28 September 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 28 September 1981

Let's take a look at what was bubbling under the Australian top 100 singles chart 40 years ago this week...
Rickie Lee Jones: "Look mom, no hands!"
Beyond the top 100:
Position 33 "Woody & Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking" by Rickie Lee Jones
Highest rank: 21st
Peak date: 26 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
American singer-songwriter Rickie Lee Jones scored her biggest, and only real hit in Australia in 1979 with "Chuck E.'s in Love" (number 15, June 1979).  She would eventually land a second, and final, top 100 'hit' down under in 1984 with "The Real End" (number 90, November 1984).  Rickie Lee had more success on the Australian albums chart, with her debut album Rickie Lee Jones reaching number 1 in June 1979 and spending six months on the chart.

"Woody & Dutch on the Slow Train to Peking" was the third single lifted from Ricki Lee's second album Pirates (number 9, August 1981).  It followed "A Lucky Guy" and "Pirates (So Long Lonely Avenue)", neither of which registered on the Australian chart.  "Woody & Dutch..." reached number 31 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, which I do not consider a real chart, in August 1981.  The song did not chart anywhere else.

Rickie Lee will bubble under again in 1983.
Position 34 "Feels So Right" by Alabama
Highest rank: 20th
Peak date: 2 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
As one would expect from the band's name, American band Alabama originate from Alabama.  The group formed in 1969, but did not land a top 100 entry in Australia until 1984, with "When We Make Love" (number 55, August 1984).  This would be the band's only release - single or album - to chart in Australia.
Alabama had much greater success in their homeland, where they landed 32 number 1 singles on the Country chart (not a real chart in my book) between 1980 and 1993.  "Feel So Right" was the band's first single to register on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it reached number 20 in September 1981.
Position 38 "Don't Play Your Rock 'n' Roll to Me" by Smokie
Highest rank: 20th
Peak date: 26 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks 

English band Smokie placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100 between 1975 and 1980.  Their biggest hit locally was "Living Next Door to Alice" (number 2, April 1977).  A techno cover version of this track by The Steppers, re-titled "Alice... Who the F**k Is Alice?" matched this peak in September 1995.

"Don't Play Your Rock 'n' Roll to Me" originally peaked at number 50 in Australia in March 1976, and was Smokie's second single to chart down under.  In the UK, "Don't Play Your Rock 'n' Roll to Me" reached number 8 in October 1975, and was also a top 10 hit in Germany and Ireland.

I am not sure why this song (almost) re-charted in 1981.  Does anybody reading this know?  Please let me know in the comments section if so!

Smokie would not land any further top 100 singles in Australia, but numerous compilation albums they released charted here.

Next week (5 October): Three singles bubbling below the top 100, including an artist who bubbled under many times.

< Previous post: 14 September 1981                                     Next post: 5 October 1981 >

24 September 2021

Week commencing 24 September 1990

Of this week in 1990's seven new top 150 entries, only one is from an artist we have seen previously.  Let's take a look.

Julee Cruise: floppin' back outside the chart
Top 150 debuts:
Number 129 "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" by Julee Cruise
Peak: number 107
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks (7 weeks 1990 chart-run; 2 weeks May 1991 re-entry)

American singer Julee Cruise is best known for her musical contributions to the television series Twin Peaks.  Her 1989 debut album Floating into the Night (number 21, April 1991) consisted of tracks that were recorded for various David Lynch projects, including the 1986 film Blue Velvet, the 1990 stage play Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted, and Twin Peaks.  "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" was used for the latter two.

"Falling" (number 1, April 1991), another track from Floating into the Night, was used as the theme song for Twin Peaks, and gave Julee a major international hit, reaching the top 20 across Europe, and topping the Australian singles chart for one week in April 1991.

"Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" did not bring Julee the same level of success, registering its only significant chart peak in Ireland, where it reached number 18 in February 1991.  In the UK, "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" peaked at number 66 in March 1991.

In Australia, "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" peaked just outside the top 100.  I suspect the single may have performed better had it been released after Twin Peaks commenced airing in Australia, on 18 February 1991.  On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" peaked slightly higher, at number 94.

Following the success of "Falling", "Rockin' Back Inside My Heart" re-entered the top 150 for two non-consecutive weeks in May 1991, reaching number 139.

Julee would eventually land another minor 'hit' on the Australian chart, when she paired up with B(if)tek on a cover version of Cliff Richard's "Wired for Sound", which reached number 82 in May 2000.

Number 138 "Time for Letting Go" by Jude Cole
Peak: number 118
Peak date: 12 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks

Jude bubbled under in May 1990, and here he is with the second single from his A View from 3rd Street (number 114, July 1990) album.

Like Jude's last single, this one seems vaguely familiar to me, though I didn't think I would know it.  Chalk it up to being the kind of music Australian FM radio stations of the time loved.  Presumably this received airplay - not that it helped its commercial success.

"Time for Letting Go" was a bigger hit in Jude's homeland, reaching number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1990.  The single also performed stronger on the Australian Music Report chart, where it reached number 93.

Number 139 "The History of Western Civilisation" by TISM
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks
TISM, an acronym of This Is Serious Mum, were a Melbourne band for whom the identity of its members - thanks to their penchant for wearing balaclavas - was essentially unknown.
"The History of Western Civilisation" was the band's first single to register on the Australian top 150.  The song humourously deals with the perceived undesirability of coming from the western suburbs of (presumably) Melbourne - but it could equally be applied to Sydney.  "The History of Western Civilisation" is lifted from the band's second album Hot Dogma (number 86, October 1990).  While I can appreciate the wit of this track's lyrics, musically, this is not my favourite TISM song.
"The History of Western Civilisation" was most popular in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 87.

TISM will join us again in 1993, and would have to wait until 1995 to land their first ARIA top 100 single.

Number 143 "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" by Lonnie Gordon
Peak: number 104
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

American diva Lonnie Gordon emigrated to London in 1985.  In the ensuing years, she released a few underground dance records, providing guest vocals on Quartz Lock's "Love Eviction" in 1988, and Simon Harris' "(I've Got Your) Pleasure Control" - the latter reached number 60 in the UK in July 1989.  Lonnie also released "It's Not Over (Let No Man Put Asunder)", which peaked at number 91 in the UK in September 1989, under her own name.

"It's Not Over..." led to Lonnie performing the song on Pete Waterman's The Hitman and Her TV show.  Coincidentally, Lonnie had been wanting to work with Stock Aitken Waterman since shortly after arriving in the UK.  This wish became reality when SAW offered a song to her, "Happenin' All Over Again", which reached number 4 in the UK in February 1990, number 3 in Ireland, and went top 40 across Europe.

Lonnie's first solo release in Australia, "Happenin' All Over Again", took four months to climb to its eventual peak of number 33 in August 1990.  The single spent 20 weeks in the top 100, which is nothing to be sneezed at, despite its moderate peak.

In the UK, there was a six month gap between "Happenin'..." and Lonnie's follow-up SAW-produced single "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams".  In the interim, SAW's Midas touch on the UK chart was fading significantly, with only Kylie and Jason achieving consistent top 10 success for the production trio - and even then, they were no longer scoring number ones.
Smash Hits magazine even published an article titled 'Are Stock Aitken Waterman Down the Dumper?!' in December 1990, in which Pete Waterman opines than "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" flopped (it peaked at number 48 in the UK in August 1990) because "ballads just don't do well that time of year."  Er, right...

"Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" sounds perhaps a little too sophisticated and 'mature' for the tastes of the audience SAW were usually courting, which is probably largely why it bombed.  But the trio were definitely no longer perceived as being 'cool' by 1990, and it didn't help that nearly every single they released in 1989 made the top 10 in the UK.  The only way for them was down.

"How Could He Do This to Me", a much more-upbeat song Lonnie recorded with SAW but remained unreleased until 2009, was apparently scheduled for a single release before it was scrapped in favour of "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams".

"It's Not Over...", "Happenin' All Over Again" and "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" all eventually appeared on Lonnie's If I Have to Stand Alone (number 173, April 1991) album, which had a limited release in Europe, Australasia, and Japan.  The album, oddly, was not released in the UK until a remastered, expanded edition was released in 2009.  The If I Have to Stand Alone album did not chart anywhere else but in Australia.

On the ARIA state charts, "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 76.  The single narrowly missed the top 100 nationally, despite registering within the top 100 on three of the five state charts.

Lonnie would never score a second top 100 hit in Australia, but we shall see her bubble under again on several occasions in the coming years, with the next one being in February 1991.

Number 146 "Wanna Be the Man" by Earth, Wind & Fire featuring M.C. Hammer
Peak: number 146
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

American band Earth, Wind & Fire scored six top 100 singles on the Australian chart between 1975 and 1982, with three of those reaching the top 20.  Their biggest hit in Australia, "Boogie Wonderland", peaked at number 5 in July 1979.  Their last chart entry locally was "Let's Groove" (number 15, March 1982).

"Wanna Be the Man" is lifted from the band's fifteenth studio album Heritage, which was released in Australia in March 1990, but missed the top 150.  The album's title track was issued locally during the same month, and also missed the top 150.
For "Wanna Be the Man", Earth, Wind & Fire teamed up with rapper M.C. Hammer, who had recently scored a major hit with "U Can't Touch This" (number 1, July 1990).  Not that it helped them re-gain chart success - the single reached number 46 on the US R&B chart (not a 'real' chart in my book) and did not chart anywhere else.  Oops.
Earth, Wind & Fire did manage to score one further minor 'hit' in Australia, with "September '99" (number 94, September 1999).   Other acts who covered or sampled Earth, Wind & Fire's songs had more success than the band on the Australian charts during the 1990s, including Black Box's "Fantasy" (number 3, February 1991), CDB's "Let's Groove" (number 2, November 1995), Past to Present's "September" (number 42, October 1996), and Stretch & Vern present Maddog's "I'm Alive" (number 65, May 1997) - which samples "Boogie Wonderland".

We shall see M.C. Hammer again in 1991.

Number 147 "Never Get Enough" by Antoinette
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Antoinette Lovell Patterson, known as just Antoinette, hailed from The Bronx, New York.  "Never Get Enough" was the lead single from the then 20-year-old rapper's second album Burnin' at 20 Below, although this single was her first - and only - Australian release.

Antoinette's first appearance on record came in 1987, when she contributed a track to a compilation released by Hurby Azor, who wrote and produced Salt 'N' Pepa's hits from this era.  Spinderella from Salt 'N' Pepa appears on "Never Get Enough", and in the music video.  Pepa raps on the track, too, but does not appear in the video.
Antoinette does not appear to have achieved notable commercial success on any chart, with her only chart entries being on the subsidiary (and not 'real' charts, in my opinion) Billboard charts - namely the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Hot Rap Songs charts.  The ARIA singles chart could be the only sales-based chart Antoinette registered on, with this release!

Number 149 "Dangerous Sex" by Tackhead
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

The Wikipedia page for Tackhead describes them as an "industrial hip-hop" group, and I am just going to leave it at that.  Although the group's origins are in New York, English 'singer' (I put that in inverted commas, as he doesn't really 'sing'... or rap, for that matter) Gary Clail, who scored a minor hit in Australia with "Human Nature" (number 38, August 1991), "would shout and rant over Tackhead's live playing" (thanks, Wikipedia).  Gary can indeed be heard doing that a couple of times over the top of this track.  Gary features more-prominently on Tackhead's "Reality" from 1988.

From what little I've heard of Tackhead's music, it does not sound like the sort of thing that typically charts.  I'm guessing this track must have received airplay on Triple J and similar 'youth'/non-commercial radio stations.  Interestingly, the only other place Tackhead charted was in New Zealand, when "The Game (You'll Never Walk Alone)" reached number 34 in June 1989.

Tackhead will not make another appearance in the top 150, but we shall see Gary Clail in 1991.

Next week (1 October): Six new top 150 debuts, plus one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 17 September 1990                                Next week: 1 October 1990 >

17 September 2021

Week commencing 17 September 1990

Before diving into this week's ten new top 150 debuts, in case you missed it, I have started re-capping the Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 lists, commencing in 1981.  Now, onto this week in 1990...
Paul Young: wherever he lands a hit, that's his home.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 136 "Psyko Funk" by Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
American hip-hop band Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E consisted of five brothers, two of whom (Paul and Ted) have passed in recent years.  "Psyko Funk" was the second single lifted from their New Funky Nation (number 131, July 1990) album, following "R.A.I.D.", which was issued in Australia in July 1990, but missed the top 150.

Internationally, "Psyko Funk" peaked at number 43 in the UK in July 1990, and number 43 in the Netherlands in August 1990.

While we won't see Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. again in their own right, we will see them team up with another act in 1993.

Number 137 "Make It Work" by Scrap Metal
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 8 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
It's almost a given that when I search for a music video/song on YouTube and it's not there in any form that the artist in question will be Australian, and once again, that is the case with Scrap Metal and "Make It Work".  How slack/useless are Australian record companies with getting this stuff out there in the age of streaming?!

So, what I've had to resort to doing instead is putting together the 'video' below (which just uses a still image) for you.
The band's bio on discogs.com reveals that the multi-racial group formed in Broome, Western Australia.  They were also apparently "the first Aboriginal band to sign an international publishing deal."  The ABC shot a documentary about the group, titled From Broome to the Big Smoke, and their Scrap Metal (number 124, November 1990) album was released through ABC Records.
I can tell you that Scrap Metal landed no other top 150 singles on the Australian chart.

Number 140 "Oh Girl" by Paul Young
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks
We first saw Paul in May 1990 with the lead single from Other Voices (number 102, July 1990), and here he is with the second release from the album.  "Oh Girl" is a cover version, originally recorded by The Chi-Lites and released as a single in 1972.

"Oh Girl" registered within the top 100 on four of the five ARIA state charts, only missing out in South Australia/Northern Territory, but could not break into the top 100 nationally.  The single performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 81.

"Oh Girl" fared better internationally, peaking at number 25 in the UK in July 1990, and number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1990.  The single also peaked at number 20 in Ireland, number 73 in the Netherlands, number 4 in Canada, and number 41 in New Zealand.
While Paul would not reach higher than number 42 again on the Australian singles chart, we shall see him bubble under no fewer than four times in 1991, with the next occasion being in February 1991.
Number 141 "Butterfly on a Wheel" by The Mission
Peak: number 141
Peak dates: 17 September 1990 and 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Between 1986 and 1994, English gothic rock band The Mission landed 12 singles within the UK top 40, with "Wasteland" becoming their biggest hit, peaking at number 11 in January 1987.
In Australia, The Mission never landed a top 100 entry.  They did, however, managed to place two singles within the top 150, of which "Butterfly on a Wheel" was the second - we saw them with the first in April 1990.  The album both tracks are lifted from, Carved in Sand (number 109, April 1990), also made the ARIA top 150.
"Butterfly on a Wheel" was a much bigger hit in the UK, reaching number 12 in January 1990, though its chart run was brief, only spending four weeks in the top 100 (gotta love the UK charts...).  The single peaked at number 13 in Ireland in January 1990, number 48 in the Netherlands in March 1990, and number 36 in New Zealand in March 1990.

It's not the sort of music I normally listen to, but I enjoy "Butterfly on a Wheel".  I caught the video once on Countdown Revolution, and remember reading about it in British pop magazine Number One.

Number 143 "Child of the Wild Blue Yonder" by John Hiatt
Peak: number 133
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
American singer-songwriter John Hiatt placed two singles on the Australian top 100: "Have a Little Faith in Me" (number 61, February 1988) and "Slow Turning" (number 83, January 1989).  Before those two minor 'hits', John reached sixth place on the Kent Music Report list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 with "Living a Little, Laughing a Little" in July 1985.
"Child of the Wild Blue Yonder" was the lead single from John's tenth studio album Stolen Moments (number 92, August 1990).  The single peaked at number 48 in Canada.

While John did not make the top 150 again with his single releases, one more album, Perfectly Good Guitar (number 83, September 1993), made the top 100.

Number 145 "I Wish" by Ben Liebrand featuring Nasty Chat
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Dutch DJ and remixer Ben Liebrand graced our presence in February 1990, and here he teams up with Dutch rapper Nasty Chat (real name Bianca Boid), whose rap style reminds me a little bit of Betty Boo.

"I Wish" peaked at number 84 in the UK in August 1990.
We shall next see Ben in his own right in March 1991; but, before then, another artist's song he remixed will appear in November 1990.

Number 146 "I Need Rhythm" by Splash
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Splash were a German eurodance group, and this track features Aimee McCoy on vocals.  "I Need Rhythm" peaked at number 88 in the UK in September 1990, and number 41in Germany in October 1990.  I don't recall hearing this one before.
Splash issued two further singles in Australia: "Set the Groove on Fire" (released locally in May 1991) and "Joy and Pain" (August 1991), but neither made the top 150.

Number 147 "I've Been Waiting for Your Love" by Hithouse featuring Reggie
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
We saw Hithouse back in February 1989.   In the interim, they released "Move Your Feet to the Rhythm of the Beat", which missed the top 150.
"I've Been Waiting for Your Love" peaked at number 91 in the UK in May 1990, and features Congolese-American singer Reggie (real name Réjane Magloire) on vocals.  Reggie would go on to be the featured artist on Technotronic's "Move That Body" (number 27, September 1991).  Interestingly, she also released a cover of Madonna's "Into the Groove" in 1985.

Number 148 "Flying on Your Own" by Rita MacNeil
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Canadian songstress Rita MacNeil landed a minor hit in Australia with "Working Man" (number 56, February 1990), which spent 25 weeks in the top 150 despite peaking outside the top 50.  Two further singles were released locally from Rita's Reason to Believe (number 17, May 1990) album - "The Music's Going Round Again" (February 1990) and "When the Loving Is Through" (April 1990) - but neither made the top 150.

"Flying on Your Own" was a track from Rita's 1987 album Flying on Your Own (number 57, November 1990).  The song was issued as her debut single in Canada in 1986, where it peaked at number 42.
Truth be told, I don't enjoy any of these Rita MacNeil songs, listening to them now for the first time...  They also don't sound like the sort of thing that was making the singles chart here in 1990.
Rita passed away in 2013, aged 68, following an infection.

Number 149 "Calypso" by Jean-Michel Jarre
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre placed three singles on the Australian top 100 between 1977 and 1986.  The biggest of those, "Oxygène IV", reached number 26 in November 1977.

"Calyspo" was the only single lifted from Jean-Michel's tenth studio album Waiting for Cousteau (number 112, October 1990), which was titled En attendant Cousteau in Francophone markets.  The single peaked at number 91 in the UK in July 1990, and number 34 in France in September 1990.

I hadn't heard this one before, but enjoyed both the song and its animated music video.  I can't help but think, though, that it sounds more like the theme to a children's television program or background music in a TV commercial than a song registering on the charts.
Next week (24 September): Seven new top 150 debuts.

< Previous week: 10 September 1990                             Next week: 24 September 1990 >

14 September 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 14 September 1981

Those of you who are regular readers (there must be some?) of this site would have seen me refer to the Kent Music Report lists of 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' on numerous occasions.  Well, I decided, on a whim, to start re-capping those 'charts', in addition to my regular weekly posts on singles peaking outside the ARIA top 100 singles chart.

For those of you who are not au fait with the different charts that were published in Australia, the Kent Music Report, named after its creator, David Kent, began publishing national top 100 charts in May 1974.  The Australian Record Industry Association (as it was then known), i.e. ARIA, licensed the top 50 portion of the Kent Music Report chart in June 1983, and these printed top 50 charts were available free to take home in record stores.

The Kent Music Report was re-branded the Australian Music Report in July 1987.  ARIA's licensing arrangement with the Kent/Australian Music Report chart came to an end in June 1988, and then ARIA commenced producing the chart themselves, in-house.  The Australian Music Report continued being published up until January 1998.  Between June 1988 and January 1998, the two charts existed alongside each other, although the ARIA chart was the self-proclaimed 'official' Australian chart.

In April 1981, the Kent Music Report started publishing a list of 'predictions for national top 100 singles'.  These were listed beneath the top 100 chart, and I have uploaded an image of the first one for you to see:

Titles were ranked in order of sales, but were not literally positions 101, 102, 103, etc.  These lists are therefore analogous to the US Billboard Bubbling Under chart, which was an inspiration for naming this site.  The list was re-branded a list of 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' in August 1982.
The lists are also similar to the 'Breakers' lists that appeared on the printed top 50 ARIA charts between January 1986 and August 1992.  The Breakers lists were a list of the five highest-selling singles that week which were moving up the chart outside the top 50.

The Kent Music Report 'predictions' and 'significant sales reports...' lists differ to the Billboard Bubbling Under chart and the ARIA Breakers, however, in that they often contained titles that had just fallen out of the top 100.  I am not sure why David Kent decided to include such titles.

In keeping with the purpose of this site, I will mostly write about singles that never broke into the national top 100, and occasionally about those that 'bubbled under' some time before they debuted on the top 100.

Long intro out of the way, let's take a look at what was bubbling under this week in 1981.  In case you are wondering, I will cover the April-early September 1981 Kent Music Report Predictions lists at some point in the future, though I have not yet determined when.

Tom Jones: but I do a mean Mike Brady impersonation.

Beyond the top 100:

Position 30 "But I Do" by Tom Jones
Highest rank: 19th
Peak dates: 28 September 1981, 5 October 1981, 12 October 1981 and 19 October 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
"But I Do" was the third single lifted form Welsh singer Tom Jones' album Darlin'.  The track is a cover version of Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do".

Tom's career was in a commercial lull at this point, with his last major hit being in 1972.  "But I Do" did not even chart in the UK - or anywhere else for that matter, it seems.  Tom would have to wait until 1987 to score another top 10 hit in the UK, and he would not place another single on the Australian chart until teaming up with The Art of Noise in 1989.

Position 32 "Question of Love" by Malcolm McCallum
Highest rank: 11th
Peak date: 28 September 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks

New Zealand singer-songwriter Malcolm McCallum - not to be confused with Malcolm McLaren - never managed to land a single on the Australian top 100.  He did, however, place one album within the top 100, when Victim in Paradise peaked at number 96 in April 1980.  Oddly, none of Malcolm's releases made the top 50 (as far as the New Zealand chart is calculated, it seems) in his homeland.
"Question of Love" sounds like the sort of pleasant, easy-listening song that could have been a huge hit in the early 1980s.  I'm not sure why it didn't perform better on the chart; I assume a lack of radio/TV support is to blame.

"Question of Love" was Malcolm's only single to register on the Kent Music Report.

Next post (28 September): As there are no new titles on the Kent Music Report Predictions list from 21 September 1981 that missed the top 100, my next post on this chart will be on 28 September, where there are three new entries.  Stay tuned!

< Previous week: 7 September 1981                                      Next post: 28 September 1981 >

10 September 2021

Week commencing 10 September 1990

There isn't an obvious theme connecting this week's new entries, so let's dive straight in.
49ers: more like the 119ers this week.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 132 "Girl to Girl" by 49ers
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
Italian house music project 49ers landed a top 20 single in Australia with "Touch Me" (number 18, July 1990), which was a top 20 hit across Europe.
The vocal lines for "Touch Me" were lifted entirely from from Aretha Franklin's "Rock-A-Lott" (released in Australia in September 1987, did not chart), and Alisha Warren's "Touch Me".  As often seemed to be the case for Italian dance tracks from this era, a model, Dawn Mitchell, lip synced the vocals in the music video... rather unconvincingly, I must say!  Two of my favourite misheard lyrics ever belong to "Touch Me" - those being "Peter Pan and his nan" and "bring a pen and a spare pad" (actual lyric: "People can't understand it", ironically).

49ers' second single in Australia, "Don't You Love Me" (number 61, July 1990), sampled vocals from Jody Watley's "Don't You Want Me", which reached fourth place on the Australian Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in February 1988.  Dawn Mitchell again performs in the music video.  I am not sure whether it is Dawn's vocals making up the rest of the track, but they don't sound technically 'good' enough to not be her.  If you were getting a model to lpi sync someone else's vocals, surely you would select someone with a better voice than this.
"Girl to Girl", the third single lifted from the album 49ers (number 56, July 1990) in Australia, registered within the top 100 on four of the five state charts, only falling short in Queensland, but could not break into the top 100 nationally.  "Girl to Girl" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 93.  On the Australian Music Report chart, "Girl to Girl" peaked at number 89.
Internationally, "Girl to Girl" peaked at number 31 in the UK in June 1990, number 13 in Ireland in June 1990, number 20 in Switzerland in July 1990, and number 70 in Germany in August 1990.
In typical Italo house style, the lyrics for "Girl to Girl" don't make a whole lot of sense.  The verses seem addressed to a Mr DJ, but then the chorus lyrics switch to "now we're talking girl to girl".  Comprendere?

"Girl to Girl" was the third 49ers single in a row I purchased on cassette, so I must have really liked them.  There was a nifty "49ers Megamix" as the B-side, containing "Don't You Love Me", "How Longer" (an album track, with vocals sampled from Kym Mazelle's "Useless (I Don't Need You Now)" - except Kym actually sings "no longer will I be your fool"), and "Touch Me".

We will next see 49ers, with a new (real) vocalist, in 1992.
Number 133 "Girls Nite Out" by Tyler Collins
Peak: number 133
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks

Continuing with this week's "girls" song theme, American singer Tyler Collins took "Girls Nite Out" to number 6 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in August 1990.  While another three of her singles registered on the Hot 100, this was the only one to make the top 40.  "Girls Nite Out" also peaked at number 65 in Canada.

As a casual listener of the American Top 40 radio show at the time, I must have heard this song at the time, but have no recollection of it.  Surprisingly for a US top 10 hit, the view count on the official "Girls Nite Out" music video YouTube upload (embedded below) is rather low, with little more than 5,000 views accrued in 5 and a half years.  It seems I'm not the only one who doesn't remember this song, despite it being a US top 10 hit.

"Girls Nite Out" was Tyler's only single released in Australia.  While it missed the ARIA top 100, "Girls Night Out" reached number 86 on the Australian Music Report chart.

Number 143 "Don't Miss the Party Line" by Bizz Nizz
Peak: number 124
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Australia always seemed to be behind the times when it came to embracing rap and new dance music styles during this era.  Originating in Belgium, Bizz Nizz's "Don't Miss the Party Line" had been released in the UK six months earlier, peaking at number 7 there in April 1990.  It also reached the top 10 in Germany, Austria, and Ireland.

In Australia, Bizz Nizz had to settle for number 124, although it reached a much higher peak of number 75 on the Australian Music Report chart.

One of the studio boffins behind the project, Jean-Paul De Coster, would go on to much greater success producing for 2 Unlimited.  Peter Neefs, who was also behind Bizz Nizz, would go on to co-produce 2 Unlimited's "The Magic Friend" (number 16, November 1992).
While "Don't Miss the Party Line" did not have much chart success in Australia, it was one of several tracks sampled on Megabass' "Time to Make the Floor Burn" megamix, which reached number 40 in April 1991.

"Don't Miss the Party Line" was the only Bizz Nizz single issued in Australia.  They did not release an album.

Number 144 "Smoke on the Water" by Rock Aid Armenia
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 1 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks

Rock Aid Armenia was an ensemble of rock artists - as you would expect - including, on vocals, Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden, Paul Rodgers, David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, and Bryan Adams.  Among the artists providing musical backing were Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen.

The group joined forces to record a version of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" to raise funds for survivors of the December 1988 Armenian earthquake, which killed approximately 38,000 people and injured between 31 and 130 thousand others.

The Rock Aid Armenia single peaked at number 39 in the UK in December 1989, and does not appear to have charted elsewhere, so it surely mustn't have raised much money for the cause.  I'm not sure why it took so long to get released in Australia (it was released locally on 20 August 1990).  Being released so long after the natural disaster probably didn't help matters.

Charity records are always a bit hit and miss... well, let's be honest, they are almost always 'miss'.

Number 146 "Just Came Back" by Colin James
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

Colin James, real name Colin James Munn, is a Canadian singer-songwriter.  "Just Came Back" was the lead single from his second album Sudden Stop.  "Just Came Back" reached number 5 in Canada in August 1990.  It also peaked at number 94 in the UK in September 1990.

Colin's Sudden Stop album, released locally in October 1990, missed the ARIA top 150 albums chart, but his debut album Colin James - which spawned no top 150 singles - reached number 134 in February 1989.

I don't recall hearing this one before, but the "just came back to say goodbye" chorus lyric seems vaguely familiar.

Number 148 "Rise to It" by Kiss
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Between 1976 and 1989, American glam rock group Kiss placed 20 singles on the Australian top 100 chart, with the biggest of those being "I Was Made for Lovin' You" (number 2, September 1979).  "Rise to It" continues the sexual innuendo theme of the song we saw Kiss bubble under with back in July 1989.
At this point in time, Kiss were in the middle of a flop era on the Australian charts, with none of their singles released between "Crazy Crazy Nights" (number 34, November 1987) and "God Gave Rock & Roll to You II" (number 18, August 1992) reaching the top 40.
"Rise to It" was the last of three singles released from Kiss' fifteenth studio album Hot in the Shade (number 30, November 1989).  It followed "Hide Your Heart" (number 60, November 1989) and "Forever" (number 73, May 1989).
"Rise to It" had greater, albeit modest, success on the US Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 81 in June 1990.  I didn't realise this until now, but Kiss only ever had two top 10 singles on the Hot 100, with previous single "Forever" (peaking at number 8 in April 1990) being their second biggest hit there.

"Rise to It" was the last Kiss single to chart in Australia before the untimely death of the band's drummer, Eric Carr (born Paul Charles Caravello) in November 1991, aged 41, from heart cancer.  Eric appears in the "God Gave Rock & Roll to You II" music video, however, as it was filmed in July 1991.  Eric's death was somewhat overshadowed by that of Freddie Mercury from Queen, who died on the same day.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 151 "Loving You" by Massivo featuring Tracy
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
In 1975, American singer Minnie Riperton released "Lovin' You", a song she co-wrote with her husband Richard Rudolph.  The single topped the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in April 1975, went top 10 across Europe, and reached number 5 in Australia in May 1975.  It would be Minnie's only real hit, and her sole top 100 singles chart entry in Australia.  Sadly, Minnie died in July 1979, aged 31, after a three and a half year illness with breast cancer.  Minnie possessed an expansive vocal range, evidenced by her seemingly effortless use of the whistle register.  Mariah Carey took note, and cites Minnie as a musical influence.

Fast forward to 1990, and Massivo, who were Darren Pearce and Steve McCutcheon, teamed up with singer Tracy Ackerman (credited here as just 'Tracy') to release an updated version of "Lovin' You", with a mellow dance groove behind it.  Their version of the song reached number 25 in the UK in July 1990.

If a music video for Massivo's "Lovin' You" exists, it has not made its way onto YouTube.  But an impressive Top of the Pops TV performance - with actual live vocals - is available as a substitute, embedded below.  Tracy pulls off the whistle notes at the end of the chorus rather well in this performance.  The studio version of the track can be listened to here.

"Lovin' You" was Massivo's only local release, although two further singles were released in the UK.
While weekly chart information outside the top 150 is not available other than debut and peak positions, Massivo's "Lovin' You" had an interesting chart run in Australia.  Its five weeks on the chart were spread across a period of at least five months, as it did not peak in Western Australia until 25 February 1991!  It also peaked on three of the five state charts on 5 November 1990.
Steve from Massivo would go on to be part of Undercover, who scored a number 100 'hit' in Australia in October 1992 with their version of "Baker Street", originally a number 1 hit for Gerry Rafferty in June 1978.

Tracy will be a featured vocalist on a cover version by another artist that will bubble under in 1995.  She also became a successful songwriter for many different artists, including co-writing credits on B*Witched's "C'est La Vie" (number 6, September 1998) and "Rollercoaster" (number 1, November 1998).

Next week (17 September): A bumper week with ten new top 150 entries.
< Previous week: 3 September 1990                                   Next week: 17 September 1990 >

03 September 2021

Week commencing 3 September 1990

This week in 1990 we have another mixed bag of debuts, including a mellow dance groove track with a flute solo (!), a serious 'adult' sounding charity single from two artists whose personalities were more akin to red cordial, a soul songstress who scored consecutive top 5 albums in the US but could do no better than number 97 locally on the singles chart, and a dance re-working of a recent massive number 1 ballad that was itself a cover.

But before we dive in to this week's post, 'please know' (thanks, Gladys!) that I have updated an earlier post:
  • 21 May 1990 - with a bubbling WAY down under entry from The Stranglers added.
Now onto this week in 1990...

The Chimes: still haven't found the second hit they were looking for.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 133 "True Love" by The Chimes
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
Pauline Henry, who emigrated to England from Jamaica when she was 10, was working as a hairdresser when she landed the gig of being The Chimes' vocalist.  A friend put Pauline in touch with Scottish studio boffins Mike Peden and James Locke, who were looking for someone to sing some songs they had written.  Pauline was offered the job after singing down the phone line to the pair; they were so impressed with her voice.
Pauline's initial meeting with Mike and James got off to a bad start, when they collected her in a rented truck, after she travelled to Edinburgh to meet them.  She was not impressed.  Mike and James had envisaged Pauline's role in the band to be just providing vocals, while they would take care of the creative side of things.  Pauline had other ideas, and the trio evolved into a songwriting partnership.
The Chimes started playing gigs in Scotland, and a representative from CBS Records who was at one of their performances got them a recording contract.  The group's debut single "1-2-3" (number 73, February 1990) was produced by Soul II Soul's Jazzie B and Nellee Hooper, who were hot property at the time.  While it didn't land the group major chart success in Europe or Australia, the single reached the top 5 in New Zealand, becoming the first of three top 10 hits The Chimes notched up in the land of the long white cloud.  "1-2-3" also made ripples on the US Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 86.

The Chimes' second single, "Heaven", peaked at number 62 in Australia in March 1990, and initially at number 66 in the UK in December 1989.  It became the band's second and final top 40 hit in the UK after a re-release, peaking at number 24 in October 1990.

Meanwhile, the band's third single, the U2 cover version "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" (number 26, August 1990) was easily The Chimes' biggest and most-recognisable hit, going top 10 in the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Norway, and top 20 in Germany, Austria, Belgium and the Netherlands.  Bono from U2 also gave this version of the song his approval.

"True Love" was issued as the fourth single from The Chimes (number 16, August 1990), the group's only album.  It must be one of only a handful of dance-orientated tracks from this era to feature a flute on it.
Frustratingly, "True Love" peaked within the 90s on all five of the ARIA state charts, but could not break into the top 100 nationally.  "True Love" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 93.  "True Love" dented the Australian Music Report top 100, peaking at number 95.
In the UK, the single peaked at number 48 in July 1990, and also reached number 42 in the Netherlands during the same month.

I'm not sure why The Chimes scored only one real hit; their singles deserved to do a lot better.  The album, however, performed reasonably well, being certified silver in the UK, and gold in Australia, where it was also the 86th highest-selling album of 1990.

Mike Peden from The Chimes went on to produce for other artists, including Lighthouse Family, Des'ree and Emma Bunton.  Mike produced Lighthouse Family's Australian number 1 single from 1998, "High".
After The Chimes split in 1991, Pauline Henry launched a solo career.  Her biggest hit and only top 50 single in Australia, "Feel Like Making Love", peaked at number 13 locally in May 1994, and at number 12 in the UK in November 1993.

We will see The Chimes bubble under on two more occasions, with the next one being in November 1990.
Number 139 "Pump That Body" by Mr. Lee
Peak: number 139 
Peak date: 3 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
American rapper Mr. Lee bubbled WAY down under on the Australian chart in March 1990, and his second Australian single, "Pump That Body", became his first and only release to dent the ARIA top 150.
"Pump That Body" took six weeks to break into the top 150, after debuting at number 156 on 23 July 1990.  On the state charts, "Pump That Body" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 98.  Despite spending 5 weeks on the chart in total, "Pump That Body"'s chart run extended over approximately three months, as it re-entered the top 150 for a second week, at number 142, on 15 October 1990.
Internationally, "Pump That Body" peaked at number 79 in the UK in May 1990, number 7 in the Netherlands in June 1990, number 21 in the Flanders region of Belgium in June 1990, and number 41 in New Zealand in July 1990.  As often seemed to be the case around this time, New Zealand was much more receptive than Australia to urban/r&b and hip-hop music.
The album "Pump That Body" is lifted from, Get Busy, was released in Australia in August 1990, but failed to chart. 

We shall see Mr. Lee next in December 1990.

Number 144 "Talk to Me" by Anita Baker
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 17 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Between 1986 and 2004, American singer Anita Baker notched up four US Billboard 200 top 5 albums.  In contrast, only one of Anita's singles - "Sweet Love" (number 97, November 1986) - dented the top 100 in Australia, and only one of her albums - Rapture (number 35, June 1988) - made the top 40.

We saw Anita bubble WAY down under in 1989.  "Talk to Me" was the lead single from Anita's Compositions album (number 54, September 1990).  "Talk to Me" had greater, though still minor, success overseas, peaking at number 44 in the US in July 1990, number 68 in the UK in June 1990, and number 50 in Canada.

Anita next graced the ARIA top 150 when her album Rhythm of Love peaked at number 128 in November 1994.  We will also see Anita on the singles chart again in 1994.

Number 146 "Nothing Compares 2 U" by Chyp-Notic
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks

Obviously, from the title, this track is a cover of the Prince-penned song Sinéad O'Connor took to number 1 in Australia in February 1990, which was originally an album track recorded by The Family in 1985.
Prince's original 1984 studio recording of "Nothing Compares 2 U" was eventually released posthumously in 2018.  Before that, Prince released a live duet version of the track with Rosie Gaines on his 1993 The Hits/The B-Sides compilation (number 4, May 2016), which peaked at number 112 on the ARIA singles chart in May 2016, following Prince's death.
Chyp-Notic were a German eurodance band who formed in 1988, under the name Toys.  I don't recall hearing this version of the song before.  Listening to it now, it seems the music backing is quite similar to Sydney Youngblood's "If Only I Could".  It sounds like the kind of thing that might have done well in the UK, but does not seem to have charted there - probably owing to the success of Sinéad O'Connor's version.

Chyp-Notic's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" reached number 16 in Germany in June 1990, where it was one of two contemporaneous covers of the track charting - the other version being by MXM, which reached number 26 on the German chart in June 1990.  The Chyp-Notic version also reached number 18 in New Zealand in June 1990, number 9 in Austria in August 1990, and number 21 in the Flanders region of Belgium in August 1990.

Vlad Mint, the band's singer, passed away in 1998, aged 29, though I was not able to find any information about this.  There is some speculation that Vlad did not perform all of the vocals on the Chyp-Notic tracks.

Number 147 "Generations of Love" by Jesus Loves You
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 24 September 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

Boy George project Jesus Loves You previously bubbled WAY down under in October 1989, and their second single, "Generations of Love", became their first to break into the ARIA top 150.  It was the second release from their The Martyr Mantras (number 136, June 1991) album.

"Generations of Love" is notable for featuring two artists signed to Boy George's More Protein label: MC Kinky, who 'sang' lead on E-Zee Possee's "Everything Begins with an "E"", and Amos, whom we shall see in 1994.

In the UK, "Generations of Love" initially peaked at number 80 in June 1990, before achieving a much higher peak of number 35 in July 1991 when re-issued.  The single was also re-issued in Australia in August 1991, and while it re-entered the chart, achieving a peak of number 139 in Victoria/Tasmania, it did not re-appear in the national top 150.  On the state charts, "Generations of Love" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 84.

Internationally, "Generations of Love" peaked at number 27 in the Flanders region of Belgium in September 1991, number 12 in the Netherlands in October 1991, and 30 in Austria in November 1991.
Although Jesus Loves You were not credited on the album covers, "Generations of Love" made its way onto two Boy George/Culture Club best-of albums: Spin Dazzle: The Best of Boy George and Culture Club (number 122, August 1992) and At Worst... The Best of Boy George and Culture Club (number 185, January 1994).

Jesus Loves You will join us again in May 1991.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 162 "You've Got a Friend" by Big Fun & Sonia featuring Gary Barnacle
Peak: number 157
Peak date: 10 September 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
Stock Aitken Waterman-produced artists Big Fun and Sonia were approached by the UK charity Childline (analogous to Australia's Kids' Helpline) to record a single to help raise funds for their cause.  
Initially, a cover version of the Carole King song "You've Got a Friend" was recorded, but this was shelved in favour of a more-sombre original Stock Aitken Waterman composition with the same title.  As the artwork for the single had already gone to the printing press by the time a decision was made to scrap the cover version, it was necessary for SAW to write a song with the same title.  Saxophonist Gary Barnacle also performs on the track and receives a featuring credit.

The original cover version of "You've Got a Friend" remained unreleased until the 2010 expanded re-issue of Big Fun's only album A Pocketful of Dreams.
"You've Got a Friend" was a moderate hit in the UK, peaking at number 14 in June 1990.  It also reached number 12 in Ireland.

On the ARIA state charts, "You've Got a Friend" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 122.

I remember seeing this single in the shops, but for some reason didn't buy it, despite buying all of Sonia's other locally released singles - often before even hearing them.  It probably didn't help that I never heard the song, or saw the video, until 2005 when tracking down Sonia's Everybody Knows: The Video Hits VHS tape.  I was quite surprised at the mellow and 'adult'-sounding vibe of the track, given the frothy, 'bubbly' personalities portrayed by Big Fun and Sonia during this era.  Perhaps this disconnect between the artists' usual style and the song was partly to blame for "You've Got a Friend" not becoming a bigger hit.
"You've Got a Friend" was Big Fun's final release in Australia.  The trio released a final Stock Aitken Waterman-produced single in the UK, "Hey There Lonely Girl", peaking at number 62 in August 1990.

Big Fun bubbled under previously in May 1990, and we have seen Sonia twice before this year, in February and May.  Sonia will return to this region of the chart again in October 1990.
Next week (10 September): Six new top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.
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