Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Best Of 1991 - part 4

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


In 1991, I made my first visit to Europe - going to France and Germany as part of a school trip. Naturally, I went to as many record stores as I could along the way, particularly the Virgin Megastore on the Champs-Élysées, which was way bigger than any music shop we had in Australia.

A decade later she'd co-write Kylie's biggest hit, but in 1991,
Cathy Dennis competed on the charts with her

There are quite a few songs in my top 25 for 1991 that I picked up on that trip, as well as four entries by Kylie Minogue, who released two more singles from Rhythm Of Love and the first two singles from her final PWL studio album, Let's Get To It, in the one calendar year.

Her first single for the year, "What Do I Have To Do", came out in January and quickly established itself as not only my favourite song for 1991, but also for all time. Since I've written about Kylie's best singles elsewhere, that's all I'm going to say about her in this post. Here's the rest of my top 25...


Number 25 "My Heart Is Failing Me" by Riff
You couldn't swing a cat in the '90s without hitting an R&B vocal harmony group. Like After 7 and Boyz II Men, quartet Riff got in on the act quite early - this debut single made the US top 30 in May, 1991 - but they never really capitalised on that initial success there. However, a year later, the band hit the Australian top 10 with the title track from basketball film White Men Can't Jump.




Number 24 "Thinking About Your Love" by Kenny Thomas
This was far and away the biggest single by the British soul singer and, as was constantly mentioned at the time, former boxer. Besides this track, Kenny also remade a couple of 80s soul tracks: The Gap Band's "Outstanding" and Force MD's "Tender Love". He never caught on in Australia, unfortunately.




Number 23 "Forget Me Nots" by Tongue 'n' Cheek
Another British R&B act, Tongue 'n' Cheek finally started crossing over from the clubs to the UK top 40 in 1990 with "Tomorrow" and "Nobody", but this cover of the Patrice Rushen song from 1982 would end up being the trio's final single (and only reach number 26). Revamped from the album version by remixers du jour DNA, the single version had a driving beat - and I'll always remember listening to it on my walkman one day after school when one of the cool kids wanted to hear what I was playing and didn't really know what to say when I gave him a listen. Probably disappointed it wasn't Nirvana.




Number 22 "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)" by Rozalla
Good songs never die - and that's especially true of this global smash, which has been remixed and re-released pretty much every few years since 1991. Rozalla actually had a few other UK hits besides this one - "Faith (In The Power Of Love", "Are You Ready To Fly" and "I Love Music" - but in Australia this was the Zambian singer's only top 50 entry... on three separate occasions. When it was first released in 1991, it reached number 11, then, after being used in an ad for Coca-Cola in 1992, it bounced back to number 45. Its highest position came, though, in 2009 when the Global Deejays remix made number 7 after being used in promos for So You Think You Can Dance Australia.




Number 21 "Word Is Out" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here

Number 20 "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" by Clivillés & Cole
The songwriting and production partnership of Robert Clivillés and David Cole had an incredibly fruitful year in 1991. As C+C Music Factory, they stormed charts around the world with "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" (number 26 on this list), "Things That Make You Go Hmmm..." (number 122) and "Here We Go (Let's Rock & Roll)" - all with a little help from rapper Freedom Williams and singer Martha Wash (although Zelma Davis appeared in the music videos). Under their own names, they released this dance remake of the U2 classic, one of two revolutionary revamps of the Irish supergroup's music in this top 25. The CD single for "Pride", which I bought from Virgin Paris, was backed by "A Deeper Love", which would end up being remade a few years later by Aretha Franklin.




Number 19 "I Believe" by EMF
"Unbelievable" was the song that put them on the world stage in 1990 and would be their biggest hit, but I preferred this follow-up from the band who came from somewhere called Forest Of Dean, which I always thought sounded like it was out of Robin Hood. EMF officially stood for Epson Mad Funkers, although I remember Ecstacy Mother F***ers being another suggestion made at the time. Their debut album, Schubert Dip, was one of my favourites for the year and yielded two other singles, "Lies" (number 112 on this list) and "Children". The band released two further albums and still play live from time to time, but I lost interest after 1991.




Number 18 "Promises" by Take That
While the likes of EMF and Jesus Jones were UK success stories there and in the US, five young men calling themselves Take That couldn't have a hit no matter how hard they tried. And, boy did they try. Their debut single, "Do What U Like" (number 58 on this list) infamously featured the leather clad boy band having jelly smeared on their bodies by mop-wielding models - but the song tanked at number 82 in the UK. Signing to a bigger record label, RCA, helped and this second single cracked the UK top 40 - but stalled at number 38. We all know that things would change in 1992 and Take That would go on to become Britain's most enduring and best loved boy band - but I was a fan from the start. Yep, it was the jelly.




Number 17 "Touch Me (All Night Long)" by Cathy Dennis
Mentioned below

Number 16 "Never Stop" by Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport
In Part 2, we saw one of 1991's big acid jazz groups, Incognito. The other was Brand New Heavies - and although they weren't scaling the chart heights that Incognito were, they were making a name for themselves with vocalist N'Dea on board. This was another song I bought on CD single from Virgin Paris and BNH are a band I've followed to this day (through several vocalist changes) - even catching a gig in Sydney a couple of years ago with N'Dea back on board.




Number 15 "Mysterious Ways" by U2
Well, this was a surprise to me. I'd hated most of what U2 had released in the second half of the '80s - too worthy, too earnest. But, in 1991, they threw the world a curve ball with "The Fly" and the Achtung Baby album - and I was intrigued. Whereas "The Fly" was a repositioning statement, "Mysterious Ways" was the pop classic the band always had in them. It was also the song my French tour group sang repeatedly since Achtung Baby had just been released - so there was really no avoiding U2, even if I tried.




Number 14 "R.S.V.P." by Jason Donovan
1991 was an odd year for Jason. He scored his final UK number 1 with a version of "Any Dream Will Do" from Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, in which he was performing at the time. But, this new Stock Aitken Waterman production barely made the UK top 20. By year's end, PWL had rushed out a greatest hits album for Christmas, despite the fact that Jason had only released two studio albums to date. It was an indication of just how steeply Jason's fortunes had declined - only two years earlier, he'd had the highest-selling album of the year with 1989's Ten Good Reasons.




Number 13 "If You Were With Me Now" by Kylie Minogue / Keith Washington
Previously featured here

Number 12 "Where The Streets Have No Name (I Can't Take My Eyes Off You) / How Can You Expect To Be Taken Seriously?" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 11 "Running Back For More" by Delage
Previously featured here

Number 10 "Just Another Dream" by Cathy Dennis
She'd been introduced to the world in 1989 on D-Mob's "C'mon And Get My Love" and finally became a solo star in 1991 after "Just Another Dream", which had flopped first time round in the UK, became a hit in the US. A successful re-release of "Just Another Dream" followed her second single, "Touch Me (All Night Long)" (above at number 17), into the UK top 20. Although I (and Australia) preferred "Just Another Dream", "Touch Me", which was a cover of an obscure 1984 track by Fonda Rae and Wish, was the more successful of the two in the UK and US. Cathy scored again in 1991 with "Too Many Walls" (number 133 on this list), but, like so many of the female solo artists on this list, would find hits hard to come by from 1992 on - until she became a hit songwriter for other artists, that is.




Number 9 "So Proud Of You" by Paul Varney
Previously featured here

Number 8 "Get Ready For This" by 2 Unlimited
You've got to hand it to Pete Waterman - he knew a hit record when he heard it. Thanks to him, the Dutch group (comprised of producers Phil Wilde and Jean-Paul De Coster, rapper Ray Slijngaard and singer Anita Doth) released this dance classic in the UK, then went on to conquer the States. "Get Ready For This" exists in several versions - some with just the "Y'all ready for this?" sample and some featuring Ray's raps and/or Anita's vocals. I generally favoured the version with everyone contributing, which would be the case for their subsequent releases - and there would be plenty of those in the coming years.




Number 7 "That's What Love Can Do" by Boy Krazy
Previously featured here

Number 6 "Shocked" by Kylie Minogue featuring DNA
Previously featured here

Number 5 "Preacher Man" by Bananarama
1991 was not a great year for Bananarama, who struggled with the singles from Pop Life, with this track the highest UK entry from the album by getting to number 20. Their cover of The Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" (number 149 on this list) and "Tripping On Your Love" (number 34) would fare even worse. With the album's promotion complete, ring-in member Jacquie O'Sullivan left the group, leaving just Sara and Keren, who continued as a duo - and still perform and record (with an air of mild disdain) today.




Number 4 "Chorus" by Erasure
Conversely, 1991 was much kinder to another of my favourite groups, Erasure, whose Chorus album was another UK number 1, and yielded this hit, as well as "Love To Hate You" (number 55 on this list) and "Am I Right?" before the year was out.




Number 3 "Romantic World" by Dana Dawson
My second favourite song for 1991 is one I heard in Australia and liked before heading to France - without realising that was the country where American singer Dana recorded and released her debut album, Paris New York And Me. OK, the title should have been a bit of a giveaway. When I got to France, I was hearing "Romantic World" and her other singles, like "Open Hearts" (number 79 on this list), everywhere and even got to practise some French when I asked a shop assistant if she was well known in France. At least, that's what I think I asked. Dana, who tragically passed away in 2010 from cancer, would have wider success with her second album in 1996, which featured "3 Is Family".




Number 2 "Love You Right" by Euphoria
In the early '90s, pop was still a bit of a dirty word on the Australian music scene. As for dance music... while club tracks regularly stormed the UK top 5, hits were less frequent in Australia. So, it was a bit of a shock when this homegrown dance tune went all the way to number 1 in early 1992. And then so did Euphoria's next two singles (which we'll see on my 1992 countdown).
Like so many of the dance tracks of the time, the clip for "Love You Right" featured a pretty model, who was not actually the vocalist, miming along to the song. What was fine for Europop acts was not OK in Australia, and even though the real singer, Keren Minshull, joined perky blonde Holly Garnett in the clip for follow-up "One In A Million" - and Holly even sang on that track - the damage had been done and Euphoria was forever tainted with the lip syncing "scandal".
Finally, although I'm sure he hates being reminded of it now, a shirtless Simon Baker-Denny (as he was then called) can be seen gyrating in the background of the music video - and also miming along to the male background vocals.




Number 1 "What Do I Have To Do" by Kylie Minogue
Previously featured here


My top 200 for 1991 in full:

1        WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO Kylie Minogue
2        LOVE YOU RIGHT Euphoria
3        ROMANTIC WORLD Dana Dawson
4        CHORUS Erasure
5        PREACHER MAN Bananarama
6        SHOCKED Kylie Minogue featuring DNA
7        THAT'S WHAT LOVE CAN DO Boy Krazy
8        GET READY FOR THIS 2 Unlimited
9        SO PROUD OF YOU Paul Varney
10      JUST ANOTHER DREAM Cathy Dennis
11      RUNNING BACK FOR MORE Delage
12      WHERE THE STREETS HAVE NO NAME (I CAN'T TAKE MY EYES OFF YOU) / HOW CAN YOU EXPECT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY? Pet Shop Boys
13      IF YOU WERE WITH ME NOW (Duet with Keith Washington)/I GUESS I LIKE IT LIKE THAT Kylie Minogue
14      R.S.V.P. Jason Donovan
15      MYSTERIOUS WAYS U2
16      NEVER STOP Brand New Heavies featuring N'Dea Davenport
17      TOUCH ME (ALL NIGHT LONG) Cathy Dennis
18      PROMISES Take That
19      I BELIEVE E.M.F.
20      PRIDE (IN THE NAME OF LOVE) / A DEEPER LOVE Clivilles & Cole
21      WORD IS OUT Kylie Minogue
22      EVERYBODY'S FREE (TO FEEL GOOD) Rozalla
23      FORGET ME NOTS Tongue 'n' Cheek
24      THINKING ABOUT YOUR LOVE Kenny Thomas
25      MY HEART IS FAILING ME Riff
26      GONNA MAKE YOU SWEAT (EVERYBODY DANCE NOW) C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
27      GET THE MESSAGE Electronic
28      BABY BABY Amy Grant
29      SWEET LIBERATION The Family Stand
30      SAVE SOME LOVE Keedy
31      CRAZY Seal
32      FADING LIKE A FLOWER (EVERY TIME YOU LEAVE) Roxette
33      THE ONE AND ONLY Chesney Hawkes
34      TRIPPING ON YOUR LOVE Bananarama
35      PEACE Sabrina Johnston
36      SEE RIGHT THROUGH / EVERYTHING WILL BE ALRIGHT Kate Ceberano
37      RHYTHM IS A MYSTERY K-klass
38      BLACK OR WHITE Michael Jackson
39      SOMEDAY Mariah Carey
40      EVERY LITTLE THING Kate Ceberano
41      TIGHTEN UP Electronic
42      RUN FROM LOVE Jimmy Somerville
43      3 A.M. ETERNAL The KLF featuring The Children Of The Revolution
44      MOVE ANY MOUNTAIN The Shamen
45      I THINK I LOVE YOU Voice Of The Beehive
46      LAST TRAIN TO TRANCENTRAL The KLF
47      JEALOUSY Pet Shop Boys
48      JUSTIFIED AND ANCIENT (STAND BY THE JAMS) The KLF / Tammy Wynette
49      DON'T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME George Michael / Elton John
50      CRY FOR HELP Rick Astley
51      G.L.A.D. Kim Appleby
52      ROMANTIC Karyn White
53      JUMP TO THE BEAT Dannii Minogue
54      WHERE LOVE LIVES (COME ON IN) Alison Limerick
55      LOVE TO HATE YOU Erasure
56      ON THE WAY UP Elisa Fiorillo
57      TOO BLIND TO SEE IT Kym Sims
58      DO WHAT U LIKE Take That
59      DON'T YOU WANNA BE MINE (CLIVILLES & COLE REMIX) Denise Lopez
60      ALL 4 LOVE Color Me Badd
61      STREET OF DREAMS Nia Peeples
62      SOMETHING GOT ME STARTED Simply Red
63      BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU Hazell Dean
64      GUARANTEED Level 42
65      MOTOWNPHILLY Boyz II Men
66      RIGHT DOWN TO IT Damian Dame
67      CAN'T LET GO Mariah Carey
68      ALWAYS THERE Incognito featuring Jocelyn Brown
69      SHE'S A WOMAN Scritti Politti / Shabba Ranks
70      I'M TOO SEXY Right Said Fred
71      NOW THAT WE FOUND LOVE Heavy D & The Boyz
72      LOVE ME FOREVER OR LOVE ME NOT Trilogy
73      LIVE YOUR LIFE BE FREE Belinda Carlisle
74      PIECE OF MY HEART Tara Kemp
75      LET'S KISS (LIKE ANGELS DO) Wendy Matthews
76      TASTY FISH The Other Two
77      MY BODY SAYS YES Titiyo
78      UNFINISHED SYMPATHY Massive Attack
79      OPEN HEARTS Dana Dawson
80      CRUCIFIED Army Of Lovers
81      FEEL EVERY BEAT Electronic
82      LOVE...THY WILL BE DONE Martika
83      BACKYARD Pebbles featuring Salt 'n' Pepa
84      THAT'S WHAT LOVE IS FOR Amy Grant
85      MORE THAN WORDS Extreme
86      THE PROMISE OF A NEW DAY Paula Abdul
87      THIS HOUSE Tracie Spencer
88      SET ADRIFT ON MEMORY BLISS P.M. Dawn
89      TEMPTATION Corina
90      SARAH (I MISS YOU) Richard Pleasance
91      ALL THE MAN THAT I NEED Whitney Houston
92      ANTHEM N-Joi
93      I ADORE MI AMOR Color Me Badd
94      INSANITY Oceanic
95      IF YOU CARED Kim Appleby
96      ALL TRUE MAN Alexander O'Neal
97      BITTER TEARS INXS
98      THERE’S NO OTHER WAY Blur
99      VIBEOLOGY Paula Abdul
100    DO ANYTHING Natural Selection
101    REAL LOVE Driza Bone
102    SUCH A GOOD FEELING Brothers In Rhythm
103    P.A.S.S.I.O.N. Rythm Syndicate
104    JOYRIDE Roxette
105    ONLY FOOLS (NEVER FALL IN LOVE) Sonia
106    SEXY (IS THE WORD) Melissa
107    PEACE AND HARMONY Brothers In Rhythm
108    MADE UP MY MIND Sa-fire
109    UNDER MY SKIN Deborah Conway
110    I CAN'T TAKE THE POWER Offshore
111    FUTURE LOVE (EP) Seal
112    LIES E.M.F.
113    BABY LOVE Dannii Minogue
114    WHAT COMES NATURALLY Sheena Easton
115    PLACE IN THIS WORLD Michael W Smith
116    I DON'T KNOW WHY I LOVE YOU (BUT I LOVE YOU) B.E.F. featuring Green Gartside
117    WITH YOU Tony Terry
118    DON'T GO MESSIN' WITH MY HEART Mantronix
119    I DON'T WANNA TAKE THIS PAIN (REMIX) Dannii Minogue
120    IT'S TOO LATE Quartz introducing Dina Carroll
121    IT'S SO HARD TO SAY GOODBYE TO YESTERDAY Boyz II Men
122    THINGS THAT MAKE YOU GO HMMM... C&C Music Factory
123    THE SHOOP SHOOP SONG (IT'S IN HIS KISS) Cher
124    THE FIRST TIME Surface
125    IESHA Another Bad Creation
126    SO REAL Love Decade
127    READ MY LIPS Melissa
128    CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT New Kids On The Block
129    RESCUE ME Madonna
130    EMOTIONS Mariah Carey
131    AIN'T NO SUNSHINE The Rockmelons featuring Deni Hines
132    CHANGE Lisa Stansfield
133    TOO MANY WALLS Cathy Dennis
134    I LIKE THE WAY (THE KISSING GAME) Hi-Five
135    THE BEGINNING Seal
136    PANDORA’S BOX OMD
137    THE SIZE OF A COW The Wonder Stuff
138    STRIKE IT UP Black Box
139    WAS IT WORTH IT Pet Shop Boys
140    STONE COLD GENTLEMAN Ralph Tresvant
141    RUNNING BACK TO YOU Vanessa Williams
142    AROUND THE WAY GIRL LL Cool J
143    OPEN YOUR EYES Black Box
144    A BETTER LOVE Londonbeat
145    ALWAYS Pebbles / Cherrelle
146    MISS FREELOVE 69 Hoodoo Gurus
147    HAPPY TOGETHER Jason Donovan
148    (I WANNA GIVE YOU) DEVOTION Nomad featuring MC Mikee Freedom
149    LONG TRAIN RUNNING Bananarama
150    SUNSHINE ON A RAINY DAY Zoe
151    MAKE THIS A SPECIAL NIGHT Cool Notes
152    WHERE DOES MY HEART BEAT NOW Celine Dion
153    TENDER LOVE Kenny Thomas
154    SPENDING MY TIME Roxette
155    MOVE YOUR BODY Xpansions
156    GOOD BEAT Deee-Lite
157    HUMAN NATURE Gary Clail
158    EVERYBODY MOVE Cathy Dennis
159    GONNA CATCH YOU Lonnie Gordon
160    RIDE LIKE THE WIND East Side Beat
161    BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER P.J.B. featuring Hannah And Her Sisters
162    WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR ME? Utah Saints
163    STATE OF THE WORLD Janet Jackson
164    THERE'S GOT TO BE A WAY Mariah Carey
165    NEVER KNEW LOVE Rick Astley
166    STEP TO ME (DO ME) Mantronix
167    UNCONDITIONAL LOVE Susannah Hoffs
168    CAN YOU DIG IT? The Mock Turtles
169    WEAR YOUR LOVE LIKE HEAVEN Definition Of Sound
170    MOVE RIGHT OUT Rick Astley
171    ANOTHER SLEEPLESS NIGHT Shawn Christopher
172    IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE Bassheads
173    HOLD YOU TIGHT Tara Kemp
174    ONLY LOVE CAN BREAK YOUR HEART Saint Etienne
175    RUSH RUSH Paula Abdul
176    LET THE BEAT HIT 'EM Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
177    BLOWING KISSES IN THE WIND Paula Abdul
178    COMING OUT OF THE DARK Gloria Estefan
179    FALL AT YOUR FEET Crowded House
180    IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OVER Lenny Kravitz
181    MAGIC'S BACK Malcolm McClaren with Alison Limerick
182    WHAT’S IT GONNA BE Jellybean
183    CRAZY FOR YOU Incognito featuring Chyna
184    HIERONYMOUS The Clouds
185    WHEN YOU TELL ME THAT YOU LOVE ME Diana Ross
186    POWER OF LOVE / LOVE POWER Luther Vandross
187    OBSESSION Army Of Lovers
188    GET HERE Oleta Adams
189    LOVE SICK Gangstarr
190    SAILING ON THE SEVEN SEAS OMD
191    THIS IS YOUR LIFE Banderas
192    WINTER IN JULY Bomb The Bass
193    UNITY Sound Unlimited Posse
194    TOGETHER FOREVER Lisette Melendez
195    ROUND AND ROUND Tevin Campbell
196    FUNKY LOVE VIBRATIONS Bass-o-matic
197    NAKED LOVE Quartz featuring Dina Carroll
198    READY TO FOLLOW YOU Dana Dawson
199    KISS THEM FOR ME Siouxsie & The Banshees
200    GIVING MY ALL TO YOU Johnny Gill


On Thursday, more Kylie when she debuts with her second single in this week's ARIA chart recap from 25 years ago. See you then!


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019


Saturday, 16 February 2013

The Best Of 1991 - part 3

JUMP TO: 100-76 II 75-51 II 50-26 II 25-1


Before we get to my top 50 singles from 1991, let's remember what else was going on that year. At the cinema, it was the year of The Silence Of The Lambs, The Commitments, JFK and, of course, Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves. On TV, we were watching The Simpsons (then going out and buying "Do The Bartman"), the end of Dallas and, in Australia, sketch comedy show Fast Forward.

Seal Henry Samuel took the world by storm in 1991

Meanwhile, in the real world, war and violence seemed to be raging in every corner of the globe. In a world gone crazy, it was nice to have music to lighten the mood. Unless you listened to grunge, of course.


Number 50 "Cry For Help" by Rick Astley
Leaving the safety of the Stock Aitken Waterman hit factory had been a bit of a risky move for some artists who'd previously attempted it - but in 1991, Rick proved he could score a hit off his own bat with this big ballad, which was a top 10 hit in the UK and the US, and got to number 13 here in Australia. The meaningfully titled album, Free, didn't provide any further big singles and "Cry For Help" remains his final chart triumph here and in Britain, but in the US, his fourth album, Body And Soul, would provide him with a couple more hits.




Number 49 "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" by George Michael / Elton John
He hadn't yet filed his lawsuit against Sony Music, but things had already been tense between artist and record company thanks to George's refusal to promote his Listen Without Prejudice, Volume 1 album. In 1991, singles continued to be released from the LP with little success and it wasn't until this live recording of a duet recorded at Wembley in March was released towards the end of the year that George was back at the top of charts. Originally recorded in 1974 by Elton himself, the pair first performed the song together at Live Aid in 1985. George had included the song in the set list for his Cover To Cover tour in 1991 (which largely consisted of remakes instead of songs taken from Listen Without Prejudice) - and Elton popped along at one of the shows to help out. The result: a US and UK number 1, his final one in the States.




Number 48 "Justified & Ancient (Stand By The Jams)" by The KLF featuring Tammy Wynette
Mentioned below

Number 47 "Jealousy" by Pet Shop Boys
Previously featured here

Number 46 "Last Train To Trancentral" by The KLF
Mentioned below

Number 45 "I Think I Love You" by Voice Of The Beehive
I'd been a fan of "I Say Nothing" and "Don't Call Me Baby" from VOTB's debut album, and the rest of Australia got in on the act with this cover of the 1970 Partridge Family hit. "I Think I Love You" became a number 12 hit locally - much higher than it managed in the UK. It was taken from the second album by the group (which featured Madness' Woody on drums) - the title of which, Honey Lingers, was a little bit cheeky. Say it quickly. 




Number 44 "Move Any Mountain" by The Shamen
1991 proved to be a major turning point in the career of this group, who had embraced the sound of rave music on their 1990 album, En-Tact, and were joined by Mr C, the rapper who'd become the face of The Shamen. "Move Any Mountain" started off as a track on En-Tact called "Progen" and - after a bit of remodelling from Beatmasters - was re-released in 1991 and became the group's first big hit. The combination of The Shamen's tracks and Beatmasters' remix skills would be a very fruitful pairing over the next couple of years. For me, they were very much a singles act, since the album versions of their songs were often nothing like the ones you heard on the radio and watched on music video shows.




Number 43 "3A.M. Eternal" by The KLF featuring The Children Of The Revolution
Here's another of 1991's big UK dance acts - and it was a massive year for the duo formerly known as The Timelords, also known as The Justified Ancients Of Mu Mu, furthermore known as The JAMs. Perfecting the "stadium house" sound they'd debuted on 1990's "What Time Is Love?", Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty hit the top of the UK chart (and top 5 in the US and Australia) with this track and almost repeated the feat with follow-up "Last Train To Trancentral" (above at number 46). Like The Shamen, both tracks were quite different in their "Live At..." single versions than as originally released. 
Just to keep everyone on their toes, the pair next drafted in country legend Tammy Wynette to update a song that had appeared in different forms on two of their albums. Their final single for 1991, "Justified & Ancient" (above at number 48), was a stroke of genius, despite the fact that the song, complete with lyrical references to ice-cream vans and "fishing in the rivers of life", made very little sense. But, that's where things ended. An outrageous BRITS Awards performance later and they called it a day. It would've been nice to see what else The KLF had in them, but sometimes it is best to quit while you're ahead.




Number 42 "Run From Love" by Jimmy Somerville
In 1985, Bronski Beat recorded this song and had it all ready to be released as their next single when Jimmy up and left the group to form Communards. An extended version of the track wound up on remix album Hundreds And Thousands, and then a new version was included on Jimmy's 1990 best of, The Singles Collection. Thankfully, PWL producers Harding & Curnow and remixer Stephen Hague got their hands on it for the single release - and another high energy pop smash was born. Well, except for the "smash" part, with this single failing to follow Jimmy's cover of "To Love Somebody" into the upper reaches of the UK chart.




Number 41 "Tighten Up" by Electronic
Mentioned below

Number 40 "Every Little Thing" by Kate Ceberano
Mentioned below

Number 39 "Someday" by Mariah Carey
1991 was a busy year for Mariah, whose record company showed remarkable restraint in only releasing two further singles from her debut album - this track and "I Don't Wanna Cry" (although the UK also got "There's Got To Be A Way"). Then, it was swiftly on to album number two, and singles "Emotions" (number 130 on this list) and "Can't Let Go" (number 67), which ensured there were an even amount of big ballads and upbeat tracks around to keep everyone happy. And at that stage of her career, Mariah was keeping a lot of people very happy, with both Mariah Carey and Emotions selling millions upon millions of copies. 




Number 38 "Black Or White" by Michael Jackson
Speaking of selling millions of albums... here's a man who knew a thing or two about that. Although Bad hadn't matched Thriller's incredible sales figures, it hadn't done too badly and so expectation was high for MJ's next record, his first in four years. For Dangerous. Michael moved on from long-time collaborator Quincy Jones and embraced a more R&B sound - but for the first single, he stuck with pure pop. I distinctly remember the first TV broadcast of the music video for "Black Or White" being a primetime event - and it didn't disappoint, with the face morphing effect quite impressive for the time. I could have done without the bit at the end where Michael goes berserk and starts smashing stuff up - and I mostly did, since that epilogue was rarely screened again.




Number 37 "Rhythm Is A Mystery" by K-klass
UK dance label Deconstruction was shaping up to be a great source of crossover hits in 1991. Black Box were still going strong, we saw N-Joi's "Anthem" back in Part 1 and this track also hit the UK top 5 (upon re-release). In years to come, names like Felix, Usura, The Grid and even Kylie Minogue would hit the charts for the label.




Number 36 "See Right Through / Everything Will Be Alright" by Kate Ceberano
In 1989, Brave had been a multi-platinum success for Kate Ceberano, but in 1991, interest in her second pop album was virtually non-existent. The singles - like this and "Every Little Thing" (above at number 40) - struggled on the Australian chart, while parent album Think About It limped to number 24. At the time, I couldn't understand it since I thought the album was just as strong as Brave, but its relative lack of success pretty much put paid to Kate's dance/pop career and she turned to Andrew Lloyd Webber the following year.




Number 35 "Peace" by Sabrina Johnston
Brothers In Rhythm narrowly missed my top 100 with one of their own songs ("Such A Good Feeling"), but they were much more successful as remixers/producers than artists in their own right. Here's one of the many tracks they helped turn into a hit. In Australia, "Peace" stalled at number 82 on original release, but the BIR remix sent it all the way up to number 24.




Number 34 "Tripping On Your Love" by Bananarama
Mentioned in Part 4

Number 33 "The One And Only" by Chesney Hawkes
Living in Australia, where this UK chart-topper didn't even make the top 100, it's hard to appreciate just how massive Chesney was for such a short period of time in Britain. "The One And Only", which was taken from the soundtrack to Buddy's Song (in which Chesney played the title character), was number 1 there for five weeks and Chesney became an instant teen heartthrob. But, none of his subsequent singles got any higher than number 27 and he became the very definition of a one-hit wonder (although, technically, a number 27 song is still a top 40 hit). He was a bona fide one-hit wonder in the US, where "The One And Only" got to number 10 after it was used in the film Doc Hollywood.




Number 32 "Fading Like A Flower (Every Time You Leave)" by Roxette
Proving Look Sharp! had been no fluke, the Swedish duo continued their run of hits in 1991 with singles released from the Joyride album. The title track (number 104 on this list) gave them another number 1 in Australia, but I preferred this second single, which became their seventh straight top 10 hit here. It would also be their final top 10 appearance in Australia, with other 1991 singles "The Big L" and "Spending My Time" (number 154 on this list) each only managing a top 20 placing.




Number 31 "Crazy" by Seal
These days, he's a mentor (NOT a judge) on the Australian version of The Voice and occasionally releases soul covers albums, but in 1991, Seal was one of the most exciting new artists around. Having already sung on a UK number 1 (Adamski's 1990 hit, "Killer"), Seal went international with "Crazy", reaching number 9 in Australia and two places higher in the US. Produced by Trevor Horn, the song - and the entire self-titled album it came from - sounded fantastic and it's still a CD I'll play from beginning to end to this day.




Number 30 "Save Some Love" by Keedy
Just when you thought there wouldn't be any briefly successful American female solo artists in this batch of songs... here's a singer I always thought of as the new Martika, since "Save Some Love" had input from Michael Jay and sounded as poppy as early Martika songs like "More Than You Know". "Save Some Love" reached number 15 in the US and would be her only hit there. What I didn't know until now is that her second single was "Wishing On The Same Star" - the much covered track that was also recorded in the early '90s by Girlfriend and Judy Cheeks (both of which I own).




Number 29 "Sweet Liberation" by The Family Stand
I mentioned back in Part 1 that The Family Stand had been responsible for the bulk of the songwriting and production on Paula Abdul's Spellbound album, which was quite an adventurous choice given the R&B group had only had one hit to date - 1990's "Ghetto Heaven" went to number 10 in the UK - and were virutally unknown in the US. This track was also from debut album Chain but made no impression on charts around the world.




Number 28 "Baby Baby" by Amy Grant
It took Christian singer Amy Grant five years to follow up her US number 1 duet with Peter Cetera, "The Next Time I Fall", with another pop hit - but "Baby Baby" (written about her daughter) had been worth the wait. Not only did it return her to the top in the US, but it broke her in the UK (where the song reached number 2) and in Australia (number 5). Despite some religious conservatives disapproving of her move into secular music, Amy continued to release singles from the Heart In Motion album, like "That's What Love Is For" (number 84 on this list) and "Every Heartbeat".




Number 27 "Get The Message" by Electronic
Synthpop supergroup Electronic had debuted back in 1989 with "Getting Away With It", but it took until 1991 for this follow-up to surface - and an accompanying album, which remains one of my favourite albums of all time. Although Electronic was packed with potential singles, only one more, "Feel Every Beat" (number 81 on this list) would be given a full official release, while another, "Tighten Up" (number 41), was a promotional single in the US, which is good enough for me.




Number 26 "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" C&C Music Factory featuring Freedom Williams
Mentioned in Part 4


In my top 25, some more massive dance hits from 1991, a couple of cover versions of U2 hits and my favourite song of all time.


MY YEAR-END CHARTS
1979 II 1980 II 1981 II 1982 II 1983 II 1984 II 1985 II 1986 II 1987 II 1988 II 1989
1990 II 1991 II 1992 II 1993 II 1994 II 1995 II 1996 II 1997 II 1998 II 1999
2000 II 2001 II 2002 II 2003 II 2004 II 2005 II 2006 II 2007 II 2008 II 2009
2010 II 2011 II 2012 II 2013 II 2014 II 2015 II 2016 II 2017 II 2018 II 2019