Main Man" reaching fifth place on the list in December 1988.
 
"You Wouldn't Know Love" was the fifth and final single issued from the Heart of Stone (number 1, November 1989) album.  It followed "After All" (number 50, June 1989), "If I Could Turn Back Time", "Just Like Jesse James" (number 14, January 1990), and "Heart of Stone" (number 70, February 1990).
 
Unusually, "You Wouldn't Know Love" was released without an accompanying music video - the third single from the album to not have one, following in the footsteps of "After All" and "Just Like Jesse James".  I guess Cher's infamous "If I Could Turn Back Time" music video is to blame for that... see also Madonna's lack of music videos for a couple of single releases after the controversial "Justify My Love".  Cher did it first!

Like "I Found Someone", Cher's comeback (one of many) single from 1988, "You Wouldn't Know Love" was also co-written by Michael Bolton, collaborating this time with beige songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren.  Michael recorded his own version of the song for his Soul Provider album (number 1, April 1990).

To me, "You Wouldn't Know Love" seems like it was one of those singles that was just put out there, with next to zero promotion.  I remember seeing the cassingle in the shops, but the only place I heard the song was on a friend from primary school's mum's car cassette player (she had the Heart of Stone album).  Does that date me or what?  Oh, and Smash Hits rival magazine Hit Songwords also published the lyrics.
 
With its rousing chorus, I suspect that "You Wouldn't Know Love" could have been a moderate hit for Cher in Australia - perhaps peaking somewhere between number 25 and 40, if it had a music video and some promotion behind it.
 
Internationally, "You Wouldn't Know Love" peaked at number 55 in the UK in August 1990, and number 29 in Ireland in August 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, "You Wouldn't Know Love" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 114.
 
"You Wouldn't Know Love" was the first of six Cher singles to peak outside the top 100 in Australia during the 1990s.  We will see Cher next in January 1991.


 
Next week (3 September): Five new top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 20 August 1990                                 Next week: 3 September 1990 >

20 August 2021

Week commencing 20 August 1990

Before diving into this week's chart recap from 1990, in case you missed it, earlier this week I wrote a special post on singles that peaked at number 101 between 1992 and 1994; a sequel to a post I wrote last year.
 
I have also updated a 1989 weekly chart post, now containing the music video for a song by Clive Young, where no audio was previously available for this track.  A post from May this year has also been updated, now with the music video for the Partners Rime Syndicate track.

Now, onto this week in 1990...  This week, there are only two top 150 debuts, continuing the August 1990 drought of new entries peaking between number 101 and 150.  Let's take a look.

Paul Kelly didn't exactly ignite the charts with this release.
 
Top 150 debuts: 

Number 122 "Pouring Petrol on a Burning Man" by Paul Kelly and The Messengers
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Paul Kelly and The Messengers bubbled under previously in October 1989 with the second of three singles from their So Much Water So Close to Home (number 10, August 1989) album.

"Pouring Petrol on a Burning Man" was an in-between-albums single that later appeared on Paul Kelly and The Messengers' Hidden Things (number 29, April 1992) compilation; a collection of tracks that mostly did not appear on any previous studio album.  The song also later appeared on Paul's Greatest Hits: Songs from the South (number 2, June 1997) and Greatest Hits: Songs from the South Volumes 1 & 2 (number 22, November 2008).

Despite not breaking through into the top 100 nationally, "Pouring Petrol on a Burning Man" dented the top 100 on four of the five ARIA state charts, only missing out in Queensland.  The single performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, reaching number 67.

Paul Kelly and The Messengers will next join us in March 1991.



Number 146 "Floatation" by The Grid
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
Weeks on chart: 12 weeks
 
The Grid are English duo David Ball and Richard Norris.  David was previously in Soft Cell, who scored a number 1 single in Australia with their version of "Tainted Love" in February 1982.  Soft Cell only landed one other top 100 single in Australia, "Torch" (number 68, September 1982).  Another Soft Cell single, "Bedsitter", made the Kent Music Report's Hit Predictions list, which pre-dated the singles receiving significant reports beyond the top 100 list, in March 1982.

"Floatation" (sic) was The Grid's first release in Australia, and was lifted from their debut album Electric Head (released in Australia in October 1990, did not chart).  "Floatation" peaked at number 60 in the UK in July 1990.

"Floatation" is a rather sedate and laid-back affair compared to The Grid's only real hit in Australia, "Swamp Thing" (number 3, September 1994), which borders on novelty, pairing a banjo with techno beats.  I didn't care for "Swamp Thing" at the time, but it later grew on me.  "Floatation" is much more my style, so of course it flopped.  That being said, spending three months on the chart is not a bad run for a single peaking at only number 102.

On the state charts, "Floatation" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 65.  Interestingly, "Floatation" made the top 100 on four of the five ARIA state charts - Queensland being the only exception - but could not break into the top 100 nationally.

We shall next see The Grid in 1993.  Before then, they released three singles in Australia that failed to chart: "A Beat Called Love" (October 1990), "Boom" (October 1991), and "Figure of Eight" (September 1992).



Next week (27 August): Another two new top 150 debuts plus two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 13 August 1990                                      Next week: 27 August 1990 >

16 August 2021

Gold - we don't need it, do we?: singles that peaked at number 101 in Australia between 1992-1994

Back in February 2020, I made a 'special' post on singles that peaked at number 101 on the ARIA chart between 1989 and 1991.  The current month (August 1990) I am recapping on my weekly chart posts has notably fewer songs to write about than usual, so I thought it was an opportune time to write a sequel to my first post looking at singles that narrowly missed the Australian top 100.
 
This time, we'll take a look at songs that peaked at number 101 between January 1992 and December 1994.  If you don't want some 'spoilers' on my posts over the next 4 years, look away now!  Unlike my regular posts, I will not be posting the entry position or weeks spent in the top 150 for the releases below - you'll have to wait until between 2023 and 2025, when I get to those years in my weekly posts (assuming society hasn't collapsed before then), for that info.

East 17 didn't exactly go 'gold' with this single.
 
Singles peaking at number 101 on the Australian singles chart (1992-1994):

"Heartbreaker" by Color Me Badd
Peak dates: 30 March 1992 and 6 April 1992
 
American vocal quartet Color Me Badd started their chart career off in Australia with back-to-back top 10 hits "I Wanna Sex You Up" (number 4, August 1991) and "All 4 Love" (number 9, November 1991).  After that, it was all downhill, with the group only scoring one other top 50 single, "I Adore Mi Amor" (number 27, February 1992).  "Heartbreaker", the fourth single lifted from the group's debut album C.M.B. (number 17, February 1992) was Color Me Badd's first single to miss the ARIA top 100.  It would not be their last...

 
 
"Stop Draggin' Around" by Lenny Kravitz
Peak date: 18 May 1992
 
Lenny Kravitz's singles chart trajectory in Australia was off to a patchy start for the first few years, with only one ("It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" - number 10, August 1991) of the seven singles released locally from his first two albums peaking higher than number 36.  This wasn't one of them.  "Stop Draggin' Around", however, does not appear to have charted anywhere else... so number 101 is not too bad a placing for it, then, right?
 

 
"Ballroom Blitz" by Tia Carrere
Peak date: 10 August 1992
 
I was born five years after The Sweet's "Ballroom Blitz" was released, but it was a song I somehow 'knew' growing up.  I think I first heard it while changing radio stations on my ghetto blaster, on one of the 'oldies' stations, and was intrigued by the song/found it amusing.  Naturally, such a song was a good fit for a comedy movie, and Tia Carrere recorded this cover of it for Wayne's World.  Despite never having seen the movie myself (yes, really - I'm not into movies at all), I am familiar with some of Wayne and Garth's lingo, which made its way into the vernacular.  Tia's version of this song, however, did not.
 

 
"Broken English" by Sunscreem
Peak date: 3 May 1993
 
English band Sunscreem sadly only scored one hit, and a moderate one at that, in Australia, when the brilliant "Love U More" made its way to number 30 in March 1993, a mere six months after its release.  Aside from that track, only one other single of theirs dented the ARIA top 100: "Pressure Us" (number 64, July 1993).  "Broken English" was one of a string of excellent singles from Sunscreem that went unnoticed in this country.  As if to add insult to injury, "Broken English" spent five consecutive weeks hovering between number 101 and 107 on the ARIA chart, unable to penetrate the top 100.
 
 
 
"How I'm Comin'" by LL Cool J 
Peak date: 17 May 1993
 
Big rap hits in Australia were few and far between until 1990.  It took LL Cool J four years to break into the ARIA top 100, since his first single released locally, in 1987 ("I'm Bad").  "How I'm Comin'" just missed out.



"Only" by Anthrax
Peak date: 21 June 1993
 
I'm really not a fan of Anthrax's brand of metal, but this one seems on the (for them) softer side.  Despite that, the song did not cross over to the masses in Australia; though I suspect Anthrax are the kind of act where fans would probably buy the album instead.
 

 
"Everybody Dance" by Evolution
Peak date: 20 September 1993

"Everybody Dance" is cover version of a song originally released by Chic in 1978.  Despite becoming a top 10 hit for the group in the UK and a top 40 hit in the US, the Chic version failed to chart in Australia.  I got to know the Chic song, belatedly, in 2008, when a school I worked in at the time played a version of the song over the PA system at the end of recess and lunch times (so that the students would finish playing and get ready to return to their classrooms) for two minutes before the bell.  From speaking with people from other states in Australia, this phenomenon may be a Victorian-only thing.

But onto the Evolution version, the British dance group, signed to trendy dance label DeContstruction, did not score a top 100 entry on the ARIA chart, so this was as good as it got for them.  "Everybody Dance" was also their biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 19 in July 1993.
 

 
"Apache" by General Base
Peak date: 15 November 1993
 
From one dance act who had no top 100 entries in Australia to another... General Base also fall within that category.  German DJ Thomas Kukula was behind the act.  Oddly, this song does not appear to have charted anywhere else, not even in Germany!
 

 
"Gold" by East 17
Peak dates: 13 December 1993, 20 December 1993 and 27 December 1993
 
1993 was certainly a bumper year for singles peaking at number 101, with no fewer than 6 of them.  So it is fitting, then, that the one with the most weeks at number 101 in this post should also be from 1993.  Those three weeks East 17's "Gold" spent at number 101, though, occurred due to the ARIA chart taking a two-week break over Christmas in 1993, resulting in the final chart of the year being used for the following two weeks as well.  This practice of repeating the last chart of the year over the Christmas break happened until 1997, although in 1994 it was only for one week.
 
East 17's early chart trajectory in Australia was interesting, with the singles from their debut album Walthamstow (number 5, April 1994) peaking (in release order) at numbers 5, 7, 4, 101, and 1!  "Gold", defying the song's title, was the only one of the lot to miss the top 10.   Why, I am not sure.  Perhaps it sounded a little too similar to "House of Love" (number 5, April 1993)?

 
 
"Can You Feel It" by Obsession
Peak date: 21 March 1994
 
Dance remix outfit Almighty are behind Obsession, with the help of several female studio singers.  This track, a cover of The Jacksons, does not appear to have charted anywhere else, oddly.


 
"Slave New World" by Sepultura
Peak date: 25 July 1994
 
More metal on the heavier side, Sepultura isn't the kind of thing I enjoy listening to.  The only song of theirs I vaguely remember is "Roots Bloody Roots" (number 44, February 1996), which, coincidentally, was their only single to break the top 100 in Australia.  "Slave New World" just missed out.
 

 

13 August 2021

Week commencing 13 August 1990

The dearth of new top 150 debuts from August 1990 peaking within the 101-150 region of the chart becomes apparent this week, with a meager one new entry.  While there was a week in March 1989 with no new top 150-peaking debuts, this is the first occasion there was only one new entry that peaked between number 101 and 150.  The next time this occurs is in December 1991.
 
One thing this week's debuts have in common is that they are all by groups, and quite a diverse bunch of them.  Shall we take a look?
 
Fleetwood Mac in 1990, after one prominent member had gone their own way.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 142 "New Kind of Blue" by The Makers
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

Australian band The Makers were formed in 1988 by former Split Enz keyboard player Eddie Rayner, together with singer Brian Baker.  A single, "Big Picture", was issued in Australia in April 1990, and peaked at number 82 on the ARIA singles chart in July 1990.  "New Kind of Blue" was the follow-up release.  Both singles were lifted from their debut album The Makers (number 104, July 1990).

The Makers released two further singles from their self-titled debut album - "Daylight" (October 1990) and "Simple Things" (March 1991), but neither made the top 150.

A second album, Hokey Pokey (June 1993), containing the singles "From Now On" (March 1992) and "Perfect Crime" (June 1993), was released; but neither it nor the singles from it dented the ARIA top 150.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "Let's Hang On" by Shooting Party
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Shooting Party were British duo Roger "Sprout" Ferris (lead vocals) and Gary Strange (songwriter, backing vocalist, and musician).  The pair had previously been in the late 1970s group No Dice, who scored a number 65 'hit' in the UK with "Come Dancing" in May 1979.
 
Between 1985 and 1990, Shooting Party released five singles in the UK, of which this was the last.  While an album Shooting Party was recorded, it did not see the light of day until receiving a digital release in 2009, almost 20 years after its completion.  Shooting Party is one of the few album purchases I have made on iTunes.

The group's final three singles were produced by either Pete Hammond or Ian Harding and Phil Curnow, part of the 'B' team at the PWL Hit Factory, which housed producer-songwriters extraordinaire Stock Aitken Waterman.  The first two of these singles, the duo's first releases in Australia - "Safe in the Arms of Love" (released in Australia in September 1988) and "I Go to Pieces" (September 1989), I quite enjoyed, but neither registered on the Australian chart.  "I Go to Pieces" peaked at number 88 in the UK in July 1989, and at number 40 in the Flanders region of Belgium in March 1990.

It seemed obligatory around this time for PWL artists to record an updated version of a golden oldie for their albums, and release this as a single.  See Kylie Minogue's "Tears on My Pillow" (number 20, February 1990) or Jason Donovan's "Sealed with a Kiss" (number 8, June 1989) for prominent examples of this.
 
"Let's Hang On", originally made a hit by The Four Seasons in 1965, was Shooting Party's oldie dusted off for a revamp, and I have to say that they did a much better job with it than Kylie or Jason did with their covers from this era.  More recently, Barry Manilow scored a number 4 hit in Australia in February 1982 with his version of "Let's Hang On".

Shooting Party's version of the track became their biggest 'hit' in the UK, reaching number 66 there in March 1990.  Coincidentally, this version of "Let's Hang On" peaked at number 41 in both the Netherlands and the Flanders region of Belgium in August 1990.

In Australia, "Let's Hang On" was the duo's only release to register on the chart.  It performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 119.

The other thing PWL seemed to be obsessed with at this time was having their artists wear hats on single/album sleeves, if not also in the music videos.  Sprout dons a hat for much of the "Let's Hang On" video embedded below, and both are wearing caps when performing backing vocals.
 
If you like Shooting Party's version of this song, it's also worth checking out the longer music video for the 12" version of the track, the Solid Gold Radio Mix.



Number 155 "Skies the Limit" by Fleetwood Mac
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Up until this point, Fleetwood Mac had placed 21 singles within the Australian top 100, with the biggest of those being "Tusk" (number 3, December 1979).  Surprisingly, "Tusk" was also the band's only top 10 single in Australia, until "Dreams", which originally peaked at number 19 in August 1977, became an enduring hit during the streaming era, reaching a new peak of number 4 in October 2020.
 
The majority of Fleetwood Mac's best-known songs were only top 20 hits in Australia: "Rhiannon (Will You Ever Win)" (number 13, September 1976), "Go Your Own Way" (number 20, April 1977), "Gypsy" (number 17, November 1982), "Little Lies" (number 16, October 1987).  Two of their more-enduring songs only made the top 30: "Don't Stop" (number 30, October 1977), "Seven Wonders" (number 23, August 1987).  The lack of massive hit singles in Australia doesn't really matter so much, though, when you have a string of multi-platinum albums.

"Skies the Limit" (no, that's not a typo) was the second single lifted from Fleetwood Mac's fifteenth studio album Behind the Mask (number 9, April 1990).  It followed "Save Me" (number 41, April 1990).  Surprisingly, "Skies the Limit" did not register on the UK top 100 singles chart.  The single peaked at number 48 in the Netherlands in August 1990, and number 26 in Canada in September 1990.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Skies the Limit" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 126.
 
Fleetwood Mac's line-up has continually changed over the years, with the most notable change being when Americans Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined the band on New Year's Eve, 1974.  Lindsey quit the group in 1987, soon after the release of their Tango in the Night (number 5, November 1987) album.  He re-joined in 1996, and has been out of the group again since 2018.  Behind the Mask was the first album recorded following Lindsey's initial departure, although he plays on the album's title track.

Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks decided during the Behind the Mask Tour that the tour would be their last with the group, and Stevie quit the band in 1991.  The group reconvened, however, for a one-off performance at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993, and Stevie re-joined the group in 1997.
 
As for me, Fleetwood Mac's music reminds me of sitting in doctors' waiting rooms, as I used to visit a practice where their Greatest Hits (number 3, January 1989) always seemed to be playing when I was there.  I don't recall hearing this song before.  While it's pleasant enough, it's not terribly exciting.

We shall see Fleetwood Mac next in 1993.



Number 157 "Step On" by Happy Mondays
Peak: number 157
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Happy Mondays (no 'The') hail from Salford in England, and are closely associated with the 'Madchester' scene in the late 1980s and early 1990s.  Forming in 1980, it took until late 1989 for the band to score their commercial breakthrough, when their Madchester Rave On EP (led by the track "Hallelujah") peaked at number 19 in the UK in December 1989.
 
The Machester Rave On EP was not released in Australia, but Hallelujah - an expanded, re-packaged mini-album version of it, with additional tracks and remixes added - peaked at number 137 on the ARIA albums chart in September 1990.

"Step On", a re-worked and re-titled version of John Kongos' "He's Gonna Step on You Again" (number 2, 1971), was the lead single from Happy Mondays' third studio album Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches (number 98, March 1991).
 
In recent years, Australian groups Party Boys (number 1, July 1987) and Chantoozies (number 36, July 1987) scored simultaneous hits with cover versions of "He's Gonna Step on You Again" on the Australian singles chart.  Perhaps it was too soon for the song to become a hit again down under.

"Step On" fared much better in the UK, however, becoming Happy Mondays' equal highest-charting single, reaching number 5 there in April 1990 and spending an impressive (for the UK) 27 weeks in the top 100.  The band's version of "Step On" also registered on the Dutch chart, peaking at number 46 in September 1990, and reached number 57 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in April 1991 following a remix with a new music video shot.

In Australia, "Step On" barely registered a blip, spending a solitary week on the chart in 1990 at number 157, its peak.  After the minor success of the follow-up single "Kinky Afro" (number 63, February 1991), Happy Mondays' only single to dent the top 100 in Australia, "Step On" was re-issued in Australia in July 1991 with the new US remixed version, this time titled "He's Gonna Step on You Again".  The 1991 release of "He's Gonna Step on You Again" spent one week on the chart on 5 August 1991, almost a year after "Step On"'s debut, bringing its tally to two weeks.  I am unable to ascertain where the single peaked in 1991, as it was outside the top 150 and below its original 1990 peak.

On the state charts, "Step On" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory upon its initial release, where it reached number 145.  Western Australia was the only state where "Step On" peaked higher following its 1991 re-release, peaking there at number 142.

We shall see Happy Mondays bubble under on five more occasions between now and 1999, with the next one being in 1991.  Lead singer Shaun Ryder will also bubble under with his mid-late 90s band Black Grape in years to come, and was also the featured vocalist on "Dare" by Gorillaz, which peaked at number 11 in September 2005.



Next week (20 August): Two new top 150 debuts... and that's all!

< Previous week: 6 August 1990                                    Next week: 20 August 1990 >

06 August 2021

Week commencing 6 August 1990

Unusually, there are only ten new top 150 entries for the entire month of August 1990, and five of those debut this week!  Luckily, there are also six debuts from August 1990 peaking outside the top 150 I am aware of, to help flesh this month's posts out a little bit.
 
Before delving into this week's new entries, I must point out that I somehow overlooked a single that bubbled under in 1989!  I have now added it (a song by Steve Earle) to the relevant weekly chart recap post, and also to the 1989 chart year in review post.
 
Let's take a look at this week's batch of new entries.

The Cockroaches: If at first you don't succeed... reinvent yourself as the most-successful children's band.


Top 150 debuts:

Number 118 "Too Tough" by Ten Wedge
Peak: number 118
Peak date: 6 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
In a Bubbling Down Under first, I went to the effort of tracking down and speaking to the lead singer of Australian band Ten Wedge, Pat Powell, to gather some information about the group, as there wasn't much I could find online.  Pat Powell (lead vocals), Mike Scott (rapper) and Nick Ferris (bass, backing vocals and involved with the band's live production) formed Ten Wedge in late 1988.
 
Nick had previously been part of the band Flotsam Jetsam, who placed two singles within the Australian top 100: "Distraction" (number 90, August 1986) and "Power" (number 76, August 1987).  Additionally, Flotsam Jetsam's "100% One Second Love" reached second place on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in November 1985.
 
Pat emigrated to Australia from West Germany in 1981, and soon found work as a backing vocalist, working with artists such as INXS, Jenny Morris, v. Spy v. Spy, and Michael Hutchence's side project Max Q.  Pat was hired as a backing vocalist for Kylie Minogue's first live concerts in Australia in 1990 as part of the Enjoy Yourself Tour, and accompanied Kylie on the tour's European and Asian legs.
 
Ten Wedge performed at Adelaide's first major dance party, Warehouse One.  During their tenure, the band supported acts such as Redhead Kingpin and Technotronic on tour.  We saw Ten Wedge bubble under previously in May 1989 with their only other commercial release.  One thing I didn't notice until now is that "Too Tough" originally appeared as the B-side of that single, "Me and Mrs Jones".  Ten Wedge did not record an album.

Those of you who were around and old enough to remember the late 80s/early 90s in Australia will recall that radio at the time would not touch anything dance, rap or r&b with a barge pole.  Had Ten Wedge received radio support, their releases no doubt would have performed better on the chart.  Pat told me that the first Ten Wedge single, "Me and Mrs Jones", received some recognition in New Zealand, where the record-buying public always seemed to be more open to 'black' music than Australia was during that era.

Ten Wedge disbanded in 1991.  Pat later went on to be part of the group Lovetown, and is in the Melbourne Ska Orchestra, who landed a top 40 album in Australia in 2016 with Sierra Kilo Alpha (number 38, May 2016).



Number 125 "The Other Kind (Back Out on the Road Again)" by Steve Earle and The Dukes
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

American singer-songwriter Steve Earle scored a number 23 single in Australia with "Copperhead Road" in February 1989; his only single to make the ARIA top 100.  We also saw Steve bubble under with the follow-up release in April 1989.

"The Other Kind (Back Out on the Road Again)" (phew, what a title!) was the lead single from Steve's album The Hard Way (number 28, August 1990).  For this album, he was backed by the band The Dukes - not to be confused with the early 90s Australian band of the same name.
 
"The Other Kind..." peaked at number 29 in Canada, number 42 in New Zealand in August 1990, and number 88 in the UK in June 1990.  For what it's worth (not much, if you ask me), it also reached number 37 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in April 1990.

I didn't expect to know this song, but the chorus seems vaguely familiar.



Number 135 "Hope" by The Cockroaches
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 27 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

Founded in 1979, Australian band The Cockroaches had to wait five years before landing their first top 100 single on the Australian chart.  Between 1984 and 1989, the band placed 9 singles within the Australian top 100, with their biggest hit being "She's the One" (number 9, May 1987).
 
The Cockroaches also bubbled under twice on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, with "My Whole World's Fallin' Down" reaching fifth place on the list in August 1985, and "Another Night Alone" reaching sixth place on the list in February 1986.

The Cockroaches' second studio album Fingertips (number 32, October 1988) yielded three ARIA top 100 singles: "Hey What Now!" (number 28, August 1988), "You and Me" (number 44, October 1988), and "Permanently Single" (number 99, December 1988).  The non-album single "Another Saturday Night" reached number 83 in September 1989; the band's final top 100 entry.

"Hope" was the lead single from The Cockroaches' third studio album Positive (number 121, July 1991).  While "Hope" missed the national top 100, it peaked within the top 100 on three of the five state charts, only missing out in Victoria/Tasmania and Western Australia.  "Hope" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 75.

If a music video was filmed for "Hope", it has not been uploaded to YouTube.  The clip embedded below is a performance of the song on Hey Hey It's Saturday.

We will see The Cockroaches again in 1991, but before then, they released another single in November 1990, "Here Comes That Feeling", which failed to chart.
 
Two members of The Cockroaches, Anthony Field and Jeff Fatt, formed the children's music group The Wiggles in 1991.  Other members of the band provided musical support for The Wiggles, and some Cockroaches songs were re-written to suit the children's music genre.  The Wiggles were rated Australia's top-earning entertainers in Australia for four consecutive years during the mid-late 2000s decade.



Number 147 "Heaven Give Me Words" by Propaganda
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

German synth-pop band Propaganda scored five top 40 singles in Germany between 1984 and 1990, with the biggest of those being "Dr. Mabuse", reaching number 7 in June 1984.  The band were signed to ZTT Records, founded by Trevor Horn, who was once in The Buggles - best known for "Video Killed the Radio Star" (number 1, December 1979), and became known for his intricate production of tracks such as ABC's "The Look of Love" (number 7, October 1982) and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" (number 5, March 1984).
 
Trevor Horn also produced "Dr. Mabuse", which was the group's only previous single to register on the Australian chart; albeit on the Kent Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, where it reached fifth place in September 1984.
 
Propaganda's biggest hit in the UK, "Duel" (number 21, June 1985), was covered by Mandy Smith on her only album Mandy (number 144, December 1988).
 
"Heaven Give Me Words" was the lead single from Propaganda's belated second studio album 1234 (number 114, September 1990).  The single reached number 36 in the UK in May 1990, number 40 in Germany in June 1990, number 43 in the Netherlands in June 1990, and number 13 in Sweden in June 1990.
 
"Heaven Give Me Words" performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 97.

Propaganda split in 1990, but reformed in 2005.



Number 150 "Hard Luck Story" by 21 Guns
Peak: number 129
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Australian band 21 Guns bubbled under in March 1990 with a single that, coincidentally, peaked at number 129, matching the peak of this follow-up.  As with the last single, this one was sung by one-time Countdown Revolution co-host Andy McLean.

I actually remember this track, as it spent some time on the aimed-at-teenagers, listener-voted radio countdown show Top 8 at 8, which aired in my state (Victoria) on Triple M - not that it helped "Hard Luck Story"'s chart fortunes; a 'hard luck story' indeed!
 
Listening to this now, I can't help but think that the verses are slightly reminiscent of Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" (number 3, May 1987), starting with the same name of teenager/young adult followed by the troubles they are facing formula.

The band released one further single, "I Believe", which missed the top 150.  An album, 21 Guns (number 140, August 1990), was also released.  The group then presumably split.  Interestingly, the album fetches upwards of $200 on discogs.com now!



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 169 "Reputation" by Dusty Springfield
Peak: number 164
Peak date: 13 August 1990
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
"Reputation" was the third single lifted from Dusty's Reputation (number 144, September 1990) album, following "Nothing Has Been Proved" and "In Private", which we have seen previously.   Unlike those two singles, "Reputation" was produced by Andy Richards, rather than the Pet Shop Boys.
 
"Reputation" peaked at number 38 in the UK in June 1990, number 29 in Germany in June 1990, number 44 in the Netherlands in July 1990, and number 33 in the Flanders region of Belgium in June 1990.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Reputation" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 128.

A fourth single from the Reputation album, "Arrested by You", was released in Australia in October 1990 - oddly, three weeks before its UK release - but failed to chart.  "Arrested by You" peaked at number 70 in the UK in December 1990.

We will see Dusty again in 1995.



Next week (13 August): Unusually, there is only one new top 150 debut next week.  There are, however, three bubbling WAY down under entries to help flesh things out.

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