Wednesday, 19 June 2013

25 Years Ago This Week: June 19, 1988

This time twenty-five years ago, it was one of those weeks where pretty much anything went on the ARIA singles chart. Cheesy ballads rubbed shoulders with house music and folk, and no one thought anything of it.

Tracy Chapman had good reason to grin in 1988.

Well, I wasn't too happy with the folk part - especially since that song turned out to be the biggest of the week's new entries, but you can't have everything.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending June 19, 1988

At number 1, Cheap Trick's "The Flame" held on for its third (of four) weeks, keeping Louis Armstrong from claiming a long delayed chart-topper for yet another week.

New Entries
Number 46 "Tall Cool One" by Robert Plant
Peak: number 46
I quite like "Heaven Knows", the first single from the Led Zeppelin frontman's solo album from 1988, Now And Zen - I even downloaded it a year or so ago. But, until I saw the name of this follow-up on this chart again recently, I had completely forgotten about this song. Sounding almost like something Billy Idol might have released, "Tall Cool One" is not too bad, but it didn't get any further than this debut position.

Number 44 "I Don't Want To Live Without You" by Foreigner
Peak: number 24
In 1985, soft rockers Foreigner had one of the biggest hits of the year with mega-ballad "I Want To Know What Love Is". This track, taken from their 1987 album, Inside Information, was pretty similar in style (without the big choir sing-along at the end of the track), but ended up peaking much lower. It would also be their final Australian hit.

Number 40 "Rok Da House" by Beatmasters featuring Cookie Crew
Peak: number 37
This track, a number 5 hit in the UK, popped up as a Single Of The Week at the bottom of the chart a while back, and finally made its top 50 debut this week in 1988. It wouldn't get much higher, but it was nice to see a massive dance track crack the chart when so many other club hits from 1988 (Inner City, Bomb The Bass, Jellybean) failed. Songwriting and production trio Beatmasters would follow this song up with a slew of great tracks over the next couple of years (and be responsible for launching Betty Boo onto the world), while Cookie Crew were a female rap duo we never heard that much from again.

Number 39 "My Love" by Julio Iglesias featuring Stevie Wonder
Peak: number 39
It really was a different era when Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias could score a top 40 hit! Although "My Love" didn't get any higher, it did mark his first appearance on the Australian singles chart since his trio of hits in 1984, which included two other duets: "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" with country star Willie Nelson and "All Of You" with Diana Ross. He may only have had a handful of charting singles in Australia, but Julio scored regular album success throughout the '80s, '90s and '00s.

Number 32 "Fast Car" by Tracy Chapman
Peak: number 4
The week's highest new entry was this debut single from Tracy's self-titled debut album. "Fast Car" would go on to be a massive worldwide hit - reaching the Australian top 5, and the top 10 in the US and UK. For me, Tracy was 1988's Sade (with a social conscience) - she sold truckloads of albums that were played in shops and cafes all year, and I flicked the channel every time the song came on the TV or radio. And it came on a lot. Obviously, a lot of people love the song and Tracy is a talented artist - I've just never been that into her.

Next week: it was a new era for the ARIA chart with some big changes made to everyone's favourite top 50. Before that, I'll conclude the countdown of my favourite songs from 1994.

Back to: Jun 12, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jun 26, 1988

1 comment:

  1. Andy - troubled 80s teen20 June 2013 at 08:06

    Love Rok da House - one of my favourite songs of 1988 (if only I hadn't thrown away those ARIA charts and my own year end charts a few years ago, I could tell you exactly where I placed it - but definitely in the top 10 for that year). It didn't get the recognition it deserved in Australia, but that was part of a wider issue for the dance genres that you have mentioned previously.

    My friends would use the term 'house music' to mean anything and everything in the 1990s, but as far as I'm concerned, this track is authentic (UK late 80s) house, and my favourite example of it.