1989 was a year in which:
- The Batman soundtrack spent six weeks in the #1 spot, even though there’s a reason why Simon Pegg isn’t the least bit hesitant to kill a zombie with that record in Shaun of the Dead.
- Alannah Myles was popular for six minutes, and your girlfriend wouldn’t stop playing that fucking “Black Velvet” song.
- Newsday published a story in which singer Charles Shaw contended he sang most of the vocals on the Milli Vanilli album All or Nothing. Newsday fails to ask why anyone would want credit for such a thing. Even though the story breaks in December, Milli Vanilli still wins the “Best New Artist” award at the Grammys the following February.
- Tone Loc released the song “Wild Thing,” which promptly becomes the biggest selling single since “We Are the World.” Radio stations start thinking hey, we should maybe start playing that “rap” that all the kids are talking about.
- Madonna divorced Sean Penn, giving everyone over the age of 14 hope that they had a chance. (Penn’s brother Michael fared better, releasing his debut album March.)
- Mr. Mister split up, took their broken wings, and learned to fly again. Learned to live and love so free.
- The Rolling Stones started their Steel Wheels tour, and the media wondered if they were too old to be viable – and that 23 years ago. One reviewer complained about the exorbitant price of the concert t-shirts: $20. The Stones start the tour with an impromptu show at a small club in New Haven, CT. Fewer than 700 people paid $3 to get in.
- The biggest selling single of the year was “Look Away,” by Chicago. (It’s possible that every year in our Rocktober coverage has mentioned Chicago at least once; I’m just trying to keep up.)
- Paul McCartney released a live album that was available only in the Soviet Union. People in the U.S. paid $1,000 for bootlegs instead of just waiting 10 years to illegally download it.
Oh. What.The.F@#K? Really 1989? REALLY
As mediocre as the last year of the decade was overall, every month except December managed to produce at least one album that had a significant impact on music. Let’s go through month-by-month and recall how you avoided OD’ing on Roxette, Debbie Gibson, and Technotronic.