Wednesday, 7 October 2015

25 Years Ago This Week: October 7, 1990

As I write this post, I'm sitting on an un-air conditioned train in Sydney on a 35 degree day, and so it's very hard to muster much enthusiasm for either of the two new entries on the ARIA singles top 50 from this week in 1990. Both of the songs were solo singles by lead singers of rock bands that came to prominence in the 1970s. I didn't like either single, but both did reasonably well on the chart, so someone must have.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending October 7, 1990

Another song I didn't like - and also one by the singer of a rock band - was still at number 1 this week in 1990. "Blaze Of Glory" by Jon Bon Jovi spent its fourth week on top - a run that was beginning to feel as interminable as Heart's earlier in the year.


Off the chart
Number 88 "The Real Thing" by Third Eye
Peak: number 76
With Michael Hutchence back in the INXS fold, the next musical project of his Max Q partner, Ollie Olsen, was this dance remake of the Russell Morris chart-topper.


Breaker
"Do Me!" by Bell Biv DeVoe
Peak: number 60
Just seven weeks after their first single, "Poison", entered the top 100, this super-sexual follow-up (sample lyric: "smack it up, flip it, rub it down") joined it. Once again, despite being a massive US hit (and receiving the requisite amount of local exposure thanks to American Top 40), "Do Me!" suffered pretty much the same fate as "Poison", peaking outside the top 50. Australia didn't know what it was missing, and BBD wouldn't manage a hit single here for another three years.




New entries
Number 50 "Bound For Glory" by Angry Anderson
Peak: number 11
It was a case of Angry by name (well, actually Gary by name), Angry by nature in this shouty rock song. Yes, I know the lyrics are quite inspirational, but when they're barked by the former Rose Tattoo singer, they kind of sound like a threat. 
Just as his first solo chart hit, "Suddenly", had narrowly missed out on reaching number 1 in 1987, "Bound For Glory" was denied a top 10 placing, spending two weeks at number 11. Still, those chart achievements suggested going solo had been a good idea. The final two Rose Tattoo songs to chart had both peaked at number 100 for a single week - a far cry from their best chart effort: debut single "Bad Boy For Love" reached number 19 in 1977. 
With its rousing war cry feel, it was inevitable that "Bound For Glory" would be used by sporting teams and the track quickly became associated with AFL, leading to a notorious performance by Angry at the 1991 grand final. I'm not sure if it's related, but Angry never returned to the chart again - instead focussing on charitable activities as well as a TV career that's seen him show up reasonably regularly in everything from bogan comedy Housos to documentary series Go Back To Where You Came From




Number 44 "The Great Song Of Indifference" by Bob Geldof
Peak: number 25
Our next performer shares a few things in common with Angry Anderson. 1) Bob Geldof had released his first solo music a few years earlier, peaking at number 93 with "This Is The World Calling" in 1986. 2) He'd also fronted a influential band in the 1970s: The Boomtown Rats, who'd topping the Australian chart with "I Don't Like Mondays" in 1979. 3) He was involved in charity work - you might have heard of a little thing called Live Aid. 
But unless anyone can think of anything else, that's where the similarities end - with "The Great Song Of Indifference" being about as far from "Bound For Glory" musically as it's possible to get. Taken from Bob's second album, The Vegetarians Of Love, the Irish jig was certainly a novelty on the chart - and it's uniqueness worked in its favour. Easily the most successful of Sir Bob's solo releases, the song was one I absolutely couldn't stand.




Next week: it was a better chart week for me - but not because one of the biggest Australian groups of the '70s returned. No, it was the arrival of two of the biggest dance hits of 1990 that made up for this week's poor showing.


Back to: Sep 30, 1990 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Oct 14, 1990


1 comment:

  1. I resorted to buying the CD single in the mid/late 00's to hear 'The Real Thing' again, and it didn't seem quite as good as I'd remembered it, but I still like it.

    Given 'Do Me!'s quick follow up to 'Poison', I was surprised to see it turn up at #60 instead of the latter on rage.

    If I remember correctly, the Angry track was used heavily to promote the 1990 AFL/VFL (whatever it was known as then) final, too. I wonder why his surname was dropped for this release.

    I liked 'The Great Song of Indifference', but it was no doubt helped by being so different from anything else in the chart at the time.

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