Monday, 2 July 2007


Warning: this post will be entirely devoid of knitting.

Amy in Rhode Island did this cool meme where you look at the songs that were #1 the year you turned 18. Now, you're supposed to do this via the Billboard site which is of course American. Like Amy, I found that stuff pretty hard to stomach but it seems like a good place to start.

I learned when I recently mentioned Paris Hilton here that some American readers were stunned that we hear about that skank all the way down here. It's true, American friends. Don't you realise how all pervasive your culture is? I use the term 'culture' loosely when referring to Paris Hilton, obviously.

Interesting piece of trashy trivia: a guy who was in the top 10 for Australian Idol (yes, we have that too) a couple of years ago was more famous for the fact that he shagged Paris Hilton than for anything else he ever did. Bet you didn't know there were Aussies who got to get up close and personal with her, did you? So yes, we get pretty much everything you get here and we lap up every last sordid scrap of US celebrity gossip. Paris was even big news on some of our more serious news programs last week. How freaking tragic is that? There's a war on, you know.

But, I digress. Music. Billboard. 1990. It turns out, unsurprisingly, that the Billboard charts are full of stuff I can remember. Probably because with a few exceptions, the ARIA (Australian) Charts were full of much the same stuff.

I came to one conclusion while looking at the charts for 1990. It was a shit year for music. As I recall, it was probably the last year I paid any real attention to the mainstream charts. Not long after that, youth radio changed forever in Australia (thank you TripleJ) and I found out that you didn't have to put up with complete garbage like Michael Bolton anymore.

So, let's pick five. I'll try to pick a couple of good ones because I do love music nostaliga. I've been known to stop in my tracks in a shopping mall when I hear something I haven't heard for years and be moved to tears - over pop music. Geez. Today in fact, I stopped dead when I heard Mike Oldfield's Moonlight Shadow. In Kmart. In my lunch hour. I nearly balled on the spot. It was one of those days.

1. Another Day In Paradise - Phil Collins. Oh, look at me - I'm all concerned for the poor people. Barf! Thank God he appears to have stopped making something that couldn't ever really have been called music.

2. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor. The high point of 1990 for me. That video. Those eyes. She was everywhere and I didn't get sick of her. Not for a few years yet, anyway. And I got this song more a few years later when someone was actually gone from my life. At 18, it was just theory, but I loved it and still do.

3. Black Velvet - Alannah Myles - I did really love this song. Who the hell was she? Did she ever do anything again? You'd hear people getting all deep saying, 'It's about Elvis, you know.' She was a hell of a lot better than Paula Abdul, who was also mystifyingly big that year.

4. Vogue - Madonna - I was over Madonna by then but it's only in retrospect I see this was a good song. I was still yearning for the Material Girl days but really, this was a very good period for her. If I hadn't been so busy being an uptight little Christian who ranted about Madonna at the drop of a hat, I might have stopped to enjoy her more.

5. Vision of Love - Mariah Carey - It pains me to say it but I liked this song. It was the last time I would ever say that about anything by Mariah Carey. But back then I liked her voice. I could weep over that admission.

See, it was a really bad year. I do recall I was listening to U2 (music Christians could listen to and feel like they were cool, and oh so politically and spiritually aware) but apart from that, I think I was still listening mainly to Christian music like Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith.

I was unaware that REM and Tori Amos were just around the corner for me and things were about to get a whole lot better.

Suddenly, 1990 and high school were over and the rest of the 1990s, musically speaking, were going to improve after the dismal end of the 1980s.

OK, that was fun. I'm off to work on the steeked jacket and watch Torchwood.