06 January 2023

Week commencing 6 January 1992

Welcome to my 1992 chart recaps!  1992 was the first year I was a teenager for the whole year, having turned 13 towards the end of 1991.  In 1992, I was in year 8, which is the second year of high school in Victoria.  My memories of 1992 are that it was a good year, both personally and for music.
Some particular things I recall about 1992 are getting our first computer at home, getting braces on my bottom teeth, buying my first CD single, and listening to a lot of Shakespears Sister.  I started taking piano lessons in 1992, and continued with these for five and a half years, though only practised the afternoon of my lesson for about the final three years... which is probably one reason I'm now writing blog posts and not giving piano recitals.
1992 was the year that I discovered the radio program UK Chart Attack, which I'll no doubt make many references to in my posts for this year.
I continued to buy Smash Hits magazine in 1992, although I felt increasingly alienated from its target audience, having zero interest in Beverly Hills 90210 and its spin-off shows - which the magazine seemed to become filled with and, of course, have nothing to do with pop music.  In 1992, I widened my music magazine-reading circle by picking up the free monthly Brashs magazines you could get from their retail outlets.

In 1992, I decided to start collecting the ARIA top 50 chart print-outs available in record stores properly, only missing two or three weeks from the whole year (the last one of those being in February or March 1992) - thanks to my mother dutifully popping into Brashs to pick up the chart during her lunch break on Mondays.  I even asked my mother to not bend the charts, if she could, and she would roll them up and place a rubber band around them to prevent creases.  The things our parents do for us, hey?  Before 1992, I collected the printed charts much more sporadically.
What were your memories of 1992?  Were they good or bad?  Join me as we take a look back at songs that flopped on the Australian charts in 1992.  There were 263 singles that peaked in the 101-150 region of the ARIA singles chart in 1992, including two that no-one knows what they are (one of which we'll see this week).  At the time of writing, there are also another 114 singles peaking outside the top 150 that I have chart information for.

Lloyd Cole did not exactly cause a commotion on the Australian charts with his releases.

Top 150 debuts:

Number 142 "So Tell Me Why" by Poison
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 6 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 6 weeks

We last saw hair metal band Poison in March 1991.
"So Tell Me Why" was one of four studio tracks included as a bonus on the otherwise live album  Swallow This Live (number 46, December 1991).  I remember seeing the cassingle for this one in the shops, but had not actually heard the song until writing this post.

Internationally, "So Tell Me Why" peaked at number 25 in the UK in November 1991.

Locally, "So Tell Me Why" was most popular in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 114 on the state chart.

I don't normally buy into the lazy 'grunge changed everything' narrative for the 90s, but Poison's brand of metal/rock, combined with their image, was clearly well on the way out by the start of 1992.

That being said, we will see Poison bubble under again in 1993.

Number 144 Unknown Single by Unknown Artist
Peak: number 143
Peak dates: 13 January 1992 and 20 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks

Like everything else, the ARIA database is not immune from mistakes/errors, and here we have a blank title from an unknown artist that dented the top 150.  Spoiler alert: another such title appears in November 1992.

I asked my contact at ARIA if they could look into this, and, unfortunately, the identity of either song was not able to be determined.  My contact even dug up the old version of the database, and the titles were also blank then!

Number 145 "Boys to Men" by New Edition
Peak: number 134
Peak date: 3 February 1992
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 7 weeks
American r&b vocal group New Edition formed in 1978, when each of its members were teenagers or younger.  Originally a five-piece, the group landed a major international hit in 1983 with "Candy Girl" (number 10, August 1983), which also made its way into the top 10 in Australia.  Unfortunately for the group, that would be their only real hit in Australia... until 1996, when a reformed New Edition released "Hit Me Off" (number 16, September 1996).

In the interim years, Bobby Brown quit the group in 1985 to launch a solo career, and he was replaced by Johnny Gill in 1987.  Of course, the group also spawned the successful careers of Bell Biv DeVoe and Ralph Tresvant.

"Boys to Men", which I assume was the inspiration behind the band name of Boyz II Men, originally appeared on New Edition's fifth studio album Heart Break, released in 1988.  Neither that album nor any of its singles charted in Australia.

"Boys to Men" was issued as a single in late 1991 to promote New Edition's Greatest Hits Volume 1 (number 140, January 1992) compilation album.  The track does not appear to have received a single release in 1988, but I assume was chosen in 1991 given the success of Boyz II Men.
I cannot find evidence of "Boys to Men" charting elsewhere.  On the ARIA state charts, the single performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 121.
This would be New Edition's last single to peak outside the top 100 in Australia.  Two later albums, however, bubbled (well) under: One Love (number 296, November 2004) and Gold (number 479, January 2006).

Number 146 Spin (EP) by The Killjoys
Peak: number 136
Peak date: 27 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Before researching this track, I had assumed, from the band's name, that The Killjoys might be a pub rock trash metal kind of act.  How wrong I was!

Australian band The Killjoys formed in Melbourne in 1987, with Anna Burley on lead vocals and guitar, and Craig Pilkington on lead guitar and vocals.

The lead track from the EP, "Calling Me On" - which I have embedded the music video for below, has an early 90s female vocal folky/alternative vibe that could have had greater chart success (well, maybe top 75) - perhaps if it had been released after the success of Frente!

The Killjoys had previously charted on the albums chart with Ruby (number 144, February 1991).  Both that and the Spin EP would be the band's only ARIA top 150 entries.

Number 148 "D-O-G Me Out" by Guy
Peak: number 148
Peak date: 6 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

We last saw American r&b group Guy in February 1991.
"D-O-G Me Out" was lifted from Guy's second album The Future (number 129, February 1991).

Internationally, "D-O-G Me Out" peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in October 1991.  This would be the last Guy single to dent the ARIA top 150.

I don't normally like this sort of music a whole lot, but I thought this track, which I hadn't heard before, wasn't bad.

Number 149 "She's a Girl and I'm a Man" by Lloyd Cole
Peak: number 149
Peak date: 6 January 1992
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

English singer Lloyd Cole came to fame as the named front man of the band Lloyd Cole and The Commotions, who placed five singles on the Australian top 100 across 1985 and 1986.   The band's biggest 'hit' in Australia was "Lost Weekend", which peaked at number 49 in February 1986.  Interestingly, Lloyd Cole and The Commotions placed another three singles on the Kent/Australian Music Report's singles receiving significant sales reports beyond the top 100 lists between 1986 and 1988.

Lloyd embarked on a solo career in 1990, placing one single in the ARIA top 100, with "No Blue Skies" (number 86, April 1990).

"She's a Girl and I'm a Man" was the lead single from Lloyd's second solo album Don't Get Weird on Me Babe (number 108, November 1991).

Internationally, "She's a Girl..." peaked at number 55 in the UK in August 1991, and number 27 in Sweden in October 1991.

"She's a Girl and I'm a Man" would become Lloyd's final ARIA top 150 entry.

Number 150 "Is There Anybody Out There?" by Bassheads
Peak: number 140
Peak date: 10 February 1992
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks

Bassheads were a British house duo hailing from Wirral.  "Is There Anybody Out There?" was their debut single.  Internationally, the single peaked at number 5 in the UK in November 1991, number 10 in Ireland in November 1991, number 19 in the Netherlands in February 1992, number 47 in the Flanders region of Belgium in February 1992, and number 48 in New Zealand in March 1992.
This track would be Bassheads' only top 150 entry in Australia.

Next week (13 January): A mere two top 150 debuts, joined by one bubbling WAY down under entry.

< Previous post: 16 December 1991                                      Next week: 13 January 1992 >


  1. I don't often listen to music i've never heard or not aware of just not really having the time or inclination to hear a potentially dud track, i know you do so for the purposes of this enjoyable blog. However some time ago i set about a project of compiling the weekly charts from 1992 in mp3 format for something to listen to when exercising and this is that rare moment when i have actually heard these new entries although poison is the only one i remember and i actually liked that. The others whether memorable or not i don't recall at all what they sounded like.

  2. Speaking of Smash Hits - is there an online archive of the Aussie ones?
    I’m trying to locate a copy of an advertisement back in 1989 by Liberation Records promoting their back catalogue onto CDs for the first time. I remember seeing it in a music magazine back in the day, it may have been in Smash Hits or in another music magazine published in 1989, I can’t remember the name of the other magazines. They also had them printed as flyers at retail shops on the counter. If anyone remembers this ad or has a copy I would be very grateful for a scanned copy.

    1. As far as I am aware, there is no online archive of Australian Smash Hits magazines, unfortunately. I know someone who has almost every copy from the 80s, though, and have asked if he recalls this ad. Hit Songwords was another magazine from that era similar to Smash Hits.

  3. Love your work in this. Is there a process of elimination available to try and work out the Unknown Single - eg checking state based charts of the time to identify possible high entries that don't appear on the national chart?

    1. Unfortunately, there isn't really a way to determine what the unknown title is. I've looked at lists of new release titles that could have entered the chart that week, but there's no way of knowing which one it actually was.

  4. Could the Unknown Single have been part of a "copyright trap" by ARIA to prevent further copying of the chart - similar to a theory for some years about the mysterious Ready And Steady on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart (which has since been solved).


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