1990 in Rock & Roll History:

MTV debuts the Unplugged studio concert series with UK band Squeeze in a live performance. Jimi Hendrix's Stratocaster guitar from Woodstock is sold for $295,000. Roger Waters and guest stars perform The Wall in Berlin, eight months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Curtis Mayfield is paralyzed from the neck down after being struck by a falling lighting rig at a Brooklyn, NY outdoor concert. Guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in a helicopter crash after a concert in East Troy, Wisconsin. Gloria Estefan is seriously injured when her tour bus crashes.

Top 40 Singles of 1990

  1   Sinead O'Connor
       Nothing Compares 2 U
  2   Madonna - Vogue
  3   Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby
  4   MC Hammer - U Can't Touch This
  5   Londonbeat
       I've Been Thinking About You
  6   Bon Jovi - Blaze of Glory
  7   Roxette - It Must Have Been Love
  8   Enigma - Sadeness
  9   Mariah Carey - Vision of Love
10   Snap - The Power
11   Lisa Stansfield - All Around the World
12   Madonna - Justify My Love
13   Heart
       All I Wanna Do is Make Love to You
14   Paula Abdul & The Wild Pair           Opposites Attract
15   Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
16   Janet Jackson - Escapade
17   Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
18   New Kids On The Block
       Step By Step
19   DNA & Suzanne Vega - Tom's Diner
20   Deee-Lite - Groove is in the Heart
21   Whitney Houston
       I'm Your Baby Tonight
22   INXS - Suicide Blonde
23   Technotronic
        Get Up (Before the Night is Over)
24   George Michael - Praying For Time
25   Maxi Priest - Close to You
26   Wilson Phillips - Hold On
27   George Michael - Freedom
28   Michael Bolton - How am I Supposed         to Live Without You?
29   Bette Midler - From a Distance
30   Wilson Phillips - Release Me
31   Taylor Dayne
        Love Will Lead You Back
32   Glenn Medeiros & Bobby Brown        She Ain't Worth It
33   Aerosmith - Janie's Got a Gun
34   Elton John - Sacrifice
35   Phil Collins
       I Wish it Would Rain Down
36   Janet Jackson - Black Cat
37   Roxette - Dangerous
38   Prince - Thieves in the Temple
39   Mariah Carey - Love Takes Time
40   Faith No More - Epic

Top 50 Albums of 1990

  1   Sinead O'Connor
       I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got
  2   Madonna -The Immaculate Collection
  3   MC Hammer
       Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em
  4   Mariah Carey - Mariah Carey
  5   Depeche Mode - Violator
  6   Madonna - I'm Breathless
  7   New Kids On The Block
       Step By Step
  8   Paul Simon
       The Rhythm Of The Saints
  9   Alannah Myles - Alannah Myles
10   Original Soundtrack - Pretty Woman
11   Elton John - The Very Best Of
12   Phil Collins - Serious Hits, Live!
13   AC/DC - The Razor's Edge
14   George Michae
       Listen Without Prejudice Volume I
15   Michael Bolton - Soul Provider
16   Vanilla Ice - To The Extreme
17   Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo &              Luciano Pavarotti - In Concert
18   Public Enemy
       Fear Of A Black Planet
19   Wilson Phillips - Wilson Phillips
20   INXS - X
21   Whitney Houston
       I'm Your Baby Tonight
22   Black Crowes
       Shake Your Money Maker
23   The B52's - Cosmic Thing
24   Garth Brooks - No Fences
25   Lisa Stansfield - Affection
26   Midnight Oil - Blue Sky Mining
27   Prince - Graffiti Bridge
28   Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
29   Led Zeppelin - Remasters
30   Quincy Jones - Back On The Block
31   Bon Jovi - Blaze Of Glory
32   Angelo Badalamenti - Twin Peaks
33   ZZ Top - Recycler
34   Jane's Addiction
       Ritual de lo Habitual
35   Megadeth - Rust In Peace
36   The Scorpions - Crazy World
37    The Happy Mondays
        Pills 'N' Thrills & Bellyaches
38   Technotronic - Pump Up The Jam
39   Poison - Flesh & Blood
40   Heart - Brigade
41   Billy Idol - Charmed Life
42   Fleetwood Mac - Behind The Mask
43   The Pixies - Bossanova
44   Black Box - Dreamland
45   They Might Be Giants - Flood
46   The Pet Shop Boys - Behaviour
47   Neil Young - Ragged Glory
48   Faith No More - The Real Thing
49   Queensryche - Empire
50   David Bowie - ChangesBowie

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.

US and UK #1 Singles and Albums Charts are linked at the bottom of each yearly timeline.
Jan '90
Jan '90
Washington DC hardcore band Fugazi, release their debut album Repeater. (more)
Jan '90
Michael Bolton's sixth album, Soul Survivor, makes him a star, generating three US Top Ten singles including #1 US, #3 UK single "How Am I Supposed To Live Without You". (more)
Las Vegas, NV metal band Slaughter, hit it big in the states with their debut album, Stick It To Ya #18 US. (more)
Feb '90
Feb '90
Atlanta, GA blues-rock band, The Black Crowes, hit the Top Five in the US, #36 UK with their debut album - Shake Your Money Maker. (more)
Oakland, CA rapper MC Hammer hits #1 US, #8 UK with his third album, featuring the hit single "U Can't Touch This" #8 US, #3 UK. (more)
Feb '90
Damn Yankees, featuring former members of Styx and Night Ranger along with Ted Nugent, score a #3 US single with "High Enough" from their debut album. (more)
Mar '90
Irish singer Sinead O'Connor covers the Prince song "Nothing Compares 2 U" on her second album and takes the song to #1 world wide. (more)
Mar '90
Bel Biv Devoe, with three former members of New Edition, hit #5 with their debut album Poison. The title track and second single "Do Me!" both go to #3 US. (more)
Mar '90
Public Enemy release their third album, Fear Of A Black Planet, and sell one million copies in the first week. The album charts at #4 UK, #10 US. (more)
Mar '90
UK band Depeche Mode become international stars with their 7th album, Violator, which peaks at #7 US, #2 UK. The album features the singles "Enjoy the Silence" and "Personal Jesus". (more)
Canadian singer  Alannah Myles scores a #1 US, #2 UK hit with "Black Velvet" from her debut album. (more)
Apr '90
Apr '90
Oakland, CA girl group, En Vogue, go to #2 US, #5 UK  with their first single "Hold On" from their debut album, Born To Sing. (more)
Apr '90
Liverpool, UK band Lightning Seeds have a #15 UK synthpop hit with their debut single "Pure". (more)
May '90
German studio project Snap! score a UK #1, US #2 hit single with "The Power". It is the first rap song to top the UK charts. (more)
After leaving NWA, Ice Cube releases his solo debut Amerikka's Most Wanted, which charts at #19 US, #48 UK. (more)
May '90
May '90
Wilson Phillips release their debut album and generate three US #1 hit singles, including "Hold On" #1 US, #6 UK. The Wilson sisters are the daughters of Beach Boy
Brian Wilson, while Chynna Phillips is the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips of 1960's stars the Mama's and the Papa's. (more)
May '90
Los Angeles alternative band, Concrete Blonde, break into the US Top Twenty with the single "Joey" from their third album Bloodletting. (more)
May '90
From the soundtrack to the movie Dick Tracy, Madonna's single "Vogue" goes to number one in the US, UK and worlwide. (more)
May '90
The twin sons of fifties icon Rick Nelson release their debut album and go on to hit #1 in the US with the single "(Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection". (more)  
Long Island, NY native Mariah Carey releases her debut album which hits #1 US, #6 UK and generates four US #1 singles. (more)
Jun '90
Jun '90
The third album by American boy band New Kids On The Block - Step by Step debuts at  #1 in both the US & UK.
Jun '90
New York alternative rock band Sonic Youth move to major label Geffen for their sixth album Goo. The album charts at #96 US and #32 UK. (more)
Jul '90
Iggy Pop's tenth solo album Brick by Brick is released and becomes his first gold record #50 UK, #90 US. (more)
The Allman Brothers Band releases their tenth studio album Seven Turns #53 US. It is their first release since 1981. (more) 
Jul '90
Jul '90
Scottish band, The Soup Dragons, hit #5 UK with their cover of the Rolling Stones "I'm Free" from their third album Lovegod. (more)
Jul '90
Texas thrash metal band Pantera signs with major label ATCO and release their fifth album Cowboys From Hell. (more)
Aug '90
Texas blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan is killed in a helicopter crash on Aug. 26th following a concert with Eric Clapton and Buddy Guy in Wisconsin. (more)
Aug '90
San Francisco power-pop band Jellyfish release their debut album and go to #62 US, #51 UK with the single "Baby's Coming Back". (more)
Boston, MA area rock band Extreme release their second album Pornograffiti which goes top ten, led by the acoustic single "More Than Words" which goes all the way to #1 by early 1991. (more)
Aug '90
Aug '90
The debut album from Texas native Vanilla Ice is released, along with the single "Ice Ice Baby". Both the album and the single go to #1 in the US & UK. (more)
Aug '90
The second album from California glam metal band Warrant, Cherry Pie, goes Top Ten US and spawns two US Top Ten hits  with the title song plus "I Saw Red". (more)
Aug '90
Charlotte, NC hard rock band, Firehouse, release their debut album and score a #5 hit in the US, #40 UK with the ballad "Love of a Lifetime". (more)
Seattle band Alice in Chains release their debut album Facelift. The album reaches #42 US, #24 UK and the video for "Man In The Box" receives heavy rotation on MTV. (more)
Aug '90
American singer songwriter and former Lone Justice lead singer, Maria McKee, goes to #1 in the UK with the single "Show Me Heaven". The song fails to chart in the US. (more)
Sep '90
Sep '90
Chapel Hill, NC alternative band Superchunk release their debut album on Matador Records. (more)
Sep '90
Jon Bon Jovi's first single as a solo artist, "Blaze of Glory" goes to #1 US, #13 UK. (more)
Sep '90
Led Zeppelin release a four CD box set of their popular songs and introduce themselves to a new generation of fans. (more)
Oxford, UK alternative band, Ride, release their debut album on Creation Records. The album goes to #15 UK. (more) 
Oct '90
Oct '90
West Midlands, UK band The Charlatans go to #1 in the UK with their debut album Some Friendly. (more) 
Nov '90
Oct '90
After scoring hits in Canada and France, Celine Dion learns English and releases the album Unison in the US. Her first single "Where Does My Heart Beat Now" goes to #4 in the US. (more) 
Hull, UK band The Beautiful South go to #2 UK with their debut album and #2 with the single
"Song For Whoever". (more)
Dec '90
Latin Freestyle dance star Stevie B broadens his audience with a #1 US single "Because I Love You (The Postman Song)". (more)
Dec '90
Dance music producers David Cole and Robert Clivillés score a #1 US, #3 UK hit single with "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" under the C & C Music Factory name. (more) 
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