Modern Rock Tracks, 6/2/90

It’s time once more to take a look at some of what appeared on the right side of page 18 in the Billboard magazine dated thirty years ago today.

28. The Cure, “Pictures of You”
The fourth and final single from Disintegration.

26. Julee Cruise, “Falling”
Don’t know if it’s really the case or not, but it feels like every one of these MRT posts has a dear favorite sung by a woman sitting somewhere in the 20s. Yes, it’s now been thirty years since Twin Peaks was all the rage and we got to know the music of Julee Cruise. I picked up Floating Into the Night back then; might just have to give it a spin now, especially for “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart.”

24. The Sidewinders, “We Don’t Do That Anymore”
These guys from Tucson eventually had to change their name to the Sand Rubies. Here’s their second and last time on this chart. Nice song that I seem to be discovering just now.

19. Big Dipper, “Love Barge”
Seems like a barge is not really the metaphor you want to invoke when talking about love. I get that “Love Boat” was already taken, but still… Beantown rockers on their major label debut; they soon split up.

18. Jerry Harrison, “Flying Under Radar”
Harrison’s first solo album, The Red and the Black, spawned very little interest when it came out in 1981 (though my college roommate and I both dug “Slink“). His next effort, 1988’s Casual Gods, was much better received. Walk on Water didn’t do as well two years later, but “Flying Under Radar” is a perfectly serviceable rocker.

15. Social Distortion, “Ball and Chain”
Mike Ness and band had their greatest commercial success with their 1992 album Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, but things had started rolling with their eponymous third LP. This was its first single.

12. Suzanne Vega, “Book of Dreams”
Days of Open Hand never grooved me the way Suzy V’s first two albums had, or 99.9° F would. That doesn’t mean I would have minded if she’d gotten a hit single or two from it.

10. The Pretenders, “Never Do That”
Packed! is sort of overlooked in Chrissie’s oeuvre–it certainly didn’t make much of a commercial dent. It still had a couple of notable tracks; we’ll get another one in the fall (no, not “Hold a Candle to This”).

8. Adrian Belew and David Bowie, “Pretty Pink Rose”
What happens when the Twang Bar King meets up with the Thin White Duke? A pretty rockin’ cut, that’s what. Wish there were a higher quality clip hanging out on YouTube.

7. Lloyd Cole, “Downtown”
After watching the accompanying video for this track, I can safely say I have no desire to see the Rob Lowe/James Spader flick Bad Influence, on whose soundtrack this song appears. It’s also on Cole’s first solo album after breaking up with the Commotions.

5. Sinéad O’Connor, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”
I dig it a bunch; it’s an honest, though sniping, take on where she found herself after the whirlwind success of The Lion and the Cobra.

3. The Sundays, “Here’s Where the Story Ends”
Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic is a fantastic record, one of my fave albums from 1990. Plenty of Smiths vibe to both music and lyrics, and Harriet Wheeler’s voice is a charmer. Brilliant song, certainly my favorite on this list.

I associate this song with a trip to Atlanta I took with my parents over Memorial Day weekend. Dad had a side business as a numismatic coin dealer for several years in the 80s and 90s, and for a while he made an annual pilgrimage to a show there.

2. World Party, “Way Down Now”
Excellent stuff near the top this time; “Way Down Now” isn’t far behind the Sundays’ effort above at all.

1. Depeche Mode, “Policy of Truth”
Talked a little about this one a couple of months ago; it’s fine enough, but I don’t need to play it again today.

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