27 May 2022

Week commencing 27 May 1991

Among the nine new songs I write about debuting this week in 1991, two are by the same artist - a first for these chart recaps, and only two of the eight different artists will return to the top 150 - of which, one never landed a top 100 hit in Australia!

But before we dive into the new batch of entries from 1991, I have updated two earlier posts with the following:
  • 27 February 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Simple Minds;
  • 22 April 1991 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Daryl Hall & John Oates.
 
Queen had a 'bunch' of singles that peaked outside the top 100 in Australia.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 142 "Silver Stallion" by Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson
Peak: number 123
Peak date: 10 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
 
The Highwaymen for short, though they are credited as Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson (no 'and') on the single sleeve, landed their one and only ARIA top 150 single this week in 1991, with "Silver Stallion".  The track appears on the quartet's second album Highwayman 2 (number 9, June 1991), and is a cover version of a song originally recorded by Wings Livinryte in 1975.

"Silver Stallion" does not appear to have registered on any other sales-based chart that I can ascertain; however, it peaked at number 25 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in April 1990.
 
I generally don't enjoy country music at all, but I thought this song wasn't bad.  I dare say I even enjoyed it and would listen to it again!
 
 
 
Number 144 Adrenalin EP by N-Joi
Peak: number 134
Peak date: 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
For the first time, we have two debuting entries peaking in the 101-150 region of the chart from the same artist, in the same week.
 
English production duo N-Joi consist of Nigel Champion and Mark Franklin.  The Adrenalin EP was their second single - their debut release also debuted this week, at number 150, below.  The EP's title track "Adrenalin" is largely instrumental, with a vocal sample appearing only in the second half of the radio version.  "Adrenalin" was one of the earlier 'rave'-style dance tracks to chart in Australia.

Internationally, "Adrenalin" peaked at number 23 in the UK in March 1991.
 
I didn't hear this one at the time, but may have if I had been old enough to go clubbing in 1991.
 
 
 
Number 147 "Wild Thing (Theme from Bonanza)" by The Fargone Beauties
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
 
The genres listed for Australian band The Fargone Beauties' debut album The Fargone Beauties (number 137, August 1991) on discogs are bluegrass, parody and novelty.  That should give you some idea as to their sound.

As you might have guessed, "Wild Thing (Theme from Bonanza)" is a cover version of The Troggs' "Wild Thing" from 1966.  My initial impression, listening to this track for the first time, is that it sounds like it could have been the theme song for the 1960s/early 1970s black and white TV sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, which seemed to be on perpetual re-run when I was a child.

The Fargone Beauties - who never landed a top 100 single or album in Australia - will next join us in 1992.
 

 
Number 150 "Anthem" by N-Joi
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 3 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
 
The second N-Joi single to enter the top 150 this week in 1991 was the group's debut release in the UK in October 1990.  The single spent two weeks at its peak of number 45 in the UK in November 1990.  When re-released after the top 30 success of "Adrenalin" (see above), "Anthem" reached a new peak of number 8 in the UK in April 1991.  "Anthem" also reached number 15 in Ireland in April 1991, and number 4 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart.
 
In Australia, "Anthem" was issued as N-Joi's debut single in early February 1991.  I am not sure why it took nearly four months to crack the top 150, but it appears to have been given a boost by the follow-up single, which also debuted this week.  "Anthem" seems like it is the more-commercial sounding of the two singles, so I am a bit surprised its peak was lower in Australia.
 
If you're viewing the "Anthem" music video embedded below for the first time, you may be asking yourself, 'Haven't I seen that woman fronting the band before?'  Well, yes, you probably have, as it's none other than Saffron (real name Samantha Sprackling), who went on to front the band Republica, who landed a number 40 hit in Australia with "Ready to Go" in October 1996.  A major difference between this single and Republica, however, is that Saffron does not actually sing the vocal samples on "Anthem"; she just lip-syncs, as was the case with many European dance acts in the 1990s.  Ooh-er.

While we will not see N-Joi in the top 150 again, they did go on to land several more charting singles in the UK.  We will see Saffron again with Republica in 1997.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 151 "Something So Strong" by Elisa Fiorillo
Peak: number 151
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
American Elisa Fiorillo first came to prominence in 1985, winning the American talent search TV program Star Search while still a teenager.  It was this exposure that landed Elisa a recording contract, and she recorded the original version of "Jackie" in 1987 for the Summer School soundtrack - a song that would later become a hit for Lisa Stansfield's band Blue Zone (number 99, February 1989), and was covered by three (!) Australian acts in 1998: Zone 2 (number 137, September 1998), Redzone (number 37, November 1998) and B.Z. featuring Joanne (number 3, January 1999).
 
Elisa's debut album Elisa Fiorillo was released in 1987, and she landed her first Australian chart entry in 1988, as the featured vocalist on Jellybean's "Who Found Who" (number 75, May 1988) single.
 
Elisa's second album I Am (number 111, April 1991) was led by the single "On the Way Up" (number 19, April 1991), which Elisa co-wrote with Prince.  Interestingly, that song peaked higher in Australia than in any other country; with the single peaking at number 27 in the US in January 1991.

"Something So Strong" was issued as the second, and final, single from I Am in Australia, and, oddly, appears to have only been a single in Australia.  Even more strangely, another Prince-penned track, "Playgirl", was relegated to being the B-side.  The US received "Oooh This I Need" as the second, and final, single from I Am.

"Something So Strong" performed strongest on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart, where it reached number 134.

I hadn't heard "Something So Strong" before.  It doesn't scream 'single' to me.  It was Elisa's last single to be released in Australia.  Elisa gained work as a backing vocalist for other artists including Savage Garden, and took a break from her own recording career until the 2000s, when she released three albums independently.
 

 
Number 162 "I Must Have Been Blind" by The Cockroaches
Peak: number 162
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We saw Australian band The Cockroaches in April 1990, with the lead single from their third studio album Positive (number 121, July 1991).  "I Must Have Been Blind" was the third single lifted from Positive, following "Here Comes That Feeling" (released November 1990), which failed to chart.

"I Must Have Been Blind" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it reached number 142.
 
This was The Cockroaches' last single to chart, although the Hey Let's Go! The Best of the Cockroaches compilation reached number 236 on the ARIA albums chart in June 2014, after originally peaking at number 283 in November 1999.  Of course, some of the group went on to form The Wiggles, whom you may have heard of...



Number 169 "Love Don't Come Easy" by White Lion
Peak: number 169
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
We last saw Danish/American rock band White Lion in December 1989.  "Love Don't Come Easy" was the lead single from the band's fourth studio album Mane Attraction (number 105, June 1991).

Surprisingly, as far as I can establish, Australia is the only market that "Love Don't Come Easy" registered a position on a sales-based chart.  According to Wikipedia, the song reached number 24 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, which is based on airplay - but I cannot confirm that, as the Billboard website is dysfunctional and nothing loaded for me on the White Lion page.

Within Australia, "Love Don't Come Easy" was most successful in Western Australia, where it reached number 145.

This track was White Lion's last single to chart in Australia, although the compilation album The Best of White Lion reached number 227 on the albums chart in October 1992.  The band split in 1992, but reformed in 1999 before splitting again in 2013.
 

 
Number 176 "I'm Going Slightly Mad" by Queen
Peak: number 176
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
 
Queen last paid us a visit in April 1991, and here they are again, a mere six weeks later, with the third single from the Innuendo (number 6, February 1991) album released in Australia.

In Europe, "I'm Going Slightly Mad" was issued as the second single from Innuendo.  It peaked at number 22 in the UK in March 1991, number 19 in Ireland in March 1991, number 42 in Germany in April 1991, number 20 in the Netherlands in April 1991, and number 39 in the Flanders region of Belgium in May 1991.

In Australia, "I'm Going Slightly Mad" was most popular in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 139.

With lyrics such as "I'm coming down with a fever," "I'm Going Slightly Mad" was inspired by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's (then unannounced) illness with AIDS, and the resulting cognitive symptoms.  The music video pokes fun at this, with Freddie at one point sporting a wig made of bananas.  Freddie's dramatic weight loss due to his illness is evident in the video, and he wore an extra layer of clothing to help conceal this.
 
"I'm Going Slightly Mad" would become the last Queen single to chart in Australia during Freddie's  lifetime.  The band's next single, "The Show Must Go On" (number 75, January 1992), debuted at number 170 on the ARIA singles chart on the day that Freddie's passing was announced in Australia (25 November 1991).  For those of you who are old enough, the shock announcement of Freddie Mercury's death was one of those flashbulb memory events, where you remember where you were and what you were doing at the time you heard the news.

We shall next see Queen in 1992.
 

 
Number 189 "Congo Square" by Great White
Peak: number 189
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
American rock band Great White first joined us in September 1989, and here they are for the second, and final, time.

"Congo Square" was the lead single from the band's fifth studio album Hooked (number 150, June 1991) in Australia.  In the US, "Call It Rock 'N' Roll" (released in Australia in June 1991, did not chart) was the album's first release.
 
Internationally "Congo Square" peaked at number 62 in the UK in February 1991.
 
Within Australia, "Congo Square" performed strongest on the Western Australian state chart, where it reached number 146.
 
"Congo Square" was Great White's final single to chart in Australia.
 
 

Next week (3 June): Seven top 150 debuts and three bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 20 May 1991                                           Next week: 3 June 1991 >

20 May 2022

Week commencing 20 May 1991

Of the six new entries from this week in 1991, five of them are from artists we will never see 'bubble under' again!  So let's say hello to these new tracks before we bid the artists goodbye...
 
Chesney Hawkes: Australia seemed like the one and only country he couldn't land a hit in.
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 142 "Bow Down Mister" by Jesus Loves You
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 20 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
Jesus Loves You, fronted by Boy George, have visited us on two previous occasions, in October 1989 and September 1990.  In keeping with their one-bubbling-under-'hit'-in-Australia-per-year charting pattern, "Bow Down Mister" - the third single from The Martyr Mantras (number 136, June 1991) - was the act's third release to peak outside the top 100 in Australia.  In keeping with the band's religious name, "Bow Down Mister" contains numerous lyrical references to the Hare Krishna movement.
 
"Bow Down Mister" was Jesus Loves You's highest-peaking single in Australia, and internationally.  The single reached number 27 in the UK in March 1991, number 29 in France in May 1991, number 2 in Austria in June 1991, number 44 in the Flanders region of Belgium in June 1991, number 15 in Switzerland in July 1991, and number 6 in Germany in July 1991.

Within Australia, "Bow Down Mister" performed strongest on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart, where it reached number 120.

"Bow Down Mister" was Jesus Love You's last unique single to be released in Australia, although their two previous singles "Generations of Love" and "After the Love" were re-issued in August 1991 and November 1991, respectively.

A further single, "Sweet Toxic Love" - not from The Martyr Mantras - was released in Europe in late 1992, and reached number 65 in the UK in December of that year.  A second Jesus Loves You album never eventuated.

While Jesus Loves You would not join us again, we will see solo Boy George again in 1992.
 
 
 
Number 149 "Happy" by Ned's Atomic Dustbin
Peak: number 101
Peak date: 3 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
British band Ned's Atomic Dustbin formed in 1987, taking their name from an episode of a radio comedy program The Goon Show.  "Happy", lifted from the band's debut studio album God Fodder (number 95, March 1992), was the first Ned's Atomic Dustbin single released in Australia.

"Happy" had greater success in the band's native UK, where it peaked at number 16 in March 1991.  "Happy" also peaked at number 19 in Ireland during the same month.
 
Ned's Atomic Dustbin would land only one top 100-peaking single in Australia, with "Grey Cell Green" (number 93, February 1992).  I think I caught this one once on the ABC's The Afternoon Show, which would play one or two music videos in between other programs aimed at tweens and teens.  Ah, remember when the ABC used to air such things, and not just wall-to-wall news programs, panel discussion shows and cartoons aimed at youngins on a separate channel?

We shall see Ned's Atomic Dustbin again in 1993.
 
 
 
Number 150 "The One and Only" by Chesney Hawkes
Peak: number 103
Peak date: 10 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 16 weeks
Weeks on chart: 18 weeks
 
Chesney Hawkes - yes, that's his real name - hails from Windsor, Berkshire in England.  I vividly recall a quote from the Australian edition of Smash Hits - perhaps from a single review - stating that Chesney's name sounded like a make of caravan.  I agree.
 
"The One and Only" was written and co-produced by Nik Kershaw, who landed four top 20 singles in Australia in 1984-5, with his biggest hit, "Wouldn't It Be Good" (number 5, May 1984), reaching the top five.  If you are familiar with Nik's music, his DNA is all over "The One and Only", and he also sings backing vocals on the chorus.  I think Nik probably could have done a better job with the song than Chesney, but alas, Nik's 15 minutes was up, and he was probably starting to get on a bit for a one-time teen idol pop star at the ripe old age of 33.  Enter 19 year-old "heart throb" Chesney Hawkes into the fray, and voila.  Yes, before Enrique Iglesias's facial mole, there was Chesney...

"The One and Only" was Chesney's debut single, and was also used in the 1991 film Chesney starred in, Buddy's Song, where he plays the role of an aspiring pop star.  The single was huge in the UK, topping the singles chart for five consecutive weeks in March and April 1991.  "The One and Only" also topped the Austrian singles chart in June 1991.  The single was a top 5 hit in Ireland, Switzerland, the Flanders region of Belgium, Sweden and Norway, and a top 10 hit in Germany and even the US.  It seems that Australia was "the one and only" (ho ho ho) country this song wasn't a top 10 hit in.  Well, us and New Zealand.
 
Domestically, "The One and Only" peaked within the top 100 on four of the five state charts, with Western Australia being the only exception.  Despite this, and a chart run lasting four months, the single could not dent the national top 100 chart.  "The One and Only" was most successful in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 75.
 
In addition to its long - for a single peaking outside the top 100 - chart run, "The One and Only" was still bubbling within the top 150 as late as November 1991.  It fell out of the top 150 at the start of August 1991, only to return again towards the end of October for another four weeks, rebounding to number 127.  This presumably happened due to the single being re-issued in Australia in September 1991.

"The One and Only" shares a three-way tie with two other singles, which we will see in July and October, for the third-longest chart run within the top 150 for a single peaking outside the top 100 in 1991.
 
There were two music videos filmed for "The One and Only".  I have embedded the second one below, which is the one I saw on Coca-Cola Power Cuts, where I first heard/saw this song - a prominent source for my musical discoveries in 1991.  You can view the original UK version of the video, which I think is awful, and incorporates scenes from Buddy's Song, here.
 
I remember leafing through UK pop magazine Number One (but not buying it - my pocket money only extended so far) in the newsagents' in 1991, and Chesney seemed to be in every issue.  He was being touted as the new Jason Donovan, if I remember correctly.
 
And just like Jason, Chesney's pop career was short-lived, although much more so than Jason's.  Chesney's second single, "I'm a Man Not a Boy" - which appears to have given Britney Spears' songwriting team some ideas - peaked at only number 27 in the UK, in June 1991.  It was his last single to make the top 50 there.
 
"The One and Only" would be Chesney's one and only release to chart in Australia.  The single fared marginally better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 99.
 
 
 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 166 "Brave New World" by Ana Christensen
Peak: number 166
Peak date: 20 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
American-born Ana Christensen emigrated to Australia in the late 1970s.  She released her debut album Deep in the Night in 1988, but neither the album nor the only single issued from it, "Afraid of the Dark" (May 1988), charted.

After signing to CBS, Ana released the single "Isolate Your Heart" (number 66, April 1991) in August 1990.  Although it did not reach a high chart placing, the single spent 34 weeks on the chart, taking eight months to reach its eventual peak.  "Isolate Your Heart" reached the top 30 on the Victoria/Tasmania and South Australia/Northern Territory state charts, although five months apart, which dashed its chances of becoming a top 40 hit nationally.

"Brave New World" was released as the second single from Ana's second album, also titled Brave New World (number 104, April 1991).  The track did not receive as much attention as "Isolate Your Heart", and I do not recall hearing it at the time.  The single performed strongest on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart, reaching number 146.
 
Ana would only have one other charting single in Australia, her version of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" (number 94, September 1991), which you can listen to in this upload of the whole Brave New World album, at 27 minutes and 43 seconds in.
 
Ana's third album Not All Monkeys Are Right Handed (number 164, November 1994) was released through Festival Records.  Neither of the two singles issued from it, "Cultivate the Wild" (July 1994) and "I Will Hold You Up" (November 1994), charted.  Following the release of this album, Ana returned to the US.
 

 
Number 171 "Dangerous" by The Doobie Brothers
Peak: number 171
Peak date: 20 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
 
American band The Doobie Brothers last graced our presence in September 1989.  "Dangerous" was the lead single from the band's eleventh studio album Brotherhood, which was released in Australia in July 1991 but did not chart.  Interestingly, "Dangerous" does not appear to have charted anywhere else - other than reaching number 2 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in May 1991, for whatever that is worth.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Dangerous" peaked highest in Western Australia, where it reached number 145.
 
"Dangerous" was The Doobie Brothers' last single of new material to chart in Australia.  A remix of their 1973 single "Long Train Runnin'" reached number 67 on the ARIA singles chart in March 1994, and we will see a cover version of that song bubble under in July 1991.
 

 
Number 194 "I've Got News for You" by Feargal Sharkey
Peak: number 193
Peak date: 10 June 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks

Northern Irish singer Se├ín Feargal Sharkey, known as just Feargal Sharkey, started his musical career as the frontman of punk rock band The Undertones in 1976.  While chart success eluded The Undertones in Australia, they landed seven top 40 singles in the UK and four top 30 hits in Ireland between 1978 and 1981.  The group's biggest hit in the UK was "My Perfect Cousin" (number 9, May 1980), which sounds very different to Feargal's later solo hits.

Feargal pursued a solo career after The Undertones split up in 1983.  He sang lead vocals on "Never Never" (number 95, February 1984), the only single released by The Assembly, which was a Vince Clarke (ex-Depeche Mode and Yazoo, and future Erasure band member) project.

Feargal's solo career proper began modestly on the Australian chart, with "Loving You" reaching number 97 in November 1985.  Feargal's next single, "A Good Heart" - written by Maria McKee and produced by Eurythmics' Dave Stewart, however, would top the Australian singles chart for two weeks in February 1986.  The next single, "You Little Thief" (number 4, March 1986), also reached the top five.  The Feargal Sharkey (number 7, March 1986) album reached the top ten, and was the twentieth biggest album of 1986 in Australia.

Unfortunately for Feargal, nothing else he released troubled the top 60 in Australia.  His second solo album Wish peaked at number 66 in March 1988.  It was a similar story in the UK, where nothing from Wish cracked the top 40, and the album missed the top 100.

"I've Got News for You" was the lead single from Feargal's third - and last, to date - solo album Songs from the Mardi Gras (number 183, June 1991).  The single gave Feargal somewhat of a comeback in Europe, reaching number 12 in the UK in April 1991, and number 8 in Ireland.

On the ARIA state charts, "I've Got News for You" peaked highest in Western Australia, where it reached number 158.

I don't recall hearing this one at the time, so it presumably did not receive much promotion in Australia.  "I've Got News for You" would be Feargal's final single to chart in Australia.  A second single from Songs from the Mardi Gras, "Women & I", was released in Australia in August 1991 but failed to chart.  It also did not chart in the UK, or anywhere else.



Next week (27 May): Four new top 150 debuts, two of which are by the same artist!  Plus five bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 13 May 1991                                    Next week: 27 May 1991 >

13 May 2022

Week commencing 13 May 1991

Having hits in Australia during the 1980s and 1990s was literally a hit and miss affair.  This week in 1991, a single that was promoted with a Pepsi TV commercial could not become a hit, and an act who landed one of the biggest hits of 1990 will languish outside the top 100 with just their third release. You were only as big as your last single, it often seemed.

Before delving into this week in 1991's new entries, I have updated some earlier posts with the following:
  • 24 April 1989 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Died Pretty;
  • 5 March 1990 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Died Pretty;
  • 27 August 1990 - a new bubbling WAY down under entry from Ice MC.

Deee-Lite: a good beat, a good song, but not a great chart position.
  
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 138 "Kanon" by Loudest Whisper
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
 
This track, which I'd never heard of before - and wasn't on YouTube until I uploaded it to embed in this post (rescuing these flops from obscurity is my life's work...) - is a version of Baroque composer Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D".  Coincidentally, we saw another song based on this just three weeks ago.  I wonder if there was a connection, with this track being released to cash-in on the success (well, not in Australia) of The Farm's "All Together Now"?

To my ears, "Kanon" sounds like a Christmas-y song.  The kind of thing that's pleasant to hear over the PA system in a shopping centre, or in a hotel lobby.  This song is presumably one of few charting singles to contain a harp on it.  Other than that, I can't tell you much about this one.  This version of "Kanon" did not chart anywhere else that I can determine.

"Kanon" peaked 38 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 76.
 

 
Number 144 "Seal Our Fate" by Gloria Estefan
Peak: number 112
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
 
Cuban-American singer Gloria Estefan was involved in a nasty tour bus accident in 1990, which left her with broken vertebrae.  Gloria was apparently told that she may never walk or dance again, but fortunately, that grim prognosis turned out to be incorrect, and Gloria made a comeback in early 1991 with her second solo studio album Into the Light (number 9, November 1991).

Gloria's chart career started out as part of Miami Sound Machine, landing the memorable hits "Dr. Beat" (number 11, February 1985) and "Conga" (number 37, March 1986).  After several underperforming singles on the Australian chart, Gloria returned in 1988 - now with lead billing as Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine - with "Anything for You" (number 11, August 1988).
 
Gloria stepped out on her own in 1989 with the Cuts Both Ways (number 1, July 1990) album.  "Seal Our Fate" was the second single from Into the Light, following "Coming out of the Dark" (number 56, February 1991).

Internationally, "Seal Our Fate" peaked at number 53 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1991, number 24 in the UK in May 1991, number 35 in the Flanders region of Belgium in April 1991, number 46 in the Netherlands in May 1991, and number 54 in Germany in June 1991.

Within Australia, "Seal Our Fate" was most popular in Queensland, where it reached number 87.  The single peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, reaching number 98.

As seemed to be a trend for me in 1991, I first heard/saw "Seal Our Fate" on Coca-Cola Power Cuts.  Coincidentally, the song and music video were used in a TV commercial for rival cola company Pepsi.  I was a bit surprised by Gloria's energetic performance in the video for "Seal Our Fate", given her recent spinal injury.  There's an alternative edit of the video, showing more energetic scenes and fewer close-up shots of Gloria's face here.
 
We will next see Gloria in September 1991.
 

 
Number 147 "Valentine" by Nils Lofgren
Peak: number 119
Peak date: 29 July 1991
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
 
American rock musician and multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren placed three albums on the Australian chart between 1976 and 1981, although none charted higher than number 73.  Nils had greater success recording with other artists, such as Crazy Horse and Neil Young.  Nils has also been part of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band since 1984.

"Valentine", lifted from Nils' album Silver Lining (number 122, July 1991), contains guest vocals from Bruce Springsteen on the chorus, although he is not credited as a featured artist or duet partner.  Bruce also appears in the music video.

Internationally, "Valentine" peaked at number 19 in the Netherlands in May 1991.  The song also reached number 37 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in April 1991, for whatever that's worth.
 
In Australia, "Valentine" made a slow 12-week climb to its peak of number 119 - and then exited the top 150 the following week.
 

 
Number 148 "Good Beat" by Deee-Lite
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 27 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
 
Lady Miss Kier (real name Kierin Magenta Kirby - why didn't she just stick with that?), DJ Amitri and Towa Tei formed Deee-Lite in New York City in 1987.  The trio burst onto the charts in 1990 with their heavily-based-on-samples debut single "Groove Is in the Heart" (number 1, November 1990).
 
Unfortunately, Deee-Lite would never replicate the success of "Groove...", and they are generally thought of as being one-hit wonders.  Technically, however, they did land a second top 50 hit in Australia... just, with "Power of Love" (number 47, January 1991).
 
While I like "Power of Love", I think it's fair to say that it would not have been anywhere near as 'big' had it not followed one of the biggest singles of 1990.  If it had it been up to me, I would have gone with "Good Beat", which was instead issued as the third single from Deee-Lite's debut album World Clique (number 33, November 1990), as the follow-up to "Groove Is in the Heart".  That being said, "Good Beat" was not a huge hit anywhere (other than perhaps on the dancefloor?), peaking at number 53 in the UK in May 1991, and number 45 in New Zealand during the same month.  The single also managed to top the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, though that doesn't mean anything in my book.
   
Domestically, "Good Beat" peaked within the top 100 on all five ARIA state charts but, frustratingly, could not dent the national top 100.  The single was biggest in Queensland, where it reached number 87.  "Good Beat" also cracked the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart, where it peaked at number 96.

I recall seeing "Good Beat" as a new release on rage, shown as the first video that evening.  I like the song's perhaps selfish message of blocking out the world's problems and just getting lost in the music, or using music to help you forget about your/the world's problems.  "Good Beat" is probably my favourite Deee-Lite song, and I wish it had've been another hit for them.

Deee-Lite's next single, "How Do You Say...Love", was issued in Australia in August 1991, but failed to chart.

We will see Deee-Lite again in 1992.
 

 
Number 149 "Willy" by Ashley Cleveland
Peak: number 131
Peak dates: 17 June 1991 and 24 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 13 weeks
 
American singer-songwriter Ashley Cleveland has an extensive list of backing singer credits to her name, performing back-up for artists such as John Hiatt and Emmylou Harris.

"Willy" was Ashley's first single release, lifted from her debut album Big Town.  The single peaked 33 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 98.  I cannot find evidence of the single charting elsewhere.

A second single from Big Town, "I Could Learn to Love You", was released locally in August 1991, but missed the top 150.
 

 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 155 "Signs" by Tesla
Peak: number 155
Peak date: 13 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
One thing I'm not a huge fan of, generally, is live music.  Yes, you read that correctly!  There are a couple of artists I like who I think can (or, more likely, once could) pull their music off well live; but I'd almost always (with a couple of exceptions for the odd track here and there) rather listen to the studio recordings.  I've only ever been to three live concerts in my life.
 
Why do I mention all of the above?  Because this song by Tesla is a live recording.  Tesla, who I'm not familiar with, are a hair metal/glam rock band hailing from Sacramento, California.  This track, though, is much more on the acoustic spectrum of 'metal'.  Perhaps the band foresaw what was happening with metal as it morphed into/was replaced by grunge an alternative music by the end of 1991.
 
"Signs" was a cover version of a song that started out as a B-side for Five Man Electrical Band in 1970, before being flipped and released as an A-side the following year, where it reached the top 5 in the US and Canada.  Tesla's live rendition of the track was lifted from their live album Five Man Acoustical Jam (number 145, May 1991).

Internationally, "Signs" peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in April 1991, and at number 70 in the UK during the same month.

Within Australia, "Signs" was most successful in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 139.

While "Signs" would be Tesla's only single to chart in Australia, they had a couple of other albums that charted locally, including The Great Radio Controversy (number 121, May 1989), Psychotic Supper (number 158, October 1991) and Bust a Nut (number 215, October 1994).
 

 
Number 161 "It Won't Be Long" by Alison Moyet
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 10 June 1991
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks
 
English singer Alison Moyet's first taste of chart success came as the vocalist in electronic music duo Yazoo (known as Yaz in the US - not to be confused with Yazz), with ex-Depeche Mode and future Erasure band member Vince Clarke.  Together, the duo scored a pair of top 10 singles in Australia with "Only You" (number 7, August 1982) and "Don't Go" (number 6, November 1982).

After recording two albums with Yazoo, Alison embarked on a solo career in 1984, launched with the single "Love Resurrection" (number 17, October 1984).  Between 1984 and 1987, Alison placed six singles on the Australian chart, with "Is This Love?" (number 13, March 1987) being the highest-peaking of those.  Then Alison went quiet for a few years, feeling pressure to appease her record company by writing more songs that would become pop hits, despite not wanting to go further down this route.

Alison returned in 1991 with her third solo studio album Hoodoo (number 120, July 1991), from which "It Won't Be Long" was the lead single.  Internationally, the single peaked at number 50 in the UK in April 1991, and at number 43 in the Netherlands in May 1991.

Within Australia, "It Won't Be Long" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 128.

I hadn't heard "It Won't Be Long" until writing this post.  In fact, I didn't hear any of Alison's post-1985 singles at the time; somehow, her 1987 album completely passed me by - though I didn't get into music properly until the second half of in 1987.

We will see Alison next in August 1991.
 

 
Next week (20 May): Three new top 150 debuts, and three new bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
< Previous week: 6 May 1991                                          Next week: 20 May 1991 > 

11 May 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 11 May 1981

This week in 1981's new entries bubbling under the top 100 are certainly an odd bunch.  Among them we have a group who never landed a top 100 hit in Australia, a single for which the A and B-sides were switched in Australia only, and a song from a German-American country artist that only 'charted' in Australia.  Let's take a look.
 
The Teardrop Explodes did not quite 'explode' on the Australian charts.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 22 "When I Dream" by The Teardrop Explodes
Highest rank: 2nd
Peak dates: 31 August 1981 and 21 September 1981
Weeks on below list: 13 weeks
 
British band The Teardrop Explodes formed in Liverpool in 1978.  "When I Dream", their debut single, peaked at number 47 in the UK in October 1980, and was lifted from the band's first album Kilimanjaro (number 92, June 1981).  This track was the band's only release to make a (very small) ripple on the Australian chart.  Despite missing the top 100, "When I Dream" hung around on the beyond number 100 list for several months.  The group disbanded in 1982.
 
The Teardrop Explodes' lead singer Julian Cope will, however, land a top 60 solo 'hit' in Australia with "World Shut Your Mouth" (number 51, March 1987).  We will see Julian bubble under in 1987 and 1995.
 

 
Position 25 "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" by Daryl Hall & John Oates
Highest rank: 15th
Peak date: 25 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
 
At this point in 1981, American duo Daryl Hall & John Oates had placed six singles on the Australian top 100 chart, with "Rich Girl" (number 6, June 1977) being the biggest of those.
 
From what I can gather, "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" was the B-side of the Daryl  Hall & John Oates single "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" in the rest of the world.  In Australia, however, the sides were flipped, and "Diddy Doo..." was the A-side on the single, with "...Lovin' Feelin'" relegated to being the B-side.   I am guessing this might have happened as another version of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", performed by Long John Baldry with Kathi McDonald, was a major hit in Australia in 1980, reaching number 2 in July 1980.  Hall and Oates' Australian record company probably thought it was too soon for another version of the same song to become a hit; not that their strategy of flipping the sides for this single worked either.
 
Both "Diddy Doo Wop..." and "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" were lifted from Hall and Oates' ninth studio album Voices (number 19, November 1980).

The "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"-led version of this single peaked at number 55 in the UK in September 1980, and at number 12 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1980.
 
Hall and Oates would next bubble under in Australia in 1990.
 
 
 
Position 28 "I Just Wonder Where He Could Be Tonight" by Hilka
Highest rank: 3rd
Peak date: 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 6 weeks
 
Thankfully, the rear sleeve of German singer Hilka Cornelius' one and only studio album Hilka contains a short biography on her, as I couldn't otherwise find much information online.  Hilka's family emigrated to Salt Lake City in Utah when she was 13 years old.  She trained as a school teacher in Texas, teaching German, Russian and Spanish, before realising that her passion lied with singing.  Hilka was one half of singing comedy duo Denim and Lace.

"I Just Wonder Where He Could Be Tonight" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.  Hilka landed a minor 'hit' on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, however, with "(I'm Just the) Cuddle Up Kind" reaching number 96 in February 1980.

Hilka landed a top 50 'hit' in Australia with "Who Were You Thinking of" (number 47, February 1981), credited to Hilka and The Doolittle Band - although I cannot hear Hilka's voice on this, and the lead vocal is sung by a man.
 

 
Next post (1 June): The next Kent Music Report beyond the top 100 post will not be until 1 June, owing to there being no new singles bubbling under on 18 May or 25 May 1981 that missed the top 100.  On the next post, there will be three new entries.
 
< Previous week: 4 May 1981                                     Next post: 1 June 1981 >
 

06 May 2022

Week commencing 6 May 1991

This week in 1991's new chart entries peaking outside the top 100 are a combination of artists who have not charted before, and veteran artists re-releasing old material or recording under a different name.  Let's take a look at them.
 
Sonic Youth: who knew that they were all Boomers?
 
Top 150 debuts:
 
Number 111 "The King Is Half Undressed" by Jellyfish
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
American band Jellyfish formed in San Francisco in 1989.  "The King Is Half Undressed" was the group's first release.  The single peaked at number 39 in the UK in February 1991, and reached number 19 on the US Alternative Airplay chart - for what that's worth (not much).
 
The track was lifted from Jellyfish's debut album Bellybutton (number 112, July 1990).  A second single from the album, "Baby's Coming Back", was released locally in June 1991, but missed the top 150.
 
I remember seeing a Jellyfish single (I'm not sure which one) in the shops in 1991, but didn't hear their music at the time.
 
The group split in 1994, after releasing only two studio albums.

We shall see Jellyfish again in 1993.
 

 
Number 141 "The Whole of the Moon" by The Waterboys (re-issue) 
Peak: number 107 (1991 release); number 12 (1985 release)
Peak date: 13 May 1991 (1991 release); 17 March 1986 (1985 release)
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks (1991 release), plus 18 weeks in the top 100 in 1986.
 
Scottish band The Waterboys first released "The Whole of the Moon" on their 1985 album This Is the Sea (number 23, March 1986).  The track was issued as a single in Australia in December 1985, reaching its peak of number 12 in March 1986, and became the 99th biggest single of 1986 in Australia.
 
Interestingly, "The Whole of the Moon" was a bigger hit in Australia upon its original release than in the band's native UK, where it only reached number 26 in November 1985.  Elsewhere, the initial release of "The Whole of the Moon" peaked at number 19 in the Netherlands in January 1986, and at number 19 in New Zealand in May 1986.

The Waterboys only landed one other top 100 single in Australia, with "Fisherman's Blues" (number 70, February 1989).

"The Whole of the Moon" was re-issued in 1991 to promote the band's The Best of the Waterboys 81-90 (number 101, May 1991) compilation album.  This time around, the single was much more successful in the UK, reaching number 3 there in April 1991 - easily becoming their biggest hit.  The re-issue also peaked at number 2 in Ireland.  The band won an Ivor Novello songwriting award for "The Whole of the Moon" in 1991.

We will next see The Waterboys in 1993.



Number 145 "Dirty Boots" by Sonic Youth
Peak: number 145
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Sonic Youth formed in New York in 1981.  Their first Australian chart 'success' did not come until 1990, however, when their sixth studio album Goo peaked at number 106 in September 1990.  Goo was also the band's first album to chart in the US, where it reached number 96 in September 1990.
 
"Dirty Boots", lifted from the album Goo, was the first Sonic Youth single issued in Australia, although their song "Titanium Expose" from the Pump Up the Volume soundtrack (number 74, January 1992) was the B-side on Concrete Blonde's "Everybody Knows" single, released locally in November 1990 (did not chart).
 
"Dirty Boots" does not appear to have charted anywhere else.  On the ARIA state charts, "Dirty Boots" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 93.

Although Goo was the band's first album to chart in Australia, several of their earlier albums later charted locally.  1988's Daydream Nation, the band's fifth studio album, peaked at number 144 in September 1994.  1987's Sister, the band's fourth studio album, peaked at number 151 in December 1994.  1986's Evol, the band's third studio album, peaked at number 928 in August 2015.

I first heard of Sonic Youth when catching one of their music videos on rage in 1992.  I also recall that a guy in my Indonesian class in high school answered that he was listening to Sonic Youth when I asked what he was playing on his (cassette) Walkman.
 
One thing I didn't realise until writing this post is that each member of Sonic Youth is a Boomer, with the birth dates for their line up in 1991 ranging between 1953 and 1962.  The band's two lead singers, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, were already 30-something at the start of the 1990s.  I associate Sonic Youth's image and sound much more with Generation X and the 90s alternative music scene.

We will next see Sonic Youth in 1992.
 

 
Number 150 "Stop (Don't Start)" by The Riptides
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 3 June 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
 
The Riptides were an Australian band, formed in Brisbane in the late 1970s.  Commercial success largely evaded the group, and they placed only one single ("Only Time" - number 89, December 1981) and one album (Resurface - number 56, March 1988) on the Australian top 100.

"Stop (Don't Start)" was the first single lifted from The Riptides' fourth studio album Wave Rock (number 125, October 1991).

I hadn't heard this one before, but it sounds like it should have had more chart success.
 

 
Bubbling WAY down under:
 
Number 152 "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" by Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams
Peak: number 152
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

"Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams", a re-worked version of Tears for Fears' "Sowing the Seeds of Love" (number 13, October 1989) - minus the song's chorus - originally appeared as the B-side on a Tears for Fears single that bubbled under on the Australian chart in May 1990.  The verses of the song are performed by Biti Strauchn, rather than by Roland Orzabal.

"Johnny Panic..." was remixed and released as a single in its own right, credited to Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.  The single peaked at number 70 in the UK in February 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 139.
 
I first heard/saw this track as a new release on Coca Cola Power-Cuts, when it aired as a weekly program on Sunday afternoons.  I assume that exposure is what lead to the single charting in Australia, albeit rather lowly.


 
Number 169 "Echo Chamber" by Beats International
Peak: number 169
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
 
Masterminded by former Housemartins bass player Norman Cook, who would later be responsible for Fatboy Slim, Beats International landed a major hit on the Australian chart in 1990 with "Dub Be Good to Me" (number 12, July 1990).  It was followed-up by the much less successful "Won't Talk About It" (number 70, September 1990), and the album Let Them Eat Bingo (number 63, July 1990).

"Echo Chamber" was the lead single from the second, and final, Beats International album Excursion on the Version, which does not appear to have been released in Australia.  Lead vocal duties this time were performed by Lester Noel.  The single peaked at number 60 in the UK in March 1991, and at number 49 in New Zealand in April 1991.  Within Australia, "Echo Chamber" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 146.
 
I remember seeing the video for this one on the SBS music video program M.C. TeeVee as a new release.
 
We shall next see Beats International in December 1991.
 

 
Number 186 "Listen Up" by Listen Up
Peak: number 186
Peak date: 6 May 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week 

Eponymous singles seem to be the sub-theme this week, and here is the second one of those.

Listen Up is a non-profit organisation founded by Quincy Jones - whom we last saw in January 1990, which provides support to underprivileged youths in South Africa.
 
The artists featured on this track include Tevin Campbell, Siedah Garrett, Karyn White, Ice-T, Al B. Sure!, The Winans, James Ingram, El DeBarge, Big Daddy Kane, Melle Mel, and Ray Charles.
 
On the ARIA state charts, "Listen Up" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 155.
 

 
Next week (13 May): Five new top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.
 
< Previous week: 29 April 1991                                      Next week: 13 May 1991 >

04 May 2022

Kent Music Report beyond the top 100: 4 May 1981

I hadn't heard any of this week in 1981's three new entries that bubbled under the top 100 before.  I'm guessing you probably haven't heard them, either.  Let's take a listen together.
 
John Cougar: looking surprisingly new Romantic on American Bandstand.
 
Beyond the top 100:
 
Position 20 "I Want Your Baby" by Inger Lise
Highest rank: 12th
Peak date: 11 May 1981
Weeks on below list: 3 weeks
 
Norwegian singer and actress Inger Lise Rypdal had been releasing albums since 1970, but "I Want Your Baby" was her first - and only - entry on the Australian charts... well, if registering on the beyond top 100 list counts.

There are a few 'interesting' facts about this track:
- only a Dutch pressing of the single is listed on discogs at the time of writing;
- there are no videos - TV performances or otherwise - of Inger Lise performing the track on YouTube;
- the single does not appear to have charted anywhere else, although it is possible that the Norwegian and Swedish charts are not archived online going back far enough to pick this one up.

To my ears, "I Want Your Baby" sounds very much a remnant of the 1970s, rather than a track from the early 80s.
 

 
Position 25 "Ain't Even Done with the Night" by John Cougar
Highest rank: 12th
Peak dates: 25 May 1981 and 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 5 weeks
 
At this point in 1981, American singer-songwriter John Mellencamp was going by the stage name John Cougar - having previously been Johnny Cougar, a name thrust upon him unwillingly by a manager, believing that his real surname Mellencamp would be too difficult to market.

"Ain't Even Done with the Night" was the second single lifted from John's fourth studio album, and first for the 1980s, Nothin' Matters and What If It Did, which did not chart in Australia.  It followed "This Time" (number 43, February 1981).  John(ny)'s biggest hit in Australia, at this point in time, had been "I Need a Lover" (number 5, August 1978).  His next major Australian hit, equalling his highest position on the singles chart, would come in 1982, with "Hurts So Good" (number 5, September 1982).
 
In John's native US, "Ain't Even Done with the Night" peaked at number 17 in May 1981.

John would undergo another, interim name-change on the way to assuming his birth name.  He became John Cougar Mellencamp for his 1983 studio album Uh-Huh (number 57, March 1984).
 

 
Position 30 "Moonroof" by Sky
Highest rank: 4th
Peak dates: 25 May 1981 and 1 June 1981
Weeks on below list: 7 weeks
 
Sky were a British/Australian instrumental band formed in London in 1978, and dissolving in 1995.  During their tenure, the group placed one single on the Australian top 100, "Toccata" (number 22, May 1980), an electronic/prog rock re-working of Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor".  Interestingly, "Toccata" was also the band's only single to chart anywhere in the world, it seems, reaching number 5 in the UK in May 1980, number 83 in the US, and the top 10 in Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland.
 
"Moonroof" was an Australian-only single, and the only release from the band's third album Sky 3 (number 7, April 1981).  The album reached the top ten despite the single stalling outside the top 100.
 

 
Next week (11 May): Another three new singles bubbling beneath the top 100.
 
< Previous week: 27 April 1981                                       Next week: 11 May 1981 >