05 August 2022

Week commencing 5 August 1991

This week in 1991's debuts peaking outside the top 100 are about as diverse a bunch of songs as you could get, with everything from hair metal, new jack swing, electronic, alternative, soul-pop, downtempo, and... er, an Australian football song sung by a 68 year-old.  Shall we take a look?
Nelson: L-R Kim Carnes & Fabio.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 114 "Up There Cazaly '91" by Louie the Lip
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 19 August 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
If you live in Victoria, or have the slightest interest in Australian Football League, you will know the Mike Brady song "Up There Cazaly".  This track, which does not appear to be available anywhere online to listen to and I have not heard before, is a cover version of that track, performed by former Victorian Football League (as it was then known) player Lou Richards.  Lou died in 2017, aged 94.
Short of paying $34 for the CD single on eBay (which I am not prepared to do for this track), we are probably not going to hear this one.  I even messaged someone who owns the CD on discogs to see if I could get a rip of the track, but have not yet heard back.  I will embed the song here if I can manage to get my hands on a copy.  In the meantime, I have posted the single sleeve below.
Number 138 "Playground" by Another Bad Creation
Peak: number 138
Peak date: 5 August 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
American teen (and tween?) new jack swing/r&b vocal sextet Another Bad Creation landed a number 17 hit in Australia in June 1991 with their debut single "Iesha", which is probably the first song to chart in Australia that name-checks the gaming console Nintendo.  "Iesha" is notable for also featuring backing vocals from Boyz II Men, before they had released their first single.
"Playground", the second single from Another Bad Creation's debut album Coolin' at the Playground Ya Know! (number 80, July 1991), did not perform nearly as well as "Iesha" in Australia, missing the top 100.
In the US, it was a different story, as "Playground" gave the group their second top 10 hit, peaking at number 10 in June 1991.  It was, however, to be Another Bad Creation's last single to register on the Billboard Hot 100.  Boyz II Men again provided backing vocals on "Playground".

There are two different music videos for "Playround"; I have embedded the one uploaded on the band's Vevo YouTube channel below.  Another video, labelled the original version, has been uploaded on an unofficial YouTube channel here.

I can see why "Playground" was not the hit that "Iesha" was in Australia, as it lacks the latter's melodic hooks.  A third Another Bad Creation single, "My World", was released in Australia in April 1992, but missed the ARIA top 150.

Number 146 "Planet of Sound" by Pixies
Peak: number 128
Peak date: 12 August 1991
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
We last saw American band Pixies in November 1990.  "Planet of Sound", the band's fourth single to chart in Australia, was their biggest 'hit' locally, peaking at number 128.  "Planet of Sound" was the lead single from the band's fourth studio album Trompe Le Monde (number 61, October 1991).
Internationally, "Planet of Sound" peaked at number 27 in the UK in June 1991, and number 35 in New Zealand in August 1991.
Within Australia, "Planet of Sound" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 93.

A music video does not appear to have been filmed for "Planet of Sound", but a lyric video, embedded below, appears on the band's official YouTube channel.

I hadn't heard this one before.  I can't say I enjoyed it; it just sounds like noise to me.

Given my interest in charts and new music falls off a cliff in the very late 90s/early 2000s, it is unlikely I will be writing these chart recaps when it comes Pixies' next charting single in Australia, in 2016.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 159 "Everyday People" by Aretha Franklin
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 5 August 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks 

Aretha Franklin hardly needs an introduction, as the queen of soul.  Her last major chart hit in Australia, however, was her duet with George Michael, "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)", which spent four weeks at number 1 in March and April of 1987.  Until her death from neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer at age 76 in 2018, Aretha's last top 100 single in Australia was "Through the Storm" (number 60, June 1989), a duet with Elton John.  Aretha's voice was prominently sampled, however, on 49ers' "Touch Me" (number 18, July 1990), though she was not credited.
"Everyday People", a cover version of the 1968 Sly and the Family Stone song, was the lead single from Aretha's thirty-third studio album What You See Is What You Sweat, which missed the ARIA top 150 albums chart.
Internationally, Aretha's version of "Everyday People" peaked at number 69 in the UK in July 1991.  I don't count them as 'real' charts, but "Everyday People" also made number 13 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in August 1991, and number 33 on the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart during the same month.

Domestically, "Everyday People" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 151.

Aretha will join us next in 1994.

Number 171 "The Robots" by Kraftwerk (1991 version)
Peak: number 161
Peak date: 12 August 1991
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

We saw German electronic music pioneers Kraftwerk in 1981The original version of "The Robots", which I prefer to this 1991 re-recording, appeared on Kraftwerk's seventh studio album The Man Machine (number 56, September 1978).
Kraftwerk released an album containing re-arranged and re-recorded versions of some of their older songs, The Mix (number 132, September 1991).  The 1991 version of "The Robots" was released as a single to promote it, along with a new music video depicting a robotic version of the band.

The 1991 recording of "The Robots" peaked at number 20 in the UK in June 1991, number 26 in Ireland in June 1991, and number 18 in Germany in July 1991.

In Australia, "The Robots" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 145.

A 1991 version of "Radioactivity" was released as a second single from The Mix in Europe, but not in Australia.  I much prefer this to the 1991 version of "The Robots".

We shall next see Kraftwerk in 2000.

Number 174 "Winter in July" by Bomb the Bass
Peak: number 174
Peak date: 5 August 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
Although sounding like a group name, Bomb the Bass is actually just English producer and musician Tim Simenon, with different featured vocalists.  Bomb the Bass had placed one single in the ARIA top 100 at this point in 1991, with "Say a Little Prayer" peaking at number 54 in April 1989.  The first Bomb the Bass album Into the Dragon (number 100, April 1989) also crept into the ARIA top 100.
"Winter in July" was the second single from the second Bomb the Bass album Unknown Territory (number 172, September 1991).  It followed "Love So True", released locally in March 1991, which failed to chart in Australia.
"Winter in July" peaked at number 7 in the UK in August 1991, number 21 in Ireland in August 1991, number 6 in the Netherlands in September 1991, number 37 in the Flanders region of Belgium in September 1991, number 21 in Switzerland in October 1991, number 39 in Germany in October 1991, and number 32 in Sweden in October 1991.

Within Australia, "Winter in July" was most successful in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached  number 154.
I remember catching the video for "Winter in July" on the SBS music video programs M.C. TeeVee and The Noise in 1991, but, despite liking the song, forgot how it went.  "Winter in July" is quite a good song that deserved to do much better in Australia.  I love this kind of 'downtempo' stuff.

Bomb the Bass will next join us in 1992.

Number 191 "More Than Ever" by Nelson
Peak: number 191
Peak date: 5 August 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Along with Warrant, Nelson would have to have been one of the last 'hair metal' acts to score a decent-sized hit in Australia, with "(Can't Live without Your) Love and Affection" (number 20, November 1990).

American Twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, who look like they go to same hairdresser as Kim Carnes, topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for one week in September 1990 with "...Love and Affection".  The follow up single "After the Rain" also made its way into the top 10 in the US, peaking at number 6 in February 1991.  In Australia, however, "After the Rain" only reached number 75 in January 1991.

"More Than Ever" was the third single lifted from Nelson's debut album After the Rain (number 100, October 1990).  The single peaked at number 14 in the US in May 1991, and number 30 in Canada.

Within Australia, "More Than Ever" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 178.

I wasn't expecting to know "More Than Ever", but the chorus rang several bells... I could sing along to it (if I wanted) on first (re-)listen, even.  Damn, now I'm going to have this song in my head all day, if not the coming week - it's such an earworm!  I guess I must have heard "More Than Ever" on the American Top 40 radio show in 1991.
We will next see Nelson in September 1991.

Next week (12 August): Seven new top 150 debuts, including another Australian sport-related song that I probably won't be able to source a copy of (it has been on my eBay watch list for months, to no avail).  There are also two bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 29 July 1991                                            Next week: 12 August 1991 >

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