Mac Dad’ll Make Ya…
A friend of mine posted one of those annoying Facebook memes today; post the song that was number one in your country of birth on the day you were born. I am an easily distracted little sparrow and wasted most of the day lost in wiki’s lists of Australian number ones from (MOR radio station announcer voice:) “the 80s, 90s and Today”. (As an aside, if you want MOR as it should be done: WCLZ from Maine. You can hear Guster album tracks every little once in a while.)
Surveying these lists, the Workers & Peasants of the Berlusconi Youth have learned that – if we skip out frankly baffling errors of human judgment like Pseudo Echo’s cover of Funkytown – then the recipe for chart success in Australia seems to have been AOR balladry or novelty hipityhopitry – mixed in with what my boy tha J-UNIT would call some dope ass rhymez. Often written by Prince.
This may take a while but at least I’m not posting about MLP:FIM any more, rite? We’re skipping the 80s because our politics is basically a rehash of that era anyway, so here’s 1990-1992 in BerlusconiColor.
Like every other 9 year old I thought this was the coolest thing ever. And since it was before Al Gore invented the internet, 9 year olds were kinda innocent back then and we didn’t know about furry fetishes (#1 in May 1990)
Aside from Martika being the kind of woman that you could imagine Berlusconi making his Foreign Minister, or a High Court Judge, a week after meeting her on the set of an Italian gameshow, this gets my vote as early 90s neglected pop gold. It’s a Prince song, but its Prince writing near the most extreme religious swing of the little purple pendulum that he is, just a little before he seemingly went the other way with songs like Get Off and Sexy MF. The ambiguity is always fun with him and lets you know that the Black Christian culture of Murrika was never caught up on the same hang ups as Brother Whitey (militant Eireann salaams to Everlast if he’s reading). You can have fun with the usual Youtube high standard religious arguments in the comments too. I once met some guy with this argument that internet debate on religion paralleled medieval European discourse; people knew then and know now one or two vaguely correct things about Muslims, and then just fill in the gaps with weird rumors they heard from some illiterate wandering preacher, fishmonger, or WorldNetDaily (#1 October 1990)
You have to trust me on this one, but in the parallel universe where I come from, this song was done by Southern Culture on the Skids. The 90s were a little bit different as a result, but maybe not as different as you might think. We basically ended in the same place come 1999 but we took the high road, so to speak (#1 Jan & Feb 1990)
This is just a ridiculous situation. I say ‘King for a Day…’ was their best album, but in any case it’s hard to believe the energetic manchildren here turned into a really decent hard rock band. Serves them right that they’re best remembered for a Lionel Richie cover. It’s like if Suicidal Tendencies were remembered for that cover of Hello they never did. Wait that would be AWESOME! (#1 October 1990)
Another Prince song, this is before she was “going on tv and tearing up pictures of the Pope” and claiming to be psychic. The former got referenced in Todd Snider’s anthemic Alright Guy, the latter I just read in a magazine at the hairdressers or some place. Todd tells a great story about Garth Brooks and Alright Guy on the “Tales From Moondog’s Tavern” bootlegs you need to google and download. This goes out to my friend Paul who doesn’t read the blog but guess what he told me, guess what he told me, he said he has a thing for bald women after growing up watching Tripitaka on Monkey Magic (#1 in Feb & March 1990)
Obviously the early 90s saw some interesting shit happening, like the collapse of the USSR. Scorpions’ hair metal ballad of reconciliation and youthful solidarity, Winds of Change, only made it to #7 in Australia. No, we celebrated the end of the Cold War with something far more significant. Skyhooks Jukebox In Siberia, name checking all the various Russian people we learned about in High School history class. As my personal spiritual adviser Chairman Boar explains, the great genius of Marshall Stalin is notoriously neglected in decadent and cosmopolitan learning centres of the west who do not even include the glorious tank battles won through Stalin’s genius on school curriculum. No wonder we allowed such frivolity to reach #1 in November 1990. This shames us all.
I was in Malmo back in the summer and I remember having lunch at this seafood restaurant in the main square there and they were playing this Best of Roxette album. I felt kind of embarrassed for them. I got the feeling that maybe they had some immigrants in the kitchen who were told that they should be into Roxette to integrate into Swedish society as a prank. I don’t know. It would be easier to assimilate into that than Nordic black metal I guess. More acid wash jeans, less troll blood. I saw an exhibition by Poul Gernes that same day. You may remember him from such pastel-hued adventures as that old theatre in Copenhagen (#1 July 1990)
Look, I know it’s a good song, but still it sounds like the Cocteau Twins doing the soundtrack to a Ferrero Rocher commercial (#1 in April 1991)
They deconstruct the contemporary pop song 2 minutes in. Eh. A proper job would be just to confess this is a disposable cultural form purchased by 11 year olds over an 8bit reggae beat (#1 October 1991)
Serial monogamy and bad hair. Friends avant la lettre. (#1 May 1992)
Because inside out is wiggity, wiggity, wiggity wack. (#1 June 1992)
Every AOR ballad would be that little bit better if it looked like it was straight out of a Disney movie. And, like John Prine said, “sweeter’n saccharine at a drugstore sale”. (#1 in July 1992)
I got a free Ratcat baseball cap when I bought their cassingle “Cuts and scratches”. God I wish I still had it. It’d be worth a fucking fortune, man (From the Tingles EP, #1 May 1991)
Who’s your favorite Second Division Bruce? Mellencamp or Richard Marx? I say Mellencamp, but imagine if Bruce hadn’t killed off Mary in the WTC attacks (see 3 of his best: Thunder Road, The River and Mary’s Place) and instead killed her in a weird David Lynch-esque mystery you would have this (#1 in July 1992)
See you same Berlusconi time, same Berlusconi channel for 1993-1995!