Thursday, 1 September 2016

This Week In 1991: September 1, 1991

Hot August Night. Whispering Jack. Innocent Eyes. 21. These are some of the albums to have held down the number 1 spot on the Australian albums chart for a seemingly endless amount of weeks since the '70s. They all have another thing in common - none of them were at number 1 as long as Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms, which topped the chart for 34 non-consecutive weeks in 1985-86.

How do you follow up one of the biggest albums of the '80s? Like this, apparently

This week in 1991, the British band's first single from the follow-up to Brothers In Arms debuted on the ARIA chart. It arrived three weeks ahead of what would be Dire Straits' final studio album, On Every Street, which crashed straight into the albums top 50 at number 1, but only stayed there for a single week. 

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending September 1, 1991

On top of the singles chart this week in 1991 was a song that was enjoying its own lengthy spell at number 1. Yep, Bryan Adams was still untouchable as "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You" held its position for a sixth straight week. 

Off The Chart
Number 99 "Tainted Love '91" by Soft Cell
Peak: number 93
Their original recording of "Tainted Love" had reached number 1 in Australia almost a decade earlier. This remix, which returned the song to the UK top 5, was to promote a Soft Cell and Marc Almond best of. 

Number 89 "A Place In The Sun" by Hoodoo Gurus
Peak: number 89
And so Hoodoo Gurus reached the inevitable stage of their album campaign when their singles ceased to reach the top 50. Didn't stop them releasing another track from Kinky, "Castles In The Air", though.

Number 72 "Let The Beat Hit 'Em" by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Peak: number 72
This sample-heavy (and subsequently heavily sampled) track was the last major hit for the American freestyle group who, sadly, never took off in Australia despite enjoying two US chart-toppers.

"Jennifer" by Falling Joys
Peak: number 60
Their last single, "Lock It", had just missed the ARIA top 50 - and the same fate awaited follow-up "Jennifer". The Canberra indie pop band never came this close to landing a hit again, although they continued to release music into the mid-'90s.

"Who'll Stop The Rain" by Girl Overboard
Peak: number 59
Girl Overboard had reached the top 50 with two of their previous singles, "I Can't Believe" and "The Love We Make", but despite this cover version of Creedence Clearwater Revival's number 4 hit from 1970 being a brand new track, it wasn't enough to return Lisa Schouw and co. there. It'd be about another year before we'd hear from the Melbourne band again.

New Entries
Number 49 "Rush You" by Baby Animals
Peak: number 30
While the female-fronted Falling Joys and Girl Overboard couldn't get back into the top 50, Baby Animals had no such trouble. Their second release, "Rush You", was just as rambunctious as debut single "Early Warning" and, after an extended intro, burst into another catchy chorus. Despite all that, "Rush You" wasn't the biggest of hits, but the band had nothing to worry about with their self-titled album flying into the top 10 in mid-September. Baby Animals would do even better in early 1992, spending six weeks at number 1 and winning the ARIA Award for Best Album. 

Number 46 "The Promise Of A New Day" by Paula Abdul
Peak: number 31
In the US, this follow-up to "Rush Rush" became Paula Abdul's sixth - and final - number 1 single. "The Promise Of A New Day" didn't do anywhere near as well in Australia, where it would be the last time a single released from Spellbound (and three more were still to come) made the top 50. Meanwhile, the track's music video was notable for being the first time a bikini-clad Paula really flaunted her body as she frolicked in a waterfall, having covered up in big jackets and baggy clothes or only given a flash of flesh in previous clips. 

Number 13 "Calling Elvis" by Dire Straits
Peak: number 8
I had no recollection of what this song sounded like until listening to it again now. That's no surprise, really. I was never much of a Dire Straits fan, although I'd probably begrudgingly admit to liking "Twisting By The Pool" in my youth if pushed. But while singles like "Money For Nothing" and "Walk Of Life" are forever imprinted in my brain, "Calling Elvis" is not one of their more memorable tunes and only really reached the top 10 because it had been six years since Dire Straits had released any new music. 
During that time, singer Mark Knopfler had landed a minor hit with country rock side-project The Notting Hillbillies. The similarly styled "Calling Elvis" might have charted much higher, but sped in and out of the top 50 in eight weeks. The first of five singles released from the highly anticipated On Every Street, the track came with a music video directed by Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and featuring his trademark puppets.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1991:

Next week: a soap star-turned-pop star goes solo, while members of two well-known Australian bands (who'd both already had solo hits) join forces.

Back to: Aug 25, 1991 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Sep 8, 1991


  1. I was quite a fan of this Paula Abdul song when released and couldn't understand why it wasn't as big a hit as Rush Rush.

    I'm also a massive Dire Straits fan vividly remember seeing this for the first time too, I was not disappointed. I'm a huge fan of the criminally underrated On Every Street. Funnily enough the one song you kinda like is the one song of theirs that I'm not keen on, lol.

  2. I wasn't aware of 'Tainted Love '91' until hearing it on the radio randomly about 3 years later. The video you've embedded isn't working for some reason, but the Vevo upload is.

    I wouldn't have heard 'A Place In the Sun' since '91.

    I wasn't aware of 'Let the Beat Hit 'Em' at the time. I prefer the completely different cover version by Sheryl Jay from a few years later.

    'Who'll Stop the Rain' was pleasant, but I think the only time I heard it was when it spent a solitary week in the rage top 60.

    I never cared much for 'Rush You'. 'Rush' was a popular word to include in song titles in 1991!

    I like 'The Promise of a New Day', but it becomes too repetitive by the end, and could have finished a minute or more earlier than it does.

    Like the Metallica album, 'On Every Street' was TV advertised before its release, and was another album I thought 'oh no, this will be unavoidable for the next year or so'. But thankfully I was wrong this time. While not generally a fan of Dire Straits, the music video was interesting, with the Thunderbirds characters. The song is 'dire', though.