Thursday, 4 August 2016

25 Years Ago This Week: August 4, 1991

A few weeks back, we saw on my 30 Years Ago... post how Kids In The Kitchen struggled with their second album. Twenty-five years ago this week, another Australian artist released their follow-up to a smash hit album and found it not as smooth sailing second time around.

Think About It! was nowhere near as successful an album as Brave

I couldn't understand why the singer's records were suddenly not doing so well since there was no discernible dip in quality. Worse still, following the album's failure to connect in the same way as the first, the performer subsequently moved away from the sound that'd made them a star in the first place. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending August 4, 1991

There was no moving Bryan Adams from the number 1 spot this week in 1991 - and there wouldn't be for some time. "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" spent its second week on top nationally and held down the number 1 spot on each of the state charts for the first time as well.


Off The Chart
Number 100 "See The Lights" by Simple Minds
Peak: number 100
"Let There Be Love" had reached the top 20 back in May, but the second single from Real Life only just made the top 100. "See The Lights" did, however, return them to the US top 40 for the first time since 1986. 

Number 95 "Soul Free" by George Michael
Peak: number 95
Australia was one of the only countries to go with this single from Listen Without Prejudice Vol 1. The lack of even a basic music video (as well as it being the album's fourth release) didn't help its prospects.


Breaker
"The Recession Rap" by Rubbery Figures
Peak: number 60
We'd had novelty singles from cast members of The Comedy Company (Kylie Mole, Con The Fruiterer) and The D-Generation, so it was only a matter of time until there was a comedy record associated with Channel 7's Fast Forward. In fact, as we'll see in coming weeks, there'd be a couple of them in quick succession - but neither made the top 50. And surprisingly, neither involved Gina Riley, whose music video parodies had become a staple of the sketch comedy show. Instead, we got "The Recession Rap" from the Spitting Image-style Rubbery Figures, who'd been on TV on one channel or another since 1984. A political satire in the form of a "rap" by puppet versions of Peter Harvey, Bob Hawke, Andrew Peacock, Paul Keating and the like, the track was about the economic recession "we had to have". Hardly chart-busting material and a lowly number 60 placement as a result.




New Entries
Number 48 "Love Is Enough" by Jimmy Barnes
Peak: number 48
Just when it had looked like Jimmy Banes's Two Fires album had reached its natural conclusion, fourth single "When Your Love Is Gone" had only gone and been a top 10 hit, pushing the album right back up the chart for another week at number 1. It was only natural to milk one last track from the album, even if this fifth single's chart placement established the project had finally run out of juice. A fairly generic pop/rock track, "Love Is Enough" at least managed to keep Jimmy's run of top 50 hits intact. Up until this point, he'd only ever missed the printed chart once - and that was with his second single, back in 1984.




Number 46 "Love Gets Rough" by Troy Newman
Peak: number 22
More homegrown pop/rock now - and a song I haven't thought about probably since 1991. "Love Gets Rough" was the debut release for Perth singer Troy Newman, who'd previously performed on a minor top 100 entry from the soundtrack to Bad Boy Johnny & The Prophets Of Doom. Troy recorded his first album, Gypsy Moon, in America - and it shows, with the song and its music video having that polished sheen you'd expect from something that had a decent amount of money thrown at it. With its big chorus and made-for-road trip (in a convertible, of course) feel, the song had FM radio appeal and even sneaked into the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately for Troy, it would be his only appearance on the ARIA top 50 or the US chart. What I wasn't aware of until now was that Troy passed away in 1997 in mysterious circumstances.




Number 40 "Every Little Thing" by Kate Ceberano
Peak: number 34
On paper, Kate Ceberano's return with her second pop album had no reason to fail. Think About It! maintained the dance/funk feel of her years with I'm Talking (with whom she'd notched up three top 10 hits) and first solo album Brave (a multi-platinum number 2 success). Many of the same writers and producers who'd worked on Brave were back on board, with first single "Every Little Thing" written and produced by Ashley Cadell, who'd contributed to "Love Dimension" and "That's What I Call Love". And, it was a good song - which is the most important thing. For me, "Every Little Thing" was Kate's best single since "Bedroom Eyes". The record-buying public didn't seem to agree. As we'll see in coming months, further singles and Think About It! itself didn't do much better, and she subsequently abandoned the pop/dance genre, which is a shame since it suited her so well.




Next week: eight new entries, including a chart hit from a future I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here contestant, some Aussie hip-hop and a one-hit wonder's excruciating power ballad.


Back to: Jul 28, 1991 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Aug 11, 1991


3 comments:

  1. I think by this point George had no control of what singles were being released so he opted out & wanted his artistic freedom. There was quite a bit of tension rising between him & his record company so after Too Funky he decided he didn't want to release anymore music under Sony. Shame things went down & lack of promotion cause I liked lot of the songs from LWP including Soul Free

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  2. 'See the Lights' is one of my favourite Simples Minds tracks, so it's disappointing it flopped so badly here.

    Never heard 'Soul Free' before. It doesn't exactly scream 'single'.

    I only heard 'The Recession Rap' once, during its sole airing in the rage top 60. Your comment makes me think a single by a certain duo (which I don't think I've heard before) is coming up.

    A girl in my ceramics class at school had a huge crush on Troy Newman, and made a ceramic love heart with 'Troy' written inside of it. There was also a Troy in the class. She forgot to put her initials on the back of it, and the teacher, not knowing whose work it was, asked Troy if it was his (on a day that she wasn't there) after it had been through the kiln. Still makes me laugh... I read somewhere online a few years ago that Troy Newman had died, which was quite shocking.

    I liked 'Every Little Thing' too; probably more than most of her previous singles, and thought it would have done better. Who knows why the public seemed to go cold on her.

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  3. I agree that there was no dip in quality with Kate Ceberano's new material. 'Every Little Thing' and the next two singles we will get to in future posts are great pop songs, and it's a shame that it would prompt a change in musical direction, at least for most of the nineties.

    I was saddened to hear about Troy Newman's death too, he was quite good and probably deserved to do better. I like his three charting singles.

    Great song from Simple Minds.

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