ARIA Charts Throwback: 11 September 1983
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ARIA Charts Throwback: 11 September 1983

September 13, 2018

Will a didgeridoo? What about the hits of September 1983?

September 1983 saw the likes of the Flashdance soundtrack, AC/DC, Elton John, The Police, Air Supply, Joan Armatrading and Michael Jackson holding prime places on the ARIA Albums Chart.

The top of the Singles Chart was held for most of the month by a very punny Australian piece.

10. The Human League - (Keep Feeling) Fascination

British synth-pop group The Human League scored their third and final Top Ten entry on the Singles Chart in Australia when ‘(Keep Feeling) Fascination’ peaked at #8 in September 1983. In the UK, the single was the last of the group’s six consecutive Top Ten entries between 1981 and 1983

9. Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow

Genre-hopping multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield took out his only appearance in the ARIA Top Ten when ‘Moonlight Shadow’ hit #6 in September 1983. The track features vocals by Maggie Reilly, who performed on multiple hits of Oldfield’s during the 1980s.

8. Elton John - I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues

The second single released locally from Elton John’s Two Low For Zero (#2 Sept. ’83), ‘I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues’ was the album’s second Top Ten hit after ‘I’m Still Standing’ (#3 Jul. ’83). Elton John had a total of nine Top Ten singles in Australia during the 1980s.

7. Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue

Guyanese-British musician Eddy Grant had his biggest hit in Australia when ‘Electric Avenue’ peaked at #2 during September 1983. He had another chart peak the next month with ‘I Don’t Wanna Dance’ (#21 Oct. ’83). Both tracks came from Grant’s fifth solo album, Killer On The Rampage (#11 Sept. ’83).

6. Haysi Fantayzee - Shiny Shiny

Peaking at #3 in September 1983, ‘Shiny Shiny’ was the sole ARIA Singles Chart appearance for British group Haysi Fantayzee. Their only album, Battle Hymns For Children Singing, peaked at #48 around the same time.

5. Donna Summer - She Works Hard For The Money

Donna Summer made her final appearance in the Top Ten in Australia when ‘She Works Hard For The Money’ hit #4 in September 1983. The album of the same name peaked at #21 for two weeks at the same time the single was a hit.

4. Spandau Ballet - True

New Romantic band Spandau Ballet scored their biggest hit in Australia when ‘True’ spent two weeks at #4 in September 1983. The track came from the group’s third album, also titled True (#4 Nov. ’83), which spawned one more Top Ten: ‘Gold’ (#9 Nov. ’83).

3. Michael Sembello - Maniac

Songwriter and musician Michael Sembello took out his biggest solo hit when ‘Maniac’ peaked at #2 for a week in September 1983. The track featured on the soundtrack to Flashdance (#1 Aug. ’83). Sembello took out his only other solo chart entry with ‘Automatic Man’ (#49 Dec. ’83).

2. Irene Cara – Flashdance… What A Feeling

American artist Irene Cara’s theme tune to the film Flashdance became the second #1 on the ARIA Singles Chart when it hit the top spot in the chart’s second week. ‘Flashdance… What A Feeling’ went on to spend seven weeks at #1 between July and September 1983. The Flashdance soundtrack also spent three weeks at #1 in August and September of the same year. Cara next hit the Top Ten with ‘Why Me?’ (#5 Feb. ’84). Her last Singles Chart appearance was with ‘Breakdance’ (#19 Jul. ’84).

1. Austen Tayshus - Australiana

Comedian Austen Tayshus spent eight weeks at #1 between August and October 1983 with the spoken word single ‘Australiana’. Co-written with Billy Birmingham (aka The Twelfth Man), the single debuted at #23 and hit #1 for the first time in its fourth week in the Top 50. In total, ‘Australiana’ spent 15 weeks in the Top Ten and 23 weeks in the Top 50. Austen Tayshus would later chart with ‘Phantom Shuffle’ (#16 Nov. ’84) and ‘Highway Corroboree’ (#43 Mar. ’88).

‘Australiana’ held the record for most weeks at #1 by an Australian single – along with Savage Garden’s ‘Truly Madly Deeply’ and Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ until Justice Crew’s ‘Que Sera’ spent nine weeks at #1 in 2014.