Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown! Yesterday’s countdown had quite the variety of music. Today is no different. A lot of these songs are new to me. So, let’s Return to the week ending August 11, 1990, and continue the countdown.
Even though the New Kids are local to me, I never paid much attention to them. I do love Donnie Wahlberg in the television show, Blue Bloods. And the show, Wahlburgers is a guilty pleasure for me. But, I am not the target audience for the group. That being said, I actually like this song a little. It reminds me of the pre-disco Bee Gees. I’m not going to hurry up and buy the Step by Step album, from which this song came from, but I don’t mind this song.
Ugh! It’s songs like this that make me regret dabbling into 1990! This song, which samples Santana’s “No One To Depend On“, and “Evil Ways“, was Mellow Man Ace’s only hit (I’m shocked). It reached all the way up to #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 (I’m shocked).
[The first “I’m shocked” was sarcastic. The second one was not sarcastic]
You can’t see me, but I am beating my head against my desk as I listen to this. Oh my God, this song is so stupid! And it doesn’t help that he samples “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by Yes. Blasphemous! It’s slightly better than the last song, but it’s so stupid! Let’s put this in perspective – this song could probably be a hit today. So, if you like the music of today, you might like this song.
OK, this is a little better. Like I’ve said before, I’m a sucker for the Freestyle music of this period. I had never heard this song before. I don’t know if it’s because of the two crap songs before this, but, I’m liking this song.
FINALLY!!! Now, this is the music I was really into back then. I love Aerosmith’s album Pump way more than Permanent Vacation. There were so many great songs on that album, and this was one of my favorites. I remember buying Pump the day it came out. When my roomates and I were listening to the album, and this song came on, I told them that this would be released as a single, and would be a hit. I was right.
Brigade was another great album that I owned. Heart was on a hot streak from the mid-’80s through the early ’90s. This song was the second single released from Brigade. It was written by Diane Warren, who was one of the most successful writers of the ’80s and ’90s.
Madonna was indeed ahead of her time. Two decades before the Fifty Shades of Grey craze, Madonna was singing about spanking. This isn’t one of my favorite songs by her, but it is a fun song from the Dick Tracy soundtrack album, I’m Breathless.
Today’s list of songs is turning out to be a pretty good! This is a ballad by the supergroup (and Journey spinoff) Bad English, that is not “The Price of Love” or “When I See You Smile“. If your tired of hearing those other two songs, then “Possession” is a good alternative. If you want to know more about Bad English, and their debut album, check out the article that Robert wrote on it.
Just as they do on Casey’s American Top 40 station on iHeart Radio, let’s listen to a bonus song. I love the band Vixen. Every song, on each of their albums, is great. This week, their song “How Much Love” debuted on the Hot 100, charting at #95.
Oh man, this band was still around at this time?! Ugh! Not a fan. This would be Hornsby’s last significant hit single. It was off of the third and final album by Bruce Hornsby and the Range. Bruce Hornsby went solo after that. Well, this song isn’t as horrible as some of his other songs. I kind of like the chorus.
This is the third rap song today. And it is the third rap song that samples another song. This time, it is “Born in the U.S.A.” Bruce Springsteen actually gave the 2 Live Crew permission to use his song. Unlike the first two rap songs from today, I actually like this one. The song title refers to the decision in a court case that 2 Live Crew’s album, As Nasty As They Wanna Be, was obscene. Record store owners would actually be arrested for selling the album. The decision was eventually overturned on appeal. With all the social issues going on in the world today, I think it would be nice if some artists had the guts to sing and protest. Listening to this song makes me feel that it is nice and refreshing to hear somebody standing up for themselves and speaking out in a very cool way.
That wraps up today’s list of songs. It definitely gets mixed reviews from me. But, now that we got past this hump, the countdown is going to get better. As usual, please feel free to leave your thoughts and memories from 1990.
Hi Everybody! Today, I am excited to introduce you to a guest writer. Robert is a long time reader of this site, and has a passion for ’80s pop culture – especially movies and music. He has been teaching English for 23 years – 21 years of this is at Kearney High School in Kearney, Nebraska. And you all would be happy to know that he is passing his love of the ’80s on to his students. They have gotten some of the “Remember That Song” answers. So, we have the real deal here! Well, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. And just as you do for the Top 40 Countdown and Who’s the Boss? series, you can click on the song titles to listen to the song/watch the music video. And please feel free to show Robert some love, and leave some feedback in the comments section. Now take it away, Robert!!!
I recently read about a new rock band that was set to release it’s first album. Honestly, I usually do not pay attention to a new release unless it is a new album from one of my favorites from the ‘80s, but this one intrigued me. The music company set to release this album was Frontiers Records who makes it a priority to release new music from older rock bands. The band was called Revolution Saints, so I did a little checking and I was sold. This band’s members included Deen Castronova (from Journey) on drums and vocals, Jack Blades (from Night Ranger) on bass and vocals, and Doug Aldrich (from Whitesnake) on guitar. I shared this with a few of my ‘80s friends and (im)patiently waited for the February 24th release. After my very first listen, I knew I had a fantastic album in my possession. As I continued to listen to it (again and again), I realized that here was a supergroup – established musicians from a variety of bands who came together to form a new band. My mind immediately raced back the the decade I love to pull out great supergroups of the ‘80s. And I thought of a few. Many of these bands were not around for a long time, but they left a great impression on the rock/pop world. I am going to revisit several of these supergroups and pay proper recognition to the music they created.
First up, one of my favorites, Bad English.
Take three members from the moderately successful band The Babys, add two members from the mega successful band Journey, sprinkle in a drummer, and you have a supergroup. Bad English combined the talents of John Waite, Ricky Phillips, and Jonathan Cain (from The Babys) with Neal Schon and (again) Jonathan Cain (from Journey). They added a young drummer by the name of Deen Castronova and now Bad English was ready to record an excellent rock album.
Bad English released their first album in June of 1989 under the title Bad English. They released a followup, Backlash, in 1991, but it was not fully completed before the band parted ways; it was mastered and released under difficult circumstances and received very poor critical reviews. Due to this unfortunate situation, I am going to focus on the excellent first album.
All the members of the band came to this first album with excellent resumes. Vocalist John Waite had a few hits with The Babys, but reached true pop music heights with his song Missing You, which reached #1 on the Billboard singles chart in the summer of 1984. Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain had been at the top of the rock world for years with Journey. Schon was a founding member and guitarist for the band and Cain joined on keyboards after the departure of Greg Rollie; his first album with Journey was Escape (quite a place to start!). The music on their debut album was reminiscent of both The Babys and Journey. It had a clear rock edge to most of the songs, and also included a few excellent ballads that charted well. A total of five singles charted in the Hot 100: Forget Me Not #45, When I See You Smile #1, Price of Love #5, Heaven is a 4 Letter Word #66, and Possession #21. Schon’s guitar carried the heavier songs while the combination Cain’s keyboards and Waite’s vocals made for perfect ballads.
This was one of those albums that had no really bad songs; many were great, but none were awful. Bad English is longer than most albums released in the ‘80s – 13 songs clocking in at just over an hour. On to the track listing.
I am not sure if there is a better way to start an album. The first time I popped the CD in (volume turned way up, of course), I was blown away. Cain’s keyboards, Schon’s guitar, and Castronova’s drums kick off this album in an awesome fashion. This song was not a single, but it should have been.
This was another single from the album. It is a catchy ballad, but it falls a bit short of When I See You Smile. This song approaches love from the angle of a man who is madly in love with a woman; so much so, that he cannot live without her.
This was the first single from the album and the reason I bought it – no questions asked. I caught the video one day on MTV when they were featuring new songs. I was enjoying the video (a lot), and then I saw that the guitarist really looked like Neal Schon, who was one of my favorites. I ran to the local CD store, took a close look and BAM!, it was Schon – and Cain! I had all of Journey’s albums, so I bought Bad English right away. This song may not have been a major hit, but it was a solid song that helped the band gain attention as well as being a sign of things to come.
This is the smash hit from this album. It is a simple love song with great instrumentation. It is a typical and effective love song with great vocals, keyboards that establish a clean melody, and a signature guitar solo. Yes, it belongs on every mix tape of ‘80s love songs.
This songs examines the idea of the inevitable regrets of a break up. It is nearly impossible to completely forget about the former object of one’s love, “Are you crying in your sleep tonight? / Are you lying with him, thinking about me tonight?” Oh, and another great guitar solo and more strong drumming.
Another ballad: “And through the good and bad times / You have always been there / We Hold each other close / You tell me its alright / The nights we fight about it, never dream of giving up / That’s the price of love.” Although there are several ballads on this album, they clearly portray different stages of loving relationships; this one shows the mature realization that, despite problems, the couple needs each other.
Bad English’s fine musicianship is clear on this entire album, and this may be the most infectious rhythm guitar work. This up tempo rock song represents masterful blending of all the band members’ talents.
Back to the ballads. Cain’s celestial keyboards introduce this song – no wait – it’s not a ballad, not even a love song. The Restless Ones alternates tempos to accompany lyrics with the theme of breaking away from expectations and forging an original path.
This is my favorite song on the album. It is a gentle song about a past relationship. It has a good beat and smooth lyrics, “There’s nothing in tomorrow that wasn’t there in yesterday.”
As as a whole, this is a solid album by fantastic musicians. It is a fine example of what can happen when fine artists from different bands combine their talents. It is unfortunate that Bad English couldn’t sustain this level of creativity and music for several more albums.