|Six years later, this 1983 top 10 hit almost hit the chart again|
A quick look at today's singles chart shows 14 songs by duos or groups in the top 50 (three by 5 Seconds Of Summer). What about on the top 50 from 25 years ago this week? No less than 21 entries were by groups in 1989. So I wasn't just imagining it. Of the seven groups we'll discuss, I liked four and hated three - in that order.
|ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending July 30, 1989|
Groups also held down the top two positions on the top 50 this week in 1989 - Roxette spent a fifth week at number 1 with "The Look", while New Kids On The Block closed in with "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" moving into the runners-up position.
Single of the week
"Kick It In" by Simple Minds
Peak: number 94
After two serious - and kind of dreary - singles, Simple Minds chose a piece of stadium rock for the third release from Street Fighting Years. Given its peak position and the fact that the Scottish band had moved away from the sound I'd enjoyed earlier in the decade, I didn't pay any attention to "Kick It In" at the time - and listening to it now, it's still not a patch on earlier tracks like "Sanctify Yourself", "Alive And Kicking" and, of course, "Don't You (Forget About Me)". But, it's better than "Belfast Child".
"Sweet Guy" by Paul Kelly & The Messengers
Peak: number 53
With the more politically correct name of his backing band (formerly The Coloured Girls) now also used in Australia, Paul Kelly surprisingly missed the top 50 with this first taste of his So Much Water So Close To Home album. It was especially unusual since, although Paul wasn't necessarily a singles act, the lead singles of his previous two albums had both managed a top 15 placement - and "Sweet Guy" was almost as good as "Before Too Long" and "To Her Door". As it turned out, So Much Water... became Paul's highest charting album up until that point - and the first to crack the top 10.
"Send Me An Angel '89" by Real Life
Peak: number 51
Originally released in 1983, when it peaked at number 6 in Australia, "Send Me An Angel" is one of those songs that has been resurrected time and time again for one reason or another. In 1989, the reason was to promote a greatest hits album that was compiled despite the fact Real Life had only released two-and-a-half studio albums. A new video was filmed for Australia (which you can watch below), while in the States, a version of the original clip with departed band member Richard Zatorski edited out was used. Here, "Send Me An Angel '89" holds the dubious honour of spending three weeks at number 51, but in America, the remix actually improved slightly on the performance of the original, peaking three places higher at number 26.
Number 50 "Come Home With My Baby" by Dead Or Alive
Peak: number 45
Dead Or Alive really weren't having much luck at this point of their career, but their pitiful Australian chart positions were actually higher than back home in the UK, where "Come Home With Me Baby" became their fourth single in a row to peak outside the top 60. I was still a fan of the group and actually thought this single was their best since mega-hit "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)", but it would be the final time we'd see them on the ARIA top 50 with a new track.
Number 41 "Second Chance" by 38 Special
Peak: number 14
Onto the bands I wasn't a fan of... This lot had been around since the mid-70s and landing Billboard Hot 100 hits since 1980, but this MOR rock ballad was their first single to chart in Australia. "Second Chance" was also their biggest US single - their only top 10 entry - and only ended up being recorded after original lead singer Don Barnes left the group, since he'd turned his nose up at an early version of the song years before. Since Don rejoined the group in the early '90s and 38 Special haven't scored any hits since but are still around today, I wonder how he feels about having to sing it now.
Number 38 "The Doctor" by The Doobie Brothers
Peak: number 38
Here's another relic from the '70s, but in this case, it was a band that'd charted in Australia before - although classics like "Listen To The Music" (number 50) and "Long Train Runnin'" (number 58) failed to match their US success here. The Doobie Brothers' two American number 1s, "Black Water" (number 22) and "What A Fool Believes" (number 12), did perform better in Australia and so there would have been a number of fans eagerly awaiting the band's first studio album since 1980's One Step Closer and this lead single. Clearly that number wasn't very high since both "The Doctor" (which to my ears sounded quite dated even at the time) and Cycles only just dented the ARIA top 50.
Number 32 "Lookin' For Love" by Johnny Diesel & The Injectors
Peak: number 28
He'd started off telling us he "Don't Need Love", but things had changed by the time this fourth single came around. Something else that was different with "Lookin' For Love" was that it became the band's first single to miss the top 10 - and it did so by some considerable margin. Still, Johnny and co. did have a hit album on their hands, so it was only to be expected that their singles would run out of steam. That didn't stop the record company releasing a fifth single from Johnny Diesel & The Injectors - but the band's cover of blues standard "Since I Fell For You" didn't even make the top 50 when it was released later in the year.
Next week: 1989's most frequently used riff shows up in yet another new entry, while 1988's hottest teen sensations return (down a member). Before that, I'll conclude my countdown of my top 100 from 2006 - I'm halfway through, but you can catch up here and here.
Back to: Jul 23, 1989 <<<<<<<<<<<<< GO >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 6, 1989