|Jive Bunny: easily the worst thing to happen to music in 1989|
Yep, 25 years ago this week, 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.
"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.
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 O.K." - 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.
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.
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