Just Giblets

Top Australian Pop Songs – #’s 1 & 2

27th June 2017
by Michael

Top Australian Pop Songs – #’s 1 & 2

No new, last minute appearances top this list, but there are a couple of insanely talented women appearing, one who is still producing terrific music today, and another who was sadly taken from this world far too early.

#2 – Madame Butterfly is in Trouble  by Deborah Conway

As talented as she is prolific, Deborah Conway makes her third appearance on this list with a beautifully rendered pop-song about self-examination. Taken from her second, and highest-charting (#18) album, Bitch Epic, Madame Butterfly is in Trouble features Australian performers Vika and Linda Bull.

#1 – Science Fiction by Divinyls

And going way back to their debut album, Chrissy Amphlett and Divinyls top my list of Australian songs with their haunting love song, Science Fiction. How can anyone resist the beautiful lyrics, “I thought that love was science fiction  until I saw you today. Now that love is my addiction. I’ve thrown all my books away.” Not only does that capture the exquisite feeling of discovering love for the first time, but it’s delivered with the unique vocal stylings that only Ms. Amphlett can provide. And that incredible opening with the cheesy, sci fi synth. Perfect. Truly, one of my favorite pop songs of all time.

19th June 2017
by Michael

Top Australian Pop Songs – #’s 3 & 4

Sorry for the break there. But I’m back to get one step closer to wrapping up my Top 20 Australian pop songs.

#4 – Guns and Butter by Do-Re-Mi

Do-Re-Mi was one of Australia’s most respected and successful post-punk bands. This Sydney band formed in 1981 and featured Deborah Conway on lead vocals. They hung around until 1988 when Deborah was signed to Virgin Records for a solo deal. Domestic Harmony, their first album on a major label spawned a surprise Top 5 single with Man Overboard, he success of which they were never able to duplicate.

The release of Domestic Harmony was followed in 1986 by a single-only release, the politically-minded Guns and Butter. This single peaked at #48, and was openly critical of then-USA President Ronald Reagan. In 1988 they capped their career with the outstanding album, The Happiest Place in Town. Here’s the video for Guns and Butter.

#3 – The Sound of White by Missy Higgins

Missy Higgins makes another showing on this list with this very early single and the title track of her first album. It was the fourth and final single to be released from the #1 charting album, and was written when she was a teenager about a friend of hers who committed suicide. It climbed to #22 on the charts in August of 2005. I couldn’t find an official video for it, but there are many live versions out there, so I’ve included one of those, as well as the studio version with the lyrics.

 

4th June 2017
by Michael

Top Australian Pop Songs – #’s 5 & 6

Here we are at the Top 6, and from here on out, the ladies rule. We’ve got a couple of first-time appearances on the list today, one band I’m sure you’re all aware of, the other act, probably not…

#6 – Jenny Morris – She Has to be Loved

Jenny Morris is a New Zealand born, Australian pop singer. In her native country she had some Top 20 success with her initial band, Crocodiles, before moving to Sydney and embarking on first, a career as a back-up singer for established acts, then as a in another band called QED before finally finding success as a solo artist. In the U.S., Jenny first appeared singing back-up for INXS on The Swing album. She then recorded a duet with Michael Hutchence, performing Nancy Sinatra’s hit, Jackson, which climbed to #2 on the Australian charts. She then joined the band on their world tour for the Listen Like Thieves album, where I discovered her. Her first of several fantastic solo albums, Body and Soul followed soon after.

She Has to be Loved is the second single from her second and most commercially successful album, Shiver. The jittery, propulsive dance number is infectious and delightful. It’s her highest charting solo single, reaching #5 on the Austrlian charts and #3 on the New Zealand charts. It’s feminist lyrics make it a favorite among her female fans.

#5 – Divinyls – Sleeping Beauty

What can I say about Divinyls? Formed in Sydney in 1980, with core members Chrissy Amphlett and Mark McEntee, Divinyls were a formative force in my musical life from the moment I heard Boys in Town until Chrissy’s untimely death at age 53 from breast cancer and beyond. Chrissy’s unabashed sexual ferocity on stage was notorious as she lashed out at other band members and the audience. I remember an early club show I saw of Divinyls, women at the front of the audience would rest their purses on the edge of the stage, and Chrissy would go through them, pulling out lipstick and other items. Her voice, which seemed uncontrolled and strained was actually laser sharp and a tool that Chrissy wielded with precision and beauty. There are so many amazing songs that Divinyls performed over the years that it was difficult not to fill this list with all of them.

Instead, Divinyls get two in the Top 5, starting with Sleeping Beauty, a gorgeous love-ballad from their second album, What a Life! The album was a huge success climbing to #4 on the charts. In Australia, Sleeping Beauty was the fifth single from What a Life!, peaking at #50. In the States, the lead single, Pleasure and Pain written by hitmakers Holly Knight and Michael Chapman, became their first Top 1oo single, reaching #76. Sleeping Beauty was the follow-up single and while it didn’t chart, it got significant airplay on MTV. I love this song and video so much. It’s a great merging of Divinyls emotional sincerity and dark perversions to create a love song all their own.

posted in 1980s, Australia, Divinyls, Favorites, Lists, Music | at 9:14 am | 0 Comments
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