This Week In 1992: May 3, 1992
Exactly 12 months earlier, Ratcat had completed their transition from indie faves to chart-conquering stars as their Tingles EP finally ascended to the number 1 position on the ARIA singles chart.
This week in 1992, another band that'd started out on the independent scene debuted on the top 50 with an EP that'd go on to be one of the biggest hits of the year. But, like Ratcat, their period of chart dominance would be just as brief.
Dominating the ARIA chart this week in 1992 was "Under The Bridge" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, which remained at number 1 for a third week.
Off The Chart
Peak: number 96
It had to happen eventually. After releasing music since 1984, the acclaimed Australian rock band finally broke into the ARIA top 100 for the first time with this track from Henry's Dream.
Number 92 "Hold On My Heart" by Genesis
Peak: number 63
After the tongue-in-cheek "I Can't Dance" gave them the second biggest hit of their career, this bland MOR ballad was nowhere near as well received.
Number 89 "Hey Boys" by Mark Seymour / Paul Kelly
Peak: number 71
Yes, the film it was taken from, Garbo, wasn't exactly a box office smash, but even so, I'm surprised this catchy single - which marked Mark Seymour's solo debut - wasn't bigger.
Single Of The Week
Peak: number 118
This third single from A Trillion Shades Of Happy was another top 10 hit back home for Kiwi rockers Push Push. Seems Australia had moved on and so will I...
Peak: number 55
I've no doubt mentioned before that despite the fact Simply Red had scored their two biggest hits up until this point - including their only Australian number 1 single - with ballads, I'd always been more partial to their funkier numbers. But just when Mick Hucknall and co. finally released a ballad I actually liked, it went and missed the top 50. It probably wasn't a coincidence that Stars was currently sitting at its peak position of number 7 on the albums chart, meaning this perfectly lovely third cut didn't come anywhere near matching consecutive number 29 hits "Something Got Me Started" and "Stars". Still it did better than the fourth and fifth singles from the album, "Thrill Me" and "Your Mirror", which both missed the top 100.
Number 44 "Weather With You" by Crowded House
Peak: number 27
Speaking of under-performing singles, Crowded House had had more than their fair share of them - some deserved, others not. And here was their latest. The fourth single from Woodface, "Weather With You" is one of the band's best known songs but it was just another mid-table hit on the ARIA chart - and didn't seem to spur on the album to much of a new sales growth, either. There was some good news - the sing-along-able tune finally gave the band their first big hit in the UK, where it reached number 7. Although he co-wrote the song and can be heard quite clearly singing on it, Tim Finn did not appear in the music video for "Weather With You", having already departed Crowded House by this point.
Number 35 Clunk by Frente!
Peak: number 3
Through a chart rules quirk to do with the number of tracks on extended plays, Frente!'s first, self-released EP, Whirled, debuted on the albums chart this week in 1992 (where it would peak at number 63). Meanwhile, their second EP - this time released through their deal with Mushroom Records' White Label - qualified for the singles chart and climbed into the top 50 on its way to a top 3 berth. It got there thanks to the quirky (or irritating, depending who you asked) "Ordinary Angels", which was one of the most unique songs out at the time. Short and sweet at two-and-a-half minutes long, the song showcased Angie Hart's lilting vocal style and, unlike their follow-up later in the year, stood firmly on the right side of cool. The original Australian video is below, while an alternate clip was made for the song's international release in 1993.
Peak: number 20
Another local act occupying a unique niche was hip-hop collective Sound Unlimited Posse, who halved the chart peak reached by their previous single, "Unity". Obviously, much of the appeal of "Kickin' To The Undersound" came from its use of that troublesome flute riff from Men At Work's "Down Under". And although I understand why it was, as a result, much more commercially successful than its predecessor, I can't help finding the gimmick a bit cheap. Probably why I still listen to "Unity" but haven't heard this song in about 25 years.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1992:
Next week: follow-ups to two of the biggest dance tracks of the previous few months. Plus, a music superstar enlists the vocals of a mystery woman for his latest hit.