18 November 2022

Week commencing 18 November 1991

One thing all four of this week in 1991's debuts peaking outside the ARIA top 100 have in common is that they all feature male lead vocals.  Let's take a look at them.
The Stone Roses' latest single was not quite 'adored' by the Australian record-buying public.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 139 "Superman's Song" by Crash Test Dummies (1991 chart run)
Peak: number 133
Peak dates: 16 December 1991, 23 December 1991 and 30 December 1991 (initial chart run)
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks (initial chart run); 18 weeks (1991 and 1992 chart runs combined)
Weeks on chart: 28 weeks
This single peaked at number 87 on 25 May 1992, spending another 9 weeks in the top 150 between April and June 1992.
Canadian band Crash Test Dummies formed in 1988.  "Superman's Song" was their debut single, lifted from the band's first album The Ghosts That Haunt Me (number 110, April 1992).
Internationally, "Superman's Song" peaked at number 4 in Canada in August 1991, and number 56 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in November 1991.
"Superman's Song" had a second lease of life on the Australian chart between April and June 1992, reaching its peak of number 87 in May 1992.  Before then, the single initially stalled outside the ARIA top 100.  On the state charts, "Superman's Song" was much more popular in South Australia/Northern Territory and Western Australia, where it reached number 20 and 30, respectively, than in any other region of Australia.  The next-highest state chart peak "Superman's Song" reached, in contrast, was number 99 in Victoria/Tasmania.

As someone living in Victoria, I had never heard of Crash Test Dummies until their smash hit "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" (number 1, June 1994) in 1994.

Before then, we'll next see Crash Test Dummies in 1992.

Number 141 "I Wanna Be Adored" by The Stone Roses
Peak: number 141
Peak date: 18 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
We last saw The Stone Roses in March 1990.  Since that time, the band had been in a major dispute with their record label, Silvertone Records, who would not free them from their recording contract to release new material on the major label, Geffen Records, they had just signed with.  The belated second Stone Roses album proper, Second Coming (number 17, December 1994), was delayed until late 1994, as a result.

In the interim, to cash-in on The Stone Roses' popularity and probably also to irritate the band further, Silvertone released additional singles from their debut album The Stone Roses (number 36, May 1990), of which "I Wanna Be Adored" was one.  As the band had already filmed a music video for "I Wanna Be Adored", in what looks like a two-for-one deal (the videos are virtually identical) filmed at the same time as "Fools Gold" (number 13, May 1990), that was ready to go for promotion without requiring the band's further involvement.  Convenient!
"I Wanna Be Adored" peaked at number 20 in the UK in September 1991, and number 21 in Ireland during the same month.
Within Australia, "I Wanna Be Adored" found greatest success in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 120.
I didn't know "I Wanna Be Adored" at the time, but became familiar with it as a rage guest programmer music video selection some time in the 2000s.  While the song's lyrics are minimal ("I don't have to sell my soul, he's already in me" and "I wanna be adored" are about it), I quite enjoy this one, and it has one of those classic guitar riffs.
I knew that "I Wanna Be Adored" was a fan and critical favourite, but I was surprised to see that the music video has nearly five times as many views as that for "Fools Gold", the much bigger chart hit, on YouTube.
We shall next see The Stone Roses in 1995.  Before then, another Silvertone cash-in album, Turns into Stone (number 189, August 1992), which compiled the band's singles and B-sides that did not appear on the debut album, was released.

Number 145 "House Party II (I Don't Know What You Come to Do)" by Tony! Toni! Toné!
Peak: number 141
Peak dates: 2 December 1991 and 9 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
American r&b trio Tony! Toni! Toné! - none of whom were actually named Tony (or spelling variants thereof) - landed a minor hit in Australia with the second single, "Feels Good" (number 89, February 1991), from their second album The Revival (number 149, February 1991).

"House Party II (I Don't Know What You Come to Do)" was recorded for the House Party 2 soundtrack (number 138, June 1992).  Interestingly, I cannot find evidence of the single charting anywhere else, although it did make number 19 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and number 40 on the US Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart.

Tony! Toni! Toné! would have their belated breakthrough hit in Australia in 1993, with "If I Had No Loot" (number 12, October 1993).  That would become their only ARIA top 50 entry.
We will next see Tony! Toni! Toné! in 1997.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 153 "My Love Life" by Morrissey
Peak: number 153
Peak date: 18 November 1991
Weeks on chart: 2 weeks
Morrissey last graced our presence in June 1991
"My Love Life" was a non-album single.  It peaked at number 29 in the UK in October 1990, and number 6 in Ireland during the same month.
On the ARIA state charts, "My Love Life" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 123.
Of course, Morrissey was famous for not having a "love life" at the time, being open about his celibacy.   Pretenders frontwoman Chrissie Hynde performs harmony vocals on this one.
Moz will next join us in 1994 on his own, but we will see him with his former band The Smiths on a couple of occasions before then, in 1992 and 1993.

Next week (25 November): Five top 150 debuts.
< Previous week: 11 November 1991                                     Next week: 25 November 1991 >

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