21 January 2022

Week commencing 21 January 1991

This week in 1991 saw nine new top 150-peaking debuts, and all but one of them happened to peak during the same week!  This week also sees the highest number of bubbling WAY down under entries to date, with seven.  Phew!  Let's take a look at them.
 
Innocence: they are that innocent!
  
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 132 "Here and Now" by Shane Howard
Peak: number 132
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Shane Howard came to fame as the frontman for Australian band Goanna, who scored a massive hit in 1982 with "Solid Rock" (number 3, December 1982).  Surprisingly, the band only landed one other top 40 hit, with "Razor's Edge" (number 35, May 1983).

Goanna disbanded in 1985, and Shane launched a solo career.  We saw Shane bubble under with his debut solo single in March 1989.  "Here and Now" was the third single issued from Shane's second solo album River (number 68, November 1990), following "Walk on Fire" (number 48, July 1990) and "If the Well Runs Dry" (number 83, October 1990).
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Here and Now" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 43. 

"Here and Now" peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 93.
 
Shane's biggest solo hit on the Australian chart, and my favourite of his, "Escape from Reality" (number 40, August 1991), was a new track recorded with Hothouse Flowers frontman Liam Ó Maonlaí.  "Escape from Reality" was tacked onto a re-issue of the River album.
 
We will see Shane again in 1993.
 

 
Number 133 "Groovy Train" by The Farm
Peak: number 113
Peak dates: 18 February 1991, 11 March 1991 and 18 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
 
The Farm formed in Liverpool, England, in 1983.  "Groovy Train", their debut Australian single, was the lead release from the band's first studio album Spartacus (number 106, May 1991).  The track was produced by Madness lead singer Suggs, together with Terry Farley.

In their homeland, "Groovy Train" reached number 6 in September 1990.  The single also peaked at number 41 in the Netherlands in December 1990.
 
The Spartacus album topped the UK albums chart in March 1991, but, oddly, was The Farm's only album to chart within the top 75 there, despite the band notching up 8 top 40 singles.
 
"Groovy Train" performed stronger on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 90.
 
The Farm never managed to land a top 100 single or album on the ARIA chart, but we shall see them bubble under on a few more occasions, with the next one being in April 1991.


 
Number 136 "Total Confusion" by A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks 

I don't recall hearing this one, or even of this one, before.  'Funki Dredd' in the group's name makes me think of Soul II Soul, but their sound is nothing like Soul II Soul.
 
A Homeboy, a Hippie & A Funki Dredd were British trio Caspar Pound, Marc Williams and Tony Winter.  "Total Confusion" peaked at number 56 in the UK in October 1990.

A Homeboy, A Hippie & A Funki Dredd would not release another single in Australia until 1996, with the rather different-to-"Total Confusion"-sounding "U Know".  Caspar Pound, whom I could not spot in the music video, died from cancer in 2004, aged 33.




Number 137 "Missunderstanding" by Al B. Sure!
Peak: number 137
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

"Missunderstanding" - that's not a typo - was the lead single from American Al B. Sure!'s (real name Albert Joseph Brown III) second album Private Times... and the Whole 9!  Al B. Sure had previously remixed Robert Palmer's "Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming", which we saw bubble under in November 1989, for its single release.
 
"Missunderstanding" peaked at number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1990, and at number 30 in New Zealand during the same month.

While "Missunderstanding" appears to have been Al B. Sure's only solo single released in Australia, he was credited as a featured artist on David Bowie's "Black Tie White Noise" (number 74, June 1993) single from 1993.  He also later produced for other artists, including Tevin Campbell and Usher.
 

 
Number 138 "Feel the Rhythm" by Jazzi P
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
Jazzi P, real name Pauline Bennett, is most famous for being the guest rap artist on Kylie Minogue's "Shocked" (number 7, July 1991).  "Feel the Rhythm", issued in Australia in August 1990, was Jazzi's only solo single.  The track heavily samples the music from Chic's "Le Freak" (number 1, February 1979).

Internationally, "Feel the Rhythm" peaked at number 51 in the UK in June 1990, and number 35 in New Zealand in August 1990.

Jazzi's Wikipedia article states that she bought herself out of her record deal in 1991, and returned to being a dance instructor.  She also appeared as a contestant in the 2014 season of Big Brother UK.


 
Number 140 "Headline News" by Everyday People
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks 
 
English band Everyday People were Desi Campbell (vocals), Shaun Ward (bass) and Lloyd Richards (guitar).  They recorded and released one album You Wash... I'll Dry, from which this was the lead single.

The band did not achieve much chart success anywhere, with only their second single, "I Guess It Doesn't Matter" registering a top 40 placement in Germany and Switzerland.

Nothing the band released dented the top 90 in their homeland, with "Headline News" reaching number 99 in the UK in April 1990.  "Headline News" also peaked at number 83 in the Netherlands in May 1990, and number 53 in Germany in October 1990.

Listening to "Headline News" for the first time as I write this post, I am not sure why the band did not have greater success.  This track makes me think of a more-soulful Roachford, and sounds like the kind of thing that might have done better later in the decade.
 
The band's singer, Desi Campbell - also known as Desny Campbell, was the frontman in Floy Joy, who scored a number 29 hit in Australia in June 1986 with "Weak in the Presence of Beauty".  Alison Moyet took her version of the same song to number 30 in Australia in May 1987.

Despite their local lack of success, the ever-faithful Australian record company issued two further singles from the group: "I Guess It Doesn't Matter" (March 1991) and "Place in the Sun" (July 1991), neither of which troubled the top 150.



Number 141 "Back to Boom" by Kid Sensation
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
 
Kid Sensation, real name Xola Malik (originally Stephen Spence), is a rapper hailing from Seattle.  "Back to Boom" appears on his debut album Rollin' with Number One.  I cannot find evidence of this track, or any of Kid Sensation's other releases, charting anywhere else.
 
This track was produced and mixed by Sir Mix-A-Lot, who is (in)famous for "Baby Got Back" (number 8, August 1992).



Number 144 "Rodeo Clown" by Louie Louie
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Puerto Rican/American singer Louie Louie, real name Louis Cordero, landed a number 51 'hit' in Australia with "Sittin' in the Lap of Luxury" in August 1990.  "Rodeo Clown" was the third single lifted from Louie's debut album The State I'm In (number 117, September 1990).  In the interim, "I Wanna Get Back with You" was issued as a single in Australia in October 1990, but missed the top 150.

I didn't hear "Rodeo Clown" at the time.  It does not appear to have charted anywhere else.
 
Prior to launching his recording career, Louie appeared as Madonna's boyfriend in the music video for her 1984 single "Borderline" (number 12, August 1984).

Louie released one further single in Australia, "The Thought of It", in April 1993, but it missed the top 150.



Number 147 "Where Has Love Gone?" by Holly Johnson
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Holly Johnson, full name William Holly Johnson, was the lead singer of Frankie Goes to Hollywood, who landed five top 100 singles and one bubbling under single in Australia between 1984 and 1987.  Their biggest and most-enduring hit was, of course, "Relax" (number 5, March 1984).  We saw Holly bubble WAY down under back in July 1989.

"Where Has Love Gone?" was the lead single from Holly's second solo album Dreams That Money Can't Buy.  The single also flopped in Holly's native UK, peaking at number 73 in December 1990.

On the ARIA state charts, "Where Has Love Gone?" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 135.

I don't recall hearing this song at the time, so it must have received next to zero promotion.

A second single from Dreams That Money Can't Buy, "Across the Universe", was released in Australia in May 1991, but failed to chart.

"Where Has Love Gone?" was Holly's final solo single to chart in Australia.


 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 151 "Miles Away" by Winger
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
American metal band Winger, named after lead singer Kip Winger, formed in New York City in 1987.  "Miles Away" was the second single issued from the band's second album In the Heart of the Young (number 135, September 1990).  It was Winger's first single to chart in Australia, and followed "Can't Get Enuff" (released in Australia in September 1990), which failed to chart.  Winger's debut album Winger (number 153, June 1989), despite containing no singles that charted locally, managed to register a place on the ARIA albums chart.
 
"Miles Away" had much greater success in the US, where it reached number 12 in January 1991, becoming Winger's biggest hit.  "Miles Away" also peaked at number 56 in the UK in January 1991.
 
I probably heard "Miles Away" on the American Top 40 radio program at the time, but have only a vague recollection of this.  I became properly-acquainted with the song when it appeared among the list of music videos satirical metal band Steel Panther chose when programming the Australian music video TV show rage on the eve of the Australian 2016 Federal election.
 
Although I am not generally a 'metal' fan, I like "Miles Away".  It reminds me more of Europe, the band responsible for "The Final Countdown" (number 2, April 1987), than the 'hair metal' sound typical of the early 90s.

We shall see Winger again in April 1991.
 
 
 
Number 152 "Liberty!" by Kon Kan
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Canadian band Kon Kan have bubbled under twice previously, with the most recent prior occasion being in November 1989.

"Liberty!" was the lead single from Kon Kan's second album Syntonic (number 182, January 1991), and the group's final single released in Australia.

Elsewhere, "Liberty!" peaked at number 91 in Canada.

On the ARIA state charts, "Liberty!" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 128.
 

 
 
Number 156 "Let's Push It" by Innocence
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 25 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
We saw Innocence back in April 1990, and here they are with the third single from their debut album Belief (number 115, February 1991).  In the interim, "Silent Voice" was released as a single in Australia in August 1990, but failed to chart.  "Let's Push It" was issued locally in mid-November 1990, but took more than two months to register a chart placing.

"Let's Push It" had greater success in Innocence's native UK, where it reached number 25 in October 1990.  The single also peaked at number 37 in Germany in January 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "Let's Push It" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 143.

I've said this before, but you have to admire the persistence of Australian record companies from this era.  Nothing Innocence released in Australia cracked the top 100, yet both of their albums and all eight singles lifted from them were released locally.
 
We will see Innocence again next month!
 

 
Number 157 "Love Comes to Mind" by The Chimes
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 11 February 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
We saw The Chimes bubble under in September 1990 and in November 1990, and here they are for a third and final time.

"Love Comes to Mind" was the fifth (not counting the re-release of "Heaven") and final single lifted from the band's only album The Chimes (number 16, August 1990).  The track was remixed for its single release.
 
In The Chimes' native UK, "Love Comes to Mind" peaked at number 49 in December 1990; the only other place it charted.
 
While we will not see The Chimes again, as they split in 1991, we will see lead singer Pauline Henry again in 1994.
 
 
 
Number 160 "Make It Easy on Me" by Sybil
Peak: number 160
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

American singer Sybil Lynch has joined us on two previous occasions, in February 1990 and October 1990.

"Make It Easy on Me" was the lead single from Sybil's second album Sybilization.  This track was written and produced by Stock Aitken Waterman, although they were past their commercial peak at this point in time.  The US received a different mix of the track, mixed by Tony King.

"Make It Easy on Me" peaked at number 99 in the UK in November 1990, and at number 76 in the Netherlands in December 1990.

On the ARIA state charts, "Make It Easy on Me" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 143.
 
We will next see Sybil in 1993.
 

 
Number 174 "Hanging Tree" by Big Pig
Peak: number 174
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
Australian band Big Pig placed five singles on the Australian top 100 between 1986 and 1990, with "Breakaway" (number 8, May 1988) and "Hungry Town" (number 18, December 1986) being the biggest two of those.
 
"Hanging Tree" was the second single lifted from Big Pig's second, and final, album You Lucky People (number 104, January 1991).  It followed "Justifier" (number 73, October 1990).  The band's second album was not nearly as successful as their debut, Bonk (number 6, June 1988), which was certified platinum.
 
On the state charts, "Hanging Tree" was most successful in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 124.

It's probably just a 'me' thing, but I can't help but notice the similarity between the hair style Big Pig frontwoman Sherine Abeyratne - sister of Zan, no less - was sporting during this era and the wig Freddie Mercury wears in Queen's "I Want to Break Free" (number 8, June 1984) music video.

A third single from You Lucky People, "King of Nothing", was released in March 1991, but failed to chart.  "Hanging Tree" would be Big Pig's final charting release before the group split.
 

 
Number 180 "Me So Horny" by The 2 Live Crew
Peak: number 180
Peak date: 21 January 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
The 2 Live Crew, hailing from Miami, were famous, or rather, infamous, for their explicit rap music, with song titles like "Pop That Pussy" (number 97, January 1992).

"Me So Horny", continuing the theme, was released in Australia in June 1990, but somehow took more than seven months to enter the chart - I am not sure why.  I also recall hearing the song on Triple M's Top 8 at 8 radio program (supposedly voted for by listeners), hosted by John Peters, around September 1989.  I am not sure what went on with the single's release chronology in Australia.

"Me So Horny" was lifted from the group's third studio album, 1989's As Nasty As They Wanna Be.  Internationally, the single topped the Dutch singles chart (only in the Netherlands...) in February 1990, and peaked at number 26 in the US, number 9 in the Flanders region of Belgium in March 1990, and number 31 in New Zealand in August 1990.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Me So Horny" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 130. 
 
We will next see The 2 Live Crew in April 1991.
 
 
 
Next week (28 January): Seven new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 14 January 1991                                     Next week: 28 January 1991 >

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