Wednesday, 20 November 2013

This Week In 1988: November 20, 1988

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

Second albums are meant to be difficult, but as we'll see from the songs which made their debut on the ARIA chart this week in 1988, that's not always the case.

Voice Of The Beehive: nice frocks, shame about the hits

In fact, while one artist achieved one of their best chart positions with the lead single from their second album, the other act had been having great difficulty getting off and running with their first album.

ARIA Top 50 Singles Chart - week ending November 20, 1988

Unfortunately, Bobby McFerrin was having no difficulty at all hanging on to the number 1 position on the singles chart this week in 1988 with "Don't Worry Be Happy". It was only his second week on top and I'd already had more than enough of the song.

Off The Chart
Number 99 "Check This Out" by LA Mix
Peak: number 99
British dance trio LA Mix hit the UK top 10 with this "Pump Up The Volume"-style sample-laden track, but Australia mostly decided not to, er, check the song out.

Number 97 "I'll Always Love You" by Taylor Dayne
Peak: number 86
Her previous two dance-pop singles had done well locally, but this Grammy-nominated big ballad, which out-performed "Tell It To My Heart" and "Prove Your Love" in the US, flopped here.

Number 83 "Love-Hate Relationship" by Schnell Fenster
Peak: number 83
The debut single from this band of ex-Split Enz members, "Whisper", had almost reached the top 50, but this follow-up firmly suggested Schnell Fenster weren't going to be anywhere near as successful.

New Entries
Number 48 "Don't Call Me Baby" by Voice Of The Beehive
Peak: number 48
Here's the debut act who'd been struggling to get the ball rolling with a series of quite excellent singles from debut album Let It Bee not achieving the type of success they should have. "I Say Nothing", "I Walk The Earth" and now "Don't Call Me Baby" all floundered on the ARIA chart. In the UK, "Don't Call Me Baby" was the song to finally give VOTB a top 20 placement, resulting in re-releases of the previous two singles. The VOTB story wasn't over in Australia - but it would be a three-year wait for the next chapter. Two videos exist for this song - there's a link to one in the song title above and the other is below.

Number 19 "Touch" by Noiseworks
Peak: number 12
Meanwhile, with this first single from the album of the same name, Noiseworks found themselves back in the top 20 for the first time since "Take Me Back". Three singles had been released from debut album Noiseworks since then - "Love Somebody", "Welcome To The World" and "Burning Feeling" - but all had missed the mark. I've made the point before that Noiseworks was one of those bands that sold lots of albums rather than landing big hit singles, but here they showed they could do both. The album Touch (their second LP) would reach the top 5, while "Touch" the single would give the band one of their highest singles chart positions. 

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

Yep, that's it for this week - short and sweet. But, rest assured, there are a lot more songs to talk about in seven days' time.

Back to: Nov 13, 1988 <<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Nov 27, 1988


  1. The first time I heard the Voice of the Beehive track (the first VOTB track I'd heard) was on Take 40 Australia (when they were using their own chart), where it peaked at #35 from memory. I remember thinking it sounded rather like the Bangles, but liked it lots (and still do). It's a pity they didn't have more hits.

    1. I've never thought of The Bangles similarity, but I agree they sound like a British spin on the same idea.

  2. Loved 'Don't Call Me Baby' when it came out and still do. I remember watching this weeks Aria chart on the rage Top 50 and seeing this enter the chart. I thought the single would do big business.

    1. I love it too - although I prefer I Say Nothing from that year. With so many songs in 1988, I would watch in frustration as they didn't get as high on the chart as I would have hoped.

  3. Well it's my birthday chart and I would've been only 10!
    Wasn't really much to talk about though, it was even a slow week on the albums chart aswell.
    Anyway the VOB track was rather non important imo and is rather forgotten.
    Noiseworks were one of those hard working pub bands that really didn't get the same recognition as some other Aussie acts did around the same time and are also rather forgotten by charties not familiar with them. Had many people say Noise.. who?

    1. That's so weird to hear people aren't familiar with Noiseworks. Sacrilege!

  4. No Lies still gives me goose bumps when I hear it. I think Touch was their weakest single even though it was their best chart performance. Jon Stevens should have gone on to have an amazing solo career like Barnsey and Farnsey!

    1. I'm not a massive fan of Touch - much preferred Voice Of Reason. I also loved all five singles from the first album, even though most of them flopped. My favourite of theirs, though, was actually Miles and Miles.

  5. At the time, there were rumours that "Touch" was slated to be Jason Donovan's debut single, under the title of "Reach Out", but I don't know that this was ever confirmed or not.

    Noiseworks were definitely omnipresent on radio back in the late 80s - you're right, Gavin...they sold a heap of albums, but could never quite manage a massive hit single, for some reason.