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 >

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