29 October 2021

Week commencing 29 October 1990

This week in 1990's new entries again cover a broad range of genres.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Inner City were on the outer with their latest release in 1990.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 125 "Lift Me Up" by Jeff Lynne
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
English singer-songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Lynne was the front man of Electric Light Orchestra, commonly abbreviated as ELO.  Between 1973 and 1986, ELO placed 20 singles on the Australian top 100 chart, including their "Xanadu" (number 2, September 1980) collaboration with Olivia Newton-John.  ELO's biggest hit in their own right in Australia was "Livin' Thing" (number 2, February 1977).

Jeff's first solo single, "Doin' That Crazy Thing", was released in 1977, but did not chart anywhere.  Jeff issued another one-off single, from the Electric Dreams soundtrack (number 54, October 1984), "Video!", in 1984.  "Video!" peaked at number 87 in the UK in July 1984, and number 85 in the US in August 1984, but did not chart in Australia.

More-recently, Jeff had been part of Traveling Wilburys, who landed two top 20 singles, "Handle with Care" (number 3, January 1989) and "End of the Line" (number 12, March 1989), and a number one album, with Vol. 1 (number 1, February 1989), in Australia.

Jeff also co-produced George Harrison's Cloud Nine (number 10, April 1988), Roy Orbison's Mystery Girl (number 1, February 1989), and Tom Petty's Full Moon Fever (number 13, June 1989) albums.  At this point in time, Jeff seemed to be the go-to producer for veteran acts seeking a career resurgence.

Jeff's first solo album, Armchair Theatre (number 35, July 1990), was not released until 1990.  The album's lead single, "Every Little Thing", peaked at number 31 in Australia in August 1990.  The single also reached number 59 in the UK in July 1990, and number 18 in Canada in August 1990.
 
"Lift Me Up" was the second and final single from Armchair Theatre.   The only other place the single charted was in Canada, where it reached number 37 in October 1990.
 
As with its predecessor, the "Lift Me Up" music video makes extensive use of animation.

I didn't think I knew "Lift Me Up", but the chorus sounds familiar.  It's not what I'd typically listen to, but I like it.  My dad was an ELO fan, buying several of their 70s albums on CD in the early-mid 90s.  I don't recall him buying Jeff's solo album, however, although he did own Traveling Wilburys' Vol. 1.

While Jeff will not appear in the top 150 again as a solo artist, he continued to have success producing for other artists.  It must have been disappointing for Jeff that he did not achieve the same level of success with his own work.

We shall see Jeff again as part of Traveling Wilburys in February 1991.
 

 
Number 138 "King of Dreams" by Deep Purple
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
Between 1971 and 1973, British rock band Deep Purple landed 6 singles on the Australian top 100, although only one of those made the top 40.  But hit singles aren't really the raison d'être for a band like Deep Purple, are they?

"King of Dreams" was the lead single from Deep Purple's thirteenth studio album Slaves and Masters (number 72, November 1990).  The single peaked at number 70 in the UK in October 1990, and number 56 in Canada in December 1990.

With some exceptions, I am not generally a fan of the heavier side of rock, so I was not expecting to like this song... not that it's that 'heavy', but the chorus is quite melodic.  I actually don't mind it.
 
"Smoke on the Water", released on the band's 1972 album Machine Head, is surely Deep Purple's best-known song, but oddly only peaked at number 54 in Australia.  We saw a charity cover version of that track bubble under last month.
 

 
Number 139 "Summer in Siam" by The Pogues
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Outside of fans of 80s/early 90s alternative music, The Pogues are best known for their festive season duet with Kirsty MacColl, "Fairytale of New York" (number 49, December 2019)... and lead singer Shane MacGowan's teeth.
 
Although "Fairytale of New York" was issued in Australia in December 1987, it did not chart until the digital/streaming era, as the song belatedly became known to a wider audience locally (I first heard it in 2005).  Its Australian peak to date of number 49 may be beaten in future years, as Christmas-themed songs of yesteryear continue to fill up the Christmas chart every year, sometimes bettering their previous peaks.

That aside, "Summer in Siam" was only The Pogues' second single to reach the top 150 in Australia.  We saw the first one back in March 1989.  The band achieved greater success on the Australian albums chart, with Rum Sodomy & The Lash (number 89, April 1986), If I Should Fall from Grace with God (number 36, February 1988) and Peace and Love (number 61, September 1989) all charting locally.

"Summer in Siam" was the lead single from The Pogues' fifth studio album Hell's Ditch (number 82, November 1990).  The single peaked at number 21 in Ireland in September 1990, and number 64 in the UK during the same month.

Shane MacGowan, the band's singer, will bubble under in 1995.

 
 
Number 141 "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" by Charlie Sexton
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks 

American singer-songwriter Charlie Sexton placed four singles within the Australian top 100 between 1986 and 1990, with his biggest hit down under being "Beats So Lonely" (number 17, April 1986).  We also saw Charlie bubble WAY down under in June 1989 with a single that only charted in Australia.

"Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress", a cover version of a 1971 song by The Hollies, appears on the Air America (number 133, October 1990) soundtrack.  It appears that "Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress" was only released as a single in Australia.

On the state charts, "Long Cool Woman..." performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 123.

This was Charlie's last release to chart in Australia.



Number 143 "That Man (He's All Mine)" by Inner City
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Detroit techno pioneer Kevin Saunderson formed Inner City with singer Paris Grey (real name Shanna Jackson) in 1987.  The pair placed all four singles from their debut album Paradise (number 38, September 1989) in the ARIA top 100 - "Big Fun" (number 57, March 1989), "Good Life" (number 52, March 1989), "Ain't Nobody Better" (number 67, June 1989), and "Do You Love What You Feel" (number 76, August 1989). "What'cha Gonna Do With My Lovin'" (number 86, February 1990), a new track recorded for their Paradise Remixed (number 119, April 1990) album, also made the top 100.

While Inner City never landed a top 50 single in Australia, they achieved greater success in the UK, with 9 top 40 singles, 4 of which made the top 10.  The pair also topped the US Billboard Dance chart on five occasions - not that I consider this a 'real' chart.

"That Man (He's All Mine)" was the lead single from the band's second studio album Fire (number 166, January 1991).  "That Man..." peaked at number 42 in the UK in October 1990.  It missed the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 20 on the Dance Singles Sales chart in December 1990, and number 15 on the Billboard Dance chart in January 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "That Man (He's All Mine)" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 140.

"That Man..." was the only single issued from Fire in Australia.  A second single from the album, "Till We Meet Again", was released in Europe and North America, and peaked at number 47 in the UK in March 1991.
 
Despite being a fan of the singles from Inner City's first album, I never heard "That Man..." at the time, suggesting that lack of promotion was a factor in it not performing as 'well' as the singles from the first album on the chart.

We shall see Inner City again in 1992.



Number 144 "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" by The Jeff Healey Band
Peak: number 127
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
 
The Jeff Healey band visited us twice in 1989, in June and July.  "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", a Beatles cover, was the second single issued from the album Hell to Pay (number 20, July 1990).  It followed "I Think I Love You Too Much", which was released in Australia in June 1990 but missed the top 150.
 
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" peaked at number 27 in the band's native Canada, and at number 85 in the UK in October 1990.
 
On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" peaked at number 92.

Jeff Healey died in 2007, aged 41, following a three-year illness with bone cancer.

We will next see The Jeff Healey Band in 1993.


 
Number 146 "I Almost Felt Like Crying" by Craig McLachlan and Check 1-2
Peak: number 103
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Back in 1990, Aussie Craig McLachlan was best known as a TV soap actor, playing the roles of Henry Ramsay on Neighbours between 1987 and 1989, and Grant Mitchell on Home and Away in 1990-91. Currently, he is best 'known' for being accused of some rather unsavoury acts, which I won't repeat here, but you can check this link if you don't already know.

In between, Craig briefly tried his hand at being a pop star in the late 80s/early 90s.  With his back-up band Check 1-2, Craig landed a couple of hits - "Rock the Rock" (number 36, December 1989), "Mona" (number 3, May 1990) and "Amanda" (number 24, August 1990).

"I Almost Felt Like Crying" was the fourth and final single lifted from the band's only album Craig McLachlan and Check 1-2 (number 4, June 1990).  The single also charted in the UK, where it reached number 50 in November 1990.

On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "I Almost Felt Like Crying" peaked at number 100.

Following this release, Craig ditched Check 1-2, and became a solo artist.  He landed three further top 100 'hits' in Australia, with the fittingly-titled "On My Own" (number 23, September 1991) being the biggest.  Craig's debut solo album Hands Free peaked at number 104 in March 1992 on the ARIA albums chart.

Craig will join us again as part of a stage show cast towards the end of 1992.



Number 147 "Crazy 4 U" by Sybil
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

American chanteuse Sybil graced our presence back in February 1990.  "Crazy 4 U" was the second single lifted from her second album Sybil (released in Australia in March 1990, did not chart) in Australia.  Salt 'N' Pepa perform a rap in the middle of the song, though are not credited as featured artists.  They do, however, appear in the music video.

Internationally, "Crazy 4 U" peaked at number 71 in the UK in April 1990.  While it missed the US Billboard Hot 100, "Crazy 4 U" reached number 45 on the Dance Singles Sales chart in May 1990, and number 19 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart during the same month.

On the ARIA state charts, "Crazy 4 U" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 125.

Interestingly, another Sybil single, "Walk on By", was released in Australia in between "Crazy 4 U"'s release in August 1990 and its debut in the top 150 nearly three months later.  "Walk on By", however, failed to chart.

We will next see Sybil in January 1991.



Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 152 "Piccadilly Palare" by Morrissey
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
English singer Steven Morrissey's Australian chart career commenced when he was lead singer of The Smiths.  Although the group achieved consistent chart success in the UK, they never really crossed over to a mainstream audience in Australia, only landing two top 100 singles, "This Charming Man" (number 52, April 1984) and "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" (number 91, February 1988).  The Smiths also had two singles bubble under the top 100 during the 1980s, but we'll get to those in my 1980s Kent Music Report recaps in a few years' time.
 
The Smiths had greater success on the Australian albums chart, placing four albums within the top 40 during the 1980s.  We will see several of the band's singles bubble under when re-issued in a couple of years from now.

Following the demise of The Smiths in 1987, Morrissey embarked on a solo career.  His debut single, "Suedehead", peaked at number 45 in Australia in May 1988, and became his biggest hit here.  Second single "Everyday Is Like Sunday" did not chart nationally (when the ARIA singles chart stopped at number 100), but registered on the Western Australia state chart at number 97 in July 1988.  Morrissey's debut solo album Viva Hate reached number 21 in April 1988.

We saw Morrissey's third single, a non-album track, bubble under in July 1989.  Two further non-album singles, "Ouija Board, Ouija Board" (December 1989) and "November Spawned a Monster" (May 1990), were released locally but failed to chart.

"Piccadilly Palare" was issued to promote the Morrissey compilation album Bona Drag (number 57, October 1990), which contained all of his singles to date, along with B-sides.  The single peaked at number 18 in the UK in October 1990, and number 5 in Ireland during the same month.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Piccadilly Palare" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 113.
 
Smiths bassist Andy Rourke plays on "Piccadilly Palare", marking the last occasion that Morrissey would collaborate with any of his former bandmates.  No music video was filmed to promote "Piccadilly Palare".
 
We shall next see Morrissey in March 1991.


 
Number 154 "Better Not Tell Her" by Carly Simon
Peak: number 154
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
We saw American singer-songwriter Carly Simon sampled on a track debuting last week, and here she is with one of her own.  Between 1971 and 1989, Carly placed 15 singles on the Australian top 100 chart.  Five of those singles reached the top 5, with Carly's biggest hit in Australia being "You're So Vain", which went to number 1 in 1973.  Carly last appeared on the ARIA chart with "Let the River Run" (number 83, May 1989).
 
"Better Not Tell Her" was the lead single from Carly's fifteenth studio album Have You Seen Me Lately? (number 160, November 1990).  Interestingly, the song did not chart in the US, but peaked at number 30 in Canada.

On the ARIA state charts, "Better Not Tell Her" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 108 in February 1991.  Unusually for a single peaking outside the top 150 in 1990, "Better Not Tell Her" spent 9 weeks on the chart.  The single peaked in four different months on the five state charts, hindering its success on the national chart.

This would be Carly's final single to chart in Australia.


 
Next week (5 November): Seven top 150 debuts, one of which is by a puppet!  There is also one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 22 October 1990                           Next week: 5 November 1990 >

26 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 26 October 1981

If one thread ties this week in 1981's two new bubbling under debuts together, it's probably that neither release was from the artist's most successful period.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Marc Hunter's latest single was a loser on the Australian charts this week in 1981.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 31 "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" by Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Highest rank: 10th
Peak date: 30 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
 
This single was a live rendition of "Tryin' to Live My Life Without You", from Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band's Nine Tonight (number 22, November 1981) - a live album drawn from two live shows in 1980.  The song is a cover version of a 1972 single by Otis Clay.

At this point in time, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band had placed six singles on the Australian top 100, with "Still the Same" (number 23, August 1978) being the biggest of those.  Bob and the gang would score their two biggest, and only top 10, hits in Australia in 1987 - peaking in the same month, no less - with "Old Time Rock & Roll" (number 3, August 1987) and "Shakedown" (number 9, August 1987).  Both of these tracks benefited from their inclusion in the movies Risky Business and Beverly Hills Cop II.

"Tryin' to Live My Life Without You" performed much stronger in the band's native US, where it reached number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1981.

Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band will bubble under again in 1986.
 

 
Position 33 "(Rock 'N' Roll Is) A Loser's Game" by Marc Hunter
Highest rank: 16th
Peak dates: 16 November 1981 and 23 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
New Zealand-born Marc Hunter was the lead singer of Dragon from 1973 until being fired from the band in early 1979 by his brother Todd.  Marc was fired following his increasingly erratic behaviour on stage.  Also around this time, Marc's drug use was spiralling out of control, and Todd has since commented the sacking was necessary to save Marc from himself.
 
Marc then embarked on a solo career, and although he did not achieve major success, he nonetheless landed two top 50 singles in Australia, with "Island Nights" (number 22, September 1979) and "Big City Talk" (number 41, August 1981).

"(Rock 'N' Roll Is) A Loser's Game" was the second single lifted from Marc's second solo album Big City Talk (number 54, August 1981).  Two further singles from the album were released, "Sideshow" (November 1981) and "Nothing but a Lie" (May 1982), but neither charted, or even bubbled under.

During Marc's tenure as front man for the group, Dragon notched up 8 top 100 singles on the Australian chart, with "April Sun in Cuba" (number 2, January 1978) and "Are You Old Enough" (number 1, October 1978) being their two biggest.  With new singer Billy Rogers, Dragon's first post-Marc release, "Love's Not Enough" (number 37, July 1979), was the band's only top 100 entry without Marc, and the group split by the end of the year.

Dragon reformed in August 1982, with Marc joining them as lead singer.  Their first release after reuniting, "Ramona" (number 79, December 1982), flew under the radar, but the follow-up, "Rain" (number 2, September 1983), put the band back on the map.

Marc would land another minor solo top 100 'hit' on the Australian chart, with "Communication" (number 78, May 1984).  Marc will bubble under again in 1994.

Sadly, Marc was diagnosed with pharyngeal cancer in November 1997, and died from the disease in July 1998, aged 44.
 
  


Next week (2 November): Just one single bubbling under the top 100, but it's quite a big one that surprisingly was not a hit in Australia.

< Previous post: 19 October 1981                              Next post: 2 November 1981 >

22 October 2021

Week commencing 22 October 1990

The nine new top 150-peaking entries this week cover all bases.  Everything from metal to hip-hop to radio station themes to rock ballads to... opera is there.  Shall we take a look?
 
Sam Brown: the hits suddenly 'stopped'.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 108 "Nessun Dorma" by Luciano Pavarotti
Peak: number 108
Peak dates: 22 October 1990 and 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
Best known - to me, anyway - as one of The Three Tenors, Italian operatic tenor Pavarotti's greatest success in Australia came on the albums chart, where he landed two number ones in 1990 and 1994, alongside José Carreras and Placido Domingo.

When it came to the singles chart, however, it was a different story, and the only single Pavarotti landed on the Australian top 100 was as a guest vocalist on U2 side project Passengers' "Miss Sarajevo" (number 7, December 1995).
 
"Nessun Dorma", which translates from Italian as "let no-one sleep", is an aria from the opera Turandot.  Pavarotti famously performed "Nessun Dorma" at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, leading to the song becoming known to a wider audience outside of opera-appreciating circles.
 
Pavarotti's version of "Nessun Dorma" reached number 2 in the UK in June 1990, and number 4 in Ireland.  Following Pavarotti's death from pancreatic cancer at age 71 in 2007, "Nessun Dorma" peaked at number 12 in the UK, number 7 in Ireland, and also hit the top 40 in the Netherlands and Switzerland.  While the song may not have technically been a hit in Australia, its climactic ending is surely familiar to many more people than its number 108 peak would suggest.

To me, Pavarotti is the kind of music you might hear while browsing in a furniture store, or while waiting to get your hair cut at an Italian barber's (at least, that was my experience in the 1990s).
 
We will next see Pavarotti bubble under as part of The Three Tenors in 1994.
 

 
Number 129 "Stranded" by Heart
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

American band Heart's career can be broadly split into two eras: the 1970s, when they were a hard rock/metal band, and the 1980s/90s, when their music was slickly produced soft rock.  The band, fronted by sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson, achieved success in both eras, although were bigger in their second incarnation.
 
Up until this point, Heart had placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100, with three of those reaching the top 10: "Magic Man" (number 6, March 1977), "Alone" (number 6, August 1987) and "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" (number 1, June 1990).  Three of my favourite Heart singles that were US top 10 hits but didn't do quite as well on the Australian charts are "What About Love" (number 28, December 1985), "Never" (number 48, February 1986) and "These Dreams" (number 27, May 1986).

"Stranded" was the third single lifted from Heart's tenth studio album Brigade (number 11, June 1990).  It followed "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You" and "I Didn't Want To Need You" (number 64, July 1990).  Ann sang lead on the majority of Heart's singles, but "Stranded" is one where Nancy sings lead vocals, as she did on "These Dreams" and their 1993 single "Will You Be There (In the Morning)" (number 24, March 1994).

Internationally, "Stranded" peaked at number 60 in the UK in November 1990, and number 13 in the US in December 1990.  On the state ARIA charts, "Stranded" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 92.
 
I don't believe I had actually heard "Stranded" before viewing the video to write this post, though I saw the single in the shops.  I remember at the time finding it odd how little promotion the singles from Brigade received in Australia following the number one success of "All I Wanna Do...".   While I heard "I Didn't Want To Need You" on the radio a couple of times in 1990, I didn't see the video until... linking it in this post!
 
During this era, Ann's physique was deemed 'unmarketable' by the band's record label, and all of the shots of her in the videos from Brigade are from the neck up.  In a video podcast interview from earlier this year, Ann details the impact body-shaming from the media had on her during the height of Heart's commercial success, leading to her developing anxiety and stage fright.
 
A fourth single from Brigade, "Secret", was released in Australia in March 1991, but failed to chart.  Again, it received zero promotion, and I had not heard it before now.
 
We shall next see Heart in 1994.



Number 130 "Once in Your Life"  by Sam Brown
Peak: number 125
Peak dates: 5 November 1990 and 12 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks

Since her debut single "Walking Back to Me" was released in Australia in April 1988 (did not chart), English singer-songwriter Sam Brown placed four singles within the ARIA top 100, with her biggest hit being "Stop!" (number 4, May 1989).  We also saw Sam bubble under back in September 1989.

"Once in Your Life" was the third single issued from Sam's second album April Moon (number 30, July 1990) in Australia.  It followed "With a Little Love" (number 27, June 1990) and "Kissing Gate" (number 89, August 1990).

For reasons I do not know, "Once in Your Life" was not released as a single in Sam's native UK, despite a music video being filmed for the song.  Instead, "Mindworks" was issued as the third single from the album there, where it peaked at number 77 in July 1990.  "Mindworks" was released as the fourth and final single from April Moon in Australia in February 1991, but failed to chart.  One interesting thing about the "Mindworks" music video, if you have not seen it before, is how similar parts of it are to Kylie Minogue's "Put Yourself in My Place" video, recorded four years later.

"Once in Your Life" was issued as a single in continental Europe, though Australia is the only country where it charted.  On the ARIA state charts, "Once in Your Life" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 83.  The single also made the top 100 in Western Australia, where it peaked at number 94.

One thing I fondly remember about "Once in Your Life" is the group-singalong-in-the-rain part towards the end of the music video, with Sam bursting into laughter just before the video fades to black.

Following April Moon, Sam parted ways with her record company A&M Records.  Her next album, 1993's 43 Minutes (number 132, June 1993), was released independently.  We shall see Sam bubble under with a single from it in 1993, but before then, a duet with Black (who we saw bubble under in March 1989), "Fly Up to the Moon" - complete with a claymation video, was released in Australia in October 1991, but failed to chart.



Number 139 "Doowutchyalike" by Digital Underground
Peak: number 139
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
American hip-hop group Digital Underground are categorised as alternative hip-hop, according to their Wikipedia article.  Not knowing what "alternative" hip-hop meant, I read further that it is rap music that does not conform to the conventional styles of rap such as hardcore or gangsta, and that it may also incorporate elements of pop, jazz, soul, reggae, or folk.  The first examples of alternative hip-hop I could think of after reading that description were De La Soul, P.M. Dawn and Gang Starr, who were less-concerned with rap clichés such as boasting about how good you are or who you're going to kill...

"Doowutchyalike" was Digital Underground's second single, and their first Australian release.  The single did not register on the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 29 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in August 1990, and number 20 on the Billboard Dance chart in September 1990 - neither of which is a 'real' chart if you ask me.  Elsewhere, "Doowutchyalike" reached number 79 in the UK in September 1989.  It is interesting that it charted nearly a year earlier in the UK than in the group's homeland.

Digital Underground would score a much bigger hit with their following single in the US, "The Humpty Dance" (US number 11, June 1990), but this missed the ARIA top 150 when issued locally in November 1990.

Digital Underground's biggest 'hit' in Australia would come when "Kiss You Back" reached number 97 in March 1992.
 

 
Number 141 "Dr. Dan's Theme" by Dieter Kleeman
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
 
This song, which is credited as "Doctor Dan's Theme" on the single sleeve and "Dr. Dan's Theme" on the record label and rear sleeve (don't ya love that?), served as the 'theme' song for the Australian radio station Triple M.  That being said, although I listened to some Triple M back in the day (mainly for the Top 8 at 8 countdown in 1989-90), I had completely forgotten about this theme song, and only the whispered "triple M" parts really remained in my consciousness.  I'm sure it will ring a bell to those who were regular Triple M listeners in the early 90s, though.

Another point of confusion - Dieter Kleeman's name should really be Dieter Kleemann.  It has been misspelt with only one N on the single sleeve and record label.
 
"Dr. Dan's Theme" peaked at number 99 on the Australian Music Report singles chart.
 
I reached out to Dieter to obtain a copy of this track (embedded below), as only the 1981 and 1984 versions were on YouTube - so thank you Dieter!


 
Number 144 "Bonita Applebum" by A Tribe Called Quest
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

American hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest formed in 1985.  "Bonita Applebum" was their first single issued in Australia, lifted from their debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.
 
Following in the footsteps of Queen's "Fat Bottomed Girls" (number 25, December 1978) and preceding Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" (number 8, August 1992), "Bonita Applebum" was a song about the appreciation of... women with amply-sized derrieres.
 
While the original version of "Bonita Applebum" is uploaded on the band's official YouTube channel, the single version of "Bonita Applebum" in Europe and Australasia, which I have embedded below, features a prominent sample of Carly Simon's "Why".  Despite being written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, and sounding like something of an early 1980s classic now, "Why" somehow did not chart at all when issued in Australia in August 1982.  "Why" was a number 10 hit in the UK in October 1982, however.  Coincidentally, Carly will join us next week.

"Bonita Applebum" missed the US Billboard Hot 100, but registered on the following Billboard dubious charts: number 28 on Dance Singles Sales in May 1997 (I'm not sure why this charted 7 years later), number 58 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs in October 1990, and number 4 on Hot Rap Songs in October 1990.  As to what some of these charts even reflect - your guess is as good as mine.

Elsewhere, "Bonita Applebum" charted at number 47 in the UK in August 1990; a real, sales-based chart.
 
For some reason, I always mentally associate "Bonita Applebum" with Christina Applegate, as though the song's title was a cute nickname for her or something - even though her figure (I didn't know this at the time, because I pay little attention to US sitcoms) hardly resembles the women this song is an ode to.

To my surprise, A Tribe Called Quest never landed a top 100 entry - single or album - in Australia, until 2016 when the We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service album peaked at number 13 in November 2016.  During the same year, Phife Dawg (real name Malik Taylor) died in March, aged 45, following complications arising from diabetes.


 
Number 145 "Real Real Gone" by Van Morrison
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 7 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
 
Van Morrison, in my mind, is the kind of artist who has been around forever, who your uncle (back in the day) might have appreciated, and who could just drop an album out there, with no hit single accompanying it, and land in the top 10.  Yet, if pressed, you couldn't actually name one of his songs, right?  Well, OK, he did that "Gloria" (G-L-O-R-I-A!) song with his band Them in the 1960s, but you didn't know who actually sung that, or that he was involved.
 
"Real Real Gone" was the lead single from Van's (real name George Ivan Morrison) twentieth studio album Enlightenment (number 39, November 1990).  It was his first single since "Have I Told You Lately" (number 93, August 1989) to chart in Australia.  Although the song was written by Van for his 1980 album Common One, it was first recorded by Tom Fogerty as an album track for his 1981 album Deal It Out.

Internationally, "Real Real Gone" peaked at number 79 in Van's native UK (well, he's Northern Irish) in October 1990, and number 28 in Canada in February 1991.  On the more-dubious US Billboard charts, "Real Real Gone" peaked at number 18 on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in December 1990, and number 34 on the Adult Contemporary chart in January 1991.

Although it's not the sort of thing I'd normally listen to, I don't actually mind this track, hearing it now for the first time - perhaps it's because I'm now at that 'uncle who listens to music from the olden days' stage of my life...

Van will next bubble under in 1995.


 
Number 147 "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by Double Trouble
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

You might have guessed from the title that this track is a cover version of Rose Royce's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" (number 10, July 1979), which is one of those songs that seems to be a standard to cover.  A few other covers of the song that immediately spring to mind are those by I'm Talking (number 21, October 1985), Jimmy Nail (UK number 3, May 1985), Madonna (number 27, June 1996), and Yazz (recorded for her 1997 covers album The Natural Life).

Despite the name, Double Trouble were actually a trio of dance music producers and remixers.  They scored a minor hit in Australia with "Street Tuff" (number 85, February 1990), featuring Rebel MC, whom we saw again last week, on vocals.  Pairing up again with Rebel MC, we saw Double Trouble bubble under previously in March 1990.

"Love Don't Live Here Anymore" featured the vocals of Janette Sewell, who sang back-up vocals on "Street Tuff".  Janette's backing vocal credits also include Simply Red's Men and Women album and The Beloved's Happiness album, among others.

In the UK, "Love Don't Live Anymore" peaked at number 21 in July 1990.  The single also reached number 29 in Ireland in July 1990, number 35 in Germany in September 1990, and number 11 in New Zealand in October 1990 (yet another example of the Kiwis being more evolved than us).

Tragically, one third of Double Trouble, Michael Menson, died in 1997, aged 30, succumbing to injuries two weeks after being set alight in a racially-motivated street attack.  Family and friends felt that the police did not adequately investigate the attack, treating Michael's death as though it was a suicide instsead.  Following campaigning and a public outcry, a fresh investigation team was assigned and one man was charged with murder in December 1999, and another with manslaughter.

This would be Double Trouble's final release to chart in Australia.



Number 150 "Empire" by Queensrÿche
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Queensrÿche (pronounced kweenz-rike) are an American heavy metal/hard rock band, formed in 1980.  "Empire" was the title track and lead single from their fourth studio album Empire (number 127, November 1990).  It was also the band's first release to chart in Australia.

Internationally, "Empire" peaked at number 61 in the UK in November 1990, and at number 22 on the questionable US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in November 1990.
 
The song deals with the subject matter of illicit drug trafficking in the United States, and the detrimental effect this has on society.  As of 2016, the band have played the song over 1,000 times at live concerts.

We will see Queensrÿche again in July 1991.
 

 
Next week (29 October): Another busy week, with eight top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 15 October 1990                               Next week: 29 October 1990 >

19 October 2021

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 19 October 1981

This week 40 years ago, we have another mixed bag of artists bubbling under the Australian top 100.  Among them, we have a veteran singer-songwriter from the 1960s, the second single from a new pop band who appealed largely to teenage girls at this point in their career, and an obscure New Zealand band who only recorded one album.  Let's take a look.
 
Art Garfunkel: how could only one of his solo releases burn so brightly in Australia?
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 38 "Don't Wanna Go Home" by Tigers
Highest rank: 21st
Peak date: 9 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
 
Tigers were a New Zealand band, formed in 1979 and splitting in 1983.   The band released only one album, Tigers, which was recorded in Australia.  During its tenure, the group released five singles, of which "Don't Wanna Go Home" was the only one to (almost) register on the Australian chart.  Nothing Tigers released charted in their home country.

The performance clip of "Don't Wanna Go Home" below was lifted from the iconic Australian music TV show Countdown.  It seems that, from time to time, Countdown aired some more-underground stuff, rather than just the chart hits, like this - at least in the early 1980s.
 

 
Position 39 "Careless Memories" by Duran Duran
Highest rank: 2nd  (single peaked at number 60 in 1982)
Peak date: 16 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
 
"Careless Memories" was Duran Duran's second single, following "Planet Earth" (number 8, August 1981).  Interestingly, "Planet Earth" peaked higher in Australia than it did in the band's native UK, where it only reached number 12 in March 1981.

"Careless Memories", however, was more or less a flop in both countries, peaking at number 37 in the UK in May 1981.  While "Careless Memories" would eventually reach a peak of number 60 in Australia in May 1982, upon its initial release, it narrowly missed the top 100.  It was only after "Girls on Film" (number 11, February 1982), "My Own Way" (number 10, May 1982) and an Australian tour in April 1982 that "Careless Memories" finally hit the top 100.

I'm not sure why "Careless Memories" was not a bigger hit for Duran Duran.  My only guess is that it lacks a big chorus, and as it was only their second single, they had not yet established a devoted fan-base.  "Careless Memories" was the only Duran Duran single to miss the top 20 in the UK until 1987, and their only single to miss the top 30 there until late 1989.

Duran Duran will next bubble under in 1987.
 
 
 
Position 42 "A Heart in New York" by Art Garfunkel
Highest rank: 20th
Peak date: 9 November 1981
Weeks on below list: 4 weeks
 
Art Garfunkel is best known as one-half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with Paul Simon.  Between 1965 and 1970, the pair landed six top 10 singles in Australia, including "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water".  1970's "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" topped the Australian singles chart.

Art embarked on a solo career in 1973.  While he placed seven singles on the Australian top 100 between 1973 and 1985, Art only had one major solo hit in Australia, with "Bright Eyes" (number 2, July 1979).

"A Heart in New York" was the lead single from Art's fifth studio album Scissors Cut (number 70, October 1981).  To my surprise, I actually knew this song already - though I've no idea how, as I was not yet 3 years old when it was released, and it wasn't a hit.

Internationally, "A Heart in New York" peaked at number 66 in the US, number 39 in the Netherlands , and number 37 in the Flanders region of Belgium - all in September 1981.

Art would score one final top 100 entry on the Australian singles chart, with "Sometimes When I'm Dreaming" (number 96, June 1985).  Art's former bandmate Paul Simon landed his biggest solo hit in Australia with the inescapable "You Can Call Me Al" (number 2, November 1986) the following year.


 
Next week (26 October): Two singles bubbling beyond the top 100.

< Previous post: 12 October 1981                                     Next post: 26 October 1981 >

15 October 2021

Week commencing 15 October 1990

There isn't much I can find linking this week's debuts together, so let's just jump straight in...  But, before we do, I want to highlight that I have now added all of the 'peak date' data to my 1989 chart recaps - a reader requested I do that some time ago.  Also, I have updated a post from September 1989 with a newly-uncovered bubbling WAY down under entry from Bonnie Raitt.
 
Belinda Carlisle: the runaway horses have bolted from the ARIA top 100.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 123 "All I'm Missing Is You" by Glenn Medeiros
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
 
Hawaiian singer Glenn Medeiros made an appearance on the first ARIA singles chart that extended beyond number 100, in January 1989.  Glenn landed two major hits in Australia, "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You" (number 10, February 1988) and "She Ain't Worth It" (number 8, August 1990), which sound quite different to each other.  The latter track featured Bobby Brown as a guest rapper, and the former took just over 6 months from its release to reach its eventual peak on the Australian chart.
 
"All I'm Missing Is You", produced by Ray Parker Jr., was the second single lifted from Glenn's third album Glenn Medeiros (number 69, September 1990), which was actually his second self-titled album!  Glenn's 1990 self-titled album performed better in Australia than 1987's Glenn Medeiros (number 98, February 1988) and Not Me (number 124, March 1989).
 
In the US, "All I'm Missing Is You" peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1990.  The single also reached number 70 in Germany in November 1990.

"All I'm Missing Is You" performed slightly better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 95.
 
This would be Glenn's last ARIA top 150 entry.  Glenn is now employed as a school principal in Honolulu.
 
 
 
Number 125 "(We Want) The Same Thing" by Belinda Carlisle
Peak: number 103
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
 
Belinda Carlisle's chart career started when she was the lead singer of Go-Go's (technically there is no 'the' in their name!).  Their 1981 single "Our Lips Are Sealed" reached number 2 on the Australian singles chart in January 1982.  Three other Go-Go's singles, "We Got the Beat" (number 29, May 1982), "Vacation" (number 43, August 1982) and "Head Over Heels" (number 60, July 1984) registered on the Australian chart.

To my surprise, "Our Lips Are Sealed" was much bigger in Australia than it was in the Go-Go's native US, where it only reached number 20, in December 1981.  "Our Lips Are Sealed" also bombed in the UK at number 47 in June 1982.  The Fun Boy Three version of the track (the song was co-written with Terry Hall from the group) was a UK number 7 hit, though, in May 1983.

While the group would later reform, Go-Go's disbanded in 1985, and two of its members, Belinda Carlisle and Jane Wiedlin (who wrote "Our Lips Are Sealed" with Terry Hall), launched solo recording careers.
 
Jane Wiedlin's only solo release to (kind of) register on the Australian chart was her single "Rush Hour", which did not chart nationally, but reached number 88 on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart, and number 63 in Western Australia in November 1988.  If the ARIA chart extended beyond number 100 in 1988, "Rush Hour" probably would have peaked just outside the top 100.

Belinda's first solo release, "Mad About You", peaked at number 9 on the Australian singles chart in October 1986.  A second single from the Belinda (number 42, November 1986) album, "I Feel the Magic" (released in Australia in October 1986), failed to chart.
 
Belinda achieved greater, and more-consistent, commercial success after switching record labels in 1987.  "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" topped both the US (December 1987) and UK (January 1988) singles charts, and also went to number 1 in New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.  In Australia,"Heaven..." peaked at number 2 in February 1988.
 
Subsequent singles from Belinda's second album Heaven on Earth (number 13, March 1988) were less-successful, but both "I Get Weak" (number 34, April 1988) and "Circle in the Sand" were top 10 hits in the US and UK.  "Circle in the Sand", issued in Australia in May 1988, missed the national chart (when it ended at number 100), but registered on the Queensland and Western Australia state charts, where it peaked at numbers 97 and 84, respectively, in July 1988.  A fourth single from Heaven on Earth, "World without You", was issued in Australia in September 1988, but did not chart.

That brings us to Belinda's third solo album Runaway Horses (number 6, June 1990).  While the album was Belinda's most successful in Australia, being certified double platinum, it did not perform as well as Heaven on Earth in the US or UK, and marked the start of Belinda's commercial decline, particularly in the US, where the album peaked at number 37 in December 1989, and only two singles from it charted.

Six singles were issued from Runaway Horses in Australia, with "(We Want) The Same Thing" being the last of those.  It followed "Leave a Light On" (number 5, January 1990), "La Luna" (number 21, January 1990), "Summer Rain" (number 6, May 1990), "Runaway Horses" (number 44, July 1990), and "Vision of You" (number 84, August 1990).

Despite its lack of success in Australia, "(We Want) The Same Thing" gave Belinda a career resurgence in the UK, where it peaked at number 6 in November 1990, following a string of underperforming singles that peaked at numbers 38, 40, and 41.  The UK follow-up release of "Summer Rain" propelled the Runaway Horses album back into the top 10, more than a year after its release.
 
"(We Want) The Same Thing" peaked at number 22 in Ireland in November 1990, and number 53 in Germany in December 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, "(We Want) The Same Thing" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 69.  The single also peaked within the top 100 on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory (number 99) and South Australia/Northern Territory (number 83) state charts.
 
"(We Want) The Same Thing" was remixed for its single release, and sounds quite different to the original album version.  The music video for "(We Want) The Same Thing" is a bit of a botched job, using live footage as well as excerpts from earlier Belinda Carlisle videos.
 
One memory I have regarding this track is that my dad heard it on the radio when moving our car from the driveway into the garage, liked it, and asked me about it - not that this helped the song become a hit in Australia.

Belinda will bubble under four more times between now and 1997, with the next occasion being in 1992.
 

 
Number 132 "In the Evening" by Girl Overboard
Peak: number 130
Peak date: 12 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
Australian band Girl Overboard formed in 1985, although were named Separate Tables until the second half of 1989.  As Separate Tables, the group issued three singles: "When the World Came Down" (number 82, February 1988), "Change My Sex" (released in May 1988, did not chart), and "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" (number 71, April 1989).  The latter track ended up on Girl Overboard's debut album Paint a Picture (number 18, March 1990).
 
Following a name change, the first Girl Overboard single, "I Can't Believe" (number 43, December 1989), was released in October 1989.  The second Girl Overboard single, "The Love We Make", became the band's biggest hit, reaching number 23 in March 1990.  Then followed "Permanent Friend"/"Some Things Never Change" (number 85, June 1990), which didn't fare as well on the chart.

"In the Evening" was the fourth... or sixth, if you count "Wrap Your Arms Around Me" and the titles from the previous double A-side release separately, single from Paint a Picture, and its final release.  "In the Evening" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 95.

Lisa Schouw, the band's lead singer, later became a psychotherapist, but sadly died in October 2020, aged 62, from melanoma.

We shall next see Girl Overboard in 1992.
 


Number 144 Rollercoaster E.P. by The Jesus and Mary Chain
Peak: number 110
Peak date: 19 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Led by the title track "Rollercoaster", The Jesus and Mary Chain's Rollercoaster E.P. was the Scottish band's second single to dent the Australian top 150, following "Head On" back in December 1989.

The EP peaked at number 46 in the UK in September 1990, number 25 in Ireland in September 1990, and number 28 in New Zealand in October 1990.

"Rollercoaster" eventually appeared on the band's fourth studio album Honey's Dead (number 44, April 1992).

One thing I always remember about The Jesus and Mary Chain is that Australian Democrats senator Natasha Stott Despoja said they were her favourite band, though I don't remember where I read or heard this... perhaps during a Triple J radio interview.

We shall next see The Jesus and Mary Chain in 1994.



Number 148 "Your Love Takes Me Higher" by The Beloved
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week

There are artists who are underrated, and then there are artists who are criminally underrated.  British group The Beloved fall into the latter category when it comes to the Australian charts.  Nothing the band released locally - and they did try, with 10 singles and 4 albums issued locally between 1990 and 1996 - peaked higher than number 88 on Australian charts.

The Beloved formed in 1983, and had been releasing music independently in the UK since 1986.  Their first major label album Happiness (number 104, June 1990) landed them three top 40 hits in their homeland.

The first release of "Your Love Takes Me Higher" in the UK, promoted with an earlier music video showcasing singer Jon Marsh's dancing... talents, peaked at number 91 there in February 1989.  The track achieved a new peak of number 39 in the UK in March 1990 when re-issued, with a higher budget video (embedded below).

In Australia, "Your Love Takes Me Higher" was the third single released from Happiness, following "Hello" (number 94, May 1990) and "Time After Time" (released in Australia in June 1990, did not chart).  I am surprised that "Time After Time", one of my favourite Beloved singles, did not chart at all in Australia, given that the music video received at least two airings on Countdown Revolution during prime-time viewing.  I also feel that "Your Love...", which received exposure via Countdown Revolution too, should have done much better.

On the state charts, "Your Love Take Me Higher" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 124.

The Beloved bubbled under on the Australian singles chart no fewer than seven times between 1990 and 1996.  We will next see The Beloved in January 1991.



Number 149 "Dr. Dynamite" by Mighty Big Crime
Peak: number 121
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks

Mighty Big Crime were the Melbourne-based hip-hop duo Tricky J (real name Julien Lodge) and Gumpy (Andrew Phillips).  Between 1987 and 1991, the pair released six singles, although none of these made the top 100.  Their cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out" did, however, make the Australian Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100, reaching fourth place on the list in December 1988.
 
The Wikipedia page for the group mentions a 1989 album titled Get Outta My Face, but this is not listed in the weekly Australian Music Report or The ARIA Report lists of new release titles I have, and there does not seem to be any trace of the album's existence online.  Similarly, at the time of writing this, there is no trace of "Dr. Dynamite" online either, other than vinyl copies of the single listed for sale (I don't care for vinyl at all).  This sort of thing seems to happen a lot to Australian artists, unfortunately.

I do, however, remember the song, as from memory it made the voted-for-by-listeners Top 8 at 8 radio show hosted by John Peters, which aired on Triple M in Melbourne.  A music video for "Dr. Dynamite" does exist, and was nominated for best video at the 1991 ARIA Awards.  Just, it hasn't made its way onto YouTube or other video streaming sites... yet!

Tricky and Gumpy went on to form Freaked Out Flower Children, who scored a top 40 hit with "Spill the Wine" (number 31, February 1992); but before then, we will see Mighty Big Crime bubble under again in 1991



Number 150 "To Sir with Love" by Ngaire
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
Ngaire Fuata, not to be confused with the second series of Australian Idol contestant Ngaiire, was a New Zealand-based soul-pop singer who was born in the UK.  I say 'was' because she now works as a television producer for TVNZ, New Zealand's public broadcasting station.

"To Sir with Love", a cover of the Lulu song, was released as Ngaire's (pronounced ny-ree) debut single, and went to number 1 in New Zealand for five weeks in October and November of 1990.  In Australia, Ngaire wasn't so fortunate, and the single just scraped into the top 150 for a solitary week.

While "To Sir with Love" was Ngaire's only foray into the Australian top 150, she landed another five top 50 singles in New Zealand between 1991 and 1996 - although none of these peaked higher than number 18.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 155 "Rebel Music" by Rebel MC
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 15 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
UK rapper Rebel MC has visited us on two prior occasions, in March 1990 with Double Trouble, and in July 1990 on his own.  Here he is for the third, and final, time, on his own again.

"Rebel Music" was the fourth and final single issued from the Rebel Music (number 98, July 1990) album.  The track features guest vocals on the chorus from Jenni Evans, who became the female vocalist in Matt Bianco after Basia left.  Jenni died around five years ago if what I am reading on discogs.com is correct.
 
In the UK, "Rebel Music" peaked at number 53 in June 1990.  On the ARIA state charts, "Rebel Music" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 139.
 
I don't remember hearing this track at the time, but veteran Australian music video program rage aired the clip in 2020 during a dance music from 1990-themed vault episode.

"Rebel Music" would be Rebel MC's last release to chart in Australia, although another single, "Tribal Base", was released locally in September 1991.  We will see his former collaborative partners Double Trouble next week.
 
 
 
Next week (22 October): A bumper week with nine new top 150-peaking debuts.
 
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