18
Oct 10

Popular ’89

Popular60 comments • 3,427 views

I give a mark out of 10 to every Popular entry – here’s your chance to indicate which of the hits of 1989 you’d have given 6 or more to (by whatever criteria you wish!). And use the comments box to discuss the year in general if you like, too.

My top mark this year was a 10 for “Like A Prayer”. And the lowest were a brace of 1s for “Belfast Child” and the third Jive Bunny ‘smash’.

Which of the Number Ones of 1989 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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Comments

  1. 1
    weej on 18 Oct 2010 #

    As has been previously discussed 1989 doesn’t seem to have been a great year for number ones, but elsewhere in popular music pretty great things seem to have been happening. I was just wondering if you can blame the poor selection above on the twin evils of SAW and Jive Bunny, so have just spent five minutes compiling a highly unscientific list of the songs that would have got to the top if these two were purged from history.
    And it still doesn’t look like a great year, I’m afraid.

    Erasure – Crackers International (EP)
    Mike & The Mechanics – The Living Years
    Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart
    Simple Minds – Belfast Child
    Michael Ball – Love Changes Everything
    Madonna – Like A Prayer
    Bangles – Eternal Flame
    Natalie Cole – Miss You Like Crazy
    Cliff Richard – The Best Of Me
    Soul II Soul – Back To Life
    London Boys – London Nights
    Bros – Too Much
    Lil’ Louis – French Kiss
    Alice Cooper – Poison
    Black Box – Ride On Time
    Milli Vanilli – Girl I’m Gonna Miss You
    Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World
    New Kids On The Block – You Got It (The Right Stuff)
    Soul II Soul – Get A Life (Xmas #1!)
    Andy Stewart – Donald Where’s Your Troosers

  2. 2
    Tom on 18 Oct 2010 #

    5 out of 18 ticks. Very poor crop – weej’s parallel universe is better but as he says not much (6+ for Erasure, London Boys, Lil Louis, the second Soul II Soul, Alice maybe – but Mike and the Mechanics and Michael Ball good shouts for 1/10s too)

  3. 3

    There’s been a lot of discussion of what you might call the crowding-in of phenomena clogging up the chartsw: charity records, xmas-aimed novelties, TV or film tie-ins

    There’s relatively little of a point that’s just as important: the establishment, along with heightenede technioques of niche-marketing, of free standing miche markets which didn’t need to contest the charts to prosper: not simply the pretty large world of “dance music”, in which records sold very large quantities without troubling (or needing to trouble) any chart return mechanism… they were heard, promoted discussed and purchased via markets and circuits which only peripherally overlapped with the mainstream music-broadcast media

    secondly indie and other more arty cottage-industry set ups, pioneered in the late 70s, were finding the size at which they were self-sufficent in the early 90s: indie rock itself had an in with the music press, and its written discussion of itself was part of its raison d’etre; but other set ups — the industrial tape noise circuit, for example, was a realm of exchange which didn’t much batten on print media, even at fanzine level, except in terms of lists of exchangeables (psychtic TV, nurse with wound; etc etc): it had links with the “mail art” avant garde projects of the early 70s, but was immeasurably larger and less consciously “arty”

    Anyway, point is, none of these NEEDED presence in the top ten to keep their flow going: indeed, in some ways it was an inconvenience if not a “sell out”, as it caused uncontrollable and semi-random peaks of required supply that the small distributors had no way of servicing

    long story short:several very significant circuits of music making and exchange simply stopped treated the charts as a relevant platform, and opted out… they weren’t crowded out, they left of their own accord, for their own reasons… but the shrinkage of the sense of unexpected possibility was exactly the same

  4. 4
    Mark G on 18 Oct 2010 #

    That was a bunch of votes for “only Just got 6 points” in a large number of cases, there.

  5. 5
    Rory on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Four out of 18 for me – the worst Popular year in my time here.

    Here were Australia’s 1989 number ones (with only one local act, Ian Moss of Cold Chisel):

    The Beach Boys, “Kokomo”, 7 weeks
    Womack & Womack, “Teardrops”, 1 week
    The Proclaimers, “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)”, 4 weeks
    Ian Moss, “Tucker’s Daughter”, 1 week
    Fine Young Cannibals, “She Drives Me Crazy”, 5 weeks
    Madonna, “Like a Prayer”, 4 weeks
    Mike + The Mechanics, “The Living Years”, 1 week
    Julian Lennon, “Now You’re in Heaven”, 1 week
    The Bangles, “Eternal Flame”, 1 week
    Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings”, 3 weeks
    Roxette, “The Look”, 5 weeks
    New Kids on the Block, “You Got It (The Right Stuff)”, 1 week
    Simply Red, “If You Don’t Know Me by Now”, 3 weeks
    Richard Marx, “Right Here Waiting”, 6 weeks
    Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, “Swing the Mood”, 3 weeks
    Cher, “If I Could Turn Back Time”, 6 weeks
    The B-52’s, “Love Shack”, 8 weeks (7 weeks in 1990)

    A bit more to love there, but a fair bit not to as well. Neither yours nor ours compares with the idealized 1989-in-music in my head.

  6. 6
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Oct 2010 #

    1989 was the (or a) year where the no 41s in the charts were better than the no 1s, perhaps? (Would have to check. I know there were two by the House of Love, not their very best, though. “Afro Dizzi Act” by Cry Sisco! and “Let Me Love You For Tonight” by Kariya were two singles peaking between 41 and 40 that should have done a lot more, though…)

    Something rather significant for the future of the charts happened the following year, but we’ll discuss that when we get there….but let’s just say that in a way I think of 1989 as the final year in which the old school at Radio 1 called the shots to quite the extent that they had become accustomed to doing.

  7. 7
    lockedintheattic on 18 Oct 2010 #

    This was the year I really obsessively started buying music. The number ones list isn’t great overall, but there was so much exciting stuff happening lower down the charts (and outside of), especially in the explosion of dance music, as well as in hip-hop & r&b that made this year the most exciting of the 80s for me. The only ones that can compete for me are at the other end of the decade, and they can’t quite touch the excitement of 89 for me, mainly because I have discovered them later on in life rather than with the enthusiasm of a teenager

  8. 8
    will on 18 Oct 2010 #

    I ticked just six: Almond n’ Pitney, Bangles, Black Box, Lisa S, Soul II Soul and good ol’ Sonia.

    1989 was an incredible year for music and an even more incredible year in the outside world. But very little of that joy, that feeling of total possibility, of the world opening up and changing (hopefully, we thought) for the better is present in the list of Number Ones.

  9. 9
    Erithian on 18 Oct 2010 #

    7 from me. For a while there three Jive Bunny records were scoring little ducks all in a row but then – aaarggh!

  10. 10
    wichita lineman on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Those Dutch number ones in full:

    First Time – Robin Beck
    Can’t Stay Away From You – Gloria Estefan
    Tonight – David Bowie and Tina Turner
    Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry
    Belfast Child – Simple Minds
    Alles kan een mens gelukkig maken – Rene Froger & Het Goede Doel
    Eternal Flame – Bangles
    Me Myself & I – De La Soul
    No More Boleros – Gerard Joling
    Back To Life – Soul II Soul
    We Are Growing – Margareth Singana
    Swing The Mood – Jive Bunny
    French Kiss – Lil Louis
    Lambada – Kaoma
    Girl I’m Gonna Miss You – Milli Vanilli
    Lily Was Here – David A Stewart & Candy Dulfer

  11. 11
    thefatgit on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Peel’s Festive 50 (now with added record labels!)

    1. Sundays – Can’t Be Sure(Rough Trade)
    2. Wedding Present – Kennedy (RCA)
    3. Pixies – Debaser (4AD)
    4. Happy Mondays – WFL (Factory)
    5. Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven (4AD)
    6. Stone Roses – I Am The Resurrection (Silvertone)
    7. Stone Roses – She Bangs the Drums (Silvertone)
    8. James – Sit Down (Factory)
    9. Inspiral Carpets – Joe (Cow)
    10. House of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You (Fontana)
    11. Pale saints – Sight of you (4AD)
    12. Dinosaur Jr – Just Like Heaven (Blast First)
    13. Jesus and Mary Chain – Blues From A Gun (blanco y negro)
    14. Wedding Present – Take Me (RCA)
    15. Cud – Only A Prawn In Whitby (Imaginary)
    16. Mudhoney – You got it (Keep It Outta My Face) (Glitterhouse)
    17. Stone Roses – Made Of Stone (Sivertone)
    18. Morrissey – Last of the Famous International Playboys (HMV)
    19. Wedding Present – Brassneck (RCA)
    20. Morrissey – Ouija Board, Ouija Board (HMV)
    21. Inspiral Carpets – Find Out Why (Cow)
    22. 808 State – Pacific State (WEA/Creed)
    23. Stone Roses – Fools Gold (Silvertone)
    24. Wedding Present – Bewitched (RCA)
    25. Pale Saints – She Rides the Waves (4AD)
    26. Field Mice – Sensitive (Sarah)
    27. New Order – Vanishing Point (Factory)
    28. Birdland – Hollow Heart (Lazy)
    29. Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored (Silvertone)
    30. Telescopes – Perfect Needle (What Goes On)
    31. Bob – Convienience (House of Teeth)
    32. Jesus Jones – Info Freako (Food)
    33. Spacemen 3 – Hypnotised (Fire)
    34. De la Soul – Eye Know (Tommy Boy)
    35. Inspiral Carpets – So This Is How It Feels (Peel Session)
    36. Pixies – Wave of Mutilation (4AD)
    37. Pixies – Here Comes Your Man (4AD)
    38. The Fall – Dead Beat Descendant (Beggars Banquet)
    39. DubSex – Swerve (Cut Deep)
    40. Birdland – Paradise (Lazy)
    41. Galaxie 500 – Don’t Let Our Youth Go To Waste (Rough Trade)
    42. Senseless Things – Too much Kissing (Way Cool)
    43. Pixies – Dead (4AD)
    44. Snuff – Not Listening (Alternative Tentacles)
    45. Wedding Present – What have I said now? (RCA)
    46. Popguns – Landslide (Midnight Music)
    47. Morrissey – Interesting Drug (Parlophone)
    48. Family Cat – Tom Verlaine (Big Girl)
    49. Inspiral Carpets – Directing Traffik (Cow)
    50. Inspiral Carpets – She Comes In The Fall (Cow)

  12. 12
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2010 #

    The NME Readers Poll for 1989 has a baggy top four;

    1. The Stone Roses – Fool’s Gold
    2. Happy Mondays – WFL
    3. The Stone Roses – She Bangs The Drum
    4. Inspiral Carpets – Joe
    5. The Wonderstuff – Don’t Let Me Down Gently
    6. The Wedding Present – Kennedy
    7. The Sundays – Can’t Be Sure
    8. Morrissey – Interesting Drug
    9. Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
    10. Jesus Jones – Info Freako

  13. 13
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2010 #

    While the Melody Maker Readers Poll for 1989 reflects a rather different mindset;

    1. The Cure – Lullaby
    2. The Sundays – Can’t Be Sure
    3. The Cure – Love Song
    4. The Wonderstuff – Don’t Let Me Down Gently
    5. Pixies – Monkey Gone To Heaven
    6. The Stone Roses – Fool’s Gold
    7. Jesus Jones – Info Freako
    8. Kate Bush – The Sensual World
    9. The Fields Of The Nephilim – Psychonaut
    10. The Stone Roses – Sally Cinnamon

  14. 14
    flahr on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Best-selling singles of 1989:

    1. Black Box – Ride On Time
    2. Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers – Swing The Mood
    3. Bangles – Eternal Flame
    4. Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts
    5. Soul II Soul – Back to Life (How Ever Do You Want Me)
    6. Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold Of My Heart
    7. Jive Bunny & the Mastermixers – That’s What I Like
    8. Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (#2)
    9. Band Aid II – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
    10. Madonna – Like A Prayer

  15. 15
    Billy Hicks on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Four from me – Marc Almond, Madonna, Black Box, and, erm, Jason Donovan (“Too Many Broken Hearts” is a huge guilty pleasure for me)

    Out of the twos, London Nights and French Kiss would have been incredible #1s.

  16. 16
    Conrad on 18 Oct 2010 #

    A nil vote. That’s a first. I’d give the Madonna single a 5 but can’t stretch it to a 6.

  17. 17
    lonepilgrim on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Five only for me – some great music about in 1989 just not (always) at number 1

  18. 18
    lonepilgrim on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Here’s 1989’s top singles, as voted for by The Face (courtesy of http://www.rocklist.net) :

    1. 808 STATE Pacific State
    2. SOUL ll SOUL Back To Life
    3. REDHEAD KINGPIN AND THE FBI Do The Right Thing
    4. FRANKIE KNUCKLES Your Love
    5. SYDNEY YOUNGBLOOD If Only I Could
    6. DEBBIE MALONE Rescue Me
    7. A GUY CALLED GERALD Voodoo Ray
    8. TEN CITY That’s The Way Love Is
    9. DUSTY SPRINGFIELD Nothing Has Been Proved
    10. DIGITAL UNDERGROUND Doowutchulike
    11. ADEVA Respect
    12. BLACK BOX Ride On Time
    13. SOUL ll SOUL Keep On Movin’
    14. NWA Express Yourself
    15. DE LA SOUL Say No Go
    16. DOUG LAZY Let It Roll
    17. LIL LOUIS French Kiss
    18. SHAKESPEAR’S SISTER You’re History
    19. PAUL SIMPSON and ADEVA Musical Freedom
    20. STONE ROSES Made Of Stone
    21. A TRIBE CALLED QUEST Definition Of A Fool
    22. STONE ROSES Fool’s Gold
    23. MADONNA Like A Prayer
    24. ELECTRIBE 101 Tell Me When The Fever Ended
    25. LIZ TORRES Payback Is A Bitch
    26. FRANKIE KNUCKLES Tears
    27. HEAVY D AND THE BOYZ We Got Our Own Thang
    28. KISS AMC A Bit Of . . .
    29. THE BELOVED The Sun Rising
    30. TECHNOTRONIC feat. FELLY Pump Up The Jam
    31. SYBIL Don’t Make Me Over
    32. KC FLIGHTT Planet E
    33. THE WEDDING PRESENT Kennedy
    34. NWA Fight The Power
    35. PJ PROBY Sign Of The Times
    36. FRANKIE BONES Just As Lang As I’ve Got You
    37. RHYTHIM IS RHYTHIM Strings Of Life
    38. THE CURE Lullaby
    39. HAPPY MONDAYS Madchester Rave On
    40. THE POGUES White City

  19. 19
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Oct 2010 #

    When I think about the music of 1989, the whole Madchester and Italo House scenes apart (both of which were quite thrilling for a fairly short period of time starting in the second half of the year), one of the things that strikes me is that there was an awful lot of good music getting put out by major labels, on sale in Woolworths, but that didn’t chart highly.

    Scottish rock bands like Love and Money, Goodbye Mr Mackenzie (I suppose the Silencers too, but I never really got into them) had some fine records out this year; and indeed did Hue and Cry, not of all of which were hits. I suppose a lot of these were on the coat-tails of the newly successful Deacon Blue, to some extent, anyway. And what a gorgeously autumnal single “Love And Regret” was, perhaps their finest moment. But ah! The River Detectives – three cracking singles “Chains”, “Saturday Night Sunday Morning” and perhaps best of all “You Don’t Know A Thing About Her”; the River City People (Scouse rather than Scots, but no less celtic and feisty);

    and then quasi-indie bands on major labels, not yet overproduced, for the most part, as was the case just a couple of years later, before they were all dropped. Adult Net. Frazier Chorus. Many of them on the newly revived Fontana label. The year I discovered my two favourite groups of recent decades: the Go-Betweens (“Streets Of Your Town” a fine springtime single of 89), and the Lilac Time (“American Eyes” played frequently on Radio 1 in the summer). It must be said the Lilac Time’s best material was a lot later on, though. XTC had a fine album, and three great singles “Mayor of Simpleton”, “King for a Day” and “The Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead” – almost, but not quite overproduced into excess poppiness.

    Another delight, much played on Capital, but that didn’t even make the top 75, was a Dutch/Belgian disco-ish number “The Way To Your Heart” by Soul Sister

    And great string-backed summer dancy classics, Donna Allen’s take on “Joy and Pain”, Joyce Sims “Looking For A love”. And in a completely different place on the musical spectrum, but another mellow delight, in the top ten, Guns N Roses’s “Patience”…

    Many gems. It was a very good year for pop music, Jive Bunny and NKOTB and Sonia didn’t ruin it.

  20. 20
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Re 6: You’ve roused my curiosity – here are the number 41 singles of 1989;

    Julia Fordham – Where Does The Time Go?
    Ellis, Beggs & Howard – Big Bubbles No Troubles
    The House Of Love – Never
    Pop Will Eat Itself – Wise Up! Sucker
    Deon Estus – Heaven Help Me
    Aretha Franklin & Elton John – Through The Storm
    Enya – Storms In Africa
    The Pogues – Misty Morning Albert Bridge
    The House Of Love – I Don’t Know Why I Love You
    Tongue ‘N’ Cheek – Encore

    All are superior to Jive Bunny. God, I remember pretty much all of them, and bought the majority of them in the Cavern Records bargain bin! Chelovek is really onto something in the late eighties being the golden age of major labels taking a punt on an inordinate number of acts. Who was the greatest non-starter, I wonder? I seem to remember John Moore & The Expressway, Big Bam Boo and Love & Rockets clogging up every bargain bin that I searched in. And The Lilac Time really couldn’t get a hit for neither (my) love nor (Fontana’s) money!

  21. 21
    Chelovek na lune on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Blimey, I bought most of those no 41s, seems I really wasn’t joking!

    The Aretha Franklin & Elton John one is a bit of a stinker, unfortunately (as was her duet with Whitney from the same album), and the Ellis Beggs and Howard one is…probably a bit better than one might reasonably expect a record containing a former member of Kajagoogoo to be, and “Never”, really, really, really, really, wasn’t The House of Love at their finest (no idea whatsoever why they released it as their first major label single). The Deon Estus one was quite nice, a melodious pop song by a fine singer, and I swear George Michael provided uncredited backing vocals. I can’t remember the Enya and Pogues ones…but I guess they sounded like Enya and the Pogues, the latter in a fairly melancholic tone, I think.

    But the others…..PWEI – perfectly acceptable record of its type (you can tell I was never a big fan: but this was one of their better singles imho) Tongue N Cheek – great. And that Julia Fordham record (a duet with John O’Kane, I think it was) – – – is extremely beautiful. Definitely the standout one from that list.

    The thing was, in those days (he said, sounding a lot older than he is), you could pick up the entire top 75 singles in Woolworths (qualification: I think for some dispute over pricing they didn’t sell anything on EMI-owned labels for a couple of years after 1988), and I think Smiths and Boots and Martins all sold the top 50 too. And of course there were far more independent record stores around then than is now the case. (You could not buy music in supermarkets, however. This was perhaps a good thing). And of course you could get em cheap when they were reduced and out the chart too.

    Big Bam Boo, yes, I remember them vaguely from the cheap records boxes. And the other two you mention. Plus the Kevin McDermott Orchestra (who weren’t an orchestra- more Scottish rock I think) too (“Where We Were Meant To Be” – not at all bad in a kind of sub-Springsteen way). and Blue Mercedes. The Jeff Healey Band (oh gosh, add “Angel Eyes” to the great lost singles of the year list, and Toni Halliday (later of Curve) too – “Time Turns Around” still sounds great today.

    #20 – and Pere Ubu, for goodness’ sake, had an album on Fontana at this time!

    Oh maybe I spent too much time in 1989 in record shops

  22. 22
    Mark M on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Re 11: Kennedy into Debaser – there’s an indie night DJ’s staple for years…

    (Also, the presence of 31 reminds of an old story commemorated by an old Freaky Trigger headline).

    The Face list is, as ever, where it’s at.

  23. 23
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2010 #

    Re 21: On Monday the 11th of July 1988, at 4.30 PM on BBC1, Pere Ubu were special guests on ‘Roland Rat The Series’! One day, this will turn up on Youtube.

  24. 24
    will on 18 Oct 2010 #

    I remember the Pere Ubu/ Roland Rat collision as if it were yesterday! They played ‘We Have The Technology’ from their then-current album whose name escapes me..

  25. 25
    tonya on 19 Oct 2010 #

    The 1989 US number ones, or would you rather 3 Milli Vanillis instead of 3 Jive Bunnies (everyone I knew was listening to hip hop anyhow):
    “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” -Poison
    “My Prerogative” -Bobby Brown
    “Two Hearts” -Phil Collins
    “When I’m With You” -Sheriff
    “Straight Up” -Paula Abdul
    “Lost In Your Eyes” -Debbie Gibson
    “The Living Years” -Mike + The Mechanics
    “Eternal Flame” -The Bangles
    “The Look” -Roxette
    “She Drives Me Crazy” -Fine Young Cannibals
    “Like a Prayer” -Madonna
    “I’ll Be There For You” -Bon Jovi
    “Forever Your Girl” -Paula Abdul
    “Rock On” -Michael Damian
    “Wind Beneath My Wings” -Bette Midler
    “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” -New Kids on the Block
    “Satisfied” -Richard Marx
    “Baby Don’t Forget My Number” -Milli Vanilli
    “Good Thing” -Fine Young Cannibals
    “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” -Simply Red
    “Toy Soldiers” -Martika
    “Batdance” -Prince
    “Right Here Waiting” -Richard Marx
    “Cold Hearted” -Paula Abdul
    “Hangin’ Tough” -New Kids On The Block
    “Don’t Wanna Lose You” -Gloria Estefan
    “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You” -Milli Vanilli
    “Miss You Much” -Janet Jackson
    “Listen to Your Heart” -Roxette
    “When I See You Smile” -Bad English
    “Blame It on the Rain” -Milli Vanilli
    “We Didn’t Start the Fire” -Billy Joel
    “Another Day in Paradise” -Phil Collins

    It may be the first year in the 80’s where the US chart has more interesting hair than the UK one.

  26. 26
    LondonLee on 19 Oct 2010 #

    I’ll take Milli Vanilla any day, I still have and like the 12″ of “Girl You Know It’s True”

    Only 4 from me, but looking at that list from The Face above any year with those Ten City and Adeva records in it gets the thumbs up from me.

  27. 27
    swanstep on 19 Oct 2010 #

    7 for me.

    Cure and Pixies had very good 1989s and it’s good to see them on a bunch of lists. I’m a little surprised not to see any NIN (esp. down in it), Chili Peppers (esp. higher ground), Lords of Acid (esp. I sit on acid), John Zorn and Naked City, and Godflesh on any critics lists. They all rocked my world in 1989.

    @LondonLee. Girl You Know it’s True is indeed lots of fun (that Ashley’s Roach-clip drum sample again!).

  28. 28
    swanstep on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Oooh, I like Martika’s Toy Soldiers from the US #1 list. What happened to her?

  29. 29
    Mark M on 19 Oct 2010 #

    25: The Tenement Year, I believe.

  30. 30
    wichita lineman on 19 Oct 2010 #

    We Didn’t Start The Fire, hilarious though it is, is arguably worse than any of the Jive Bunny hits. Quite a few US number ones I don’t think I’ve ever heard – Michael Damian?

    1989 also saw the last Felt album (Me And A Monkey On The Moon) and I’ll share the love for the Lilac Time’s American Eyes (no.28 on the US Modern Rock chart according to Wiki!).

  31. 31
    Chelovek na lune on 19 Oct 2010 #

    #28 Poison, yes! (Well, that track, anyway). Sheriff, oh yes indeed! (ditto – although IIRC that was a rerelease from 1982. A kind of Charlene situation, sort of…) Debbie Gibson, Roxette, maybe (and their second #1: yes). Bette Midler, oh yes. Martika, maybe.

    Much evidence of a US love for sentimental soft-rock ballads (which continuted into the following year – eg Cinderella’s “Don’t Know What You Got Till Its Gone”)

    “Girl You Know Its True” was indeed fun: but everything else put out under MV’s name was vaguely intolerable imho.

  32. 32
    Alex on 19 Oct 2010 #

    @19: That would be a 90s theme. Surprisingly good music got into the charts regularly. (Yet to come: Chemicals’ Setting Sun @ 2, Chris Evans practically wetting himself on air…jumpers for goalposts, awww)

    Also, the Face, as usual, takes a step forward, leans back, and it’s a six over the main stand. Very tempted to assemble that list on last.fm.

  33. 33
    wichita lineman on 19 Oct 2010 #

    My favourite lost single of ’89, I’m In Love by Sha-Lor. It came out here on Deconstruction: moodily atmospheric, vibes, eerie chords, whispered vocals, house rhythms nodding to freestyle. Magic.

  34. 34
    pink champale on 19 Oct 2010 #

    I’d give forty-odd ticks to that festive fifty list (this is DEFINITELY rose tinting at work) but sadly the official 1989 gets only five.

  35. 35
    Tom on 19 Oct 2010 #

    I wore the tape out of that Festive Fifty – the only thing on it I can’t remember now is “Landslide” by The Popguns. Enormous rose tinting needed for some of it, I quite agree.

  36. 36

    Interesting that the Peel list is such a collage of relatively distinct sensibilities- like the peaks of half a dozen submerged mountains

  37. 37
    Chelovek na lune on 19 Oct 2010 #

    That Face top 40 is very good indeed.

    (one highlight: PAUL SIMPSON and ADEVA Musical Freedom – – subsequently remade, over and over again, as the major part of “You Got The Love”) Great tracks by Electribe 101, Kiss AMC, and Frankie Knuckles there, too, amongst many others.

    Not sure about Redhead Kingpin at no 3 though.

  38. 38
    Steve Mannion on 19 Oct 2010 #

    ‘Do The Right Thing’ is the first song I ever tried to write the lyrics down for. iirc he sounded a lot like the late Guru.

  39. 39
    lex on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Peel list makes me break out in hives. Face list looks mostly awesome – Lil Louis! Frankie Knuckles! I downloaded a random Chicago house compilation a while ago and have been caning it quite a bit, it’s excellent workout music. “Voodoo Ray” so classic too, I saw A Guy Called Gerald give a lecture at RBMA recently, pretty interesting but he had a massive tendency to ramble and the moderator seemed totally reluctant to nudge him towards coherency.

    Ticked Madonna, Soul II Soul and Black Box here. US vs UK comparison comes down to those latter two vs these four no-hesitation 10/10s:

    “My Prerogative” -Bobby Brown
    “Straight Up” -Paula Abdul
    “Toy Soldiers” -Martika
    “Miss You Much” -Janet Jackson

    Man, “My Prerogative” still bangs so hard. And it’s frankly outrageous that Janet Jackson has never had a UK No 1. WTF were people thinking?

  40. 40
    Tom on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Yeah the Face list is amazing – really must compile those.

  41. 41
    pink champale on 19 Oct 2010 #

    well yeah, the face list is obviously great, but (much as i was into a lot of the stuff on it at the time) it’s just a list of brilliant records. the peel list, cud and all, was my *life*

  42. 42
    Steve Mannion on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Debbie Malone’s ‘Rescue Me’ – the best bassline of 1989.

  43. 43
    wichita lineman on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Re 41: Not sure what you mean – The Face list was kinda my life too. I’m starting to think an ‘indie’ phase isn’t that different to a (scorned by me and my 80s peers) a ‘metal’ phase. It just tends to strike a bit later. I was 24 in 1989 and felt open to all kinds of music. I saw the Wedding Present’s Bizarro tour, S Roses, H Mondays, random house nights (memory fails me), Galaxie 500’s first UK gigs, the Flying Nun revival (Chills, Clean, Straitjacket Fits), and bought a ton of records. I caned Deep Heat ’89, parent LP to Latino Reve, not the hippest comp but SO MANY great tracks. Was Digital Underground’s Sex Packets ’89 as well? AND Neil Young’s Don’t Cry? Unbelievable year.

  44. 44
    pink champale on 19 Oct 2010 #

    oh yeah, not at all saying the face list couldn’t be anyone else’s life (and lets face it, a considerably more exciting life), it just wasn’t really mine at the time and so doesn’t have the same,slightly undeserved, emotional resonance as that particular festive fifty for me.

  45. 45
    Steve Mannion on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Record Mirror didn’t do EOY lists it seems – altho I do remember them doing a DJs/clubs/shops top 100 tracks of the year (which I think ‘Moments In Soul’ topped in 1990).

  46. 46
    LondonLee on 19 Oct 2010 #

    The Face list was more my life too (what can I say? I was a designer working in London!) and that Peel list just reminds me how much I had drifted away from indie at that point. Would you believe I’ve never heard a record by The Wedding Present or The Pixies?

  47. 47
    Jonathan Bogart lugged oot on 20 Oct 2010 #

    Goodness, the US list is so much better than the UK list that I’m half tempted to patriotic pride; even the drippy ballads are iconic drippy ballads. (With, yes, plenty of chaff too.) I voted for four up top, but I’d probably mark for a whopping SEVENTEEN on the US list.

    Why no, it has nothing to do with the fact that I first started listening to pop (in a country that tended to be about six months behind the US) the following year. Perish the thought.

  48. 48
    vinylscot on 20 Oct 2010 #

    I only ticked three of the UK #1s. For me, the Peel list shows what a great year this was. At the time, I bought well over half of them, and even now there are only two or three I can’t remember. It’s possibly one of Peel’s “poppiest” lists, although this shouldn’t necessarily be seen as a bad thing.

  49. 49

    As noted above, the “bad thing” was much more that so many lists — and the various competing subcultures represented by those lists — had retreated from treating the charts as a contestable public argument, assumed cultural elitism (ie “our music is just better…”) as a kind of defeatism (“… as its continued obscurity proves”); Jive Bunny were pushing on an open door to a deserted building.

  50. 50
    Billy Smart on 20 Oct 2010 #

    The NME Critics Poll for 1989 is excellent, if a bit Stone Roses-besotted;

    1. She Bangs The Drum – The Stone Roses
    2. Fool’s Gold – The Stone Roses
    3. Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays
    4. Made Of Stone – The Stone Roses
    5. Pacific State – 808 State
    6. Fight The Power – Public Enemy
    7. The Third Time We Opened The Capsule – Kitchens Of Distinction
    8. Back To Life – Soul II Soul
    9. Last Of The Famous International Playboys – Morrissey
    10. All Around The World – Lisa Stansfield
    11. Round & Round – New Order
    12. I Don’t Know Why I Love You – The House Of Love
    13. Dowutchulike – Digital Underground
    14. Madchester Rave On EP – Happy Mondays
    15. Closer To Fine – Indigo Girls
    16. Like A Prayer – Madonna
    17. WFL – Happy Mondays
    18. Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul
    19. Funky Cold Medina – Tone Loc
    20. Don’t Let Me Down – The Wonderstuff
    21. Orange Crush – Rem
    22. Monkey Gone To Heaven – Pixies
    23. Tears – Frankie Knuckles
    24. Less Than Senseless – Mega City Four
    25. Interesting Drug – Morrissey
    26. Sleep Talk – Allyson Williams
    27. Barging Into The Presence Of God – Pale Saints
    28. Sit Down – James
    29. Move – Inspiral Carpets
    30. Tom Verlaine – The Family Cat
    31. Me, Myself & I – De La Soul
    32. Pure – Lightning Seeds
    33. Eye Know – De La Soul
    34. The Phantom – Renegade Soundwave
    35. The Sensual World – Kate Bush
    36. Warning – Adeva
    37. All’s Well In The World – The Sandkings
    38. She Drives Me Crazy – Fine Young Cannibals
    39. Leeds Station – The Parachute Men
    40. Ride On Time – Black Box
    41. Getting Away With It – Electronic
    42. Losing My Mind – Lisa Minelli
    43. Kennedy – The Wedding Present
    44. Veronica – Elvis Costello
    45. Too Much Kissing – The Senseless Things
    46. People Hold On – Coldcut & Lisa Stansfield
    47. Blue Moon Revisited – Cowboy Junkies
    48. Say No Go – De La Soul
    49. Have I Told You Lately? – Van Morrison
    50. Joe – Inspiral Carpets

  51. 51
    Billy Smart on 20 Oct 2010 #

    The Melody Maker Critics Poll for 1989 is also very good, but tells a different story of the year;

    1. Monkey Gone To Heaven – Pixies
    2. Can’t Be Sure – The Sundays
    3. The Sensual World – Kate Bush
    4. Lullaby – The Cure
    5. Keep On Movin’ – Soul II Soul
    6. Just Like Heaven – Dinosaur Jr.
    7. She Bangs The Drums – The Stone Roses
    8. Me Myself & I – De La Soul
    9. Love In An Elevator – Aerosmith
    10. Fire Woman – The Cult
    11. WFL – Happy Mondays
    12. Back To Life – Soul II Soul
    13. Eye Know – De La Soul
    14. You’re History – Shakespeare’s Sister
    15. Downtown Lights – The Blue Nile
    16. Say No Go – De La Soul
    17. Blue Moon Revisited – Cowboy Junkies
    18. Manchild – Neneh Cherry
    19. Lazyitis – Happy Mondays
    20. Omega Amigo – The Shamen

  52. 52
    wichita lineman on 21 Oct 2010 #

    Good to see a Popularee to come at 37 in the NME list ; )

    Intrigued by Mark’s argument, but the pop-ness and variety of the various lists says a lot about the open minded pop mentality of ’89. ‘Chart pop’ was one aspect of the good stuff around (everyone loved Black Box!), but there was very little snobbishness as I recall – that would have been regarded as reactionary.

    There was a hell of a lot going on (De La Soul, Cowboy Junkies, Tone Loc, a Van Morrison renaissance even) and different lists show different persuasions, with the odd blind bias (NME’s Family Cat, MM’s Cult) but I can see broad agreement. Too many good records to chart!

  53. 53
    Alex on 2 Nov 2010 #

    If anyone’s still watching, I finally got around to compiling the Face’s list as a last.fm playlist.

  54. 54
    heather on 9 Nov 2010 #

    This was the year I felt nothing but faint scorn for the charts. I was 18, and had ‘Technique’. ‘Doolittle’ and ‘The Stone Roses’ come out within three months of each other – all three albums without a truly bad track between them. What did I need Pete Waterman and Jive Bunny’s rubbish?

  55. 55
    lonepilgrim on 23 Dec 2011 #

    There’s a bizarre Japanese take on the 80s here:

    http://www7a.biglobe.ne.jp/~rock8beat/yougaku4/8beat_06.html

    anyone care to translate?

  56. 56
    Inanimate Carbon God on 17 Jan 2015 #

    Apparently Toy Soldiers was only the third song Martika ever wrote. Woah.

    Perhaps a Marmite record, but I find it wonderful, especially on a cold, crisp night like this one.

    How many songs does Ed Sheeran have to write until he makes something worth listening to? :D

  57. 57
    Cumbrian on 8 Sep 2015 #

    An open note to Marcello:

    You’ve written belting stuff in the past but the TPL entry on “The Road To Hell” is something else. I actually welled up a bit.

    Never been able to work out what I need to do/sign up to, to comment on TPL – so have had to do this here. Apologies. Felt it needed saying though.

  58. 58
    punctum on 8 Sep 2015 #

    Funny you should say that (although I’m most thankful and gratified that you do!) – I was planning to drop by here just to say that eighties TPL is finally complete, and here’s the final entry – as ever, read beyond the top of the page because that’s when it gets really interesting: http://nobilliards.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/phil-collins-but-seriously.html

  59. 59
    Stewart Copeland on 13 Oct 2018 #

    Almost 8 years ago Billy Smart looked forward to Pere Ubu on Rowland Rat being on YouTube. Seems to be up there now

    https://youtu.be/Uiw97_MBg2g

  60. 60
    Gareth Parker on 10 Jun 2021 #

    Agree with Inanimate Carbon God (#56), I think Toy Soldiers by Martika is a great record as well.

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