This Week In 1980: June 8, 1980
From Dragon and Mi-Sex to Sharon O'Neill and Jenny Morris, many bands and singers from New Zealand have made their way across the Tasman to break into the Australian music scene and, in many cases, take up residency here.
This week in 1980, a new Kiwi singer entered the Australian chart with what I believe was her first local release. Also arriving on the top 50 this week was the latest single by a New Zealand band who were enjoying...
...their final week at number 1 with previous hit "I Got You". Split Enz's mega-hit spent its eighth week on top.
Off The Chart
Number 100 "Rhapsody" by Wayne Roberts
Peak: number 88
Interest in this track by the Brisbane radio personality was likely limited to Queensland, where it reached the top 40. It was one of two national top 100 appearances "Waynee Poo" made.
Number 99 "Heart Of Stone" by Edith Bliss
Peak: number 86
Her first single had made the upper half of the top 50, but singer/TV personality Edith Bliss struck out with this follow-up (and bizarrely decided to keep her handbag on in the music video).
Number 90 "I Pledge My Love" by Peaches & Herb
Peak: number 73
They'd had two top 15 hits in 1979 thanks to "Shake Your Groove Thing" and "Reunited" but Herb Fame and Linda Greene (the third "Peaches") ran out of steam with this final top 100 appearance, which was also the duo's final US hit.
Peak: number 81
Things had been going steadily downhill since their 1978 chart-topper, "Kiss You All Over", with this fourth top 100 single by the American band following "You Thrill Me" (number 31) and "How Could This Go Wrong" (number 68).
Number 49 "Oh Susie" by Secret Service
Peak: number 49
This former Swedish number 1 came from a band that had got together (as Ola+3) to compete in 1979's Melodifestivalen, the competition to find Sweden's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest . Although they didn't get through, they had success across Europe in their new guise as Secret Service with this synthpop track. Singer Ola Håkansson went on to be come a record company executive, forming Stockholm Records in 1992.
Peak: number 42
This ballad was a return to the chart for singer Linda George, who'd reached the top 15 a couple of times in 1973-74. Besides her solo career, Linda was well known as a session singer throughout the '70s and '80s, but I can't tell you a thing about her duet partner, Paul McKay, other than the fact he came from Melbourne.
Number 42 "I Hope I Never" by Split Enz
Peak: number 18
With "I Got You" winding up its time as the best-selling single in Australia, New Zealand's Split Enz, who'd relocated to Australia in the mid-'70s, lifted this second track from the True Colours album. Although not as big a hit as its predecessor, ballad "I Hope I Never", which featured lead vocals from Tim Finn this time around, became the band's fourth top 20 hit locally - a tally they would quickly add to over the next few years.
Number 36 "Love At First Night" by Kim Hart
Peak: number 6
The latest New Zealander to cross over to Australia was singer Kim Hart, who'd already released a bunch of songs back home in 1978-79. Coming out on both sides of the Tasman around the same time, "Love At First Night" became the biggest hit of her career when it reached number 15 in NZ and the Australian top 10. A slinky disco-infuenced track, it was reminiscent of Christie Allen's "Goose Bumps" and a favourite on Countdown. Unfortunately, it would be Kim's only success, with subsequent singles all failing to make the top 50.
Number 35 "Cheap Wine" by Cold Chisel
Peak: number 8
1980 really was a banner year for Aussie rock classics. Following landmark hits by The Angels and Australian Crawl a few weeks ago, this second single from the just released East album became Cold Chisel's first top 10 hit - something the band had been aiming for by recording their most commercial collection of songs to date.
Listen to this week's new entries on my Spotify playlist of all the top 50 hits from 1980 (updated weekly):
Next week: the debut of an Australian band who would feature on the singles chart until the end of the decade (and slightly beyond).