This Week In 1992: May 10, 1992
The problem with reaching number 1 with your very first single is that the only way is down after that. And so the only thing for it is keep hitting the top spot for as long as you can.
This week in 1992, an Australian dance act debuted with the song that would made it two chart-toppers from two. Elsewhere, an American singer who'd managed to kick off her career with five straight US number 1s arrived with her latest, which continued her downward trend at home but actually improved her chart fortunes locally.
At number 1 this week in 1992, a band who worked up to their first - and only - chart-topper held onto the top spot. "Under The Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers spent its fourth and final week as the nation's top seller.
Off The Chart
Number 99 4 x 4 by The Cruel Sea
Peak: number 82
Last week, we saw the top 100 debut of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds. Seven days later, it was the turn of another eventually massive local rock band. The Cruel Sea arrived with a four-track EP led by the song "4".
Number 95 "Mind Adventures" by Des'ree
Peak: number 89
"Feel So High" was it as far as Des'ree's top 50 career went for the time being, with this follow-up and title track of her debut album bombing. She'd be back, though.
Number 50 "Kiss Me" by Indecent Obsession
Peak: number 27
Speaking of being back, here was an Australian pop band who'd got off to a great start in 1989. "Kiss Me" was the first taste of Indecent Obsession's second album, Indio - and if it sounded a bit more American than the synthpop of their debut record that's because it owed its big pop/rock production to Peter Wolf (who'd worked on international hits by Starship, Heart, Go West and Wang Chung). Unfortunately, "Kiss Me" ended up as only a minor hit in Australia, but it was huge in South Africa, where Indecent Obsession amassed a major following and performed shortly after the end of apartheid.
Number 49 "Twilight Zone" by 2 Unlimited
Peak: number 11
"Get Ready For This" was still sitting pretty at number 6 and it was joined on the top 50 this week by the follow-up. Another slice of relentless techno, which also came in a no-rap version, "Twilight Zone" fell just short of the top 10 but its success here and around the world established the Dutch-fronted, Belgian-produced duo as one of the biggest names in dance music.
Number 48 "Viva Las Vegas" by ZZ Top
Peak: number 28
We'd last seen the bearded ones on the chart in 1990 with their contribution to the Back To The Future III soundtrack, "Doubleback", and now ZZ Top went back to the past for this new song included on their latest (recent) career retrospective album. A cover of the Elvis Presley song from the film of the same name, "Viva Las Vegas" sounded like a relic from the mid-'80s when the trio were at their commercial peak. A fun enough remake, but also kind of unnecessary.
Peak: number 11
I never would've guessed the key sample in this hit hip-hop track came from a "song" by The Monkees. Included on their 1967 album, Headquarters, "Zilch" contains the line "Mr Dobalina, Mr Bob Dobalina" and it was around that spoken hook that 19-year-old rapper Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (real name: Teren Jones - the Del comes from middle name Delvon) built his debut single. Co-produced by his cousin Ice Cube, the song was Del's only Australian success - and, I'd suggest, was so popular because it falls into the same almost-novelty category of rap songs as hits by De La Soul, Dimples D and 2 In A Room.
Number 45 "Make It Happen" by Mariah Carey
Peak: number 35
She'd started her career with five straight US number 1 singles, but Mariah Carey had to make do with a number 5 placing for this latest release from second album Emotions in America. Like the album's title track, "Make It Happen" was co-written and co-produced by Mariah with Robert Clivillés and David Cole, and had the same piano house influences as "Emotions". Lyrically and musically, "Make It Happen" also referenced Mariah's Christianity - in her tale of the strength she derived from her faith during her tough pre-fame years and in the gospel elements added to the mix. In Australia, the track put her back in the top 50 after the disappointing performance of previous single "Can't Let Go".
Number 21 "In The Closet" by Michael Jackson
Peak: number 5
It was fitting that Michael Jackson's latest single from Dangerous - and top 10 hit - was called "In The Closet" since the identity of the guest female vocalist on the track was kept secret for some time. Dubbed Mystery Girl on the liner notes, the voice turned out to belong to Princess Stéphanie of Monaco, who was something of a pop star in Europe. The song about a relationship being kept on the down-low was another new jack sing collaboration with writer/producer Teddy Riley, while the music video's obligatory celebrity cameo came from supermodel Naomi Campbell.
Number 16 "One In A Million" by Euphoria
Peak: number 1
Euphoria did something very clever with their follow-up to chart-topping smash "Love You Right". Having used blonde model/dancer Holly Garnett as the front for their debut effort despite the fact it was actually brunette Keren Minshull singing, group mastermind Andrew Klippel incorporated both women into second single "One In A Million" - and, most importantly, its music video. The move proved Holly could hold a tune, which diminished some of the lip-syncing tarnish, and acknowledged where the true vocal talent in the trio lay. And they were a bona fide trio now, appearing on the single cover in those outrageous music video outfits and everything. Of course, what was also clever was having a song almost as strong as "Love You Right". Less clubby and more straightforward pop, "One In A Million" gave the fledgling act a second number 1 single in a row.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1992:
Next week: another follow-up to a number 1 hit arrives, plus the hit with possibly the saddest story behind it and the chart debut of a modern R&B superstar.