Thursday, 2 February 2017

25 Years Ago This Week: February 2, 1992

Back in the '80s, I'd assumed collaborations happened because the artists were friends and wanted to record together. They'd get together in the studio, then work out what they wanted to do in the music video for their song. Little did I know how it really worked a lot of the time.

If you were with me now... we might've met before the video shoot

Twenty-five years ago this week, a duet that was pretty much the opposite of how I imagined things to be debuted on the ARIA singles top 50. For one of the singers involved, it was a very different situation than the last time she'd had a ballad duet on the chart.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending February 2, 1992

For a second time, the number 1 single in Australia this week in 1992 was "Let's Talk About Sex" by Salt 'n' Pepa. Right behind, Prince & The New Power Generation spent their fourth and final week at number 2 with "Cream"


Off The Chart
Number 95 "Top Of The Pops" by The Smithereens
Peak: number 77
The first single in five years by the American rock band to reach the top 100 would probably have done better towards the end of the decade when similar sounding songs by Smash Mouth and Sugar Ray were huge.


New Entries
Number 48 "Peace" by Sabrina Johnston
Peak: number 24
The summer of '91-'92 was a great time for club tracks with wailing female vocals crossing over into the mainstream. Rozalla and Euphoria were already up towards the top of the chart, and finally joining them this week were two more dance tunes that made my year-end top 40 for 1991. First up, it's feel-good anthem "Peace", which had popped into the ARIA top 100 for a week in mid-July 1991. Following its UK top 10 success, the biggest single by American singer Sabrina Johnston was given a renewed push locally. For some reason, the ARIA chart gave the song the title "Peace (Brothers In Rhythm)", but BIR were actually the remixers behind the main single version and the song was just called "Peace". Incidentally, the track did have a subtitle in the US, where it was known as "Peace (In The Valley)".




Number 46 "If You Go Away" by New Kids On The Block
Peak: number 26
Given the fact New Kids On The Block had only been successful in Australia for a couple of years, their Australian record company shied away from releasing their American best of collection, H.I.T.S.locally. Instead, the boy band's 11 chart entries to date (and a few remixes) were packaged together as Tour Souvenir Collection. Included on both the US and Australian compilations was a new song, ballad "If You Go Away". Co-written and produced by Mariah Carey collaborator Walter Afanasieff (and with Mariah's future duet partner Trey Lorenz also a co-writer), the song gave the guys their biggest Australian and US hit since "Tonight", but still fell some way short of the peak of their biggest ballad, "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)"




Number 41 "If You Were With Me Now (with Keith Washington) / I Guess I Like It Like That" by Kylie Minogue
Peak: number 23
Up until this point, "Tears On My Pillow" had been Kylie Minogue lowest-charting single in Australia. And so it's understandable that, with another ballad slated for release, her Australian record company hedged their bets and promoted B-side "I Guess I Like It Like That" to double A-side status. As of next week, the 2 Unlimited-sampling dance track was also listed on the chart alongside "If You Were With Me Now".
Kylie had done well with one of her previous ballads, "Especially For You" - and it'd been a duet too, but it came about under very different circumstances. Instead of singing with her boyfriend, Kylie performed alongside relatively unknown US soul singer Keith Washington on "If You Were With Me Now". And when I say "alongside", I mean they both recorded their parts separately and didn't meet until it was time to shoot the music video - and then didn't appear in a single scene together.
Keith had reached the US top 40 in 1991 with his track "Kissing You" and it was hoped this single would help break him in the UK. Similarly, Kylie hadn't registered on the American chart since early 1989 when "It's No Secret" reached number 37 and this duet was clearly designed to remedy that. Despite all the behind-the-scenes planning, neither of those things ended up happening. 
"If You Were With Me Now" did reach the UK top 5 - a turnaround for Kylie after the career-low (at the time) peak of "Word Is Out" there - but Keith didn't go on to have any further UK chart success. And Kylie would have to wait until 2002 for her next US hit. In Australia, even with the help of "I Guess...", the single didn't generate the usual amount of enthusiasm from Australian fans and Kylie now had a new chart low here.




Number 38 "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" by Jimmy Barnes
Peak: number 28
After releasing covers of two soul songs I wasn't familiar with, Jimmy Barnes's third single from Soul Deep was a remake of a track most people would've heard previously since it'd already been recorded on at least three different occasions. First up, there was the Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell version, which surprisingly only reached number 63 in Australia in 1967. Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations recorded their own version of the Ashford & Simpson-penned tune the following year for a collaborative album. Then, in 1970, Diana Ross released a new version as her second solo single, which peaked at number 25 locally and topped the US chart. I'd rather listen to any of those previous versions than hear Jimmy Barnes scream his way through it ever again.




Number 25 "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" by Clivill├ęs & Cole
Peak: number 12
The week's highest new entry was a cover version I was happy with - and it's the second club track with wailing female vocals I mentioned when I talked about "Peace". It was also the latest release from the C+C in C+C Music Factory. With the Gonna Make You Sweat album exhausted of singles, producers Robert Clivill├ęs and David Cole put out Greatest Remixes Vol. 1, a compilation that also featured some of their work for other acts like girl group Seduction and US chart-toppers Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam. Included on the album was the duo's dance remake of U2's "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" - a cover version that was every bit as radical as Pet Shop Boys' take on "Where The Streets Have No Name". With its techno synths and diva vocals from Deborah Cooper (the male vocals were provided by Paul Pesco), this spin on "Pride..." horrified U2 purists and delighted me.




Next week: two new singles by the biggest male artist in the world - one, a remix of an existing hit and the other, the follow-up. Plus, the biggest hit by one of the biggest male singers in Australia.


Back to: Jan 26, 1992 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 9, 1992


5 comments:

  1. 'Peace' seemed to come out of nowhere when it finally re-entered the chart in early '92. In contrast, I saw the video probably twice on 'Power Cuts' when it was first out in mid '91.

    I remember thinking it odd that NKOTB waited until early '92, or thereabouts, to tour Australia, when their time was pretty much over by this point.

    The Kylie duet was a more 'mature' sound for her, but had too-prominent and distracting backing vocals on the chorus and lead-in for my liking. If I remember correctly, Kylie has a co-writing credit on 'I Guess...', despite it having no more lyrics than the title and a few "woah"s, and ripping the 2 Unlimited song off completely. Which part is she meant to have co-written exactly? When scouring through some ARIA Reports recently, I was most surprised to see that Keith had a pre-duet single, "Kissing You", and an album, "Make Time for Love", released locally in June 1991. I was under the impression that their parts in the video had been filmed separately, too, and that they never actually met.

    The Jimmy Barnes cover was truly dire.

    'Pride...' was OK, but I much preferred the dance music coming out of Europe at this time.

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  2. Hi Gavin. I just discovered your blog a few days ago, and thoroughly enjoy reading all the chart facts you've been writing about. I'm from Australia, so all the chart info is relevant to me, and I'm 38, so the years you've been covering (late '80s/early 90s) was among the heyday of my music listening.

    It's been entertaining to hear some of the chart-related stories behind the songs that were prominent at that time. Like your regular reader/commentor Nathan I am also a fan of music videos from that era and have several VHS tapes full of them, but unlike Nathan I have been unable to get them into digital format. One day maybe.

    I also saved lots of printed ARIA charts, but unlike you I have only a few from 1990 and 1991, so it's been good to see some examples from the '80s that you've posted before.

    Look forward to reading more on this excellent blog!
    Pete

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    1. Pete, not sure if you'll see this, but I'd be happy to digitise some of your music video tapes, esp. if they have any rare late 80s/early 90s videos on them. If you use Facebook I have a link on my YouTube channel pages (same username as this but with a number at the end, e.g. ohnoitisnathan77) if you want to message me & we can work something out.

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    2. Thanks for reading, Pete! Always great when people stumble onto my blog!

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  3. Here's the different layout Vic/Tas national chart from this week in '92 - http://i.imgur.com/RJQs0P3.jpg

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