ARIA have eschewed popular notions of what constitutes appropriately celebrating one’s thirtieth birthday [a huge party; a quiet night on the couch tinged with regret] in favour of compiling statistics.

Thirty years ago today, ARIA released their first singles and albums charts, with Bonnie Tyler’s hair-raising Total Eclipse of the Heart topping the former and Michael Jackson’s iconic Thriller the latter. In the interim, the Australian record-buying public have crowned some 440 #1 singles and 527 #1 albums over 1500 weekly charts. 

Only one song title, however, has appeared three times in pole position, which testifies perhaps to each song’s titular appeal, or the melodramatic tendencies of people who bought CDs in a ten year period traversing the late 80s and early 90s. That song in its threefold iterations is The Power of Love: one a soppy balladic pop standard performed by Jennifer Rush and covered by Céline Dion, and another a feel good Huey Lewis jam written for and performed in Back To The Future

There’s some accounting for the popularity of the Huey Lewis version – the Rush/Dion version though? That’s another mystery of the heart entirely. 

Other fun ARIA facts include: Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise is the longest running #1 (13 weeks); Dire Straits Brothers In Arms is the longest running #1 album (34 weeks); and Radiohead are the country’s highest rating also-rans, with five #2 albums and no #1s.  

That’s the power of melancholy.

Huey Lewis and the News (1985) – The Power of Love

Jennifer Rush (1985/86) – The Power of Love

Céline Dion (1994) – The Power of Love