The lowdown from Jonathan King:
“The wonderful aspect of music is that it can appeal to a variety of tastes and makes anyone who creates good music into a winner”.
Best British Group: It’s a flashback to Now That’s What I Call Music 16 as Tears For Fears open the first disc with the panoramic Sowing The Seeds Of Love. By contrast the Eurythmics’ Revival is somewhat ordinary by comparison while Simply Red You’ve Got It softly played in restaurants for February 14th 1990. Job done. You Surround Me was Erasure at their most vulnerable to date. Walking in a synth wonderland. Pick of the pops however was the sad-eyed soul of the Fine Young Cannibals and I’m Not The Man I Used To Be. Absolutely awesome.
Best International Artist: Gloria Estefan’s edge-of-seat heartbreaker Don’t Wanna Lose You is slow set gold. Up against it was Tina Turner’s ubiquitous The Best. The Miami sound machine wins.
Best British Male Artist: Chris Rea’s brooding Road To Hell. Cliff Richard features on two tracks, the floppy Best Of Me and the genuinely moving Whenever God Shines His Light. Although I’d give all the credit for the latter to fellow nominee Van Morrison.
Best International Group: The two metals clashed: Bon Jovi with another turgid ballad Living In Sin but Guns N’ Roses romped home with the thrilling Sweet Child O’ Mine. On the other hand Milli Vanilli showed all the pretenders how to do a proper romantic ballad as Girl I’m Gonna Miss You saw dancefloors crammed for slow sets. The Gypsy Kings on the other hand are formulaic Latin as the wretched Bamboleo outstays its welcome after the first five seconds .
Best British Newcomer: New kids on the block included the new Siobhan Fahey vehicle Shakespear’s Sister with claws – the biting You’re History. The sardonic vibes continued with The Beautiful South’s ultra-cynical Song For Whoever. Elsewhere Lisa Stansfield’s All Around The World sold by the truckload and put Rochdale on the map. The #1 star subsequently re-located to Dalkey, Co Dublin during the late 1990s and could be found boozing in The Queens.
Best British Female Artist: Into The Sensual World with the delightful Kate Bush who also got a nod in the British Producer category. Two more smiley culture ladies: Yazz and the melancholic Fine Time, Mica Paris and the soulful wonder of My One Temptation.
Best Classical Recording: No big hair! Nigel Kennedy’s Vivaldi: The Four Seasons was everywhere in 1989. Neat rendition of Spring here. Way to bring the classics to the masses.
Best Soundtrack and Cast Recording: Good cop – Prince and the hopping Partyman. It’s back on You Tube but for how long?
Bad cop – Michael Ball’s overblown Love Changes Everything from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love.
Best International Newcomer: A veritable feast of talent. Bobby Brown’s new jack swing of My Prerogative. Neneh Cherry’s unique and still ultra-fresh Buffalo Stance. Paula Abdul’s perfectly choreographed Straight Up. De La Soul’s dayglo Steely Dan-sampling Eye Know.
Best British Producer: Donna Summer made the best album of her career with Stock Aitken and Waterman. Another Place And Time. I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt is perfectly poised between nervousness and romantic abandon. On the other side Lisa Stansfied gets a second billing with Coldcut on the ravetastic Doctorin’ The House.
Best Selling UK Single 1989: Black Box’s Ride On Time was number one for six weeks during September and October. Soundtracking the start of my third level education. The follies of youth. Snog in haste, repent at leisure.
“Wind on my face, sound in my ears
Water from my eyes, and you on my mind
As I sink, diving down deep. . .deeper into your soul”.
Fine Young Cannibals – I’m Not The Man I Used To Be
Lisa Stansfield – All Around The World
The Beautiful South – Song For Whoever
Erasure – You Surround Me
Lest we forget
Milli Vanilli – Girl I’m Gonna Miss You