Before getting onto this week in 1991's new entries peaking outside the ARIA top 100, 25 November 1991 is a memorable day for me, for being the day that Freddie Mercury's (the lead singer from Queen, if you live under a rock) death was announced - in Australian time, anyway. Although I'm nothing more than a very casual Queen fan, the announcement of Freddie's death was one of those flashbulb memory moments for me, where you remember where you were when you heard the news.
November 25 in 1991 was also a curriculum day for me at school (yes, I sometimes remember these things...), and the day I also bought my first various artists compilation album on CD, 100% Hits Volume 2.
Now, onto the next batch of singles peaking outside the top 100. As with last week, they all feature male lead vocals.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 105 "Radio Song" by R.E.M.
Peak: number 105
Peak date: 25 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 9 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks
American band R.E.M. formed in 1980, but would have to wait until early 1989 to land their first top 50 single in Australia, with "Orange Crush" (number 15, February 1989).
"Radio Song" was issued as the fourth single from R.E.M.'s seventh studio album Out of Time (number 4, April 1991). It followed "Losing My Religion" (number 11, May 1991), "Shiny Happy People" (number 19, July 1991), and "Near Wild Heaven" (number 65, September 1991).
Internationally, "Radio Song" peaked at number 28 in the UK in November 1991, number 5 in Ireland in November 1991, and number 30 in the Netherlands in November 1991. The song also reached number 43 on the meaningless US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart in October 1991.
Within Australia, "Radio Song" was most popular in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 87.
We will next see R.E.M. in 1994, and will also see lead singer Michael Stipe as an uncredited featured artist a few months prior.
Number 136 "It's Grim Up North" by The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 25 November 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty formed The KLF (possibly short for Kopyright Liberation Front) in 1987. Under the name The Timelords, they scored a number 2 hit in Australia in 1988 with "Doctorin' the Tardis" (number 2, September 1988).
The KLF returned to our charts, under their own name, in November 1990, with "What Time Is Love?", which, after a slow start, peaked at number 76 in February 1991 (it would go on to peak at number 73 in October 1991 when re-issued). They then landed back-to-back top 5 hits locally with "3 a.m. Eternal" (number 3, May 1991) and "Last Train to Trancentral" (number 5, July 1991).
"It's Grim Up North" was released under another KLF alter-ego, The Justified Ancients of Mu Mu... furthermore known as The J.A.M.M.S. - if you were paying attention to the lyrics of "Last Train to Trancentral".
The single, which largely just lists cities and towns in the northern region of England, peaked at number 10 in the UK in November 1991, and number 26 in Switzerland in December 1991.
I remember catching the video for this one on Coca-Cola Power Cuts, when it aired as a half-hour program on weekday afternoons. My first thoughts were... this is a bit weird, not in a great way, and that it's lacking a tune. I guess that's why this one didn't become a hit in Australia.
The KLF would return with "Justified & Ancient" (number 3, February 1992), released locally in December 1991, with the unlikely pairing of country music legend Tammy Wynette on vocals.
We'll next see The KLF, under another guise, in 1997.
Number 137 "Rock It On" by D-Man
Peak: number 118
Peak date: 20 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
D-Man was an Australian rap artist, who somehow completely passed me by at the time, and I know next to nothing about... other than (after reading the comments on the video embedded below, if they are to be believed) he has since shuffled off this mortal coil, and his name was Damien Lane.
Can anyone reading this shed some light on D-Man?
"Rock It On" was D-Man's only ARIA top 150 entry.
Number 142 "DJ Culture" by Pet Shop Boys
Peak: number 130
Peak date: 2 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
We last saw Pet Shop Boys a mere three weeks ago.
"DJ Culture" was one of two new tracks recorded for inclusion on the Pet Shop Boys' first retrospective compilation, Discography: The Complete Singles Collection (number 6, December 1991), which was the fifth CD album I ever bought.
Internationally, "DJ Culture" peaked at number 13 in the UK in October 1991, number 7 in Ireland in October 1991, number 17 in Sweden in November 1991, number 19 in Germany in November 1991, and number 21 in Switzerland in November 1991. The single, when remixed by The Grid, also reached number 13 on the US Billboard Dance Singles Sales chart in December 1991.
Domestically, "DJ Culture" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 92. The single also crept into the Australian Music Report top 100 singles chart, peaking at number 95 on it.
While Discography is one of the best 'greatest hits' albums I own, I've never been much of a fan of "DJ Culture", and would always skip it. I find the song dull and boring, and a bit of a chore to listen to.
Number 143 "We Don't Talk Anymore" (Remix) by Cliff Richard
Peak: number 111
Peak date: 9 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 8 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
We last saw Cliff Richard in December 1990.
"We Don't Talk Anymore", originally released in 1979, peaked at number 3 in Australia in November of that year. For this release, the track was remixed by Phil Harding and Ian Curnow for PWL, using a live performance from From a Distance: The Event (number 21, December 1991).
Cliff had, of course, dabbled with PWL in 1989, releasing the Stock Aitken Waterman-produced "I Just Don't Have the Heart" (number 100, October 1989).
Oddly, this remix of "We Don't Talk Anymore" does not appear to have charted anywhere else, missing the UK top 75. That's because it was not released there - a reader from the UK has kindly let me know.
Within Australia, the remixed "We Don't Talk Anymore" single was most successful in Western Australia, where it reached number 93.
I hadn't heard this one before. My thoughts are... it's kind of pointless.
We'll next see Cliff in 1993.
Next week (2 December): Just one new top 150 entry, but five bubbling WAY down under entries to make up for it.
Nathan. I read your blog every week as it brings back a lot of memories so thank you for that. I have to give you some criticism though. If the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Airplay chart is meaningless, then why report it? We (perhaps I should say "I") get it, you don't think much of their some of the charts published in the US. So don't mention it then!ReplyDelete
Otherwise fantastic posts.
Skipping a Pet Shop Boys track?!? Sacrilege!!!! ;-)
Good question. I refer to the subsidiary/genre-specific Billboard charts as 'meaningless' because they are, essentially, just that, being based entirely on airplay (e.g. Modern Rock Tracks, Adult Contemporary) or what a sample of DJ's think is popular (the Dance Club chart). I report them here though occasionally when a single had limited/no chart positions on other national, sales-based charts (ignoring the Hot 100 is not entirely sales-based...).Delete