Top 10 Flashback – February 20, 1988 – The Billboard Hot 100


Originally written February 15, 2014.

OK, here we go again!  We will once again try doing a Saturday T10FB, by the request of one of our readers.  It’s been an on again, off again thing since its inception, and most of the time the thread drops off page 1 fast, and most of the comments are about how bad the music is.  Pop music lost the plot after the mid 80’s, but there are always a few flowers among the weeds, and we’re here to pick them out.

Some of us old fucks find it hard to believe that 1988 was 26 years ago, but it was.  The world is a lot different from what it was then, but certain aspects don’t really feel like it.  I’d say the Internet was the catalyst for most of the profound changes of the last quarter century, and it was a few years from being brought to the masses in 1988.  You could dial up a BBS, but that was pretty much it, and most of them were strictly for geeks.

Let’s go to the official source, the Billboard Hot 100, and see what we geeks were grooving to 26 years ago this week.  Not a whole lot to pick from here, but I’ll try not to hate everything.

So don’t worry, be happy!  Survey dated February 20, 1988.


Roger – I Want To Be Your Man

Shouldn’t that be Zapp & Roger?  Before there was Autotune, there was Sonovox and the talkbox, and Roger’s brother Zapp (Terry) used it on everything he did, including his funk classic “More Bounce To The Ounce.”  An inoffensive enough song, but this will be the only time in my life I actually seek it out.  Roger Troutman was tragically murdered in 1999.

Paul Carrack – Don’t Shed A Tear

I remember this one pretty well, and put it solidly in the “like” column.  Paul Carrack sure got around – he was the lead singer for Ace (“How Long”), Squeeze (“Tempted”), and Mike + The Mechanics (“The Living Years”).

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up

The original rickroll.

Patrick Swayze – She’s Like The Wind

One of the things that’s always bothered me about “Dirty Dancing,” other than the fact that it exists, is that the movie was set in 1963, yet much of the music was contemporary late 80’s stuff.  Swayze was definitely more of an actor than a singer, but he sounds OK here.  My guess is the song was written to fit his range.

Foreigner – Say You Will

Jesus Christ, Lou Gramm’s voice is like fingernails on a fucking chalkboard.  Sometimes it works (“Cold As Ice”), other times it, well, sounds like this.  I’ll take this over “Jukebox Hero,” though – I can’t STAND that song.

Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes

My complaint about the anachronistic music in “Dirty Dancing” applies here, too.  Eric Carmen was best back in the days of the Raspberries – “Go All The Way” was a great song by any measure.  This is one of the few songs of the era that’s made it to classic hits radio today.

George Michael – Father Figure

George Michael sure had a lot of songs with titles beginning with F.  I actually own this CD, but haven’t listened in a long time, and although the song’s good, I usually skipped it.  Too long for what it is.

Tiffany – Could’ve Been

All right, you pervs, she was only 16 here.  This is preferable to her execrable cover of “I Think We’re Alone Now.”  Not sure what that says about it.

Pet Shop Boys – What Have I Done To Deserve this?

I liked this song for a while.  Hey, it’s what we had.  Dusty Springfield guest stars.

And the number one song according to Bliiboard magazine this week in 1988 was:

Well, at least they were hot.

So there we are.  I’ve now redeemed myself in the eyes of one of our readers.  So how was 1988 for you?  Tell us in the space below, and we’ll see you next Friday with another Top 10 flashback!

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