This Week In 1989: February 26, 1989
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2014. Updated in 2019.
Timing is everything - and that's especially the case when it comes to music. Whether it's releasing a song at just the right time to connect with as many people as possible or choosing the right order in which to release singles from an album, decisions to do with timing can make or break careers.
The three new entries on the ARIA chart this week in 1989 all had timing on their side for one reason or another (in a couple of cases, only just) and all went on to become big hits in Australia.
The biggest hit of all in the country was still by The Proclaimers. I have nothing else to say on that particular topic.
Peak: number 68
Before we get to our new entries, here's another single by Tracy that failed to make it into the Australian top 50 but has, over the years, become an incredibly well-known song. In the UK, part of the song's fame is due to Boyzone's 1997 remake, which peaked at number 2 there. That cover wasn't a hit here, but enough Australians would have become familiar with one version or the other over the years thanks to album sales and radio play.
Peak: number 56
Another act that was having trouble landing a second top 50 hit was R.E.M. - and that's despite the fact that this follow-up to "Orange Crush" was easily the poppiest thing they'd released to date. In fact, this song sounds so much like a hit single that, when I first looked at the breakers on the chart this week, I seemed to remember "Stand" being successful in Australia. But no, it would take until 1991 for the band to return to the top 50. It was a different story in the US, with "Stand" giving R.E.M. their second top 10 hit.
Number 42 "One Summer" by Daryl Braithwaite
Peak: number 8
Hitting the chart in the final week of summer is Daryl's ode to the sunny season. In many ways, this would have been a better second single from Edge than "All I Do" (the relative flop between two much bigger singles). For one thing, "One Summer" is a far superior song; for another, it would've come out instead at the start of summer and been blasted all season long. There is one way in which the timing of "One Summer" was actually quite smart. By hitting the chart in the dying days of the season, it reminded people of the summer months just past - and nostalgia's never been a bad thing when it comes to music.
Number 39 "Stop!" by Sam Brown
Peak: number 4
February 1989 was a great month for Sam Brown - with the timing finally right for "Stop!" to climb to a peak of number 4 in both Australia and the UK. The song had originally been released in mid-1988 in the UK, but it stiffed at number 52, while in Australia, it started its chart life back in October '88, bouncing around the lower end of the top 100 for a few weeks. In both countries, the impassioned ballad re-entered the chart in February and rocketed into the top 5. Far and away the biggest hit by the husky-voiced British singer (whose parents were both recording artists), "Stop!" was later covered (without the exclamation mark) by Jamelia for the soundtrack to Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason.
Number 37 "End Of The Line" by Traveling Wilburys
Peak: number 12
Like Roy Orbison's Mysterious Girl album (from which lead single "You Got It" was sitting at number 4 this week in 1989), the Traveling Wilburys project was completed just in the nick of time, since the Big O passed away in late 1988. The clip for this second single was filmed after Roy's death, with an empty rocking chair set aside to represent the gap left by the music legend.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1989:
Next week: the original version of a song made even more famous when it was covered by a Spice Girl a decade later and an obscure song from 1980 made more famous by rock's latest blonde bombshell.