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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 20 years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, and B-movies. Part time ninja. Kicked cancer’s ass. My memoir, ChemBro, is out now!
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Pop Shots – A Look At The Charts … From 32 Years Ago
Monday, August 17, 2020

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 32 years ago this week.

Touching down in August of 1988 I see love is a heavily discussed emotion among many of music’s finest


Speaking of love, it looks as though Bobby McFerrin had some advice for Joan Jett


In another unlikely combination, Cheap Trick and Bobby Brown apparently found some common ground


Even with just that small sampling you can already tell this was a great time to turn on the radio, so let's take a look at some other highlights from the Billboard Hot 100 from this week back in 1988. Of course, since this is Pop Shots, you know everything is seasoned with a little bit of attitude.


5. Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine – 1-2-3



It’s a scientific fact that it’s impossible for a human being to stand still when a Gloria Estefan & Miami Sound Machine songs comes on. Think I’m lying? Click play on “1-2-3” and see how long you can last. As Estefan and her crew noted on a previous single – the rhythm is gonna get you!

As an aside, this has to be a personal favorite of Sesame Street’s Count von Count.


9. Richard Marx – Hold On to the Nights



I recently purchased a t-shirt that says “I Brake For Power Ballads,” and lemme tell ya, a Richard Marx concert might be the perfect place to wear it.

“Hold on to the Nights” was one of Marx’s biggest hits, and deservedly so, although I think we all recognize “Right Here Waiting” as the absolute pinnacle of his power ballad repertoire.


13. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine



The other day I was flipping through radio stations while I was in my car when I landed on this song. I figured it was on my local classic rock station, or my local rock station. In a completely heartbreaking realization, when I looked at my car stereo it told me, no, it was on … the oldies station.

Anyway, this song is a classic, Slash’s intro is iconic, and apparently I’m f*cking old.


14. Robert Palmer – Simply Irresistible



Speaking of things that are iconic, the women of Robert Palmer’s videos certainly deserve a mention. Their look was created by British fashion photographer Terence Donovan for Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video, and they were then featured in multiple videos after that, including the one for this aptly named mega-hit.


18. Def Leppard – Pour Some Sugar on Me



If bands could get residuals for every time their music is played in a strip club, Def Leppard would be able to buy their own private island thanks to “Pour Some Sugar on Me.”

This is a definitive ‘80s rock song that is so synonymous with the era it will always be one of the first songs mentioned in any discussion of the decade.


20. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Parents Just Don’t Understand



Fun fact – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince’s He’s the DJ, I’m the Rapper was the first hip-hop album I ever bought (on cassette!), and my purchase was based partly on the strength of “Parents Just Don’t Understand.”

I can now see the irony in that my parents understood enough to drive my then nine (or possibly ten) year old self to the store to buy the album.


33. INXS – New Sensation



You’d be hard pressed to find a band that defined “cool” better than INXS. It’s a damned shame we lost Michael Hutchence so young (yet another cautionary tale regarding mental health and addiction), but he, and INXS, left a legacy of music that includes classics like “New Sensation.”


39. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – I Hate Myself for Loving You



I know I mentioned this song in the intro to the column, but I have a golden rule – if you have the opportunity to play a Joan Jett song, do it … and crank it up REAL LOUD!

One of the queens of rock n roll, her music sounds just as kick ass today as it did 30+ years ago.


54. Debbie Gibson – Foolish Beat (peaked at #1)



“Foolish Beat” is a great pop ballad, and a piece of music history. When it hit #1 (which it was on its way down from at this point) it made Gibson, who was just 17, the youngest person to write, produce, and perform a number-one single entirely on her own.

In the ‘80s our pop princesses could literally do it all!


That’s all for this edition of Pop Shots, but come back next Monday for more shots on all things pop.

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