This Week In 1989: Febraury 5, 1989
Originally posted as 25 Years Ago This Week in 2014. Updated in 2019.
There have been some dud weeks on the ARIA chart, but the top 50 singles from this week in 1989 is about as boring as it gets. Only three new entries - one from an artist who was really making a nuisance of herself as far as I was concerned and one from another regular chart visitor with his second live track in as many releases (and regular readers know how I feel about live records).
Thank goodness for the third debut, a brand new single from one of my favourite groups. It was also a song that had (30cm) tacked on the end of the chart entry. For the conversion challenged, 30 centimetres is the same length as 12 inches - but what did that additional format info indicate? It's not the first time we've seen it on the chart, but with little else to talk about this week, I thought it worth exploring below.
There wasn't even a new number 1 this week in 1989, with "Kokomo" hanging on for a sixth week. In the runners-up slot, there was a changing of the guard, with "Teardrops" swapping spots with outgoing number 2 hit "Especially For You". "Teardrops" would be stuck there for four weeks.
Off The Chart
Number 96 "Fisherman's Blues" by The Waterboys
Peak: number 70
Last seen almost making the top 10 in early 1986 with "The Whole Of The Moon", the Scottish-Irish band went down a much folkier road for this lead single from the album of the same name.
Number 74 "All She Wants Is" by Duran Duran
Peak: number 74
A Duran Duran single missing the top 50 used to be the exception to the rule, but it was about to become commonplace with this UK top 10 hit, which came with an MTV Award-winning music video, falling short.
Peak: number 53
Wow, even this week's relevant breaker is a disappointment. And, it was a disappointment back in 1989 when it was the long-awaited comeback single for the complete line-up of CSNY. The quartet hadn't recorded a new studio album together since 1970's Deja Vu, but Neil Young had apparently promised to reunite if band-mate David Crosby ever kicked his drug addiction. More than a decade - and a jail term for David - later, and the American Dreams album was released to a pretty lacklustre reception. Personally, I would rather endure Bobby McFerrin than have to listen to "American Dreams" ever again.
Number 48 "Like The Way I Do" by Melissa Etheridge
Peak: number 16
Australia's love affair with Melissa Etheridge continued, with her third top 50 hit in four months. Again, this track was much more successful in Australia than in the US, where "Like The Way I Do" didn't actually reach the Billboard Hot 100 until 1995. Melissa's music wasn't for me - and although she got off to a great start here, these back-to-back top 20 hits ("Like The Way I Do" and "Bring Me Some Water") were as good as it got for her on the ARIA chart.
Number 46 "Fine Time" by New Order
Peak: number 20
Here's the song that's listed with its 12" version receiving specific billing. The lead single from New Order's Technique album, "Fine Time" fit in more with dance tracks like "Blue Monday" than poppier songs like "Bizarre Love Triangle" and "True Faith". It also tapped into the burgeoning acid house sound, which had yet to make much of an impression on the top 50 in Australia.
So why is the 30cm format mentioned? Sometimes the appearance of (30cm) on the end of an entry indicated the song was only available as a 12" record (e.g. Man 2 Man Meet Man Parrish's "Male Stripper"). However, both 7" and CD single versions of "Fine Time" also existed.
I've been trying to get to the bottom of this - speaking to both ARIA and AMR's David Kent - and all I can determine is that "Fine Time" made its debut thanks to sales of the 12" version, but that the following week, sales of the 7" kicked in. Perhaps there was a delay in the release of the 7"?
As we'll see on next week's chart, the (30cm) was dropped and the catalogue number changed (how much of a trainspotter am I?) to the 7" number. We'd seen that happen before with tracks like Salt 'n' Pepa's "Push It" and Rick Astley's "Together Forever", where they start out with (30cm) listed and lose that detail over time.
If anyone has any further light to shed on this, please leave a comment below!
Number 44 "Last Frontier" by Jimmy Barnes
Peak: number 31
A second single lifted from live album Barnestorming, "Last Frontier" had started out as a track on Jimmy's most recent studio album, Freight Train Heart. That's all I have to say on the matter - if you like it, take a listen. If not, let's try to pretend this didn't happen.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1989:
Next week: a much better selection of new entries from a variety of genres - hard rock, hip-hop, Scottish pop/rock and adult contemporary. And, some of them are even good songs!