Wednesday, 24 September 2014

This Week In 1989: September 24, 1989

Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2014. Updated in 2019.

Sometimes it pays off for an artist to make a dramatic departure from the sound that made them a success in the first place - think U2's Achtung Baby, Kylie Minogue's Impossible Princess (in Australia, anyway). Sometimes it doesn't.

Eurythmics revived their chart career in 1989

This week in 1989, the highest new entries on the ARIA top 50 singles chart came from acts that had flirted with new styles with differing results.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending September 24, 1989

Still on top of the chart was a singer who stuck with one of the two things he knew best - heartfelt piano ballads. Yep, it was another week at number 1 for "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx.

Off The Chart
Number 87 "Stand Up" by Underworld
Peak: number 79
They'd done well with their first album, but despite achieving a career best peak of number 67 in the US, this catchy lead single from second album Change The Weather flew, er, underneath the radar locally.

Single Of The Week
"Close To The Edge" by De Mont
Peak: number 89
Australian record companies desperately wanted their very own hard rock band to rival the likes of Bon Jovi and Poison in the late '80s, but just as Roxus had so far failed to set the charts alight, so too did Sydney five-piece D'mont struggle. Not even a free cassette and badge could sway rock fans to snap up this second single by the band. I don't think I ever heard "Close To The Edge" at the time, but I don't mind it - and it was certainly energetic and catchy enough to have done better. 

New Entries
Number 48 "A New Flame" by Simply Red
Peak: number 48
Spending only a single week on the top 50 at this position, the title track from Simply Red's third album deserved to do much better. But, the law of diminishing returns was in effect and after two hit singles - including chart-topper "If You Don't Know Me By Now" - people were more interested in A New Flame (which had reached a new peak of number 2 in August and was sitting at number 6 this week on the albums chart) than "A New Flame".

Number 47 "My First Night Without You" by Cyndi Lauper
Peak: number 47
Also only managing a solitary week on the top 50 was this second single from A Night To Remember. Despite being quite a fan of Cyndi's '80s output, I find this follow-up to "I Drove All Night" pretty much unlistenable thanks to the screechy chorus. Unfortunately, it would be Cyndi's final appearance on the ARIA top 50, with her career taking all sorts of unexpected musical turns in the '90s and '00s.

Number 42 "Get Out Of The House" by Boom Crash Opera
Peak: number 24

I've never understood why Boom Crash Opera weren't bigger than they were. Sure, compared to the last two entries, a number 24 position is not so bad, but "Get Out Of The House", like many of the Aussie rock band's other singles, wouldn't have been out of place in the top 10. Thanks to its sing-along chorus and anthemic production, the second single from These Here Are Crazy Times is my favourite song by BCO and made my top 20 for 1989

Number 38 "Revival" by Eurythmics
Peak: number 14
Meanwhile, this comeback single by Eurythmics - last seen on the top 50 with 1988's "Shame" - achieved a peak 10 places higher than "Get Out Of The House" despite being one of the worst songs the British duo had released. Not as bad as "Beethoven (I Love To Listen To)", granted, but it was a return to the overly American feel of songs like "Missionary Man". With the exception of "Would I Lie To You?" (which topped the chart in Australia but was a flop back home in the UK), I've always preferred Eurythmics in their more British synthpop guise - and it's clear there was a great deal of push and pull between the two sounds throughout the latter part of the '80s, with Annie Lennox said to favour their more electronic side while Dave Stewart championed the rock style.

Number 37 "She Has To Be Loved" by Jenny Morris
Peak: number 5

Another artist who explored new musical directions was New Zealand-born, Australian-based singer Jenny Morris, whose previous single "Saved Me" was all world music rhythms and Latin lyrics. Thankfully, she found her way back to the type of records she made best - straightforward pop/rock - with follow-up "She Has To Be Loved", and was rewarded with her biggest solo hit to date.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1989:

Next week: the return of three acts that'd had considerable success earlier in the decade - with two doing much better this time round than the other. Plus, Australia's own teen sensations hit with their second single, and even attract some overseas attention.

Back to: Sep 17, 1989 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 1, 1989


  1. From Countdown Revolution, I noted down these positions outside of the top 50 from this week's chart in 1989:

    #55 LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME Bon Jovi
    #60 SOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVE Tears For Fears*

    *which makes me think I (or Countdown Revolution) must have been wrong, given that 'Thrill Has Gone', which peaked at #60, appears above it on the Breakers list. Unless the singles both tied (which hasn't ever happened AFAIK) at that position.

    I don't remember hearing the De Mont (that's what the single sleeve has the band name as if you check the larger version on track either. But given that the youtube upload was sourced from Countdown Revolution, I probably did hear it.

    I thought 'A New Flame' the single would have done better on the charts, though I think it's weaker than the previous 2 singles from the album.

    'My First Night Without You' is one of those songs I remember being better than it actually was. I downloaded it in 2004 after not having heard it since 1989 (and liking it at the time). I was surprised at how demo-ish it sounds, and yes the chorus vocals are a bit grating. Cyndi was one of those 80's artists I just 'knew' were over as soon as 1990 clocked over. I remember being surprised to hear (but not actually hearing the song/s) that she had a new album out in '93. I must have assumed she'd given up on music by then.

    Maybe having a stupid band name hindered Boom Crash Opera's success?

    I loved Eurythmics' 'Revival' at the time, but in retrospect the chorus is quite weak. The bridge leading up to it is great though. I was surprised that 'Revival' wasn't included on their 'Greatest Hits' compilation album in 1991, while the so-bland-I've-never-listened-to-it-all-the-way-through 'Angel' was. They must really hate 'Revival'. I love (to listen to) 'Beethoven...', but the video probably helps.

    Like the Sonia single, it's always bugged me slightly that 'She Has To Be Loved' isn't titled 'She Got To Be Loved', even though the latter isn't quite grammatically sound. Like 'Saved Me', I was surprised to see that an Australian (OK, technically New Zealander) artist like Jenny Morris could pull off a track as 'funky' as this back then. 'Break In the Weather' peaked a few places higher, but this probably sold marginally more. I also noticed that all 4 'Shiver' singles started with S, as did the album.

    1. Re: De Mont/D'Mont - well, yes it's an 'e', but it's also positioned and styled to look like an apostrophe...

  2. Wow Gavin, a bit scathing on your review of 'Revival' and other singles released by the duo....each to their own. I liked 'Revival', yes, not one of their best but it returned them to chart success after the experimental 'Savage' album. I always thought Eurythmics could have maintained the high level of commercial success if they had released 'We Too Are One' after 'Revenge'. It just seemed like a perfect flow on and progression of the band. Even though 'Savage' was a critically acclaimed album, I felt it left some people confused - who was this character in drag? LoL. 'Shame' was a nice departure from the overall theme of the album and the character. I never got to see the video for 'Beethoven' back in the day (I never saw it on The Factory, rage or Video Hits) and wished it got more exposure so it would crack the Top 10.

    I think it's interesting how Eurythmics had a No.1 in the US, UK & AUS with 3 different singles. Like you Nathan, I couldn't understand why 'Revival' was left off their Greatest Hits album and yet other singles from it were put on. I bought 'Revival' on 12" and 'We Too Are One' the day it was released. Straight away, I thought the stand out track (commercially) was 'My My Baby's Gonna Cry'. I see it did get a release as the last single, but didn't chart anywhere (except for 1 random European country). Maybe they left it a little too late. Perhaps it should have been the 2nd single?

    Also, I have no problems with UK bands taking on an American sound/look if they want to make it overseas. When I first saw 'Missionary Man' and it was my first exposure of the band, I thought they were from the US and for a few years there, thought Dire Straits, Tears For Fears ('85 period) and Phil Collins were from the US too.

    1. I thought 'Revival' may have been left off the 'Greatest Hits' compilation as it was one of their lower-charting singles in the UK... but then all of the 'Wee Too Are One' singles peaked in the 20's there. I knew nearly all of the Eurythmics' top 40 singles in Australia, but somehow I never heard 'Beethoven' when it was released. I heard all of the other 'Savage' singles though. 'Don't Ask Me Why' was my favourite 'Wee Too Are One' single, and is one of my favourite tracks of theirs.

  3. Gavin - #17 is a flop? That's a bit harsh, isn't it? While "Would I Lie to You?" underperformed in the UK, I don't think it's fair to call a Top 20 (or even a Top 40) single a "flop". Something that misses the charts completely is a flop, but even an underperforming single has achieved some level of success if it has reached the charts. If #17 is a flop, what is a single that fails to chart?

    1. Relatively it was a flop. With the exception of "Julia", Eurythmics had previously enjoyed a run of six top 10 singles in the UK. As a brand new single from an as-yet-unreleased album, number 17 can only have been considered as a flop. Of course, they made up for it quickly.