April 4, 2017

Top Ten Flashback: April 4, 1992

Welcome back to 1992! This week 25 years ago, I was but a mere 13 year old regular watcher of the chart countdown on Rage. It wasn't a typical week for popular music when you recall the prevailing musical trends of the early '90s, so there were a few surprises in store – two debuts in the top ten being one, as that didn't happen very often back then. Let's check out the top ten in this recap of the Australian singles charts for the week ending Saturday, April 4, 1992.

10.  James Blundell & James Reyne – "Way Out West" º
Nothing extra special to mention about this song, except this was its first appearance in the top 20. It wasn't typical for country songs to chart at that time, let alone so high. I lived in Western Australia at the time, so I imagine the lyrics would have resonated with plenty of people in my then-home state, as would the photo of the hapless twit on the single cover.

 9.  Genesis – "I Can't Dance"
This is the only song by Genesis I like, although I must admit I've only heard about three of their songs. This was the last hit single they had. The vocals and lyrics leave a bit to be desired, but I still like it because I can't dance either. The piss-taking music video is quite fun too, and I really like that hard snare hit that kicks in towards the song's end.


8.  Diesel – "Tip Of My Tongue"
Diesel, real name Mark Lizotte, formerly known as Johnny Diesel, formerly formerly known as Johnny Diesel & The Injectors, was one of Australia's most popular male solo artists at the time. This was his biggest hit, reaching number 4.

7.  Def Leppard – "Let's Get Rocked" ºº
Kicking off the so-called 'grunge' scene in Australia were of course Nirvana, whose breakthrough hit "Smells Like Teen Spirit" had reached its peak position of number 5 only four weeks earlier. But now, debuting here at number 7 was this slab of stadium rock. It sort of became a cult favourite among my fellow Year 9 students at school, and I remember the 3D-animated dude in the video (pictured at top) being somewhat of a slacker totem. This was also the year of Wayne's World, so it tied in with that theme, if not musically.

6.  2 Unlimited – "Get Ready For This"
It would reach its peak of number 2 the following week, but this lyricless (although I prefer the mix with rap and vocals) techno anthem was on its way up the charts. Having been hooked on the song from first listen, I bought the single pretty much straight away and played it to a friend – something I didn't do very often. I reckon it's held up well after 25 years, as sports promos are still using it.

5.  The Cure – "High" ºº
Argh! Sorry, but I can't stand The Cure (or just 'Cure' as they were billed on singles and album covers from this era). So for me, everything about this was forgettable, except that in debuting at number 5, it gave the band their highest debut position in Australia and was actually the second-highest debut for 1992. The highest was–

4.  U2 – "One"
Yep, you guessed it, U2. Although it entered the chart the previous week at number 4 but progressed no further than its debut position, "One" was 1992's highest-debuting single. Still my favourite U2 song, Rage only showed the 'running buffalo' video for the song which is the one I like the most of the three that were produced. Simple but effective, its lack of action makes you concentrate on the lyrics a bit more.

3.  Vic Reeves & The Wonder Stuff – "Dizzy"
Yeah, it's an okay song. I personally found it a bit too long, but I guess that's what radio edits are for.

2.  Julian Lennon – "Saltwater"
This heartfelt ballad about environmental concerns, a common theme in the '90s, had just lost its number 1 position from last week, having been there for 4 weeks. I didn't mind the song, but I'm not real big on ballads. Next!

1.  The 12th Man – "Marvellous"
Australian comedian Billy Birmingham (12th Man) (Capt.) had turned his cricket-related comedy into a hit single. Normally I suppose he was more of an albums type of guy, as you had to listen to an album's-worth of material to really get into it. Now, I can't bloody stand cricket, I think it's the most boring game ever invented, but I liked this song 25 years ago and I reckon it's pretty ace now. Come to think of it, rapping in a broad Australian accent was pretty groundbreaking in 1992. There were leaders in Aussie hip-hop like Sound Unlimited Posse but I don't think the 12th Man was following their lead; I've read that "Do The Bartman" by The Simpsons was a possible influence here. Anyway, I might not have caught all the cricket gags, but it worked well as a song, as its chart-topping status proved.

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