Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Top Songs of 1990: #1: "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips

Two songs with the title "Hold On" in 1990's top 20 hits. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm just pointing it out.

Anyways, the number one single in 1990 was "Hold On" by Wilson Phillips. They also had the number 19 hit (#19: "Release Me"). They were on a roll with their debut album. "Hold On" was written by Chynna Phillips, Glen Ballard and Carnie Wilson. Chynna always seemed like the lead singer--the camera always seemed to linger on her longer than the Wilson sisters. (Sidenote: just looking at current pictures of Chynna and she is still a foxy lady! Gorgeous).

I just had a conversation about this song with someone and it was hard to not laugh recording this...We were just laughing about the part where it's just the drum beat at the end...this "jam out", "break it down" part of the song. It's a little silly. I just remember that part of the video where they are purposefully walking down a California boardwalk, lip-synching as if their lives depended upon it.

My cousin Cecily and I also made up a choreographed routine to this as kids, so I think of that as well, when I hear this song. I remember there was some part where we had to run towards each other and it was supposed to be this big build up (maybe we even skipped?). So funny! We'd each choreograph a little section by ourselves, teach the other cousie and build the dance together. Good teamwork! Wilson Phillips would be proud.

So this marks the end of the Top 20 Billboard hits as covered by me! I am currently going through other years, to decide which top 20 I want to do next. '87 and '94 are both looking like possibilities.

This video comes in two parts--part one on top, part two below.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Top Songs of 1990: #2: "It Must Have Been Love" by Roxette

Let me just say this song is a LOT harder to sing and play than I thought. First of all, the woman from Roxette (which she probably has to introduce herself as at cocktail parties), Marie Fredriksson really has this incredible range. One I do not share. I had to find a key that didn't make me look ridiculous. There is also this strange key change at the end of the song that kind of threw me for a loop. For this blog I try and learn the song in 15 minutes and then do a few "takes"....(I dont' really want it to take much more time than that) but this took me a good hour to learn. Thanks a lot Roxette. Kidding. I really thought learning this song would be a piece of cake. It was very far from a slice of cake.

This song was from the "Pretty Woman" soundtrack. I can kind of picture Julia Roberts in the limo, leaving the hotel, looking longingly back at what she was leaving. I'm not even sure if that is when the song was played in the movie, but I somehow picture that moment.

Roxette seemed to be trying to be a 90's version of the Eurythmics. Girl/Guy duo, girl doing most of the singing....Fredriksson's male counterpart was Per Gessle, who also was the songwriter to "It Must Have Been Love" and most of their other biggest hits.

Just was reading about Roxette on Wikipedia and they apparently have had this wildly successful career in Sweden that continues to this day.

I have special associations with Roxette b/c Hunter and I would drive around in his car and I would sing the girl parts and he would sing the boy parts. We would sometimes circle around the neighborhood, instead of turning off the car, so that we could sing a song in it's entirety.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Top Songs of 1990: #3: "Nothing Compares 2U" by Sinead O'Connor

A very beautiful song written by Prince, covered by Sinead O'Connor. "Nothing Compares 2U" is such a great song, that it sort of does the work for itself.

Originally performed by the Family, a one-album project of Prince's. The band performed one concert only. It was generally known that Prince wrote all the music, even though he divvied up writing credits amongst the Family. I just learned through Wikipedia (thank you Wikipedia) that "Nothing Compares 2U" was writted about Susannah Melvoin, a member of The Family. Juicy!

The video was very jarring--pretty much an extended close up on O'Connor's face. Very arresting. You couldn't look away.

I remember being excited that someone named Sinead O'Connor was in the national consciousness. When people stumbled over my name, I knew I could at least explain the first syllable. "The Si- makes a "shh" sound, like Sinead....Sinead O'Connor...."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Top Songs of 1990: #4: "Poison" by Bell Biv Devoe

The second appearance of Bell Biv Devoe in the Top 20 Billboard hits of 1990. "Poison" was their first single.

This is such a fun song...the horn blasts are basically the recurring riff of the song. The horn blasts are super catch. bum-bum-ba-bump-bumpbabumpbabum-BLAM!

I felt pretty ridiculous doing this song. (Singing: "Never trust a big butt and a smile" and "the low pro hot should be cut like an afro"). So I tried to make it even more ridiculous by playing it on banjo. Embrace the goofiness!

I remember enjoying this whole cassette though, when this album (also titled "Poison") came out.