What Else Do I Have To Say?

It’s getting close to the end of my review of music of 89. Part of that has been taking a peek at the Hot 100 at the midpoint of each quarter of the year (here are the reviews of 2/18, 5/13, and 8/12). There have been a number of gems, but I’ve been regularly reminded how grim things could be, too; I definitely can see why I was drifting away from the Top 40 scene. We’re completing the exercise today by taking a gander at one-fifth of the 11/11/89 chart.

100. Martika, “I Feel the Earth Move”
Bad and/or pointless remakes are a recurring theme this go-round. The idea of remaking this Carole King classic may be rooted in the success of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now,” but it was neither as synthed up nor as successful (it had reached #25).

90. Tracy Chapman, “Crossroads”
The title track of Chapman’s follow-up to her critically and commercially successful debut LP. Overall it was a classic case of the sophomore slump, though it’s better than most of the crap on this chart. This was its peak.

73. White Lion, “Radar Love”
See #100 above–I don’t know if this is bad, but it sure is pointless. The public wasn’t having any of it, either, as it had already topped out at #59.

64. Tom Petty, “Free Fallin'”
Including footage of the lead actress rather meekly skateboarding the half-pipe toward the end of the video always seemed like an odd directorial choice to me, especially since they show the guys all catching air. What gives–why show that contrast?

Excluding his duet with Stevie, this is highest a Petty-sung single ever got–it’s on its way to #7.

56. Michael Bolton, “How Am I Supposed to Live Without You”
Another awful remake, this time by the song’s writer. I wasn’t a fan of the Laura Branigan version, even before I kept hearing it during a not-very-good time in my life. Bolton’s take, which went all the way to the top, sends me up a wall every time I accidentally hear it.

Bolton is almost certainly my least favorite act ever to have seen live–he opened for Heart when John, Ann, and I went to see them at Milwaukee’s Summerfest in the late 80s.

55. Madonna, “Oh Father”
Even though this broke Madonna’s streak of 16 consecutive Top 5 singles (it peaked at #20), I’m inclined to rank it among my five favorites of hers (along with “Borderline,” “Into the Groove,” “Live to Tell,” and “Like a Prayer,” if you must know). I’d guess many of us have events from our youths that shaped everything that came afterward (I know I do). Madonna makes it clear here what that was for her.

48. Eurythmics, “Don’t Ask Me Why”
Things went sideways commercially for Dave and Annie pretty quickly after their brilliant 85 release Be Yourself Tonight, scoring just two more Top 40 singles. One of them was “Don’t Ask Me Why,” which had sneaked it at #40 the previous week. I don’t know that I heard it back in 89, but it’s a keeper.

40. Tesla, “Love Song”
Mentioning this one mainly to point out it’s not the only song with this title in the Top 40–the Cure are still hanging in there at #34. To be honest, I’d always assumed this was called “Love Will Find a Way”–I didn’t care for it enough to try to disabuse myself of the mis-impression. Their other big hit was a cover of “Signs.” You probably can guess what word springs to my mind about it.

37. Technotronic, “Pump Up the Jam”
One of a few club songs from this period that really broke through, at least into my consciousness. I like “Groove Is in the Heart” and the scorching hot “Gonna Make You Sweat” (both from about a year later) better, but I definitely get why this was a big hit, climbing all the way to #2.

33. Phil Collins, “Another Day in Paradise”
The first single from Phil’s last massive seller, …But Seriously. Probably too earnest by a fair amount, yet I’ll still give him a little credit for the effort. On its way to #1, of course.

28. 2 Live Crew, “Me So Horny”
I was well aware of the controversy surrounding As Nasty As They Wanna Be at the time, but I sure didn’t hear this song much. It’d get only two spots higher, but it hung around the Hot 100 for almost five more months.

22. Poco, “Call It Love”
The third and final time Poco made the Top 40, this time after a nine ten-year absence. One of the better songs to be found on this chart, though the video’s director went a wee bit overboard with all the carefully-selected, sculpted bods–everybody is not a supermodel, especially on a hot, summer day.

18. Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville, “Don’t Know Much”
When I first saw the title of this song, I imagined it being a rocker (maybe the album’s title–Cry Like a Rainstorm, Howl Like the Wind–encouraged that thought). If I’d paid any attention to who Linda’s duet partner was, I wouldn’t have made that mistake. “Don’t Know Much” would climb to #2 and was Ronstadt’s last Top 10 hit.

15. Young M.C., “Bust a Move”
You could not escape this song on MTV for a couple of years. Already heading down from a #7 peak, it’s another that hung around the Hot 100 for many more months. I’ll take this over either of Tone Loc’s big hits.

14. Alice Cooper, “Poison”
Alice had just two Top 40 hits in the 80s, one in 80, and this one in 89. I’m much more inclined toward “(We’re All) Clones.” Yet another one that got to #7.

13. Billy Joel, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”
The song is good enough, but I’m a huge fan of the video. Love the care taken in assembling artifacts from the 50s and 60s, and focusing on the kitchen–nerve center of the home–from those decades and beyond was a brilliant move.

My grandparents had a coffee table book, The Best of Life, featuring hundreds of photos from the first 36 years of Life magazine. I would regularly thumb through it on visits to their farmhouse; a number of the pix made quite an impression. Joel used a couple of the hardest to look at from that collection–the lynching of a black man and the execution of a Vietnamese soldier. Exploitation? Maybe, but because I knew their source, they definitely spoke to me.

9. Delfonics, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind)”
Amazing to think that this R&B classic, one I loved from the moment I discovered it on the first K-Tel record to enter our home, made a smashing comeback almost twenty years later. Wait…you mean it’s really an utterly soulless cover from New Kids on the Block in this spot? And it peaked at #8, two spots higher than the original? Screw that.

6. B-52’s , “Love Shack”
Soon to be #3. An incredible shame that further advance was repelled by Milli Vanilli and Bad English.

2. Roxette, “Listen to Your Heart”
Last week’s #1. I’m not a big ballad guy generally, but this is pretty good, certainly tons better than what comes next.

1. Bad English, “When I See You Smile”
I’ve surveyed four charts from 89 this year, and the top songs have been by Paula Abdul, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx, and now a Frankengroup fashioned from the dessicated husks of Journey and the Babys. I like “Straight Up,” but the other three form a pretty sad lot.

Will I continue looking at Hot 100s of 30 years ago come February? My Magic 8 Ball’s response is “OUTLOOK NOT SO GOOD.” Guess we’ll know for certain in three months…

Die Mauern fielen nieder

I’ve not paid much attention to newsworthy events from thirty years ago in my Destination 89 series; today I’m atoning. The fall of the Berlin Wall, on 11/9/89, was among the most memorable geopolitical events of my grad school years (others included the rise and crushing of dissent in Tiananmen Square, Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War, and the end of the Soviet Union/Cold War). The Wall existed in some form or fashion for a little over 28 years; it was early February of 2018 when the moment passed that it’d been down for as long as it had stood. I’m not nearly enough of a student of history to discuss the proximate or long-term reasons for why it happened at that particular moment in time. But what strikes me now is how suddenly it seemed to occur (though I recognize my distance insulated me from having to be aware of developments) and how a world with two Germanys, the only one I’d known, disappeared in an instant. Meaningful change is by no means always gradual.

Martha has been to Berlin four times, twice before 89 and twice after. Here are some pix.

The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic sites, sitting adjacent to the Reichstag. Here are two views when Martha was there in 1983 with a few college classmates on a class trip at the end of her junior year.

They were able to take the subway over to the East side. Here, she’s standing at some sort of barrier, as close as she was able to go. You can see the Wall on the other side of the gate.

The view from the West–there’s a short fence in front of the graffiti-riddled Wall.

And here are analogous photos I took in late June of 17:

You can see bricks in the road marking where the Wall once stood in this one. It’s remarkable to me to think how effortless it was to pass through the Gate and to visit the Reichstag, given how it was in the mid 80s.

Martha was back in Berlin in 85, during her yearlong stay in Hamburg after finishing college. This photo was taken in March on the West side (note the sign warning not to advance into the “no-man’s land”); she was en route to the airport in East Berlin, where she would take off to Moscow (a story for another day).

Not much of the Wall remains. One of the places we visited was the East Side Gallery, where they’ve turned still-standing segments into murals.

Rather than try to make some grand statement about the ultimate futility of walls myself, I’ll let a couple of songs do the talking, even if they’re not from the latter part of 89.


Forgotten Albums: The Reivers, End of the Day

The Reivers have received mention a couple of times already in this space, due to appearances on a couple of mix tapes I’ve reviewed. The first detailed how I came to learn about them and the subsequent quest for their back catalog on CD; the second featured one of the songs on today’s Forgotten Album, their 89 release, End of the Day.

The band came out of the Austin music scene of the mid-80s. Their first album, 85’s Translate Slowly, was released under their original moniker, Zeitgeist. Threat of legal action by another music group with that name led them to re-christen themselves as the Reivers. Translate Slowly impressed enough for them to get a major-label deal from Capitol, and the label put Don Dixon behind the board on 87’s Saturday. It’s a fantastic album; I’ll probably write about it someday.

Unfortunately, Saturday didn’t sell all that much. While I suspect there some pressure to produce some hits on the followup, lead guitarist and chief songwriter John Croslin was allowed to serve as co-producer. End of the Day is every bit as good as Saturday, but it stiffed in stores, too. They got dropped by Capitol and the albums went out of print quickly. The Reivers landed at DB Records, in Atlanta, and recorded one more album, Pop Beloved, in 91. It’s another awesome record–more on it another day, too–but the Reivers called it quits not long after it came out.

Today, it’s a quick tour of five of End of the Day‘s tracks. Not all of the twelve are available on YouTube, and several of those that can be found come from a video shot at one of their shows, probably shortly after Pop Beloved came out. I’m limiting myself to linking to just one of them. We start with a not especially high-fidelity capture of the album’s opener, “It’s About Time,” but it’s what I’ve got to offer.

Next, track 2, the ultra-charming “Star Telegram,” which was on the tape I wrote up back in May.

Here’s a surprise. “Lazy Afternoon” originally appeared in the 1954 Broadway musical The Golden Apple. It’s been sung by, among others, Kaye Ballard, Shirley Horn, Helen Merrill, Regina Belle, and–perhaps most notably–Barbra Streisand. The band, featuring guitarist Kim Longacre on vocals, gives it anything but the typically languid treatment, and it totally works. Crank it.

“Almost Home” was covered by Hootie and the Blowfish on their 2000 release Scattered, Smothered, and Covered. (The album also features a cut from Translate Slowly.) I can definitely envision Darius Rucker and company taking this one on.

The album’s final track is one of its best, the title song. “End of the Day” made an appearance on another of my mid-90s mix tapes. If you watch the video, you’ll see the picture below change to one of the band taken when they reunited briefly six years ago.

Lots of bands wind up not being viable commercially, but Croslin, Longacre, bassist/violinist Cindy Toth, and drummer Garrett Williams sure recorded a lot of tunes I really appreciate.

Modern Rock Tracks, 10/7/89

Time for our next visit to the nascent alternative scene of thirty years ago. I knew, and generally enjoyed, most of these twelve tracks in real time, but a few came my way over the next year or two via future roommate Greg.

#29. Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers, “Look Who’s Dancing”
The Marley progeny released One Bright Day one year after their breakthrough Conscious Party. It included this track, which got play on the video channels and was coming off a Top 10 peak here.


#28. The Rolling Stones, “Mixed Emotions”
Yes, this was their best lead single since “Start Me Up,” but it sure feels out of place.

#17. Depeche Mode, “Personal Jesus”
Debuting–the year of DM domination begins…now…

#13. The Stone Roses, “She Bangs the Drums”
…while the Madchester movement was also gaining a purchase on these shores. Greg wheeled out The Stone Roses a few times when we began hanging out in 90; somewhat bizarrely, the almost ten-minute “Fool’s Gold” is the track that made the deepest impression then, but “She Bangs the Drums” is an absolute pop delight.


#12. The Primitives, “Sick of It”
Lovely, the 88 debut disk from Britain’s Primitives, is a drop-dead gorgeous album, well worth a write-up someday (and well worth you seeking it out). The following year, Tracy Tracy, Paul Court and company released Pure–while it has some good tunes, including “Sick of It,” it doesn’t hit Lovely‘s heights with anywhere near the same frequency. The Primitives sold more product than Welsh counterparts The Darling Buds, but I’ve generally favored the Buds over the years.


#10. The Sugarcubes, “Regina”
Another lead single from a second LP. I’d bought Life’s Too Good, the Icelanders’ debut, and rather liked it at the time–I’m not sure it’s aged especially well. (Björk showed she was a force of nature right off the bat, of course.) “Regina,” from Here Today, Tomorrow Next Week! was okay, but not enough to get me to listen to the new album much.

#9. Squeeze, “If It’s Love”
Having achieved some US chart success with two singles from their 87 album Babylon and On, Squeeze might have thought they finally had some commercial momentum. Frank proved otherwise. “If It’s Love” is a pretty nice track, but it would only make noise in Modern Rock-land.

#7. Camper Van Beethoven, “Pictures of Matchstick Men”
My first music-themed Facebook post was on May 28, 2011, and featured this song (I’d heard the Status Quo original at Walgreens earlier in the day). Morgan Fichter’s violin sucks me in and doesn’t let go. There’s a lot of great stuff in the top half of today’s list–this is in the running for best of the bunch.


#5. The Ocean Blue, “Between Something and Nothing”
And so is this propulsive, energetic piece. It wound up leading off a mix tape I made in the spring of 92. The quartet, originally from Pennsylvania, still features two of its original members; they released an album earlier this year.


#4. The Alarm, “Sold Me Down the River”
It was somewhat surprising these guys never truly cashed in. “Sixty Eight Guns” makes me think of my early MTV-watching days, and “Rain in the Summertime” is a pretty nice tune. “Sold Me Down the River” would reach #50 on the Hot 100, their best US showing.

#3. Tears for Fears, “Sowing the Seeds of Love”
In which Orzabal/Smith channel their inner Lennon/McCartney. It generally works; I still dig it.

#1. The B-52’s, “Love Shack”
Greg and Katie saw Berlin/OMD/B-52’s in DC last month; I was pleased to learn that Cindy is back with the band. Greg saw fit to record the “Tin roof/Rusted!” moment and send it my way–the crowd was more than ready for it.

I’ll listen to this song anytime.

Breaking Down The Distance

Bob Dylan’s Oh Mercy came out thirty years ago last week. It received immediate positive buzz–I can recall reading Rolling Stone‘s rave review–and was an instant hit amongst those in my office, too. I’d been slowly acquiring a taste for what I consider the best of Dylan’s post-60s work (Blood on the Tracks and Infidels, primarily) via my officemate Will. I’d rank Oh Mercy in between those two, somewhat ahead of Infidels, and five of its ten tracks still strike me as remarkable today. Daniel Lanois, the producer, was in the middle of his late 80s/early 90s roll, and I like what he did on this record.

Here are those five, in order of current personal preference. I’ll largely dispense with comment, but will say: since Dylan doesn’t seem too interested in having folks upload unofficial videos for the originals of his songs on YouTube, three of the five are nice cover versions.

#5. “Political World”
The album opener, and the only song on Oh Mercy to have a studio version official video.


#4. “Shooting Star”
Moving on to the album’s closing track, a sad and wistful piece. Our cover is by Jason Bennett, who I think can be found at this website.  Overall Bennett does it justice.


#3. “Everything Is Broken”
About eighteen months after Oh Mercy came out I met up with my HS friend Tony after he flew into Chicago for a weekend. A cold, raw spring weekend. This one came on the radio while we were driving around one afternoon–we belted out line after line. Can’t listen to it now without hearing Tony sing, “Feels like you’re chokin’!” It’s another primo choice for karaoke someday.

Anyway, here’s a version that Sheryl Crow and Jason Isbell cooked up earlier this year. I’ll have to hear it a few more times to decide what I think.


#2. “Most of the Time”
Now we’re to the real cream of the album. Somehow a homemade video of the studio version for “Most of the Time” has survived on YouTube for more than seven years.


#1. “Ring Them Bells”
I’m going to have to seek out more from Sarah Jarosz. A lot more. That is all.


Forgotten Albums: Texas, Southside

By the end of the 80s, the easiest way for a new(-ish) act to grab my attention–and my dollars–was for it to feature a female vocalist. I’m repeating myself, but at this point on the solo side I was into Suzanne Vega, Tracy Chapman, Toni Childs, Marti Jones, Sinéad O’Connor, Basia, and Jane Siberry, among others (looks like I need to do a Marti write-up someday!). Women-led groups may have been a little sparser in my collection (10,000 ManiacsLone Justice, Cocteau Twins, and ’til Tuesday were there, but it was still a while before fave shoegaze acts like Lush and My Bloody Valentine appeared on the radar). Here’s another that popped up just before the 90s hit.

Somewhere around the time fall classes began again in Illinois I started seeing a video supporting a fivefour-some that featured Sharleen Spiteri, a guitar-slinging 21-year-old brunette with a powerful alto. “I Don’t Want a Lover” doesn’t exactly strike me as late 80s VH-1 fare now, though odds are that’s where I encountered it.  It wasn’t long before I secured a CD copy of Southside, the debut disk from the Glasgow-based Texas and stuck it on a cassette for trips in the car.

“I Don’t Want a Lover” went Top 10 in England and reached #77 in their only US Hot 100 appearance (it debuted on the 9/9/89 chart). I’m bummed that the video I saw thirty years ago isn’t available on YouTube, even if it is just a performance clip. Still the best song on the disk.


The next two selections follow a similar formula: two rounds of verse/chorus, solo, bridge, return to the chorus to the fade-out. “Everyday Now” and “Thrill Has Gone” were the third and second UK singles, respectively. Nice to see a real video for “Thrill Has Gone,” which had just the right amount of country vibe for me back then.



My second favorite track then was and probably still is “Fool for Love.” Our narrator’s letting her former lover know of his new status, and maybe the reasons why.


They chose the right song for the closer. “Future Is Promises” is a slower, more somber piece about trying to pry away a girlfriend’s boyfriend. The bridge expresses equivocation, though: “Take the chance and make the move/But don’t think that I will approve/For once I’ve finally realized/Being with her wasted your life.”


Southside is one of the CDs I moved over to my office several years ago in a spasm of reorganization, right around the time I brought a bunch of disks home from my parents’ house after cleaning it out. I don’t listen to it all that often anymore, but still think it’s a solid offering. Over the next four or so years, I picked Texas’s follow-up albums Mothers Heaven and Rick’s Road; neither wound up appealing the way Southside did.

And I think that was pretty much it for Texas on this side of the pond. Over in Britain, however, Spiteri and company became stars with their next two releases, White on Blonde (97) and The Hush (99). Both went to #1 there, each spawning multiple Top 10 singles. I’ve got a feeling I know what I’m going to be checking out this afternoon.

It’s Only Life After All

Thirty years ago today, I took a rental car south from San Jose, connected with the coastal highway at Monterey and continued down about as far as Big Sur. We’d had non-stop sun in the Bay Area the whole week, but the places I traveled that Tuesday were socked in with clouds:


You can see that the cloud cover didn’t extend far inland at all:


After turning back north, I stopped in Monterey for a while. Got to encounter a little wildlife, too:


After a good seafood dinner at a restaurant on the bay, I drove back to the hotel. A day on my own, taking in some great scenery, put me in a better frame of mind.

Watching Sportscenter in my room that evening, I learned that Dave Dravecky, the Giants’ hero just five days earlier, broke his arm throwing a pitch in the sixth inning at Montreal, ending his baseball career. A recurrence of his cancer was subsequently found; eventually his left arm and shoulder were amputated. He’s been a motivational speaker for a number of years.

What might I have heard in the car on the road that day? Let’s investigate some of the songs on the 8/12/89 Hot 100. As usual, I’m ignoring lots of tunes that just weren’t my scene (cough, hair metal, cough), but I have found a number of nuggets and oddities to remark upon.

#97: Paul Shaffer, “When the Radio Is On”
I’d completely forgotten that Shaffer released this “hip-hop/doo-wop” single featuring, among others, Will Smith, Dion, and Johnny Maestro. I don’t think Paul’s fooling anyone with that five o’clock shadow biker/rapper schtick. “When the Radio Is On” would make it only to #81 in a two-month run.


#95: Graces, “Lay Down Your Arms”
This was Charlotte Caffey’s attempt at commercial success outside of the Go-Go’s. I have the Graces’ CD Perfect View, and it’s got some pretty good songs on it. Meredith Brooks, whose song “Bitch” you couldn’t escape eight years later, was also in the group. This should have gotten higher than #56.


#70: Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”
Don’t lie to me–you see John Cusack holding up his boombox in your mind’s eye when this song comes on the radio, no?

Gabriel had reached #26 in the fall of 86 with “In Your Eyes.” I suppose folks thought it could/should have done better (I know I do), so they released it again after it played such a prominent role in Say Anything…  Alas, it only made it to #41 the second time around.


#68: Robert Palmer, “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming”
I can’t imagine who thought it was a good idea to have Bobby P cover this Jermaine/Michael groove. It’s already topped out at #60.

Just a few weeks ago I re-discovered the original version of “Tell Me I’m Not Dreaming,” sorting through a pile of cassettes containing music I’d dubbed from the radio back in the early 80s (more on that perhaps some other time); it was B-side of Jermaine’s single “Do What You Do.”


#60: Indigo Girls, “Closer to Fine”
In a rare confluence of my musical tastes with those of the buying public, there were three songs on this Hot 100 I was actively cheering on: “Oh Daddy” (#85) and “Let the Day Begin” (#75), which were discussed last week, plus the stunning “Closer to Fine,” from the Georgia-based duo Indigo Girls. Unfortunately, in the coming weeks all three would stall out in the 50s (#58, #51, and #52, respectively).

I’m a big enough fan of the Indigo Girls’ work (love their harmonies) to have made them the seed band for one of my Pandora stations. Greg’s wife Katie overlapped with Emily Saliers and Amy Ray at Emory University, outside Atlanta–I’ve never thought to ask her if she knew of a prof there with a Rasputin poster.


#58: The Cure, “Love Song”
The highest new entry on the Hot 100 this week, and by far the most successful single the Cure ever had, surprisingly hitting #2 (I mean, it’s a good song, but it hadn’t occurred to me that the folks buying singles would embrace Robert Smith and company to that extent).


#57: Beastie Boys, “Hey Ladies”
The Boys are now in the upward arc of their career, though I prefer “Whatcha Want” and “Sabotage.” Maybe it was just a little too soon to try to re-live the Saturday Night Fever era…  Got as high as #36.


#49: Eddie Murphy, “Put Your Mouth on Me”
Honestly, I don’t think I’d ever heard this until a few days ago; it hadn’t registered with me that Murphy wasn’t a one-hit wonder. This is on its way up to #27.


#47: Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston, “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be”
Another one that had already stalled at #41. Honestly, this is a pretty disappointing song, given the star power present–it’s as if Houston just didn’t want to mix it up with the Queen all that much.


#45: De La Soul, “Me Myself and I”
I’ve not listened to that much hip-hop over the years, but this is really, really good. Clever video, too, though I haven’t tried to research how LL Cool J felt about it. “Me Myself and I” had already peaked at #34.


#40: Bee Gees, “One”
They’re ba-ack! “One” was the Gibb brothers’ first Top 40 hit in six years, and their final song to go Top 10, peaking at #7.


#35: Milli Vanilli, “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You”
#32: Milli Vanilli, “Baby Don’t Forget My Number”

I didn’t play around with the dial on the radio on that day trip down the coast, keeping it tuned to a Top 40 station the whole time. That meant I got to hear a number of new/recent releases for the first time that day. One was “Girl I’m Gonna Miss You,” which became Milli Vanilli’s second #1 hit. Three others had yet to hit the chart: Madonna’s “Cherish,” Aerosmith’s “Love in an Elevator” (released as a single on this date thirty years ago), and Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” (which wouldn’t be available for another week).


#22: Soul II Soul, “Keep On Movin'”
Dynamite, awesome track. The British dance scene was making some fine music at this moment (see also Lisa Stansfield’s “Been Around the World”). The strings bring to mind Barry White’s 70s stuff, but “Keep On Movin'” fortunately lacks his emphasis on “come over here, baby, lay down beside me”-type mannerisms. Caron Wheeler and Jazzie B know how to bring it. Reached #11.


#18: Jeff Healey Band, “Angel Eyes”
My friends Mark H and Lana got married in November 90; they requested this song for their first dance as husband and wife. It would get to #5.


#16: Simply Red, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
I wasn’t a big fan of this former #1 song at the time, but I wasn’t really familiar with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes’ version then, either. I’ve grown to like it okay, but it was better done the first time.


#6: Paula Abdul, “Cold Hearted”
The songs in this Top 10 that I actually liked are ones I’ve already mentioned this summer (“Batdance,” and especially “So Alive”), so I’m briefly pausing here just to remind everyone again that Paula Abdul was basically unstoppable at this moment: three #1 songs, including this one, and a #3 in 89, plus another #1 in the early part of 90, all from Forever Your Girl.


#1: Richard Marx, “Right Here Waiting”
Mentioned only so that you aren’t left wondering. The second single from his sophomore release Repeat Offender (was that truth in advertising?), his third #1 song in a row, ascending to the top in just its sixth week.

Early the next morning I dropped the rental off at the airport and headed back to Cincy, the big vacation over and my fourth year of grad school on the horizon.

And with that wrapped up: I’m expecting posting to be lighter for the next three or four weeks. School’s almost back in session for me, the boy’s soon to leave for college, and there’s a major project about to go down in our house. I won’t disappear completely, but I’m thinking just maybe my energies should be focussed more in those directions for a while. Wish us well.