Oct 10

Popular ’89

Popular59 comments • 3,301 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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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 36

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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?

  10. 40
    Tom on 19 Oct 2010 #

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

  11. 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*

  12. 42
    Steve Mannion on 19 Oct 2010 #

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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!

  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 55
    lonepilgrim on 23 Dec 2011 #

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


    anyone care to translate?

  26. 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

  27. 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.

  28. 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

  29. 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


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