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.
Another Now and Then Podcast plus the February 23, 1991 Personal Chart Blog
This is a nice quick episode with the question, are Night Ranger hair metal or are they not? We do manage a couple of asides from the main discussion. A country song kept a newer Night Ranger song from #1 on my personal chart which I did not subject Jeff to, but I do include it here.
My Personal Chart Blog, 1991
For this month’s blog, I thought I’d start with a comparison between by 1991 chart and my current week’s chart.
The last time I was writing about this era in September I wrote a lot about Power Pop and Jellyfish specifically. This song was the first of theirs to reach #1 on my chart. It was their second top 20 on the Modern Rock radio chart, peaking at #11. This was preceded on my chart by 3 top 12 songs, “The King Is Half Undressed #8, “Now She Knows I’m Wrong” #12, and “The Man I Used To Be” #8. In the end, most of their debut album “Bellybutton” would hit my chart including “I Wanna Stay Home” (55), “Calling Sarah” (131-debut), and their biggest Pop hit “Baby’s Coming Back”, which would make my top 10 in the spring.
1 2 EMF Unbelievable 1(2) 13
An across-the-board international success, many would consider the band a one-hit-wonder though they had a number of songs do well in the UK and the follow-up single, “I Believe” (25) reached #1 on the Modern Rock chart. Andrew Dice Clay’s voice was sampled, the “Oh” at the beginning and in front of the chorus is him. This was a great time for Alt-Dance music and my chart this week reflects that with roughly 20-25 songs falling under that umbrella.
3 3 SEAL Crazy 3(3) 13
This song fits into that mold with its pulsating rhythm and its ebbing and flowing keyboard line. It also adds a Funk and Soul vibe to the mix, just a really intoxicating song. It was also a huge international success, #1 in numerous countries, #2 in the UK, and #7 on the Hot 100. The debut album was certainly more cutting edge than the rest of his ‘90s output with songs like “Killer”
5 4 BREATHE Does She Love That Man? 4 15
This ballad was the last single by the UK band and was aided by its bluesy guitar. Not a big hit here, only reaching #34 on the Hot 100. It didn’t even chart in the UK. The band actually did better in the States overall with 3 top 10 singles in 1988 and 1989 (“Hands To Heaven”, “How Can I Fall?” and “Don’t Tell Me Lies”), all of which did well for me. In the fall of 1990, they also made my top 10 with the horn-laden shuffler “Say A Prayer”.
8 5 THE FARM All Together Now 5 13
This Brit band’s debut album “Spartacus” was a #1 album in the UK after this song and “Groovy Train” (48) both went top 6 the previous year. This also made the Modern Rock top 10 in April ‘91. The band was also part of the Alt-Dance movement at the time.
9 6 INDIGO GIRLS Welcome Me 6 8
The harmonies of Emily Saliers and Amy Ray were favorites of mine from the release of “Closer To Fine” through the mid-90s. Their collaboration with Michael Stipe, “Kid Fears”, was my #1 song of the year in 1989. This one was my favorite from their album “Nomads, Indians, Saints”. “World Falls” (104) was falling from its #25 peak and the lead single “Hammer And A Nail” just missed my top 40 at #41.
6 7 CELINE DION Where Does My Heart Beat Now 6 12
In 1990 2 big female voices emerged on the scene, Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. Though “Vision Of Love” was a great debut single, my relationship with Carey waned relatively quickly while Dion was a sustained chart performer for me. Carey clearly won the Pop battle (she stands as the #4 artist of all-time on the Billboard Hot 100 though Dion places at #87, so not shabby at all). 4 of Dion’s songs have made my top 25 of the year: “Tell Him” with Barbra Streisand, “Shadow of Love”, “Ain’t Gonna Look The Other Way” and the fantastic “Taking Chances”.
4 8 DREAM WARRIORS My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style 1 14
Hip Hop is not a regular genre on my chart and usually when a song appeared it had a quirky bent to it. This is so true of this song from the Canadian trio, my #19 song of 1991. The early ‘90s was the time of a Jazz-Rap sub-genre that did have some gravitational pull with me. The instrumentation of this song is irresistible, bringing a ‘60s lounge vibe to it. It actually samples the 1962 Quincy Jones song “Soul Bossa Nova”. This was a huge song for husband John (he had a fascination with lounge music in the ‘90s) and our circle of friends. It did go top 25 on Modern Rock and top 15 the UK, Sweden, and Switzerland but it didn’t chart in their homeland.
7 9 JUDE COLE House Full Of Reasons 1(2) 13
I wrote a bit about Jude Cole on last year’s blog page. I would say he was my favorite Pop-Rock artist during the first half of the ‘90’s. If you are a fan of Bryan Adams this album would totally appeal to you. This was the sixth song from his album “A View From 3rd Street” to chart and the first of his to go to #1. On it’s heals “This Time It’s Us” (35) would follow to the summit. The last 3 songs from the album would chart as well with “Get Me Through The Night” making it 3 at #1. In January this year he released his first album since 2000, “Coup De Main”, which is a bit folkier and I’m just starting to digest. On it he does a cover of the song “Starry Eyes” a 1979 almost top 40 song by the Records. He was briefly a member of that band in 1980.
11 10 JESUS JONES International Bright Young Thing 10 8
Coming out of the same Alt-Dance pool as EMF, this band had just come off the huge “Right Here, Right Now” which had spent 2 weeks at #1 on my chart in December. That song was about the end of the cold war and was originally titled Nelson as it was inspired by Prince (Roger Nelson’s) 1987 hit “Sign ‘O The Times”. The band was associated with an Alternative sub-sub-genre Grebo that had a short shelf-life. ‘Young Thing’ and “Who?, Where? Why?” (148-debut) were more indicative of the style, a mix of Punk, EDM, Hip-Hop and Industrial. 2 other Grebo bands land back-to-back further down the list. Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s “Bloodsport For All” (100) and Pop Will Eat Itself’s “X, Y & Zee” (101). That band took the moniker to heart with songs like “Grebo Guru” and “Oh Grebo, I Think I Love You”.
12 11 THE KLF 3 AM Eternal 11 7
The lines of these Alt-Dance sub-genres are so very blurry that they all fit under the larger umbrella. This time was probably one of my favorites for the melding of Alt-Rock and Dance. It had more of a bite than the earlier danceable New Wave, though some of the ‘80s product in that realm had a more sinister feel. The KLF started out in 1987 and the JAMS (Justified Ancients Of Mumu) and in 1988 scored a UK #1 as the Timelords with “Doctorin’ The Tardis”. That song was a mix of the “Doctor Who” theme song, Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll (part two)” and the song “Blockbuster” by Sweet. The JAMS label was named KLF Communications and that is what led to future songs under the name the KLF. This song was originally recorded in 1988 and ‘Ancients of Mumu’ is a predominant line in the song. The song reached #5 on the Hot 100 and in early 1992 they almost returned to the top 10 with the #11 “Justified and Ancient (Stand By The JAMS)” with Tammy Wynette. Clearly, they could not release their schtick, and the sub-title winks at her signature hit “Stand By Your Man”. Always achingly trying to be clever, the tongue in cheek of the sample-heavy KLF’s name is that it stands for Kopyright Liberation Front.
10 12 WHITNEY HOUSTON All The Man That I Need 10 12
The next 4 songs are all ballads. This song originally appeared on a 1982 Linda Clifford album and was written by the team of Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore who were responsible for much of the music from the movie “Fame” in 1980. 2 of the songs from that soundtrack were co-written by Lesley Gore (of the 1963 #1 hit “It’s My Party”), “Out Here On My Own” and “Hot Lunch Jam” (The KLF should have jumped on that remake). Michael Gore is Lesley’s younger brother. After Clifford contributed the vocal to the song “Red Light” for the soundtrack, the songwriters worked with her on her next album. Houston’s version totally took the song to another level.
17 13 HALL & OATES Don’t Hold Back Your Love 13 9
In essence, this was the last hit by the powerhouse duo. It only peaked at #41 on the Hot 100, following the #11 “So Close” but it did make the top 5 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The original version of ‘Close’ was co-written by Hall and George Green who also co-wrote John Mellencamp’s “Hurts So Good”. The final version got an assist from Jon Bon Jovi and producer Danny Kortchmar who had been working on the “Blaze Of Glory” sessions. This one was co-written by Richard Page of Mr. Mister.
24 14 RICK ASTLEY Cry For Help 14 6
The lead single from Astley’s third album “Free” was his first real ballad to be a hit (and his last top 10 in the States). The gospel-tinged song was by far my favorite tune by Astley, ending up as my #15 of 1991 during its original run on my personal chart. In another co-writing scenario, his writing partner was Rob Fisher of Naked Eyes and Climie Fisher fame. In 1983 the Naked Eyes song “Promises Promises” was my #1 song of the year. Though I was only so-so on their hit “Always Something There To Remind Me”, the album was a standout for me, bringing 4 other songs into my top 10, including a second #1 “I Could Show You How”.
18 15 STYX Show Me The Way 15 12
Like Hall & Oates, 1991 saw the last appearances in the upper reaches of the Hot 100 for Styx. This inspirational ballad, written as a sort of hymn for Dennis DeYoung’s son, rode to #3 and became connected to the Gulf War and resurrected after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. It was the second single from “Edge Of The Century”, after “Love Is The Ritual” made the Rock top 10 in the fall of 1990. The third single, “Love At First Sight” brought them to #25 on the Hot 100.
February 21, 2021
The biggest difference between 1991 and 2001 on my chart is the lack of the Alt-dance that was prevalent back then and the introduction of Country, though there are a couple of danceable songs on this top 15. There is also, except for one juggernaut of a song, no songs that would be deemed as a current hit.
1 1 FEE WAYBILL Faker 1(3) 8
The lead singer of the Tubes surprised me with this blistering track co-written by Richard Marx. The beginning of 2021 was seeing an absence of big songs for me as songs had been lingering on my chart a little longer than normal. Once this one clicked a few weeks ago it made the jump from 25-1. 40 years ago, his band was experiencing their first real mainstream success with “Talk To Ya Later” becoming a top 10 Rock hit (surprisingly only bubbling under the Hot 100 at #101) and their top 40 pop entry “Don’t Want To Wait Anymore”. Through the latter half of the ‘70’s they had some underground success and one minor hit “Don’t Touch Me There”. With the 1981 album “The Completion Backward Principle” they teamed up with producer David Foster and on ‘Later’ Steve Lukather of Toto which led to a combo of Pop sheen and their well-known quirkiness (“Sushi Girl”), a winning combination.
2 2 ALL STAR UNITED Take Me Away 2 15
My blog writing and podcast production has brought me many songs from the past that were forgotten or are new to me. I just this month started an oldie’s chart on Beyond Radio as there are other personal charters that feature older songs on their charts as well. This late ‘90s Christian Rock band had 13 songs on my personal chart between 1998 and 2010. This track is from the 2007 album “Love And Radiation” and becomes the band’s highest-charting song for me, pushing past the #3 “Worldwide Socialites Unite” in 2000 (not available on Spotify).
6 3 MCFLY Tonight Is The Night 3 11
This British Pop band is named after Marty McFly from “Back To The Future”. This is their first top 10 on my chart. In the UK they have had 19 top 10’s with 7 of those going to #1 since 2004. One of those #1’s was “Baby’s Coming Back” in 2007, a remake of the 1991 Jellyfish song (not available on Spotify).
9 4 BLAKE SHELTON Minimum Wage 4 4
This song saw some controversy upon its release, a millionaire singing about minimum wage, but it was ill-conceived when listening to the lyrics; “your love is money, you make a man feel rich on minimum wage”. I was instantly drawn to the propulsive upbeat Country-Rock of this tune, a certain #1 for me. It would be his third #1 for me and already his ninth top 5.
3 5 HARRY STYLES Treat People With Kindness 1(4) 25
What was a year ago a moderately successful song on my chart, ‘Kindness” has turned into a major hit for me. The superbly adorable video released on January 1 brought me such joy and its message was undeniable after the year we have had. I also experienced some of the nuances of the song that I had missed (the bongos and fuzzy guitar towards the end), even with a feature on a podcast episode. A lyric like “I don’t need all the answers, feeling good in my skin, I’ll just keep dancing” just adds to the allure. I love his old soul vibe. The video also made me fall in love with Phoebe Waller-Bridge and made me watch “Fleabag” finally.
7 6 BLACK STONE CHERRY Again 6 13
This is a second-generation Southern Rock band; co-founder John Fred Young is the son of the Kentucky Headhunters Richard Young. Not always a go-to genre, in 2012 they spent 2 weeks at #1 with “In My Blood”, their highest charter on the Rock radio chart and their only top 10.
4 7 HOT CHIP f/ JARVIS COCKER Straight To The Morning 2 15
21 years in and the UK synthpop band finally makes my top 10 for the first time, peaking at #2 a couple weeks ago. Joe Goddard spends time between Hot Chip and 2 Bears who made my top 40 in 2016 with another disco-y track “Not This Time”. Member Alan Doyle also splits time with LCD Soundsystem. That band’s song “Tonite”, my #4 song of 2018, was extensively analyzed on the Dec. 26, 2019, episode of Beyond Radio Presents. See Alt-Dance has made its appearance in 2021.
8 8 THE TEMPER TRAP Thick As Thieves 8 11
Another older title discovered from my blog writing is from the Australian band’s 2016 album of the same name. The song “Alive” from that album was the band’s sole #1 on my chart, though “Fader” and “Sweet Disposition” made my top 10 in 2010.
46 9 OLIVIA RODRIGO Driver’s License 9 4
The emotional impact of this massive hit is not lost on me. The anguish in her voice, especially towards the end, is impressive. The amount of sad and sad-sounding songs that are big hits these days does not speak to me (see Harry Styles) but sometimes it is appropriate.
15 10 MERCYME Say I Won’t 10 6
This Oklahoma band has been a force on Christian radio for 2 decades now. This week they notch another top 10 for me. Of their 16 top 25 songs on my chart, 6 have risen to #1 and another to #2. This seems destined for at least the top 5.
20 11 KEITH URBAN Forever 11 4
Could my king of the Country genre score an 18th #1 song on my chart? I was thinking the latest album “The Speed Of Now, Part 1” might not even get a top 10 though “Out The Cage” snuck up to #9. Again, definitely looking at the top 5, we’ll know over the next month or so. If it does, it’ll be the big ending to the song that does it. Love me some wailing guitar.
5 12 RED RUM CLUB The Elevation 3(2) 15
Extensive use of trumpet sets this indie Brit-Pop band apart and adds a fun factor. Their first top 10 for me but they have reached my chart 4 times in the last 2 years
13 13 THE SCORE f/ AWOLNATION Carry On 13 20
This song has spent 10 weeks in my top 20 without making the top 10, an interesting circumstance. The L.A. duo has a decidedly Imagine Dragons vibe but this one is more enjoyable for me than any recent Dragons song.
14 14 STEPS What The Future Holds 14 16
The UK’s late ‘90s version of Abba came back in 2017 and again in 2020 with 2 back-to-back #2 UK albums. They perform reliable Dance-Pop but this is the first time they’ve reached my top 50.
10 15 HONORARY ASTRONAUT Final Dream Machine 5 20
A side project for the Dear Hunter’s mastermind Casey Crescenzo, this doesn’t feel that off from that band’s expansive theatrical rock. Once I discovered that band in 2016, they racked up 16 top 20’s on my chart by the end of 2019. Of those 6 went to #1.
It’s hard to say which top 15 is more diverse. One side note, even though they are not in my current top 15, members of Jellyfish are on my current chart as the Lickerish Quartet. They have 2 songs moving up my chart right now from their second EP “Threesome, Vol. 2”; “Sovereignty Blues” at #26 and “Do You Feel Better” at #47, while “Lighthouse Spaceship” spent 3 weeks at #1 in September. As a solo artist Roger Manning Jr. also reached #1 for 3 weeks in November with “The Quickening” and his “Operator” is still week’s #35. After a 25 year plus absence, it’s like an old friend has come back into your life.
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