Wednesday, 8 October 2014

This Week In 1989: October 8, 1989

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

Earlier in the '80s, medleys had been big business on the Australian charts - with releases like the "Stars On 45" singles and the Hooked On... albums selling by the truckload. In the UK, the "Jack Mix" series kept the trend going in the late '80s, but it took a cartoon rabbit to bring the concept of the medley back to the ARIA chart in the dying months of the decade.

Jive Bunny: easily the worst thing to happen to music in 1989

Yep, this week in 1989, the dreaded Jive Bunny leapt into the top 10 seemingly out of nowhere with a megamix of golden oldie rock'n'roll classics. Take that, Reynolds Girls.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending October 8, 1989

In the light of the Jive Bunny invasion, the fact that Richard Marx spent a fifth week at number 1 with "Right Here Waiting" didn't seem anywhere near so bad - but in good news, it was the final week on top for the ballad.

Off The Chart
Number 98 "Losing My Mind" by Liza Minelli
Peak: number 72
The first chart appearance for the entertainment legend, "Losing My Mind" was written by Stephen Sondheim for the 1971 musical Follies. Liza Minelli's version was co-produced by Pet Shop Boys.

Number 89 "Jealous Heart" by Go 101
Peak: number 66
Poor Go 101 - they just couldn't quite make things happen, with this third single from the Melbourne funk group also missing the top 50. A fourth, "Message To A Broken Heart", didn't make the top 100.

Number 87 "Pop Muzik '89" by M
Peak: number 63
A decade after it reached number 1 in Australia for three weeks, the return of this worldwide smash by British musician Robin Scott was a decidedly more understated affair.

"I Got It Goin' On" by Tone Lōc
Peak: number 52
After an impressive start to his career, Tone Lōc faltered with this third release from album Lōc-ed After Dark, which, unlike previous singles "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina", didn't benefit from the songwriting prowess of Young MC. Despite its sparse beat and understated hook, "I Got It Goin' On" still managed to sell half a million copies in the States, but in Australia, it missed the top 50 and, except for a remix of "Wild Thing" in 2000, Tone was never seen on the top 100 again. Interestingly, at the start of the music video, he asks, "In 20 years from now, what will I be doing" - and the answer seems to mostly be getting arrested and collapsing on stage.

New Entries
Number 47 "Don't Look Back" by Fine Young Cannibals
Peak: number 38
While the rest of the world was largely indifferent to this latest single from The Raw & The Cooked, "Don't Look Back" became another big hit for the British trio in the States, where it missed the top 10 by one spot. Three more singles - "I'm Not The Man I Used To Be", "I'm Not Satisfied" and "It's OK (It's Alright)" - were taken from the album, but none landed inside the ARIA top 50 and no new music would emerge from the band until 1996 (and even then it was only a couple of new tracks for a greatest hits collection).

Number 43 "Every Day (I Love You More)" by Jason Donovan
Peak: number 43
His first four singles had peaked at numbers 3, 2, 7 and 8 respectively, so for the final single from Ten Good Reasons to so spectacularly bomb must have come as quite a shock to JD HQ. Granted, "Every Day (I Love You More)" isn't one of Stock Aitken Waterman's top shelf songs, but it's not a number 43 single either. And yes, his fans had probably already snapped up the album, but the song's performance goes some way to showing how quickly the Australian public had turned on Jason following his departure from Neighbours back in May 1989.

Number 9 "Swing The Mood" by Jive Bunny And The Mastermixers
Peak: number 1

Blasting into the top 10 (something only Jason, Kylie and Madonna had managed in 1989 up until this point), this five-week UK chart-topper was always going to be huge. Kicking off with a soundbite from Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again" before heading into Glenn Miller's 1939 big band number "In The Mood", the medley then shifts gears, taking a musical tour of the late 1950s with songs by Bill Haley & His Comets, Little Richard, The Everly Brothers, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley and Danny And The Juniors featured. 
One of those releases that proved old people still bought music, "Swing The Mood" obviously appealed to people who remembered the songs from when they were originally on the chart, while the cartoon rabbit was clearly designed to get little kids on board. But beyond that, it was more than just wedding DJs who were snapping up the track, which became one of the year's highest selling singles in a matter of weeks. If it had been left there, Jive Bunny might have been a curious one-off that could quickly be forgotten, but the terror was just getting started. 

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

Next week: just three new entries on the singles chart (including the return of the band with one of 1987's biggest albums), so I'll turn the chart over to look at a few of the albums making their debut that week.

Back to: Oct 1, 1989 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 15, 1989


  1. I was surprised at the time that 'I Got It Goin' On' wasn't a bigger hit for Tone Lōc, but in retrospect, it's a much weaker track than the previous 2 hits. Although he wasn't credited as a featured artist (at least not on the ARIA chart), Tone did actually (sort of) appear in the top 100 again at the end of 1990/in early '91, on Candyman's 'Knockin' Boots' (Tone delivers the spoken intro).

    I can see why 'Don't Look Back' wasn't as big a hit for Fine Young Cannibals as the previous 2 singles, but I thought it deserved to do much better on the chart than it did. I guess people already had the album by now, so there was no need to buy the single. Personally, I would have gone with 'I'm Not Satisfied' as the third (or even second) single - Melbourne FM radio were playing it as an album track months before its eventual release as a single (though I don't remember it getting a local release - maybe it didn't?). I wonder why FYC virtually disbanded after this album... maybe they hated (or grew to hate) each other?

    It's always bugged me how Jason sings the 'ooh' (or 'oh' as it was annoyingly transcribed in Smash Hits or Hits Songwords, I forget which) at the start of the chorus on 'Every Day...'). Another single that I was surprised by its low chart placing here - 'ooh' aside, I thought it was one of his best singles; but then I suppose that isn't exactly saying much. I remember there even being an 'A Current Affair' (I didn't realise they were so trashy at the time) or 'Hinch' special on the single's release, including a preview (perhaps an 'exclusive' first [partial] airing in Australia?). Obviously that didn't help sell it. I don't know why now, but I was planning to spend my (presumed) forthcoming birthday money (from aunts and uncles who weren't in touch often enough to know what to actually buy) on several cassingles, and this was one of them - but in the end I don't think I bought any of them. Probably a wise decision in hindsight.

    I liked Jive Bunny, but then I was 10 years old. Though I guess it's odd to think a 10 year old would be interested in a thrown together medley of 20-30 year old songs. The animated bunny and 'funny' retro videos probably helped. I didn't realise until 5 or so years ago that several of the 'golden oldies' (nice Reynold Girls reference) included were actually sound-a-like re-recordings. One of the reasons my first music video youtube account was suspended was due to a copyright strike over uploading a Jive Bunny video (I think it was 'That Sounds Good To Me'), which I found appalling given that the songs sampled weren't even 'theirs' (ignoring the cheap re-recordings) to begin with. One thing I found slightly interesting about 'Jive' was that they released non-album singles fairly quickly after releasing an album. I was a bit disappointed at the time that we didn't get a local release of UK #1 Christmas-themed 'Let's Party'.

  2. PS I could be wrong, but I have the sneaking suspicion that ARIA made a boo-boo on last week's Breakers, with John Williamson's 'Rip Rip Woodchip' being listed instead of 'Boogie With M'Baby'. Though 'Boogie...' didn't debut on the AMR top 100 until this week, so maybe it was 'Rip...' (but that was out of the AMR top 100 last week).

  3. I must admit, I was over Jason Donovan just like the majority by the time this single was released. I hated it! I hated it even more that it ended up on 'The Hits Of 1990 Vol.1' compilation. LoL. Back then, I thought it was a flop and was surprised to see that it got to No.43 looking back on my ARIA charts.

    I do like FYC's 'Don't Look Back'. I thought it was a strong single and more upbeat than the first 2. I thought this was the last single. Surprised to read here that another 3 singles were lifted from the album. My fave track of theirs is 'Ever Fallen In Love'.

    I didn't mind Jive Bunny, but when they came out again in early 1990 with 'That's What I Like' I knew it was all about making a quick buck and flogging a horse to death. Give me 'Stars on 45' any day.