This Week In 1988: March 13, 1988
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2013. Updated in 2018.
I've never really understood the appeal of comedy records. Sure, they can be funny the first time you hear them, but after that, I don't get why you'd want to hear the same jokes over and over.
This week in 1988, the big comedy hit of the year made its first appearance on the top 50, and unlike releases that are basically just a stand-up performance (Austen Tayshus) or a series of sketches (The D-Generation), it was an actual song. Still, it's not a song I wanted to listen to more than once. Turned out I was about the only one not in on the joke since it ended up getting quite close to the top of the chart.
At the actual top of the chart this week in 1988, "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life" spent its sixth and final week at number 1, with Kylie Minogue waiting patiently to step up to pole position.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 73
Although their self-titled debut album hit number 2 in the UK, the pop/soul band featuring the Christian brothers (Garry, Roger and Russell) didn't really take off in Australia. This was their third single.
Peak: number 49
Appearing where it would peak, this was the second single lifted from the Pink Floyd member's concept album, Radio K.A.O.S. The "After Live Aid" bit of the song title always confused me since it had been three years since the charity concert, but the song was apparently inspired by that event. "The Tide Is Turning" would be performed at a very different event in 1990 - The Wall - Live In Berlin, a Roger Waters concert which featured guest apperances by the likes of Bryan Adams, Cyndi Lauper and Joni Mitchell, and was held to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nice sentiment, but a little bit dreary for my liking.
Number 44 "Groove" by Eurogliders
Peak: number 13
The Aussie group led by Grace Knight and Bernie Lynch had spent the middle of the '80s not too far away from the top of the local chart, but when they returned in 1988 with this single and the album of the same name, it was with a completely new line-up of the group. All the upheaval didn't seem to have made much difference with "Groove" taking them back into the top 20 - but the return to form wouldn't last. Next single "It Must Be Love" didn't crack the top 70 and two more tracks from Groove didn't even register in the top 100. It was hardly a surprise that the band split in 1989, although, like so many groups from the era, they briefly reformed in the mid 2000s, and are back together now and will support The Boomtown Rats on their Australian tour in May.
Number 43 "Back To The Wall" by Divinyls
Peak: number 33
In 1985, the previous album for Divinyls, What A Life!, hit the chart one week after Absolutely by Eurogliders - and here they were releasing new music at the same time two-and-a-half years later. Unfortunately for Divinyls, this first single from the Temperamental album wasn't as big a hit as "Groove", despite being quite a good song. It might have appeared that the band's biggest hits (like "Science Fiction", "Pleasure And Pain" and "Boys In Town") were behind them, but they still had a little something up their sleeve (or down their pants). Follow the link in the song title to see the music video, while an audio clip is below.
Number 40 "When We Was Fab" by George Harrison
Peak: number 35
"Got My Mind Set On You" had given the ex-Beatle his first Australian number 1 in 17 years, but this second single from Cloud Nine, which referenced his time in his former group, could only make it to number 35. Like the rest of the album, "When We Was Fab" was co-produced by ELO's Jeff Lynne (who also co-wrote this track) - a hint of things to come since Jeff would be a member of George's next big group, Traveling Wilburys.
Number 36 "Sign Your Name" by Terence Trent D'Arby
Peak: number 3
After hitting the Australian top 10 with "Wishing Well" in 1987, follow-up "Dance Little Sister" had been somewhat of a disappointment by only reaching number 41. It didn't help that it wasn't a particularly good song. Order was restored with this ballad from Introducing The Hardline According To..., which would also spur the album back up the chart to spend five weeks at number 1 in May and June. It wouldn't be Terence's last top 10 locally, but it would be a long five-year wait for the next one.
Peak: number 2
Here's the novelty track I was referring to at the start of this post - and the future smash hit was off to a flying start in its first week in the top 50. Morris Minor was the alter ego of comedian Tony Hawks and the "No Sleep Til Bedtime" subtitle was a reference to the 1987 Beastie Boys track, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn", which hadn't even registered inside the Australian top 100.
The biggest hit achieved by Beastie Boys had been "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)", which had only reached number 37. In fact, there hadn't been that many big rap hits in Australia by 1988 - with Run-DMC's number 9 peak with "Walk This Way" one of the best performers for the genre. So, it would seem that poking fun at rap was far and away more profitable than actually being a rap artist.
Amazingly enough, this wasn't the last we'd hear from Morris Minor & The Majors in 1988, with the British trio turning their attentions to lampoon another big musical trend of the time for their second outing.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1988:
Next week: another comedy record makes it debut, a new song by a group with a link to one of this week's new entries and the song that people turned to after the death of a music icon. Before that, I'll conclude my countdown of my favourite songs from 1992.