28 October 2022

Week commencing 28 October 1991

One thing this week in 1991's debuts peaking outside the ARIA top 100 have in common is that I did not hear any of them at the time.  Perhaps these songs are new to you, too?  Let's take a look (and listen) together.
Europe's Joey tempest was a prisoner of 80's hair metal-do's.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 121 "Save Up All Your Tears" by Cher
Peak: number 114
Peak date: 4 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 10 weeks

We last saw pop cockroach Cher in January 1991.  This was Cher's third single to peak outside the ARIA top 100 since the chart extended beyond number 100 in January 1989.
"Save Up All Your Tears" was issued as the second single from Cher's twentieth studio album Love Hurts (number 15, September 1991).  It followed "Love and Understanding" (number 23, August 1991).
"Save Up All Your Tears", a track written by beige songwriter extraordinaire Diane Warren and Desmond Child, was originally recorded by Bonnie Tyler for her flop 1988 album Hide Your Heart - an album that also contained the original version of Tina Turner's "The Best" (number 4, October 1989).  Poor Bonnie could not land hits with these songs herself.

"Save Up All Your Tears" kicked off a long string of flops for Cher on the singles chart in Australia.  She did not land another top 40 hit here until late 1998, with the mega-hit "Believe" (number 1, January 1999).
Internationally, Cher's version of "Save Up All Your Tears" peaked at number 30 in Ireland in October 1991, number 37 in the UK in October 1991, number 56 in Germany in December 1991, number 32 in Canada in December 1991, number 37 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1992, and number 18 in Austria in January 1992.
Domestically, "Save Up All Your Tears" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 100.
Cher will next join us in 1993.

Number 129 "Prisoners in Paradise" by Europe
Peak: number 129
Peak date: 28 October 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

Swedish rock band Europe formed in 1979.  They landed their first hit in Australia, and much of the world, with "The Final Countdown" (number 2, April 1987), the title track from their third album The Final Countdown (number 10, April 1987).  Europe landed two more top 50 hits in Australia with "Rock the Night" (number 22, June 1987) and "Superstitious" (number 45, September 1988). 
"Prisoners in Paradise" was the title track and lead single from Europe's fifth studio album Prisoners in Paradise (number 197, November 1991).  Internationally, the single peaked at number 8 in Sweden in October 1991.
Within Australia, "Prisoners in Paradise" was most popular in Western Australia, where it reached number 94.
I hadn't heard this one before; I didn't hear any of Europe's releases at the time after "Superstitious".   Listening to "Prisoners in Paradise" for the first time, it doesn't sound that dissimilar to a Meat Loaf track penned by Jim Steinman - at least to my ears.  It's not bad, but the image of the band was perhaps a tad too '1980s' for them to have wide appeal in the early 1990s.
We shall see Europe again in 1992.

Number 143 "Romantic World" by Dana Dawson
Peak: number 113
Peak date: 2 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 14 weeks
Weeks on chart: 19 weeks

American singer Dana Dawson released her first single, "Ready to Follow You", in 1988 at the tender age of 14.  Now a 'mature' 17 years of age, "Romantic World" was the lead single from Dana's debut album Paris New-York and Me (released in Australia in January 1992, did not chart).  Why the album title hyphenates New York, I don't know.

While "Romantic World" did not register a chart placing in Dana's homeland, the single peaked at number 4 in France in March 1991, number 33 in the Flanders region of Belgium in May 1991, and number 33 in Sweden in May 1991.  Dana was 'big in Europe', it seems.

Dana was also much bigger in South Australia/Northern Territory than any other region of Australia, where this single peaked at number 14.  In contrast, "Romantic World" peaked no higher than number 120 on any of the other ARIA state charts.  Does anyone reading this know why "Romantic World" was so much bigger in Adelaide or Darwin (presumably more Adelaide) than anywhere else in Australia?

Dana would finally have her breakthrough - of sorts - in Australia in 1995 when "3 Is Family" (number 54, December 1995) narrowly missed the top 50.

"Romantic World" peaked 49 places higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 64, than it did on the ARIA singles chart.

I did not hear "Romantic World" until listening to it to write this post.  Musically, the song reminds me a little bit of Jody Watley, which is not a bad thing.  It could have been a national hit had it had a more-uniform promotional push across Australia.  I quite enjoyed this one.
A second single from Paris New-York and Me, "Tell Me Bonita", was released in Australia in February 1992, but failed to chart.

Sadly, Dana died in 2010 from colorectal cancer, three days after her 36th birthday.

We will see Dana bubble under again in 1996.

Number 146 "Hey Donna" by Rythm Syndicate
Peak: number 110
Peak date: 18 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Connecticut band Rythm (no, that's not a typo) Syndicate scored a hit in Australia with their debut single "P.A.S.S.I.O.N." (number 28, September 1991). 
"Hey Donna" was released as the second single from the band's debut album Rythm Syndicate.  Internationally, "Hey Donna" peaked at number 13 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1991.
"Hey Donna" would be Rythm Syndicate's final single to dent the ARIA top 150.  Another single, "Blinded by Love", was released in Australia in April 1992.  The band released a second album Sex, Love & Life, in 1992, and added the 'h' back to Rhythm in the band's name.

Number 149 "Big Secret" by Big Secret
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 4 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks 

Unfortunately, I could find no trace of this single's existence online, so cannot tell you anything about it, or how it sounds.  I assume that the band are Australian.  Has anyone reading heard this track?

Next week (4 November): Six top 150 debuts and five bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 21 October 1991                                  Next week: 4 November 1991 >


  1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwPLvPFG9xQ

    these videos are dated 1991, the band member names listed sound Nordic, they are posted by the same YT user

    1. Thanks for the info. The catalogue number listed for this single is BSCD1 (Big Secret CD 1), suggesting it was an independent release. While it's possible, I would be surprised if a Nordic band decided to release a single in Australia independently in the early 90s.

  2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hA8uhAdvmP8

    the uploader of this Big Secret video should have more info other than the band member names which sound Nordic

  3. Re Dana Dawson - KA-FM played this song a fair bit at the time, and we're the "pop station" rival to "rock radio" SA FM .


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