08 October 2021

Week commencing 8 October 1990

One unusual thing all four of this week's top 150 debuts have in common is that we will see all of the artists bubble under the top 100 again - but not until 1993.  Shall we take a look?
 
Suzanne Vega: tired of flopping
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 132 "Way Down Now" by World Party
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
For most of its existence, World Party has been Karl Wallinger's one-man band since parting ways with The Waterboys in 1986.  While Karl was with The Waterboys, they scored a hit single in Australia with "The Whole of the Moon" (number 12, May 1986).
 
World Party landed a major hit in Australia with in 1987 with "Ship of Fools" (number 4, June 1987).  Interestingly, that single performed much better locally than in Karl's native UK, where it only reached number 42 in February 1987.  In fact, "Ship of Fools" peaked higher in Australia than anywhere else in the world.
 
"Put the Message in the Box" (titled just "Message in the Box" in other countries) gave World Party a second top 100 'hit' in Australia, reaching number 86 in July 1990.

"Way Down Now" was the second single lifted from World Party's second album Goodbye Jumbo (number 70, July 1990).  The single peaked at number 66 in the UK in September 1990, number 53 in Canada in July 1990, and number 17 in the Netherlands in July 1990.

A third single from Goodbye Jumbo, "Thank You World", was issued in Australia in August 1991, but missed the top 150.

We shall see World Party again in 1993.

 
 
Number 133 "Guitar Boogie" by Tommy Emmanuel
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
"Guitar Boogie", an instrumental track written and originally recorded by Arthur Smith in 1945, was Australian guitar maestro Tommy Emmanuel's second single to enter the ARIA top 150.  The title of the previous one also began with the word 'guitar'.  In case you hadn't guessed, Tommy plays guitar...
 
"Guitar Boogie" was lifted from the album Dare to Be Different (number 13, August 1990).  The single was issued in Australia on 20 August 1990, and took nearly two months to reach the top 150.  "Guitar Boogie" performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 96.

A third single from Dare to Be Different, "Hearts Grow Fonder", was released in December 1990, but missed the top 150.

Tommy will next join us in 1993.
 

 
Number 145 "Tired of Sleeping" by Suzanne Vega
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 8 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
"Tired of Sleeping" was the second single issued from Suzanne Vega's third studio album Days of Open Hand (number 74, July 1990).  We saw Suzanne bubble under with the first single from the album back in July

Interestingly, "Tired of Sleeping" does not appear to charted anywhere else in the world, making its appearance on the ARIA singles chart a world exclusive!  On the state charts, "Tired of Sleeping" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 139.

I didn't hear this song until going on a Suzanne Vega audio binge in 2000, tracking down her albums after becoming enamored with her Tried and True: The Best of (number 96, November 1998) compilation, on which this track does not appear.  Only one song from Days of Open Hand was included on the compilation, "Book of Dreams".  It seems that this era was considered a relative flop era for Suzanne, despite the D.N.A. remix of "Tom's Diner" (number 8, November 1990) becoming her biggest worldwide hit in the latter part of 1990.

A third and final single from Days of Open Hand, "Men in a War", was released in Australia in February 1991, but failed to chart anywhere in the world.

Suzanne will next join us in 1993.
 
 
 
Number 146 "Kicking Against the Bricks" by Seven Stories
Peak: number 122 
Peak date: 22 October 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks

Seven Stories, initially named Tall Stories, formed in Adelaide in 1986.  Their first single, and first chart entry, "Sleeping Through Another War", reached number 68 on the ARIA singles chart in July 1990.

"Kicking Against the Bricks" was the second single lifted from Seven Stories' debut album Judges and Bagmen (number 76, August 1990).  A third single from the album, "Walk Through Babylon", was released in February 1991, but missed the top 150.

Seven Stories never placed another single within the top 100, but we will see them bubble under again in 1993.  The band split in 1994.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 153 "End of the World" by Sonia
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 8 October 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week

"End of the World" was the fifth and final single lifted from Sonia's debut album Everybody Knows (number 144, September 1990).  The track was originally recorded by Skeeter Davis, as "The End of the World", in 1962.  Another Stock Aitken Waterman production, the trio had earlier produced a version of the song for Brilliant in 1986.
 
There was a trend for Stock Aitken Waterman-produced artists around this time of dusting off an old ballad to cover, and then release it as a single towards the end of an album campaign.  Other examples include Kylie Minogue's "Tears on My Pillow" (number 20, February 1990), Jason Donovan's "Sealed with a Kiss" (number 8, June 1989) and "Rhythm of the Rain" (number 44, November 1990), and Big Fun's "Hey There Lonely Girl".
 
Sonia's version of "End of the World" reached number 18 in the UK in September 1990, enabling Sonia to become the first British female artist to score five top 20 singles from one album.  Despite that, Chrysalis Records did not extend her contract for a second album, and Sonia's working relationship with Stock Aitken Waterman ended by the end of 1990.
 
Outside of the UK, "End of the World" peaked at number 18 in Ireland.  "End of the World" became Sonia's fourth single in a row, including her duet with Big Fun, to peak outside the top 100 in Australia.  On the ARIA state charts, "End of the World" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 122.
 
Sonia signed with I.Q. Records, owned by Simon Cowell, in 1991.  She achieved another five UK top 30 singles over the following two years, including "Only Fools (Never Fall in Love)" (UK number 10, June 1991) and "Better the Devil You Know" (UK number 15, May 1993) - the latter track was recorded for Eurovision and is not a cover of the Kylie Minogue song.  None of Sonia's output after her first album was issued in Australia, however, probably owing to her lack of chart success here.

My favourite post-Stock Aitken Waterman Sonia singles are both cover versions: "Boogie Nights" (UK number 30, September 1992) and "You to Me Are Everything" (UK number 13, November 1991).  Interestingly, Sonia recorded the original version of "Walk Away Lover" for her second album Sonia (UK number 33, October 1991), which was later covered by Australian soap star Toni Pearen, as "Walkaway Lover" (number 35, December 1994).



Next week (15 October): Seven top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

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