14 October 2022

Week commencing 14 October 1991

Of the ten new entries outside the Australian top 100 this week in 1991, I only heard one of them at the time.  Perhaps most of them are new to you, too.  Shall we take a look?
Alice Cooper's gun was loaded, but it wouldn't fire on the ARIA chart this week in 1991.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 120 "Escape" by Gary Clail On-U Sound System
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
English recording artist (describing him as a 'singer' does not seem accurate) Gary Clail worked as a roofer, then landed a gig as an MC, rapping/talking over dub records at gigs for On-U Records.  Gary joined forces with On-U Records act Tackhead, before going solo in 1990.

"Human Nature", Gary's first Australian release under the Gary Clail On-U Sound System moniker, crept into the top 40, peaking at number 38 in August 1991.  It would become Gary's only ARIA top 100 single.  "Human Nature" also featured vocals from another one-hit wonder in Australia, Lana Pellay, who landed a top 20 hit in 1986 with the hi-NRG "Pistol in My Pocket" (number 17, June 1986).
"Escape" was the second single lifted from Gary's second album The Emotional Hooligan (number 95, August 1991).  Internationally, "Escape" peaked at number 44 in the UK in June 1991.
On the ARIA state charts, "Escape" performed strongest in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 73.
I don't recall hearing this one at the time, but discovered it via a VHS compilation I got hold of a decade ago (where the video embedded below is ripped from).  Like all of Gary's singles, this is another social commentary song; this time dealing with the subject of (I assume) how prisoners are treated by society once they've completed their sentences.

"The Emotional Hooligan" was issued as the third and final single from The Emotional Hooligan in Australia in January 1992, but did not chart.
We will next see Gary at the end of 1992. 
Number 121 "Don't Dream It's Over" by Paul Young
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks

We last saw English singer Paul Young on his own in February 1991, and dueting with Zucchero in September 1991.
A cover version of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" (number 8, February 1987), this track was recorded for Paul's From Time to Time: The Singles Collection (number 6, June 1992) compilation.
Internationally, Paul's version of "Don't Dream It's Over" peaked at number 67 in the Netherlands in October 1991, number 20 in the UK in November 1991, number 13 in Ireland, number 9 in Germany in November 1991, number 25 in Sweden in November 1991, number 48 in the Flanders region of Belgium in November 1991, number 27 in France in November 1991, and number 6 in Norway.
Within Australia, "Don't Dream It's Over" was most popular in Queensland, where it reached number 95.
Oddly, Paul's rendition of "Don't Dream It's Over" was released as a single in Australia one week before its UK release.
I wasn't aware of this track at the time.  With the superior Crowded House version being so well-known in Australia, its release here was kind of pointless; pleasant though it may be. 

We shall see Paul again before the year is out, in December 1991.

Number 128 "No More Tears" by Ozzy Osbourne
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
English singer-songwriter Ozzy Osbourne, real name John Michael Osbourne, rose to fame as the lead vocalist in 1970s heavy metal band Black Sabbath, though is perhaps best known for biting the head off a bat on stage.

As a solo artist, the only track Ozzy has placed on the ARIA top 100 happens to be the only track of his I will ever enjoy - Was (Not Was)'s "Shake Your Head" (number 47, November 1992), on which Ozzy contributed vocals, along with actress Kim Basinger.  This track was originally released in 1983, with only Ozzy's vocals, as quite a different song.  A pre-fame Madonna auditioned vocals for that track, but she did not make the final cut.
Ozzy had last been on the Australian chart with the album No Rest for the Wicked (number 57, December 1988).  "No More Tears" was the lead single and title track from Ozzy's sixth solo studio album No More Tears (number 49, October 1991).
Overseas, "No More Tears" peaked at number 32 in the UK in October 1991, number 71 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1992, and number 14 in the Netherlands in May 1992.
I wasn't familiar with this song at the time, though caught it on Australian music video TV program rage a few months back.
Ozzy will next grace our presence in 1992.

Number 131 "Love's a Loaded Gun" by Alice Cooper
Peak: number 125
Peak dates: 21 October 1991 and 4 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
American rock singer Vincent Damon Furner, better known by his stage name Alice Cooper, had placed 17 singles on the Australian top 100 at this point in 1991, with "You and Me" (number 2, May 1977) being the highest-peaking of those.

After a nearly eight-year absence from the chart, during which Alice overcame alcoholism, Alice returned with a vengeance in 1989 with "Poison" (number 3, October 1989), kicking off the second phase of his career.  "Poison" was the first Alice Cooper song I heard, and 10 year-old me hated it at the time - I think it was the combination of heavy (for me) metal and his scary image; but I have since grown to love the track.  I started warming to Alice with the follow-up, "Bed of Nails" (number 13, January 1990).

"Love's a Loaded Gun" was the second single lifted from Alice's twelfth studio album Hey Stoopid (number 15, July 1991).  It followed the title track, "Hey Stoopid" (number 32, August 1991).
Internationally, "Love's a Loaded Gun" peaked at number 38 in the UK in October 1991.
I didn't hear this one at the time.  Ironically, given my earlier comment about not liking "Poison" at the time, I prefer Alice with heavier sounds than this.

Number 139 "Straight to Your Heart" by Bad English
Peak: number 116
Peak date: 4 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
We last saw Bad English in June 1990

"Straight to Your Heart" was the lead single from the second, and final, Bad English album Backlash (number 159, October 1991).
Internationally, "Straight to Your Heart" peaked at number 41 in the Netherlands in October 1991, and number 42 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "Straight to Your Heart" was most-successful in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 77.

I don't recall hearing this one at the time.  I enjoyed it more than I was expecting to; I don't mind melodic rock.  "Straight to Your Heart" sounds way more 80s than 90s, however.
The band released another single locally, "The Time Alone with You", in January 1992, which failed to chart.  "Straight to Your Heart" would be the final Bad English single to chart in Australia.

Number 146 "Running Back to You" by Vanessa Williams
Peak: number 102
Peak date: 11 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 14 weeks (9 weeks in 1991, 5 weeks in 1992)
Weeks on chart: 18 weeks
Here's the one song of this week's 10 new entries I did hear at the time, catching the music video on Coca-Cola Power Cuts, and hearing the song a couple of times on American Top 40.
We last saw American singer Vanessa Williams in July 1989

"Running Back to You" was the lead single from Vanessa's second studio album The Comfort Zone (number 29, June 1992).  The single peaked at number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in October 1991, and number 86 in Canada.

Within Australia, "Running Back to You" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 65.  The single peaked 33 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 69.
Vanessa would not score her commercial breakthrough in Australia until her next single, the smash hit "Save the Best for Last" (number 1, July 1992).  Following the success of that track, "Running Back to You" was re-released in Australia in August 1992, climbing back to number 111 on the national chart the following month.  Despite not matching the peak of its 1991 release, "Running Back to You" peaked on three of the ARIA state charts - Victoria/Tasmania, South Australia/Northern Territory and Queensland - following its 1992 re-release.

I can only guess that "Running Back to You" didn't do so well in Australia because it was a bit too American-sounding for Australia's tastes in the early 90s.  It's a shame, because the song deserved to do much better.  Despite its low peak, "Running Back to You" spent a respectable 18 weeks on the chart all-up, however.

"Running Back to You" would be Vanessa's final single to peak outside the top 100 in Australia, although a later single, "Work to Do" (released November 1992) would make its way onto the Australian Music Report's list of singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100.  While there were sometimes large differences between the AMR and ARIA charts, without giving too much away (spoiler alert!), there is a 'blank title' that made the top 150 on the ARIA database in late 1992, and part of me wonders if could have actually been "Work to Do".  But we'll never know.

I am not sure why the Australian record company did not release The Comfort Zone track "Just for Tonight" as a single locally.  I became familiar with that one via the American Top 40 radio show.
Number 147 "Lifeboat" by Tall Tales and True
Peak: number 129
Peak dates: 18 November 1991, 25 November 1991 and 2 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
We last saw Sydney band Tall Tales and True in March 1991

"Lifeboat" was the lead single from the band's second studio album Revenge (number 42, June 1992).  I didn't hear this one at the time, but have seen the video a couple of times on rage in recent years.  I don't mind the song, and it could have become a hit with mainstream radio support.

While we won't see Tall Tales and True in the 101-150 region of the ARIA singles chart again, the band's third album Tilt peaked at number 140 in March 1995.

Number 150 "" (1991 Remix) by Shut Up and Dance
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Shut Up and Dance are English duo Philip Johnson and Carlton Hyman.  Originally released in 1989, "" was the pair's debut single, though the original version was quite different to the 1991 remix that charted in Australia.  Interestingly, neither release made the UK top 75.
The 1991 remix of "" prominently samples Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)" (number 1, June 1987).
Shut Up and Dance would prominently sample another recent-ish hit in 1992, this time Marc Cohn's "Walking in Memphis" (number 11, August 1991), on "Raving I'm Raving", which peaked at number 2 in the UK in May 1992.  Except they forgot to obtain clearance to use the sample, and the single was subsequently withdrawn from sale, dropping to number 15 in its second week before falling out of the chart.  "Raving I'm Raving" was the first Shut Up and Dance track I heard, on the UK Chart Attack radio show, which I listened to religiously after discovering it in April 1992... until it was cancelled in my state (Victoria) in January 1993.

Another Shut Up and Dance track (my favourite) I was exposed to via UK Chart Attack was "The Art of Moving Butts", which is well worth checking out if you like early 90s dance music and have not heard it before.

"" would be the only Shut Up and Dance single to trouble the ARIA top 150.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 180 "The Gift of Love" by Bette Midler
Peak: number 180
Peak date: 14 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
Bette Midler last graced our presence in January 1991.
"The Gift of Love" was the third, and - in Australia - final, single from Bette's seventh studio album Some People's Lives (number 7, April 1991).  It followed "From a Distance" (number 8, January 1991) and "Night and Day" (number 84, April 1991).

Internationally, "The Gift of Love" peaked at number 40 in Canada in October 1991.

On the ARIA state charts, "The Gift of Love" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 155.

I hadn't heard this one before.  It's OK, but doesn't stand out.  It sounds somewhat Beatles-esque to me in parts, and also reminds me of Susanna Hoffs' "Unconditional Love" (number 100, May 1991).

Bette will next join us in 1992.

Number 181 "Just a Little Bit Longer" by Maxi Priest
Peak: number 181
Peak date: 14 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We last saw Maxi Priest in January 1991.
"Just a Little Bit Longer" was the fourth and final single from Maxi's fourth studio album Bonafide (number 25, September 1990).  The single was also released to promote his Best of Me (number 122, January 1992) compilation album - unusually, they did not record a new track instead.
"Just a Little Bit Longer" peaked at number 62 in the UK in October 1991.
Within Australia, "Just a Little Bit Longer" was most popular in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 156.

I hadn't heard this one before; I like it.
Maxi shall next join us in 1992. 

Next week (21 October): Four top 150 debuts and six bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 7 October 1991                                    Next week: 21 October 1991 >

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