Popular culture in the ’90s was significantly broader, deeper, and more eclectic than millennial nostalgists demand of it. And yet it’s also the source of such striking works of anti-profundity that it’s enough to make those of us who lived through an era of comparative peace and prosperity want to throw it all in the garbage. We’re talking about the kind of schlock that would eventually get so oppressively thick that the only thing available to counter it would be a ruthless irony so poisonous that it threatened our ability to appreciate anything mass-culture at face value. Maybe that’s an extreme stance to take — not as extreme as the taste of Diet Mountain Dew, but close — and yet that’s the only way I’m really able to get at the brief but staggering moment when multiple multi-billion-dollar entertainment industries went all-in on the last gasp of the big post-“We Are The World” all-star charity single wave.
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In The Number Ones, I’m reviewing every single #1 single in the history of the Billboard Hot 100, starting with the chart’s beginning, in 1958, and working my way up into the present. *** Sheena Easton – “Morning Train (Nine To Five)” HIT #1: May 2, 1981 STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks In the first […]