It was 1989, the end of the decade but definitely not the end of some incredible music. The end of the year charts boasted tunes from artists of various genres, some veterans and some new on the scene. Let’s take a look at the top ten songs closing out the 80s in 1989.
The Miami, Florida-based dance/pop group Will To Power held down the #9 spot with “Baby I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley,” a tune which combined elements of both Peter Frampton’s hit from 1975 and the 1974 tune from southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd.
At #8 was the tune “Girl You Know It’s True” by the duo Milli Vanilli, a group who enjoyed major success until a flood of controversy involving lip synching and fraudulent recording resulted in lawsuits, public and media criticism, and The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) revoking the group’s Grammy Award for Best New Artist, marking the first such action in the history of the award.
Singer and actress Bette Midler came in at #7 with the single “Wind Beneath My Wings,” a cover which she recorded for the soundtrack for the feature film Beaches. The tune became a worldwide hit, winning Record of the Year and Song of the Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards.
Former Laker Girl and choreographer turned singer Paula Abdul finished out the year with two songs in the Top Ten. The tunes “Cold Hearted” and “Straight Up” found their way to the #6 and #4 spots respectively, while sandwiched in between was Abdul’s most notable dance student, Janet Jackson, who held the #5 spot with “Miss You Much.” That track, from the album Rhythm Nation 1814, spent a month at the top making it the longest running hit at the top of the charts for that year.
The rock band Poison showed a softer side with the rock ballad “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” While the band would have several Top Ten singles in their career, “Every Rose” would go down in history as their first and only number one single.
Former New Edition member Bobby Brown ended the year at #2 with his declaration of independence, the dance hit “My Prerogative” from his album Don’t Be Cruel.
At #1 was a band that was no stranger to the top of the charts, Chicago, with their ballad “Look Away.” The song remained at the top of the pop charts for two weeks, and marked the band’s seventh song to top the Adult Contemporary chart.
Montrose Cunningham is a Dallas, Texas-based, independent funk/rock/soul artist and devoted music aficionado, with a Master of Science degree in Marketing. When he isn’t digging through the crates–digital and analog–he’s jamming with his band or hanging with his daughters, sometimes at the same time. Purchase his release Inertia at www.cdbaby.com/cd/montrose, follow him on Twitter @MontroseC and check out his blog, Daddy Rock Star.