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 >

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