Sadly, this is the final day of the 20 Day Album Challenge. I’ll close it out with a double-shot of Roxette – Look Sharp! and Joyride.
Both of these were important albums to me in my Navy days. Look Sharp! had come out just before I left for the Navy. I loved “The Look” and bought it on 45. When I finished boot camp in April 1989, and when to my specialty school (‘A’ School for those of you in the know) in San Diego. One of the first things I did was go to the Exchange, head right to the music section, and bought myself a Walkman and a few cassettes. Look Sharp! was one of them. I loved every song, and it really helped me get through school. This was a major change in my life, and I was over 3,000 miles from home. So Roxette took me to a safe place when I needed it. I loved every single they released, which includes (in addition to “The Look”) “Dressed for Success“, “Listen to Your Heart“, “Chances“, and “Dangerous“. I also liked “Sleeping Single” which may have been the B side to “The Look” on the 45 I owned.
Roxette’s follow-up album, Joyride, came out while I was on my way home from Desert Storm. Our first stop on the way home was Singapore. There was a gorgeous mall there. Once again, I headed right to the music section. It happened to be the day that Joyride came out. I hadn’t known that Roxette was coming out with a new album, so it was a pleasant surprise. I also bought Chicago’s brand new Twenty 1. I almost included that album on this list, but decided to stick with the Roxette theme. I listened to both albums over and over.
As much as I loved every song on Look Sharp!, two of my favorite Roxette tunes came off of Joyride – “Fading Like a Flower (Every Time You Leave)” and “Spending My Time“. The title track wasn’t too shabby either.
Marie Fredriksson’s death this past December really hit me hard. I knew she had been battling cancer for years and years. But, it still didn’t lessen the blow. Luckily the music will live on forever. Whenever I feel myself going down, I throw some Roxette in my ears, and I am able to get to a happy place.
Both albums are available on Spotify:
And if you’d like to get either or both albums from Amazon, you can click on the album coves below.
As this week comes to a close, I’d like to thank you for allowing me to indulge myself, and step over to the ’90s for a bit. We’ll wrap up with some of my favorites from this time period. There are some deep tracks that I really loved. So I hope you enjoy some of these songs. As usual, you can click on the song title to get to the video. These songs are in no particular order.
After The Bangles’ hot run throughout the ’80s, Susanna Hoffs embarked on a solo career. I bought her album, When You’re a Boy. I was expecting it to be better than it was. She is much better with her bandmates. However, there were a few good songs on it, including this Billboard Top 40 single “My Side of the Bed”. I had forgotten about this, but was reminded of it by my friend, and loyal reader, Andy.
On the way back from the Gulf, our ship stopped at Singapore for a couple of days. I loved it there! There was a huge mall there, and of course I had to go in a record store there. I bought Chicago Twenty 1, and the next album coming up on this list. I fell in love with this album. Every single song, on this underrated album, is incredible. These two songs are great ballads. “Explain It to My Heart” is the first song on the album, and “Chasin’ the Wind” is the first song on the second side.
This song was off of Roxette’s album, Joyride, which I bought along with Chicago Twenty 1, in Singapore. This is another album I loved, and this is my favorite song from the album. It is also one of my favorite songs by Roxette.
These are a couple of my favorite AC/DC songs, and they were both on the same album – The Razor’s Edge. “Thunderstruck” has got to have one of the best openings of any song, ever. Talk about getting you pumped up! And “Moneytalks” is just a flat-out fun, rockin’ song.
While in the Middle East, we stopped by Bahrain quite a few times. We would load up on supplies, and it was easier to refuel. So, we would be able to get off the ship. I would always to to the Souq, which was a marketplace. There were several music stores there. They would have 90 minute tapes, often with the greatest hits of anybody you could think of – for the price of 3 dollars, which was extremely cheap (even back then). While most people from the ship loaded up on gold and clothing, I loaded up on tapes. My locker was lined with tapes, from top to bottom (in alphabetical order, of course). One tape I bought had about 40 songs on it. There were some great songs on there, so I had to buy it. There were so many songs on there because they were only samples. A Middle Eastern DJ would introduce a song, then the song would fade out after the first chorus. One of the songs was this great one from The Little River Band. I fell in love with this song, and had to find where it came from. Pre-Google, I somehow found out it was on their new album, Get Lucky. The whole album was really good, but this still remains my favorite song by them.
Just before I went on the ship for the last time before we left for the Gulf War, I was in the Navy Exchange (store), and came across the music section (go figure). I was browsing, trying to find something good that I didn’t already own. A girl came up to me, and said that I should get McAuley Shenker Group’s Save Yourself. I had neveThat album just blew me away heard of them, but decided to give it a shot. Best.Advice.Ever! There are so many great songs on that album, but this was my favorite.
This song was on another mix tape that I bought in Bahrain. However, this time the full songs were on the tape. I believe the tape was titled Right Here Waiting – Homesick Love Songs. Before this song, I had never heard of Yngwie Malmsteen. I had no idea if it was a group or a person. Well, he is a legendary guitarist from Sweden. He is beyond incredible. And this song is an outstanding power ballad that I still play a lot.
Unfortunately, Warrant is now best known for “Cherry Pie“. Although I love that song, they had so many other great songs. And “Blind Faith” is my favorite among them. It is such a great, underrated ballad.
This supergroup just blew me away when I first heard them. How can you go wrong with Tommy Shaw of Styx, Jack Blades of Night Ranger, and Ted Nugent. The drummer, Michael Cartellone, was unknown, but outstanding. He would eventually join Lynyrd Skynyrd.
Their power ballad, “High Enough“, always seems to get the airplay. But this lead single is still one of my favorites by them. And there is not a weak song on their self-titled debut album.
Well, I could just keep going on and on with songs that I love from this time period. But, I’ll have to cut this short now. Maybe I’ll do an ’80s in the ’90s series. Do any of you have any songs that you love from 1990 through 1991?
Welcome back to a new Top 40 Countdown! You may have seen my article kicking off 1990-1991 Week. If not, then “Surprise!” It was this week in 1990 that I left Oakland Naval Hospital to go on to the hospital ship, USNS Mercy, and head to the Gulf War (Desert/Shield Desert Storm). This was a life changing event for me. And my grandmother dying at the same time also added some drama. I know a lot of ’80s music fans are not very fond of the music of this period. But, I have a real soft-spot for it. This music was my outlet as my life was totally changing, post-high school. So, let’s take a look back at what was on the countdown this week in 1990. Things were a little crazy that week, so I’m pretty sure I wasn’t listening to the radio. So come with me, and Return to the week ending August 11, 1990.
This song is from Prince’s soundtrack album, Graffiti Bridge. I had heard of this album, and knew it was a movie soundtrack. But, that was all I knew. I did not know that this was a sequel to Purple Rain. I suppose that shouldn’t be too surprising. The movie was a critical and commercial flop. It was also nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Prince), Worst Director (Prince), Worst Screenplay (Prince), and Worst New Star (Ingrid Chavez).
As far as this song, “Thieves in the Temple” goes, I kind of remember this song – especially when it gets to the chrous. It’s actually not too bad. I’m not a big fan of Prince’s work post-Revolution. But, I don’t hate this song. It topped the R&B chart, and peaked at #6 on the Billboard chart.
Maxi Priest. In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “That’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. A long time.” Maxi Priest is a British reggae singer. He would hit #1 with this song on October 6, 1990. This song was released just before I left for the Gulf, so I had no idea that it became a huge hit. Although I was heavy into rock music, I also loved R&B at the time. I liked this song, but not enough to run out and buy it.
Now, this was in my wheelhouse back then! This was the fourth single from the great Dr. Feelgood album. In my opinion, this was their best album since Shout at the Devil. This is a fun, great kiss-off song.
This is a collaboration of the who’s-who of the West Coast hip-hop artists at the time. It promoted anti-violence. Here is a list of the artists performing in this song:
Body & Soul (including Dee Barnes)
Above the Law
Dr. Dre, MC Ren and Eazy-E of N.W.A
Digital Underground (Money-B and Shock G)
Brother Beyond were a British boy band group, who only released two albums – Get Even in 1988, and Trust in 1989. This song, “The Girl I Used to Know”, was off of their Trust album, and would be their last hit song. They broke up in 1991.
This song, is from the British band’s debut album, Cloudcuckooland. I’m not a huge New Wave fan, so I was not exactly blown away by this song. I probably like it more now than I would have back then. This was completely off my radar, and I never heard of the band or the song.
For some reason, I thought this song was released a little bit later in the ’90s. They released this song in 1990, hot off their Look Sharp! album, for the Pretty Woman soundtrack. Roxette has quite a few great songs, but this is probably the one they are best known for. Here is a fact that I had not been aware of: This song was originally called “ It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)“, and was released in 1987 as a Christmas single. It became a Top 10 hit in Sweden. You learn something new every day!
I bought Nelson’s After the Rain just before I left for the Gulf. I loved every sing song on that album, including this lead single. When I got back, it seemed like they had more of a boy band reputation instead of a rocker reputation. It doesn’t matter to me. I still love that album, and this song. I think it rocks, and the harmonies are incredible.
We wrap today’s list of songs with an R&B tune. I didn’t remember this song. It was the fourth and final single from Babyface’s album Tender Lover. Babyface has been very successful over the years, as he has written and produced over 26 No. 1 R&B hits and has won 11 Grammy Awards.
Well, that wraps up today’s list of songs. What a variety! We had R&B, Rock, Rap, and boy bands. So, there’s a little something for everyone. And tomorrow will be more of the same. I hope you’re enjoying your trip back to 1990 so far, and will come back to continue the countdown tomorrow.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s countdown! If you missed the previous posts, you can check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. Well, there are no more hair bands the rest of the way. But, we do have some of the best ballads of the year right here in this top 10. Now, let’s Return to the week ending March 25, 1989, and wrap up the countdown.
Bobby Brown was white hot at this time. This ballad was the third single released from his incredible Don’t Be Cruel album. This hit, written by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, would peak at #3 on the Hot 100.
Boom boom acka-lacka lacka boom
Boom boom acka-lacka boom boom Oh man, I feel like I shouldn’t like this song, but I think it’s so much fun. I do like a lot of funk songs though. And this song does stay with you. Now, Open the door, get on the floor /
Everybody walk the dinosaur
Even though my music taste leans heavily towards rock, I have never hidden my love for Debbie Gibson on this site. This is her signature hit. Even people, who look down on her, do like this song. This had been a #1 hit for three straight weeks.
Since it seems like all Rod Stewart has done for well over a decade was release his Great American Songbook series, I always forget how good he really is. His 1988 album, Out of Order, is outstanding. This song, from that album, is a nice ballad and was the highest charting song from that album. It peaked at #4.
I love this Swedish duo so much!! This song was their global breakthrough hit. It would hit number 1 in several countries, including the U.S. This is a really good rock song from Roxette’s awesome Look Sharp! album.
This was a huge pop hit at the time. I didn’t hate it, but it’s not something I would be able to listen to on a regular basis. This was the song that exposed Milli Vanilli as lip synchers. While “performing” this song at a concert in Connecticut, the album began skipping and repeating on the same lyric. This was a huge scandal at the time, which destroyed Milli Vanilli. If this happened today, it would be called just another Friday.
This classic love ballad is one of The Bangles’ signature songs. With this song and “Walk Like an Egyptian“, the Bangles became only the third girl group to score multiple number-ones in the United States, after the Supremes and the Shirelles.
What a way to finish the countdown! This is easily my favorite song by Mike + The Mechanics, and one of my favorite songs of the decade. Paul Carrack sings lead vocals on the song. This is an emotional song about a tumultuous father/son relationship and the son’s regret of the unresolved issues after his father died. After all, It’s too late when we die / To admit we don’t see eye to eye
Well, that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane. The next countdown will be earlier in the decade to more of the classic ’80s music we all know and love. Until then, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.