Wednesday, 1 October 2014

25 Years Ago This Week: October 1, 1989

Everybody loves a comeback, and this week in 1989, two artists that had enjoyed major international success in the mid-'80s returned to the ARIA singles chart after lengthy absences.

That's the end? No, Janet Jackson was just getting started...

A third act also returned to the scene, attempting to score another hit to go with the song that had given them their one and only top 10 single in 1985. Of the three comebacks, two were incredibly successful and one was anything but. Intrigued? 

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending October 1, 1989

Not so exciting was the continued success of "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx, with the piano ballad spending its fourth week at number 1 and holding off both "All I Want Is You" (number 2) and "Dressed For Success" (number 3), which were stuck behind it for a second week.


Single Of The Week
"That's The Way" by Katrina & The Waves
Peak: number 58
Infectious bopper "Walking On Sunshine" was always going to be a hard song to move past, and four years after it became a worldwide smash for Katrina Leskanich and The Waves, they still hadn't managed another major hit. Dropped by their record label after 1986's Waves album tanked, the band regrouped and re-emerged in 1989 with Break Of Hearts, from which "That's The Way" was lifted as lead single. On the upside, it gave the band their highest chart position since 1985's "Do You Want Crying?" reached number 38. On the downside, the rockier sound wasn't enough to generate much interest and the band only managed one more appearance even further down the top 100 with their 1990 cover of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place".




Breaker
"Nightrain" by Guns n' Roses
Peak: number 61
It was back to Appetite For Destruction for this latest single from Guns n' Roses, following top 20 hit "Patience" from G N' R Lies back in May. Although Australia had been a little late to the Gunners party, local fans had caught up and no doubt all had the album by now - which would explain this lowly chart peak. In the US, "Nightrain" performed even worse, stalling at number 93.




New Entries
Number 49 "Out Of The Fire" by Ian Moss
Peak: number 29
With two top 10 hits and a number 1 album already under his belt, it was little surprise that this third single from Matchbook struggled to achieve similar chart heights. In fact, "Out Of The Fire" would drop out of the top 50 following this initial appearance before re-entering for a brief stint in the top 40. Compared to his previous solo hits, "Out Of The Fire" was a more subdued release from the Cold Chisel guitarist, but had a melody every bit as catchy as "Tucker's Daughter" and "Telephone Booth". It would also turn out to be Ian's final top 50 single, with his follow-up album, 1991's Worlds Away, proving to be a commercial disaster. 




Number 45 "Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 12
It took her a couple of albums, but once youngest Jackson sibling Janet found her groove - thanks to producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis - she was catapulted into the same superstar league as big brother Michael. The musical collaboration between Janet and Jam & Lewis commenced on 1986's Control album - and although it was only modestly successful in Australia (peaking at number 25 and spawning one top 10 single in "What Have You Done For Me Lately"), it was a multi-platinum chart-topping smash in the US, with five singles reaching the top 5. 
Like Michael, Janet took her time between albums and, like Bad, 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was worth the wait, with Jam & Lewis giving their trademark hard-hitting R&B sound a futuristic twist. "Miss You Much" was the first of what would turn out to be seven official singles from the album - and got things started with a furious blast of funky R&B. As we'd come to expect from Ms Jackson, "Miss You Much" was accompanied by a tightly choreographed music video - with an extra dance routine involving chairs part of an extended version of the clip.




Number 43 "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" by Tears For Fears
Peak: number 13

Another act giving the sound for which they were known a bit of a twist was British duo Tears For Fears, who took even longer between albums than Janet - their last LP, Songs From The Big Chair, was released back in 1985. The lead single from Seeds Of Love, "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" was heavily influenced by The Beatles and clocked in at around six minutes, but still felt like a Tears For Fears track, thanks to the duelling vocals of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. The album, which had been through a number of producers and apparently cost a million pounds to make, was another trans-Atlantic success, with "Sowing..." reaching the top 5 in both the US and the UK.




Number 40 "Lay Your Hands On Me" by Bon Jovi
Peak: number 23
Last seen on the top 50 with power ballad "I'll Be There For You", Bon Jovi returned with a rockier fourth single from New Jersey - and it was another song that had a running time of six minutes, although its lengthy intro was trimmed down considerably for single release. Like its predecessor, "Lay Your Hands On Me" peaked at number 23 in Australia, while in the US, it made it all the way to number 7 - the band's seventh straight top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100.




Number 33 "Tell Me Something" by Indecent Obsession
Peak: number 17
Given the backlash facing Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan in Australia in late 1989, it was no wonder Indecent Obsession didn't want to be lumped in with them as a lightweight teen pop act. But, given they weren't ever going to get radio play or be taken seriously by the rock establishment anyway, it was really a case of fighting the inevitable. Even though it was just as good a song as debut single "Say Goodbye", "Tell Me Something" fell short of the top 10 and it was downhill from here for the clean-cut four-piece, who never enjoyed a hit as big again. Interestingly, "Tell Me Something" became a top 40 success in the States - and even had a new video filmed - but the band were never able to capitalise on their brief success there.





Next week: a musical abomination that became the first single of the year by someone other than Kylie, Jason or Madonna to enter the top 50 within the top 10. Speaking of Mr Donovan, he also returned with a song that charted a few dozen places lower than he was used to.



Back to: Sep 24, 1989 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 8, 1989


8 comments:

  1. From Countdown Revolution, Jive Bunny (and the uncredited Mastermixers on the ARIA chart) were at #68 this week.

    Interesting to see 'Rip Rip Woodchip' listed as a Breaker, after 4 weeks of not being in the top 50.

    I gather from Katrina & The Waves' mention here that it didn't later become a Breaker, despite peaking at #58. There must have been some tight competition for new singles just outside the top 50 coming up. I wasn't aware of any artists being 'dropped' until the 90s, when many acts with successive flop albums still got another crack at it. I miss those days where you could flop but still get another chance.

    It's interesting that Guns 'N' Roses' 'Nightrain' peaked at #61 in both 1989 and October 1990, when it re-charted... though on AMR the 1990 release was credited as 'Knockin' On Heaven's Door', which was a live b-side on the 'Nightrain' 12" apparently. I remembering 'Knockin'...' being in Triple M's Top 8 at 8 for quite a while in 1990, and assumed it was a brand new single from them. I was surprised when 'Knockin'...' finally charted as a single in its own right in '92, an already 2 years-old (which seemed like a fair while for me back then) track. I didn't hear 'Nightrain' until checking it out on youtube a few months back, though I'd imagined how it sounded based on the lyrics being printed in Hit Songwords at the time. I had no idea what "bottoms up" meant until several years later, and thought it was possibly 'rude', given their penchant for controversy at the time.

    I didn't like 'Out of the Fire', thought was surprised it was his last top 50 hit. I thought Ian Moss would be around for a while, given how much FM radio loved him.

    'Miss You Much' is one of the forgotten Janet tracks, for me anyway. It seems a bit non-descript for a lead single to my ears.

    I liked and still like 'Sowing the Seeds of Love', but it seemed a bit like they were trying too hard to make the song last for 6 minutes+ or however long it goes for. They could have edited some sections of the song out. The fade-out at the end seems quite abrupt compared to the length of the rest of the song. 'Sowing...' had an interesting plastic sunflower case for the CD single in the UK, which you can see here - http://www.discogs.com/Tears-For-Fears-Sowing-The-Seeds-Of-Love-Full-Version/release/523653 - though how you would have known what it was in the shops is hard to see.

    I liked 'Lay Your Hands On Me' (for a Bon Jovi track), but it's one I've virtually forgotten how it goes other than the chorus. David Kent actually made an error (hopefully someone has pointed it out to him) in his chart book - 'You Give Love a Bad Name' peaked at #32, not 23.

    Indecent Obsession were kind of doomed from the start with that band name, and the wetsuit album cover surely finished them off. I always thought David Dixon had a strange way of pronouncing "won't" in the chorus of this single and the next one (and "don't" in the previous one). Jo Beth Taylor appears as a back-up singer in the Australian 'Tell Me Something' video, I didn't spot until a few years back.

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  2. Oops, That's The Way does pop up as a breaker in a couple of months' time. Broke my own rules there! Oh well, it fits in well with the comebacks theme this week.

    I didn't realise Mr Kent made an error in his book - but looking back at my AMR summary for You Give Love..., it did indeed only reach number 32. Amended my blurb.

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    1. The other (yellow book) Kent mistake is that a Howard Jones single is missing from his discography (from memory I think it's "No One is to Blame"). bulion

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    2. "Life In One Day".

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  3. PS I've made similar observations before, but I find it interesting that Bon Jovi were granted a bullet for climbing from 55 to 40 (15 places) this week, but Tears For Fears weren't granted one for climbing from (presumably) 61 or 62 to 43 (18-19 places), in a similar region of the chart.

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    1. I think we have to concede that the awarding of bullets might have been a bit haphazard. Like getting the song titles and artist names right.

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    2. You're probably right. Though it could be based on the increase in sales between two weeks (and maybe this week #40 sold significantly more than #43, as unlikely as it may seem). And I noticed just before that they've put 'The' Eurythmics beside 'Revival' on both this and last week's chart, though it is a common mistake.

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  4. I really only knew "That's The Way" from the compilation "Hits Of 1990". I never saw the video or heard it on the radio back then. It is a good song after a few listens. Didn't they use "Walking on Sunshine" for an M&M's commercial back in the 90's?

    I was a big fan of Janet's "Miss You Much" and it reminds me of my time in Year 10. Funny how the singles off the album were pretty much hit, miss, hit, miss. It wasn't until "Black Cat" 12 months later that the album really became a big seller. I remember someone saying, or I read somewhere, that Janet and Michael made sure their albums did not clash with each other. This is a perfect example of her releasing this album after Michael had flogged "Bad" to death and the same followed with "Dangerous" and "Janet".

    "Out Of The Fire" is a great ballad. Moss at his best. Still listen to that track regularly. I'm a bit over "Tucker's Daughter" & "Telephone Booth". Moss has one of the finest voices in music, a shame that commercial success has eluded him since.

    I couldn't stand Indecent Obsession when they came out with "Say Goodbye". It was definitely one for the teeny boppers, but they won me over with "Tell Me Something". I just think it sounded more mature and more Aus rock. They blew me away with "Kiss Me" in '92. It would have to be my Top 5 tracks of '92.

    I always thought "Living In Sin" was released early in 1989? I remember Richard Wilkins previewing the video on MTV when I was on holidays in Adelaide in early '89. Obviously, it wasn't and was the 5th single released off the album.

    "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" went far too long. Great video, but I preferred "Woman In Chains". Although it didn't do much on the charts here.

    Nathan, I noticed 'The' with Eurythmics too looking at last weeks Aria chart.

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