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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1991: October 20, 1991

There have been plenty of successful partnerships between songwriters and female singers over the years. Bacharach & David and Dionne Warwick. Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis and Janet Jackson. Stock Aitken Waterman and Kylie Minogue.

Belinda Carlisle stuck with her winning formula in 1991

This week in 1991, a partnership between a songwriting duo and a female artist who'd scored her biggest hits with their songs bore fruit again.

Meanwhile, at number 1 this week in 1991, Big Audio Dynamite II's "Rush" finally ascended to the top in its 24th week in the top 100, dislodging "Love... Thy Will Be Done" by Martika in the process.

Off The Chart

Number 97 "Satisfaction" by Vanilla Ice

Peak: number 97

In less than a year, it was all over for Vanilla Ice, who could only limp into the very bottom of the top 100 with this cheesy spin on The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction".

Number 96 "God Only Knows" by Troy Newman

Peak: number 85

I don't think I ever heard this follow-up to "Love Gets Rough" at the time, but it reminds me a little of Alannah Myles' "Black Velvet". Unfortunately for Troy, it was nowhere near as big,

Number 93 "6 Minutes Of Pleasure" by LL Cool J

Peak: number 93

Actually only four-and-a-half minutes long, the final single from Mama Said Knock You Out sampled James Brown, Doug E Fresh and an Isaac Hayes piano hook also heard in Daniel Merriweather's "Change".

Number 79 "Stand By Love" by Simple Minds

Peak: number 70

The rockiest single from Real Life so far did better than previous release "See The Lights", but it was really beginning to feel like Simple Minds' best days were behind them.


"Try A Little Tenderness" by The Commitments

Peak: number 52

I don't have box office stats, but I feel like The Commitments was one of 1991's most successful movies in Australia. The two soundtracks released from the film about an Irish soul band were certainly huge the first album reached number 2 and spent one week shy of a year on the top 50; the second volume peaked at number 6. The Commitments' version of the frequently covered 1930s tune first recorded by the Ray Noble Orchestra appeared on the original album and just missed the top 50, but another remake would succeed where "Try A Little Tenderness" failed in the coming months.

New Entries

Number 48 "Jump To The Beat" by Dannii

Peak: number 48

It was just typical. Having suffered through Dannii Minogue's early so-so singles, "Love And Kisses", "Success" and "I Don't Wanna Take This Pain", Australia had to go and lose interest just as her music started to get good. "Jump To The Beat" was the first of two cover versions Dannii added to her drastically revised debut album for its UK release. 

Originally recorded by teen star Stacy Lattisaw in 1980, "Jump To The Beat" moved away from the new jack swing-lite of Dannii's first few Australian singles for more of a pop/dance feel, complete with rap by Technotronic's Einstein. Her earlier musical style had already been scrubbed off "Love And Kisses" and "Success" for their UK releases, while a remixed version of "I Don't Wanna Take This Pain" would end up as her fifth single in Britain. 

Quite why "Jump To The Beat" failed so badly in Australia is beyond me, especially given the fact that similarly styled singles by Melissa were doing quite well. The good news was that Dannii's second remake would receive a better reception in early 1992.

Number 46 "Stand By My Woman" by Lenny Kravitz

Peak: number 46

He'd finally scored a big hit with "It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over" but it was back to the lower end of the top 50 for Lenny Kravitz with this latest single from top 10 album Mama Said. It'd be nearly a year-and-a-half before we'd see Lenny on the chart again but when he returned, he'd do so with the biggest hit of his entire career.

Number 45 "Live Your Life Be Free" by Belinda Carlisle

Peak: number 13

Picking up where she left off, Belinda Carlisle returned to the chart with another pop tune with a massive sing-along chorus courtesy of songwriters Rick Nowels and Ellen Shipley, who'd written previous top 50 hits "Heaven Is A Place On Earth", "Leave A Light On", "Runaway Horses" and "La Luna", among other songs, for her. True to form, "Live Your Life Be Free" was another big single for Belinda. In the US, it was passed over for "Do You Feel Like I Feel?", which peaked at a dismal number 73 the worst performance by one of her lead singles. All her previous lead singles had got to number 11 or higher on the Billboard Hot 100. Unfortunately for Belinda, chart struggles were something she was going to have to get used to...

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1991:

Next week: a hit from the '70s is given a remix, while a hit from the '80s is sampled for another new single. Plus, debuts from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Simply Red, Extreme and Stevie Nicks.

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