1989: We Do The Dive Every Time We Dance

100 Albums is still on hiatus (and probably will be for some time), but to tide you over, I’ve made a 1989 best-of mix to complement the other yearly mixes I’ve posted for 1990-95.

Over a decade ago, I wrote about how the year I turned 14 was a crucial one for me concerning music. This was when I started listening to American Top 40 on a weekly basis and looking for a posted copy of the Billboard Hot 100 whenever I visited Musicland or JR’s at Southridge mall—not coincidentally also where I bought my first post-“Weird Al” Yankovic albums (on cassette, naturally). In 1989, I began thinking of pop music (and all its genre-specific iterations) as a cultural force, something to obsess over and actively engage with rather than relegate to background noise from the radio or MTV.

As with most of these mixes, I heard very few of these songs in 1989 apart from the big fat hits (“Buffalo Stance” never fails to mentally transport me back to that summer) and a few other random titles—I latched on to R.E.M.’s flop follow-up single to “Stand” more than I ever did to “Stand” itself and became obsessed with wacko-Euro novelty “Bring Me Edelweiss” after taping it off the radio (a wise move, since I believe I never heard it on the radio ever again).

Elsewhere, I’ve included obvious choices (“See A Little Light”, “Pictures of You”), a few obscure album tracks (“One Of The Millions”, possibly the best XTC song Colin Moulding ever wrote; the languorous, Sally Timms-fronted “Learning To Live On Your Own”) and a couple of mostly forgotten hits (I’d rather hear “Deadbeat Club” instead of “Love Shack” again, or substitute “Don’t Look Back” for another round of “She Drives Me Crazy”).

I tend to go on about how idyllic and inclusive the ‘90s were for music, but man, did any year in that entire decade contain so eclectic a playlist as this one suggests? Even through my Anglophile-Alternative lens, you’ve got such disparate spirits next to each other as Madonna and the Mekons, or Neneh Cherry and Natalie Merchant. Perhaps I’ll post more ‘80s mixes before eventually getting back to 100 Albums, which will resume with my beloved, life-changing 1996.

Click here to listen to my favorite tracks of 1989 on Spotify:

1. The B-52’s, “Deadbeat Club”
2. Kate Bush, “The Sensual World”
3. Concrete Blonde, “Happy Birthday”
4. The Cure, “Pictures of You”
5. Hunters and Collectors, “When The River Runs Dry”
6. Indigo Girls, “Kid Fears”
7. Chris Isaak, “Blue Spanish Sky”
8. The Blue Nile, “Headlights On the Parade”
9. XTC, “One of the Millions”
10. Kirsty MacColl, “Innocence”
11. The Beautiful South, “You Keep It All In”
12. Madonna, “Like A Prayer”
13. Mekons, “Learning To Live On Your Own”
14. Bob Mould, “See A Little Light”
15. New Order, “Vanishing Point”
16. Bonnie Raitt, “Nick of Time”
17. Fine Young Cannibals, “Don’t Look Back”
18. Elvis Costello, “Veronica”
19. Ramones, “Pet Sematary”
20. Neneh Cherry, “Buffalo Stance”
21. 10,000 Maniacs, “Trouble Me”
22. Edelweiss, “Bring Me Edelweiss”
23. Black Box, “Ride On Time”
24. Erasure, “Blue Savannah”
25. R.E.M., “Pop Song 89”

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One thought on “1989: We Do The Dive Every Time We Dance

  1. Howard June 24, 2016 / 9:09 am

    So cool to see Edelweiss on this list. Love that song.

    Like

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