14 January 2022

Week commencing 14 January 1991

A loose theme tying together some of this week in 1991's new entries is remix albums and re-releases.  Let's take a look.
The Beloved, who were sadly not beloved in Australia, contemplate their latest ARIA chart placing.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 132 "When the Boat Comes In (Lifeboat)" by Chosen Few
Peak: number 126
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
We first saw Australian band Chosen Few in May 1989, and again in February 1990.  Here they are for a third and final time, with the fifth and last single from the band's only album Friends, Foe & Firewood (number 128, July 1990).  Two of the album's singles, "Get It Right" (released November 1988) and "Days Like These" (June 1990), missed the ARIA top 150.  Interestingly, all three Chosen Few's singles to register a place in the top 150 peaked in the 120's.

"When the Boat Comes In (Lifeboat)" took more than two months to dent the top 150, having been released on 5 November 1990.

Number 136 "The Best Thing" (Listen!! Mix) by Boom Crash Opera
Peak: number 112
Peak date: 4 February 1991
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Dance remixes and remix albums from acts you wouldn't immediately think of as being remix aficionados, such as The Cure, were starting to be a thing by late 1990.  Australia's Boom Crash Opera, better known for their guitar-based pop sound, hopped on board with Look! Listen!! (number 47, January 1991), which contained extended versions and remixes of tracks from their first two studio albums Boom Crash Opera (number 19, October 1987) and These Here Are Crazy Times (number 10, May 1990).

"The Best Thing" was originally released as the third single from These Here Are Crazy Times in November 1989.  The single underperformed, reaching a peak of number 67 in January 1990, becoming the lowest-peaking release from the album.
I don't recall hearing this mix of "The Best Thing" at the time.  I am generally not a huge fan of remixes that stray significantly from the original track, as this does, with a few exceptions.  The beat on this mix I recognised as being the same as that used on Neneh Cherry's "Manchild" (The Old School Mix).
While checking to see whether the beats on the Neneh remix were sampled from somewhere else - I was convinced they were, but apparently they are not - I discovered another song from Belgian group The Dinky Toys, 1992's "The Test of Time", which samples the same beat.  I had never heard of The Dinky Toys before, but really like this track.

While I'm not a huge fan of this mix of "The Best Thing", I commend Boom Crash Opera for trying something different.  Another Australian band known for their rock music, Noiseworks, were also experimenting with electronic beats around this time.  Yay for Australia being dragged into the 90s...

We shall next see Boom Crash Opera in 1995.

Number 144 "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler (re-entry)
Peak: number 144 (in 1991); number 1 (in 1989)
Peak date: 14 January 1991 (1991 re-entry); 29 May 1989 and 12 June 1989 (original chart run)
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks (in 1991); 32 weeks (1989 and 1991 chart runs combined)
Weeks on chart: 37 weeks
Bette Midler last graced our presence in 1989.
"Wind Beneath My Wings", from the Beaches soundtrack (number 1, June 1989), was a number one hit in Australia for Bette in 1989.  I have no idea why it re-entered the chart 15 months after it exited the top 150.  I can only assume that it may have tied in with the TV premiere of Beaches.  However, that seems to be much more a UK phenomenon, when an old single from a movie gets a re-release/re-enters the chart because the movie aired on TV, as happened with Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" and Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love" there.

Bette will join us again in October 1991.

Number 146 "Between the Saddle and the Ground" by Peter Wells
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks 
Peter Wells was a founding member and the slide guitarist in Australian pub rock band Rose Tattoo, before leaving the band (they later reformed) in 1983.  We saw Rose Tattoo's lead singer last month.

"Between the Saddle and the Ground" was the lead single from Peter's solo debut album Everything You Like Tries to Kill You (number 91, February 1991).  I don't recall hearing this one before.
While no music video for "Between the Saddle and the Ground" has been uploaded to YouTube, a live performance on Tonight Live with Steve Vizard has been.

Peter died from prostate cancer in 2006, aged 59.  He was the second of five former members of Rose Tattoo to die of cancer, with four of those deaths occurring between 2006 and 2009.  Yikes!  I think that even beats the cursed record held by Ramones.

Number 150 "It's Alright Now" by The Beloved
Peak: number 150
Peak date: 14 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 4 weeks

We saw The Beloved back in October 1990 with the first of 9 (!) singles to peak outside the top 100 in Australia, and here they are with the second of those.

"It's Alright Now" was a new track recorded for the band's remix album Blissed Out (number 111, January 1991).  It was the album's only single.

Internationally, "It's Alright Now" peaked at number 48 in the UK in November 1990.

On the ARIA state charts, "It's Alright Now" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 134.

I didn't hear "It's Alright Now" until the music video aired on rage during retro month in January 2012.  I put that down to Countdown Revolution, where I caught their earlier singles, ending in December 1990, not long after this single was released.  The video is memorable - to me, anyway - for its hot air balloon ride scenes.

"It's Alright Now" and the Blissed Out remix album were the last releases where The Beloved were the duo of Jon Marsh (on vocals) and Steve Waddington.  Steve left the group in 1991, with Jon's wife Helena filling his place.
The Beloved will next join us in 1993.

Next week (21 January): A mammoth week, with 9 top 150 debuts and 7 bubbling WAY down under entries.
< Previous week: 7 January 1991                                        Next week: 21 January 1991 >

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