Welcome back, everyone, to yet another latest edition of CHART ATTACK! As you know, we take the good charts with the bad charts ’round here. Two weeks ago, we covered a pretty stellar week from 1980. This week? Well, while we have some strong tunes this week, there are also some clunkers, too. Check ’em out as we attack October 19, 1991!

10. Love…Thy Will Be Done — Martika null
9. Can’t Stop This Thing We Started — Bryan Adams null
8. Everybody Plays the Fool — Aaron Neville null
7. I Adore Mi Amor — Color Me Badd null
6. Good Vibrations — Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch Featuring Loleatta Holloway null
5. Something to Talk About — Bonnie Raitt null
4. Hole Hearted — Extreme null
3. Romantic — Karyn White null
2. Do Anything — Natural Selection Featuring Niki Haris null
1. Emotions — Mariah Carey null

10. Love…Thy Will Be Done — Martika (download)

You’ll be forgiven if you don’t remember this song — I know I don’t have no recollection of ever hearing it on the radio. “Toy Soldiers” might be the only song you remember of Martika’s (perhaps helped by Eminem’s sample of it in his 2005 song “Like Toy Soliders”), but she also reached #18 with “More Than You Know” and #25 with her cover of “I Feel the Earth Move,” in addition to peaking here at #10 with this song. You’ll also be forgiven if you knew this song but had no clue it was actually sung by Martika, since she sounds nothing like she did on “Toy Soldiers.” No, she sounds like she’s been taken hostage and forced to sing this song exactly the way someone else wants her to sing it…wait a minute, this song was written by Prince! Story checks out!

So yes, it’s true — for a brief, shining moment, Martika was a Prince Girl, which I think is something like being a Bond Girl but with a lot more patchouli. And she does a fine job with this song, although anybody really could’ve sung it; in fact,parts of her vocal are reminiscent of the Prince/Madonna “Love Song” duet from Like a Prayer. Musically, the song itself is a bore — the bass and drums are static throughout — but somehow ends up being oddly compelling. Prince created his own mix of the song (available on Martika’s greatest hits collection, which I double-dog dare you to buy), and he’s performed it live himself, too — our buddy (and diehard Prince fan) Pete from Ickmusic has gifted us with this version from 3/8/95, live from The Astoria in London. It’s just drums and bass until the three-and-a-half minute mark, but after that, we get a pretty good vocal from Prince. I’d say I prefer Martika’s original, but still, it’s pretty cool to have. Thanks, Pete!

Prince — Love…Thy Will Be Done (live) (download)

Curious what Tika’s up to these days? Well, she hasn’t released an album as “Martika” since this one, 1991’s Martika’s Kitchen, but she’s released two albums with her husband, Michael Mozart (I don’t know if that’s his real name, and I don’t care) as part if the group Oppera. And more recently, she’s going by the stage name Vita Edit and starring as “Lolly Pop” in a web series entitled j8ded. Mozart is in it too, billed as Michael Daemon. Martika, how the hell did you wind up being stranger than Prince?

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By the way, don’t be surprised if this song is in your head all day. I keep singing it to myself, but I replace the word “love” with random one-syllable words, like “scones” and “balls.”

9. Can’t Stop This Thing We Started — Bryan Adams

You know it’s bad when I can identify a “Mutt” Lange track without even knowing for sure that he produced it. I think it’s because I heard this song and immediately pictured Shania Twain singing it.

“Can’t Stop This Thing We Started” — which, incidentally, is what many Canadians have said about Bryan Adams — was part of a comeback of sorts for Adams: his previous album Into the Fire didn’t perform nearly as well as Reckless. Three hits from Reckless reached the Top 10, whereas his next eleven singles missed it completely. So thank you, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, and screw you, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, for paving the way for this #2 hit. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, specifically: it’s just your typical boring Bryan Adams rocker. It doesn’t really take me anywhere. Not that I really want Bryan Adams taking me anywhere…except to “Heaven”! Huh? Huh? No? Dammit.

Fun fact: the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decreed that the entire Waking Up the Neighbours album was not considered to be a Canadian release, due to Adams’ collaboration with British-Zambian Lange (which, by the way, is a better first name than “Mutt”). Opening his tour in Sydney, Australia, Adams loudly protested the ruling, screaming, “I even stuck a ‘u’ into the word “neighbours,’ you dicks!” (Not true.)

I so want to tell you guys that this was Bryan Adams’ last Top 10 appearance, but I can’t. I hate that I can’t. He had four more Top 10 hits, including two at #1.

8. Everybody Plays the Fool — Aaron Neville

Dammit, Aaron Neville, who the hell invited you onto this chart? I’m not quite sure how you got here; it’s not like you were riding high off of the success of “Don’t Know Much” or “All My Life,” your two duets with Linda Ronstadt from 1989. It’s a complete mystery to me that your version of this song — a #3 hit in 1972 for the Main Ingredient — managed to peak here at #8. It’s not that I don’t like your odd feminine voice, or your bulging biceps, or your Soul Glo haircut from the early ’90s, or the mole that I feel like we’re not supposed to mention because it’s a cheap shot. It’s just that I don’t think they really have a place on the Top 10. Maybe the mole. I hope you can understand.

And what’s up with the lyrics of stupid song, anyway? The first verse addresses somebody feeling upset, “mopin’, cryin’ and cryin’ [and] even thinkin’ about dyin’,” then offers “everybody plays the fool” as some sort of consolation. Let me tell you something: If I’m suicidal, the last thing I need is someone telling me that everyone sucks at some point or another. And I certainly don’t need Aaron Neville’s honey-coated falsetto to tell me, either. That’s just going to make it worse.

I don’t know why I’m getting so angry about Aaron Neville’s chart success. Getting angry seems like a bad idea all around: either he’s a sweet, sweet man who doesn’t deserve it (judging by his gentle ladyvoice), or he’s going to pummel me into the ground. I need to calm down. Hopefully the next song on this chart will make me feel better.

7. I Adore Mi Amor — Color Me Badd

God damn it all to hell.

I’ve tried so hard to forget everything I know about Color Me Badd. At this point, I just remember the guy who tried (unsuccessfully) to steal George Michael’s stubble (right?) and that, clearly through some contractual obligation, Billy Joel had to include them as backing vocalists on “All About Soul” from River of Dreams. Back then, I pretty much ignored “I Wanna Sex You Up” as much as I possibly could, and never really listened to “I Adore Mi Amor” until today, when I found myself absolutely disgusted by the spoken-word line “Quiero mucho, baby. Quiero mucho, mi amor.” I want to stick toothpicks in my ears. Wait, you can join in: here’s the George Michael wannabe saying that very line to Donna on 90210. Watch it, dammit! Feel my pain!

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Aw, crap: I just looked at Color Me Badd’s Billboard chart history, and realized that I totally remember “All 4 Love” — and I even kind of liked it back in 1992. Ugh, ugh, ugh. And would you believe that this group made it as far as #21 in 1994 with a song titled “The Earth, The Sun, The Rain”? I had no idea.

The only thing I will give Color Me Badd credit for is their restraint in reuniting — as of now, it hasn’t happened, although with New Kids on the Block’s unfortunate recent success, you know it’s just around the corner.

6. Good Vibrations — Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch Featuring Loleatta Holloway

Here’s something scary to think about: this song was a chart-topper. It may have only been for one week, but it still reached #1, and that’s something we all just have to live with. We let Marky Mark get to #1, people! How did it happen? Well, after he was done dropping out of New Kids on the Block and hating black/Asian people, Donnie helped him get a record deal with Interscope. “Good Vibrations” was the first single, featuring a sample from Loleatta Holloway’s song “Love Sensation,” written by Dan “I Can Dream About You” Hartman. “Love Sensation” had been sampled before, most notably by Samantha Fox and Black Box, but Marky Mark was the only one generous enough to give Holloway billing.

But I don’t care how generous Marky Mark is: this song sucks. It grates on every nerve in my body, from the opening “Yeeeaahh” to the closing…okay, I’ll be honest: I didn’t make it to the end of the song this week. I got as far as the line that rhymes “I’m anti” with “D-R-U-G-G-I-E, my” and turned it off. Hooray for Mark Wahlberg’s #1 hit, hooray for him bringing some extra cash to Dan Hartman and Loleatta Holloway, and hooray for him getting his act together, dropping this hip-hop crap and becoming an actor and whatever else he does now (I don’t watch Entourage and doubt I ever will). It doesn’t mean I have to listen to this song ever again. It was enough in 1991.

Saturday Night Live doesn’t have many funny moments these days (they should call Saturday Night Dead! Huh? Huh? No? Dammit), but I can’t resist including this one.

I also include it because it always cracks Jeff up when I do my impression of Andy Samberg doing an impression of Mark Wahlberg.

5. Something to Talk About — Bonnie Raitt

I suppose that if I’m going to give Aaron Neville shit for not belonging in the Top 10, I should give Bonnie Raitt the same grief. I won’t, though, because Bonnie Raitt is wonderful, and I’ll never say a bad word about her. Her voice is so reassuring to me, I could put on any track of hers right now and feel completely satisfied. Here, I’ll close my eyes and pick a song at random.


Seriously, is anybody having worse luck than me right now?

Bonnie Raitt’s 1989 comeback is one of those fairy-tale stories that you wish happened more often in the music business. Despite the success of Nick of Time, it wasn’t until “Something to Talk About” that Raitt reached the Top 10, and it remains her only hit to do so. Still, the song earned her the Grammy for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance, which is a great honor but somewhat amusing, as there’s nothing “pop” about her vocal. It’s sultry and bluesy, but “pop”? Nuh-uh.

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4. Hole Hearted — Extreme

Am I a complete wuss if I cop to liking “Hole Hearted”? Because I really do think it’s an awesome song. I love the chords (just put your fingers in the “D” position and move ’em up and down the fretboard for the first 20 seconds!), and I think the harmonies in the chorus are beautiful. I like it even better than “More Than Words.” I also like the fact that it led the majority of the record-buying public to believe that Extreme were an acoustic band — which, of course, they weren’t. “More Than Words” and “Hole Hearted” were the only two acoustic songs on Extreme II — Pornograffitti, but if you have a #1 hit with “More Than Words,” what the hell else are you going to follow it up with? The first two singles from the album had already tanked. People wanted their Extreme as gentle as possible. “Hole Hearted” peaked here at #4, and that was pretty much it for the band. The first single from their third album reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock charts, but peaked at a dismal #96 on the Hot 100.

There’s a guitar part in the pre-chorus of “Hole Hearted” that sounded like a complete rip-off to me, but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. My first thought was Bad Company. Then I thought maybe it was a Styx song, and as I was scrolling to Styx on my iPod, I went too far and landed right by Supertramp. And lo and behold, they’re totally ripping off “Give a Little Bit.”

This seems like as good a time as any to show you my favorite Extreme-related video. (What an odd turn of phrase.) For a while, Gary Cherone played in a Who tribute band called Amazing Journey (along with Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater, among others). At the end of one show, they destroyed all of their instruments. Watch at about 1:45 when Cherone, desperate to get in on the action, does a somersault over the drums and lands the back of his head flat against the toms. He tries to walk it off (after a few bewildering seconds), but a friend of mine at the show confirmed his head was seriously bleeding after. Way to go, Cherone! That sorta crap probably never happened to David Lee Roth.

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3. Romantic — Karyn White

“Romantic” reminds me of “The Lover in Me” by Sheena Easton, as well as White’s previous hits, “Secret Rendezvous” and “The Way You Love Me.” The last three I mentioned were all written and produced by “L.A.” Reid, Babyface and Daryl Simmons, so the comparison makes sense, but “Romantic” was actually written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Could we not find anything interesting to do with Karyn White, people?

I don’t have much to say about this song, except it did eventually make it to #1, displacing “Emotions” from the top spot (hey, somebody had to do it). Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had met White while she was singing a duet with singer Michael Jeffries. Lewis and White became close friends, and eventually began dating. Believe it or not, White — who once was listed as one of the “10 most beautiful women in black America” — did all the courting. Lewis actually told her he wasn’t sure if he really liked her romantically. She won him over, and they married in the early ’90s. Unfortunately they’ve since divorced.

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2. Do Anything — Natural Selection Featuring Niki Haris (download)

I love it when I run across songs like this one on the Top 10 — songs I seemingly don’t remember at all based on title and artist, but instantly recall once I hear ’em. I heard this one the other day and immediately remembered what I thought the first time around: Hey, this is like Prince Lite! Or Diet Prince! Or whatever you call this guy who’s clearly trying to rip off the lil’ purple dude! He does a half-credible job, although there are certain elements I don’t think you’d ever find in a Prince song, most notably that awful rap that name-checks the band. You might find the random female appearance, though; I could totally buy that this voice belonged to Martika or one of Prince’s other protÁƒ©gÁƒ©es that he randomly locked in a bathroom or something. This female voice, however, belongs to Niki Haris, best known for her work as Madonna’s backing vocalist from 1987 to 2001. I’m sure Haris was excited to finally have her moment in the spotlight with “Do Anything,” except the song didn’t actually feature her singing — just speaking. Nor did they include her in the video. Ouch! Even Loleatta Holloway got her time in the Marky Mark video. That’s gotta hurt.

In all honesty? I actually really like this song. There, I said it.

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1. Emotions — Mariah Carey

With “Emotions,” Mariah Carey became the first artist to have her first five singles reach #1, breaking a record previously held by the Jackson Five. (Of course, she then proceeded to break her own streak with “Can’t Let Go,” which peaked at #2.) The song was written by Carey and the C + C Music Factory team of David Cole and Robert ClivillÁƒ©s, who also wrote “Make It Happen” and a few others for her second album.

You’ve heard me speak before about Mariah’s “golden period,” and this song is smack in the middle of it. It’s simply happy, and features a fantastic vocal. We’re hearing Mariah hit all those ridiculously high notes for the very first time, and while I’m not going to say that those notes are “can only be described as pure ecstasy,” as claimed in this article, I really don’t have a problem with any of ’em. I’ll take a song like “Emotions” over “Touch My Body” any day of the week.

As discussed briefly by Dave on Episode 1 of the Popdose Podcast, it’s a wonder that the writers of “Emotions” weren’t successfully sued for ripping off the Emotions’ “Best of My Love.” The lawsuit was settled out of court, with Emotions writer Maurice White receiving an undisclosed amount of money. Cole has admitted that the Emotions were an inspiration for, um, “Emotions,” but he denies doing anything sketchy: “We’re not dumb enough to go and steal the damn record.”

Because of stage fright, Mariah avoided live performances, leading critics to believe her vocals were synthesized. She proved them wrong with her MTV Unplugged appearance, although by that time, she had lowered the song a couple of keys. (Big frickin’ deal.) Here’s a performance from The Arsenio Hall Show.

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And that brings us to the end of another CHART ATTACK! If this look back at the ’90s left a bad taste in your mouth, have no fear — we’re heading back to the early ’70s in two weeks. See you then!

About the Author

Jason Hare

Jason Hare used to love Christmas. He feels differently now.

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