18 May 2024

Week commencing 18 May 1992

This week in 1992 sees a bumper ten new top 150 entries, with a further three bubbling WAY down under.  A theme running through this week's new entries is that quite a few of them did a bit better, landing within the top 100, on the rival Australian Music Report singles chart.
In other news, I have updated some earlier posts (a work in progress...) with newly-uncovered singles peaking outside the top 150, namely:
* 13 March 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from Glass Tiger;
* 20 March 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from The Smithereens;
* 24 April 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from Not Drowning, Waving;
* 8 May 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from Amy Grant;
* 5 June 1989 - new bubbling WAY down under entries from Tom Jones, Ten City, Cameo and Keith Richards;
* 13 May 1991 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from Shawn Christopher;
* 9 September 1991 - new bubbling WAY down under entry from Peabo Bryson.
Jenny Morris landed a break in her hit-run this week in 1992.
Top 150 debuts:
Number 120 "What a Lover" by Eve
Peak: number 120
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
I wasn't aware of this track at the time, and can't tell you much about it, other than Eve was probably an Australian artist, as only an Australian pressing is listed on discogs.com.  This is the only release listed under that artist on the site.

"What a Lover" performed strongest on the South Australia/Northern Territory state chart, where it reached number 42.  "What a Lover" also peaked higher on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 85.

Number 124 "Don't Lose the Magic" by Shawn Christopher
Peak: number 124
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks
Weeks on chart: 5 weeks

We last saw American house singer Shawn Christopher in 1991.  "Don't Lose the Magic" was her second and final single to chart in Australia.  I didn't know this song at the time, but it was on a various artists music video compilation I recently picked up.  I like it.

Internationally, "Don't Lose the Magic" peaked at number 30 in the UK in March 1992, number 71 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in March 1992, number 27 in the Netherlands in May 1992, and number 30 in the Flanders region of Belgium in June 1992.

Domestically, "Don't Lose the Magic" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 104.

To my ears, "Don't Lose the Magic" has that Steve "Silk" Hurley sound that was popular in 1991-2, though he was not involved in its production.

Number 125 "Crackerjack Man" by Jenny Morris
Peak: number 125
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 3 weeks
Weeks on chart: 8 weeks
New Zealand singer Jenny Morris made her first appearance on the Australian chart in 1982 with the single "Puberty Blues" (number 88, February 1982), title track of the Australian film of the same name.  Jenny returned in November 1983 as the lead singer of QED, with the track "Everywhere I Go" (number 19, April 1984); a song I remember vividly from the time, when I was in Grade Prep at school.

Jenny then launched her solo career proper with the single "Get Some Humour" (number 82, February 1986).  Between 1986 and 1992, Jenny amassed seven top 40 singles in Australia, with the highest-peaking of those being "Break in the Weather" (number 2, October 1991).
"Crackerjack Man" was the fourth and final single from Jenny's third solo album Honeychild (number 5, October 1991). It followed "Break in the Weather", "I've Had You" (number 39, January 1992), and "Zero" (number 89, March 1992).

On the state charts, "Crackerjack Man" performed strongest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 116.

I don't recall hearing "Crackerjack Man" at the time, but became familiar with it when digitising Jenny's The Best of Jenny Morris: The Story So Far VHS tape in 2005.  I had forgotten how the song went prior to listening to it again when writing this post, though I do like it.

"Crackerjack Man" fared better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it peaked at number 98.
Unfortunately, Jenny has had the neurological voice disorder spasmodic dysphonia for some time, making it difficult for her to speak let alone sing, as it gives the voice a strangled-strained quality, resulting in voice breaks.  I first became aware of spasmodic dysphonia at university, where I studied speech pathology, in the late 1990s.  Coincidentally, that's also where I first heard of BoTox (it can be injected into the vocal cords to treat spasmodic dysphonia, often giving relief for several months before needing to be injected again) - before it became widely known in association with cosmetic procedures, although Jenny has opted not to undergo this treatment when I caught her speaking about the issues she has with speaking/singing on an episode of Australian Story some years ago.

We shall next see Jenny in 1994.

Number 131 "Lift Me Up" by Howard Jones
Peak: number 131
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks
Weeks on chart: 9 weeks

British singer-songwriter Howard Jones, born John Howard Jones, first appeared on the Australian chart with "New Song" (number 60, December 1983) in November 1983. He scored six top 40 hits in Australia between 1984 and 1986, with the biggest of those being "No One Is to Blame" (number 9, June 1986).  Somehow, I wasn't aware of Howard Jones at the time (I didn't start following music properly until 1987), but knew "No One Is to Blame" then, though not who it was by or what the song was called.

Howard was last on the Australian chart in 1989 with the single "Everlasting Love" (number 91, April 1989) and the album Cross That Line (number 97, May 1989).
"Lift Me Up" was the lead single from Howard's fifth studio album In the Running (number 158, June 1992).  Internationally, "Lift Me Up" peaked at number 52 in the UK in April 1992, number 6 in Canada in May 1992, and number 32 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in June 1992.

Within Australia, "Lift Me Up" was most popular in South Australia/Northern Territory, where it reached number 106.

We will next see Howard in 1993.

Number 132 "I Drove All Night" by Roy Orbison
Peak: number 132
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 5 weeks (2 weeks in 1992; 3 weeks in 1993)
Weeks on chart: 16 weeks (9 weeks in 1992; 7 weeks in 1993)
We last saw Roy Orbison in 1989.

I, like most of the world, first became familiar with the song "I Drove All Night" when Cyndi Lauper released her version of it, reaching number 11 for three weeks on the Austalian chart in July 1989.  The song, however, was originally recorded in 1987 by Roy Orbison, though his version was not released as a single until 1992, more than three years after his death at age 52 in December 1988.  I first heard Roy's rendition of "I Drove All Night" on the UK Chart Attack radio show.
"I Drove All Night" was written by Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly, who shared writing credits on hits such as Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (number 1, December 1984), Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" (number 3, September 1986), Heart's "Alone" (number 6, August 1987), Whitney Houston's "So Emotional" (number 26, February 1988) and Bangles' "Eternal Flame" (number 1, May 1989) to name but a few.

The vocals from Roy's 1987 recording of "I Drove All Night" were used by Jeff Lynne who created a new mix of the track for Roy's posthumous King of Hearts (number 25, November 1992) album.  The track first appeared on the Nintendo: White Knuckle Scorin' album in 1991.

Internationally, Roy's version of "I Drove All Night" peaked at number 52 in Germany in March 1992, number 74 in Canada in May 1992, number 7 in the UK in July 1992, number 6 in Ireland, and number 48 in New Zealand in September 1992.

In Australia, "I Drove All Night" had two separate releases - a cassingle release on BMG in March 1992, and a CD/cassingle release on EMI in March 1993.  The 1992 release contained Sheena Easton's "Forever Friends" and Trixter's "Line of Fire" as B-sides, while the 1993 release contained B-sides from Roy.  The single peaked at number 132 on the ARIA singles chart in May 1992, and at number 140 in March 1993.  "I Drove All Night" performed strongest on the Queensland state chart for both releases, reaching number 87 in May 1992, and number 112 in April 1993.

The music video for "I Drove All Night" features actors Jason Priestley and Jennifer Connelly.

Céline Dion scored a hit with her version of "I Drove All Night" (number 22, March 2003) in 2003, though I prefer the Hex Hector remix of it.

Roy Orbison's recording is my favourite version of "I Drove All Night", though I like Cyndi's version too.  Another version of the song I like was recorded by The Protomen in 2012.  "I Drove All Night" is one of my favourite karaoke songs to sing... when no-one is in the vicinity.

We will next see Roy in November 1992.

Number 136 "Love U Love Me" by Atomic Dining Club
Peak: number 129
Peak date: 1 June 1992
Weeks in top 150: 7 weeks
Australian band Atomic Dining Club were Brian Mannix - former lead singer of Uncanny X-Men, Ross McLennon and Steve Harrison.  "Love U Love Me" was their debut single, from their only album Car Crash in Blue, which had three separate release dates listed in The ARIA Report, from May, June and August of 1993.  I am not sure which was the correct release date, or whether the album was even released at all, given that no copies of it are currently listed on discogs.com, and nothing came up when I googled the band name and album title.  Does anyone reading this know whether the album saw the light of day? The album missed the ARIA top 150 albums chart - I can tell you that.

Having not heard this track before, I liked it more than I was expecting to, given that I'm not really a fan of Uncanny X-Men, whose biggest hit was "50 Years" (number 4, June 1985).

"Love U Love Me" found greater success on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 87.
A music video exists for "Love U Love Me", as it is listed as a new addition on the rage playlists in The ARIA Report, but nobody has yet uploaded it to YouTube.

We shall see Atomic Dining Club again in 1993.

Number 143 "The Big One" by Chris Wilson
Peak: number 143
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 1 week
"The Big One" was Australian blues musician Chris Wilson's debut single.  The track was lifted from his debut album Landlocked, which originally peaked at number 120 in Australia in August 1992, but the 30th edition re-issue of the album actually peaked higher, reaching number 86 in December 2022.

I first became aware of Chris in 1995, when he sang the male vocal on Merril Bainbridge's "Under the Water" (number 4, August 1992) - the "I'll be your loverrrr, underrrr the waterrrr" bits.  I spelt the lyric that way in jest, as despite being Australian born and bred, Chris seems to rhotacise his r-coloured vowels - that is, pronounce the 'r' in them, like speakers of American, Canadian and Irish English do.  Australian English is non-rhotic, meaning that we do not pronounce the 'r' in vowel sounds, other than in connected speech where the vowel appears at the end of the word and is followed by another word beginning with a vowel sound, as in the phrase "four of those".  My speech pathology degree comes in handy for other things sometimes...

Chris followed up this track with the single "Alimony Blues" in October 1992, which missed the top 150.

Sadly, Chris passed away in 2019, aged 62, after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

We will next see Chris in 1996, as part of the duo Wilson Diesel.

Number 144 "Girl for Me" by The Chevelles
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 1 week

Perth band The Chevelles formed in 1989.  The group never landed a top 100 entry, and this was their only release to trouble the top 150.  An earlier EP, The Kids Ain't Hip, curiously spent two weeks at number 8 on the ARIA top 20 Alternative Singles chart in March 1991, before re-appearing on the top 20 Alternative Albums Chart, where it reached number 10 in April 1991.

"Girl for Me" is lifted from The Chevelles' debut album Gigantic, which was released in June 1993.  The single performed better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 97.

Number 145 "The Way I Made You Feel" by Ed Kuepper
Peak: number 144
Peak date: 25 May 1992
Weeks in top 150: 2 weeks
Born in West Germany, but based in Australia, Ed Kuepper was a founding member and guitarist of seminal punk band The Saints, formed in 1973.  The Saints first appeared on the Australian chart with their debut single "(I'm) Stranded" (number 98, March 1977). Ed left the band in 1979, before The Saints scored their biggest hit with "Just Like Fire Would" (number 29, April 1986).

Ed's debut solo album Electrical Storm was released in September 1985, but missed the national top 100.  Ed scored his first charting single with "Nothing Changes in My House" (number 99, January 1988).  His biggest solo 'hit' in Australia was "If I Had a Ticket" (number 72, April 1994).

"The Way I Made You Feel" appeared on Ed's fifth solo studio album Honey Steel's Gold (number 28, March 1992).

We will next see Ed in July 1992.

Number 147 "Play Dinosaur" by Degenerates
Peak: number 142
Peak date: 1 June 1992
Weeks in top 150: 4 weeks

We last saw Australian band Degenerates in 1991.  "Play Dinosaur" was the title track from the band's debut album Play Dinosaur, which, as with Atomic Dining Club above, had three separate release dates listed in The ARIA Report (June, July and August 1992), and missed the top 150.
"Play Dinosaur" performed significantly better on the Australian Music Report singles chart, where it reached number 68.  I have to wonder why a single peaked 74 places higher on the AMR chart...
This would be Degenerates' final top 150 entry, though they released a second album Outspoken in March 1993.

Bubbling WAY down under:
Number 189 "Bang" by Blur
Peak: number 189
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We last saw English band Blur in 1991.  "Bang" was the second single released from the band's debut album Leisure (number 142, April 1992) in Australia.

Internationally, "Bang" peaked at number 24 in the UK in August 1991, and number 21 in Ireland in August 1991.  The single also peaked at number 40 on the US Billboard Dance Club songs chart in June 1992 - for what that is worth (not much, in my book).  This was classified as dance music in the US?!

Within Australia, "Bang" performed strongest in Victoria/Tasmania, where it reached number 168.

I don't recall hearing "Bang" before, though have a VHS-sourced copy of the video in my collection from a tape I digitised, so have actually heard it before.  Musically, it sounds quite similar to "There's No Other Way" to me.

"Bang" has been virtually disowned by Blur, who wrote the song in response to pressure they were placed under by their record label to produce another hit.  The band's bass player Alex James said in a 1999 interview that he didn't think the band would ever play the song live again.

We will next see Blur in 1993.
Number 209 "Closer Than Close" by Peabo Bryson
Peak: number 209
Peak date: 18 May 1992
Weeks on chart: 1 week
We last saw American singer-songwriter Peabo Bryson in 1991.
"Closer Than Close" was issued as the second single from Peabo's fifteenth studio album Can You Stop the Rain (number 188, March 1992).  Interestingly, this single was released in Australia in February 1992, but took just over three months to register on the charts.

"Closer Than Close" missed the US Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 10 on the pointless Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in November 1991.

Within Australia, "Closer Than Close" peaked highest in New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory, where it reached number 186.

Peabo would land his final hits in Australia with the duets "Beauty and the Beast" (number 17, July 1992) with Céline Dion, and "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)" (number 10, June 1993) with Regina Belle.  Both tracks were themes from Disney movies, Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, respectively.

While we won't see Peabo bubbling under again, he had further low-charting albums in Australia with Through the Fire (number 193, August 1994) and Missing You (number 619, October 2007).

Number 211 "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" by They Might Be Giants
Peak: number 180
Peak date: 8 June 1992
Weeks on chart: 3 weeks

We last saw American band They Might Be Giants in March 1992.  "The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" was the second single from their fourth studio album Apollo 18 (number 59, April 1992).
"The Guitar (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)" came together in a jam session based around The Tokens' "The Lion Sleeps Tonight". The song's chorus is sung by country singer Laura Cantrell.

I cannot find evidence of "The Guitar..." charting anywhere else.  Within Australia, the single performed strongest in Queensland, where it reached number 156.

We shall next see They Might Be Giants in 1994.

Next week (25 May): A quieter week, with three top 150 entries and two bubbling WAY down under debuts.

< Previous week: 11 May 1992                                         Next week: 25 May 1992 >

1 comment:

  1. Hey, what if Atomic Dining Club and Ned's Atomic Dustbin toured together?...

    Anyway, I bought Blur's first album while in Japan (where it came with bonus tracks) and thought "Bang" was one of the better songs on there. I had no idea they hated it due to the pressure it caused – the next album would have more of the same, this time involving "Popscene", which wasn't even on the album in the end.


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