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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1990: January 28, 1990

What an odd collection of songs we have to talk about this week! Some pop, some dance, some Aussie rock and the debut of an artist who blended a whole range of genres.

Dreads, nose ring, celeb wife... there was no cooler rock star than Lenny Kravitz in 1990

But then, that was what was happening on the ARIA singles chart in 1990 - the floodgates had been opened and all sorts of music that never would have got anywhere near the top 50 in the past was finally making its presence felt.

The B-52's continued to - yep, you guessed it - make their presence felt at number 1 this week in 1990 as "Love Shack" was once again the most popular song in the land.

Off The Chart

Number 95 "Scandalous!" by Prince

Peak: number 95

Another single from Batman, and one without much of a discernible melody and featuring a little too much screeching for my liking. It was also released as an EP, The Scandalous Sex Suite, featuring the film's star Kim Basinger.

New Entries

Number 49 "More Than You Know" by Martika

Peak: number 32

"Toy Soldiers" and "I Feel The Earth Move" had been so massive that a re-release of Martika's breakthrough US hit would be just as big, right? Wrong. Bringing her top 10 run to an end, "More Than You Know" did perform better than on its original release in 1989, but was still a bit of a disappointment - especially for me, since I'd bought this song just as "Toy Soldiers" was taking off and had waited patiently for it to hit the chart locally. A number 32 peak was somewhat of an anticlimax. 

Number 38 "Let The Night Roll On" by The Angels

Peak: number 17

1990 would turn out to be one of the most successful years in The Angels' lengthy career, with the band scoring their very first number 1 album, Beyond Salvation, in June. "Let The Night Roll On" was the lead single from the album - but both it and a version of Beyond Salvation had already been released overseas in 1989 under the name the band adopted internationally, The Angels From Angel City. 

Another fun fact I didn't know about The Angels until now is that two former members of the band ended up forming GANGgajang (who scored their first ARIA top 50 hit this week in 1985). Anyway, back to "Let The Night Roll One"... This may well be the first time I've ever listened to this single - and the chorus reminds me a little bit of "Highway To Hell", especially the way the song's title is sung. That's all I've got.

Number 37 "Let Love Rule" by Lenny Kravitz

Peak: number 36

His debut single may not have progressed much further up the ARIA chart but it was early days for Lenny Kravitz, who'd go on to become quite successful throughout the rest of the decade. Accompanied by a video both directed by and featuring his then-wife, former The Cosby Show star Lisa Bonet, "Let Love Rule" had the throwback sound and blend of psychedelic rock, soul and funk for which Lenny would become known firmly in place. Like Australia, I'd take a little while to warm up to his particular brand of music.

Number 30 "Italo House Mix" by Rococo

Peak: number 13

What do you get when you cross Jive Bunny with Black Box? This timely megamix of current dance hits with re-recorded vocals courtesy of twins Elaine and Evelyn (who don't seem to have a surname). Although, I actually wouldn't be surprised if the girls, who clearly subscribed to the Collette school of fashion, didn't actually sing on the record and just appeared in the video. That would have been very on-trend.

"Italo House Mix" is actually a bit of a misnomer, since only three of the seven songs were Italo house tracks - Black Box's "Ride On Time", "Numero Uno" by Starlight (which re-entered the top 50 this week) and "Sueño Latino" by the act of the same name. The other four - "Mantra For A State Of Mind" by S'Express, Lil Louis' "French Kiss", Technotronic's "Pump Up The Jam" and "Warning!" by Adeva - were from different parts of the world and different sub-genres of house. 

Regular readers will know of my disdain for Jive Bunny and the songs they mixed together, but despite the fact that I actually liked most of the tracks utilised in "Italo House Mix", I'd much rather listen to the original versions than this cheap-sounding cash-in.

Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1990:

Next week: two simultaneous new entries by the same artist - who probably had the Rococo record to thank for her sudden success. Plus, the arrival of the Forbidden Dance. 

Back to: Jan 21, 1990 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Feb 4, 1990

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