Tuesday, 6 October 2015

30 Years Ago This Week: October 6, 1985

There are certain songs that have been covered to death. Songs like "Yesterday", "Unchained Melody" and "Over The Rainbow". I always wonder why anyone would choose to record a new version of a tune so many other people have had a go at before.

Three cover versions of this song were released in 1984/85

Thirty years ago this week, the highest new entry on the ARIA single chart was one of those songs. In fact, the single which arrived on the chart came less than a year after the world's biggest superstar included her own version of the track on her latest album.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending October 6, 1985

At number 1 this week in 1985, "The Power Of Love" by Huey Lewis & The News held down the top spot, although another song that's been remade a bunch of times was closing in on it.


Off The Chart
Number 96 "Josephine" by Chris Rea
Peak: number 79
Despite its lowly chart position here and in the UK, this second single from Shamrock Diaries is one of Chris's best known tracks - either in this original form or the 1987 dance remix


New Entries
Number 47 "You Got Me Going Again" by Machinations
Peak: number 39
Single number three from the Big Music album - and, unlike previous release "My Heart's On Fire", this is a Machinations single I actually remember (and like), despite it being a smaller hit. Still, a top 40 placing is more than was achieved by the follow-up, "Execution Of Love", which didn't even make the top 100 (and probably didn't deserve to). Machinations would return to the top 50 in exactly two years when they'd stop this nonsense of alternating between one good single and one dud single, and release four good songs in a row.




Number 41 "Pleasure & Pain" by Divinyls
Peak: number 11
Before the 1990s, if there was one song most associated with Divinyls, it would have to be this single - but it's actually one the band didn't write themselves. Penned by the songwriting team behind "Love Is A Battlefield", "Pleasure & Pain" put Divinyls back at the forefront of Australian rock after a couple of years of seemingly being lost in the wilderness. Following their opening salvo of "Boys In Town" (number 8 in 1981) and "Science Fiction" (number 13 in 1983), none of their singles had peaked higher than number 32 and their second album, What A Life!, was proving difficult to complete. After a couple of aborted recording sessions with two previous producers, the album was finished in 1985 with Mike Chapman, who'd co-written "Pleasure & Pain". That track was issued as the album's fourth single (since three earlier singles remained on the tracklisting), while its video featuring Chrissy Amphlett writhing on a metal grate in a sailor's outfit and miniskirt combo became the band's defining visual image.




Number 40 "Endless Road" by Time Bandits
Peak: number 5
Why does a music video for a Dutch synthpop band feature scenes of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Big Pineapple and band members walking through cane fields? Because outside Europe, Time Bandits found great success on the other side of the world with their (slightly renamed) single "I Am Only Shooting Love", which reached number 9 in Australia and topped the New Zealand chart. Making good use of their time down under, the band shot the clip for "Endless Road" while they were here - I assume they were on a promotional visit - something that's been done by numerous acts in the decades since. The lead single from their second, third or fourth album (depending how you count), "Endless Road" made up for the poor performance of previous single "Listen To The Man With The Golden Voice" by returning Time Bandits to the top 10 for the second and final time.




Number 37 "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" by I'm Talking
Peak: number 21
Here's the cover version I was talking about at the start of this post - an update of Rose Royce's 1978 single by the Australian funk group known for performing dance tracks rather than ballads. Of course, "Love Don't Live Here Anymore" also featured on Madonna's Like A Virgin album, but since it didn't appear like she was going to release her version as a single (and wouldn't for another decade), I'm Talking didn't have a conflict on their hands - although it would've been interesting to see how that would've gone. 
It was actually a genius move to cover a song that appealed to people who remembered the original as well as younger music fans who were familiar with it from Like A Virgin. And Kate Ceberano's vocals were certainly stronger than Madonna's. As a result, it became I'm Talking's third top 30 hit - and a slight chart improvement on "Lead The Way". For me, it was my least favourite I'm Talking single - purely because I've never been a fan of the song, which has also been recorded by Jimmy Nail (a number 3 hit in the UK in 1985), Double Trouble and Faith Evans & Mary J Blige over the years.




Next week: seven new entries and every one of them a song I love. Included among the deluge are Madonna's fifth single for the year, the best single by The Cure, another classic soundtrack hit and a song the cool kids at my school used to sing to a teacher whose first name was John - although not usually when they were sorry.


Back to: Sep 29, 1985 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 13, 1985


3 comments:

  1. Something strange on this week's chart. Move Closer #1 in the most populous state but not even top 20 nationally.
    The national #1 is only top in one state - Tasmania.

    BTW, I have to defend Machinations' My Heart's On Fire. I know you don't like it but it's one of my favourites of theirs.

    Andrew

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    1. Oh yes, I meant to make mention of Move Closer being number 1 in NSW but forgot! The Power Of Love was lucky to get a second week at the top.

      Re Machinations - a few people have commented that they don't share my disdain for that track. it obviously was popular enough to get to the top 30!

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  2. I don't think I knew 'Josephine'. It sounds a bit Paul Young-ish vocally.

    I didn't know the Machinations track. Surprised to see the video ripped from a US promo series.

    'Pleasure and Pain' was quite a naughty song in a subtle way, and I think it deserved to be their their big international hit more than 'I Touch Myself'.

    'Endless Road' is a song I had completely forgotten about until it aired on a repeat Countdown episode during rage retro month a few years back.

    I wouldn't have known I'm Talking's 'Love Don't Live Here Anymore' if not for rage airing it as a random video just before the top 50 one week in 1989 or 1990. Nice shots of the staircase in the video.

    The state charts certainly were very varied at this point in time. It now makes sense when Molly Meldrum or Gavin Wood would say things like 'it's doing the business in Perth' when showing the chart on Countdown. I guess radio stations weren't part of a national network as much back then, and Countdown may have been the only real 'national' exposure charting singles received.

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