The song "Nothing Compares 2 U" was written by Prince and the first recording was released by his protege group The Family in 1985. That version gave no inkling of the power that was to come when Sinead O'Connor covered the song for her album I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. "Nothing Compares 2 U" went to #1 around the world and pushed the album to #1 and double platinum sales in the US. The accompanying music video is quite powerful as well including an intense closeup of Sinead O'Connor's with two tears rolling down her cheeks.
"Vogue" was originally intended as a Madonna B-side. It was inspired by the gay underground's dance known as "voguing" in which dancers combine gestures and body movments to imitate Hollywood stars and those featured on the cover of magazines like Vogue. The finished song was considered to be too good to be relegated to B-side status and was instead released as an A-side. "Vogue" then became a #1 hit around the world and one of the bestselling songs of the year worldwide.
The New York based dance trio Deee-Lite first introduced themselves to club audiences by topping the dance chart with "Groove Is In the Heart." Then the song crossed over into pop territory and the effervescent pastiche of funk, jazz, and disco climbed clear to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100.
This song was Mariah Carey's first introduction to pop audiences. "Vision Of Love" was one of the songs she brought with her when signed to a recording contract by Columbia Records. Nine weeks after first hitting the Billboard Hot 100, it became Mariah Carey's first #1 hit and many still consider it among her best.
M.C. Hammer built his massive hit single "U Can't Touch This" around a riff from Rick James' "Super Freak." Consequently, Rick James sued, but the pair settled out of court with Rick James added to the credits and a recipient of royalties for the massive sales of "U Can't Touch This." M.C. Hammer won Grammy Awards for Best R&B Song and Best Rap Solo Performance. "U Can't Touch This" peaked at #8 on the pop singles chart in the US.
"The Humpty Dance" introduced pop audiences to the wry, clever rap of Digital Underground. The song tells the tale of the fictional character "Humpty Hump," a buffoon with Grouch Marx glasses who, nevertheless, was deemed very successful at sexual seduction. "The Humpty Dance" was a #1 rap hit and reached #11 on the pop singles chart.
New Edition may have come to an end but group members Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, and Ronnie DeVoe proved they could create their own pop classics without the higher profile New Edition alumni Bobby Brown, Johnny Gill, and Ralph Tresvant. "Poison" was the trio's first single and it went to #3 on the pop chart and has been certified platinum for sales.
The rock band Heart hit the pop top 10 for the final time with this rock ballad that they have sense indicated they dislike and rarely play in concert. The song implies the story of a woman who makes love to a stranger in order to become pregnant and raise a child with her infertile partner. The frank content created some controversy around the song, but it peaked at #2 on the pop chart.