Ranking Modern Rock #1s, 1990 edition

Let’s call 1990 the Year of the Breakthrough-Plus. The Church and Midnight Oil released heavily promoted and bland followups to albums that generated a top forty hit apiece. The Cure, affirming their reputation as KISS with tunes, dampened expectations with a remix album baited with Madchester-baiting new single. Only Depeche Mode quadrupled its audience after Violator followed Music for the Masses, the latter what Violator should’ve been called; Peter Murphy too, who got daytime MTV play with the hooky “Cuts You Up,” the year’s biggest modern rock hit.

Then the also-rans. The Railway Children need your love. Sisters of Mercy need to lay off the metal guitars — what the hell?! David J, the Ringo of Bauhaus, got a #1 that evaporated seconds after I played it.

The Hague

The Railway Children – Every Beat of the Heart
Sisters of Mercy – More
Gene Loves Jezebel – Jealous
Concrete Blonde – Joey


David J – I’ll Be Your Chauffeur
The Replacements – Merry-Go-Round
Jane’s Addiction – Stop!
Midnight Oil – Forgotten Years
World Party – Way Down Now

Sound, Solid Entertainment

Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mining
INXS – Suicide Blonde
Jane’s Addiction – Been Caught Stealing
The Church – Metropolis

Good to Great

Peter Murphy – Cuts You Up
Sinead O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
Depeche Mode – Enjoy The Silence
The Sundays – Here’s Where the Story Ends
Sinead O’Connor – The Emperor’s New Clothes
Psychedelic Furs – House
The Cure – Never Enough
Depeche Mode – Policy of Truth

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