25 March 2022

Week commencing 25 March 1991

Before diving into this week in 1991's post, I need to apologise for not starting my 1982 beyond number 100 chart recaps on Tuesday, as hinted at last week.  The reason for this is - after checking with my scans of the Kent Music Report - the 'Hit Predictions' list (as it was then known) incorporated radio and TV playlists into the list, so it was not entirely sales-based.
 
As regular readers of my posts will know, I don't normally credit any chart that was not sales-based, with the only exception being (begrudgingly) the US Billboard Hot 100, which was based on a combination of sales and airplay.  Additionally, the first few months of the 1982 Hit Predictions lists were organised in alphabetical order by song title, rather than sales rank (though I knew that already), so I would not have been able to give ranked placings for singles making this list.
 
Rest assured that my 1982 chart recaps will commence on 30 August, when the 'singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100' list begins.  In the interim, I will be returning to 1981 on 27 April to fill in April-September 1981, which I missed last year when I started my 1981 beyond number 100 chart recaps.

Also, before we look at this week in 1991's new entries, I have updated two earlier posts with the following:
  • 27 February 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from The Everys;
  • 12 June 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Diesel Park West.
 
Alexander O'Neal: dressed for business, but not on the Australian charts.
  
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 142 "All True Man" by Alexander O'Neal
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 25 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We saw American singer Alexander O'Neal back in March 1989 with his first single to chart in Australia.  "All True Man", another Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam production, was the lead single from Alex's third studio album proper All True Man (number 108, April 1991), not counting his 1988 Christmas album My Gift to You.

Internationally, "All True Man" peaked at number 18 in the UK in January 1991, number 20 in the Netherlands in March 1991, and 43 in the US in April 1991.

Domestically, "All True Man" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 127.  The album also performed significantly better in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory than it did nationally, peaking at number 55 there.

I hadn't heard this one before.  I don't mind it, but it doesn't seem as strong to me as the singles from Alex's previous album Hearsay (number 142, March 1989).

We will next see Alex in June 1991.
 
 
 
Number 145 "Move to the Bigband" by Ben Liebrand featuring Tony Scott
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 29 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks 

Here's another one I didn't know at the time.  We last saw Dutchman Ben Liebrand in September 1990 in his own right, though one of his many remixes for other artists appeared in November 1990.  This time, Ben teamed up with Dutch rapper Tony Scott (real name Peter van der Bosch).
 
"Move to the Bigband" peaked at number 15 in the Netherlands in September 1990, and number 84 in the UK in November 1990.
 
Tony Scott was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2015 and retired from performing the following year.
 
Ben will next join us in September 1991, though he is credited as a remixer only on that track.
 

 
Number 146 "If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)" by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
George Thorogood was one of those artists whose name I'd heard mentioned numerous times - thanks to Victorian FM radio stations' classic rock fixation in the early 1990s - but whose music I was unfamiliar with, until he landed a hit with "Get a Haircut" (number 28, September 1993) in 1993.

"If You Don't Start Drinkin' (I'm Gonna Leave)" was lifted from George and the gang's eighth studio album Boogie People (number 45, April 1991).  Although the group had landed eight albums on the Australian top 100 chart dating back to 1978, only one of their previous singles, "Treat Her Right" (number 74, July 1988), charted in Australia.

Internationally, "...Drinkin'..." peaked at number 5 on the US Mainstream Rock Tracks chart (a meaningless chart, in my opinion) in April 1991.
 

 
Number 147 "Doctor Jeep" by The Sisters of Mercy
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 13 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
 
Here's another one I had not heard before.  English band The Sisters of Mercy formed in 1980.  Despite notching up nine UK top 75 singles by this point, The Sisters of Mercy had only ever placed one single on the Australian chart previously, with "More" (number 74, February 1991).  "Doctor Jeep" followed-up "More", as the second single from the band's third studio album Vision Thing (number 73, March 1991).  This was the band's final studio album to date, owing to extended wrangling with their record company EastWest.  The band are still together, however.

Internationally, "Doctor Jeep" peaked at number 37 in the UK in December 1990, and number 45 in Germany in February 1991.

We shall next see The Sisters of Mercy in 1993.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 155 "I Can't Take the Power" by Off-Shore
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 25 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks

Off-Shore were German DJ Jens Lissat and recording engineer, producer and musician Peter Harder.  "I Can't Take the Power", their first release, contained vocal samples from Class Action's "Weekend" (the "I can't take" line) and Jocelyn Brown's "Love's Gonna Get You" ("the power" line).  The latter track was prominently sampled on Snap!'s "The Power" (number 13, August 1990), and (I didn't realise until now) on a song we will see in 1992.

Internationally, "I Can't Take the Power" peaked at number 7 in the UK in January 1991, number 11 in Ireland, and number 77 in the Netherlands in April 1991.  Surprisingly, it did not chart in the duo's native Germany.

In Australia, "I Can't Take the Power" performed equally strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory and Western Australia, where it reached number 131.  Nine weeks spent on the chart is a lot for a single that missed the top 150 in 1991, when the chart does not appear to have extended far beyond number 200 at any point in the year.

I have embedded two videos for "I Can't Take the Power" below.  The second (blocked on YouTube) is the 'official' music video, although it is made up of footage from other artists' videos, including C + C Music Factory's "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" and Malcolm McLaren's "Deep in Vogue".  Also, this video fades out at the 2 minute mark - I suspect it was thrown together for airing on Top of the Pops during the chart countdown.

 

 
Next week (1 April): Three top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous week: 18 March 1991                                  Next week: 1 April 1991 >

18 March 2022

Week commencing 18 March 1991

With one notable exception, which should become obvious, the artists debuting and peaking outside the top 100 this week in 1991 were either artists who had been around for a while but generally struggled to land hits in Australia, or those who were newer acts struggling to score hits.
 
Before diving into this week's post, again I have added the following to some earlier posts:
Eurythmics: flops are a stranger to their Australian chart history.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 105 "Auberge" by Chris Rea
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 25 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
We saw English singer/songwriter Chris Rea bubble under in early 1990, and here he is with the lead single and title-track from his eleventh studio album Auberge (number 53, April 1991).

Between 1978 and 1989, Chris placed 12 singles on the Australian top 100 chart, with "Let's Dance" (number 9, October 1987) being the biggest of those.
 
"Auberge", meaning 'inn' in French, peaked at number 16 in the UK in March 1991, number 8 in Ireland, number 45 in the Netherlands in March 1991, number 20 in Germany in April 1991, number 31 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1991, number 29 in Austria in April 1991, and number 46 in France in April 1991.
 
The music video for "Auberge" is notable for being set within a single frame, although it was not shot in one continuous take.

Two further singles from Auberge were released in Australia - "Heaven" (May 1991) and "Looking for the Summer" (July 1991) - but both missed the top 150.

Chris's next two studio albums God's Great Banana Skin (number 137, November 1992) and Espresso Logic (number 109, March 1994) yielded no Australian top 150 singles.

 
 
Number 122 "Body Language" by Adventures of Stevie V
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 1 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
 
British dance act Adventures of Stevie landed a number 18 single in Australia with "Dirty Cash (Money Talks)" in February 1991, although it took seven months from its chart debut at number 147 in July 1990 to reach its eventual peak.

"Body Language", the less-successful follow-up, peaked at number 29 in the UK in October 1990, number 14 in the Netherlands in December 1990, and number 40 in New Zealand in December 1990.  Both this track and "Dirty Cash" were lifted from his (their?) debut album Adventures of Stevie V (number 83, February 1991).

"Body Language" single fared better on the Australian Music Report, where it reached number 94.  The single performed strongest on the ARIA state chart for New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 81.

"Body Language" would be the second and final Adventures of Stevie V single to chart in Australia.
 

 
Number 130 "Don't Start Me Talking" by Paul Kelly and The Messengers
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 8 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks

Fast becoming a regular in the 101-150 region of the Australian singles chart, this is the third time we have seen Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, along with his band The Messengers, in as many years, with the last occasion being in August 1990.
 
"Don't Start Me Talking" was the first of three singles lifted from the band's Comedy (number 12, May 1991) album, and all three singles missed the ARIA top 100.  "Don't Start Me Talking" was the highest-peaking of the lot.

The single fared better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 92.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Don't Start Me Talking" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 87.

The music video for "Don't Start Me Talking" is notable for its use of Australian Sign Language (AUSLAN).

We shall next see Paul Kelly and The Messengers in June 1991.



Number 136 "Our Frank" by Morrissey
Peak: number 127
Peak date: 8 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
Another regular to the below number 100 region of the ARIA singles chart is Steven Morrissey, whom we have seen on three previous occasions, with the most recent one being in October 1990.

"Our Frank" was the lead single from Morrissey's second studio album proper Kill Uncle (number 45, March 1991).
 
The single peaked at number 26 in the UK in February 1991, number 7 in Ireland in February 1991, and number 45 in New Zealand in March 1991.

Domestically, "Our Frank" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it reached number 98.

"Our Frank" peaked within the top 100 on the Australian Music Report singles chart, at number 97.

Morrissey will join us next in June 1991.
 

 
Number 146 "Superstition Highway" by Tall Tales and True
Peak: number 134
Peak date: 25 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks

Sydney band Tall Tales and True placed two singles on the ARIA top 100 in 1989: "Trust" (number 69, April 1989) and "Hold On" (number 70, July 1989).  Their debut album Shiver peaked at number 66 in June 1989.

As seemed to be a popular thing for Australian indie artists to do in 1990-91, the group then released this 4-track EP as a stop-gap in between albums - though 4-track CD singles were becoming the norm by this time.  "Superstition Highway" did not appear on the band's second album, released in 1992.

We shall next see Tall Tales and True in October 1991.



Number 147 "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" by Butthole Surfers
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

American band Butthole Surfers (no 'The') were a group I hadn't heard of until their 1996 hit - their only Australian hit - "Pepper" (number 15, June 1996), a song I did not particularly enjoy, and, in hindsight made me question why I was listening to radio station Triple J, who seemed to love it, in 1996.  The group had actually been in existence for 15 years at that point.

"The Hurdy Gurdy Man" was lifted from the band's fifth studio album piouhgd (number 136, March 1991).  It is a cover version of a song originally recorded by Donovan in 1968.
 
Butthole Surfers' version of "The Hurdy Gurdy Man" peaked at number 98 in the UK in December 1990, and number 36 in New Zealand in March 1991.   The song was later used on the soundtrack for the 1994 movie Dumb and Dumber.

Butthole Surfers will next 'surf' the top 150 in 1996.



Number 149 "Feels Like I'm in Love" (90's PWL Remix) by Kelly Marie
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Scottish singer Kelly Marie, real name Jacqueline McKinnon, scored a pair of hits in Australia in the late 1970s/early 1980s, with "Make Love to Me" (number 5, March 1979) and "Feels Like I'm in Love" (number 7, December 1980).  But, aside from those two top 10 hits, none of 'Kelly''s other singles made the top 100 down under.

Fast forward to the early 90s, and the 70s (even though the original Kelly Marie version of this track was from 1980) revival had started.  It was timely, therefore, that "Feels Like I'm in Love", which topped the UK singles chart for two weeks in September 1980, and was a top 10 hit across Europe and in the US, received a 90s remix.  The remix in question was conducted by Dave Ford and Pete Hammond for PWL, Pete Waterman of Stock Aitken Waterman fame's record label.

The PWL remix of "Feels Like I'm in Love" surprisingly did not chart in the UK, or anywhere else that I can determine.

I was not aware of this remix at the time.  Listening to it for the first time here, I think it's OK, but I would take the 1980 version of the song over this any day.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 165 "Love Is a Stranger" (1991 re-issue) by Eurythmics
Peak: number 156 (in 1991); number 17 (in 1983)
Peak date: 25 March 1991 (re-release); 27 June 1983 (original release)
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks (in 1991); 22 weeks in the top 100 in 1983

Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart (who we saw in January) first came to prominence as part of the band The Tourists, who landed a couple of hits in their native UK in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  Only one of their singles, however, a cover version of Dusty Springfield's "I Only Want To Be with You", registered on the Australian chart, peaking at number 6 in August 1980.  The band split up while touring Australia later in the year.

Dave and Annie, who had once been romantically involved, then decided to go it alone... together, and formed Eurythmics (no 'The').  Their debut album, 1981's In the Garden, was a commercial failure and did not chart anywhere... until the 2005 re-issue of the album peaked at number 521 in Australia in January 2006.  A single from the album, "Never Gonna Cry Again", charted at number 63 in the UK in July 1981, but did not register a blip when issued in Australia in October of that year.

The first three singles from the duo's second album Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) (number 5, July 1983) also faltered on the charts, although the band's fortunes turned around dramatically when the album's title track was issued as the last single from it.  "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" (number 6, July 1983) was a major hit for the pair, reaching number 2 in the UK, and topping the US Billboard Hot 100 in September 1983.

The success of "Sweet Dreams" renewed interest in Eurythmics' previous single "Love Is a Stranger" (released in Australia in January 1983), and it followed "Sweet Dreams" into the top 20 in June 1983, peaking at number 17.

Between 1983 and 1990, Eurythmics notched up 18 Australian top 40 singles, with all but three of those reaching the top 20.  Their biggest hit in Australia was "Would I Lie to You?", which topped the singles chart for two weeks in June 1985.

Having that many hits, any greatest hits compilation released by the duo was bound to be a smash, and that's exactly what happened when Greatest Hits spent seven weeks at number 1 in April and May of 1991.  The compilation similarly spent its first nine weeks on the UK albums chart at number 1, with a tenth week at the summit a couple of weeks later.
 
"Love Is a Stranger" was re-issued to promote Greatest Hits - not that the album needed much promotion with the number of hits it contained.  The re-issued single, in contrast to the album, barely registered on the radar, peaking at number 46 in the UK in March 1991.

Australia appears to have been the only other country where the 1991 issue of "Love Is a Stranger" charted, albeit rather lowly.  On the state charts, "Love Is a Stranger" was most successful in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 123.

The "Love Is a Stranger" music video was re-edited (embedded below) to contain snippets of most of Eurythmics' earlier videos to promote the 1991 release, and the Greatest Hits album.
 
Eurythmics had quietly gone on hiatus prior to Greatest Hits being released, and would not release new material as a duo again until 1999.
 
The 1991 release of "Love Is a Stranger" was Eurythmics' only single to bubble under during the ARIA-produced chart era; although "You Have Placed a Chill in My Heart" made number 78 on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart in September 1988 despite not charting nationally (when the chart ended at number 100).
 
Eurythmics bubbled under on the ARIA albums chart in 1993 with Live 1983-1989 (number 102, December 1993).

We shall see Dave Stewart again in November 1991, and Annie Lennox in 1996.



Number 170 "All I Want" by The Lightning Seeds
Peak: number 170
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

English band The Lightning Seeds (sometimes with 'The', sometimes without, to my annoyance), formed in Liverpool in 1989.

Their debut single, "Pure", peaked at number 92 in Australia in November 1990.  "All I Want" was the second single released locally from the band's debut album Cloudcuckooland (number 143, August 1990).  Surprisingly, "All I Want" only charted in Australia.

On the state charts, "All I Want" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 147.
 
Susanna Hoffs from the Bangles covered "All I Want" for her second solo album, and we will see how that fared on the Australian charts in 1996.
 
Before then, will next see The Lightning Seeds in 1992.
 

 
Number 171 "Get Yourself Together" by Young Disciples
Peak: number 171
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

Young Disciples, fronted by American singer Carleen Anderson, formed in London in 1990.  "Get Yourself Together" was the band's debut single, lifted from their only album Road to Freedom (number 117, March 1992).

Internationally, "Get Yourself Together"initially peaked at number 68 in the UK in October 1990 before achieving a higher peak of number 65 in October 1991, when re-issued.  Australia appears to have been the only other country where the single charted.
 
On the state charts, "Get Yourself Together" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 153.

In a first for this site, my mother happened to be in the vicinity while I was listening to this song to write this post, and "Get Yourself Together" gets her seal of approval!

Young Disciples will join us again in 1993.  Before then, the group released the single "Apparently Nothin'" in Australia in July 1991, but it failed to chart, despite being the band's biggest hit in the UK, reaching number 13 there in August 1991.



Next week (25 March): Four top 150 debuts and one bubbling WAY down under entry.
 
< Previous week: 11 March 1991                                 Next week: 25 March 1991 >

11 March 2022

Week commencing 11 March 1991

I've written previously that many 80s artists were struggling to score hits in the early 1990s, and this week in 1991, all but two of the acts peaking outside the top 100 had been releasing material for at least 10 years.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Duran Duran were seriously flopping in Australia in 1991.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 124 "I Will Be Here" by Steve Winwood
Peak: number 121
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
English singer-songwriter Steve Winwood notched up 10 Australian top 100 singles between 1981 and 1990, with "Higher Love" (number 8, September 1986) being the biggest of those.  His most-recent charting singles, however - "Don't You Know What the Night Can Do?" (number 94, September 1988) and "One and Only Man" (number 100, January 1991) - languished at the bottom end of the top 100.

"I Will Be Here" was the second single lifted from Steve's sixth studio album Refugees of the Heart (number 45, March 1991), following "One and Only Man".

Interestingly, "I Will Be Here" does not appear to have charted anywhere else; though if we are counting charts with dubious methodology, it did reach number 40 on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in March 1991.
 
Within Australia, "I Will Be Here" was most popular in Queensland, where it reached number 97.

Steve would not land another top 100 single in Australia where he receives an artist credit.  However, Steve landed a massive hit (of sorts) when he re-recorded the lines from the chorus of his 1982 single "Valerie" - which originally peaked at number 98 in Australia in January 1983 before being remixed and re-issued in 1987, reaching a much higher peak of 19 in February 1988 - for Eric Prydz's "Call on Me" (number 2, October 2004).

Steve will join us again in 1997.
 
 
 
Number 148 "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by The Righteous Brothers
Peak: number 129 
Peak date: 1 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks

As a 12 year-old in late 1990, I couldn't really grasp the popularity of The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" (number 1, November 1990) - a song recorded in 1965, meaning it was ancient to me - following its inclusion in the movie Ghost.
 
As an 'oldie' myself now, I can appreciate the song, but couldn't (and still can't, really) imagine the kids rushing out to buy the single in record stores in 1990.  Perhaps they weren't, and enough oldies flocked out to buy it instead?

Re-releasing decades-old songs because they were used in a movie, on a TV show, or even a commercial, and sending them to the top of the charts, seems to me like it was very much an only-in-the-UK phenomenon, rather than an Australian one, in the pre-digital/streaming era.

Somebody obviously thought they should follow-up the runaway success of "Unchained Melody" in 1990 with another Righteous Brothers re-release; this time, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", a song that originally came out in 1964.  Somehow, I already knew this track back then; I guess through a combination of cultural osmosis and exposure to oldies' music on radio stations.

Lightning didn't strike twice - at least, not on the Australian chart, where the re-issue of "Lovin' Feelin'" stalled at number 129.  Yay for Australian record buyers showing some restraint with embracing all things bordering on novelty (back then, anyway), unlike their UK counterparts.

In the UK (of course!) it went all the way to number 3 in December 1990, and followed suit in Ireland, where it reached number 2.



Bubbling WAY down under:

Number 161 "Serious" by Duran Duran
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
British band Duran Duran last bubbled under in March 1990.  We also saw them in 1981.
 
"Serious" was the second, and final, single from the band's sixth studio album Liberty (number 86, October 1990).  It followed "Violence of Summer (Love's Taking Over)" (number 59, October 1990), which also underperformed on the Australian chart.

For the Liberty album, Duran Duran had recruited two new band members, guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and drummer Sterling Campbell, although they did not tour to promote the album.
 
Like many artists and groups strongly associated with the 1980s, Duran Duran's popularity took a dive in the early 1990s - at least for a coupled of years.
 
In a 2015 interview marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Liberty album, Duran Duran lead singer Simon Le Bon himself said "(t)he album came at a difficult time, when a lot of the world was saying, 'We don’t want any more Duran Duran, we’ve had enough of you.'"
 
Internationally, "Serious" peaked at number 48 in the UK in November 1990, and number 69 in Germany in December 1990.
 
Domestically, "Serious" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it peaked at number 113.
 
I hadn't actually heard "Serious", or seen the music video, until writing this post.  My initial thoughts are that it's not bad, and I would listen to it again.
 
Simon Le Bon says of the song: "I think “Serious” is one of the best songs we’ve ever written."  He also said that it was Robert Palmer's - who collaborated with the band's John and Andy Taylor for The Power Station in 1985 - favourite Duran Duran song, which is high praise.
 
In 2005, the melody and Simon Le Bon's vocals from "Serious" were sampled on Ferry Corsten's "Fire" (number 61, March 2006), which was a number 24 hit in the Netherlands in November 2005, and reached number 40 in the UK in February 2006.
 
We will next see Duran Duran in 1995.



Number 164 "I Like You" by Culture Beat featuring Lana E. and Jay Supreme
Peak: number 164
Peak date: 11 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

Like most Australians, I was not aware of German eurodance act Culture Beat until their smash hit "Mr. Vain" (number 1, October 1993) in 1993.  But Culture Beat had actually been releasing singles for nearly four years by that point; just none of them had crossed over in Australia from the club scene to the pop chart.

Culture Beat's first single released locally, in May 1990, was "Cherry Lips", an English version of the German "Der Erdbeermund" from 1989.  That song, featuring Jo Van Nelsen on vocals, was quite different to their later releases, and failed to chart locally, though reached number 11 in Germany in January 1990.

"I Like It", featuring singer Lana E. (short for Lana Earl) and American rapper Jay Supreme (real name Jeff Carmichael), was the second single issued from Culture Beat's debut album Horizon (number 150, August 1991).  While Lana would be replaced for their second album, Jay would remain with the group during their most commercially successful period, and performs the rap on "Mr. Vain".
 
Internationally, "I Like It" peaked at number 96 in the UK in August 1990, number 30 in Germany in September 1990, number 22 in the Netherlands in November 1990, and number 40 in the Flanders region of Belgium in January 1991.
 
Domestically, "I Like You" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 138.  
 
I hadn't actually heard "I Like You" until writing this post.  The video is notably lower budget than those produced for their later hits.

We shall next see Culture Beat in June 1991.



Number 171 "Dull" by Hard-Ons
Peak: number 171
Peak date: 11 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We first saw Australian band Hard-Ons back in January 1991.  "Dull" was the second single lifted from the band's fourth studio album Yummy! (number 93, January 1991).  The single performed strongest on the Western Australia state chart, where it reached number 133.

We shall see Hard-Ons again in 1993.



Number 181 "Chasin' the Wind" by Chicago
Peak: number 181
Peak date: 11 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

American band Chicago last bubbled under in May 1990.
 
"Chasin' the Wind", which I had not heard before, was penned by Diane Warren, and was the lead single from the album Twenty 1.  Confusingly, this was only the band's seventeenth studio album, in spite of the title; I guess their greatest hits compilations were also included in the numbered chronology.  The album failed to chart in Australia.
 
Internationally, "Chasin' the Wind" peaked at number 39 in the US in March 1991, and number 50 in Canada.

Locally, "Chasin' the Wind" peaked highest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 169.

Chicago would have one further single chart in Australia, which we will see in 1997.



Number 183 "World in My Eyes" by Depeche Mode
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Here's one I have heard before, because I'm a casual Depeche Mode fan and own their The Singles 81-85 (number 135, March 1994) and The Singles 86>98 (number 42, October 1998) compilations.  I also bought the studio album this track is from, Violator (number 42, September 1990), from which this was the final single, and yet another flop in Australia.

Truth be told, "World in My Eyes" is not one of my favourite Mode singles, although I don't mind it - it's just weaker than most of the others, "in my eyes" (ho ho ho).  Had I been in charge of making single release decisions, I would have gone with the Violator album closing track "Clean".

We last saw Depeche Mode in December 1990.  "World in My Eyes"' belated release in Australia (it was out in the UK in September 1990) was due to "Personal Jesus" being re-issued following "Policy of Truth".

"World in My Eyes" peaked at number 17 in the UK in October 1990, number 7 in Ireland, number 7 in Germany in October 1990, number 46 in the Flanders region of Belgium in October 1990, number 5 in Switzerland in November 1990, number 49 in the Netherlands in November 1990, number 30 in France in December 1990, number 52 in the US in December 1990, and number 74 in Canada in December 1990.

Locally, "World in My Hands" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 124.

We shall next see Depeche Mode in 1993.



Next week (18 March): Seven top 150 debuts and three bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 4 March 1991                                      Next week: 18 March 1991 >

04 March 2022

Week commencing 4 March 1991

Three of the four artists debuting in the top 150 this week in 1991 are artists who achieved major commercial success in the 1980s, but who were struggling now to maintain this in the 1990s.  The other artist debuting this week is a group who never achieved major success in Australia.

But before taking a closer look at this week in 1991's batch of new entries, I have updated some earlier posts with the following:
  • 19 June 1989 - a bubbling WAY down under entry from Anita Baker;
  • 31 July 1989 - a bubbling WAY down under entry from The Outfield;
  • 5 February 1990 - a bubbling WAY down under entry from Steve Stevens Atomic Playboys.
Jason Donovan was not doing so fine on the Australian charts in 1991.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 123 "I'm Doing Fine" by Jason Donovan
Peak: number 123
Peak date: 4 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Former Neighbours actor Jason Donovan's recording career kicked off with a string of four consecutive top 10 singles - the first 3 of which went gold - and a platinum-certified album in Australia.  Jason's Ten Good Reasons (number 5, June 1989) was the highest-selling album of 1989 in the UK, and spawned three number 1 singles there.
 
Jason's biggest hit in his homeland had been his duet with then-romantic partner, both on and off screen, Kylie Minogue, "Especially for You" (number 2, December 1988).  Jason's biggest solo hit in Australia was his debut, "Nothing Can Divide Us" (number 3, November 1988), which topped the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart - a feat that "Especially for You" also achieved.

But then Australia seemed to fall out of love with Jason by the time of his fifth single, "Every Day (I Love You More)" (number 43, October 1989), which missed the top 40.

"When You Come Back to Me" (number 40, February 1990), released in the UK in time for Christmas - complete with Christmas chime instrumentation and lyrics such as "armful of presents", was stupidly not issued in Australia until late January 1990, and accordingly just scraped into the top 40.

Jason's Australian record label then seemed to get cold feet, and didn't even bother releasing his next two singles - "Hang on to Your Love", which only received a promo release, and "Another Night" - locally.  By this time, Jason was also starting to struggle on the UK chart, with the aforementioned singles 'only' reaching numbers 8 and 18, respectively.

Jason's second album Between the Lines (number 77, December 1990) was belatedly issued in Australia in November 1990, almost six months after its UK release.  "Rhythm of the Rain" (number 44, November 1990), a cover version, was released locally ahead of the album, and Jason again stalled in the 40s with it.
 
Mushroom Records gave Jason another go with "I'm Doing Fine", which was the fifth and final Between the Lines single in the UK.  The song marked a departure in sound - and image - for Jason, being a homage to The Beatles' early sound in the 1960s, complete with Jason sporting a very 'Beatles' look in the accompanying music video.

In my interactions with Stock Aitken Waterman fans online over the years, there seems to be almost a universal dislike for "I'm Doing Fine"; but I actually like this one, and think it was quite fun.  At least it was something different, for both Jason and SAW.

In the UK, where Jason's recording career was based, "I'm Doing Fine" was Jason's lowest-peaking single to date, reaching number 22 in November 1990.  The single performed stronger in Ireland, reaching number 9 there.  "I'm Doing Fine" crept into the top 40 in the Flanders region of Belgium, and the top 60 in Germany.

Locally, "I'm Doing Fine" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 90.

Jason's next single, "R.S.V.P." (number 97, June 1991) appeared on his premature Greatest Hits (number 132, February 1992) compilation - released after only two albums proper, and was his final single produced by Stock Aitken Waterman to be released in Australia.

As you may know, Jason landed the lead role of Joseph in the stage production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in 1991.  A single from the musical, "Any Dream Will Do" (number 92, August 1991), temporarily restored Jason's popularity in the UK, topping the singles chart there, but this was not to last.
 
Jason's next studio album, 1993's All Around the World - his first without Stock Aitken Waterman, was not even released in Australia.

Jason did, however, land another charting album down under... well, technically.  Let It Be Me reached number 345 in November 2008.


 
Number 147 "Preacher Man" by Bananarama
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 4 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 4 weeks

Releasing a greatest hits album often seems to herald the onset an artist's commercial decline with their subsequent releases, and Bananarama are a text-book example, with their commercial fortunes plummeting following 1988's The Greatest Hits Collection (number 21, January 1989).  We last saw the trio in 1989.

Bananarama's fourth studio album, the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced WOW!, topped the Australian albums chart in June 1988 and spawned four top 40 singles, two of which reached the top 5.  But following the release of The Greatest Hits Collection, only one of the band's singles, "Help" (number 25, May 1989) - a Beatles cover recorded for charity at that, troubled the Australian top 40.  The group, whittled down to a duo, came painfully close, though, when their comeback single "Move in My Direction" stalled at number 41 in March 2006.

Bananarama sought out new producers in 1990, working with Youth, who, coincidentally, was in the band Brilliant, who released two flop Stock Aitken Waterman-produced singles in Australia in 1986: "It's a Man's Man's Man's World" (released in Australia in March 1986) and "Love Is War" (June 1986).

Bananarama's first Youth-produced single, "Only Your Love" (number 51, October 1990), was a commercial disappointment, both locally and in the UK, where it peaked at number 27 in August 1990.

"Preacher Man", remixed by Shep Pettibone, performed marginally better than its predecessor in the UK, reaching number 20 in the quieter post-Christmas market in January 1991.  It would be Bananarama's only single to reach the top 20 in the UK during the 1990s; 13 fewer top 20 hits than they achieved there in the 1980s.

Elsewhere, "Preacher Man" peaked at number 11 in Ireland in January 1991, number 40 in the Flanders region of Belgium in March 1991, and number 46 in Germany in April 1991.

On the Australian Music Report singles chart, "Preacher Man" peaked 47 places higher than on the ARIA chart, spending a solitary week at number 100.

On the ARIA state charts, "Preacher Man" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, reaching number 130.

Both "Only Your Love" and "Preacher Man" would go on to appear on Bananarama's fifth studio album Pop Life (number 146, August 1991), which peaked 145 places lower than WOW! in Australia.  That is some fall from grace!
 
Having a thing for liking flops, I bought both the "Only Your Love" and "Preacher Man" singles, on cassette.  I otherwise did not hear "Preacher Man" at the time, other than a 30 second preview shown on Video Smash Hits, where you could telephone a number to vote for whether it was to be shown in full the following week, competing against another new release video.  I didn't tune in to find out who won.
 
I think the four year-gap between albums, and not striking while the iron was hot with new band member Jacquie O'Sullivan and Stock Aitken Waterman's commercial peak in 1989, hindered Bananarama's career; although many '80s' acts struggled to maintain their popularity once 1990 clocked over.
 
While we will see Bananarama bubble under a few times in the coming years, they did not land another top 100 single in Australia again until 2006.
 
"Preacher Man" was one of two Jacquie O'Sullivan-era Bananarama tracks performed on the group's 2017 tour with original member Siobhan Fahey, who exited the group in 1988.  You can view a live performance of this here.
 
We shall next see Bananarama in July 1991.
 

 
Number 148 "Ride the Wind" by Poison
Peak: number 113
Peak date: 15 April 1991
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks
 
Another '80s' act struggling to maintain their career into the 90s - although they didn't do too badly in 1990 itself - was American glam metal band Poison.  While their third studio album Flesh and Blood (number 2, July 1990) was their highest-peaking album in Australia, it did not have the staying power of Open Up and Say ...Ahh! (number 7, September 1988), which spent 70 weeks on the chart and landed the group four top 25 hits locally.
 
Poison's previous single, "Something to Believe In" (number 44, October 1990) fell short of the top 40, and "Unskinny Bop" (number 7, July 1990) was the only track from Flesh and Blood to reach the ARIA top 40.
 
The group also seemed to be falling out of favour in their native US, where "Ride the Wind" peaked at number 38 in March 1991.  The single also reached number 31 in Canada.

On the ARIA state charts, "Ride the Wind" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 70.
 
"Ride the Wind" peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 85.

One reason "Ride the Wind" may have underperformed on the chart is that it seemed to receive minimal promotion.  I don't recall hearing the song at the time, though did see the single in the record stores.

Even though grunge music had not yet made its commercial breakthrough - that would come later in 1991 - metal bands seemed to be struggling to score major hits by this point, with the 'alternative' music invasion looming.  Off the top of my head (please correct me if I am wrong), Warrant's "Cherry Pie" (number 6, January 1991) was the last 'hair metal' song to reach the top 10 in Australia.

A fourth single from Flesh and Blood, "Life Goes On", was released in Australia in July 1991, but failed to chart.
 
Poison would not land another top 50 single in Australia, though crept into the lower region of the top 100 in 1993 with "Stand" (number 80, March 1993).  The band will, nonetheless, bubble under on a few more occasions, with the next one being in 1992.
 
Two members of Poison have experienced serious health problems in more-recent years.  Lead singer Bret Michaels (real name Bret Sychak) had a haemorrhagic stroke and a separate transient ischaemic attack (mini-stroke) in 2010, from which he recovered, and drummer Rikki Rockett (real name Richard Ream) was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2015.
 
 
 
Number 150 "Fly to the Angels" by Slaughter
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 18 March 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
Another American glam metal band, Slaughter, made their debut on the Australian singles chart this week in 1991.
 
"Fly to the Angels" was the second single lifted from Slaughter's debut album Stick It to Ya (number 130, September 1990).  While I hadn't heard this song before, I am familiar with the band's previous single, "Up All Night" - thanks to hearing it on the American Top 40 radio show.  "Up All Night" was released in Australia in July 1990 but failed to chart.
 
Internationally, "Fly to the Angels" reached number 19 in the US, and number 55 in the UK in February 1991.

Locally, "Fly to the Angels" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 116.

Listening to "Fly to the Angels" for the first time, lead singer Mark Slaughter's (yes, that's his real name) voice reminds me of 70s Australian band Skyhooks' Shirley Strachan in his upper register.  Yes, really.  While I think this song is OK, I much prefer "Up All Night", and am surprised that one was not a bigger hit.
 
Slaughter will join us again in 1992.
 
 

Next week (11 March): A mere two top 150 debuts, but there are five bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
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