This Week In 1980: June 29, 1980
We've reached the halfway point of our look back at the Australian singles chart of 1980. And to mark the occasion... a pretty dull chart week with just three minor hits entering the top 50.
There was some action at the top of the chart, with The Vapors' "Turning Japanese" barging Rocky Burnette out of the way to take its first week at number 1.
Peak: number 44
Taking its name from the literal translation of European game show Jeux Sans Frontières (which was adapted in England and Australia as It's A Knockout), this track from Peter Gabriel's third self-titled solo album made a one-place improvement on the peak of his debut single, "Solsbury Hill". The anti-war "Games Without Frontiers" features backing vocals by Kate Bush, who would later duet with Peter on one of his biggest Australian hits, "Don't Give Up". But at this stage, the former Genesis singer's music didn't have that same commercial appeal.
Number 46 "Space Race" by Mi-Sex
Peak: number 28
After back-to-back top 10 hits, new wave back Mi-Sex settled into a part of the chart they'd become very familiar with over the next few years, with none of their subsequent singles able to venture past the 20s. The title track of their second album, "Space Race" wasn't up to the standard set by "Computer Games" and "People", so number 28 was probably about right - not something that could be said of the peaks of some of the band's underrated upcoming releases.
Number 45 The Monkees by The Monkees
Peak: number 44
Although it had been a decade since their last hit single, 1970's "Oh! My My / I Love You Better", which reached number 34, The Monkees were enjoying something of a resurgence thanks to the TV show that launched them becoming as ubiquitous as Batman and The Brady Bunch in re-run programming. While two different greatest hits compilations reached the top 50 in 1979-80, this four-track EP poked its nose into the singles chart. Containing big hits "I'm A Believer" (number 1), "Last Train To Clarksville" (number 14), "Daydream Believer" (number 2) and "A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You" (number 4), it was the perfect snapshot of the band, who would make a proper comeback in 1986 with brand new music.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):
Next week: a much more interesting week, with the first hit of the '80s for a man we'd be seeing a lot of throughout the decade, plus new entries from Australia's sweetheart and the country's favourite make-up-sporting rockers.