There isn't an obvious theme connecting this week's new entries, so let's dive straight in.
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.