Wednesday, 10 July 2013

This Week In 1988: July 10, 1988

Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2013. Updated in 2018.

It had only happened once before, but this week in 1988, Kylie Minogue became the second artist in Australian chart history to debut at number 1 on the singles chart. Arguably, since the previous time it had happened was when Midnight Oil's EP, Species Deceases, entered at number 1 in December 1985, Kylie's debut with "Got To Be Certain" was the first time a regular single went straight in at the top, but that would be splitting hairs.

Kylie Minogue achieved a number 1 hat-trick in 1988

Although it's a pretty common thing these days, debuting at number 1 was quite rare in the '80s. In fact, it would take until the end of 1991 for another song to enter at the top of the singles chart. That record? "The Fly" by U2, one of four number 1 debuts the Irish band has had. Kylie's tally of debuts at the top? Seven.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending July 10, 1988

With Kylie entering at number 1, it means Louis Armstrong's decades-old single, "What A Wonderful World", lost the top spot after only one week. "Got To Be Certain" would last three weeks on top.

Number 47 "Perfect Day" by Fischer Z
I don't normally comment on re-entries, but the yo-yoing of this song is interesting, and just so happens to coincide with ARIA's first few weeks of in-house chart compilation. Kinks in the system perhaps? "Perfect Day" debuted at number 22, the highest new entry for the week ending June 26 - the first week ARIA took over collating the charts from the Australian Music Report. The following week, it was nowhere to be found in the top 50. This week, it popped its head back in at number 47 and started a chart climb that would take it back up towards its original position and beyond, finally reaching a high of number 12. Curious.

New Entries
Number 50 "Don't Be Cruel" by Cheap Trick
Peak: number 4
They'd recently been to the top of the Australian singles chart with comeback track "The Flame" - and it made perfect sense to release this Elvis Presley cover version as a follow-up. Well, like most things associated with the Lap Of Luxury album, it made sense to Cheap Trick's record company, since things like this remake and the presence of big-name songwriters like Diane Warren on the album were all at the behest of Epic Records. The band went along with the interference since, well, they hadn't had a hit in a while. "Don't Be Cruel" was their second top 5 on the trot in Australia so, if nothing else, the strategy did improve their record sales.

Number 49 "Hey Little Boy" by Divinyls
Peak: number 23
Divinyls vocalist Chrissy Amphlett tragically passed away earlier this year, and although the Australian group will always be associated with songs like "Pleasure And Pain", "Boys In Town" and, of course, global megahit "I Touch Myself", there are plenty of other gems like this in their back catalogue that are worth re-discovering. A cover of Syndicate Of Sound's "Little Girl", the re-titled "Hey Little Boy" was the second single from 1988's Temperamental album and improved on the chart fortunes of their last single (the more subdued "Back To The Wall") by 10 spots.

Number 1 "Got To Be Certain" by Kylie Minogue
Peak: number 1
They may not have realised it at first, but producers Stock Aitken Waterman now knew just what a cash cow they had on their hands, especially since, in the UK, Kylie was signed to PWL Records. Team Kylie swiftly followed up "I Should Be Lucky" with this track, which had actually already been recorded by fellow SAW act Mandy Smith.
It wasn't a new thing for SAW to recycle their old songs - Rick Astley's "Whenever You Need Somebody" had originally been performed by O'Chi Brown and songs like "If It Makes You Feel Good" and "More Than Words Can Say" did the rounds among a few different singers.
Like Rick's re-record of "Whenever You Need...", Kylie's take on "Got To Be Certain" was the perfect fit and it became her third chart-topper in a row in Australia. In the UK, it peaked at number 2 (one of three near misses there for her in 1988) behind Wet Wet Wet's charity cover of "With A Little Help From My Friends".

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1988:

Next week: the arrival of a future number 1 from one of 1988's one-hit wonders.

Back to: Jul 3, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jul 17, 1988


  1. The Fischer Z situation was definitely bizarre. From memory, "Perfect Day" remained in the Top 50 of the AMR the week it disappeared from the ARIA Chart. I remember reading an article in the early 90s, in which it was outlined that ARIA's coverage of country stores was next to zero for the first several years of the report's existence, whereas David Kent had a well-established relationship with stores all over the country, which continued to provide him with data post-ARIA. Perhaps "Perfect Day" was still widely available in its second week of release in country areas, but its availability in the major cities was limited (it kind of appeared out of nowhere, so it's feasible that city stores sold out, whereas country stores, which tended to receive stock later in those days, had enough to keep it in the AMR, since they were well-represented in the AMR charts). Pure speculation, of course, but unfortunately, we'll never know the real story (since no one who worked in the ARIA Chart Department back then still works there).

    1. Carta, I think I found the article you mention, recently, during a subscription I had to a newspaper archive site. I'm pretty sure I saved it, and can perhaps dig it up if you want to look at it again.

      Does no-one who was at ARIA in 1988 still work there? That's interesting. I know that someone Gavin and I have been in contact with has been there since at least '94 (I recognised her signature on a Christmas Greetings card from ARIA that appears in an ARIA Report from back then).

  2. Despite being a big hit, 'Don't Be Cruel' is kind of forgotten now, I'd say. I encountered the song again a few years ago, and released then that I had virtually forgotten its existence.

    'Hey Little Boy' isn't really among Divinyls' best work IMO, but it's catchy and reminds me a little of the later foxiness of Wendy James in attitude.

    I remember watching the upper region of the rage top 50 the week 'Got To Be Certain' debuted at #1 and being quite pleasantly surprised. Not yet being extensively versed in Australian chart history, this was the first time a single had debuted at #1 that I was aware of, and it seemed like she had pulled off an impossible feat. I like that you've embedded the 'coffee house' edit of the video that aired here on TV at the time. Rage now air a hybrid edit of this and the 'merry-go-round' version; the scenes of Kylie on the merry-go-round look ridiculous to me.