Monday, January 23, 1989

Lyle Lovett Lyle Lovett and His Large Band released

Lyle Lovett and His Large Band

Lyle Lovett

Released: January 23, 1989

Peak: 62 US, 10 CW, 88 CN

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US

Genre: alt-country/Americana


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. The Blues Walk (Brown) [2:25]
  2. Here I Am [4:01]
  3. Cryin’ Shame [2:28]
  4. Good Intentions [3:13]
  5. I Know You Know [3:57]
  6. What Do You Do/The Glory of Love (Hill/ Lovett) [3:06]
  7. I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You [3:14] (12/10/88, 45 CW)
  8. Stand by Your Man (Sherrill/ Wynette) [2:44] (3/4/89, 82 CW)
  9. Which Way Does That Old Pony Run? [4:08]
  10. Nobody Knows Me [3:06] (6/17/89, 84 CW)
  11. If You Were to Wake Up [4:07]
  12. Once Is Enough [4:26]

Songs written by Lyle Lovett unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 40:55


3.960 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“While from the outset Lyle Lovett sounded like a hard artist to pigeonhole, his sponsors at Curb Records and MCA Records seemed determined to sell him as a country artist, though the blues and retro-jazz leanings of Lovett’s second album, Pontiac, suggested that strategy would only be practical for so long. With his third album, 1989’s Lyle Lovett and His Large Band, Lovett seemingly sidelined any career aspirations as a mainstream country act he or his handlers may have held.” MD

“The album kicks off with a lively cover of Clifford Brown’s The Blues Walk, and the next five tunes all bear the smoky, late-night vibe of a low-key jazz joint, with top marks going to the hilariously off-kilter Here I Am, the witty scenario of potential infidelity What Do You Do/The Glory of Love, and the marvelously sly Good Intentions.” MD

“The second half of the album is steeped in twang, but it was hardly more comforting for country radio programmers; I Married Her Just Because She Looks Like You is a ‘sweet on the outside and sick on the inside’ tale of romantic obsession, Nobody Knows Me bears a punchline that makes ‘God Will’ sound generous, and Lovett’s straight-faced cover of Stand By Your Man stubbornly refuses to either announce itself as a joke or suggest another interpretation.” MD

“Wherever you choose to file it, Lyle Lovett and His Large Band made it clear that Lovett was only getting better with each album; the songs are uniformly well-crafted, Lovett’s vocals are full of subtle nuance, and his band is in brilliant form throughout (with special kudos to Lovett’s frequent vocal foil, Francine Reed). If you’re going to burn your bridges, you could hardly find a better way to do it than this.” MD

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First posted 3/24/2008; last updated 5/18/2022.

Saturday, January 14, 1989

Guns N’ Roses “Paradise City” charted

Paradise City

Guns N’ Roses

Writer(s): Slash, Axl Rose, Izzy Stradlin, Duff McKagan, Steven Adler (see lyrics here)

Released: November 30, 1988

First Charted: January 14, 1989

Peak: 5 BB, 4 CB, 9 GR, 4 RR, 14 AR, 6 UK, 10 CN, 48 AU, 15 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): -- US, 1.2 UK, 1.59 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 821.89 video, 1038.08 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Guns N’ Roses formed in 1985 in Los Angeles, California. 1987’s Appetite for Destruction became the best-selling debut album in U.S. history, selling 18 million copies. It has sold around 30 million copies worldwide. It wasn’t an overnight success, however. The band didn’t really take off until “Sweet Child O’ Mine” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 – more than a year after the album’s release. Then “Welcome to the Jungle” was re-released and hit the top 10.

The album had seemingly run its course by then since the group released GN’R Lies, a collection of four new songs and the group’s four-song EP Live Like a Suicide. However, after reaching the top-ten a third time with the power ballad “Patience,”Guns N’ Roses dipped back into the Appetite album for “Paradise City,” which became the album’s third top-ten hit.

Slash, the lead guitarist for the band, says the song was written in the back of a rental van. The group were returning from a gig in San Francisco and playing acoustic guitarist. Slash came up with the intro and Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin joined in. After Slash started humming a melody, singer Axl Rose chimed in wit the line, “Take me down to the paradise city.” Slash responded with the line “Where the grass is green and the girls are pretty.” WK

According to McKagan, the song grew out of one of their first rehearsals and some lyrics from one of his notebooks. SF Verses about “the rough life on the streets” were inspired by Los Angeles, but “the chorus was based on Axl Rose’s memories of the Midwest, with images of green grass, innocence and possibility.” SF


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First posted 4/10/2024.

Tuesday, January 10, 1989

N.W.A. released Straight Outta Compton

Straight Outta Compton


Released: January 10, 1989

Peak: 6 US, 9 RB, 35 UK, 8 AU

Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, 0.3 UK, 3.3 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rap


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Straight Outta Compton
  2. Fuck tha Police
  3. Gangsta Gangsta (3/25/89, 91 RB, 70 UK)
  4. If It Ain’t Ruff
  5. Parental Sicretion Iz Advised
  6. 8 ball
  7. Something Like That
  8. Express Yourself (8/5/89, 45 RB, 26 UK)
  9. Compton’s in the House
  10. I Ain’t tha 1
  11. Dopeman
  12. Quiet on tha Set
  13. Something 2 Dance 2

Total Running Time: 60:16


4.053 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)

Quotable: “Virtually all gangsta rap remains a response to or an elaboration of this one album” – Josh Tyrangiel and Alan Light, Time Magazine

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Straight Outta Compton “is one of the most seminal albums in the history of rap and greatly influenced countless gangsta rappers.” AMG “N.W.A didn’t invent gangsta rap – Ice-T and Schooly D had already embraced first-person narratives focusing on the harsh realities of ghetto life – but the L.A. group made it even more violent.” AMG As a result, N.W.A’s “unapologetically frightening” AMG Straight Outta Compton “was the hip-hop shot heard ‘round the world.” TL

“N.W.A’s name – that’s short for ‘Niggaz with Attitude,’ in case you forgot – was the first sign that this was no ordinary group.” TL They “took listeners on an arresting journey through L.A.’s tough Compton ghetto. Critics of this highly controversial album contended that N.W.A was glamorizing Black-on-Black crime – the rappers countered that they weren’t encouraging violence, but rather were presenting an audio documentary of life as they knew it growing up in Compton.” AMG

The album is awash with “wicked rhymes by Ice Cube” AZ with his “unflinching ghetto reportage.” TL There’s also the “jittery, cinematic production” TL “courtesy Dr. Dre,” AZ “group founder Eazy-E’s oddly menacing high-pitched snarl, and support from MC Ren and DJ Yella.” TL “It made for a true gang-bangin’ all-star team.” TL

It all comes “barreling into your face, just daring you to ignore the streets of Compton (or any American city) even one day longer.” AZ “From Fuck tha Police (which earned them a warning letter from the FBI),” TL “to the angry, unflinching realism of Gangsta Gangsta, to the pro-free speech Express Yourself, this is slammin’ and ruthless.” AZ

“Almost twenty years later, virtually all gangsta rap remains a response to or an elaboration of this one album.” TL Unfortunately, the genre would “subsequently…be plagued by numerous soundalike MCs who lacked even a fraction of N.W.A or Ice-T’s originality. But in the innovative hands of N.W.A., it was bold, inspired and arresting.” AMG

Notes: Straight Outta Compton was released in an edited version with all of the profanity removed, and instead changed around so that the album became a parody of edited albums by using hilariously silly replacements for swears and graphic descriptions.” AMG

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Metallica released “One”



Writer(s): James Hetfield/Lars Ulrich (see lyrics here)

Released: January 10, 1989

First Charted: February 18, 1989

Peak: 35 US, 46 AR, 13 UK, 38 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.2 UK, 0.7 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 329.6 video, -- streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

With three previous albums, Metallica had built a strong base among heavy metal fans, but few could have predicted how they would become so embraced by the mainstream rock crowd. Arguably, the song “One” was the catalyst for this transition. The band had never even landed a single on the Billboard Hot 100 and this one – based on the strength of sales – eeked into the top 40.

To get the song played on radio, the band edited it down from its initial seven-and-a-half minute run time to just under five minutes. Some fans accused the band of selling out, to which Lars Ulrich replied, “Yes, we sell out everywhere we play.” SF To that same end, the band – who’d distanced themselves from MTV for ignoring metal – opted to make their first video. SF

The video, shot in black and white by director Michael Salomon, intercuts scenes from the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun. The anti-war song depicts a World War I soldier who has lost his arms and legs and senses. Dismayed by his inability to speak or move, he desperately wishes to communicate his desire to die. In the video, the doctors are concerned by his constant spasms, but another soldier figures out he’s using Morse code to say “kill me.”

The lyrics and video, as well as the 1971 movie, were inspired by the 1939 Dalton Trumbo novel Johnny Got His Gun. One passage says, “How could a man lose as much of himself as I have and still live?...I’d never expect it to happen to me because the odds…are a million to one. But a million to one always leaves one. One.” SF


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First posted 1/5/2020; last updated 12/27/2022.