Name: Adam Bernard Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome. See my complete profile
Welcome to your weekly dose of pop world musings. Covering all things pop culture, this week I’m hopping into my time machine again, this time setting the coordinates for 28 years ago this week. Stepping out I see a truly amazing time for music. The ‘90s vibe is being born, while the ‘80s vibe is still alive and well.
Janet Jackson is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Escapade,” and the chart is filled with a bevy of songs we consider classics today.
So let’s get into this exploration in chart history! Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.
3. Paula Abdul w/ MC Skat Kat – Opposites Attract
If you’re looking for the artist that perfectly defines pop music’s transition from the ‘80s to the ‘90s, that artist is Paula Abdul. She danced on the fence between the decades, and her sound pushed pop music to what it would be in the early ‘90s.
“Opposites Attract,” her single featuring MC Skat Kat, came in at #3 this week back in 1990 after spending the three previous weeks at #1. I think that needs reiterating – a song featuring a rapping cartoon cat was #1 for three weeks in 1990 … and you know what? We were all better for it!
4. The B-52’s – Roam
The B-52’s are legendary, and the late ‘80s/early ‘90s were a fantastic time for the band, as “Roam” followed their mega-hit “Love Shack.”
It’s impossible to listen to The B-52’s and feel anything other than amazing. This seemed to be a trend with much of the pop music we embraced in the early ‘90s.
9. Alannah Myles – Black Velvet
You can call her a one hit wonder, but this may very well be the greatest singular hit by any one hit wonder ever. The song feels like it was transported from another time, and Alannah Myles’ voice is bluesy, sexy, and gorgeous beyond all belief. If she hit the road opening for Heart I’d be first in line for tickets (people still line up for tickets, right?). Why we didn’t hear from her again is a complete mystery, but if you’re reading this Alannah, hit me up and let’s do an interview!
26. Aerosmith – Janie’s Got A Gun
It’s not often that you get a phenomenal song that centers on child abuse and sexual assault. Actually, “Janie’s Got A Gun” is probably one of the only such songs, and it’s yet another reminder that Aerosmith is one of the greatest bands of all-time.
28. Depeche Mode – Personal Jesus
Although we tend to think of Depeche Mode as an ‘80s band, the early ‘90s was actually when they had some of their biggest hits. “Personal Jesus,” released as a single in the fall of ’89, was on their 1990 album, Violator, which also featured “Enjoy the Silence,” “Policy of Truth,” and “World in My Eyes.”
While this week marked the peak position for “Personal Jesus” on the Billboard Hot 100, it remains one of the band’s most iconic songs.
37. Jane Child – Don’t Wanna Fall In Love
You can call her a one hit wonder, but this may very well be the greatest singular hit by any one hit wonder who wore a chain that went from her earring to her nose ring ever.
Seriously, though, “Don’t Wanna Fall In Love” was the jam, although I do wonder how many bedroom doors were slammed by girls whose parents told them they weren’t allowed to get a nose ring, much less an earring to nose ring chain. Who knows how many family arguments you inspired, Jane Child!
69. 2 Live Crew – Me So Horny
This song is a huge part of American music history as it’s from the very first album to feature the black and white “Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics” sticker, but let’s just take a minute to enjoy the fact that on this particular week in history 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” was at #69. That’s f*cking poetry!
And with that, my time is up for the week, but I'll be back next week with more shots on all things pop.