Top 100 of 1989


Ottawa, me 1989. some of these hits remind me of the US/Canada holiday october

I last reviewed 1989 in 1995, so Ive taken that listing and amended it a bit based on some Ive grown to love since then. The second column are the Year-end positions based on chart positions at the time – so you can see how my tastes change with time.

1989, it must be said, is probably the least-good year of the 80’s, stuck as it was back in a pure pop mode for the most part and nothing new and exciting especially going on. Still some good stuff though!

1    24    LIKE A PRAYER    Madonna
2    1    SOWING THE SEEDS OF LOVE    Tears For Fears
3    7    THIS TIME I KNOW IT’S FOR REAL    Donna Summer
4    16    101″    Sheena Easton
5    9    THIS WOMAN’S WORK    Kate Bush
6    14    NOTHING HAS BEEN PROVED    Dusty Springfield
7    19    STOP    Sam Brown
8    21    ROOMS ON FIRE    Stevie Nicks
9    13    DEAR JESSIE    Madonna
10    10    IT’S ALRIGHT    Pet Shop Boys

11    NEW    WE DIDN’T START THE FIRE    Billy Joel
12    47    ESPECIALLY FOR YOU    Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan
13    3    ALL AROUND THE WORLD    Lisa Stansfield
14    29    EXPRESS YOURSELF    Madonna
15    34    SWEET CHILD ‘O’ MINE    Guns ‘N’ Roses
16    11    ROOM IN YOUR HEART    Living In A Box
17    20    WHEN YOU COME BACK TO ME    Jason Donovan
18    8    YOU USED TO    Distant Cousins
19    32    BACK TO LIFE    Soul II Soul/ Caron Wheeler
20    5    SACRIFICE    Elton John

21    12    YOU GOT IT    Roy Orbison
22    42    LEAVE A LIGHT ON    Belinda Carlisle
23    43    RHYTHM NATION    Janet Jackson
24    26    ETERNAL FLAME    The Bangles
25    4    ORDINARY LIVES    The Bee Gees
26    89    THE BEST    Tina Turner
27    NEW    BELFAST CHILD    Simple Minds
28    35    RIDE ON TIME    Black Box
29    27    EVERY LITTLE STEP    Bobby Brown
30    NEW    PERSONAL JESUS    Depeche Mode

31    22    HEALING HANDS    Elton John
32    18    IF ONLY I COULD    Sydney Youngblood
33    28    FOREVER BLUE    Swing Out Sister
34    15    IN PRIVATE    Dusty Springfield
35    39    IF I COULD TURN BACK TIME    Cher
36    96    HELP    Bananarama
37    62    PEOPLE HOLD ON    Coldcut/Lisa Stansfield
38    40    LOSING MY MIND    Liza Minelli
39    95    I DON’T WANT A LOVER    Texas
40    41    THE SENSUAL WORLD    Kate Bush

41    37    MY BRAVE FACE    Paul McCartney
42    48    YOU’RE HISTORY    Shakespear’s Sister
43    80    END OF THE LINE    Traveling Wilburys
44    54    AMERICANOS    Holly Johnson
45    NEW    SHE’S A MYSTERY TO ME    Roy Orbison
46    25    ONE    The Bee Gees
47    65    KYLIE SAID TO JASON    The KLF
48    66    CAN I GET A WITNESS    Sam Brown
49    30    CHERISH    Madonna
50    90    PINK SUNSHINE    Fuzzbox

51    33    AS LONG AS YOU FOLLOW    Fleetwood Mac
52    44    DON’T ASK ME WHY    Eurythmics
53    61    LICENCE TO KILL    Gladys Knight
54    86    PURE    The Lightning Seeds
55    31    WAITING FOR A STAR TO FALL    Boy Meets Girl
56    17    LIBERIAN GIRL    Michael Jackson
57    85    INDESTRUCTIBLE    The Four Tops/ Smokey Robinson
58    49    THE LOOK    Roxette
59    2    I DON’T WANT TO LOSE YOU    Gloria Estefan
60    51    TWO HEARTS    Phil Collins

61    NEW    I DON’T WANT TO GET HURT    Donna Summer
62    38    THIS ONE    Paul McCartney
63    75    WOMAN IN CHAINS    Tears For Fears/ Oleta Adams
64    88    BUFFALO STANCE    Neneh Cherry
65    NEW    TOO MUCH    Bros
66    68    HOUSE OF THE BLUE DANUBE    Malcolm McLaren
67    NEW    DAYS LIKE THIS    Sheena Easton
68    NEW    EVERYDAY (I LOVE YOU MORE)    Jason Donovan
69    58    MANCHILD    Neneh Cherry
70    87    TOY SOLDIERS    Martika

71    46    PUMP UP THE JAM    Technoctronic
72    NEW    YOU ON MY MIND    Swing Out Sister
73    NEW    THE SUN RISING    The Beloved
74    NEW    SECOND SUMMER OF LOVE    Danny Wilson
75    NEW    SIGN ‘O’ THE TIMES    Simple Minds
76    NEW    THIS IS THE RIGHT TIME    Lisa Stansfield
77    69    SHE DRIVES ME CRAZY    Fine Young Cannibals
78    6    FOUR LETTER WORD    Kim Wilde
79    NEW    WHEN I LOOKED AT HIM    Expose
80    79    LEAN ON YOU    Cliff Richard

81    91    LAMBADA    Kaoma
82    36    CAN’T STAY AWAY FROM YOU    Gloria Estefan
83    45    WAIT    Robert Howard/Kym Myzelle
84    NEW    I WANT IT ALL    Queen
85    71    BEDS ARE BURNING    Midnight Oil
86    NEW    IT’S ONLY LOVE    Simply Red
87    76    OF COURSE I’M LYIN’    Yello
88    NEW    LISTEN TO YOUR HEART    Roxette
89    67    GOOD THING    Fine Young Cannibals
90    23    I BEG YOUR PARDON    Kon Kan

91    63    SEALED WITH A KISS    Jason Donovan
92    64    OH WELL    Oh Well
93    60    TELL ME WHEN THE MUSIC ENDED    Elecrtibe 101
94    NEW    MISS YOU MUCH    Janet Jackson
95    59    BE WITH YOU    The Bangles
96    NEW    TIED UP    Yello
97    70    RIGHT HERE WAITING    Richard Marx
98    NEW    SOMETHING’S GOTTEN HOLD OF MY HEART    Marc Almond/ Gene Pitney
99    NEW    IF THERE WAS LOVE    Liza Minelli
100    NEW    OH FATHER    Madonna

4 thoughts on “Top 100 of 1989

  1. Great picture, John! 🙂
    To my taste, 1989 was worse than any of pre-1985 years of the decade, but not worse than any of after-1985. Perhaps, my attitude to this year differs from yours because i was 18 (maybe, the best age for pop music perception). Yes, they had those terrible SAW production here there and everywhere. Sonia at the top…ugh…those ugly London Boys…sickly-sweet Jason Donovan who was sealed with a kiss…
    On a positive side of 1989 were Madchester appearance, XTC (Oranges & Lemons was fantastic LP and what a killer single Mayor Of Simpleton was!), Pixies, Paul McCartney, Deacon Blue, Cure, Tears For Fears, Queen, Beautiful South, Donna Summer’s comeback, Billy Joel, Paula Abdul, Kate Bush and Madonna. So i almost repeat your Top10. Electronic music was also great in 1989: A Guy Called Gerald, Black Box, Technotronic, D Mob, 808 State, Inner City…
    Indie music was presented by wonderful Sugarcubes featuring young Bjork.
    So i found positive block was much bigger than the negative one for this particular year. But again, i was 18… The grass was greener and etc… :-)))

    • Thanks for the comprehensive reply Andrey:) I tend to think of madchester as more 1990, and a lot of the other acts you mention that don’t feature were bubbling under the 100, XTC had some great singles at that time but I never managed to buy or record them, so it’s been a while since i last heard them. I may need to remedy that on my next download session!:)

      18 is a great age, and I liked 1989 well enough at the time thanks to the big names putting out great stuff, it just didnt excite me as much as say 1987 and 1991 did:) I was around 30 in those days though….


  2. John, what was a story behind your Canada trip? I mean have you been there as a tourist or you lived there during a certain period of time? Didn’t Canada make you addicted to ice-hockey then? 🙂

    • Hi Andrey, just a tourist – I’d done California/Arizona as a student in 1979 (after working for the cash for months) and again in 1987, but some of my mates wanted to do New York/Niagara so we did a lad’s holiday for 2 weeks touring from Boston to Ottawa/Toronto, back down via New York. Lovely areas.

      I enjoyed Ottawa and Niagara, but the endless flatness of the bits between was less than exciting. Vermont and Lake Placid and Plymouth were much nicer:) Ice hockey? I cant take the cold, gimme sunshine anyday!:)

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