“Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” is a song by American hip-hop group P.M. Dawn. It was released in October 1991 as the second single from their debut album Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience. Writing credit is given to Attrell Cordes (Prince Be of P.M. Dawn) and Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet, as the song is built around samples of their 1983 hit “True”. The song also samples the drumbeat from The Soul Searchers’ “Ashley’s Roachclip”.
This song was the group’s first (and only) number-one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100, and also reached number 3 in the United Kingdom. It ranks number 81 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop. The song was the first number one song after the debut of the Nielsen SoundScan system, which monitored airplay and sales more closely than before, when Billboard had to rely on manual sales reports and airplay data. According to the test charts of the SoundScan system, “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” was at number one for at least three weeks, but officially has a one-week reign at number one.
A slower, ballad version of the song was remade by the Backstreet Boys, and recorded on their second international album Backstreet’s Back, and released on their U.S. debut album.
“When a Man Loves a Woman” is a song written by Calvin Lewis and Andrew Wright and first recorded by Percy Sledge in 1966 at Norala Sound Studio in Sheffield, Alabama. It made number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts. Singer and actress Bette Midler covered the song and had a Top 40 hit with her version in 1980. In 1991, Michael Bolton recorded the song and his version peaked at number one on both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the Billboard Adult Contemporary Singles chart.
“Cream” is a song by Prince and The New Power Generation, from the 1991 album Diamonds and Pearls. Prince states that he wrote the song while standing in front of a mirror.
The single’s B-side, “Horny Pony”, a rap song which was replaced on Diamonds and Pearls at the last minute by “Gett Off”, was re-used from the “Gett Off” single. “Cream” was also released as a maxi-single EP with remixes and songs/raps loosely based on “Cream”. The EP was notable for including several prank telephone conversations.
In the UK, “Gangster Glam” was an additional B-side on the 12″/CD maxi single. In Japan, an EP was released with the tracks from the US maxi single, and four tracks from the US “Gett Off” maxi single. “Cream” was Prince’s fifth and last number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and was Prince’s only Hot 100 number-one single that was not associated with a movie. The song was featured in an episode of the BBC Two comedy Rev.
“Romantic” is a song by American singer Karyn White from her second studio album Ritual of Love (1991). It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on November 2, 1991, making it her biggest hit to date. “Romantic” was also White’s fourth number-one on the Hot Black Singles chart.
Released – August 23, 1991
Genre – New jack swing
Length – 4:07
Label – Warner Bros.
Writer(s) – Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis Karyn White
Producer(s) – Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis
“Emotions” is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey. It was written and produced by Carey, David Cole and Robert Clivillés of the C+C Music Factory, and recorded for Carey’s second album of the same name (1991). It was released as the album’s first single on August 13, 1991 by Columbia Records. The disco song has its protagonist going through a variety of emotions, from high to low, up to the point where she declares “you got me feeling emotions”. Musically, it was borrowed heavily from 1970s disco, and flaunted Carey’s upper range and extensive use of the whistle register.
“Good Vibrations” is a song by American group Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. It was released in July 1991 as the lead single from their debut album Music for the People. The song became a number-one hit in the United States, Sweden and Switzerland. The single spent twenty weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, its last week rising 40 positions to number 27, but dropped out the following week.
“Good Vibrations” was written by Amir Quadeer Shakir, aka “M.C. Spice”, a good friend of Donnie Wahlberg, Mark Wahlberg, and Dan Hartman. Quadeer also wrote and produced Wildside for Mark Wahlberg’s debut LP as well as three other songs. M.C. Spice is featured on the song “Peace” with Mark and the crew and has contributed to the Wahlberg’s second LP. The song featured a sample of Loleatta Holloway singing “Love Sensation”, written by Dan Hartman. Holloway made an appearance performing the chorus in the music video.
“I Adore Mi Amor” is the title of a number-one R&B single by group Color Me Badd, released as the second single from their debut album C.M.B. The hit song spent one week at number-one on the US R&B chart. It was also number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart the week of September 21, 1991 for two weeks and spent 20 weeks overall in the list. It also ended the year at number 18 on the annual recap for 1991. In 1992, saxophonist Najee covered the song from the album “Just an Illusion.”
“The Promise of a New Day” is the second single (and lead-off track) from American artist Paula Abdul’s album Spellbound. The song was written by Peter Lord and V. Jeffrey Smith. The single was released to radio while the hit “Rush Rush” was still at the top of radio airplay and the pop charts.
The song hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 on September 14, 1991, becoming Abdul’s sixth chart-topping single, and her last #1 hit to date.
The video for the song was recorded in front of a green screen in Hawaii. However, since Abdul was unable to film the clip due to other commitments, she shot the necessary scenes elsewhere, which were then edited into the video. Production took place during the week of July 8, 1991.
The video caused controversy when originally aired mainly because it appeared to make Abdul look taller and thinner than she actually was. However, on Pop Up Video, VH1 (and Abdul in a filmed segment) secured that the clip had been edited in such a way as to make the dancers appear closer together.
“(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” is a song by Canadian singer and songwriter Bryan Adams. Written by Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John “Mutt” Lange, featured on two albums simultaneously on its release, the soundtrack album from the 1991 film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and on Adams’ sixth studio solo album Waking Up the Neighbours (1991). The song was an enormous chart success internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart (the longest in British chart history), seven weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, and nine weeks atop the Canadian Singles Chart in Adams’s native Canada. Billboard ranked it as the No. 1 song for 1991. It was a number one hit on many charts and went on to sell more than 15 million copies worldwide, making it Adams’ most successful song and one of the best-selling singles of all time.
Adams, Kamen and Lange won a Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television at the Grammy Awards of 1992, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song but lost to “Beauty and the Beast”. Subsequently, the song has been covered by hundreds of singers and artists around the world.
“Unbelievable” is a song written and recorded by British band EMF, originally appearing on their debut album Schubert Dip. It was released as a single in the UK in 1990, peaking in the UK Singles Chart at number three on 1 December 1990. It was the 32nd best-selling single of 1990 in the UK. In the United States, it hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 on 20 July 1991.
The song contains samples of US comedian Andrew Dice Clay throughout the track, including the loud exclamation of “oh!” at the start of each chorus along with the words “it’s unbelievable” spoken during the bridge. The track was produced by Ralph Jezzard.
In the UK (where the band hailed from), the B-side of the single was a track called “EMF” which included the refrain: “E! Ecstasy! M! Motherfucker, motherfucker! F! From us to you….”
“Unbelievable” also samples the word “One” that comes in the refrain “Ya Kid K is the one”, from the song “Spin That Wheel” by Eurodance act Hi-Tek 3 featuring Ya Kid K. Hi-Tek 3 is a side project from the successful dance act Technotronic.
“Rush Rush” is a song by American recording artist Paula Abdul, taken from her second studio album, Spellbound (1991). It was released on May 2, 1991, by Virgin Records as the lead single of the album. Written by Peter Lord, and produced by Peter Lord and V. Jeffrey Smith (both members of The Family Stand), the song achieved major success in the U.S. where it topped the Billboard Hot 100.
“Rush Rush” was a departure for Abdul stylistically, as it was her first ballad released as a single, following as it did the six uptempo singles from her debut LP, and was viewed by all observers as a rather risky strategy in kicking off her second album of new material Spellbound. But the decision was vindicated, as it was very well received at retail.
First presented to Abdul as a demo by the Family Stand in 1990, she became intent on it becoming the first single. In fall of 1990 at Studio Masters, Abdul laid down a scratch vocal for the track, which was never intended to make it to the song’s final mix. But the producers felt that its unpolished sound was what was needed to give the song its ingenuous tone, to match its subject matter and accompanying promotional video clip; it ended up on the final cut in March 1991.
“More Than Words” is a ballad written and originally performed by American rock band Extreme. It is built around acoustic guitar work by Nuno Bettencourt and the vocals of Gary Cherone (with harmony vocals from Bettencourt). Released in 1990 on the album Pornograffitti, the song is a detour from the funk metal style that permeates the band’s records. As such, it has often been described as “a blessing and a curse” due to its overwhelming success and recognition worldwide, but the band ultimately embraced it and plays it on every show.
The song was described by Bettencourt as a song warning that the phrase “I love you” was becoming meaningless: “People use it so easily and so lightly that they think you can say that and fix everything, or you can say that and everything’s OK. Sometimes you have to do more and you have to show it—there’s other ways to say ‘I love you.'”
“I Don’t Wanna Cry” is a song written by Mariah Carey and Narada Michael Walden, and produced by Walden for Carey’s debut album, Mariah Carey (1990). The ballad was released as the album’s fourth single in the second quarter of 1991. It became another U.S. number one single for Carey. Like the previous singles released from Mariah Carey, the song received a BMI Pop Award.
“I Don’t Wanna Cry” is a soulful R&B slow jam featuring instrumentation from a flamenco guitar.
Its lyrics talk about Carey and her lover being involved in a tumultuous relationship. was Carey’s first single that she did not co-write with Ben Margulies. When she and Walden first wrote the song, she was excited because it sounded like something that would be played on the radio. However, due to bad experiences during its production and because she feels it “doesn’t have a message,” Carey stated in an MTV interview that she dislikes the song and tries to sing it as rarely as possible. Carey had lobbied to co-produce the song, but was denied permission by Columbia Records. She often fought with Walden in the studio concerning the song’s production, and as a result Walden became her least favorite among the producers who worked on her debut album.
“I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)” is a song by American vocal group Hi-Five. Released on January 5, 1991, the song is from the group’s debut self-titled studio album Hi-Five. The song was a number-one pop song and was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on May 10, 1991.
Recorded in June 1990, I Like The Way (The Kissing Game) spent two weeks at number one on the US R&B chart; and one week at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100. Later in 1992, R&B trio SWV sampled the drum beat on their song “Coming Home” from their debut album It’s About Time.
“Joyride” is a song by the Swedish rock duo Roxette. Written by Per Gessle, the song was released as the lead single from their third studio album, Joyride (1991), the follow-up to the duo’s highly successful second studio album, Look Sharp! (1988). The single topped the charts across Europe and in Australia, Canada, and the United States, where it spent one week at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, their last to do so, in May 1991. In the UK, “Joyride” peaked at #4.
In interviews, Gessle states he got the idea for the opening line of this song from his girlfriend (now wife) who left a note on his piano that stated, “Hello, you fool, I love you.”
In the opening section of the song, a man is heard saying “Come on, join the joyride everybody, get your tickets here, step right this way”; the man who says this is Roxette’s old tour manager and long-time friend Dave Edwards. This is an homage to The Beatles’ song “Magical Mystery Tour”, on which, during the opening section, Paul McCartney is heard saying “Roll up, roll up for the Magical Mystery Tour! Step right this way!” In the liner notes of Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus!, Gessle calls “Joyride” Roxette’s “Magical Mystery Tour”, and says he took the title from an interview in which Paul McCartney called writing songs with John Lennon a “long joyride”.
In 1991, Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Chipettes covered the song for their album The Chipmunks Rock the House.
During the 1994 Stanley Cup playoffs this became the intro anthem to the Vancouver Canucks as they took the ice before each game.
“Baby Baby” is a pop song by American recording artist Amy Grant, issued as the first single from her album Heart in Motion. The song was written by Keith Thomas and Grant. It was released on January 18, 1991 through A&M Records and topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for two consecutive weeks in April 1991, becoming the first in a string of hits from Heart in Motion.
The music was written by Keith Thomas. Grant always knew the song would be a smash hit, and was begging Thomas to sing the song. He agreed with the only condition that the song’s title must be “Baby Baby”. Grant had a hard time writing the lyrics, because her early attempts to write a romantic-sounding lyric to a song with such title came off sounding like “some overgrown football jock with no vocabulary trying desperately to be romantic”. But one day, after having seen her six-week-old daughter Millie, she said to herself: “Oh, baby baby”. As a result, the lyrics were written in about ten minutes in her kitchen. In the Heart in Motion booklet there are words: This song is dedicated to Millie, whose six-week-old face was my inspiration. Millie would also appear on stage during Grant’s performance at the 34th Grammy Awards.
“You’re in Love” is a 1991 song by the pop rock band Wilson Phillips. It was the fourth single released from the group’s debut album Wilson Phillips. With this single, the group received a nomination on the Grammy Awards of 1992 in the Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group category, losing to R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion”.
- “You’re In Love” (Radio Edit) 3:59
- “You’re In Love” 4:35
- “Hold On” (Live In Japan) 4:43
- “Release Me” (Live In Japan) 4:38
- “Morning Tea In Tokyo: A Conversation With Wilson Phillips” 1:46
- “You’re In Love” (Radio Edit)
- “Hold On” (Live In Japan)
- “Release Me” (Live In Japan)
- “You’re In Love” (Album Remix)
“I’ve Been Thinking About You” is a song by British dance group Londonbeat. It was released in October 1990 as the lead single from their second album In the Blood. It hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 on April 13, 1991, having hit number two in the United Kingdom the previous year. The song also topped the singles charts in Canada, Spain, Sweden, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, the Netherlands and Australia as well.
“Coming Out of the Dark” is a single by American singer and songwriter Gloria Estefan. It was released in 1991 worldwide as the leading and first single of the album Into the Light, becoming the singer’s third number one in the U.S.
This is the first single released after Estefan’s accident—an 18-wheeler rammed her tour bus, nearly causing the singer’s death—when her “Get on Your Feet Tour” was in progress. It is also the first song that Estefan performed publicly after recovering. The song is inspired by the near-fatal accident and also is dedicated to Emilio Estefan, Jr., Gloria’s husband.
The song is a soul ballad which includes the use of a choir. Among the voices in the choir are Gloria’s colleague, the Cuban singer Jon Secada, and the R&B singer Betty Wright (both had participated in backing vocals on Gloria’s album, Cuts Both Ways as well as Into the Light.)
“One More Try” is a song recorded by American musician Timmy T. It hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on March 23, 1991. This song entered in the Top 10 on the charts in Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Sweden. The song was both written and produced by Torres, who was inspired to create the song after breaking up with a girlfriend.
A Cantopop version of this song called Missing You in this Lifetime (一生掛念你) was made by Hacken Lee. A Cajun version was made by Jamie Bergeron and the Kickin Cajuns.
“Someday” is a song by American singer and songwriter Mariah Carey from her self-titled debut studio album (1990). Prior to Carey signing her record deal with Columbia, she and producer Margulies had written and produced a demo which included, “Someday”. Once Carey began work on her debut album she reached out to Ric Wake and asked if he would produce the song to which he agreed.
“Someday” was released as the album’s third single from the album on November 15, 1990 and was released the following month in the United States with multiple remixes. The song was a critical and commercial success; being described as a highlight track and going on to become Carey’s third consecutive number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100. “Someday” was subsequently included on many of Carey’s compilation albums and greatest hits releases, including her MTV Unplugged (1992) album #1’s (1998), Greatest Hits (2001), The Essential Mariah Carey (2011) and Number 1 To Infinity (2015).
“All the Man That I Need” is a song written by American songwriters Dean Pitchford and Michael Gore. The song was first recorded as “All The Man I Need” by Linda Clifford in 1982, for her album I’ll Keep on Loving You.
In 1991, Whitney Houston had a number one multiple chart hit with the song, recorded as “All The Man That I Need”, from her 1990 album, I’m Your Baby Tonight. Whitney’s version featured production from Narada Michael Walden and the single became a major worldwide hit, received mainly positive reviews from music critics, and reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart; it remains her fourth biggest hit in that chart.
“Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)” is a hit song by American dance group C+C Music Factory. It was released in late 1990 as the lead single from the album, Gonna Make You Sweat. The song charted internationally and achieved great success in the United States, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland where it reached number one on the charts.
The rap was performed by Freedom Williams and the vocal “Everybody Dance Now” by disco/house music artist Martha Wash.
The official music video features Zelma Davis lip-synching to the actual Martha Wash vocal parts.
In 1994, Martha Wash and C+C Music Factory producers Clivillés and Cole reached an out-of-court settlement in two lawsuits filed by Wash, over being uncredited in the C+C album that featured “Gonna Make You Sweat” and being excluded from the music video. As a result of the settlement, Sony made an unprecedented request to MTV to add a disclaimer that credited Wash for vocals and Davis for “visualization” to the “Gonna Make You Sweat” music video.
“The First Time” is a single by American R&B/pop music trio Surface, that hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1991 for two weeks. The song also spent one week at number one on the U.S. R&B chart and two weeks atop the adult contemporary chart.
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 – Peak Position 1
U.S. Billboard R&B Singles – Peak Position 1
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary – Peak Position 1
UK Singles Chart – Peak Position 60
New Zealand Singles Chart – Peak Position 7
End-of-Year 1991 U.S. Billboard Hot 100 – Position 9
“Love Will Never Do (Without You)” is a song recorded by American singer Janet Jackson, recorded for her fourth studio album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989). It was written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. The song was released as the seventh single from the album on October 2, 1990, by A&M Records. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart for one week.
Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis considered the idea of making this song a duet. According to Fred Bronson’s The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, they thought about possibly getting Prince, Johnny Gill, Ralph Tresvant, or someone else working with them at the time. However, there was no concrete plan. During the recording of the first verse, Jimmy Jam told Jackson, “Sing it low like some guy would sing it.” As a result, they kept the idea of her singing the first verse in a low octave but go an octave up on the second verse.
In 1996, the song was remixed by Roger Sanchez. The Single Edit was included on the international release of Jackson’s 1996 greatest hits compilation Design of a Decade 1986/1996. Although being one of the album’s last singles, it was one of the first songs recorded for Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814. The song’s background vocals were recorded in late 1988, while Jackson recorded the lead vocals in January 1989. Herb Alpert plays trumpet on the track.
“Love Will Never Do” is written in the key of A♭ major and has a tempo of 103 beats per minute in common time. Jackson’s vocals span from F3 to D♭5 in the song.
“Justify My Love” is a song by American singer Madonna from her first greatest hits compilation album The Immaculate Collection (1990). It was released on November 6, 1990, by Sire Records as the lead single from The Immaculate Collection. The song was written by Lenny Kravitz and Ingrid Chavez, with additional lyrics by Madonna. Chavez was not credited on the song, which led to a lawsuit against Kravitz. Chavez settled out-of-court, the terms of which included a songwriting credit. Madonna’s vocals are primarily spoken and whispered, but almost never sung, a style which she again employed on her following studio album Erotica (1992).
Musically, “Justify My Love” is a trip hop inspired song, with mid-tempo settings and instrumentation. The lyrics of the song are primarily about sex and romance. “Justify My Love” received mixed reviews from older critics, but was critically appreciated by many contemporary critics, noting it as one of Madonna’s best songs to date. The song became Madonna’s ninth number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, while reaching the Top 10 in several countries including Australia, Canada, Finland, New Zealand, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom..
The accompanying music video portrayed Madonna as a woman walking in a hotel hallway, looking distressed and tired from work, until being seduced into having sex with a mysterious man and woman. It caused controversy worldwide, due to its explicit sexual images, and was subsequently banned from MTV and other TV networks. The video, which contained imagery of sadomasochism, voyeurism, and bisexuality, made its U.S. television debut December 3, 1990 on ABC during its late-night news program Nightline. The song was part of the setlist of three of her concert tours, most recently being on her MDNA Tour in 2012.