Thursday, 30 June 2016

25 Years Ago This Week: June 30, 1991

It's the oldest trick in the book - giving a song already readily available on an album a sprucing up for single release. Occasionally, a single remix is totally unnecessary and can do more harm than good, but for every song that should've been left alone, there are plenty more that benefit from being given a makeover.

I was shocked how different the single version of "Shocked" was

Twenty-five years ago this week, an artist known for her three-and-a-half minute pop gems released a single that in its album form was nearly five minutes and had a lengthy minute-and-a-half instrumental introduction. The 7" version not only cut the track right back but, thanks to some nifty remix work, completely transformed the song.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending June 30, 1991

This week in 1991, a track that transformed three songs into one medley was still on top of the ARIA singles chart. "The Grease Megamix" spent its fourth week at number 1.


Off The Chart
Number 99 "Smoke On The Water" by King Kurlee featuring Blackmore Jr
Peak: number 89
What hell is this? Well, as the title suggests, it's a rap track based around the classic guitar riff, which is played by Jürgen Blackmore, the son of Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore.

Number 97 "Hold It Up To The Mirror" by The Black Sorrows
Peak: number 97
The fourth and final track lifted from Harley & Rose sounds like a bit of an odd choice for a single, but it did manage to peak exactly where "Angel Street" did two singles earlier.

Number 96 "Quadrophonia" by Quadrophonia
Peak: number 73
In 1991, the UK chart was full of techno tracks with big keyboard riffs like this self-titled release by the Dutch/Belgian act (see also: T99, Altern8). For now, Australia wasn't interested.


Breaker
"Call It What You Want" by New Kids On The Block
Peak: number 57
Before we get to the top 50, here's a group who were making full use of producers and remixers David Cole and Robert Clivillés (aka C+C Music Factory) to turn their so-so album tracks into much improved single releases. While I wasn't that convinced by the ploy on previous single "Games", the remix of "Call It What You Want" (which had first appeared on Step By Step) managed to sound fresh and exciting, but still like something you'd expect from New Kids On The Block. Alas, NKOTB's star was seriously fading at this point and not even the fact that this was their best single since "Step By Step" (and featured a rap from Freedom Williams) was enough to give them another top 50 hit.




New Entries
Number 13 "Shocked" by Kylie Minogue featuring DNA
Peak: number 7
When I first heard "Shocked" was going to be the fourth single from Rhythm Of Love, I was... surprised. At nearly five minutes long and with that aforementioned lengthy intro, it didn't sound like a typical Kylie single. Little did I know that Pete Waterman was going to commission a remix by in-demand production team DNA and that their version of "Shocked" would become a fitting conclusion to arguably the most flawless run of singles from a pop album ever. 
Not only did the DNA remix (which was so substantial that they received a featuring credit) make the most of the track, but it incorporated a rap (from the otherwise unknown Jazzi P), an addition that was becoming de rigueur for pop songs at that point. The whole thing was topped off by the obligatory sexy music video - a package so perfect that "Shocked" actually improved on the chart peak of "What Do I Have To Do" (which shouldn't have been remixed for its single release) to return Kylie to the top 10 for the ninth time.




Number 11 "Hot Chilli Woman" by Noiseworks
Peak: number 7
Also returning to the top 10 was local band Noiseworks, who finally found a single that really connected with the public after chart disappointments "Freedom" and "Miles And Miles", which should really have done better given they weren't yet available on an album. Then again, as I've often remarked, Noiseworks weren't really a band that had a lot of hit singles and tended to do better on the albums chart. Indeed, "Hot Chilli Woman" became only their third single (of 12 up until that point) to venture into the top half of the top 50. I can see the appeal of "Hot Chilli Woman" with its "yeah, yeah" hook, bluesy rock sound and Jon Stevens strutting around in the music video like a (sweaty) rock god, but it was one of my least favourite singles by the band. Still, it performed well enough for their third album, Love Versus Money, to finally be released - and top the albums chart.




Next week: a song with one of the most quotable raps of the year debuts, a new jack swing classic sexes up the chart and a quintessentially '80s band finds the '90s a little tougher going.


Back to: Jun 23, 1991 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jul 7, 1991


1 comment:

  1. That King Kurlee video you've embedded is no longer; it's saying the account associated with it has been terminated. But I found another video on youtube. Never heard, or heard of, it before. How strange that it charted here.

    I didn't know the Black Sorrows track either; I guess radio (surprisingly for them) didn't playlist it.

    'Quadrophonia' was like a pre-2 Unlimited 2 Unlimited.

    I definitely wasn't a NKOTB fan by this point, but 'Call It What You Want' was decent, for them. I always thought Freedom Williams must have been paid a lot of money to appear on this version of the track, as it surely would have killed any rap 'credibility' he had.

    I was pleasantly surprised that 'Shocked' made the top 10 here, given 'What Do I Have To Do's underperformance. I always thought that pink dress she wears in the video looked like an offcast of Ossie Ostrich though.

    Typical of Australia for the time to make 'Hot Chilli Woman' a hit, but the previous two, better singles relative flops.

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