One thing this week in 1991's debuts peaking outside the ARIA top 100 have in common is that I didn't hear any of them at the time. Perhaps they are new to you, too? Let's take our first listen together...
Top 150 debuts:
Number 118 "Send Me an Angel" by Scorpions
Peak: number 108
Peak date: 10 February 1992
Weeks in top 150: 12 weeks
German rock band Scorpions (no 'The') formed in 1965 in Hanover. Their first taste of chart success in Australia, however, did not come until whistling anthem "Wind of Change" (number 7, October 1991) became a top 10 hit in 1991.
"Send Me an Angel" was issued as the third single in Australia from Scorpions' eleventh studio album Crazy World (number 49, September 1991). The album's lead single, "Tease Me Please Me", was released in Australia in February 1991, but missed the ARIA top 150.
Internationally, "Send Me an Angel" peaked at number 8 in France in July 1991, number 4 in the Netherlands in August 1991, number 4 in the Flanders region of Belgium in September 1991, number 5 in Germany in November 1991, number 14 in Switzerland in November 1991, number 27 in the UK in November 1991, number 8 in Austria in December 1991, number 4 in Sweden in December 1991, and number 44 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1992.
"Send Me an Angel" found slightly greater success on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 96.
I don't recall hearing "Send Me an Angel" at the time, but I enjoyed it. I don't mind rock power ballads from this era. Something about the singer, Klaus Meine's, non-native English-speaker accent is endearing.
Number 123 "Way of the World" by Tina Turner
Peak: number 117
Peak date: 10 February 1992
Weeks in top 150: 11 weeks
Weeks on chart: 11 weeks
We last saw pop veteran Tina Turner in May 1990.
"Way of the World" was released as the second single from Tina's compilation album Simply the Best (number 12, November 1991), following "Nutbush City Limits (The 90's Version)" (number 16, November 1991).
Overseas, "Way of the World" peaked at number 13 in the UK in November 1991, number 12 in Ireland in November 1991, number 33 in Germany in December 1991, number 12 in Austria in January 1992, number 16 in the Flanders region of Belgium in January 1992, number 15 in the Netherlands in February 1992, number 25 in France in February 1992, and number 29 in Switzerland in March 1992.
Within Australia, "Way of the World" was most successful in Western Australia, where it reached number 74.
I don't recall being aware of this single's release at the time. To me, it's a bit like Tina's "Two People", released locally in November 1986 but failed to chart - disappearing without a trace, despite being sandwiched between two hits from the same album, "Typical Male" (number 20, November 1986) and "What You Get Is What You See" (number 15, April 1987). Not that the next single from Simply the Best, "Love Thing" (number 62, March 1992), was much of a hit - but it at least dented the top 100.
I can only surmise that "Way of the World" was a flop in Australia because it's quite a dull song, with a similarly boring video to match.
Tina will next grace our presence in 1994.
Number 133 "All Through the Night" by Tone Lōc
Peak: number 106
Peak date: 6 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 10 weeks
American rapper Tone Lōc, born Anthony Terrell Smith, scored two major hits in Australia in 1989, when rap was not that commercially successful here, with "Wild Thing" (number 15, May 1989) and "Funky Cold Medina" (number 8, August 1989). Both singles ended up in the top 50 best-selling singles in Australia for the year. Both hits were co-written by Marvin Young, better known as Young MC.
Tone also released a third, flop single that year: "I Got It Goin' On" (number 52, October 1989), which stalled just outside the ARIA top 50. "I Got It Goin' On" was not co-written by Young MC; I see a pattern here.
"All Through the Night", the lead single from Tone's second - and final, to date - album Cool Hand Lōc (number 129, January 1992) was also not co-written by Young MC, and flopped everywhere. The only other chart I can find that it registered on was the US Billboard Hot 100, where it peaked at number 80 in December 1991.
I remember reading a review of "All Through the Night" in December 1991, but never actually heard the song until listening to it to write this post. It's quite different to Tone's earlier hits - he tries to be smooth and 'sexy', rather than cheeky and funny. On the whole, I found the track boring and can see why it wasn't a hit.
"All Through the Night" features vocals from El DeBarge, although he does not receive a featured artist credit on the single cover.
"All Through the Night" would be Tone's last single released in Australia.
Number 134 "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" by Natalie Cole
Peak: number 104
Peak dates: 16 December 1991, 23 December 1991 and 30 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 6 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks
We last saw Natalie Cole in January 1990.
Before writing about this song, one thing I neglected to mention last time is that a friend from high school I kept in touch with for nearly a decade later (we have since fallen out) and I used to have a theory that no matter how big a recording artist is, the general public will only know/remember you for "3 hits" at most. There were a handful of artists we thought were an exception to this 'rule', and, oddly enough, Natalie Cole was one of them! Her "hits" the public remembered were: "Pink Cadillac" (number 6, June 1988), "Miss You Like Crazy" (number 34, October 1990), "Wild Women Do" (number 37, September 1990), and "Unforgettable" (number 2, August 1991), bringing her tally to an impressive four!
OK, that silliness out of the way, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)" was originally released by Natalie in 1988, recorded for the Scrooged soundtrack (number 114, January 1989). The single came out in Australia in December 1988, but failed to chart.
The song is a cover version of The King Cole Trio's "The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You)", which was recorded in 1946. Natalie's father, Nat "King" Cole, was obviously part of that trio, and, given her recent success with the Unforgettable with Love (number 1, July 1991) album - where Natalie sang 'duets' with her late father, thanks to studio wizardry - it was obviously timely to re-issue the single for the Christmas 1991 market.
The single was also released to promote Natalie's Christmas Box (number 127, December 1991), which was the Unforgettable with Love album re-packaged with "The Christmas Song..." single and a VHS.
Natalie certainly had more success on the Australian albums charts with her jazz/easy listening material. Her more-recent pop albums Everlasting (number 68, July 1988) and Good to Be Back (number 87, September 1989) stalled in the lower half of the ARIA top 100.
Oddly, Natalie's rendition of "The Christmas Song..." does not appear to have charted anywhere else. On the ARIA state charts, the single performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 93.
"The Christmas Song..." performed marginally better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it crept into the top 100, reaching number 98.
Natalie recorded two later versions of the song, in 1999 as a duet with her late father and The London Symphony Orchestra, and in 2009 with Andrea Bocelli.
Natalie will join us again in 1993.
Number 147 Fairydust (EP) by The Welcome Mat
Peak: number 147
Peak date: 9 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
This EP peaked at number 141 on the ARIA albums chart on 24 February 1992, spending one week on the ARIA top 150 albums chart.
Sydney band The Welcome Mat formed in Sydney in 1989. The Fairydust EP was their first charting entry, although it had a somewhat unusual chart history, spending a solitary week in both the ARIA top 150 singles and albums charts! Obviously, ARIA couldn't decide whether it was an EP or an album, with Fairydust peaking six places higher, at number 141, on the ARIA albums chart in February 1992.
The factors affecting whether an extended play's sales are counted towards the singles or albums chart is, presumably, determined at least partly by the retail price of the EP, and how many tracks it contains. The Fairydust EP contained six tracks, pushing it into a grey area of being a mini-album rather than an EP. Ratcat's Tingles EP (number 1 on the singles chart, April 1991) also contained six tracks, and while ARIA counted its sales towards the singles chart (with its $4.99 retail price, even on CD), the Australian Music Report (stupidly, in my opinion) counted it as an album.
Not being a huge fan of Australian indie rock bands from this era, I am not certain which track was promoted as the lead one from this EP, but I have embedded track one from it, "10,000 People with the Same Idea", below. A music video was filmed for track five on the EP, "Cake", which I have also embedded below.
If you are so inclined, you can listen to the whole EP here.
The Welcome Mat will next join us in 1993.
Number 148 "Shadowtime" by Siouxsie & The Banshees
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 9 December 1991
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We last saw Siouxsie and The Banshees in January 1989.
"Shadowtime" was the second single lifted from the band's tenth studio album Superstition (number 55, September 1991). It followed "Kiss Them for Me" (number 40, September 1991).
"Shadowtime" peaked at number 57 in Siouxsie and The Banshees' native UK in July 1991. Within Australia, the single was most successful in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 135.
I have never delved into Siouxise and The Banshees' work other than paying a view/listen to the videos of theirs that rage have aired in the last decade or so. This one is decent.
Siouxsie and The Banshees will next join us in 1992, with a song I did hear at the time.
Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 158 "Both Sides Now" by Clannad & Paul Young
Peak: number 158
Peak date: 9 December 1991
Weeks on chart: 4 weeks
Paul Young last joined us in October 1991. Irish band Clannad formed in 1970, and only ever placed one single in the Australian top 100, "In a Lifetime" (number 72, April 1986), which featured U2's Bono. A pre-solo fame Enya was also part of Clannad between 1980 and 1982, together with three of her siblings.
"Both Sides Now" was a song written by Joni Mitchell, but first recorded by Judy Collins in 1967. Joni recorded her own orchestral version of the song for her 2000 album Both Sides Now (number 110, June 2000). The track appeared on Paul's From Time to Time: The Singles Collection (number 6, June 1992) compilation.
Internationally, "Both Sides Now" peaked at number 74 in the UK in August 1991, number 3 in Ireland in September 1991, and number 41 in the Netherlands in March 1992.
Domestically, "Both Sides Now" performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 137.
Paul Young will next join us in 1997. We will not see Clannad in the top 150 again.
Also debuting this week:
Number 170 "Cruise Control" by Headless Chickens
Peak date: unknown
Weeks on chart: 34 weeks (including tally from 1994 re-release)
The ARIA database, unfortunately, tends to combine separate releases of the same title into one entry. So, in this instance, the original 1991 release of Headless Chickens' "Cruise Control" is counted as being the same release as the radically different Eskimos in Egypt remix of the song, which peaked at number 26 in December 1994. Since the 1991 release peaked outside the ARIA top 150, I am unable to give you a peak for it - I can only give you the debut position.
"Cruise Control" appeared on the New Zealand band's second studio album Body Blow (number 45, July 1993). The 1991 release of the single peaked at number 6 in New Zealand in November 1991.
Anyone who watched Neighbours or Home and Away circa late 1994-early 1995 would have heard the Eskimos in Egypt Mix of "Cruise Control" pumping out of the coffee shop/diner jukebox.
Headless Chickens will next visit us in 1992.
Next week (16 December): The final chart survey for 1991, with three top 150 debuts and two bubbling WAY down under entries.