This Week In 1990: November 25, 1990
Regular readers will know that there were a number of big hits in 1990 that I couldn't stand — "Joey", "Check Out The Chicken", "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You" — and this week that year, a song entered the ARIA top 50 that would join that list.
In fact, I didn't think that much of any of the debuting singles on the chart from this week in 1990. But I got myself into this recapping business, so I'll just have to suck it up.
In what was obviously a bad week for me, the new number 1 single in Australia also wasn't to my liking. The Righteous Brothers' "Unchained Melody" pushed aside the very excellent "Groove Is In The Heart" to spend what would feel like an eternity at the top. Thanks a lot, Ghost.
Number 49 "Don't Call Me Dude" by Scatterbrain
Peak: number 14
Without further ado, here's the song that joined the ranks of my most hated — a single that no one else in the world cared about, but somehow Australia decided to send into the top 20. A novelty record in thrash metal clothing, "Don't Call Me Dude" tells the story of a guy who turns psychotic when anyone refers to him by the surfer slang term. By 1990, "dude" was becoming part of the mainstream vernacular, thanks to its use in Less Than Zero and Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure — and so the timing couldn't have been more perfect for a song that traded on that. Pity Australians were the suckers who ran with Scatterbrain's anti-dude anthem.
Number 48 "Always And Ever" by Southern Sons
Peak: number 16
Peaking two places lower than the abomination by Scatterbrain was the local band that had quickly stepped into the gap vacated by 1927 as Australia's favourite radio-friendly soft rockers. The band's second release, "Always And Ever" is a pretty unobjectionable mid-tempo pop/rock tune — neither as rousing as "Heart In Danger" nor as full-blown a weep-fest as what would come next. And that middle-of-the-road quality is probably why I had completely forgotten about this song until now. I didn't think too much of it then, and that hasn't really changed, but I do like the use of the cascading water in the music video. You don't see enough of that anymore.
Number 46 "Bedlam Bridge" by Midnight Oil
Peak: number 46
A brief in-and-out visit to the top 50 for this fourth single from Blue Sky Mining is pretty much what anyone could have hoped for, especially given it's not one of their most commercial tracks. And that's exactly how "Bedlam Bridge" performed. The meaning of the lyrics isn't as clear-cut as with previous singles — I've read online interpretations that reference Jesus and Ronald Reagan — so I'll leave it to the band's fans to try and make heads or tails of it.
Number 40 "Rise" by Daryl Braithwaite
Peak: number 23
Daryl Braithwaite had to have been pretty happy with the way his comeback album, Edge, had been received. Not only did the LP reach the number 1 spot, but third single "One Summer" returned the former Sherbet singer to the top 10 as a solo act for the first time in over a decade. And so on to the inevitable follow-up album, Rise. Led by the title track, the going was slow, with Rise not reaching the top 10 until April 1991 (although once it did, it stayed there for five months).
Even though that chart pattern was almost identical to Edge's progress, you might've expected Rise to have been more of an instant success given he'd put in the hard comeback yards already. Part of the problem was that "Rise" the song didn't even breach the top 20 — a fact that's kind of surprising given it's reasonably upbeat and catchy. And so, absent a strong lead single, Daryl was going to have to pull something a bit better out of the bag if he wanted to, er, rise back up the charts. Luckily, he had just the song to do the trick...
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1990:
Next week: a much better week for new entries, with three debuts inside the top 20 from three of the most popular artists of the era. Plus, another classic dance track from 1990 makes its appearance.