Wednesday, 9 October 2013

25 Years Ago This Week: October 9, 1988

Last New Year's Eve, I ended up playing a board game version of music quiz TV show Spicks & Specks (yep, I know how to party) and one of the question topics involved cover versions. Unlike on the show, there was no drawing involved - instead, a song title was provided and you had to state whether the song was a remake or an original.

Who is this woman? To find out, the only way is down...

I say all this because the highest new entry on the ARIA chart this week in 1988 is a song often forgotten to be a cover since the original version was a rather obscure track. I'm not sure whether the song in question was part of the game, but it would have been a good one to include.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending October 9, 1988

At the top of the chart this week in 1988, Robert Palmer was still number 1 with "Simply Irresistible", but right behind him at number 2 was another song that's often forgotten to be a remake: "All Fired Up" by Pat Benatar.


Breaker
"Build It Up" by Go 101
Peak: number 55
Before we get to that cover version, which would become one of the year's biggest hits (both in Australia and the UK), we have a handful of very minor hits to recap. This track popped up as a single of the week a few charts back but no matter how much promotion Melbourne band Go 101 received, they couldn't quite break through. I seem to remember a free cassette featuring the laidback funk-lite track being given away with Smash Hits at some point.




New entries
Number 49 "Hold On To Me" by The Black Sorrows
Peak: number 41
While Go 101 probably struggled because much of Australia still favoured rock music, there was no such excuse for this band, who were as Aussie rock as you can get. Admittedly, "Hold On To Me" was a bit more folksy than other tracks that the band led by Joe Camilleri would release. Indeed, it wouldn't be until truckin' anthem "Chained To The Wheel" that the group would land a big hit.




Number 48 "Serpentine" by Kings Of The Sun
Peak: number 48
The first of three songs that would get no further than their entry position, "Serpentine" was the first hit by pub rockers Kings Of The Sun, who'd released their previous single, "Bottom Of My Heart", two years earlier. I don't really remember this track at all, but I do recall the follow-up, "Black Leather", receiving constant play on late-night MTV alongside other clips featuring scantily clad women like Alice Cooper's "Poison". Despite that, it didn't chart at all.




Number 45 "Superstitious" by Europe
Peak: number 45
And, I'd completely forgotten that Europe had managed another chart appearance after "The Final Countdown" and "Rock The Night". This first single from the Out Of This World album hit number 1 across Scandinavia, but only scraped into the US and UK top 40, and the top 50 here. Listening to it again now, I can see why it wasn't as big as their previous hits (which, in America, also included power ballad "Carrie") although the chorus is still reasonably catchy.




Number 44 "Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark" by Robert Cray
Peak: number 44
A few weeks back, when I looked at the ARIA albums chart, I mentioned this blues performer as one of a handful of artists who had hit albums without top 50 singles. Well, here he is just to prove me wrong - although, technically, the album was a success before the single. The album would also reach the top 20, whereas this was as high as the title track got.




Number 34 "The Only Way Is Up" by Yazz & The Plastic Population
Peak: number 2
So, here's the cover version - which would have come as no surprise to anyone who's read my personal 1988 countdown. Or, who recognised Yazz in the picture above (or got my lame caption clue). Already on its was to being one of the year's highest-selling singles in the UK, this version of the 1980 song by Otis Clay turned the soul track into a pumping house tune. In many ways, though, Yazz's version is fairly faithful to the original - especially its exuberant feel. One thing the singer born Yasmin Evans did change was the line "for me and you now" to "for you and me now", which, despite being such a minor change, really stands out when you listen to the original. You can watch the music video for Yazz's version (complete with bicycle shorts) by following the link in the song title above. A Top Of The Pops performance is below.




Next week: a bonanza of breakers and new entries - by everyone from a notorious glamour model to two of the biggest rock groups in the world at the time.


Back to: Oct 2, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 16, 1988


5 comments:

  1. I like the mention of the cassingle for 'The Only Way Is Up' in the single of the week ad. I don't remember seeing cassingles in stores anywhere though until just after Xmas '88, when I saw a Kylie Mole 'So Excellent' one. Coincidentally, Yazz's 'Fine Time' was the first cassingle I bought, at $3.99. I remember the Festival records ones were a dollar cheaper at the time. I couldn't buy 7" singles as my parents' record player (which was never used by then) needed a new needle, and I also didn't actually know how to play records!

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    1. I didn't buy cassingles until 7" singles stopped being widely available. Then, I'd choose between CD single and cassingle depending on how much I liked the song and whether I could justify paying up to $7-8 for a CD single. Hard to believe they used to cost that much. Even most iTunes bundles are cheaper than that - and I wanted only one track on a CD single about 75% of the time.

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  2. did the brilliant 'GO 101' album o singles chart in the top 40?. I remember 'message' being played on the neighbours, despite not being a mushroom act.' jealous ' seems familiar too, did they sing it on 'hey hey it's Saturday'. I have 2 copies of cd .one is for sale for $99 . just saying.

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    1. Nothing by the band reached the national top 40. Build It Up was their biggest single. And, "Room For Love" and "Jealous Heart" both peaked at number 61 on the AMR. The Tempting Fate album got to number 73 on the ARIA chart in late 89.

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  3. cassingles meant non lp b-sides.eg. kylie Minogue.
    cd singles were 6 mixes/over 30 mnutes . eg. janet Jackson.

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