This Week In 1989: October 1, 1989
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2014. Updated in 2019.
Everybody loves a comeback, and this week in 1989, two artists that had enjoyed major international success in the mid-'80s returned to the ARIA singles chart after lengthy absences.
A third act also returned to the scene, attempting to score another hit to go with the song that had given them their one and only top 10 single in 1985. Of the three comebacks, two were incredibly successful and one was anything but. Intrigued?
Not so exciting was the continued success of "Right Here Waiting" by Richard Marx, with the piano ballad spending its fourth week at number 1 and holding off both "All I Want Is You" (number 2) and "Dressed For Success" (number 3), which were stuck behind it for a second week.
Off The Chart
Number 98 "Trouble In Paradise" by James Reyne
Peak: number 75
The previous two singles from second solo album Hard Reyne had peaked around the number 20 mark, but this raucous third one bombed out. Still, it did better than fourth single "Harvest Moon", which missed the top 100 completely.
Number 89 "Yellow Moon" by The Neville Brothers
Peak: number 89
Recording since the late '70s, this band of brothers gained momentum in the late '80s with their album of the same name, while Aaron Neville received even more attention thanks to his duet with Linda Ronstadt on "Don't Know Much".
Single Of The Week
Peak: number 58
Infectious bopper "Walking On Sunshine" was always going to be a hard song to move past, and four years after it became a worldwide smash for Katrina Leskanich and The Waves, they still hadn't managed another major hit. Dropped by their record label after 1986's Waves album tanked, the band regrouped and re-emerged in 1989 with Break Of Hearts, from which "That's The Way" was lifted as lead single. On the upside, it gave the band their highest chart position since 1985's "Do You Want Crying?" reached number 38. On the downside, the rockier sound wasn't enough to generate much interest and the band only managed one more appearance even further down the top 100 with their 1990 cover of "We Gotta Get Outta This Place".
Peak: number 61
It was back to Appetite For Destruction for this latest single from Guns n' Roses, following top 20 hit "Patience" from G N' R Lies back in May. Although Australia had been a little late to the Gunners party, local fans had caught up and no doubt all had the album by now — which would explain this lowly chart peak. In the US, "Nightrain" performed even worse, stalling at number 93.
Number 49 "Out Of The Fire" by Ian Moss
Peak: number 29
With two top 10 hits and a number 1 album already under his belt, it was little surprise that this third single from Matchbook struggled to achieve similar chart heights. In fact, "Out Of The Fire" would drop out of the top 50 following this initial appearance before re-entering for a brief stint in the top 40. Compared to his previous solo hits, "Out Of The Fire" was a more subdued release from the Cold Chisel guitarist, but had a melody every bit as catchy as "Tucker's Daughter" and "Telephone Booth". It would also turn out to be Ian's final top 50 single, with his follow-up album, 1991's Worlds Away, proving to be a commercial disaster.
Number 45 "Miss You Much" by Janet Jackson
Peak: number 12
It took her a couple of albums, but once youngest Jackson sibling Janet found her groove — thanks to producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis — she was catapulted into the same superstar league as big brother Michael. The musical collaboration between Janet and Jam & Lewis commenced on 1986's Control album — and although it was only modestly successful in Australia (peaking at number 25 and spawning one top 10 single in "What Have You Done For Me Lately"), it was a multi-platinum chart-topping smash in the US, with five singles reaching the top 5.
Like Michael, Janet took her time between albums and, like Bad, 1989's Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814 was worth the wait, with Jam & Lewis giving their trademark hard-hitting R&B sound a futuristic twist. "Miss You Much" was the first of what would turn out to be seven official singles from the album — and got things started with a furious blast of funky R&B. As we'd come to expect from Ms Jackson, "Miss You Much" was accompanied by a tightly choreographed music video — with an extra dance routine involving chairs part of an extended version of the clip.
Number 43 "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" by Tears For Fears Peak: number 13
Another act giving the sound for which they were known a bit of a twist was British duo Tears For Fears, who took even longer between albums than Janet — their last LP, Songs From The Big Chair, was released back in 1985. The lead single from Seeds Of Love, "Sowing The Seeds Of Love" was heavily influenced by The Beatles and clocked in at around six minutes, but still felt like a Tears For Fears track, thanks to the duelling vocals of Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith. The album, which had been through a number of producers and apparently cost a million pounds to make, was another trans-Atlantic success, with "Sowing..." reaching the top 5 in both the US and the UK.
Number 40 "Lay Your Hands On Me" by Bon Jovi
Peak: number 23
Last seen on the top 50 with power ballad "I'll Be There For You", Bon Jovi returned with a rockier fourth single from New Jersey — and it was another song that had a running time of six minutes, although its lengthy intro was trimmed down considerably for single release. Like its predecessor, "Lay Your Hands On Me" peaked at number 23 in Australia, while in the US, it made it all the way to number 7 — the band's seventh straight top 10 single on the Billboard Hot 100.
Peak: number 17
Given the backlash facing Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan in Australia in late 1989, it was no wonder Indecent Obsession didn't want to be lumped in with them as a lightweight teen pop act. But, given they weren't ever going to get radio play or be taken seriously by the rock establishment anyway, it was really a case of fighting the inevitable. Even though it was just as good a song as debut single "Say Goodbye", "Tell Me Something" fell short of the top 10 and it was downhill from here for the clean-cut four-piece, who never enjoyed a hit as big again. Interestingly, "Tell Me Something" became a top 40 success in the States — and even had a new video filmed — but the band were never able to capitalise on their brief success there.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1989:
Next week: a musical abomination that became the first single of the year by someone other than Kylie, Jason or Madonna to enter the top 50 within the top 10. Speaking of Mr Donovan, he also returned with a song that charted a few dozen places lower than he was used to.