Wednesday, 15 November 2017

25 Years Ago This Week: November 15, 1992

Some charts weeks are pretty predictable - the songs you expect to be hits go on to do just that, while you can see the flops coming a mile away. This week in 1992 was not one of those weeks.

Two one-hit wonders succeeding where established Aussie rock bands failed

Among the new entries on the ARIA top 50 were three established Australian rock bands who all struck out with brand new songs and three newcomers who would enjoy huge success over the summer months.

ARIA Top 50 Singles and Albums Chart - week ending November 15, 1992

A song still enjoying huge success remained at number 1 this week in 1992. "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus spent its seventh - and, thankfully, final - week on top.


Off The Chart
Number 98 "Money Love" by Neneh Cherry
Peak: number 85
Neneh Cherry's output had been massively underappreciated in Australia, so it wasn't surprising that continued with this lead single from second album Homebrew. More unexpected: it also missed the UK top 20.

Number 97 "It's My Life" by Dr Alban
Peak: number 97
This European mega-hit from the dentist-turned-performer would eventually reach the ARIA top 50, but not until 1994 when it was re-released in the wake of "Sing Hallelujah".

Number 88 "Acid Rain" by Tumbleweed
Peak: number 88
Australian rock back Tumbleweed ventured into the top 100 for the first time with this track from their self-titled debut album. The top 50 awaited them in 1993.


Single Of The Week
Trumpets by Club Hoy
Peak: number 88
A bit of promotion for the Australian folk band may have been the reason they sneaked into the top 100 for the first time with Trumpets. But promotion for the four-track EP was also apparently the cause of their split, with members divided over the choice of "You Promised - You Said" as the lead single. As a result, Trumpets would be Club Hoy's final release.


New Entries
Number 50 "Bettadaze" by Boom Crash Opera
Peak: number 43
It'd been an odd few years for one of my top 5 Australian bands of all time. Since their last studio album, 1989's These Here Are Crazy Times, they'd released a remix album and an average EP, and during the recording of third album Fabulous Beast, bid a permanent farewell to founding member Richard Pleasance, who'd previously limited his role due to suffering tinnitus. Despite the upheaval, Boom Crash Opera were back to their best with the fittingly titled "Bettadaze", which preceded the new album by about six months. All the hallmarks of a classic BCO sing-along were present, but somehow it failed to connect with the Australian record-buying public and peaked just one spot above 1991's Dreams On Fire EP.




Number 48 "Impossible To Fly" by Baby Animals
Peak: number 48
Next up, a band whose last couple of years had been enormously successful, with three top 30 hits and a number 1 album to show for themselves. But like Boom Crash Opera, Baby Animals found themselves on the wrong side of the top 40 with this brand new single - a stop-gap measure between albums. It's likely "Impossible To Fly" under-performed due to its cruisey, bluesy style not being what you'd expect from a Baby Animals single.   




Number 45 "Highway To Hell (live)" by AC/DC
Peak: number 29
It's noteworthy that while three Australian bands flopped with brand new music, AC/DC reached the top 30 with a live version of a 13-year-old song. This new version of "Highway To Hell" (originally a number 24 hit) was taken from their concert release, Live, the double album version of which would debut at number 1 the following week.




Number 43 "Holiday" by Ratcat
Peak: number 41
Proving the failure of previous single "Candyman" was no one-off, the latest jangly guitar single from Ratcat became their first to miss the top 40 since the indie band's breakthrough with Tingles at the start of 1991. A much better single than its predecessor, "Holiday" must have been too little too late to salvage Ratcat's career, with accompanying album Insideout, the follow-up to chart-topper Blind Love, failing to make the albums top 50 at all. Then, none of the band's subsequent releases before their split later in the decade would grace the top 100. Geez, when the Australian public turn, they turn hard.




Number 41 "Jump!" by The Movement
Peak: number 7
Our Australian rock bands out of the way, we move now to the first of three one-hit wonders whose singles did incredibly well. American techno three-piece The Movement was comprised of frontman AJ Mora, producer/DJ Richard Gonzalez and DJ Hazze, and "Jump!" largely consisted of the title word repeated over and over. Depending on the version, upwards of 90 times. One word that was missing from the clean version was "motherfucker", which was replaced with "everybody" to avoid controversy. 




Number 40 "Ebeneezer Goode" by The Shamen
Peak: number 14
Here's a track that was buoyed on by the wave of controversy that had surrounded it in the UK, where it topped the chart for four weeks despite (or because of) being banned for a time by the BBC. Dance act The Shamen also shot up the ARIA listings (although not quite as high) with rave classic "Ebeneezer Goode", which featured lyrics that more or less endorsed ecstasy use (in moderation, mind you). The message was no so subtly disguised as a story about a geezer, a real crowd-pleaser who went by the name of Ebeneezer Goode, but we were pretty much all in on the joke. Smack bang in the middle of a string of five top 10 hits for The Shamen in the UK, "Ebeneezer Goode" was the group's only Australian top 50 appearance, although the song's success did give previous single "L.S.I. (Love Sex Intelligence)" a kick in the pants, although not quite enough of one to result in it becoming a second hit for them here.




Number 29 "Tequila" by A.L.T. & The Lost Civilization
Peak: number 8
From drugs to alcohol, and an update of the song first released in 1958 by The Champs, which got to number 4 in Australia. Surprisingly, for a tune covered as frequently as "Tequila", this remake by rapper Alvin Lowell Trivette (see what he did there?) became only the second version to chart in Australia. Released at the perfect time of year, it was a Latin-flavoured summer hit that ended up remaining on the top 100 for half a year - a trick that would be repeated a couple of years later by Arrow's just as objectionable revamp of "Hot Hot Hot". Unfortunately for A.L.T. and his Lost Civilization, it was his first and only showing on the ARIA chart.




Next week: a previous minor hit returns the chart in acoustic version, plus yet another single from a year-old double album and the arrival of a hip-hop classic.


Back to: Nov 8, 1992 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 22, 1992


3 comments:

  1. I first heard the Neneh Cherry & Dr. Alban tracks on UK Chart Attack. Given Neneh's post-'Buffalo Stance' Oz singles chart history to date, I wasn't surprised that 'Money Love' also flopped.

    I loved (and still love) the Dr. Alban track.

    Didn't know the Tumbleweed track until a rage special (I think one of them died?) on them a few years ago. Not the sort of thing I'd normally listen to, but I like it. I also liked their next single.

    I don't remember the Club Hoy EP or any tracks from it.

    I thought Boom Crash Opera were really struggling at this point, and find 'Bettadaze' to be rather sub-par.

    'Impossible To Fly' had no music video, which probably also hindered its success. Was it from a soundtrack? I seem to remember thinking it was.

    'Holiday' was catchy, but like 'Accidently Kelly Street', doesn't sound remotely 'indie', so probably alienated much of that element of their fan-base (if they hadn't been already by the success of the previous album).

    There are parts of 'Jump!' I can enjoy, and others that irritate me. On the balance between the two, irritate wins out slightly.

    'Ebeneezer Goode' was another track first heard on UK Chart Attack. Despite knowing about the drug controversy, somehow it took me years to decipher that it was really saying "E's are good". Personally, I much preferred the 'L.S.I.', 'Boss Drum', and 'Phorever People' singles from this album. I thought the 'Ebeneezer Goode' character in the video looked not unlike Brian May.

    I hated 'Tequila'.

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  2. PS I meant to add - I thought it rather unusual that the Rozalla track re-charted at this point, given it peaked at #11 less than a year earlier. Its use in a Coca Cola TV commercial was responsible... but surely there weren't enough people who liked the track enough to buy it but didn't already know about it/own it?

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  3. I found a self-titled sort-of album by The Movement on cassette in 1993. It was only $8 as a promotion. Officially it *is* their album but there were five songs on side 1 and five remixes on side 2. I bought it because it was only $8 at a time where, also with my age, I could never afford a new release album and I didn't mind "Jump". All up, to me, it was like an EP and, overall, I enjoyed the five songs on it. The remixes I played through once and then they just languished on side 2 mostly ignored. I now have the CD.

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