Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Not Random 60: Looking good, hanging with the wild bunch.

Over at xtcian (p.s. thanks for fixing the comment feature), there is memage going on, and it is a hard one to resist:
I almost never do memes, but I liked what my brother Kent did today: post the top songs of the year he turned 18. He (and the guys who did it first) bolded songs they liked, crossed out songs they disliked, and left the other italicized. I'm not tertiary enough to get away with that, so I'll post the top 60 songs from the year I turned 18. That glorious annus, 1985. And offer a little comment on each.

What is excruciating about this meme, is that these are so not the songs that were formative to my youth, or even my days in high school (such as they were), or even my sense of what the 1980s were, musically. Better for that latter experience are Jarrett's "Your Scary 80s" mixes, based on what he thought was good and bad from those years, the bad largely determined by the Supa DJs of the Carver bus--oh yeah, I had my funky bus pass for that, Tim.

No, by 1989, my magic year, "classic rock" had reared what I now know was its ugly head, and I was more interested in the WNOR top 100 (will "Stairway to Heaven" get it this year or will it be that Bob Seeger song again about life on the road?) than in whatever was happening on Z-104. Furthermore, by that year "alternative" had appeared, and Carol Taylor had started doing a once-a-week show on WNOR featuring more out of the way stuff. Thanks in part to mixes from my friend Cindy (she was a COLLEGE student!), old mixes from other folks, and a lot of rooting around in record stores, I was (in my very own emo way) rejecting the pop stations and listening to entirely too much old Peter Gabriel, old Talking Heads, Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, etc.

What this list does bring back, though, are the few high school parties I attended. These were largely populated with my underachiever and over-socialized classmates walking around with beers in their hands saying, "I am SO drunk!" Sure, sweetie. And we are all impressed by you.

So moreso than having my annus mirabilis revealed with this list, it leaves me wishing I had kept mix tapes I made in those years. (My catalogued collection of same begins in my freshman year of college.)

But here is my list, and like Ian, I'll make some comments in italics, and although there are only a few worth making, let's see if that old teenage emo voice comes back.

Pop Radio Top 20: 1989 Yearly Chart

1 "Another Day In Paradise," Phil Collins (oh, indeed, as was every day at MHS)
2 "Miss You Much," Janet Jackson
3 "Cold Hearted," Paula Abdul
4 "Don't Wanna Lose You," Gloria Estefan
5 "Like A Prayer," Madonna (life is a mystery, but not really the way she meant it, I fear--perhaps Alanis Morrissette should have been paying better attention)
6 "Forever Your Girl," Paula Abdul
7 "We Didn't Start The Fire," Billy Joel (no, we certainly didn't)
8 "Lost In Your Eyes," Debbie Gibson (I am sure that my romantic life could have been richer if I could have OMG OMG loved this song)
9 "If You Don't Know Me By Now," Simply Red (you will never never know me, and that goes for all of you, class of 1989!!!)
10 "Right Here Waiting," Richard Marx and his haircut
11 "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)," New Kids On The Block (do you 4 punks know what forever is?)
12 "Listen To Your Heart," Roxette
13 "Straight Up," Paula Abdul (oh oh oh)
14 "The Look," Roxette
15 "Toy Soldiers," Martika
16 "When I See You Smile," Bad English
17 "I'll Be There For You," Bon Jovi (does everyone is pop music land write song lyrics as if they were signing yearbooks?)
18 "Blame It On The Rain," Milli Vanilli (did we think then that they were singing, or had our sense of postmodernism already developed?)
19 "She Drives Me Crazy," Fine Young Cannibals (now this song I still enjoy, and it is not just because of Roland Gift's fab pixie hairline)
20 "(It's Just) The Way That You Love Me," Paula Abdul
21 "Eternal Flame," Bangles
22 "Heaven," Warrant
23 "Girl I'm Gonna Miss You," Milli Vanilli
24 "Rock On," Michael Damian
25 "The Living Years," Mike & The Mechanics (OK, now I hated this song so much that even now--17 years later--I can feel the rage rising at the mere imagining of its opening notes)
26 "On Our Own," Bobby Brown
27 "Cherish," Madonna (there are reasons I came to really appreciate Madonna, but this is not one of them)
28 "Good Thing," Fine Young Cannibals (see above, #19)
29 "Hangin' Tough," New Kids On The Block (oh good lord)
30 "Satisfied," Richard Marx
31 "With Every Beat Of My Heart," Taylor Dayne
32 "Two Hearts," Phil Collins
33 "Express Yourself," Madonna (put your own love to the test)
34 "Real Love," Jody Watley
35 "When I'm With You," Sheriff (does anyone remember Sheriff?)
36 "Batdance," Prince (admittedly, a strange bit in the purple one's career, but I am very fond of this soundtrack album and very sad that I cannot find it digitally)
37 "Born To Be My Baby," Bon Jovi
38 "Don't Rush Me," Taylor Dayne
39 "If I Could Turn Back Time," Cher
40 "Rhythm Nation," Janet Jackson
41 "So Alive," Love & Rockets (I thought this song was so romantic--really this time--and I would drive my little shit car around listening with my windows down. I wanted to be one of those "doo-n-doo" girls at the end...)
42 "Every Little Step," Bobby Brown
43 "Baby Don't Forget My Number," Milli Vanilli (uh, too late?)
44 "My Heart Can't Tell You No," Rod Stewart (yes it can)
45 "Angelia," Richard Marx
46 "Soldier Of Love," Donny Osmond (Donny Freakin' Osmond??)
47 "Armageddon It," Def Leppard (until this song, I had no idea that could be a verb)
48 "Don't Know Much," Linda Ronstadt w/ Aaron Neville
49 "Girl You Know It's True," Milli Vanilli
50 "Cover Girl," New Kids On The Block
51 "Wild Thing," Tone Loc (this one really brings back those irksome parties)
52 "Wind Beneath My Wings," Bette Midler (ARRGH!!! This song was played or performed over and over in all the end of the year awards ceremonies! It was supposed to be some kind of tribute to parents and now I see it is one of the de rigeur songs at wedding receptions. If only we had stopped the madness before it started!!!)
53 "Sowing The Seeds Of Love," Tears For Fears (when TFF took their sad fall)
54 "Buffalo Stance," Neneh Cherry
55 "When The Children Cry, White Lion
56 "Shower Me With Your Love," Surface (no thank you, I'll wash myself)
57 "The Lover In Me," Sheena Easton
58 "Love Shack," B-52's (I got me a Chrysler, it seats about 20, so hurry up and bring your juke box money! Ah, Fred, you still got it.)
59 "You Got It (The Right Stuff)," New Kids On The Block
60 "I Like It," Dino

A NOTE ON METHOD: because I am that kind of goddess, I am going to comment that determining what "the top hits" of a given year are is no easy task. Looking on google, I found that the first several lists were all different. Then I found this compendium of lists, all determined by different parameters. So then after some comparisons there, I found that this list best reflected my oh-so-glorious senior year of high school. RIP.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I'm sure it says something about our age difference that I think of most of those songs as "Retro", because I was just expanding my tastes beyond my parents' music then... But I loved "We didn't start the fire" while it was on the radio.