Monday, 8 June 2020

This Week In 1980: June 8, 1980

From Dragon and Mi-Sex to Sharon O'Neill and Jenny Morris, many bands and singers from New Zealand have made their way across the Tasman to break into the Australian music scene and, in many cases, take up residency here.

Australia only had a one-night stand with Kim Hart

This week in 1980, a new Kiwi singer entered the Australian chart with what I believe was her first local release. Also arriving on the top 50 this week was the latest single by a New Zealand band who were enjoying...

Australian Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending June 8, 1980

...their final week at number 1 with previous hit "I Got You". Split Enz's mega-hit spent its eighth week on top.

Off The Chart
Number 100 "Rhapsody" by Wayne Roberts
Peak: number 88
Interest in this track by the Brisbane radio personality was likely limited to Queensland, where it reached the top 40. It was one of two national top 100 appearances "Waynee Poo" made.

Number 99 "Heart Of Stone" by Edith Bliss
Peak: number 86
Her first single had made the upper half of the top 50, but singer/TV personality Edith Bliss struck out with this follow-up (and bizarrely decided to keep her handbag on in the music video).

Number 90 "I Pledge My Love" by Peaches & Herb
Peak: number 73
They'd had two top 15 hits in 1979 thanks to "Shake Your Groove Thing" and "Reunited" but Herb Fame and Linda Greene (the third "Peaches") ran out of steam with this final top 100 appearance, which was also the duo's final US hit.

Number 81 "The Part Of Me That Needs You Most" by Exile
Peak: number 81
Things had been going steadily downhill since their 1978 chart-topper, "Kiss You All Over", with this fourth top 100 single by the American band following "You Thrill Me" (number 31) and "How Could This Go Wrong" (number 68).

New Entries
Number 49 "Oh Susie" by Secret Service
Peak: number 49
This former Swedish number 1 came from a band that had got together (as Ola+3) to compete in 1979's Melodifestivalen, the competition to find Sweden's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest . Although they didn't get through, they had success across Europe in their new guise as Secret Service with this synthpop track. Singer Ola H√•kansson went on to be come a record company executive, forming Stockholm Records in 1992.

Number 47 "Love Is Enough" by Linda George / Paul McKay
Peak: number 42
This ballad was a return to the chart for singer Linda George, who'd reached the top 15 a couple of times in 1973-74. Besides her solo career, Linda was well known as a session singer throughout the '70s and '80s, but I can't tell you a thing about her duet partner, Paul McKay, other than the fact he came from Melbourne.

Number 42 "I Hope I Never" by Split Enz
Peak: number 18
With "I Got You" winding up its time as the best-selling single in Australia, New Zealand's Split Enz, who'd relocated to Australia in the mid-'70s, lifted this second track from the True Colours album. Although not as big a hit as its predecessor, ballad "I Hope I Never", which featured lead vocals from Tim Finn this time around, became the band's fourth top 20 hit locally - a tally they would quickly add to over the next few years.

Number 36 "Love At First Night" by Kim Hart
Peak: number 6
The latest New Zealander to cross over to Australia was singer Kim Hart, who'd already released a bunch of songs back home in 1978-79. Coming out on both sides of the Tasman around the same time, "Love At First Night" became the biggest hit of her career when it reached number 15 in NZ and the Australian top 10. A slinky disco-infuenced track, it was reminiscent of Christie Allen's "Goose Bumps" and a favourite on Countdown. Unfortunately, it would be Kim's only success, with subsequent singles all failing to make the top 50.

Number 35 "Cheap Wine" by Cold Chisel
Peak: number 8
1980 really was a banner year for Aussie rock classics. Following landmark hits by The Angels and Australian Crawl a few weeks ago, this second single from the just released East album became Cold Chisel's first top 10 hit - something the band had been aiming for by recording their most commercial collection of songs to date. 

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):

Next week: the debut of an Australian band who would feature on the singles chart until the end of the decade (and slightly beyond).

Back to: Jun 1, 1980 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jun 15, 1980


  1. I missed the Secret Service single at the time but saw it in a Countdown rerun several years ago. Have to say I liked it. They had a few more hits in Europe in the early 80s after this.

    I liked 'Love At First Night', and thought Kim Hart was stunningly beautiful. I think she did make a few more Countdown appearances during 1980-81, but it's a shame she couldn't follow this hit up.

    'I Hope I Never' was a great follow up single, however. A nice response by Tim to Neil's 'I Got You'. Very beautiful. Split Enz were on a roll. Having said that, I don't think True Colours yielded any more hits after this, which is a bit surprising. Guess Split Enz just wanted to get on with their next album, which came out only 6-7 months after this I think.
    'Cheap Wine' is indeed a pub rock standard. While it's not quite my favourite Chisel track, it and the rest of the 'East' album was solid stuff.

  2. Whilst I'm not a cold chisel/JB fan by any means, I don't mind cheap wine. His voice is just infuriating when and that really puts me off a lot of his songs, I.e. working class man. Saturday night is my favourite along with choir girl and this one but don't have many other songs I like by the band, sorry if I'm disrespectful to Cold Chisel.

    Love a first night is a forgotten classic. Very pleasant pop/disco track. She looks quite gorgeous in the video

  3. some good sunken treasure in this week's chart. No memory of "oh susie" but love that tune. & the "rhapsody" song is great! Not what i was expecting. Sounds very 60s. The sniggering 12 year old in me wasn't able to escape noticing the double entendre in Exile's song title. And Kim Hart! Wow, what a song. That should have been huge internationally. Seem to recall her guest hosting Countdown too, that would have been a big honour back in the day

  4. "I Hope I Never" was prominently featured on the soundtrack for the 1981 movie version of Puberty Blues. The soundtrack credits it to Split Enz but it's sung by a woman in a high key. Someone told me it was Sharon O'Neill but the voice is much higher. Does anyone know if it really was her?

    1. Some sites say that it's Jenny Morris. Both Sharon and Jenny recorded versions of the title track theme song.

    2. Yes, apparently Sharon O'Neill sang the title track for Puberty Blues in the movie and Jenny Morris just had the single - probably more likely to be Sharon then. It does sound a bit like her, and in songs like "Losing You" she belts up almost as high. (Back in the days when only talented female singers could belt high, before autotune came along and made it possible for all these hideous squealing banshee women to shatter our eardrums.)