The 90's Billboard #1s Rate: 1990-1994 - AND WE ARE DONE



What's happening, ladies and gentlementlemen, it's ya boy Ironheade. The forum's Token Metalhead. Honorary Oldie. #StraightLadOfPopJustice. Discount @Laura Vanderbooben . And several other appellations that nobody actually ever calls me. ANYWAY. Last year, I ran a rate for every single Billboard Hot 1000 number one single of the 2000's, in two parts (go check it out HERE and HERE). And oh, man, weren't those some good times? Between the usual meltdowns over unjustly early eliminations ("Slow Jamz" woz robbed!), the odd bit of drama between members, the many tales of good and bad times soundtracked by these songs... and your host eventually having a mental breakdown right at the end and handing it over to @ohnostalgia for completion. (Once again, thank you kindly! I will now repay your generosity by continually shit-talking Canada. Don't worry, you'll see that it's justified when you read the list...) And now, upon my glorious return to the franchise in which I made my name, we're taking it back another decade: to the 90's. A decade, I am sure you will agree, that produced many iconic things (such as myself, for a start); of particular interest to us, that includes a buttload of awesome music. And we're going to look at what the citizens of 'MURICA decided was the awesomest over those ten years... but with a twist. This time, we're not just looking at songs that went to #1 on the overall Hot 100. I'll also be including songs that topped the Hot 100 Airplay chart, but not the overall chart. For you see, due to Billboard's chart rules at the time, singles that didn't have a physical release, which were dying out due to the dawn of the CD era, could not chart on the Hot 100 until 1998. The result was that, frequently, what topped the Hot 100 didn't reflect what was actually the most popular song in the States, and a lot of juggernauts missed out. So I figured: why not take a chance to right those grievous PopInjustices and shake things up a li'l bit?

But that's more of a trend that started in the middle of the decade, and we won't see quite as many airplay-only #1s in this first half: 1990-1994. And this, I think, is one of the more interesting times in the history of the Billboard charts, documenting a time of massive shifts in public taste. The first couple of years are basically still the 80's, with all the trends that you would think of for that time, but after that, it's all change. The new jack swing movement set out a new path for R&B, which would be supplanted within a couple of years by the hip-hop soul that informed the rest of the decade. Alternative rock had a massive breakthrough, after spending a few years just below the surface, and completely changed how popular rock would sound, while its lighter cousin, adult alternative, displaced straightforward adult contemporary. And the face of mainstream hip-hop got a lot more rugged, as hardcore gangsta rap completely took over, and not just in the underground either. The pop scenes of 1990 and 1994 are extremely different creatures, and I'm glad to get the chance to document this. Now, this is a time that I was barely around for; I was born in late 1994, and thus unfortunately cannot supply the personal reminiscences that make these rates so delightful. But I'm sure you guys will step into the breach, right?

Well, what are you waiting for? The beloved classics, the well-remembered jams of the day, the unfairly forgotten gems, the justly forgotten shitpiles, the infamous shitpiles, the fun but embarrassing period kitsch... all of it stands before you now. You have 95 songs to listen to, so get cracking!

-Listen to all of these songs, and give them each a score between 0 and 10. Half and quarter points are allowed, but no other decimals, and you can't have decimals over 10.
-You each have access to a single 11 to bestow upon your absolute fave. Use it wisely!
-PM your scores in to myself, with the songs in the order listed in the post below, by MIDNIGHT ON DECEMBER 16TH. Extensions may be considered in case of a low turnout.
-Commentary is greatly encouraged. Try to beat my wordcount from the Sugababes rate!
-Yes, I will be asking for guest hosts at some point, though probably no more than ten. So if you want a chance to tear apart a song or three, PM me and we'll make it work.
-Try not to rip out your eardrums at some of these...
Note: An asterisk before a song's name indicates that it was #1 on airplay, but not the Hot 100.
PS. You can rate any version of the song that you can listen to on Youtube/Spotify/wherever, not just the ones linked here.

Note: "Good Vibrations", "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" and "I'd Die Without You" are not on Spotify. Some of these are also album versions rather than single edits, so pick your favourite version and go for it!

Another Day in Paradise – Phil Collins
How Am I Supposed to Live Without You – Michael Bolton
Opposites Attract – Paula Abdul and the Wild Pair
Escapade – Janet Jackson
Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
Love Will Lead You Back – Taylor Dayne
*Don't Wanna Fall in Love – Jane Child
I'll Be Your Everything – Tommy Page
Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O'Connor
Vogue – Madonna
Hold On – Wilson Phillips
It Must Have Been Love – Roxette
Step by Step – New Kids on the Block
She Ain't Worth It – Glenn Medeiros feat. Bobby Brown
Vision of Love – Mariah Carey
*Come Back to Me – Janet Jackson
If Wishes Came True – Sweet Sensation
Blaze of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi
Release Me – Wilson Phillips
(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection – Nelson
*Something Happened on the Way to Heaven – Phil Collins
Close to You – Maxi Priest
Praying for Time – George Michael
I Don't Have the Heart – James Ingram
Black Cat – Janet Jackson
Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
Love Takes Time – Mariah Carey
I'm Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston
Because I Love You (The Postman Song) – Stevie B

Justify My Love – Madonna
Love Will Never Do (Without You) – Janet Jackson
The First Time – Surface
Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) – C+C Music Factory feat. Freedom Williams
All the Man That I Need – Whitney Houston
Someday – Mariah Carey
One More Try – Timmy T
Coming Out of the Dark – Gloria Estefan
I've Been Thinking About You – Londonbeat
You're in Love – Wilson Phillips
Baby Baby – Amy Grant
Joyride – Roxette
I Like the Way (The Kissing Game) – Hi-Five
I Don't Wanna Cry – Mariah Carey
More Than Words – Extreme
Rush Rush – Paula Abdul
Unbelievable – EMF
Everything I Do (I Do It For You) – Bryan Adams
The Promise of a New Day – Paula Abdul
I Adore Mi Amor – Color Me Badd
Good Vibrations – Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch feat. Loleatta Holloway
Emotions – Mariah Carey
Romantic – Karyn White
Cream – Prince and the New Power Generation
When a Man Loves a Woman – Michael Bolton
Set Adrift on Memory Bliss – PM Dawn
Black or White – Michael Jackson

All 4 Love – Color Me Badd
Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me – Elton John and George Michael
*I Love Your Smile - Shanice
I'm Too Sexy – Right Said Fred
To Be With You – Mr. Big
*Remember the Time – Michael Jackson
Save the Best for Last – Vanessa Williams
Jump – Kris Kross
*My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It) – En Vogue
I'll Be There – Mariah Carey
Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-a-Lot
This Used to Be My Playground – Madonna
*Baby-Baby-Baby - TLC
End of the Road – Boyz II Men
How Do You Talk to an Angel – The Heights
*I'd Die Without You – PM Dawn
I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston

A Whole New World – Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle
Informer – Snow
*I Have Nothing – Whitney Houston
Freak Me – Silk
That's the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson
Weak – SWV
Can't Help Falling in Love – UB40
Dreamlover – Mariah Carey
I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) – Meat Loaf
Again – Janet Jackson
Hero – Mariah Carey

All for Love – Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart and Sting
The Power of Love – Celine Dion
*Breathe Again – Toni Braxton
The Sign – Ace of Base
Bump n' Grind – R. Kelly
I Swear – All-4-One
*Don't Turn Around – Ace of Base
Stay (I Missed You) – Lisa Loeb and Nine Stories
I'll Make Love to You – Boyz II Men
On Bended Knee – Boyz II Men
Here Comes the Hotstepper – Ini Kamoze
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95. I'll Be Your Everything - 2.790
94. When a Man Loves a Woman - 3.034
93. Because I Love You (The Postman Song) - 3.909
92. I Adore Mi Amor - 3.960
91. How Am I Supposed to Live Without You - 3.989

90. The First Time - 4.006
89. One More Try - 4.011
88. Bump n' Grind - 4.142
87. All for Love - 4.290
86. (Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection - 4.330
85. I Don't Have the Heart - 4.426
84. Blaze of Glory - 4.625
83. How Do You Talk to an Angel - 4.659
82. I Like the Way (The Kissing Game) - 4.847
81. Informer - 4.960

80. Freak Me - 5.136
79. All 4 Love - 5.148
78. To Be With You - 5.205
77. Ice Ice Baby - 5.290
76. Coming Out of the Dark - 5.347
75. On Bended Knee - 5.352
74. If Wishes Came True - 5.420
73. Baby Got Back - 5.438
72. Can't Help Falling in Love - 5.483
71. Jump - 5.563

70. I'm Too Sexy - 5.631
69. She Ain't Worth It - 5.716
68. Weak - 5.875
67. More Than Words - 5.886
66. Everything I Do (I Do It For You) - 5.892
65. Step by Step - 5.926
64. I'd Die Without You - 6.023
63. Love Will Lead You Back - 6.028
62. Good Vibrations - 6.068
61. You're in Love - 6.142

60. Close to You - 6.278
59. Another Day in Paradise - 6.341
58. I Swear - 6.392
57. Something Happened on the Way to Heaven - 6.415
56. Release Me - 6.420
55. Don't Wanna Fall in Love - 6.426
54. Here Comes the Hotstepper - 6.483
53. Set Adrift on Memory Bliss - 6.614
52. I'll Make Love to You - 6.670
51. End of the Road - 6.722

50. The Promise of a New Day - 6.733
49. I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That) - 6.841
48. Unbelievable - 6.847
47. Baby Baby - 6.909
46. Love Takes Time - 6.915
45. A Whole New World - 6.920
44. Rush Rush - 6.955
43. Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me - 6.966
42. I Don't Wanna Cry - 6.977
41. This Used to Be My Playground - 7.034

40. I've Been Thinking About You - 7.085
39. Joyride - 7.102
38. Come Back to Me - 7.131
37. Romantic - 7.136
36. Baby-Baby-Baby - 7.182
35. Praying for Time - 7.199
34. The Power of Love - 7.205
33. Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) - 7.233
32. Breathe Again - 7.358
31. All the Man That I Need - 7.409

30. Opposites Attract - 7.477
29. Again - 7.517
28. Don't Turn Around - 7.528
27. Cream - 7.540
26. Black Velvet - 7.614
25. Black Cat - 7.636
24. Remember the Time - 7.659
23. Stay (I Missed You) - 7.670
22. I'll Be There - 7.693
21. Justify My Love - 7.705

20. Someday - 7.716
19. Hero - 7.722
18. I Love Your Smile - 7.733
17. Vision of Love - 7.972
16. Save the Best for Last - 8.017
15. I Have Nothing - 8.051
14. Love Will Never Do (Without You) - 8.256
13. Hold On - 8.267
12. I'm Your Baby Tonight - 8.330
11. It Must Have Been Love - 8.335

10. Emotions - 8.460
9. Black or White - 8.466
8. Nothing Compares 2 U - 8.545
7. That's the Way Love Goes - 8.551
6. The Sign - 8.557
5. Escapade - 8.563
4. Dreamlover - 8.580
3. I Will Always Love You - 8.608

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I think it'll be super entertaining.

And honestly, there are a number of true gems on the list--Cream, Remember the Time, all of the Janet and Madonna songs. Choosing an 11 could actually be a struggle!