This Week In 1986: July 6, 1986
Second albums are so notoriously difficult they've got a syndrome named after them - and the band behind the highest new entry on the ARIA singles chart this week in 1986 came to know all about sophomore slump.
One minute, they were landing top 20 hits like nobody's business and enjoying the longevity of a debut album that spent almost nine months in the top 50. The next, they couldn't crack the top 30 with a brand new song and took a year out before progressing any further with album number two. But we're getting ahead of ourselves...
This week in 1986, Robert Palmer had the best-selling single in the country for a second week as "Addicted To Love" held off Whitney Houston, Peter Gabriel and Samantha Fox to stay at number 1. But not for long!
Number 50 "E=MC2" by Big Audio Dynamite
Peak: number 47
Actually, it was a bit of a week for singles that would fall short of artists' previous chart achievements. First up, we have the second single from former The Clash singer Mick Jones's new band. Big Audio Dynamite's debut effort, "The Bottom Line", had reached number 34 back in March, but the hard-to-type "E=MC2" just sneaked into the bottom of the top 50.
The track was inspired by filmmaker Nicholas Roeg, with dialogue samples lifted from his movie Performance and lyrical references to another of his films, Insignificance. In Insignificance, Marilyn Monroe, baseball player Joe DiMaggio, politician Joseph McCarthy and Albert Einstein interact. Obviously, the song gets its title from the latter's theory of relativity. It would be another five years before Big Audio Dynamite (well, the second incarnation of the band) returned to the ARIA chart - and we'll see that happen in a few weeks on my 1991 posts.
Number 49 "Impressed" by Charlie Sexton
Peak: number 40
As March turned into April, we met young Charlie Sexton, when "Beat's So Lonely" reached the top 20. Second single "Impressed" would turn out to be not so aptly titled, with significantly less record buyers impressed enough with the song. Although Charlie didn't return to the ARIA top 50, he's enjoyed a long career as a session and touring musician (most significantly as part of Bob Dylan's band), and even popped up in the movie Boyhood.
Number 45 "Mountains" by Prince
Peak: number 45
Prince's most recent single, "Kiss", had been one of his most successful in Australia, only kept from reaching number 1 by Diana Ross. By contrast, follow-up "Mountains", which also featured in movie Under The Cherry Moon, only just made the top 50 and is no doubt one of his least remembered top 50 hits of the '80s.
Peak: number 34
Some bands would try to downplay a feud between two of their members. Not The Rolling Stones, with singer Mick Jagger and guitarist Keith Richards practically putting the title of this single into practice in the Russell Mulcahy-directed music video. Unlike their previous single, top 10 hit "Harlem Shuffle", "One Hit (To The Body)" was an original track composed by Mick, Keith and guitarist Ron Wood (his first writing credit on a Stones single). As well as performing considerably worse in Australia than "Harlem Shuffle", the song became the band's first single to miss the UK top 75.
Peak: number 33
Four of the six singles from Kids In The Kitchen's debut album, Shine, had reached the ARIA top 20, so confidence must have been high going in to album number two. Panic must have set in, then, when lead single "Out Of Control' could climb no higher than number 33. The only reason I can think of for "Out Of Control" not following the likes of "Bitter Desire", "Something That You Said" and "Change In Mood" higher up the chart is that it did feel a little like a... change in mood.
Kids In The Kitchen's previous singles had been more, well, moody. OK, I'll try to use different words. How about brooding and atmospheric? With its upbeat sound and jaunty horn interlude, "Out Of Control" felt more like a good-time party track - and perhaps that was too big a shift in direction. I don't know, I'm pretty much clutching at straws here. Whatever the reason, it was seemingly enough to hit the pause button on the band's second album, and next single "Say It" and the Terrain album wouldn't surface for more than 12 months.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1986:
Next week: another Pretty In Pink track hits the top 50, as does a song later covered by Alison Moyet, as well as new singles from a-ha, Eurythmics and Simply Red.