Three Radio Staples: 1989

Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins: I have been told that if I didn’t like this song, I was a heartless piece of crap. I’ll tell you why I don’t like it. First, the synths are annoying. Second, the lyrics are cloying to the point where your teeth hurt and you want to physically remove them with pliers. Homelessness is a SERIOUS issue, hell, we here in Barnstable would rather ban plastic bags than help the homeless, but who am I kidding? I almost feel like a heartless piece of crap for listening to this instead of helping them out. I happen to know several people who live out of doors and have told me to review this song because THEY hated it so much. The song makes them feel worthless. Third, the drum machine. Phil, you’re an accomplished drummer and yet you resort to a drum machine? Hell, you could have a studio musician be your drummer. At least someone listened, as the real drums kick in about halfway through the song. Fourth, the video. Why just show DC? There are homeless people around the world, you could have filmed them too, and made the video just like the one for Take Me Home: show locations around the world. Holy crap, where’s the Tylenol? My teeth hurt. 1/5

Living in Sin by Bon Jovi: I think we need some lighter fare after that diatribe. This was a single off the album New Jersey, which was released the previous year. The song is a ballad sung in hair metal fashion. Get out your lighters if you’re going to listen to this. With that synth opening and that powerful ending, this is a whole bottle’s worth of hairspray wrapped up in a convenient package that’s a little over four and a half minutes. The boys were riding high at this point, riding that wave of fame with no end in sight. Always been a fan of Bon Jovi, especially the early, early stuff (We’re talking the debut and 7800° here.) Not really a fan of their newer stuff, but it’ll do in a pinch. 4/5

Runnin’ Down a Dream by Tom Petty: When I reviewed Full Moon Fever, I explained that this was a track to cruise to. Everything here is in harmony, while the lyrics are simple, Tom can tell a story with them and the story is good. I can remember when the song was big on WNTX before it became WRZE and almost exclusively Top-40. The video is a classic, with Tom as Little Nemo. There’s also computer animation in the video. Tom must’ve shelled out big bucks to have it produced. This is a song you can listen to on repeat for hours. 4/5


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