This week 24 years ago the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart was an eclectic mix of rock, pop and R&B. The list features hits by pop legends and newcomers alike. It was the dawn of a new decade and a transition period in pop music as the MTV-dominated ’80s faded in the rear-view and the prominence of ’90s dance and R&B on the pop charts was just starting.
Here are the 10 biggest singles in America for the week ending March 17, 1990:
British vocalist Cathy Dennis scored her first Top 40 hit with this collaboration with producer Danny D (better known as D-Mob). “C’mon and Get My Love” peaked at #10 and also hit #1 on the dance chart, as would “That’s the Way of the World,” another collaboration between the two. “That’s the Way of the World” couldn’t replicate the crossover pop success of “C’mon and Get My Love” and stalled at #48, but Dennis would enjoy her biggest success a year later with three Top 10 hits: “Just Another Dream” (#9), “Touch Me (All Night Long)” (#2), and “Too Many Walls” (#8).
One of the biggest one-hit-wonders of the ’90s was this novelty rap tune by Biz Markie. It was his only single to reach the Billboard Hot 100 (peaking at #9), but “Just a Friend” has became an iconic song in pop culture, featured in commercials, sporting events, TV shows and films.
The follow-up to the #1 smash “Another Day in Paradise” and the second single from Collins’ album … But Seriously, “I Wish It Would Rain Down” would eventually reach #3. It was one of five Top 40 hits from … But Seriously, and Collins’ 14th Top 40 hit as a solo artist. Another of Collins’ many hit ballads, “I Wish It Would Rain Down” features prominent guitar-work by Eric Claption.
Produced by Dr. Dre, “No More Lies” was the first single and biggest hit for vocalist Michel’le, who is currently featured on the realty show R&B Divas: Los Angeles. “No More Lies” peaked at #7 on the pop chart and #2 on the Billboard Hot R&B Chart.
The second single from Joel’s #1 album Stormfront and follow-up to his #1 single “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” “I Go to Extremes” peaked at #6. Billy Joel would hit the Top 10 only once more after this: “The River of Dreams” hit #3 in 1993.
Bad English was a “supergroup” comprised of former members of Journey and The Babys, including vocalist John Waite who is best known for his #1 ’80s ballad “Missing You.” Bad English were a slickly-produced hard-rock group, but they were best known for their power-ballads. “Price of Love,” which peaked at #5, was the follow-up to the band’s only #1 single, the Diane Warren-penned “When I See You Smile.” Bad English would hit the top 40 only once more: “Possession” hit #21 during the summer of 1990.
Speaking of Diane Warren, the prolific songwriter also wrote the ballad that would become powerhouse vocalist Taylor Dayne’s only #1 single: “Love Will Lead You Back.” It was the 2nd single from her album Can’t Fight Fate, following the #5 hit “With Every Beat of My Heart.” Taylor Dayne scored nine Top 40 hits in a six year period, starting with the #7 “Tell it To My Heart” in 1987 and ending with a cover of Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love,” which hit #20 during the summer of 1993.
Over a decade after they first launched their classic single “Rock Lobster,” The B-52s enjoyed the biggest commercial success of their career with the album Cosmic Thing and its back-to-back smashes, both of which peaked at #3: “Love Shack” and “Roam.” Cosmic Thing also featured the #30 hit “Deadbeat Club.” “Roam” earned the group a Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group, but they lost out to “All My Life” by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville.
Canadian singer Alannah Myles spent two weeks at #1 with “Black Velvet,” a blues-rocking ode to Elvis Presley. Although she had multiple hits in her native Canada, Alannah Myles is considered a one-hit-wonder in the US (although she did hit #36 in June 1990 with “Love Is,” a song that was actually her debut single but was re-released in the US as the follow-up to “Black Velvet”). “Black Velvet” earned Myles a Grammy for Best Rock Vocal Performance – Female.
This week twenty-four years ago, Janet Jackson was at the top of the pop charts with “Escapade,” the third of seven Top 10 singles from her classic album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. It was one of four #1 singles from the album, along with “Miss You Much,” “Black Cat,” and “Love Will Never Do (Without You).” In addition to reaching the top of the pop chart, “Escapade” also hit #1 on the Billboard Dance and R&B Charts.
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