The summer of ‘89 was a tense, tight and hot period of time in New York City. And that’s just the weather. Race relations in the Big Apple were bad and appeared to be getting worse with each sweltering day. Reverberations from that year’s Central Park Five “wilding” case (in which a crew of young… Read More “Fight The Power” by Public Enemy (1989)
Boy George is, was and always will be a soul singer (direct precedent: Smokey), so partnering him with Teddy Riley for a couple songs on 1989’s High Hat was a masterstroke on behalf of George’s American record company (although they had no motive in mind other than making a hit, which is kinda what record… Read More “Don’t Take My Mind On A Trip” by Boy George (1989)
On the Heart Break album, “Crucial” was one of the more incidental tracks. Despite most of the album being produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the LP version of “Crucial” was helmed by former Time drummer Jellybean Johnson. It was a decent Minneapolis funk song. Not bad, but not a standout. Remixed and issued as Heart… Read More “Crucial (single remix)” by New Edition (1989)
Tracy’s defiant “NO SELLOUT” move occurred with this song; the first single and title track from her all-important sophomore album. “Crossroads” came out when I was 13, and there was an honesty and resolve in her singing that resonated with me for years despite not really understanding what she was singing about. I can’t imagine the directions… Read More “Crossroads” by Tracy Chapman (1989)
We all know Madonna possesses a mastery of the pop single that very few artists have (Um, The Beatles, MJ, Rihanna, that’s it?). Her pop singles, though undeniably catchy and perfect-sounding on radio, have always had a dash of the subversive in them-from “Like A Virgin” to “Like A Prayer” to “Papa Don’t Preach”. “Cherish”… Read More “Cherish” by Madonna (1989)
Simply sung sentiment, sounding sweet. More proof that you don’t need bells, flash, whistles or tricks to make a great song. Just a soulful voice, potent lyrics, and a chilled out groove. From the king of no bells, flash, whistles or tricks. “Can’t Get Over You” would have made Beverly’s benefactor, Marvin Gaye, very proud.
Neneh Cherry deserves more props. She jumped onto the scene with a helluva 1-2 punch of albums. 1989’s Raw Like Sushi positioned Neneh (daughter of jazz great Don Cherry) as a tough-as-nails rapper, singer and social observer. “Buffalo Stance” is as chock full of attitude as any Salt ‘n Pepa record, plus it boasts an… Read More ”Buddy X” by Neneh Cherry (1992)/“Buffalo Stance” by Neneh Cherry (1989)