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'ĂȘtre 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.

Number 155 "Old Man Emu" (1990 version) by John Williamson
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 29 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 106 weeks
Australian country singer John Williamson originally released "Old Man Emu" in 1970, when it reached number 4 on the singles chart.  The track was re-recorded for his JW's Family Album (number 21, December 1990).
As the ARIA database tends to combine separate releases of the same title as though they were the same release, "Old Man Emu" is credited with spending 106 weeks on the chart at the time of writing.  Almost all of those weeks would be from the streaming era, and probably stem from the original recording of the song.  What that says about the tastes of the Australian streaming public, I don't know...

We will see John next in a mere three weeks' time.
Next week (5 November): Seven top 150 debuts, one of which is by a puppet!  There is also one bubbling WAY down under entry.

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