11 May 2024

Week commencing 11 May 1992

One thing this week in 1992's new entries on the Australian singles chart that peaked outside the top 100 have in common is that I do not recall hearing any of them at the time.
Boyz II Men: uhhing and aahing in the lower region of the ARIA top 200.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 136 "Born Free" by Vic Reeves and The Roman Numerals
Peak: number 130
Peak dates: 18 May 1992 and 25 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
English comedian Vic Reeves, born Jim Moir, came to fame in in the UK in late 1986, when he first appeared in comedy game show segment on the TV program The Tube.  Prior to becoming known as Vic the comedian, Jim performed in several bands, and sold cassette recordings of his music through the British music newspaper NME.

Vic first came to attention in Australia through his musical collaboration with The Wonder Stuff, whom we shall see in 1993, with a cover version of "Dizzy" (number 3, March 1992), originally recorded by Tommy Roe (number 2 in Australia in 1969).  Vic & The Wonder Stuff's cover of "Dizzy" went all the way to number 1 in the UK in November 1991.

"Born Free", another cover - this time originally performed by Matt Monro in 1966, was released prior to "Dizzy" in the UK, peaking at number 6 there in April 1991, and at number 11 in Ireland in May 1991.  The track appears on Vic's only studio album I Will Cure You (number 142, April 1992).

"Born Free" was Vic's last single released in Australia. One later charting single, credited to just Vic Reeves, was issued in the UK - "Abide with Me", reaching number 47 there in December 1991.  Musically, it is quite different to "Born Free" and "Dizzy", having more of a dance-pop sound.

Number 142 "In the Ghetto" by Beats International
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 11 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks
We last saw Beats International in December 1991.  "In the Ghetto" was the third single lifted from the collective's second album Excursion on the Version, which was released in Australia in November 1991, but failed to chart.

Internationally, "In the Ghetto" peaked at number 44 in the UK in November 1991, number 89 in Germany in January 1992, and number 7 in New Zealand in March 1992.

Within Australia, "In the Ghetto" performed equally-strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory and Queensland, peaking at number 132 on both state charts.  This was the act's final release to chart in Australia.

Beats International mastermind, Norman Cook, however, would find more success in Australia towards the end of the 1990s as Fatboy Slim, returning with the single "The Rockefella Skank" (number 32, July 1998) - a song that reminds me vividly of my 'clubbing' days, and the album You've Come a Long Way, Baby (number 2, February 1999).

Number 144 "O Fortuna" by Apotheosis
Peak: number 104
Peak date: 24 August 1992
Weeks in top 150: 15 weeks

O Fortuna was originally a medieval Latin Goliardic poem, written in the early 1200s CE.  It was first set to music by German composer Carl Orff in the mid-1930s.  I think I first became aware of the song when it was used in my high school's 1992 Rock Eisteddfod performance (skip to the 5 minute mark), centered around the assassination of US president John F. Kennedy.  My school actually won the national competition that year, despite finishing second in the state.  And no, I wasn't in it.
A Belgian act, Apotheosis were Patrick Samoy and Luc Rigaux, also known as Steve Humby & Andy Sykes.  Internationally, their version of "O Fortuna" peaked at number 3 in the Netherlands in February 1992, and at number 29 in the Flanders region of Belgium during the same month.

In Australia, "O Fortuna" ties for the most weeks spent in the ARIA top 150 for a single peaking between numbers 101 and 150 that debuted in the top 150 during 1992, spending 15 weeks in this region of the chart.  We shall see the single it ties with for chart longevity in June 1992.  Interestingly, "O Fortuna" climbed to number 107 on the national chart on 1 June 1992, but did not reach its peak, 3 places higher, until its second last week in the top 150, in late August 1992.
On the state charts, "O Fortuna" performed much stronger in Western Australia that elsewhere, reaching number 28 there in June 1992.   The single peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 81.

F.C.B. scored a much bigger hit in Australia with "Excalibur" (number 2, August 1995), which was another dance track based on "O Fortuna".
"O Fortuna" would be Apotheosis' only top 150 charting entry in Australia.

Number 145 "It's Over Now" by L.A. Guns
Peak: Number 133
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
American glam metal band L.A. Guns formed in 1983 in Los Angeles.  Their first taste of chart success in Australia came with their second studio album, Cocked & Loaded (number 119, October 1989).  "It's Over Now" was lifted from the band's third album Hollywood Vampires (number 91, August 1991).
Internationally, "It's Over Now" peaked at number 62 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in May 1992.  Domestically, the single performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 106.
I don't normally listen to this kind of music, but the rock ballad is not bad.
"It's Over Now" was the only L.A. Guns single to chart in Australia, although the band had several later albums that registered a chart placing, namely Vicious Circle (number 158, April 1995), The Missing Peace (number 688, October 2017), The Devil You Know (number 757, April 2019), Renegades (number 754, November 2020), Cocked & Loaded Live (number 1245, January 2022), and Checkered Past (number 1046, April 2022).

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 176 "Who Wants to Live Forever"/"Friends Will Be Friends" by Queen
Peak: number 165
Peak date: 25 May 1992
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We last saw Queen in May 1991.  Both "Who Wants to Live Forever" and "Friends Will Be Friends" originally appeared on Queen's twelfth studio album A Kind of Magic (number 12, August 1986), and more-recently, the compilation Greatest Hits II (number 4, December 1991), which was released shortly before front man Freddie Mercury's untimely death in November 1991.
"Who Wants to Live Forever" is unusual for a Queen single in that guitarist Brian May, whom we saw bubble under solo in March 1992, shares the lead vocal with Freddie.

"Friends Will Be Friends" was originally released as the third single from the album in Australia in November 1986, though it missed the Kent Music Report top 100, ranking ninth on the list of singles with significant sales reports beyond the top 100 in December 1986.
The 1986 issue of "Friends Will Be Friends" peaked at number 14 in the UK in June 1986, number 4 in Ireland in June 1986, number 16 in the Netherlands in July 1986, number 18 in the Flanders region of Belgium in July 1986, number 19 in Switzerland in August 1986, number 50 in New Zealand in August 1986, and number 20 in West Germany in August 1986.

The 1986 release of "Who Wants to Live Forever" peaked at number 24 in the UK in September 1986, number 15 in Ireland in September 1986, number 29 in the Netherlands in October 1986, and number 52 in West Germany in November 1986.

The 1992 double A-side single appears to have only been released in a limited number of countries.  It peaked at number 6 in the Netherlands in May 1992, and at number 44 in the Flanders region of Belgium during the same month.
In Australia, the 1992 release of "Who Wants to Live Forever"/"Friends Will Be Friends" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it reached number 128.

We shall next see Queen in 1996.

Number 183 "Uhh Ahh" by Boyz II Men
Peak: number 180
Peak date: 25 May 1992
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks
American vocal harmony quartet Boyz II Men formed in 1985, when they were still in high school in Philadelphia, under the name of Unique Attraction.  Boyz II Men's first single, "Motownphilly" (number 32, October 1991), which I quite enjoyed, dented the lower region of the top 40 in Australia, while climbing to number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1991.  Within Australia, "Motownphilly" had quite varied fortunes on the state charts, reaching number 18 in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, but only peaking at number 104 in South Australia/Northern Territory!
The band's second single, "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday", reached number 2 in the US in December 1991, but was not released locally until 1993, when it reached number 100 in July 1993.

Both tracks were lifted from Boyz II Men's debut album Cooleyhighharmony, which initially peaked at number 140 in Australia October 1991, before climbing to number 4 in January 1993 after the success of "End of the Road" (number 1 for four weeks in November-December 1992), taken from the Boomerang: Original Soundtrack Album (number 29, October 1992) and being tacked onto Cooleyhighharmony.
Internationally, "Uhh Ahh" peaked at number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1992.  Domestically, the single performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 156.
We will next see Boyz II Men in July 1991.

Number 199 "The Bottle" by The Tyrrel Corporation
Peak: number 199
Peak date: 11 May 1992
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We previously saw English duo The Tyrrel Corporation in February 1992.  "The Bottle" was the second single lifted from the pair's debut album North East of Eden (number 273, December 1992).

"The Bottle", which I am guessing is about alcohol addiction, peaked at number 71 in the UK in March 1992.  Within Australia, "The Bottle" performed strongest in Western Australia, where it reached number 168.

A heavily-edited version of "The Bottle" is used in the music video embedded below.  You can hear the full-length album version here.

We shall next see The Tyrrel Corporation in September 1992.

Next week (18 May): A bumper week with ten new top 150 debuts and three bubbling WAY down under entries.

< Previous week: 4 May 1992                                        Next week: 18 May 1992 >

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