I’m back to posting the playlists on the blog, mainly for track listing purposes. I realize that some of you don’t have Spotify, so this at least gives you a chance to construct your own playlists.

So, we’re up to 1991-the year Nirvana’s Nevermind knocked Michael Jackson’s Dangerous off the top of the charts-signaling a rebuke of superstar pop music and the rise of the “outsider”. Or so revisionist history goes, anyway. Yes, there were big changes in music during ’91; the biggest being Billboard magazine’s use of a new technology called Soundscan, which tracked every single and album sold at a record store. This made for a much more reliable way of counting record sales than the previous method, which was a manual process on the record store’s behalf and thus was much more prone to bribery influence from record companies, managers, etc. This led to a fairly immediate change in the game; Soundscan was barely a few months into use when N.W.A.’s Niggaz4life found itself as the #1 album in the country. While huge blockbuster albums from mainstream artists continued to top the charts through the year (and the decade), the alternative rock and rap underground rose up to share space with the Michael Boltons and Mariah Careys of the world. R.E.M. was the biggest band of the year, Lenny Kravitz broke through to the mainstream, and hair metal began to die a fairly undignified death, as did the late ’80s iteration of teen pop-releases by Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and New Kids on the Block all flopped in late ’90/early ’91.

As for me, I was still very much in top 40 mode, with a heaping helping of underground hip-hop. This might be the only playlist on Spotify that contains Michael Bolton (featuring Kenny G!) and The Geto Boys. Those of you looking for songs from Dangerous, Nevermind, Achtung BabyThe Low End Theory and the sea of classic albums that came out towards the end of the year? You’ll find them all in 1992.

Personally, I was in between my sophomore and junior years in high school. “I Wanna Sex You Up” was being played on a boombox or was blasted from a jeep every 3 minutes during the spring and summer.  I got my first job courtesy of New York City’s summer youth employment program, working as a counselor at a day camp in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (which was much, much, much, MUCH different then than it is now). I was finally able to buy tapes from an actual record store instead of buying $4 and $5 (3 for $10) bootlegs on Fulton Street. I was also able to fulfill a childhood dream of stealing from purchasing music via Columbia House. Songs from most of the albums I bought during that initial phase are on this list. I’m pretty sure the initial group included Mama Said Knock You Out, Out Of Time*, Time, Love & Tenderness, INXS’s X, and a handful of others.

*-“Losing My Religion” was a last second cut.

Listen to the playlist below. The track listing is as follows:

Cry For Help-Rick Astley
Missing You Now-Michael Bolton feat. Kenny G.
A Better Love-Londonbeat
Poor Georgie-MC Lyte
Love Rears Its Ugly Head (SoulPower Mix)-Living Colour…the only time I ever heard this band on Black radio.
Justify My Love-Madonna
Set Adrift On Memory Bliss-P.M. Dawn
I Wanna Sex You Up-Color Me Badd
Word To The Mutha!-Bell Biv DeVoe (feat. Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill & Ralph Tresvant)
Around The Way Girl-LL Cool J
Just To Get A Rep-Gang Starr
Looking At The Front Door-Main Source
Let The Beat Hit ’em-Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam
Hip-Hop Junkies- Nice & Smooth
Touch Me (All Night Long)- Cathy Dennis
I’m Dreamin’-Christopher Williams
I Like The Way (The Kissing Game)- Hi Five
Let’s Chill-Guy
Whatever You Want- Tony! Toni! Tone!
I Saw Red-Warrant
Can’t Let Go-Mariah Carey
How Can I Ease The Pain-Lisa Fischer
Kissing You-Keith Washington
What The Fuck Are We Saying?-Lenny Kravitz
Peaceful Journey-Heavy D & The Boyz
Silent Lucidity-Queensryche
Don’t Cry-Guns ‘n Roses
Summertime-DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
This House-Tracie Spencer
Nights Like This-After 7
Bring Tha Noize-Public Enemy feat. Anthrax
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright-Naughty by Nature
Enter Sandman-Metallica
Fly To The Angels-Slaughter
She Talks To Angels-The Black Crowes
More Than Words-Extreme
It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye To Yesterday-Boyz II Men
Mind Playing Tricks On Me-Geto Boys

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