1989 in Rock & Roll History:

German pop duo Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Best New Artist Grammy when it is revealed they didn't sing on their records. Pepsi drops Madonna as a commercial spokesperson following her controversial "Like A Prayer" video. The single goes to #1 in the US and UK. Michael Jackson begins referring to himself as the King of Pop. Ringo Starr tours with his All Star Band for the first time with Joe Walsh, Billy Preston and Dr. John, among others.

Top 40 Singles of 1989

1   Madonna - Like a Prayer
  2   Phil Collins - Another Day in Paradise
  3   The Bangles - Eternal Flame
  4   Richard Marx - Right Here Waiting
  5   The B52s - Love Shack
  6   Roxette - The Look
  7   Fine Young Cannibals
       She Drives Me Crazy
  8   Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers        Swing the Mood
  9   Prince - Batdance
10   Kaoma - Lambada
11   Mike & The Mechanics
       The Living Years
12   Madonna - Express Yourself
13   Milli Vanilli
       Girl, I'm Gonna Miss You
14   Technotronic - Pump Up the Jam
15   Simply Red
       If You Don't Know Me By Now
16   Paula Abdul - Straight Up
17   Soul II Soul - Back to Life
18   Martika - Toy Soldiers
19   Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire
20   Cher - If I Could Turn Back Time
21   Bette Midler
       Wind Beneath My Wings
22   Roxette - Listen to Your Heart
23   New Kids On The Block
       You Got it (The Right Stuff)
24   Tone Loc - Wild Thing
25   Guns n' Roses - Paradise City
26   Janet Jackson - Miss You Much
27   Tears For Fears
       Sowing the Seeds of Love
28   Neneh Cherry - Buffalo Stance
29   Fine Young Cannibals - Good Thing
30   Tina Turner - The Best
31   Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville        Don't Know Much
32   Marc Almond & Gene Pitney            Something's Gotten Hold of My                  Heart
33   Bobby Brown - On Our Own
34   Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl
35   Gloria Estefan
       I Don't Wanna Lose You
36   Black Box - Ride On Time
37   New Kids On The Block
       Hangin' Tough
38   Milli Vanilli - Blame it On the Rain
39   Madonna - Cherish
40   Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan        Especially For You

Top 50 Albums of 1989

  1   Madonna - Like A Prayer
  2   Phil Collins - ... But Seriously
  3   Fine Young Cannibals
       The Raw & The Cooked
  4   The Cure - Disintegration
  5   Prince - Batman
  6   Paula Abdul - Forever Your Girl
  7   Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation 1814
  8   Roy Orbison - Mystery Girl
  9   Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers        Full Moon Fever
10   Tracy Chapman - Crossroads
11   The Pixies - Doolittle
12   Aerosmith - Pump
13   The Rolling Stones - Steel Wheels
14   Tina Turner - Foreign Affair
15   New Kids On The Block
       Hangin' Tough
16   Bonnie Raitt - Nick Of Time
17   Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel
18   Richard Marx - Repeat Offender
19   Simply Red - A New Flame
20   Simple Minds - Street Fighting Years
21   The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
22   Lou Reed - New York
23   Tears For Fears - The Seeds Of Love
24   Billy Joel - Storm Front
25   Queen - The Miracle
26   Motley Crue - Dr Feelgood
27   Gloria Estefan - Cuts Both Ways
28   Don Henley
       The End Of The Innocence
29   Original Soundtrack - Cocktail
30   Milli Vanilli - Girl You Know It's True
31   The Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
32   NWA - Straight Outta Compton
33   Roxette - Look Sharp!
34   Andrew Lloyd Webber                      Phantom Of The Opera
35   De La Soul - 3 Feet High & Rising
36   Elton John - Sleeping With The Past
37   Eric Clapton - Journeyman
38   Paul McCartney - Flowers In The Dirt
39   Debbie Gibson - Electric Youth
40   Chris Rea - The Road To Hell
41   Cher - Heart Of Stone
42   Kate Bush - The Sensual World
43   Tone Loc - Loc'ed After Dark
44   Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers        The Album
45   Skid Row - Skid Row
46   New Order - Technique
47   Neil Young - Freedom
48   John Cougar Mellencamp
       Big Daddy
49   The Eurythmics - We Too Are One
50   Bob Dylan - Oh Mercy

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
Jan '89
New Jersey band Skid Row release their debut album which goes to #6 US, #30 UK led by two US Top Ten singles "18 and Life" and "I Remember You". (more) 
Jan '89
R.E.M. move to Warner Brothers and score their second US Top Ten hit with the single "Stand" from their sixth album Green. (more)
Aug '89
Feb '89
Sacramento, CA metal band Tesla release their second album (#18 US) and their power ballad "Love Song" #10 US gets heavy  rotation on MTV. (more)
Jan '89
Debbie Gibson's second album goes #1 US, #8 UK featuring the #1 single "Lost In Your Eyes". At 17 years old, Gibson writes all the songs and produces six of them. (more)
Feb '89
UK band New Order enter the UK charts at #1 (#32 US) with their fifth album "Technique". The single "Fine Time" hits #11 UK. (more)
Feb '89
Miami hip-hop group 2 Live Crew benefit from the obscenity controversy over their 3rd album, As Nasty
As They Want To Be, and go on to sell two million copies. The single "Me So Horny" peaks at #26 US. (more)
Feb '89
The major label debut by The Indigo Girls, high school friends from Decatur, GA reaches #22 US driven by the single "Closer to Fine". (more)
Feb '89
Birmingham, UK trio Fine Young Cannibals hit the top with their second album The Raw and The Cooked ( #1 US & UK).
The album yields two US #1 singles (both top ten UK) "She Drives Me Crazy" and "Good Thing". (more)
Feb '89
Manchester, UK band Simply Red top the US charts for the second time with their cover of Harold Melvin's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" (#1 US, #2 UK). (more)
Feb '89
Los Angeles band The Bangles single "Eternal Flame" tops the charts in both the US and UK. (more) 
Apr '89
Mar '89
German pop duo Milli Vanilli release their US debut album which goes to #1 US and spawns three #1 US singles. The duo of
Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus would go on to win the Best New Artist Grammy only to have it revoked when it is later found out they are not the singers on the album. (more)
Mar '89
"Like a Prayer" the first single from Madonna's fourth album goes to #1 in the US and UK. The controversial 
video for the song causes Pepsi to drop Madonna as a spokesperson. (more)
Mar '89
Former Soul Train dancer and Shalamar member, Jody Watley scores three US Top Ten singles off her second solo album, Larger Than Life. (more) 
Mar '89
Long Island hip-hop trio De La Soul release their debut album 3 Feet High and Rising. The album tops the Hip-Hop charts and goes to #13 UK, #24 US on the album charts. (more)
Apr '89
Swedish pop duo Roxette break through in the US with their second album Look Sharp! featuring two #1 US singles "The Look" (#7 UK) and "Listen To Your Heart". (more) 
UK artist Neneh Cherry hits #3 in the US and UK with her dance single "Buffalo Stance" from the album Raw Like Sushi. (more)
Apr '89
Apr '89
Tom Petty's first solo LP, Full Moon Fever, goes to #3 US and generates a US Top Ten hit with "Free Fallin". (more) 
L.A. rapper Tone Loc hits #1 in the US with his debut album and has two US Top Five singles "Wild Thing" and "Funky Cold Medina". (more) 
Apr '89
Boston band The Pixies release their second album, Doolittle, with a new, cleaner
sound. The album goes Top Ten in the UK and squeaks into the top 100 in the US. (more)
Apr '89
UK hard rockers, The Cult, crack the US Top Ten with their fourth album Sonic Temple #3 UK. (more)
Apr '89
Scottish band, Deacon Blue, hit #1 in the UK with their third album, When The World Knows Your Name. (more)
May '89
Los Angeles rockers, Great White, hit their commercial peak with their 4th album which goes Top Ten in the US. Their cover of Ian Hunter's  "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" goes to #5 on the US singles chart. (more)
May '89
The Cure take gothic rock to #3 UK, #12 US with their 8th album, Disintegration. The single "Lovesong" goes to #2 in the US, #18 UK. (more)
May '89
Manchester, UK band the Stone Roses release their debut album which goes Top Ten in the UK. (more)
May '89
Chicago native, Richard Marx, hits #1 US, #8 UK with his second album Repeat Offender. The album generates two #1 US singles including "Right Here Waiting" #2 UK. (more)
May '89
Queen release their 12th album, The Miracle, which goes to #1 UK, #24 US. (more)
Jun '89
Cher releases her 20th album, Heart of Stone, which goes Top Ten in the US and UK. The single "If I Could Turn Back Time" hits #3 US, #7 UK. (more)
Jun '89
Seattle's Sub Pop label releases the debut album, Bleach, by Aberdeen, WA band Nirvana. The album sells 40,000 copies. (more)
Jun '89
San Francisco band Faith No More hit it big with a new lead singer on their third album, The Real Thing. The single "Epic" goes Top Ten in the US, #29 UK. (more) 
Jun '89
Athens, GA band the B-52's have their first top 40 single with "Love Shack" #3 US, #2 UK from their 5th album, Cosmic Thing. (more)
Jun '89
California rockabilly artist Chris Isaak releases his third album, Heart Shaped World. A year later the album's single "Wicked Game" hits #6 US, #10 UK after being used in the David Lynch film - Wild At Heart. (more)
Jun '89
American soap opera star Michael Damian hits #1 in the US with his cover of David Essex' 70's hit "Rock On". (more)
Jul '89
Continuing the Hollywood influence on the charts, Bette Midler goes to #1 US, #5 UK with the single "Wind Beneath My Wings" from the movie Beaches.(more)
Jul '89
Proving that hair metal isn't dead, Hollywood band Warrant score two US Top Ten singles "Heaven" and "Sometimes She Cries" off their debut album.  (more)
Jul '89
The Beastie Boys move from one-hit-wonders to critical darlings with their second album, Paul's Boutique #14 US, #44 UK. (more)
UK pop/punk band Transvision Vamp hit #1 in the UK with their second album, Velveteen, led by the #3 UK single "Baby I Don't Care". (more)
Jul '89
Aug '89
California's Red Hot Chili Peppers release their fourth album, Mother's Milk. The album is their first to break into the US Top 100, peaking at #52. The singles "Knock Me Down" and the Stevie Wonder cover "Higher Ground" are well received. (more)
Sep '89
Boston boy band New Kids On the Block hit #1 in the US and UK with their second album, Hangin' Tough. The album generates five Top Ten singles. (more)
Texas group Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians hit #7 US, #31 UK with the single "What I Am" from their debut album. (more)
Sep '89
UK band Love & Rockets, former Bauhaus members, have a suprise #3 hit single in the US with "So Alive" from their fourth album. (more)
Sep '89
Bob Dylan's 26th album, Oh Mercy, is something of a comeback, with good reviews it charts at #30 US and goes to #6 in the UK. (more)
Sep '89
Scottish band The Jesus and Mary Chain release their third album, Automatic, using synthesized bass and drums. The album goes to #11 UK, but fails to crack the Top 100 in the US. (more)
Sep '89
Janet Jackson releases her fourth album, Rhythm Nation 1814, which goes to #1 US, #4 UK. The album generates seven US Top Five singles including "Escapade". (more)
Sep '89
Aerosmith release their tenth album, Pump. The album produces three Top Ten singles in the US, including "Janie's Got A Gun". (more) 
Sep '89
Let Love Rule, the debut album by New York City native Lenny Kravitz is released to moderate success, #61 US, #56 UK. (more)
Oct '89
After 62 weeks on the US charts Paula Abdul hits #1 US, #3 UK with her album Forever Your Girl. The album spawns five US Top Three singles including the title track and "Opposites Attract". (more)
Oct '89
Neil Young makes yet another comeback with the album Freedom, which goes to #35 US. The song "Rockin In The Free World" becomes the soundtrack for the fall of the Berlin Wall. (more)
Nov '89
19 year old Newark, NJ hip-hop artist Queen Latifah releases her debut album, All Hail The Queen on Tommy Boy Records. (more)
Oct '89
Oct '89
UK synthpop duo Erasure score their second #1 album in the UK, #57 US with Wild. Singles "Drama" and "Blue Savannah" both make the UK Top Five. (more) 
Cleveland, Ohio's Trent Reznor, under band name Nine Inch Nails, releases his debut album Pretty Hate Machine on TVT Records. The album gains an underground following and charts at #75 US. (more) 
Oct '89
Italian house music group Black Box are #1 in the UK for six weeks with the single "Ride On Time". (more)
Oct '89
Motley Crue have their first and only #1 album with Dr. Feelgood, #7 UK. The title track and the single "Without You" both go Top Ten in the US. (more)
Nov '89
Nov '89
Nov '89
Nov '89
Dec '89
UK slide guitarist and singer-songwriter Chris Rea goes to #1 in the UK with his tenth album The Road to Hell. The album fails to crack the Top 100 in the US. (more)
Belgian studio project Technotronic score a #2 hit in the US and UK with the single "Pump Up The Jam". (more)
Genesis frontman Phil Collins has his third #1 UK, second US, solo album with ...But Seriously. The single "Another Day in Paradise" hits #1 in the UK, #2 US. (more)
UK singer Lisa Stansfield releases her debut album Affection which reaches #2 UK and #9 US, led by the single "All Around The World" #1 UK, #3 US. (more)
In December Billy Joel has his third US #1, #5 UK, single with "We Didn't Start The Fire" from his 11th album Storm Front. This is also his third #1 album in the US. (more)
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