21 October 2022

Week commencing 21 October 1991

This week in 1991's debuts peaking outside the ARIA top 100 are quite a diverse bunch, with everything from rap to house and adult contemporary represented.  Shall we take a look?
Bros: 1991 was a 'trying' time for them on the Australian chart.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 136 "Give Me the Music" by B.G. The Prince of Rap
Peak: number 105
Peak dates: 28 October 1991 and 11 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
Bernard Greene is not the kind of name you would normally associate with being a rapper, so Bernard chose the stage name B.G. The Prince of Rap.  As an employee of the US army, Bernard was stationed in Germany, which is where he achieved the most success during his recording career.

Bernard's debut Australian release, "This Beat Is Hot", reached number 93 on the singles chart in June 1991.  "Give Me the Music" was the second Australian release from B.G.'s debut album The Power of Rhythm, which was released locally in October 1991 but missed the ARIA top 150 albums chart.
Internationally, "Give Me the Music" peaked at number 36 in Germany in November 1991.
I hadn't heard this one before.  As someone who is not a huge fan of rap, my favourite part of this was the uncredited female vocals on the chorus.  I am not convinced that the woman mouthing the words in the music video is the actual singer, though.
"Give Me the Music" would be B.G.'s final single to dent the ARIA top 150.

Number 138 "Sometimes When We Touch" by Chris Lloyds & Laurin James
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 27 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 16 weeks 

From the title of this song, which I hadn't heard before, it was obviously going to be a cover version of Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch" (number 3, April 1978).  Another version of that song, recorded by Newton, become an enduring hit in Australia, reaching number 5 in November 1996.

Chris is an Australian artist, which became obvious when I saw he had recorded a song titled "Born to Win (Brisbane Broncos Theme Song)" as a B-side on a 1992 single of his.  Chris is also an actor, and appeared in Neighbours as the boyfriend of Natalie Imbruglia's character, Beth.  He has also sang numerous jingles for Australian television commercials.

Oh wow, I just had a fanboy moment after reading on Chris' website that he sang "Carry On Together", the theme song for Henderson Kids and Henderson Kids II.  I absolutely love that song, and wish the full version had been released as a single.

After contacting Chris, he kindly informed me that 'Laurin' was actually Australian singer Lori Balmer, who was asked to change her name for this release.  Lori was closely involved with the Bee Gees in the early stage of their career, performing alongside them on UK television.  Lori also had two minor hits on the Australian chart, with "Don't Throw It All Away" (number 66, July 1976) and "La Booga Rooga" (number 83, November 1979) - the latter was credited to Lori Balmer and Short Notice.

"Sometimes When We Touch" holds a three-way tie for the third-highest tally of weeks spent in the ARIA top 150 for a single peaking outside the top 100 that debuted in 1991.

Number 141 "All I Have" by Beth Nielsen Chapman (1991 chart run)
Peak: number 109
Peak date: 4 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 19 weeks (7 weeks in 1991, 12 weeks in 1992)
This single later peaked at number 90 on 6 July 1992.
American singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman released her first album Hearing It First in 1980.  It would take a decade for Beth to record the follow-up, on a new label, Beth Nielsen Chapman (number 75, July 1992), which was released in North America in 1990.  "All I Have" is lifted from this album, following "Walk My Way", which was issued in Australia in June 1991 but missed the top 150.

Internationally, "All I Have" peaked at number 49 in Canada.

First time around, "All I Have" peaked outside the ARIA top 100, but after re-entering the chart in June 1992, "All I Have" climbed to a higher peak of number 90 in July 1992.  The belated chart peak for "All I Have" was predominantly due to its success on the Victoria/Tasmania state chart, where it reached number 27.

Whilst I live in Victoria, and recall seeing this single listed on the state chart top 50 on the flip side of the printed ARIA top 50 charts available in record stores, I don't think I heard "All I Have" at the time.  I did, however, look it up on YouTube some years ago, out of curiosity.  I like the song, though it sounds more 1980s to me than 1990s (that is not necessarily a bad thing).  It could have become a hit in Australia with a more-unified promotional push across the country.
While Beth would not trouble the ARIA top 150 singles chart again, she did land some later success as a songwriter for other artists.  Beth co-wrote Faith Hill's "This Kiss" (number 4, March 1999).

Number 149 "Come Inside" by Thompson Twins
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 4 weeks
We last saw English pop band Thompson Twins in February 1990.  "Come Inside" was issued as the lead single from the band's eighth, and final, studio album Queer (number 193, November 1991).
Internationally, "Come Inside" peaked at number 56 in the UK in October 1991.
Domestically, "Come Inside" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 105.
I didn't hear this one at the time.  It's decent.  The chorus reminds me a little bit of Jesus Jones, musically.  I think the trouble for acts like Thompson Twins is that they were too-associated with the 1980s to be considered current or relevant in the 1990s, even though the music was still decent.  Many 80s acts suffered this fate.
"Come Inside" was Thompson Twins' final single to be released in Australia.  Another Queer single, "The Saint", was issued in Europe and North America, however.
Thompson Twins split up in 1993.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 153 "Housecall" by Shabba Ranks featuring Maxi Priest
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

Shabba Ranks, real name Rexton Rawlston Fernando Gordon (what a mouthful!), is a Jamaican dancehall artist who is perhaps 'best' remembered (by those who were aware of him in the first place...) for making some nasty comments about how homosexuals should be crucified in a 1992 UK TV interview on The Word (from just after 8 minutes in).  Charming.

Putting that aside, Shabba made his first appearance on the Australian chart as a featured artist on Scritti Politti's "She's a Woman" (number 82, June 1991).
"Housecall" was a duet he recorded with reggae singer Maxi Priest - whom we saw on his own just last week, for Shabba's album As Raw As Ever.  Internationally, "Housecall" peaked at number 31 in the UK in September 1991, and number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in December 1991.  When the single was re-released in the UK in 1993, it obtained a much higher peak of number 8, in May 1993.

Within Australia, "Housecall" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 137.
I hadn't heard this song until writing this post.  Maxi plays more than a 'featured' artist roll, I think; this is more like a duet, with Maxi singing a good chunk of the song.

We shall see Shabba next in March 1992.  The "Shabba" vocal from Maxi at 1 minute, 50 seconds into the song will also be sampled on a single we'll see in June 1992.  Maxi will also join us next in 1992.

Number 159 "The Whistle Song" by Frankie Knuckles
Peak: number 159
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

American DJ Frankie Knuckles, born Francis Warren Nicholls, Jr., started DJ-ing in the 1970s.  Frankie achieved commercial success as a remixer in the late 1980s, when his revision of Rufus and Chaka Khan's "Ain't Nobody" peaked at number 6 in the UK in July 1989.

While Frankie released a couple of singles under his own name during the 1980s, "The Whistle Song" was the first one to achieve major chart success.  The single peaked at number 17 in the UK in August 1991, and number 29 in the Netherlands in October 1991.  While I don't normally credit any of Billboard's genre-specific subsidiary charts, "The Whistle Song" also topped the US Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in September 1991.

In Australia, Frankie's chart success was more muted, and he never achieved an ARIA top 100 entry in his own right.  He did, however, go on to remix songs by numerous big-name artists, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Luther Vandross, and Lisa Stansfield.
On the ARIA state charts, "The Whistle Song" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 126.

Sadly, Frankie died in 2014, aged 59, due to complications from diabetes.

We will see Frankie bubble under again, collaborating with another artist, in 1995.

Number 168 "Try" by Bros
Peak: number 168
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Identical twins Matt and Luke Goss burst onto the Australian chart in 1988 with "When Will I Be Famous?" (number 5, May 1988), along with their then third band member Craig Logan (or 'Ken', as he was mockingly referred to in Smash Hits magazine).  One thing you may not know is that half of the vocals on the chorus for "When Will I Be Famous?" (the "when will I, will be famous?" and "when will I see my picture in the paper?" lines) are sung by Dee Lewis, a woman who did backing vocals for many British artists during the 1980s, including extensive work with Stock Aitken Waterman.  Yet Matt mouths the words in the music video.  Hmmm.

The English trio quickly became massive, with a gaggle of screaming teenage girl fans who would even camp outside their houses.  My sister was one of them - well, not the camping outside their place part, or even the screaming, but her school diary was adorned with Bros pictures from the Smash Hits magazines I would buy.  Hmmm.

Bros' first three singles released in Australia were top 10 hits, and their debut album Push (number 4, August 1988) was certified double platinum in Australia.  The album spawned five Australian top 15 hits all up.  Oddly, for a band who seemed as massive as Bros, they never landed a number one single in Australia, and could only do that once in their homeland, with the 1988 release (it originally flopped there in 1987) of "I Owe You Nothing" (number 6, August 1988).

Following a successful tour, Craig quit the band in early 1989.  He went on to become a songwriter and producer for other artists, including Kim Appleby - whom he dated for several years, before moving into music management.  Craig was the head of RCA Records in the UK from 2006 to 2010.

The Goss twins carried on as Bros, releasing their second album The Time (number 34, November 1989) in 1989, which was not nearly as successful as the first.  Unlike the hits from the first album, which were credited to The Brothers (who were not actually Bros themselves), the Goss twins had a hand at co-writing the songs on The Time, and perhaps that partly explains their commercial downfall.  Nevertheless, The Time spawned two further top 30 hits in Australia.
Following a two year gap, Bros released their third album Changing Faces (number 176, September 1991).  The album was launched with a ballad as its lead single, "Are You Mine?" (number 98, August 1991), which became the duo's last ARIA top 100 entry.  "Try" was issued as the album's second and final single.

Internationally, "Try" peaked at number 27 in the UK in October 1991, becoming the lowest-peaking Bros single there.

Within Australia, "Try" was the first Bros single to miss the top 100.  "Try" was most successful in Western Australia, where it reached number 139.

Having not really listened to "Try" before, I have to say, it's not a great track - made even worse by the religious overtones in the chorus.  Um, who exactly wanted a Bros song with "praise to the Lord" in it?  I can see why the track was not a commercial success.

Bros split in 1992.  Drummer Luke pursued a successful acting career, while singer Matt launched a solo career (to limited/lukewarm success in the UK) in the mid 90s, and has since obtained a residency in Vegas.
Matt and Luke reunited for a concert at the O2 Arena in London in August 2017, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Bros.  Bros: After the Screaming Stops, a documentary of the twins' reunion, including rehearsal footage leading up to the concert, was also filmed.

It is interesting to see the aesthetic differences between Matt and Luke these days.  Luke has taken the natural, age-gracefully route, and is now completely bald, while Matt sports a full head of hair and looks a bit... surgically enhanced to my eyes.
While "Try" was the final Bros single to chart in Australia, the compilation album Superhits, which I cannot find existence of online, peaked at number 336 in November 2004.  I believe this album may actually be The Best of Bros, and it has been mislabelled on the ARIA database.

Number 169 "True" by Spandau Ballet (1991 release)
Peak: number 169
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
This single originally peaked at number 4 in September 1993, and spent 19 weeks on the top 100.
We last saw English band Spandau Ballet in September 1989
"True" was originally released in 1983, lifted from the band's third studio album True (number 4, November 1983).  Presumably this re-issue happened owing to the success of P.M. Dawn's "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" (number 7, November 1991), which prominently samples "True" throughout.   Spandau Ballet's lead singer Tony Hadley even makes a cameo on the of the "Set Adrift..." music video.
"True" was also re-released to promote the compilation The Best of Spandau Ballet (number 41, January 1992).  The band had split in 1990, and eventually reformed in 2009.

The 1991 release of "True" missed the UK top 75, and was the final Spandau Ballet single to chart in Australia.  The group, nonetheless, had a couple of compilation albums that later registered on the ARIA albums chart, including  Gold: The Best of (number 158, May 2010), The Collection (number 1059, July 2015) and 40 Years: The Greatest Hits (number 839, December 2020).  Their 1986 studio album Through the Barricades (number 26, December 1986) also charted again, reaching number 667 in October 2017.

My favourite Spandau Ballet single is "Gold" (number 9, November 1983).
Number 171 "I Just Want to Make Love to You" by CQ and Miss M.
Peak: number 171
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week

Here's one I didn't hear until the music video appeared on a VHS compilation I was digitising in 2021.

I have no idea who CQ or Miss M. are, but this track - written by Willie Dixon and first recorded by Muddy Waters in 1954 - appears to have been the pair's only release.  They appear to be an Australian duo.

On the state charts, "I Just Want to Make Love to You" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 151.

Number 183 "Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous" by Ice-T
Peak: number 168
Peak date: 11 November 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
We last saw American rapper Ice-T back in August 1990.
"Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous" was the second of two singles released from Ice-T's fourth studio album O.G. Original Gangster (number 42, July 1991), following title track "O.G. Original Gangster" (number 71, July 1991).

Interestingly, this single appears to have only charted in Australia.  It was most popular on the New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory state chart, where it reached  number 157.

"Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous" was Ice-T's final single to peak outside the top 100 in Australia.

Number 184 "Where Did My Heart Go?" by James Ingram
Peak: number 184
Peak date: 21 October 1991
Weeks on chart: 1 week
American singer-songwriter and producer James Ingram placed four singles on the Australian top 100 between 1983 and 1991, with his duet with Linda Ronstadt, "Somewhere out There" (number 31, April 1987) being the biggest of those.  That track was recorded for the movie An American Tail.

"Where Did My Heart Go?" is another track recorded for a movie, this time City Slickers.  The track also appears on James' modestly-titled The Best of James Ingram: The Power of Great Music (number 158, October 1991) compilation album.
While "Where Did My Heart Go?" did not register on any other sales-based chart that I can ascertain, it did make number 23 on the rather pointless US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart in December 1991.
In Australia, "Where Did My Heart Go?" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 162.
This was James' final single to chart in Australia, although he had one further charting album, Always You (number 195, June 1993).
Sadly, James died in 2019, aged 66, from brain cancer.
Next week (28 October): Five top 150 entries.
< Previous week: 14 October 1991                                 Next week: 28 October 1991 >

1 comment:

  1. My favourite Spandau Ballet song is THROUGH THE BARRICADES - after I had listened to TRUE and GOLD.
    Also I have enjoyed ROUND AND ROUND of theirs.

    There is just something about "Shout to the Lord" or "Praise the Lord" - and Yeezy does it all the time now!

    Sad about Mr Ingram.

    LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND INFAMOUS brought on some Ned Kelly moments.

    Great to read about your sister and her diary full of Bros pictures from SMASH HITS.



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