Wednesday, 1 April 2015

25 Years Ago This Week: April 1, 1990

Unlike today, when albums sales are perilously low, back in 1990, the album was all-important - and artists would often keep an album alive over a number of years as they milked it for singles. And this was before the days of deluxe editions and revamped tracklistings, so the 10 or 12 songs on the album were all an artist had to play with.

Waste not, want not - Janet Jackson made good use of her albums

Twenty-five years ago this week, the latest single from a female singer who really got her money's worth out of album debuted on the ARIA top 50. In fact, quite a few of the songs we'll recap this week came from albums that yielded a large number of singles.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending April 1, 1990

Enjoying a large number of weeks at number 1 was Sinéad O'Connor, whose mega-hit "Nothing Compares 2 U" was on top for a sixth time this week in 1990.


Off The Chart
Number 87 "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
Peak: number 85
Before moving on to their second album, the folky band released this cover of the 1963 Bob Dylan single, recorded for the soundtrack to Born On The Fourth Of July

Number 83 "I Build This Garden For Us" by Lenny Kravitz
Peak: number 83
It had the same retro feel as "Let Love Rule", but this follow-up peaked where it debuted. Despite releasing five singles from his debut album, Lenny would have to wait until album number two for another hit.


Single Of The Week
"Live Together" by Lisa Stansfield
Peak: number 62
Another artist who had to wait until her second album to return to the top 50 was the singer behind top 10 hit "All Around The World". "Live Together" was one of four other singles from Lisa's Affection album - although not every single was released in every part of the world, with the US opting instead for "You Can't Deny It" to follow "All Around The World". Substantially edited from the album version, "Live Together" was a decent enough single choice but not as good as a re-release of Lisa's debut solo single, "This Is The Right Time", would have been.




Breaker
"Rock Wit'cha" by Bobby Brown
Peak: number 57
Like Lisa, Bobby released five singles from his Don't Be Cruel album - which only contained nine full-length tracks - while a sixth single, "Every Little Hit Mix", was a megamix of songs from the LP. Also like Lisa, Bobby might have been better off going with a re-release of previous Australian flop "Don't Be Cruel" than taking his chances with this quiet storm ballad. In the US, Bobby was unstoppable, with "Rock Wit'cha" becoming his sixth consecutive top 10 hit - a tally which included soundtrack release "On Our Own".




New Entries
Number 50 "C'mon And Get My Love" by D Mob introducing Cathy Dennis
Peak: number 35
Acid house had pretty much passed Australia by, which meant that D Mob's "We Call It Acieeed", a number 3 hit in the UK, made zero impact locally. By late 1989, the dance project for Daniel Poku (aka Dancin' Danny D) had shifted gears into more of a straightforward dance/pop sound and "C'mon And Get My Love" was the first of three collaborations with redhead singer and future songwriting superstar Cathy Dennis. After being introduced to the world by D Mob, Cathy launched an eventually successful solo career and "C'mon And Get My Love" would be one of five singles included on her debut album, Move To This




Number 45 "Price Of Love" by Bad English
Peak: number 44
Even though I didn't love it, I could see the appeal of "When I See You Smile", but this overblown follow-up, which was written by band members John Waite and Jonathan Cain instead of Diane Warren, seemed to lack a killer power ballad hook. That didn't stop Bad English's American fans lapping it up, with "Price Of Love" going to number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, but Australia got this one pretty much right.




Number 44 "Escapade" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 25
Here she is, the queen of bleeding albums dry with the third of what would be eight singles from Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 - an album that, interludes aside, only had 12 tracks. For me, "Escapade" was not only the best single from the album but is Janet's best single of all time. A respite from the heavier sound of the album's first two singles, "Escapade" is pure joy and was to Rhythm Nation what "When I Think Of You" was to Control. "Escapade" even had a similar street party-themed video, which made for a welcome change from the black and white clips of "Miss You Much" and "Rhythm Nation" - they were great, but it was time for something different. Unfortunately, "Escapade" was only a minor hit in Australia, but it was the second of four number 1s from the album in the States.




Number 37 "Dancing In The Storm / Mountain Of Strength" by Boom Crash Opera
Peak: number 21
Australian pop/rock band Boom Crash Opera were in the process of mining their current album for singles with this double-A side release featuring the fourth and fifth tracks (of six in total) to be lifted from These Here Are Crazy Times. Although the single was theoretically a double A-side, only "Dancing In The Storm" was listed on the ARIA chart and had a video made for it, meaning "Mountain Of Strength" was somewhat overlooked. Whether people were buying it for one song or two, the release restored BCO to the top 30 after pre-Christmas single "The Best Thing" had surprisingly tanked at number 67.




Number 35 "Metropolis" by The Church
Peak: number 19
After years of just missing the top 20, this lead single from The Church's sixth album, Gold Afternoon Fix, managed what "Almost With You" and even "Under The Milky Way" couldn't - and by peaking at number 19, it became the band's highest charting single in Australia. Although that career high as well as recent interest in the band from the US should have put the band in a good mood, they were cracking under the pressure of their new-found international acclaim and, as a result, long-time drummer Richard Ploog parted ways with The Church during this period. As it turned out, "Metropolis" (which to me sounds like a long-lost Psychedelic Furs song) would be the last single by The Church to make the ARIA top 50.




Next week: a new project from the singer of one of the '80s biggest bands (especially in terms of CD sales), a remake of a classic song from 1972 and the breakthrough single by the latest American hair metal band.


Back to: Mar 25, 1990 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Apr 8, 1990


1 comment:

  1. I liked Edie Brickell but never heard this song until last year. Quite strange that it charted.

    I thought for years that the Lenny Kravitz song was 'I BUILT this garden for us'. 'I Build...' doesn't make as much sense to me. I'm trying to figure out what the other 3 singles (excluding 'Let Love Rule') were from this album. I know 'Mr Cab Driver'; discogs has 'Does Anybody Out There Even Care' (a European single) and a US promo 12" for 'Freedom Train'. I remember rage airing a video for 'Be', from the same album, but can't see a release for it anywhere (though it's listed on his wikipedia discography as a 'single').

    I bought the Lisa Stansfield album, but never cared too much for 'Live Together' (album or single version). I agree, they should've 're-released 'This Is the Right Time' in Australia. I think they re-released Coldcut's 'People Hold On' here in mid 1990, though it peaked in 1989 at #78 (from a 1997 ARIA Chartifacts column)

    The Bobby Brown ballad is a bit cringe-worthy, and would have been better if done by a vocal group like Silk.

    The D Mob track was something different on the charts for Australia at the time.

    I liked the Janet track, but remember Turbo B from Snap! reviewing it in Number One and saying it was 'incredibly safe', which I tend to agree with. Still, I much prefer 'safe' and covered-up Janet than trying-to-be-sexy Janet. The lead up to the chorus is great, and better than the chorus itself, I think. I remember reading a fan's speculation that she left A&M Records when her contract was up after this album for Virgin, because A&M were hopeless at marketing her outside Northern American (hence the stalling between 15 and 25 singles from this album in the UK vs. the 7 top 5's in the US).

    The Boom Crash Opera track was probably one of their best, I thought, though another track where I think the verses are better than the chorus, though the chorus is still decent. I never knew it was a double A-side until now. I assumed I didn't know the AA track, but the chorus rings a bell. Radio must have given it a few spins.

    'Metropolis' was a bit boring, but OK music for a rainy Sunday afternoon drive out to the countryside or just doing the ironing.

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