Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Best Of 1991 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


In 1991, I made my first visit to Europe - going to France and Germany as part of a school trip. Naturally, I went to as many record stores as I could along the way, particularly the Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Élysées, which was way bigger than any music shop we had in Australia.

A decade later she'd co-write Kylie's biggest hit, but in 1991,
Cathy Dennis competed on the charts with her

There are quite a few songs in my top 25 for 1991 that I picked up on that trip, as well as four entries by Kylie Minogue, who released two more singles from Rhythm Of Love and the first two singles from her final PWL studio album, Let's Get To It, in the one calendar year.

Her first single for the year, "What Do I Have To Do", came out in January and quickly established itself as not only my favourite song for 1991, but also for all time. Since I've written about Kylie's best singles elsewhere, that's all I'm going to say about her in this post. Here's the rest of my top 25...


Number 25 "My Heart Is Failing Me" by Riff
You couldn't swing a cat in the '90s without hitting an R&B vocal harmony group. Like After 7 and Boyz II Men, quartet Riff got in on the act quite early - this debut single made the US top 30 in May, 1991 - but they never really capitalised on that initial success there. However, a year later, the band hit the Australian top 10 with the title track from basketball film White Men Can't Jump.




Number 24 "Thinking About Your Love" by Kenny Thomas
This was far and away the biggest single by the British soul singer and, as was constantly mentioned at the time, former boxer. Besides this track, Kenny also remade a couple of 80s soul tracks: The Gap Band's "Outstanding" and Force MD's "Tender Love". He never caught on in Australia, unfortunately.




Number 23 "Forget Me Nots" by Tongue 'n' Cheek
Another British R&B act, Tongue 'n' Cheek finally started crossing over from the clubs to the UK top 40 in 1990 with "Tomorrow" and "Nobody", but this cover of the Patrice Rushen song from 1982 would end up being the trio's final single (and only reach number 26). Revamped from the album version by remixers du jour DNA, the single version had a driving beat - and I'll always remember listening to it on my walkman one day after school when one of the cool kids wanted to hear what I was playing and didn't really know what to say when I gave him a listen. Probably disappointed it wasn't Nirvana.




Number 22 "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" by Rozalla
Good songs never die - and that's especially true of this global smash, which has been remixed and re-released pretty much every few years since 1991. Rozalla actually had a few other UK hits besides this one - "Faith (In The Power Of Love", "Are You Ready To Fly" and "I Love Music" - but in Australia this was the Zambian singer's only top 50 entry... on three separate occasions. When it was first released in 1991, it reached number 11, then, after being used in an ad for Coca-Cola in 1992, it bounced back to number 45. Its highest position came, though, in 2009 when the Global Deejays remix made number 7 after being used in promos for So You Think You Can Dance Australia.




Number 21 "Word Is Out" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 20 "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" by Clivillés & Cole
The songwriting and production partnership of Robert Clivillés and David Cole had an incredibly fruitful year in 1991. As C+C Music Factory, they stormed charts around the world with "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" (number 26 on this list), "Things That Make You Go Hmmm..." (number 119) and "Here We Go (Let's Rock & Roll)" - all with a little help from rapper Freedom Williams and singer Martha Wash (although Zelma Davis appeared in the music videos). Under their own names, they released this dance remake of the U2 classic, one of two revolutionary revamps of the Irish supergroup's music in this top 25. The CD single for "Pride", which I bought from Virgin Paris, was backed by "A Deeper Love", which would end up being remade a few years later by Aretha Franklin.




Number 19 "I Believe" by EMF
"Unbelievable" was the song that put them on the world stage in 1990 and would be their biggest hit, but I preferred this follow-up from the band who came from somewhere called Forest Of Dean, which I always thought sounded like it was out of Robin Hood. EMF officially stood for Epson Mad Funkers, although I remember Ecstacy Mother F***ers being another suggestion made at the time. Their debut album, Schubert Dip, was one of my favourites for the year and yielded two other singles, "Lies" (number 108 on this list) and "Children". The band released two further albums and still play live from time to time, but I lost interest after 1991.




Number 18 "Promises" by Take That
While the likes of EMF and Jesus Jones were UK success stories there and in the US, five young men calling themselves Take That couldn't have a hit no matter how hard they tried. And, boy did they try. Their debut single, "Do What U Like" (number 59 on this list) infamously featured the leather clad boy band having jelly smeared on their bodies by mop-wielding models - but the song tanked at number 82 in the UK. Signing to a bigger record label, RCA, helped and this second single cracked the UK top 40 - but stalled at number 38. We all know that things would change in 1992 and Take That would go on to become Britain's most enduring and best loved boy band - but I was a fan from the start. Yep, it was the jelly.




Number 17 "Touch Me (All Night Long)" by Cathy Dennis
Mentioned below

Number 16 "Never Stop" by Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport
In Part 2, we saw one of 1991's big acid jazz groups, Incognito. The other was Brand New Heavies - and although they weren't scaling the chart heights that Incognito were, they were making a name for themselves with vocalist N'Dea on board. This was another song I bought on CD single from Virgin Paris and BNH are a band I've followed to this day (through several vocalist changes) - even catching a gig in Sydney a couple of years ago with N'Dea back on board.




Number 15 "Mysterious Ways" by U2
Well, this was a surprise to me. I'd hated most of what U2 had released in the second half of the '80s - too worthy, too earnest. But, in 1991, they threw the world a curve ball with "The Fly" and the Achtung Baby album - and I was intrigued. Whereas "The Fly" was a repositioning statement, "Mysterious Ways" was the pop classic the band always had in them. It was also the song my French tour group sang repeatedly since Achtung Baby had just been released - so there was really no avoiding U2, even if I tried.




Number 14 "R.S.V.P." by Jason Donovan
1991 was an odd year for Jason. He scored his final UK number 1 with a version of "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in which he was performing at the time. But, this new Stock Aitken Waterman production barely made the UK top 20. By year's end, PWL had rushed out a greatest hits album for Christmas, despite the fact that Jason had only released two studio albums to date. It was an indication of just how steeply Jason's fortunes had declined - only two years earlier, he'd had the highest-selling album of the year with 1989's Ten Good Reasons.




Number 13 "If You Were With Me Now" by Kylie Minogue / Keith Washington
Previously featured here

Number 12 "Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) / How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 11 "Running Back For More" by Delage
Previously featured here

Number 10 "Just Another Dream" by Cathy Dennis
She'd been introduced to the world in 1989 on D-Mob's "C'mon And Get My Love" and finally became a solo star in 1991 after "Just Another Dream", which had flopped first time round in the UK, became a hit in the US. A successful re-release of "Just Another Dream" followed her second single, "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (above at number 17), into the UK top 20. Although I (and Australia) preferred "Just Another Dream", "Touch Me", which was a cover of an obscure 1984 track by Fonda Rae and Wish, was the more successful of the two in the UK and US. Cathy scored again in 1991 with "Too Many Walls" (number 129 on this list), but, like so many of the female solo artists on this list, would find hits hard to come by from 1992 on - until she became a hit songwriter for other artists, that is.




Number 9 "So Proud Of You" by Paul Varney
Previously featured here

Number 8 "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited
You've got to hand it to Pete Waterman - he knew a hit record when he heard it. Thanks to him, the Dutch group (comprised of producers Phil Wilde and Jean-Paul De Coster, rapper Ray Slijngaard and singer Anita Doth) released this dance classic in the UK, then went on to conquer the States. "Get Ready For This" exists in several versions - some with just the "Y'all ready for this?" sample and some featuring Ray's raps and/or Anita's vocals. I generally favoured the version with everyone contributing, which would be the case for their subsequent releases - and there would be plenty of those in the coming years.




Number 7 "That's What Love Can Do" by Boy Krazy
Previously featured here

Number 6 "Shocked" by Kylie Minogue featuring DNA
Previously featured here

Number 5 "Preacher Man" by Bananarama
1991 was not a great year for Bananarama, who struggled with the singles from Pop Life, with this track the highest UK entry from the album by getting to number 20. Their cover of The Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" (number 152 on this list) and "Tripping On Your Love" (number 34) would fare even worse. With the album's promotion complete, ring-in member Jacquie O'Sullivan left the group, leaving just Sara and Keren, who continued as a duo - and still perform and record (with an air of mild disdain) today.




Number 4 "Chorus" by Erasure
Conversely, 1991 was much kinder to another of my favourite groups, Erasure, whose Chorus album was another UK number 1, and yielded this hit, as well as "Love To Hate You" (number 56 on this list) and "Am I Right?" before the year was out.




Number 3 "Romantic World" by Dana Dawson
My second favourite song for 1991 is one I heard in Australia and liked before heading to France - without realising that was the country where American singer Dana recorded and released her debut album, Paris New York And Me. OK, the title should have been a bit of a giveaway. When I got to France, I was hearing "Romantic World" and her other singles, like "Open Hearts" (number 79 on this list), everywhere and even got to practise some French when I asked a shop assistant if she was well known in France. At least, that's what I think I asked. Dana, who tragically passed away in 2010 from cancer, would have wider success with her second album in 1996, which featured "3 Is Family".




Number 2 "Love You Right" by Euphoria
In the early '90s, pop was still a bit of a dirty word on the Australian music scene. As for dance music... while club tracks regularly stormed the UK top 5, hits were less frequent in Australia. So, it was a bit of a shock when this homegrown dance tune went all the way to number 1 in early 1992. And then so did Euphoria's next two singles (which we'll see on my 1992 countdown).
Like so many of the dance tracks of the time, the clip for "Love You Right" featured a pretty model, who was not actually the vocalist, miming along to the song. What was fine for Europop acts was not OK in Australia, and even though the real singer, Keren Minshull, joined perky blonde Holly Garnett in the clip for follow-up "One In A Million" - and Holly even sang on that track - the damage had been done and Euphoria was forever tainted with the lip syncing "scandal".
Finally, although I'm sure he hates being reminded of it now, a shirtless Simon Baker-Denny (as he was then called) can be seen gyrating in the background of the music video - and also miming along to the male background vocals.




Number 1 "What Do I Have To Do" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here


My top 200 for 1991 in full:

1        WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO Kylie Minogue
2        LOVE YOU RIGHT Euphoria
3        ROMANTIC WORLD Dana Dawson
4        CHORUS Erasure
5        PREACHER MAN Bananarama
6        SHOCKED Kylie Minogue featuring DNA
7        THAT'S WHAT LOVE CAN DO Boy Krazy
8        GET READY FOR THIS 2 Unlimited
9        SO PROUD OF YOU Paul Varney
10      JUST ANOTHER DREAM Cathy Dennis
11      RUNNING BACK FOR MORE Delage
12      WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME (I CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU) / HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY? Pet Shop Boys
13      IF YOU WERE WITH ME NOW (Duet with Keith Washington)/I GUESS I LIKE IT LIKE THAT Kylie Minogue
14      R.S.V.P. Jason Donovan
15      MYSTERIOUS WAYS U2
16      NEVER STOP Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport
17      TOUCH ME (ALL NIGHT LONG) Cathy Dennis
18      PROMISES Take That
19      I BELIEVE E.M.F.
20      PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE) / A DEEPER LOVE Clivilles & Cole
21      WORD IS OUT Kylie Minogue
22      EVERYBODY'S FREE (TO FEEL GOOD) Rozalla
23      FORGET ME NOTS Tongue 'n' Cheek
24      THINKING ABOUT YOUR LOVE Kenny Thomas
25      MY HEART IS FAILING ME Riff
26      GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT (EVERYBODY DANCE NOW) C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
27      GET THE MESSAGE Electronic
28      BABY BABY Amy Grant
29      SWEET LIBERATION The Family Stand
30      SAVE SOME LOVE Keedy
31      CRAZY Seal
32      FADING LIKE A FLOWER (EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE) Roxette
33      THE ONE AND ONLY Chesney Hawkes
34      TRIPPIN' ON YOUR LOVE Bananarama
35      PEACE Sabrina Johnston
36      SEE RIGHT THROUGH / EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT Kate Ceberano
37      RHYTHM IS A MYSTERY K-klass
38      BLACK OR WHITE Michael Jackson
39      SOMEDAY Mariah Carey
40      EVERY LITTLE THING Kate Ceberano
41      TIGHTEN UP Electronic
42      JEALOUSY Pet Shop Boys
43      RUN FROM LOVE Jimmy Somerville
44      3 A.M. ETERNAL The KLF featuring The Children Of The Revolution
45      MOVE ANY MOUNTAIN The Shamen
46      I THINK I LOVE YOU Voice Of The Beehive
47      LAST TRAIN TO TRANCENTRAL The KLF
48      JUSTIFIED AND ANCIENT (STAND BY THE JAMS) The KLF / Tammy Wynette
49      DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME George Michael / Elton John
50      CRY FOR HELP Rick Astley
51      G.L.A.D. Kim Appleby
52      ROMANTIC Karyn White
53      JUMP TO THE BEAT Dannii Minogue
54      WHERE LOVE LIVES (COME ON IN) Alison Limerick
55      UNFINISHED SYMPATHY Massive Attack
56      LOVE TO HATE YOU Erasure
57      ON THE WAY UP Elisa Fiorillo
58      TOO BLIND TO SEE IT Kym Sims
59      DO WHAT U LIKE Take That
60      DON'T YOU WANNA BE MINE (CLIVILLES & COLE REMIX) Denise Lopez
61      ALL 4 LOVE Color Me Badd
62      STREET OF DREAMS Nia Peeples
63      SOMETHING GOT ME STARTED Simply Red
64      BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU Hazell Dean
65      GUARANTEED Level 42
66      MOTOWNPHILLY Boyz II Men
67      RIGHT DOWN TO IT Damian Dame
68      CAN'T LET GO Mariah Carey
69      ALWAYS THERE Incognito featuring Jocelyn Brown
70      SHE'S A WOMAN Scritti Politti / Shabba Ranks
71      I'M TOO SEXY Right Said Fred
72      NOW THAT WE FOUND LOVE Heavy D & The Boyz
73      LOVE ME FOREVER OR LOVE ME NOT Trilogy
74      LIVE YOUR LIFE BE FREE Belinda Carlisle
75      PIECE OF MY HEART Tara Kemp
76      LET'S KISS (LIKE ANGELS DO) Wendy Matthews
77      TASTY FISH The Other Two
78      MY BODY SAYS YES Titiyo
79      OPEN HEARTS Dana Dawson
80      CRUCIFIED Army Of Lovers
81      FEEL EVERY BEAT Electronic
82      LOVE...THY WILL BE DONE Martika
83      BACKYARD Pebbles featuring Salt 'n' Pepa
84      THAT'S WHAT LOVE IS FOR Amy Grant
85      MORE THAN WORDS Extreme
86      THE PROMISE OF A NEW DAY Paula Abdul
87      THIS HOUSE Tracie Spencer
88      SET ADRIFT ON MEMORY BLISS P.M. Dawn
89      TEMPTATION Corina
90      SARAH (I MISS YOU) Richard Pleasance
91      ALL THE MAN THAT I NEED Whitney Houston
92      ANTHEM N-Joi
93      I ADORE MI AMOR Color Me Badd
94      INSANITY Oceanic
95      IF YOU CARED Kim Appleby
96      ALL TRUE MAN Alexander O'Neal
97      BITTER TEARS INXS
98      THERE’S NO OTHER WAY Blur
99      VIBEOLOGY Paula Abdul
100    DO ANYTHING Natural Selection
101    REAL LOVE Driza Bone
102    SUCH A GOOD FEELING Brothers In Rhythm
103    P.A.S.S.I.O.N. Rythm Syndicate
104    JOYRIDE Roxette
105    ONLY FOOLS (NEVER FALL IN LOVE) Sonia
106    I DON'T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU (BUT I LOVE YOU) B.E.F. featuring Green Gartside
107    FUTURE LOVE (EP) Seal
108    LIES E.M.F.
109    SEXY (IS THE WORD) Melissa
110    I CAN'T TAKE THE POWER Offshore
111    PEACE AND HARMONY Brothers In Rhythm
112    BABY LOVE Dannii Minogue
113    WHAT COMES NATURALLY Sheena Easton
114    DON'T GO MESSIN' WITH MY HEART Mantronix
115    I DON'T WANNA TAKE THIS PAIN (REMIX) Dannii Minogue
116    WITH YOU Tony Terry
117    IT'S TOO LATE Quartz introducing Dina Carroll
118    AIN'T NO SUNSHINE The Rockmelons featuring Deni Hines
119    IT'S SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY Boyz II Men
120    THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM... C&C Music Factory
121    STRIKE IT UP Blackbox
122    READ MY LIPS Melissa
123    THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG (IT'S IN HIS KISS) Cher
124    CHANGE Lisa Stansfield
125    MADE UP MY MIND Sa-fire
126    UNDER MY SKIN Deborah Conway
127    THE SIZE OF A COW The Wonder Stuff
128    CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT New Kids On The Block
129    RESCUE ME Madonna
130    TOO MANY WALLS Cathy Dennis
131    EMOTIONS Mariah Carey
132    I LIKE THE WAY (THE KISSING GAME) Hi-Five
133    PLACE IN THIS WORLD Michael W. Smith
134    THE FIRST TIME Surface
135    ALWAYS Pebbles / Cherrelle
136    IESHA Another Bad Creation
137    MISS FREELOVE 69 Hoodoo Gurus
138    SO REAL Love Decade
139    THE BEGINNING Seal
140    PANDORA’S BOX OMD
141    ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART Saint Etienne
142    WAS IT WORTH IT Pet Shop Boys
143    STONE COLD GENTLEMAN Ralph Tresvant
144    RUNNING BACK TO YOU Vanessa Williams
145    AROUND THE WAY GIRL LL Cool J
146    HAPPY TOGETHER Jason Donovan
147    RUSH RUSH Paula Abdul
148    TENDER LOVE Kenny Thomas
149    OPEN YOUR EYES Blackbox
150    A BETTER LOVE Londonbeat
151    LET THE BEAT HIT 'EM Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
152    (I WANNA GIVE YOU) DEVOTION Nomad featuring MC Mikee Freedom
153    LONG TRAIN RUNNING Bananarama
154    SUNSHINE ON A RAINY DAY Zoe
155    MAKE THIS A SPECIAL NIGHT Cool Notes
156    WHERE DOES MY HEART BEAT NOW Celine Dion
157    SPENDING MY TIME Roxette
158    MOVE YOUR BODY Xpansions
159    BLOWING KISSES IN THE WIND Paula Abdul
160    WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN Definition Of Sound
161    GOOD BEAT Deee-Lite
162    HUMAN NATURE Gary Clail
163    EVERYBODY MOVE Cathy Dennis
164    HOLD YOU TIGHT Tara Kemp
165    STEP TO ME (DO ME) Mantronix
166    COMING OUT OF THE DARK Gloria Estefan
167    UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Susannah Hoffs
168    GONNA CATCH YOU Lonnie Gordon
169    NEVER KNEW LOVE Rick Astley
170    FALL AT YOUR FEET Crowded House
171    BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER P.J.B. featuring Hannah And Her Sisters
172    STATE OF THE WORLD Janet Jackson
173    CAN YOU DIG IT? The Mock Turtles
174    MOVE RIGHT OUT Rick Astley
175    GET HERE Oleta Adams
176    THERE'S GOT TO BE A WAY Mariah Carey
177    WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME? Utah Saints
178    SITUATION (REMIX) Yazoo
179    RIDE LIKE THE WIND East Side Beat
180    ANOTHER SLEEPLESS NIGHT Shawn Christopher
181    LOVE SICK Gangstarr
182    IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE Bassheads
183    IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OVER Lenny Kravitz
184    SAILING ON THE SEVEN SEAS OMD
185    MAGIC'S BACK Malcolm McClaren with Alison Limerick
186    WHAT’S IT GONNA BE Jellybean
187    CRAZY FOR YOU Incognito featuring Chyna
188    HIERONYMOUS The Clouds
189    WHEN YOU TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross
190    POWER OF LOVE / LOVE POWER Luther Vandross
191    OBSESSION Army Of Lovers
192    THIS IS YOUR LIFE Banderas
193    WINTER IN JULY Bomb The Bass
194    UNITY Sound Unlimited Posse
195    TOGETHER FOREVER Lisette Melendez
196    ROUND AND ROUND Tevin Campbell
197    FUNKY LOVE VIBRATIONS Bass-o-matic
198    NAKED LOVE Quartz featuring Dina Carroll
199    READY TO FOLLOW YOU Dana Dawson
200    KISS THEM FOR ME Siouxsie & The Banshees


On Thursday, more Kylie when she debuts with her second single in this week's ARIA chart recap from 25 years ago. See you then!


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016


2 comments:

  1. Boy, 1991 had some great tunes, did it not?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow. Being from the USA, I've never heard of some of these artists. But now with all the new technology, I can download them onto my phone. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete