26 November 2021

Week commencing 26 November 1990

All of this week in 1990's top 150-peaking debuts spent at least 7 weeks on the chart, so it's another week where all of the new entries had above average chart longevity for singles peaking outside the top 100.  Let's take a look at them.
Billy Idol: sitting idly outside the top 100
Top 150 debuts:
Number 106 "Give It Up" by ZZ Top
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 26 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
Formed in Texas in 1969, up until this point in 1990, ZZ Top had placed ten singles on the Australian chart since 1974.  Their biggest hit in Australia was "Legs" (number 6, October 1984), the only one to make the top ten.

"Give It Up" was issued as the second single in Australia from ZZ Top's tenth studio album Recycler (number 27, November 1990).  It followed "Doubleback" (number 41, July 1990), which was also featured in the film Back to the Future Part III.

Internationally, "Give It Up" peaked at number 69 in Germany in December 1990, and number 79 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in February 1991.
On the ARIA state charts, "Give It Up" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 65.
"Give It Up" peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 94.
We shall next see ZZ top in April 1991.

Number 108 "Three Babies" by Sinéad O'Connor
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 26 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
Sinéad O'Connor first paid us a visit in February 1989, with her second single to register on the Australian chart.  Since then, she scored a massive hit with "Nothing Compares 2 U" (number 1, February 1990), which was the highest-selling single of 1990 in Australia.

"Three Babies" was issued as the fourth and final single from Sinéad's second album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got (number 1, March 1990), counting the earlier release of "Jump in the River" (number 134, April 1989).  It followed "The Emperor's New Clothes" (number 20, September 1990).
Internationally, "Three Babies" peaked at number 19 in Sinéad's native Ireland in October 1990, number 42 in the UK in October 1990, and reached the top 30 in the Netherlands and Switzerland, and the top 40 in the Flanders region of Belgium.

On the ARIA state charts, "Three Babies" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 65.
On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Three Babies" peaked at number 89.
I've heard "Three Babies" a couple of times before, but can never remember how it goes.  I think it's a nice song, but it just doesn't stand out as hit single material.

We shall next see Sinéad in 1992.
Number 114 "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Julio Iglesias
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 17 December 1990 (chart repeated 24 December 1990 and 31 December 1990)
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Julio Iglesias made an appearance as a featured artist on my first chart recap, in January 1989.  Up until this point in 1990, Julio had placed seven singles on the Australian chart, with four of those being duets.  Julio's biggest single in Australia was "To All the Girls I've Loved Before" (number 4, May 1984), a duet with Willie Nelson.

"Can't Help Falling in Love", as you might have guessed from the title, is a cover version of the Elvis Presley song that UB40 took to number 1 in Australia in July 1993.  It was the first single released from Julio's covers album Starry Night (number 13, February 1991).

Julio's rendition of "Can't Help Falling in Love" does not appear to have charted anywhere else, rather interestingly.
The video embedded below is taken from a live show from 1991, where you can see Julio performing the song.  You can listen to the studio recording of "Can't Help Falling in Love", which doesn't sound a whole lot different, here.

Julio will join us again, with another duet, in 1994.

Number 129 "Heaven" by The Chimes (re-release)
Peak: number 103 (original release: number 62)
Peak date: 10 December 1990 (original release: 19 March 1990 and 2 April 1990)
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks (original release: 14 weeks); 21 weeks total
Weeks on chart: 21 weeks

We first saw The Chimes bubble under back in September 1990.  "Heaven", issued as the second single from The Chimes (number 16, August 1990), originally peaked at number 62 in Australia in March 1990, bettering its peak of number 66 in the band's native UK in December 1989.

"Heaven" was re-released in the UK in September 1990, reaching a new peak of number 24 the following month.  It seems the Australian record company followed suit in giving the single another go; but, sadly, this time "Heaven" stalled just outside the top 100, peaking 41 places lower than it did initially.

One country "Heaven" was a hit in was New Zealand, where it reached number 5 in May 1990.

The late 1990 re-issue of "Heaven" peaked at number 25 in Ireland in October 1990, and number 40 in the Netherlands in November 1990 (after originally peaking at number 34 there in February 1990).

"Heaven" peaked on all five ARIA state charts with its January 1990 release, performing strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 39.

The Chimes will join us for one last time in January 1991.

Number 144 "The Blue Heeler" by James Blundell
Peak: number 127
Peak date: 3 December 1990
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks

Australian country singer James Blundell's debut album James Blundell (number 68, April 1989) made an appearance in the ARIA top 100, but "The Blue Heeler", the second single issued from his second album Hand It Down (number 50, September 1990), was James' first single to register in the top 150.  It followed "Age of Grace", released in July 1990.

A third single from Hand It Down, "Time on His Hands", was belatedly released in September 1991, but missed the top 150.

James would eventually land a major hit in Australia with "Way Out West" (number 2, April 1992), a duet with James Reyne.

James will join us again in 1995.

Number 148 "Prodigal Blues" by Billy Idol
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 7 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Up until this point in 1990, English singer Billy Idol had placed 15 singles on the Australian top 100, with six of those reaching the top 10.  His biggest hit in Australia, surprisingly, was "To Be a Lover" (number 3, December 1986).  Interestingly, Billy landed a top 40 hit in Australia (and the US), with "Hot in the City" (number 18, December 1982), nearly two years before his first UK top 40 hit.

"Prodigal Blues" was the third and final single from Billy's fourth studio album Charmed Life (number 11, May 1990).  It followed "Cradle of Love" (number 10, May 1990) and "L.A. Woman" (number 34, September 1990).
Elsewhere, "Prodigal Blues" peaked at number 47 in the UK in December 1990.
On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Prodigal Blues" peaked at number 92.
Billy survived a major motorcycle accident in February 1990, which temporarily rendered him unable to walk.  All scenes of him in the "Cradle of Love" music video, subsequently, were shot from the waist up.

I remember seeing the "Prodigal Blues" single in the shops, but don't think I heard the song until catching the video on rage in October 1991.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 156 "Lies" by En Vogue
Peak: number 156
Peak date: 26 November 1990
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
American vocal quartet En Vogue landed a top 5 hit in the US, the UK and New Zealand with their debut single "Hold On".  In contrast, "Hold On" only reached number 64 in Australia in October 1990.  Interestingly, "Hold On" performed much better on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart than in other states, where it reached number 31 (vs. no higher than 78 on any of the other four state charts).

"Lies" was the second single lifted from En Vogue's debut album Born to Sing (number 146, November 1990).  Surprisingly, "Lies" was a relative flop in the US, reaching a peak of number 38 there in October 1990.  "Lies" also underperformed in the UK, peaking at number 44 in July 1990, and in the Netherlands, where it reached number 42 in November 1990.

On the ARIA state charts, "Lies" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 146.
A third and final single from Born to Sing, "Don't Go", was released in Australia in April 1991, but failed to chart.  The group's third single in the US and UK, "You Don't Have to Worry", was not released in Australia.

En Vogue would score a couple of minor top 40 hits in Australia with "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" (number 36, August 1992) and "Free Your Mind" (number 39, January 1993), from their second album Funky Divas (number 66, March 1993).
Ignoring Salt 'N' Pepa's "Whatta Man" (number 2, March 1994), on which they sing the chorus, En Vogue would have to wait until 1997 to land their first, and only, major hit in Australia in their own right, with "Don't Let Go (Love)" (number 3, March 1997).

We will next see En Vogue in 1997.

Number 157 "Dig for Fire" by Pixies
Peak: number 157
Peak date: 26 November 1990
Weeks on chart: 1 week 
Pixes have joined us on two prior occasions to date, in October 1989 and August 1990.

"Dig for Fire" was the second and final single released from Pixies' third studio album Bossanova (number 68, September 1990).

"Dig for Fire" peaked at number 62 in the UK in November 1990, number 27 in Ireland in November 1990, and at number 11 on the US Billboard Alternative Songs chart.

On the ARIA state charts, "Dig for Fire" performed equal-strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 150.

The music video for "Dig for Fire", embedded below, segues into another track from Bossanova, "Allison".

Pixies will next grace our presence in August 1991.

Next week (3 December): Six new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.
< Previous week: 19 November 1990                             Next week: 3 December 1990 >

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