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article by: Michael Canter

12 August 2011

Friday Flashback 1989

FRIDAY FLASHBACK: Every Friday we set the Wayback Machine to one year in rock history and give you the best (and worst) music from that year, all day long beginning at 5AM EST on Jivewired Radio powered by Live365.

This week: 1989
Next week: 2003

This week's show is dedicated to the memory of Jani Lane, who passed away yesterday evening. Jani Lane (born John Kennedy Oswald, February 1, 1964 – August 11, 2011) was the lead singer of Warrant. Lane was found dead at a Comfort Inn hotel in Woodland Hills, California yesterday evening and the death is being investigated by local authorities.

To listen, just press play on the radio widget to the right or use this link to open in a new window that will allow you to listen when you navigate away from this page:

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(Red Hot Chili Peppers)

Ultimately 1989 was the year when everything changed in music, when what was popular and what was cool became the same things, far different from what actually sold, and genres of hip-hop, dance and rock interbred with thrilling results. We said goodbye to the standard genres for good, with genres and subgenres being redefined and restructured based on location as much as musical styles and following. De La Soul were sampling the Turtles, the Monkees and Led Zeppelin and acid house was incorporating breakbeats and chilling a little. New Order hung out in Ibiza long enough to record and release their "Balearic" album. In England, Warp Records was founded, providing an outlet for homegrown futuristic rave hits and electronic music as musicians really immersed themselves into new and developing digital technology.

But wait, there's more.........

The early grunge movement coalesced around Seattle's independent label Sub Pop Records in the late 1980s and was a result of Seattle's isolation from other music scenes. As Sub Pop's Jonathan Poneman put it, "Seattle was a perfect example of a secondary city with an active music scene that was completely ignored by an American media fixated on Los Angeles and New York." The grunge scene had it's first real taste of success in 1989 thanks to Nirvana, Mudhomey and Sebadoah, all on the Sub Pop label at the time. Nirvana's song "Love Buzz" was an underground hit and successfully launched the band to hordes of new fans thanks to it's following on college and independent radio throughout the United States.

1989 was a momentous year for the indies but music by bands like U2 and Depeche Mode and genres like acid house defined the zeitgeist. Looking back with rose-tinted glasses and sipping the pop culture kool-aid you would reasonably expect to find U2, R.E.M. and Living Colour amongst the most socially relevant acts of the day. There were about a dozen other era-shaping albums released in 1989, including "Paul's Boutique" by The Beastie Boys, "Doolittle" by The Pixies, "Mothers Milk" by The Red Hot Chili Peppers, "Club Classics Volume I" by Soul II Soul and "Pretty Hate Machine" by Nine Inch Nails. But in sales terms all were crushed by Phil Collins, Paula Abdul, and of all people, a novelty pop music act from Yorkshire, England known as Jive Bunny & The Mixmasters. Add Madonna to that group as well, though "Like A Prayer" is arguably the best album she's recorded. Most of the albums in 1989 that are now regarded as classics actually sold the fewest units during the calendar year.

(De La Soul)

For a while, Hip Hop, Acid House and Gangsta Rap all seemed to co-exist in the same long-sleeved T-shirt. Call that amalgamation "goon music" for lack of a better term. Possibly it was all the designer drugs talking, but starting in '89 we lived in a world where traditional and stereotypical pop genres no longer existed. Locally we still clung to MTV and it's programs like "Headbanger's Ball" and "120 Minutes" though it's alternative programing, such as the game show "Remote Control" (Hello Colin Quinn and Kari Whurer - va va voom!) signaled the beginning of the end of MTV as strictly a music video outlet.

1989 ended with a remake of Band Aid's version of "Do They Know It's Christmas?" closing the year at number one on Billboard's Hot Hits Chart. Where the original version had seemed politically charged, spontaneous, righteous and significantly moral in its creation with the biggest acts of the day all involved, its follow up was little more than a promotional gathering and musical snapshot for acts who had worked with mega-producers Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterma. The only artists from the original Band Aid to be featured on Band Aid II were Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward of Bananarama. The 1989 version topped the UK Singles Chart for three weeks, but ultimately achieved far less historical significance and status than its predecessor. We'll leave "Do They Know It's Christmas II" with "Swing The Mood" to rot in the '89 time capsule and instead focus on the rest of the year in music. Cool? I thought you'd dig that.

Go forth, for you are the future of rock & roll:

Legend has it that the youngsters at a Seattle bar proceeded to scream uncontrollably until the proprietor of the establishment removed "Hip To Be Square" by Huey Lewis and the News from the juke box. They claimed they had no way to identify with such happy music in their soggy little town. Thus, grunge was born and Nirvana launched it with their release of "Love Buzz' On Seattle's Sub Pop record label.

Don't Do Me Like That:

A long traded bootleg compilation, "Shit, Shower & Shave" by the Replacements was recorded in 1989, and is the sound of the band while on tour with Tom Petty who, later, infamously, ripped off Westerberg’s “rebel without a clue” line from the 'Mats song “I’ll Be You.” When asked about Petty’s nicking of the lyric, Westerberg, in character, responded “I’d steal something back from him, if I could find something I liked.” Touché.

Loose Lips Synch Ships:

Here's where we briefly and regretfully mention Milli Vanilli, and it is only because of their lip-synching scandal. If you don't know the full story - you can find it anywhere on the interweb.

Digressing.....The first sign that the group was lip-synching happened in late 1989 during a live performance on MTV at the Lake Compounce theme park in Bristol, Connecticut. As they performed live onstage, the recording of the song "Girl You Know It's True" jammed and began to skip, repeating the partial line "Girl, you know it's..." over and over. The duo continued to pretend to sing and dance, albiet awkwardly, for a few more moments, then both ran offstage. According to the episode of VH1's Behind the Music which profiled Milli Vanilli, Downtown Julie Brown, who hosted the event, stated that fans attending the concert didn't seem to notice, and the concert continued as if nothing unusual had happened. In a March 1990 issue of Time Magazine, Rob Pilatus, one-half of the disgraced duo, was quoted proclaiming himself to be "the new Elvis", reasoning that by the duo's success they were more talented than Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney and Mick Jagger. Yes, this was AFTER the fateful incident. Balls, right? However, the fallout from that incident eventually resulted in the band having their Grammy Award for Best New Artist of 1989 revoked. Their subsequent free fall was historic, and that's putting it mildly.

Go sell crazy somewhere else. We're all stocked up here:

Before this version of Paula Abdul........ “One minute she was hyperventilating and on the verge of passing out; the next she was yelling into her cell phone in this deep, rage-filled Poltergeist voice. She kept screaming three names over and over, Michael, Sidney, and Leslie. Everyone was staring at her, but she didn’t care.”

.......there was this version of Paula Abdul: In 1988, Abdul released her pop debut album, "Forever Your Girl" which took 62 weeks to hit #1 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart, but then spent 10 weeks there. The album eventually became multi-platinum in the spring and summer of 1989, and it spawned five American Top Three singles, four of them at number one. At the 33rd Grammy Awards, Abdul won her first Grammy for Best Music Video for "Opposites Attract" and she was also nominated for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for her song "Straight Up", though she lost out to Bonnie Raitt.

What happened? In April 2005, Abdul revealed that she suffers from a rare neurological disorder called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (CRPS) that causes chronic pain. So there you have it.

Summer Of Love Re-Dux:

As far as EDM, in 1989, the chill-out room was as much a draw as the main dance floor. The Orb, initially made up of Jimmy Cauty of the KLF and Alex Paterson, were the chief pioneers here, already with cult singles to their name when Paul Oakenfold recruited Paterson to DJ at his London club night Land of Oz. Soon, they were on Top Of The Pops playing chess and dressed as astronauts, allusions to the psychedelic whimsy of the 1960s all too obvious.

Changing Of The Guard:

Joe Cocker, The Bee Gees, The Rolling Stones, Chicago, Donna Summer, The Doobie Brothers & Roy Orbison all had their last Top 10 hits in 1989. Sadly the new guard consisted of the likes of Debbie Gibson, New Kids On The Block, Richard Marx, Mili Vanilli and Michael Damian (and his extremely lame version of "Rock On"). Those are all staying in the '89 time capsule as well.

Playlist For Friday Flashback 1989

001. Listen To Your Heart by Roxette
002. Rag Doll by Aerosmith
003. Love In An Elevator by Aerosmith
004. Love Is by Alannah Myles
005. Black Velvet by Alannah Myles
006. Sold Me Down The River by The Alarm
007. Love Shack by The B-52s
008. Roam by The B-52s
009. When I See You Smile by Bad English
010. Eternal Flame by The Bangles
011. Hey Ladies by The Beastie Boys
012. See A Little Light by Bob Mould
013. I'll Be There For You by Bon Jovi
014. Nick Of Time by Bonnie Raitt
015. Thing Called Love by Bonnie Raitt
016. Love Letter by Bonnie Raitt
017. Have A Heart by Bonnie Raitt
018. Let The Day Begin by The Call
019. Come On Darkness by Camoer Van Beethoven
020. Wicked Game by Chris Isaak
021. Fire Woman by The Cult
022. Love Song by The Cure
023. Me Myself & I by De La Soul
024. Wages Day by Deacon Blue
025. Fergus Sings The Blues by Deacon Blue
026. Kiss This Thing Goodbye by Del Amitri
027. World In My Eyes by Depeche Mode
028. Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode
029. Enjoy The Silence by Depeche Mode
030. Policy Of Truth by Depeche Mode
031. The Humpty Dance by Digital Underground
032. The Last Worthless Evening by Don Henley
033. The End Of The Innocence by Don Henley
034. Nuthin' But A G' Thang by Dr. Dre featuring Snoop Dogg
035. Love Like We Do by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
036. What I Am by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians
037. Getting Away With It by Electronic
038. Veronica by Elvis Costello
039. Bad Love by Eric Clapton
040. No Alibis by Eric Clapton
041. Before You Accuse Me by Eric Clapton
042. Epic by Faith No More
043. She Drives Me Crazy by Fine Young Cannibals
044. I'm Not The Man I Used To Be by Fine Young Cannibals
045. Hold Me by Fleetwood Mac
046. Cheer Down by George Harrison
047. Built To Last by The Grateful Dead
048. Just A Little Light by The Grateful Dead
049. Crime Of Passion by Hunters & Collectors
050. Miss You Much by Janet Jackson
051. Closer To Fine by Indigo Girls
052. Don't You Get So Mad by Jeffrey Osborne
053. Stay With Me Tonight by Jeffrey Osborne
054. Real Love by Jody Watley
055. Nineteen Forever by Joe Jackson
056. Flying In A Blue Dream by Joe Satriani
057. Jackie Brown by John Mellencamp
058. Let It All Hang Out by John Mellencamp
059. Between A Man & A Woman by Kate Bush
060. This Woman's Work by Kate Bush
061. 3 A.M. Eternal by The KLF
062. Pure by The Lightning Seeds
063. All Around The World by Lisa Stansfield
064. Close My Eyes Forever by Lita Ford & Ozzy Osbourne
065. Cut Of Personality by Living Colour
066. Open Letter (To A Landlord) by Living Colour
067. Glamour Boys by Living Colour
068. Dirty Blvd. by Lou Reed
069. So Alive by Love & Rockets
070. Passionate Kisses [Love] by Lucinda Williams
071. Like A Prayer by Madonna
072. Express Yourself by Madonna
073. Toy Soldiers by Martika
074. No Myth by Michael Penn
075. This & That by Michael Penn
076. Brave New World by Michael Penn
077. When I Grow Up by Michelle Shocked
078. If Love Was A Train by Michelle Shocked
079. The Living Years by Mike & The Mechanics
080. The Last Of The Famous International Playboys by Morrissey
081. You Got It by Mudhoney
082. Rockin' In The Free World by Neil Young
083. Buffalo Stance by Nenah Cherry
084. Yellow Moon by The Neville Brothers
085. Head Like A Hole by Nine Inch Nails
086. Love Buzz by Nirvana
087. About A Girl by Nirvana
088. Between Something And Nothing by The Ocean Blue
089. Forever Your Girl by Paula Abdul
090. Straight Up by Paula Abdul
091. Cold Hearted by Paula Abdul
092. Shaking The Tree by Peter Gabriel
093. Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies
094. Monkey Gone To Heaven by The Pixies
095. Call It Love by Poco
096. Batdance by Prince
097. Partyman by Prince
098. I Want It All by Queen
099. Fight The Power/i> by Public Enemy
100. Pop Song '89 by R.E.M.
101. Orange Crush by R.E.M.
102. Higher Ground by Red Hot Chili Peppers
103. Taste The Pain by Red Hot Chili Peppers
104. Date To Church by The Replacements
105. I'll Be You by The Replacements
106. Mixed Emotions by The Rolling Stones
107. Almost Hear You Sigh by The Rolling Stones
108. I Am The Sticks by The Afghan Whigs
109. You Got It by Roy Orbison
110. I Only Want To Be With You by Samantha Fox
111. Scottish Rain by The Silencers
112. Yesterday Girl by The Smithereens
113. Cut Flowers by The Smithereens
114. A Girl Like You by The Smithereens
115. Back To Life by Soul II Soul
116. Riviera Paradise by Stevie Ray Vaughan
117. The House is Rockin' by Stevie Ray Vaughan
118. Tightrope by Stevie Ray Vaughan
119. The Dance Alone (Gueca Solo) by Sting
120. Fools Gold by The Stone Roses
121. I Wanna Be Adored by The Stone Roses
122. Grip '89 (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) by The Stranglers
123. Here's Where The Story Ends by The Sundays
124. Forever Blue by Swing Out Sister
125. Sowing The Seeds Of Love by Tears For Fears
126. Love Song by Tesla
127. Kingdom Of Rain by The The
128. Ana Ng by They Might Be Giants
129. Working Class Hero by Tin Machine
130. I Won't Back Down by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
131. Runnin' Down A Dream by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
132. Funky Cold Medina by Tone-Loc
133. New Orleans Is Sinking by Tragically Hip
134. End Of The Line by The Traveling Wilburys
135. Everlasting Love by U2
136. Angel Of Harlem by U2
137. When Love Comes To Town by U2
138. All I Want Is You by U2
139. Feels So Good by Van Halen
140. The Mayor Of Simpleton by XTC
141. Dear God by XTC
142. Trouble Me by 10,000 Maniacs
143. Eat For Two by 10,000 Maniacs
144. To Sir With Love [Live] by 10,000 Maniacs with Michael Stipe
145. Heaven by Warrant
146. Down Boys by Warrant
147. So Damn Pretty (Should Be Against The Law) by Warrant
148. Cold Sweat by Warrant

Album art from 1989 - Click album cover to purchase at Amazon.com

Previous In This Series: Friday Flashback 1976

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