In the wake of the disintegration of New Edition, three of the group's members, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe, proved that Bobby Brown wasn't the only breakout talent in the group. The hard-edged funky R&B of "Poison" spearheaded the development of New Jack Swing as one of the freshest sounds in R&B in a decade.
While Deee-Lite started with funk and hip hop to groove on the dancefloor, San Francisco's Faith No More threw in a heavy dose of metal guitars and drums for one of the hardest rocking top 10 hits of the year. A set of absurdist lyrics merely add to one of the most exhilarating aural experiences on pop radio in 1990, and, who can forget that fish in the accompanying video?
Martin Page is a classic one hit wonder. This effortless mainstream pop nugget followed Page's success as songwriter of such mainstream pop hits as Starship's "We Built This City" and Heart's "These Dreams." "In the House Of Stone and Light" is not artistically innovative, but it nearly perfectly encapsulates the mainstream of pop circa 1995. Page faded from sight as an artist after this one hit.
Ben Folds and company brought the issue of abortion on to the pop charts, from a male point of view. A particularly fascinating twist is that it seems the male narrator of the song is selfish and a bit of a jerk. Lyrically, this is one of the most unique major hit songs of the 90s.
For a brief period of time it looked like a blend of edgy rock and hip hop was workable. "Jump Around" is incredibly infectious or annoying depending on your tolerance for the incessant siren that accompanies the pounding beats. Unfortunately, House Of Pain never did recapture these moments of greatness.
Some might dismiss this song as simply a novelty hit, but it deserves closer listening. As hip hop was climbing further into the mainstream, this group from Oakland distinguished itself backing goofy raps with hot Parliament-Funkadelic inspired funk. Rarely has a pop classic made sex sound so fun and funny.
This is the last great Michael Jackson single. It features Guns 'n Roses guitarist Slash ushering in an uplifting message about racial unity. As was the norm for Michael Jackson releases at the time, the song was accompanied by a big budget video. This one was directed by John Landis and featured actors Macaulay Culkin, George Wendt and Peggy Lipton.