A Year In Music – The 1990s

Introduction:

This page features year-by-year snapshots of what was happening in the world of Top 40 music in the 1990s. Written by radio and music industry veteran Ed Osborne, each overview highlights the important trends and some of the representative songs and artists that shaped the music landscape and occupied the Top 40 charts that year,
This music impacted our lives in many ways and Top40weekly hopes that you find these commentaries informative and enjoyable.

Table of Contents

A Year in Music – 1990

Female artists continued their strong showing on the Hot 100, accounting for six of the Top 10 year-end records and half of the Top 20. Janet Jackson scored five monster hits (out of seven from her Rhythm Nation album)…newcomer Mariah Carey — who would become the top female singer of the ‘90s — earned the first two of her 14 decade #1s…Swedish duo Roxette had their third #1, En Vogue won with a platinum seller… and Wilson Phillips landed three smash hits, including the year’s top record. MC Hammer carried rap into the Top 10 and Bell Biv DeVoe placed two R&B discs in the year-end Top 10.

-Ed Osborne © 2022

Stay tuned for a complete overview of the year…coming soon.

A Year in Music – 1991

Disco may have been dead by the end of the 1980s, but dance music — along with R&B — was alive and well in 1991, accounting for eight of the Top 10 records of the year. The biggest breakthrough was vocal group Boyz II Men with “Motownphilly”: the first of 11 platinum/gold-selling singles. Other dance/R&B artists in the Top 10 were Paula Abdul, C&C Music Factory, and Hi-Five. The only rockers present — Extreme and Bryan Adams — made the list with ballads. One of the biggest bands of the ‘90s and beyond, R.E.M., scored its only gold record.

-Ed Osborne © 2022

Stay tuned for a complete overview of the year…coming soon.

A Year in Music – 1992

Nineteen ninety-two was the first full year in which the Hot 100 was compiled using actual sales, tabulated from digital register scans. The impact was huge as the average number of #1s per year for the rest of the decade dropped to 12 from the norm of 29 between 1985 and 1991. Rock, rap/hip-hop, and country dominated the album chart while tracks from Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, and Red Hot Chili Peppers also did well on the singles list. Female R&B trio TLC racked up three platinum/gold records while Billy Ray Cyrus and his “Achy’ Breaky ear worm was the lone country pop Top 10 crossover.

-Ed Osborne © 2022

Stay tuned for a complete overview of the year…coming soon.

A Year in Music – 1993

Rap, on its way to becoming the top genre in popular music, took home #1 single of the year honors with “Whoomp! (There It Is)” by one-hit wonder Tag Team. The multi- platinum record lingered on the Hot 100 for almost a year. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” completed the longest stay at #1 to-date (14 weeks)…while female singers Janet Jackson, SWV (Sisters With Voices), and Mariah Carey were the Top 3 artists of the year. For the first time ever, a reggae record (two, in fact) topped the chart
…while rock was pretty much a no-show in the Top 40.

-Ed Osborne © 2022

Stay tuned for a complete overview of the year…coming soon.

A Year in Music – 1994

Once again women dominated the year-end Top 10. The two exceptions were All-4-One and John Mellencamp (although he did share label billing with a female R&B singer). Ballads also ruled, claiming the #1 spot for a total of 41 weeks. The top 45 of the year belonged to Sweden’s Ace Of Base followed by the cover of a country song by All-4-One. Boyz II Men tied Whitney Houston’s 14 week run at #1…and Elton John landed his first gold record in 14 years. Notable was the international diversity of the Top 40 with Jamaica, Germany, Cuba, and Ireland among the countries represented.

-Ed Osborne © 2022

Stay tuned for a complete overview of the year…coming soon.

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