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  • Gavin Scott

This Week In 1990: July 8, 1990

I've made no secret of my disdain for Heart's chart-topper, "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You", in recent weeks - think of it as my "Don't Worry Be Happy" for 1990. But this week  in 1990, a song I liked even less debuted on the ARIA singles chart.

"Joey" was the 16th biggest hit of 1990 in Australia

Not since The Proclaimers' double of "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" and "I'm On My Way" did a song offend me so much - and naturally, it had a lengthy and very successful run on the top 50. 

While it was bad news for me in one respect this week in 1990, there was some good news with that Heart track losing the number 1 spot and Roxette's "It Must Have Been Love" ascending to the chart throne for the first of two weeks.

Off The Chart

Number 92 "Human Cannonball" by Webb Wilder

Peak: number 68

Like The Georgia Satellites and The Fabulous Thunderbirds, this is bona fide Southern fried rock - by the musician/actor born John Webb McMurry. Taken from the Hybrid Vigor album

Number 89 "Jihad" by D*A*D

Peak: number 89

Last week, we saw the Danish rock band's enduring non-hit "Sleeping My Day Away" become a breaker, and it was quickly joined on the chart by their third song to miss the top 50.

Number 87 "Sleeping Through Another War" by Seven Stories

Peak: number 68

With a horn section reminiscent of Hunters & Collectors, this Adelaide quintet were the latest local act (following the likes of The Makers, Bang The Drum and Girl Overboard) to fail to become the country's next big band.

Number 83 "You Never Heard It From Me" by Peter Blakeley

Peak: number 61

Following the disappointing performance of "Quicksand", Peter's record label made one last ditch effort to find another hit from Harry's Cafe De Wheels. They didn't succeed.


"Dirty Mind" by Shakespear's Sister

Peak: number 65

Previous single "Run Silent" made a fleeting appearance on the top 50 back in May, but the final release from Sacred Heart made even less of an impression, despite a major transformation being given to the version that appeared on the album. With its added horns, amped up tempo and even a rap from Marcella Detroit, the single mix was a punchier affair that sounded much more like a hit - but it wasn't to be. In fact, it'd be another couple of years before the duo returned to the ARIA chart, but when they did, it would be with their biggest single yet.

Number 44 "Joey" by Concrete Blonde

Peak: number 2

Since this is the week's only debut on the top 50, "Joey" is obviously the song I was referring to at the start - a tune I hated with a passion in 1990. The breakthrough hit for alternative band Concrete Blonde, the single was only prevented from hitting number 1 in Australia by another rock anthem (that I actually liked), which we'll see appear in a couple of weeks. 

Written about singer Johnette Napolitano's relationship with Marc Moreland, the guitarist from Wall Of Voodoo (biggest hit: "Far Side Of Crazy", number 23 in 1986), "Joey" details what it's like to be in love with an alcoholic - Marc died of liver failure in 2002. Although it was clearly one of the year's most popular songs, I found Johnette's vocal too dreary and couldn't get into the dirge-like sound of the track. But what do you expect from a pop fan?

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

Next week: a synthpop supergroup who became one of my favourite bands of the decade and a hip-hop group who'd go on to have one of the most quoted songs of all time. 

And a reminder that before next week's two regular posts, I'll be taking a special look back at one of the biggest events in music history on Monday.

Back to: Jul 1, 1990 <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<  GO  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Forward to: Jul 15, 1990

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