05 November 2021

Week commencing 5 November 1990

The top 150-peaking debuts this week in 1990 were another diverse lot, with metal, rock ballads, country, and... children's television puppets among them.  But before diving in, let me bring to your attention that I have updated last week's post with a newly uncovered bubbling WAY down under entry from Carly Simon.  Let's take a look at this week's debuts.
 
Agro's... chart connection?
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" by Megadeth
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
For some reason, I had thought until now that Megadeth were British, but they actually formed in Los Angeles in 1983.  The band had to wait until 1990 to land their first Australian chart entry, when their version of Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy" reached number 48 in March 1990.

"Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" was the lead single from Megadeth's fourth studio album Rust in Peace (number 47, November 1990).  Internationally, the single peaked at number 24 in the UK in September 1990, and number 12 in Ireland.  "Holy Wars..." did not chart in the band's native US.
 
Clocking in at over 6 and a half minutes, "Holy Wars..." doesn't exactly scream 'single' to my ears.

Despite forming devil horns above his head in the "No More Mr. Nice Guy" music video, Megadeth lead singer Dave Mustaine is now a born-again Christian, and refuses to perform at festivals where there are bands who may be perceived as being satanic.
 
 
 
Number 140 "I Found Out" by The Christians
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 weeks

From born-again Christians, we now go to a band named The Christians; although it is due to the founding members of the band being brothers, with the surname Christian.  We last saw the British band in April 1990.

"I Found Out" was the second single issued from The Christians' second album Colour (number 138, May 1990).  The single peaked at number 56 in the UK in April 1990, number 69 in the Netherlands in May 1990, number 42 in the Flanders region of Belgium in May 1990, and number 22 in France in August 1990.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "I Found Out" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 115.
 
"I Found Out" was The Christians' highest-peaking single on the Australian chart, if we ignore their contribution to the Hillsborough disaster charity single "Ferry Cross the Mersey" (number 45, June 1989).  I remember seeing the band in the UK pop magazine Number One, but never heard any of their music at the time; so, presumably, their Australian success was hindered by a lack of promotion.

We shall next see The Christians in 1993.

 
 
Number 142 "Got the Time" by Anthrax
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Anthrax formed in New York City in 1981.  Their fourth studio album State of Euphoria peaked at number 82 on the ARIA albums chart in late 1988.  "Got the Time", the first release from the band's fifth album Persistence of Time (number 30, September 1990), was their first single to land within the Australian top 150.

Elsewhere, "Got the Time" peaked at number 16 in the UK in January 1991.

To my surprise, "Got the Time" is a cover version of a song written and originally recorded by Joe Jackson for his 1979 album Look Sharp! (number 20, July 1979).  Joe doesn't seem like the kind of artist a metal band would cover.

Anthrax will join us again in 1993.




Number 143 "I'll See You in My Dreams" by Giant
Peak: number 115
Peak date: 8 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 15 weeks

American band Giant formed in 1987.  "I'll See You in My Dreams" was their second single released in Australia, following "I'm a Believer" (June 1990).  Both tracks are lifted from the band's debut album Last of the Runaways.
 
"I'll See You in My Dreams" was released in Australia in mid-August 1990, and took two and a half months to break into the top 150.  The single had two separate chart runs in Australia, initially peaking at number 121 in November 1990 and spending 5 weeks in the top 150, before re-entering in March 1991, climbing to a new peak of number 115 the following month, and spending another 10 weeks in the top 150.  A reader has informed me that the second chart-run coincided with the song featuring in a scene in the TV series Twin Peaks.

In the band's native US, "I'll See You in My Dreams" reached number 20 in June 1990.  The single also peaked at number 96 in the UK during the same month.
 
On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "I'll See You in My Dreams" peaked at number 82.
 
"I'll See You in My Dreams" was Giant's only ARIA top 150 entry.
 

 
Number 145 "Love Is Strange" by Kenny Rogers Duet with Dolly Parton
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Country music legends Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton teamed up for a Bee Gees-penned duet, "Islands in the Stream", which went all the way to number 1 on the Australian chart in December 1983.  Kenny and Dolly paired up again on "Real Love" (number 45, December 1985), with much less success.
 
"Love Is Strange" was the third Kenny and Dolly duet single, and was a cover version of the Mickey & Sylvia song from 1956.  The song was the title track from Kenny's Love Is Strange (number 155, November 1990) album.  While the single was not a commercial success anywhere, it did reach number 21 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September 1990 - if that counts for anything.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Love Is Strange" peaked highest in Queensland, where it reached number 124.
 
We last saw Kenny in July 1989, and he will join us next in 1995.  Dolly will join us before then, in 1992.
 
 
 
Number 146 "Crying in the Rain" by a-ha
Peak: number 131
Peak dates: 19 November 1990 and 26 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Norwegian band a-ha burst onto the scene with the international smash hit "Take on Me" (number 1, November) in 1985.  What you may not know, though, is that "Take on Me" had an earlier release, with a different mix and video, in 1984 (though not in Australia).

While a-ha maintained a reasonable level of commercial success in Europe for the better part of a decade, in Australia, they are largely (and inaccurately) considered to be one-hit wonders, with none of their other singles peaking higher than number 19, which "The Sun Always Shines on T.V." reached in February 1986.  A-ha amassed five top 40 singles in Australia, with the last one of those being the Bond theme "The Living Daylights" (number 29, August 1987).  A-ha's last top 100 single in Australia was "Stay on These Roads" (number 56, June 1988).

"Crying in the Rain" was the first single released from a-ha's fourth studio album East of the Sun, West of the Moon (number 122, November 1990).  The song is - unusually, for a lead single from an established act - a cover version, of a song originally recorded by The Everly Brothers.
 
Internationally, "Crying in the Rain" topped the Norwegian singles chart, and peaked within the top 10 in Germany, the Netherlands, and Ireland.  The song was also a top 20 hit in the UK, Austria, France and Belgium.
 
Locally, "Crying in the Rain" performed strongest on the Western Australia state chart, where it reached number 110.
 
I admit that I didn't actually know any of a-ha's songs, other than "Take on Me", until I started following music, and the charts, intently in 1988.  "Touchy!" (released in Australia in October 1988, did not chart) was the second song of theirs I was aware of, after seeing the music video on The Factory.  I didn't hear any of their other music until catching "The Living Daylights" on a repeated episode of Countdown on rage in January 2005.  While I am surprised the band did not enjoy more success in Australia, "Crying in the Rain" is not my favourite song of theirs.

We will next see a-ha in January 1991.
 

 
Number 150 "Living in a Child's Dream" by Agro
Peak: number 150 
Peak date: 5 November 1990
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

For anyone who doesn't know, Agro is/was a puppet, voiced by Jamie Dunn, on Australian children's television during the 1980s and 1990s, on programs such as Wombat and Agro's Cartoon Connection.
 
While sometimes referred to as a talking bathmat, Agro was actually crafted from a puppet of the Muppets character Animal.  Agro's brand of humour was typically more 'adult' than usual for a children's TV show character, as evident in this compilation.  I could not imagine a character like Agro being on children's TV now.

"Living in a Child's Dream" was lifted from the imaginatively-titled The Agro Album (number 44, November 1990).  The song was written by Mick Bower, who was the original guitarist in the Australian band The Masters Apprentices.

My impression is that anyone who bought this single - or the album, for that matter - wasn't getting it for the music itself, but rather, they liked Agro or the single/album sleeve, or thought it might make a nice Christmas present.  I had never heard this song before, or any of Agro's other 'music'.

Despite The Agro Album's modest success, a second Agro album, Agro Too (number 100, December 1990), was released to cash-in on the Christmas market in 1991.


 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 156 "Reckless" by Weddings, Parties, Anything
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 3 December 1990
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
As I write this post, I am slightly confused.  While "Reckless" was issued as a single in its own right, it was also the lead track on Weddings, Parties, Anything's The Weddings Play Sports (And Falcons) EP, which reached number 93 on the ARIA singles chart in November 1990.  My guess is that, perhaps, the six-track EP was more of a mini-album, from which "Reckless" (with a B-side not on the EP) was the single, and ARIA should have placed the EP on the albums chart instead.  But it's certainly strange to have an EP and a single with the same lead track charting simultaneously on the singles chart.
 
We last saw Weddings, Parties, Anything in April 1990, and will next see them in 1994.
 

 
Next week (12 November): The new entries keep coming, with another eight top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.
 
< Previous week: 29 October 1990                                     Next week: 12 November 1990 >

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