Monday, April 30, 2007

Remembering this week in May 1983

Time for my evening ritual again.  Popping through the years, and seeing what happened about this time in a particular year, and well, what stands out for me is this very week in May 1983.

This was the time when the Sydney Entertainment Centre opened.  It was a big event at the time, as my father owned a kitchen, right at the back (where the "all seasons" hotel school is now). and he was preparing the food for the event.  I went into the test phase on the Saturday before opening, as they were fireing off different lasers, and doing some sound checks.  Sunday 1st May came, and it opened with a Bang.  They were performances from Marcia Hines and Christopher cross, and well, what about that big chute where marcia came out of? It was certainly something very different.

And the music scene on the radio went a little like this......

National top 30 singles chart
1.   It might be you Stephen Biship Warner Bros 7-29791
2.   Shoop shoop diddy wop Monte Video and the Cassettes White Label K 8906
3.   All right Christopher Cross Warner Bros 7-29843
4.   Love is a stranger The Eurythmics RCA Victor 104078
5.   Power and the passion Midnight Oil CBS/Sprint BA 223010
6.   1999 Prince Warner Bros 7-29896
7.   Billy Jean Michael Jackson Epic ES 823
8.   Baby, come to me James Ingram and Patti Austin Qwest QWS 50036
9.   Let's Dance David Bowie EMI America AMI 958
10.  You are Lionel Richie Motown 1657 MF
11.  Don't pay the Ferryman Chris De Burgh A&M K 8912
12.  With closed eyes The Expression Mushroom K 8985
13.  We've got tonight Sheena Easton and Kenny Rogers Liberty UA 924
14.  Spirit got lost Mental as Anything Regular RRSP 725
15.  Overkill Men at Work CBS BA 223038
16.  Time (clock of the heart) Culture Club Virgin VS 558
17.  The beat goes on The Globos White Label K 8989
18.  Na na hey hey, kiss him goodbye Bananarama Liberation LS 960
19.  Save your love Renee and Renato RCA Victor 104114
20.  Dracula's tango Toto Coelo (total coelo) Radialchoice POW 0115
21.  Some kind of friend Barry Manilow Arista K 8971
22.  Ain't no pleasing you Chas and Dave Liberation LS 870
23.  State of Independence Donna Summer Warner Bros 79344
24.  White wedding Billy Idol Chrysalis K 8918
25.  Living on the ceiling Blancmange London BLANC 3
26.  Zoom Fat Larry's Band Virgin VS 546
27.  Wham! (enjoy what you do) Wham! Epic/Inner vision ES 832
28.  Buffalo girls Malcolm McLaren Charisma 6000 914
29.  Too shy Kajagoogoo EMI EIM 932
30.  One on one Daryl Hall and John Oates RCA Victor 104094

Noting some of the stuff on the chart this week, as Stephen Bishop was at #1 with the theme from Tootsie.  I saw the movie, and well, it was somewhat of a flop, but I just fell in love with the song.  Hall and Oates, "one on one" was one of those tracks that I never got sick of, and after eleven strong weeks, the song made it's last appearance this week.  Remember Monte Video from New Zealand?  That song, with a title like that, was certainly worth a cackle, every time I heard it, but at the time, it was another track I played often, and drove my family nuts.  I heard Laura Branigan's "solitaire" for the first time, on the Saturday afternoon (sat Apr 30 1983), I came back from the city.  It was slothy, but never the less another good song, which would debut in the following weeks chart at #1.

Remember these charts are my personal charts, not reflecting album sales, but are still very accurate as my charts were also based on radio air-play.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Triple M's somewhat twisted view of 1981

Having asperger's spectrum for all my life, I've always had a good memory, and particularly so with music, as it is my favourite hobby.

Today, I got back from town, from doing my daily thing (job hunting), swiddled around with my kitchen radio, and well, I wasn't really in the mood for ABC Newsradio, as I wanted to listen to a bit of music.

I flicked it across to FM, and well; stopped that dial immediately, when I heard some early 80's Inxe, doing "the loved one".  I decided to leave it there, as I started pulling out some tins of pine-apple, ready to make some Grilled sandwiches.  My brother called to ask if I can order pizzas.  With no more of a need to cook, I put the cans of food away as my radio then chuckles along to "Louise" from Jona Lewie.  My mind immediately thinks, UGH!, "a commercial station playing two songs in a row from the 80's?  Hell; what's happening here, a miracle."  I gotta leave it on this station.  The announcer speak's, "This is Andy G here on a Friday night, counting down the top 30 songs from July 1981 on Triple M's Cold 30".

He did say July 1981; didn't he?.  Hold it, this is intriguing, those two songs weren't even released yet.  I listened on, and just for the hell of it, list down the remaining 22 songs.  Waiting for my brother to come home, and the delivery of the pizza's, I finish the list, then check out my original chart that I did as a child back in 1981.

Wile comparing notes, I see that a few of MMM selections were on there.  I'm now even more curious to see how well MMM did their research, so now, as I'm armed with the partial chart from the Cold 30, I get the Kent Reports out, and check every song, and when it first charted, and OH MY GOD, WHAT A MESS!!!!!!!

First of all, here is Triple M's Cold 30, exactly as Andy G played it tonight.  Note after the group of each song is the CORRECTED DATE, when the song actually first charted.  You will immediately see that many of the songs weren't even released yet.

MMM Sydney Cold 30 Countdown
Date aired, Friday 27th April 2007

CH#  TRACK TITLE ARTIST/GROUP (corrected chart date) LABEL CAT No:

22.  The loved one Inxs (6 Apr 1981) Deluxe 103741
21.  Louise (we get it right) Jona Lewie (20 Jul 1981) Stiff K 8300
20.  Urgent Foreigner (31 Aug 1981) Atlantic 45-3831
19.  If you leave me Mental as Anything (25 May 1981) Regular K 8305
18.  Jealous guy Roxy Music (30 Mar 1981) Polydor 2002 040
17.  Love plus one Haircut 100 (10 May 1982) Arista K 8656
16.  Jessie's Girl Rick Springfield (29 Jun 1981) Wizard ZS 473
15.  Armistice day Midnight Oil (24 May 1982) CBS Sprint BA 12032 (30cm single)
14.  Love will tear us apart Joy Division (23 Mar 1981) Factory SFA 406
13.  Give me head (you have the right to remain silent) The Radiators (13 Jul 1981) WEA RADI 722 (30cm single)
12.  Counting the beat The Swingers (2 Feb 1981) Mushroom K 8101
11.  Message of love The Pretenders (30 Mar 1981) WEA ARE 15
10.  To cut a long story short Spandau Ballet (9 Mar 1981) Chrysalis K 8152
9.   Stop dragging my heart around Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty (10 Aug 1981) WEA / Modern 79231
8.   Just can't get enough Depeche Mode (8 Mar 1982) Mute POW 0053
7.   The stroke Billy Squire (17 Aug 1981) Capitol CP 494
6.   Super-freak Rick James (7 Dec 1981) Motown G 7205
5.   Turn me loose Loverboy (13 Apr 1981) CBS BA 222795
4.   Screaming Jets Johnny Warman (5 Oct 1981) Rocket 6000 688
3.   Oh no, not you again Australian Crawl (21 Dec 1981) EMI EMI 628
2.   Chequered love Kim Wilde (17 Aug 1981) Rak RAK 512
1.   You got nothing I want Cold Chisel (14 Dec 1981) WEA 100191

Note that the songs from Cold Chisel, Rick James, and Midnight Oil, weren't even recorded yet. and therefore did not even chart until many months later.  Can Triple M explain how they can twist time??  (I gotta meet the guy responsible for this chart... most probably he can do a few time twists in my life too. :) :) )  The best one was Haircut 100's "Love plus one", which did not even chart until 10th May 1982, yet this is suppose to be a countdown from July 1981???

Also, quite a few of the songs in Triple M's imaginary chart had already charted in March and April.  Okay, giving triple m the benefit of the doubt for a moment, if a song sells well, it can be in the top 100 for many months at a time.  Bryan Ferry's "Jealous guy" was an acception as it was a huge seller.

Note the Joy division and Inxs songs in Triple M's Chart.  Both these tracks had charted already back in March and April respectively.  Realising that both were minor hits, already makes it hard to believe that they would still be charting in the top 30 region of a top 100 singles chart, still after 20 weeks.

And now for an original chart from the time, from my personal archive of charts, and well, this is my music chart from Sunday 19th July 1981.  This chart was compiled by noting the frequency of times, that certain songs were played on 2SM, 2UW, 2Day FM, and MMM at the time, and wow! aren't they some rippers here......

National Top 30 Singles Chart
1.   Jessie's girl Rick Springfield Wizard ZS 473
2.   The one that you love Air Supply Big Time BTS 478
3.   Precious to me Phil Seymour CBS ES 589
4.   Things don't seem Australian Crawl EMI EMI 482
5.   Bette Davis eyes Kim Carnes EMI America AMI 460
6.   Making your mind up Bucks Fizz RCA Victor 103786
7.   Slow hand The Pointer Sisters Planet P 47929
8.   Vienna Ultravox Chrysalis K 8219
9.   Only for sheep The Bureau WEA 100168
10.  Turn me loose Loverboy CBS BA 222795
11.  Stars on 45 (The Beatles) Stars on 45 Philips 6000 658
12.  Say I love you Renee Geyer Mushroom K 8326
13.  Gemini dream The Moody Blues Threshold TH 27
14.  This ole house Shakin' Stevens Epic ES 603
15.  Misplaced love Rupert Hine A&M K 8252
16.  Nobody told me The Monitors Festival K 8236
17.  Lay all your love on me Abba Epic EPC A13 1454
18.  Bad habits Billy Field WEA 100165
19.  A woman needs love (just like you do) Ray Parker Jr. Arista K 8257
20.  Falling in and out with you Mi-Sex CBS BA 222809
21.  Just the two of us Grover Washington Jr. (feat. Bill Withers) Elektra E 47103
22.  Waiting for you The Dugites DeLuxe 103819
23.  I don't want to dance Splitenz Mushroom K 8334
24.  Take it on the run REO Speedwagon Epic ES 608
25.  Gotta pull myself together The Nolans Epic ES 562
26.  Room full of diamonds The Radiators 7 Records MS 485
27.  The best of times Styx A&M K 8181
28.  If you leave me, can I come too? Mental as Anything Regular K 8305
29.  Being with you Smokey Robinson Motown T 54321
30.  Stand and deliver Adam and the Ants SBS BA 222841

Note that Rick Springfields "Jessie's girl" was at the top, as it had already charted for three weeks.  Kim Carnes had just been number one for quite a few weeks with "Bette Davis eyes", and was just starting to slip down some notches.  At #5, this single was still performing strongly.  For some reason, they didn't play that one?  I can still remember Ian Molly Mildrem Humdrumming the new Phil Seymour album on countdown, during this particular week, and the single "Precious" was still charting steadily since the middle of May.  Hall and Oates had just released their next single, "You make my dreams" in the US, and it was going to chart here in Australia within the next five weeks.

I'm even more curious to find out why Triple M DIDN'T play Ultravox's Vienna, as this was also a HUGE hit in July, that year.  2UW had hammered that one, until your ears fell off.  A few months before this chart, Bucks Fizz won the Eurosong Contest for Britain.  The single was released by RCA, and it was their fifth week in.

I would love to visit Triple M in Bondi Junction, and have a beer...... (Oops, I don't drink Alcohol)..... mmmm, a lemonade with the program manager, and see how they make up their imaginary charts.  I would even offer my own chart compiling services :) :) :), for a fee of course, (ha ha).