ARIA Charts Throwback: 1 January 1989
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ARIA Charts Throwback: 1 January 1989

January 3, 2019

Port au Prince, catch a glimpse of the tracks setting the ARIA Charts alight at the start of 1989.

As 1989 kicked off, the top of the ARIA Albums Chart found Jimmy Barnes, Kylie Minogue, John Farnham, Fleetwood Mac, Poison, The Traveling Wilburys and U2 holding pride of place.
For much of the start of the year, an iconic American act staged a cool comeback.

10. Jason Donovan - Nothing Can Divide Us

Launching his pop career, then-Neighbours heartthrob Jason Donovan took out the first of his four Top Tens on the ARIA Singles Chart when ‘Nothing Can Divide Us’ peaked at #3 for a week in November 1988. Donovan later hit the Top Ten with the duet with Kylie Minogue, ‘Especially For You’ (#2 Jan. ’89), as well as ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’ (#7 Mar. ’89) and ‘Sealed With A Kiss’ (#8 Jul. ’89).

9. Transvision Vamp - I Want Your Love

Transvision Vamp made their debut appearance in the ARIA Top Ten when ‘I Want Your Love’ peaked at #7 in December 1988. The track came from the British band’s debut album, Pop Art (#13 Feb. ’89). They would score their second and final Top Ten entry with ‘Baby I Don’t Care’ (#3 Aug. 89).

8. Womack & Womack - Teardrops

Husband and wife duo Cecil and Linda Womack took out their biggest hit in Australia when ‘Teardrops’ held #2 for four consecutive weeks in February 1989. The track has been covered by Elton John and k.d. lang, Elton John and Lulu, Sugababes, The xx, Joss Stone and more.

7. Yazz & The Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up

Originally recorded by soul singer Otis Clay in 1980, ‘The Only Way Is Up’ became the biggest hit in Australia for British act Yazz & The Plastic Population when it peaked at #2 in October 1988. A #1 hit in the UK, the track was later used as the theme to reality show The Only Way Is Essex.

6. Traveling Wilburys – Handle With Care

Featuring George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne, rock supergroup The Traveling Wilburys hit the Top Ten when their debut single, ‘Handle With Care’, hit #3 in January 1989. Their debut album, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, spent two weeks at #1 in February of the same year.

5. Phil Collins - A Groovy Kind Of Love

Phil Collins’ last appearance in the ARIA Top Ten to date came when ‘A Groovy Kind Of Love’ peaked at #2 for seven consecutive weeks in November/December 1988. It was featured on the soundtrack to the film Buster (#35 Mar. ’89), in which Collins starred. The track had previously been a hit in the mid-60s for British group The Mindbenders.

4. 1927 - If I Could

Releasing the second single from their debut album, …ish (#1 May ’89), Sydney band 1927 scored their highest peak. The follow-up to ‘That’s When I Think Of You’ (#6 Oct. ’88), ‘If I Could’ spent four weeks at #4 as 1988 turned in to 1989.

3. Bobby McFerrin – Don’t Worry, Be Happy

American vocalist Bobby McFerrin spent seven weeks at #1 on the ARIA Singles Chart at the end of 1988 with ‘Don’t Worry, Be Happy’. The track, which featured on the soundtrack to Cocktail (#1 Jan. ’89), is entirely a capella with all the sounds made by McFerrin’s voice or body. It won Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards.

2. Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan – Especially For You

‘Especially For You’ spent five consecutive weeks at #2 at the start of 1989. It became Jason Donovan’s second appearance in the ARIA Top Ten. It was Kylie Minogue’s first Top Ten entry not the go to #1. It topped the UK Singles Chart for three weeks.

1. The Beach Boys - Kokomo

Legendary American band The Beach Boys hit #1 in Australia for the first time in nearly 20 years when ‘Kokomo’ spent seven consecutive weeks in the top spot in January/February 1989. Featuring on the soundtrack to Cocktail (#1 Jan. ’89), the track was accredited Platinum and was #9 on the 1989 ARIA End Of Year Singles Chart. The Beach Boys made their last appearance on the Singles Chart with ‘Still Cruisin’’ (#28 Dec. ’89).