This week 26 years ago, pitcher Mark Davis signed a then-record $3.25 million-per-year contract with the Kansas City Royals; the International Trans-Antarctica Expedition reached the South Pole; singer Taylor Swift was born; "The War of the Roses" topped the box office; and the following songs were the most popular in the U.S., according to Billboard's Hot 100 chart archive.
10. "Pump Up the Jam," Technotronic
R.I.P. quasi-Euro techno dance tracks of the "Jock Jams"-era: 1989-1995 (and probably still current in a weird gym somewhere).
9. "Love Shack," the B-52's
The B-52's biggest hit (obviously) and Rolling Stone's Top Single of 1989 (double obviously).
8. "With Every Beat of My Heart," Taylor Dayne
AKA the top-five hit Dayne released before the more subdued (and best known) "Love Will Lead You Back."
7. "Angelia," Richard Marx
Is "Angelia" an actual name? I've never met an Angelia.
6. "Back to Life," Soul II Soul
Does anyone actually know anything besides the first six words/intro beat to this song?
5. "Don't Know Much," Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville
Let's get real: If you've been in love/married to your husband/wife for a long time, you know a lot.
4. "(It's Just) The Way You Love Me," Paula Abdul
Peak "Forever Your Girl"-era Paula Abdul, though this song wasn't popular upon its 1988 release, and only hit it big when it was re-released in 1989 to capitalize on Abdul's recent run of single smashes. P.S. David Fincher directed this music video.
3. "Blame it on the Rain," Milli Vanilli
I don't really need to get into what Milli Vanilli did or didn't do (or didn't sing). But seriously — Diane Warren wrote this one, too? What didn't Diane Warren write?
2. "Another Day in Paradise," Phil Collins
Nothing quite says "1989" like a pop song about homelessness from Phil Collins.
1. "We Didn't Start the Fire," Billy Joel
No. 1 for two weeks, Joel's catchiest history lesson ever starts with 1949 (Joel's birth year) and ends in 1989. Quick poll: What's your favorite event-sequence here? "Marciano, Liberace, Santayana goodbye" or "AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz"?