We visited 3FOX, the most listened-to radio station in Australia, last February, and pretty much everything still applies here. Here’s their Top 10 from this day in 1990.
- M. C. Hammer, “U Can’t Touch This” I’m not much of a rap fan, but I’m fond of this video because, for a midyear meeting with my old company, they made a video that interspersed this video with videos of the senior management of the company saying “can’t touch this!” Trust me, it was funny. Whatever you think of Hammer, you have to admit he dances well, and no one did more for parachute pants… This ultimately reached #1 in Australia, going to #8 in the US.
- New Kids On The Block, “Step By Step” 1990 was in the midst of the “boy band” period (which I think is still going on), and NKOTB were definitely teen idols. One of the NK’s, Donnie Wahlberg, has gone on to fame and fortune as one of the stars of the TV series Blue Bloods, but is still with them, touring (I would guess) around the filming schedule. Yes, they got back together in 2007 and are still active, and probably will be well into their dotage, at which point hey’ll be the New Old Farts On The Block. This went to #8 in Australia and #1 in the US.
- Kylie Minogue, “Better The Devil You Know” Kylie’s a local girl, having been born in Melbourne, though she’s spent most of her career in England. I never knew that… anyway, this reached #4 in Australia and #2 in the UK, and didn’t chart in the US.
- Guru Josh, “Infinity” Wikipedia tells us that Guru Josh was born Paul Walden and that he was from Jersey (the island, not the state). This reached #5 in the UK and #4 in Australia.
- Absent Friends, “I Don’t Want To Be With Nobody But You” A short-lived band from Sydney (they formed in 1989 and disbanded the following year) that included former members of The Models, they released four singles, and this was the only one to reach the Top 10, making it to #4 in Australia.
- Hi Tek 3 with Ya Kid K, “Spin That Wheel” From what I can piece together, Hi Tek 3 was a side project of Technotronic, an electronic music project from Belgium that was formed by Jo Bogaert, who was big in the New Beat movement. This was recorded for the 1989 movie Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where it had the subitile “Turtles Get Real.” It reached #5 in Australia and #2 on the Canadian dance chart, but didn’t make the Top 40 in the US.
- Wilson Phillips, “Hold On” The vocal group formed by The Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’s daughters Carnie and Wendy and The Mamas And The Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips’ daughter Chynna, who sang together beautifully and still do. This went ti #1 in the US and #2 in Australia.
- Heart, “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” Another set of Wilson sisters (no relation), Ann and Nancy, and the rest of Heart took this to #1 in Australia and Canada and #2 in the US. (Wonder what song was in the way?)
- Tina Arena, I Need Your Body” Another Melbourne local, Tina’s one of the most-popular female Australian singers in the world (and, until I did this, I had never heard of her). Went to #3 in Australia.
- Roxette, “It Must Have Been Love” Roxette is a Swedish pop duo, Marie Fredriksson and Per Gessel. They’re the second most-popular band from Sweden (three guesses as to who’s #1). This reached #1 in the US and Australia, and again, I never heard of them.
So that’s The Friday 5×2 for July 5, 2019.
I was still more or less listening to pop radio in 1990, although I found myself seraching the radio dial for alternatives, so I decided to go with this survey from Fox FM (3FOX), which Wikipedia tells us is the most listened-to radio station in all of Australia. I’m impressed…
- Black Box, “Ride On Time” Wikipedia tells us that they were a house music trio who employed Katrin Quinol (the attractive woman seen in the video) as its alleged frontwoman (as they called her, the band’s “image”). There was quite a bit of controversy when it was discovered that Katrin was merely lip-syncing and the actual singer was a woman named Martha Wash. There was a lot of that going on around this time, as you’ll soon see. The song did well in Australia, reaching #2.
- Midnight Oil, “Blue Sky Mine” Midnight Oil is an Australian rock band based in Sydney. They’ve won 11 ARIA awards (the Australian equivalent of the Grammys) and are members of the ARIA Hall of Fame. This went to #1 in the US on the Mainstream Rock and Alternative charts and #8 in Australia.
- The B-52’s, “Love Shack” This alternative band from Athens, Georgia (from whence R. E. M. also comes) has been around since 1979, but I didn’t hear of them until they released this and it went to #3 in the US. It went to #1 in Australia and sold enough records to earn double platinum status.
- Milli Vanilli, “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” Around the same time that Black Box had their controversy over their alleged lead singer not actually sung their hits, Milli Vanilli, who had won the Grammy for Best New Artist, admitted that they hadn’t actually sung any of their songs. They returned the Grammy and they never achieved that kind of success again. This reached #1 in the US and #3 in Australia.
- Michael Bolton, “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You?” Say what you will about Michael Bolton, he did his own singing, and continues to do so to this day. This reached #1 in the US on the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts and #2 in Australia.
- Peter Blakeley, “Crying In The Chapel” Not a cover of the Elvis tune, but pretty good nonetheless. Peter is an Australian White Soul and Adult Contemporary singer and songwriter. This record went double platinum in Australia, but I couldn’t find chart performance data.
- Alannah Myles, “Black Velvet” This was the Canada-based singer-songwriter’s lone #1 in the US, but as her previous single, “Love Is,” reached #36 in this country, technically she’s not a one-hit wonder, but she might as well be. It reached #1 in the US and #3 in Australia, where it achieved Gold status, but only reached #10 in Canada.
- Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much” Linda had a magnificent voice until Parkinson’s disease (not MS as I told someone else) robbed her of it, but she left an impressive catalog of songs, including this one with R&B singer Aaron Neville, with whom she released three singles. No data on how well it did in Australia, but it reached #2 on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the US.
- Lisa Stansfield, “All Around The World” A song that still gets some airplay on Smooth Jazz stations, this reached #9 in Australia and earned Gold status, while it reached #3 in the US on the Hot 100 and #1 on the Dance and R&B charts.
- Aerosmith, “Janie’s Got A Gun” The Bad Boys From Boston reached #2 on the US Mainstream Rock chart and #1 in Australia with this song. What more is there to say?
And that’s the Friday 5×2 for February 15, 2019 (which would have been my dad’s 87th birthday).