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


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Poor Karyn. I predicted she wouldn’t last much longer but it’s still sad to see her go.

This is the only song by her I knew before his rate - and I only know that because Heather Headley covered it. It is a ballad, so I wasn’t expecting Romantic to pop off like it does.

I don't think I've ever managed Purple Rain all the way through. It was in serious need of an edit 8 minutes 41 seconds is WAY too long for a non Meatloaf track - which I finally found on a random "love" compilation on iTunes.
There's a single edit that's over four minutes. But it's a botched abomination compared to the majesty of the eight-minute version.

You will at least help "When Doves Cry" go to #1 on the Retrocharts, right?!

I prefer Romantic, though.

@CorgiCorgiCorgi, did you hand your 11 to a song you hadn’t heard before the rate? I don’t think I’ve ever done that before. Hats off to you.

I have only ever done that once too, when a song truly transported me elsewhere with its splendour- it was Cloudbusting by Kate Bush, a discovery in the Favourites Rate :)

Thanks again @Terminus!
I prefer Romantic, though.

Same here. Sooperwoman is okay, a bit "upwardly mobile young black couple song for the late 80s", but I have always preferred the uptempo tracks she did. Especially as a guest vocalist on Jeff Lorber's 1986 album "Private Passion", whose super-clinical-ultra-funky-jazz-pop will appeal to fans of Steps Ahead from the last round.
In today's installment of Getting My Early Predictions Completely Wrong, we have this.

It appears some of you were not ooooooohhh... on the TLC tip.

36. Baby-Baby-Baby - TLC

Average: 7.182
Highest score: 4 x 10 (@2014 , @iheartpoptarts , @Petty Mayonnaise , @japanbonustrack )
Lowest score: 2 x 3 (@DJHazey , @Rooneyboy )
Weeks at #1: 2 consecutive airplay (#2 on the Hot 100)
Year-End Hot 100: #5 (1992)

Well, by this time we've eliminated enough R&B number ones to get a good picture of the trends in the genre in the early 90's, some of the history, and so on. But it is only now that it's time for us to tackle some of the really big ones: the definitive R&B girl group of the 90's. Destiny's Child hew? En Vogue what? Nah, the group I mean is TLC, with an elimination that was a little earlier than I predicted it would be at the beginning of this contest. Now, I get it. Next to “Waterfalls” or “Creep”, “Baby-Baby-Baby” seems like modest fare. But on its own terms, which is how it really ought to be evaluated, I'd say it was pretty damn good.

If we compare “Baby-Baby-Baby” to most of the other female R&B songs in the rate from around this time, it's got a lot more hookiness and more bite, with less sap. Largely, this is down to T-Boz's low, simmering vocal that dominates most of the song, which plays perfectly off Chili's higher tones; the two compliment each other superbly, in a fine display of vocal control and subtle power, and an excellent display of the fiery, self-confident attitude and sass that few of their many followers could imitate (try as they might). And while, again, it's no standout on the production front, the song's got a good swaggering beat and some forceful piano chords that work well enough as a platform for the girls. It does perhaps sound a little cheap, especially in the drum production (which is particularly odd, given that it's early 90's super-producers L.A. Reid and Babyface behind the boards), and doesn't quite have the effortless sense of melody and sensuality that TLC would develop in the CrazySexyCool era, but it's fine, it's got enough punch and boppable quality to it to work. Also: no Left Eye rap. This makes me surly, considering that her unique nasal-toned verses were always one of the more interesting elements of TLC's sound, particularly early on. (And it'll have a few more chances to make me surly in the second half...) But really, neither of these things is a song-killer. Nevertheless, “Baby-Baby-Baby”, while it may be no masterpiece, is still a solid slice of early 90's R&B, and a very fine platform on which to build a future career as the queens of the genre.

iheartpoptarts (10) - One of the cutest TLC songs. I was so happy to see it end up here! (And not so happy to see it end up at #36, one imagines.)

berserkboi (9.75) - Fantastic discovery, awesome groove, love it all over. Not awarding a 10 as such as I would be slightly disappointed with it beating a few classics here.. (Too late!)

ohnoitsnathan (4) - Meh.

Rooneyboy (3) - They did a fair few decent songs, this isn’t one of them. (Gonna have to disagree with you there.)

Empty Shoebox (4) - Just seems like a pointless waste of tape. (Harsh...)

WowWowWowWow (6) - Hmm. Not among their best in my book sorry! (Spoilers: This is gonna be a recurring theme.)

Ray (5) -Wow, that is a REALLY boring TLC song. (See?)

Filippa (8) - This is a very cute song. I’m not so into the R&B genre but I enjoy a good song. And it is. (We can find enjoyment in the most unexpected places at times...)

mung_bean (9) - Genuinely had no idea they did anything before Waterfalls, what a pleasant surprise! This is so good. I love their message and how feisty/self-assured they are. (Poor first album whose title is a pain to type because I can never remember how many "o"s are in the first word.)

londonrain (6.5) - TLC are utter legends and this song is a great little R&B bop, even though I generally prefer the two subsequent albums to this era. (I think that first album gets forgotten about too much, there's some gems on there. See: "Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg".)


I'm still salty that condom glasses never caught on as a trend.​