By Jack Sharkey, July 28, 2017

 

1989

Some really geat music was released in 1989, but the year boils down to Spandex, Aquanet and lip-synching. Imagine that, a musical act losing all credibility and success because they didn't actually sing their songs. My, my, my how times have changed.  

 

My Prerogative - Bobby Brown After splitting from New Edition, Brown crafted a decidely non-boy-band route to success that R & B and pop hip-hop solo artists are still following today. My Prerogative was the blueprint to an amazing amount of music to follow.

 

Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison What requires 72 beats per minute, a case of Aquanet, and a strangely ambiguous American cowboy sensibility? Why, the power ballad of course. Owing its existence to Nazareth's 1975 mega-hit Love Hurts, the power ballad was the way hair bands made their retirement money in the late 80s. 

 

Welcome to the Jungle - Guns n' Roses Except of course if you were in Guns n' Roses. Then you only needed a case of Aquanet and part of Axl and Slash's publishing deal to make your retirement money. Drugs and personality clashes have tarnished GnR's glow over the years, but in 1989 there was no other band anyone cared about. If GnR had been able to keep it together and release something other than 1991's abysmal Use Your Illusion I Nirvana and the Seattle grungers may not have changed the rock and roll landscape as much as they did.

 

Love In An Elevator - Aerosmith Released in September, Pump was Aerosmith's post-rehab masterpiece. A technically better album than their first masterpiece, 1975's Toys In the Attic, Pump was everything radio needed in 1989, and Love In An Elevator was the centerpiece. Give credit to Joey Kramer for the amazing cymbal and kick syncopation during Joe Perry's stellar lead.

 

Girl You Know Its True - Milli Vanilli What happens when a German record producer (Frank Farian) records a pop hip-hop album but then decides the guys who sung on it don't have the right look? He goes out and hires a couple of really good looking dancers and proceeds to make millions. So far so good right? Well apparently in 1989, lip-synching at your shows and not really singing on your records was an unforgiveable sin. Rob Pilatus and Fab Moravian were unfortunately about fifteen years ahead of themselves, and so were the Grammy voters who gave Milli and Vanilli a Grammy for Best New Artist..  

 

 

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