1990 Top 100 Hot Pop Songs & Music Hits
1990 Top 100 Hot Pop Songs & Music Hits
*There is always some form of construction going on in the world, no matter what time it is, so technically it’s always hammer time!
1. Electric Boogie (aka The Electric Slide) – Marcia Griffiths
The Electric Boogie was originally written and recorded with Bob Marley in 1976
2. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
This Song put Vanilla Ice on the map, but more as novelty act. Eminem is quoted as saying when he first heard “Ice Ice Baby” he felt like he didn’t want to rap anymore because he was so mad because Vanilla Ice was making it “so hard for me”!
3. U Can’t Touch This – MC Hammer
Lyrics from this song “You can’t touch this” and “Stop, Hammer Time” became catchphrases in popular culture.
4. I Wanna Be Rich – Calloway
The first and only top ten hit for Calloway, however brothers Reginald and Vincent had previous success in the early 80’s as part of synth-funk band Midnight Starr.
5. Humpty Dance – Digital Underground
A very young Tupac Shakur can be spotted in the music video for “Humpty Dance”
6. Here and Now – Luthor Vandross
Luther Vandross sang backing vocals for artists such as Roberta Flack, Chaka Khan, Ben E. King, Bette Midler, Diana Ross, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand,Donna Summer and for the bands Chic and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia before branching out for his own solo career.
7. Vogue – Madonna
The music video for “Vogue” was directed by David Fincher and was shot in black-and-white. It takes it’s stylistic inspiration from the 1920s and ’30s and has received much critical acclaim.
8. Pump Up The Jam – Technotronic
Pump Up The Jam was originally an instrumental called “Technotronic”, which would later become the groups name. “Technotronic” instrumental was released by Jo Bogaert under the name The Pro 24’s.
9. Blaze Of Glory – Jon Bon Jovi
Blaze of Glory was allegedly recorded by Jon Bon Jovi because Emilio Estevez requested Bon Jovi’s song “Wanted Dead or Alive” for the soundtrack to Young Guns II, but Bon Jovi did not think the lyrics, about the band constantly touring, fit the theme of the Western movie. However, the request inspired him to write “Blaze of Glory” with lyrics more topical to the film.
10. Step By Step – New Kids On The Block
The lead vocals were sung by Jordan Knight. Danny Wood sang “Step 1”, Donnie Wahlberg sang “Step 2”, Jordan Knight sang “Step 3”, Joey McIntyre sang “Step 4”, and Jonathan Knight sang “Step 5.” Donny’s brother Mark Wahlberg appears in the music video.
11. Everybody Everybody – Black Box
Like many songs, it features an uncredited Martha Wash on lead vocals. In a 1990 settlement with RCA Records, Wash was guaranteed proper credit in recordings.As was customary in their music videos, live performances and album cover art, Katrin Quinol, a French model, was featured lip-syncing the lyrics sung by Wash.
12. Here We Are – Gloria Estefan
During touring for her debut solo album “Cuts Both Ways” Gloria Estefan was critically injured in a tour bus crash that occurred near Scranton, PA. She was permanently implanted two titanium rods to stabilize her vertebral column. Her rehabilitation required almost a year of intensive physical therapy and one of her comments of this period is “there were times when the pain was so bad I prayed I’d pass out”, but she achieved a complete recovery.
13. She Ain’t Worth It – Glenn Medeirous
This features a rap verse from singer Bobby Brown and was Medeirous’s only number one hit.
14. Groove Is In The Heart – Dee Lite
Groove features bass guitar and guest vocals from Parliament Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins and the rap verse is performed by Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest.
15. That’s What I Like – Jive Bunny (50s medley)
“Hawaii Five-O” by The Ventures from the TV series Hawaii Five-O as the recurring melodic hook in the record. Other songs that make up the mix include “The Twist” by Chubby Checker, “Wipeout” from Surfaris, “Good Golly Miss Molly” by Little Richard and “Chantilly Lace” by the Big Bopper to name a few.
16. Tom’s Diner – Suzanne Vega/D.N.A.
Tom’s Diner in the song is a reference to Tom’s Restaurant in New York City on the corner of Broadway and 112th St. The same diner is used for the exterior shots in the famous sitcom “Seinfeld”. It is also the song that was used to determine the upper and lower sound limits of the earliest mp3’s.
17. From A Distance – Bette Midler
Bette Midler was named after actress Bette Davis. Davis pronounced her first name in two syllables, and Midler uses one.
18. This Old Heart Of Mine – Rod Stewart and Ronald Isley
Rod Stewart has held a number of odd jobs over the years including a newspaper boy, fence erector, cemetery labor and work in a funeral parlor.
19. Just A Friend – Biz Markie
Biz Markie earned the nickname of “The Clown Prince Of Hip-Hop” and “Just A Friend” earned it’s place on the list as one of the greatest hip-hop songs of all time.
20. Cherry Pie – Warrant
The song was written down on a pizza box which is now on display in the Hard Rock Cafe in Destin, Florida, part of the Destin Commons. The guitar solo was played by C.C. DeVille as a favor to frontman Jani Lane, who was a long-time friend.
21. Love Will Lead You Back – Taylor Dayne
It was written by Diane Warren, who initially had Whitney Houston in mind, however the track was offered to Dayne and it became her only number one hit.
22. All My Life – Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville
Born in Arizona in 1946, Linda Ronstadt and her family were featured in an issue of Family Circle Magazine in 1953. Her father Lloyd invented an early form of the toaster, many refrigerator devices, the grease gun, the first electric stove, and an early form of the microwave oven. His flexible rubber ice cube tray earned him millions of dollars in royalties.
23. Cradle Of Love – Billy Idol
The song title is based off of the saying “robbing the cradle”. The very sexy music video was directed by David Fincher and received heavy rotation on MTV.
24. Black Velvet – Alannah Myles
A tribute to Elvis Presley. Alannah Myles boyfriend, songwriter Christopher Ward was inspired to write the tune after witnessing a bus full of Elvis fans riding to Memphis to attend the 10th anniversary candlelight vigil at Graceland in 1987.
25. Janie’s Got A Gun – Aerosmith
Originally titled “Danny’s Got a Gun” after a close friend of Steven Tyler. It is one of Aerosmith’s songs that heavily deals with a social issue. The line “He jacked a little bitty baby” was originally “He raped a little bitty baby,” but was changed for commercial purposes. Tyler often sings the original line when performing live.
26. Hippychick – Soho
The song features a sample from The Smiths’ recording “How Soon Is Now?” sequenced over a Soul II Soul rhythm.
27. Get Up! (Before The Night Is Over) – Technotronic
You can dance your heart out to this song in the Dance Dance Revolution Ultra Mix 4 and Mix 3 editions.
28. Hold On – En Vogue
The inspiration for the creation of En Vogue came when production duo of Foster and Mc Elroy envisioned a modern-day girl group in the tradition of the 1950s/1960s female trios.
29. Joey – Concrete Blonde
The subject matter of “Joey” was particularity hard for vocalist Johnette Napolitano to endure and the song was written in a cab on the way to the studio. The song is said to be about Napolitano’s relationship with Wall Of Voodoo’s Marc Moreland who sadly passed away due to liver failure.
30. It Must Have Been Love – Roxette
“It Must Have Been Love (Christmas for the Broken Hearted)” was the songs original title. It would later be featured on the soundtrack to the film “Pretty Woman”.
31. The Way You Do The Things You Do – UB40
The name “UB40” was selected in reference to the signing-on document issued to people claiming unemployment benefit from the UK government’s Department of Employment at the time of the band’s formation. The designation UB40 stood for Unemployment Benefit, Form 40.
32. Close To You – Maxi Priest
At one point Maxi Priest almost became the new lead vocalist for UB40, however he only ended recording a few tracks with the group.
33. Wiggle It – 2 In A Room
The song is, of course, about dancing and partying, but at the same time also contains a serious message encouraging people not to drink and drive, urging everyone to dance it off for a while and those who will be driving to stay sober (even if they are tempted to drink).
34. (Can’t Live Without) Your Love and Affection – Nelson
Song is based off of a crush that the band Nelson had for model Cindy Crawford.
35. Vision Of Love – Mariah Carey
Mariah Carey’s debut single, “Vision Of Love” is credited with popularizing the use of melisma (the singing of a single syllable of text while moving between several different notes in succession) in modern popular music and for inspiring several artists to pursue a career in music.
36. The Power – Snap!
The song opens with the somewhat enigmatic line in Russian: “???????????? ????? Transceptor Technology ?????????? ? ???????????? ??????????? «???????????? ???????»” (meaning “The American company Transceptor Technology has started production of the ‘Personal Companion’ computer”).
37. I Don’t Have The Heart – James Ingram
Ingram also recorded the song “Somewhere Out There” with fellow recording artist Linda Ronstadt for the animated film An American Tail.
38. All Around The World – Lisa Stansfield
In 1983, Lisa Stansfield co-hosted the children’s television music program Razzamatazz and appeared on another children’s television series The Krankies Klub. Ironically, she is known to swear a lot.
39. Heart Of The Matter – Don Henley
This has often been speculated to have been influenced by the 1948 Graham Greene novel “Heart Of The Matter”.
40. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Prior to its release, advertisements were placed in the personal columns of regional newspapers in the UK with the words “Your own personal Jesus.” Later, the ads included a phone number one could dial to hear the song.
41. Enjoy The Silence – Depeche Mode
The Anton Corbijn-directed music video for “Enjoy the Silence” references the themes and story line of the philosophical children’s book The Little Prince.
42. Up All Night – Slaughter
On February 5, 1998, tragedy struck when original Slaughter guitarist Tim Kelly was killed in an auto accident in the Arizona desert.
43. Poison – Bel Biv Devoe
Poison is all about the “dangers” of falling in love. Has been featured in films such as Honey 2, Pineapple Express, and Pitch Perfect 2.
44. Something Happened On The Way To Heaven – Phil Collins
The only time the title of the song is used is the second line of the third verse. The song is often identified by the recurring hook of “How many times can I say ‘I’m sorry’?”.
45. Downtown Train – Rod Stewart
Originally released by Tom Waits on his album “Rain Dogs” in 1985. Stewart’s cover version features slide guitar by Jeff Beck.
46. Freedom – George Michael
Freedom referred to George’s past success with Wham! but also shows a new side of himself as a new man, who is more cynical about the music business than he had been before. Michael refused to appear in the video and let a group of supermodels appear instead.
47. Suicide Blonde – INXS
The song was named after a woman who had bleached her own hair because she had “dyed” by her own hand and who was “love devastation”. It is rumored that vocalist Michael Hutchence’s then-girlfriend, Kylie Minogue, gave him the inspiration for the title while working on her 1989 film The Delinquents.
48. Unskinny Bop – Poison
The meaning of “Unskinny Bop” has always been shrouded in obscurity. C.C. DeVille later confessed that the phrase “unskinny bop” has no particular meaning. He invented it as a temporary measure while writing the song, before vocalist Bret Michaels had begun working on the lyrics.
49. Pictures of You – Cure
The inspiration of the song came when a fire broke loose in Robert Smith’s home. After that day, Smith was going through the remains and came across his wallet which had pictures of his wife, Mary. The cover of the single is one of the pictures.
50. Do Me! – Bel Biv DeVoe
Do Me! makes reference to Swatch watches, a popular accessory of the 1980’s, group was having a little fun with subtle product placement.
51. Dirty Deeds – Joan Jett
The song was originally written by rockers AC/DC and invites people experiencing problems to either call them on 36-24-36, an actual phone number in Australia at the time!
52. King Of Wishful Thinking – Go West
This appeared on the soundtrack to the hit film “Pretty Woman” and quickly became one of the most played songs in America.
53. Escapade – Janet Jackson
Jackson came up with the songs name after hearing the word “Escapade” in a conversation and felt it would be a great song title because it is not a commonly used word, as it is a bit old-fashioned.
54. Cuts Both Ways – Gloria Estefan
Gloria Estefan is fluent in English, Spanish and French. She once worked in customs at Miami International airport and was approached by the CIA for a possible job because of her language skills.
55. Rhythm Nation – Janet Jackson
Jackson developed the song’s concept in response to various tragedies in the media, deciding to pursue a socially conscious theme by using a political standpoint within upbeat dance music. It is sometimes considered the “national anthem” of the nineties as it strongly focuses on racial unity.
56. Oyo Mi Canto (Hear My Voice) – Gloria Estefan
A jukebox musical, On Your Feet!, about the life of Gloria and Emilio Estefan premiered on Broadway November 5, 2015.
57. Two To Make It Right – Seduction
Two to Make It Right” contains a sample of the song “Kiss” as performed by The Art of Noise featuring Tom Jones and a sample of “It Takes Two” by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock.
58. Got To Get – Leila K with Rob ‘n’ Raz
Leila K was discovered by the musical duo Rob’n’Raz when singing in a music contest.
59. L.A. Woman – Billy Idol
Idol’s video for his cover of the classic hit by The Doors was directed by David Fincher.
60. Bad Love – Eric Clapton
Co-written with Foreigner’s Mick Jones, and singer Phil Collins plays drums and sings harmony alongside Clapton.
61. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty
Song features multiple references to Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley and follows the narrators journey addressing nostalgia on his quest for success.
62. Think – Information Society
The cassette single for “Think” was once offered through a cereal box promotion.
63. Dangerous – Roxette
Marie Fredriksson vocalist for Roxette was diagnosed with a dangerous brain tumor in 2002. She is now in remission and continuing to make music.
64. You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) – Jimmy Somerville
Somerville is best known for his high falsetto singing voice and sang vocals for both Bronski Beat and The Communards in the 1980’s
65. Black Cat – Janet Jackson
“Black Cat” was created when Jackson decided she needed a rock song to complete her album “Rhythm Nation”. It features elements of hard rock, punk and heavy metal.
66. Rub You The Right Way – Johnny Gill
Was the first single released by Johnny Gill after the break-up of the R&B group New Edition.
67. All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You – Heart
Heart vocalist Ann Wilson has never shied away for the band’s dislike for this song saying it stood for everything they wanted to get away from and called it’s message “hideous”. Heart still refuses to play it live.
68. Miracle – Jon Bon Jovi
The music video for “Miracle” features Jeff Beck as well as Friends actor Matt LeBlanc.
69. Jerk-Out – The Time
Prince originally performed all instruments and vocals, however, this recording remains unreleased.
70. Opposites Attract – Paula Abdul & The Wild Pair
In the music video Abdul dances with an animated cat named MC Skat Kat who was animated by members of the Disney animation team who were working outside the studio between major projects. Also shown in the video are Micetro, Taboo, and Fatz, yet their names weren’t revealed, until the release of The Adventures of MC Skat Kat and the Stray Mob.
71. How Am I Supposed To Live Without You – Michael Bolton
The song was then supposed to be recorded by duo Air Supply, however when it was requested that Michael Bolton change the lyrics and he refused.
72. Swing The Mood – Jive Bunny (1940s medley)
“Swing the Mood” was a cut and paste record which fused a number of early rock and roll records with liberal use of Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood.” Copyright issues forced it to be re-recorded and rereleased
73. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
Was originally written and composed by Prince for his side project The Family.
74. Epic – Faith No More
The band joked that the fish seen flopping around in the music video belonged to Icelandic singer Björk, who at the time was the singer for the band The Sugarcubes, and they claimed to have stolen it from her at a party.
75. More Than Words Can Say – Alias
Song was awarded the “Million-air Award” by Broadcast Music Inc. for receiving over 1 million air plays, although it peaked at #2 on the Billboard Pop Charts.
76. Can’t Stop – After 7
The Edmonds brothers are the siblings of popular pop and R&B singer-songwriter-producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds”.
77. Hungry – Lita Ford
Lita had a small role in the 1992 horror/comedy film Highway to Hell playing a character called “The Hitchhiker”. She was also asked by VH-1 to join the cast of the seventh season of the reality television program The Surreal Life in 2007. She declined.
78. Hold On – Wilson Phillips
The group is known for being the offspring of prominent musicians; the Wilsons are the daughters of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys and Marilyn Rovell of The Honeys, while Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas.
79. Alright – Janet Jackson
Janet always performs this song on the road wearing a zoot suit.
80. I’ll Be Your Shelter – Taylor Dayne
Song was originally recorded for Tina Turner, who passed, and it was then turned over to Taylor. It was a solid departure from her dance roots with a more pop/rock feel.
81. 911 Is A Joke – Public Enemy
‘Joke’ is solely performed by Public Enemy’s Flavor Flav. The song is about the lack of response to emergency calls in a black neighborhood, but specifically references the poor response by paramedic crews and not the police, which is a common misconception regarding the track.
82. Something To Believe In – Poison
This song was dedicated to James Kimo Maano, a security guard and best friend of Bret Michaels who had passed away. Bret’s tattoo of the song’s title was accidentally misspelled by the tattoo artist and was eventually corrected on an episode of Bret’s reality series “Rock Of Love”
83. Ready Or Not – After 7
Keith Mitchell of After 7 was thought to be the cousin of Babyface’s partner L.A. Reid, however that was only a marketing tool for the group and was later proven false.
84. I’m Your Baby Tonight – Whitney Houston
Single from the first album released by Whitney Houston where she chose her own producers and the result was a harder edged sound that some referred to as “superficial”
85. Tonight – New Kids On The Block
Song is “autobiographical” and “discusses the relationship that binds the members of the group to their fans, since the beginning”, with many references to their first hits in the first couplet.
86. The Other Side – Aerosmith
The songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland were eventually given songwriting credit on this song after threatening to file suit over what they perceived to be similarities between “The Other Side” and their song “Standing in the Shadows of Love”.
87. Roam – B-52s
The song was performed by the cast of the 2002 stage version of Earth Girls Are Easy.
88. I’m Free – The Soup Dragons
Cover of a Rolling Stone’s song. The Soup Dragons got their name from a character in the 1970’s children’s television show Clangers.
89. Deadbeat Club – B-52s
Normaltown in the song is actually a reference to the band’s hometown of Athens, Georgia.
90. Oh Girl – Paul Young
Paul Young was originally the lead singer for the short-lived band Kat Kool and The Kool Kats
91. Lambada – Kaoma
Song has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the world’s most-famous singles of all time.
92. Don’t Go Away Mad (Just Go Away) – Motley Crue
According to Nikki Sixx the song title references the 1986 film “Heartbreak Ridge”, as it was a line in the film that he felt made for a great song.
93. Giving You The Benefit – Pebbles
Pebbles aka.Perri Reid went on to create the famous R&B girl group TLC.
94. Doin’ The Do – Betty Boo
Boo’s Do was sampled for the opening credits of the Bitmap Brothers game, Magic Pockets
95. No More Lies -Michel’le
Single from Michel’le’s debut album which was produced by N.W.A. members Dr. Dre, DJ Yella and Eazy-E
96. Heart of Stone – Cher
Song was originally written by the band Bucks Fizz.
97. Oops Up – Snap!
In the song, the narrator talks about Murphy’s Law, and everything that went wrong during his day.
98. Romeo – Dino
During this initial up-swing of his career, Dino performed at theme parks, sharing the bill with such artists as Sweet Sensation and Linear. Dino later opened for New Kids On The Block.
99. How Can We Be Lovers – Michael Bolton
Michael originally performed in the hard rock and heavy metal genres from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s
100. Knockin’ Boots – Candyman
Candyman’s only top 40 hit, classifying him as a one-hit wonder. Song samples “Ooh Boy” by Rose Royce and “Tonight Is The Night by Betty Wright.