Saturday, June 4, 2016

The Top 100 Songs of 1991*: #20-11

In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee announced the creation of the first web browser called the World Wide Web, and we would soon see the formation of a global Internet linking computers throughout the world.  Nations from the former Soviet Union one by one declared independence, and the name Saint Petersburg was restored to the city which was renamed Leningrad in 1924.  In sports, the New York Giants edged the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in the Super Bowl.

And these 10 great songs are among the year's best:



At #20, British newcomers EMF came up with one of the biggest international hits of the year.  It reached #1 in the U.S., #3 in the U.K. and Switzerland, #4 in Canada and Belgium, #5 in Ireland, #6 in the Netherlands, #8 in Australia and Norway and #9 in Germany and Sweden.

Wicked Game
Chris Isaak

In 1989, Chris Isaak recorded this song for his album Heart Shaped World.  After an instrumental version of the song was included in the movie Wild at Heart the following year, a radio station in Atlanta, Georgia began playing the vocal version and it became the station's most-requested song.  Word soon spread to other radio stations and the record company released the song as a single.  It went on to reach #3 in Sweden, #5 in the Netherlands, #6 in the United States, #7 in New Zealand, #9 in Germany and #10 in the U.K.  "Wicked Game" continues to get stronger as the former #6 song is now among the 20 best for 1991.

It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over
Lenny Kravitz

This artist produced "Justify My Love" for Madonna, but after various record labels told him his music was either "not black enough" or "not white enough", he hired Stephen Elvis Smith to be his manager.  Within a month, some of the top labels on the planet--Warner Brothers, Elektra, Geffen and Capitol--started a bidding war for him.  He finally signed with Virgin Records and the world could hear his magnificent blend of Rock & Roll with R&B.

Wind Of Change

As we have seen in the headlines, 1991 was a year of historical change, of previously unimaginable change.  We have already heard Jesus Jones sing about it in "Right Here, Right Now".  Another song which seemed to best capture the moment was this one at #17.

Losing My Religion

Although this group had gained a reputation for writing provocative lyrics and whose musical talent was unquestioned, R.E.M. scored their biggest hit in 1991 with one of only four Top 10 songs.  It peaked at #4 but has since outpaced many #1, #2 and #3 songs at the time.

Gonna' Make You Sweat
C + C Music Factory

What a year for this group.  They placed "Things That Make You Go Hmmm" at #58 and "Here We Go" at #65.  This one by C + C Music Factory is all the way up at #16.  It was a huge international smash, going to #1 in the United States, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland, #2 in New Zealand and Spain, #3 in the U.K., Australia and Belgium, #5 in Norway and Sweden, #6 in Canada and #8 in Finland.  And its ability to stand the test of time is evidenced by its inclusion in no less than 15 movies and 11 television series since 1991.

More Than Words

This song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.  It reached #1 in the U.S., Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand, #2 in the U.K., Australia and Ireland, #3 in Switzerland, #4 in Norway, #6 in Finland and #8 in Germany and France, sold over one million copies and helped sell over two million albums.  The song has slipped at bit since 1991.

Coming Out Of The Dark
Gloria Estefan

In 1989, this superstar suffered a near fatal accident in which she fractured a spine when an 18-wheeler rammed into her tour bus during a snowstorm.  This song describes the experience and the recovery of both she and her husband.

Every Heartbeat
Amy Grant

Here's yet another example of a song that didn't reach #1 which is stronger than many that did.  It was #2 on the Popular chart and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart for six weeks.  Billboard officially ranked it #28 for the year but our research shows that's off, having achieved huge success against some of the top competition of the year and contributing to five million in sales for the album Heart In Motion.

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday
Boyz II Men

At #11, we have a song which only peaked at #4 at the time, although it went #1 on the R&B chart.  It not only sold over one million copies but helped the album Cooleyhiharmony sell over nine million.

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