Beyond Radio is the place where music discovery and music nostalgia collide. It is your one-stop source for playlists, music charts, remembrances and recommendations. Our Podcast and music therapy playlists combine elements of nostalgia and discovery, while my blog entries reflect on our musical past through the lens of my personal charts from decades past. I weave a story that includes the connection between artists, chart facts and personal anecdotes that hopefully conjure a connection to the soundtrack of your own life. The current charts and playlists are updated monthly or bi-monthly (bi-weekly for the BR250) and are curated based on a passionate audience that produce their own personal charts weekly.
With all that is going on in our world right now I have decided to temporarily stop driving for Uber until this situation passes. This will give me more time in the short term to focus more on my music projects. As I write about my personal charts through the years some eras of personal chart data have been lost. Actually most of my 90’s charts are gone because they were saved on floppy disks that were affected by moisture or an external hard drive that fell and data was not retrievable (damn technology can be infuriating).
I have my 1989 charts on paper with the last one I can fine for Jan. 6, 1990. Here are the top 10 from that chart.
1 1 ERASURE Drama!
6 2 MICHAEL BOLTON How Am I Supposed To Live Without You
13 3 AEROSMITH Janie’s Got A Gun
4 4 TESLA Love Song (Love Will Find A Way)
10 5 THE B-52’S Roam
9 6 LINDA RONSTADT & AARON NEVILLE Don’t Know Much
15 7 ANGELA WINBUSH It’s The Real Thing
18 8 EURYTHMICS Angel
14 9 KATE BUSH Love And Anger
16 10 ELTON JOHN Sacrifice
More than half of those songs hold up. I can’t even believe Michael Bolton got up to #2! That falls hard now. Erasure’s “Drama” still sounds fantastic, a great pulsating dance record. Lyrically it is so profound for the times we are in and how a certain individual seems to act. The song starts with the lines
”One rule for us, For you another
Do unto yourself as you see fit for your brother. Is that not within your realm of understanding?
A fifty second capacity of mind Too demanding?”
Later in the chorus he says “Your shame is neverending” and in the bridge “our freedom is fragile”.
The ballads by Linda Ronstadt and Elton John would also suffer in the rear view but the Eurythmics song “Angel” would still make it to #1. The head scratcher here is Angela Winbush and her new jack swing song “It’s The Real Thing”, though I did like Pebbles at the time so it certainly fits that profile. Nice to see Kate Bush in there, probably my favorite song by her.
So what to do now? I started to create new weekly charts for early 1990, beginning with 2 pieces of information I do have. They are the peak positions of the songs from that year and the final top songs of the year. Even with that my 2020 brain looks at these songs differently. One anomaly from my charts from that era is that songs tended to drop quickly after they peaked. The previous week’s #1 “I Live By The Groove” by Paul Carrack dropped to #18 and the one before that, “Woman in Chains” by Tears For Fears fell from 12-94. These days there is a more gradual drop off. For me these are always fun exercises. The number in parentheses to the left of the song is the position on this week’s chart. On the playlist any songs not on the chart are featured at the end of the playlist.
No Myth/Michael Penn (1)
At #1 on March 24 was the breakup song “No Myth” by Michael Penn (brother of Sean), a strummy Beatlesque mid-tempo rocker with a big beat. Funny the chorus line “What if I was Heathcliff, it’s no myth” was never how I heard it. To me it was “what if I was heaved with it’s no myth”, really!? I never questioned it. He said after the fact that the lyric “maybe she’s just looking for someone to dance with” was about having sex. Makes sense.
The song surprisingly only reached #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 but did reach #4 on the modern rock chart. MTV I’m sure helped propel the song and he did win the video award for best new male artist. At my yearly music party which began in 1984 and with any luck with have its 37th version this summer, it was #22 for the year. He might be seen as a one hit wonder, but he did manage to reach the modern rock top 20 5 times. Further down my chart this week “This And That” sits at #43 and “Brave New World” (more Beatles influence on this one) debuts at #108.
In the last 25 years he has focused on movie scores, including “Boogie Nights”. He also had a bit part as an engineer in the movie. TV scores followed for shows like “Girls” and “Masters Of Sex”. In 1997 he married Aimee Mann who is best remembered as the lead singer of the 80’s Boston band ‘Til Tuesday.
This song dominated all pop sectors this month and stands 1400 points ahead of #2. What is surprising is that it is not the 2nd radio single in the US. That belongs to the song “Break My Heart” which jumps into the top 30 in airplay on pop radio this week while this month’s #4 “Don’t Start Now” remains at #1.
1 2 THE WEEKND Blinding Lights
This song has spent 4 months in the top 2 and finally surpasses “Heartless” on pop radio. Both Dua Lipa and The Weeknd’s albums just hit the last 2 weeks. His “After Hours” debuts at #1 on the Billboard 200, while this song goes to #1 on the Hot 100. 9 other songs from the album enter the top 50 of the Hot 100. If you don’t know, I despise how the Hot 100 tracks songs now, giving very little indication on a weekly basis of the hits are. Album bombs like this happen almost weekly and songs many song remain on the chart for just 1 week. Awful.
new 3 LADY GAGA Stupid Love
Back in dance-pop form, Gaga blasts onto the chart in her 1st month, on 45 of the charts I track, “Physical” is only on 5 more.
2 4 DUA LIPA Don’t Start Now
4 5 HARRY STYLES Adore You
I love Styles old soul style even if I don’t love all his songs. This one however, I am thrilled to see at #2 on pop radio in the US. After an abysmal few years on pop radio, with so much same-y same-y un-fun music it’s refreshing to see these 5 songs dominating the airwaves. His next single “Falling” at #25, is a beautiful yet aching piano ballad, already top 20 in the UK.
34 6 BILLIE EILISH No Time To Die
And then there is the polar opposite. Obviously, there is a need for depressing music too. The Bond movie theme is not intended for radio. #8 “Everything I Wanted” is much less dirge-like, more a subdued love song, still tracking well at pop and alternative.
8 7 PEARL JAM Dance Of The Clairvoyants
Remaining strong for a 2nd month, even with the #13 “Superblood Wolfmoon” surpassing it at radio. The album “Gigaton” was released on Friday.
5 8 BILLIE EILISH Everything I Wanted
23 9 DOJA CAT Say So
Another refreshing song that gained popularity through a TikTok dance challenge. An atypical song for singer/rapper, it’s the 5th single from her album “Hot Pink” and 1st pop hit.
new 10 DIXIE CHICKS Gaslighter
It’s been almost 14 years since the Chicks released their last studio album. Clearly people are receptive to hearing them again. They are even getting some country radio airplay though I think adult alternative should take notice as well.