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1991 chart flashback

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Madonna! Mariah! Oleta? With the gimlet eye of hindsight — and perhaps a slight cataract of nostalgia — we revisit the singles charts from 20 years ago this week and regrade each song.

1. Timmy T, ”One More Try”
Balls of tinfoil have better production values than this tinkly synth-pap plea, and L.A. freestyler Timmy T never hit the Top 40 again. But oh, that aching, Casio-assisted misery. B-

2. Mariah Carey, ”Someday”
Mimi still kills the climactic money note on her coy boy-you’re-gonna-miss-me dis. B

3. Gloria Estefan, ”Coming Out of the Dark”
A poignant gospel-tinged ballad sprung from the Latin-pop superstar’s near-fatal 1990 tour-bus accident. B+

4. Tracie Spencer, ”This House”
Was there only one drum machine available to the entire Hot 100 in 1991? Apparently. C-

5. Oleta Adams, ”Get Here”
Oleta will accept planes, trains, and automobiles (also: balloons, unspecified caravans); she just needs you to Get Here. Now. B

6. Tara Kemp, ”Hold You Tight”
Again with the drum machine! And yet the Club MTV wind-machine vibes on now-forgotten R&B songstress Kemp’s highest-charting song are mesmerizing. B+

7. Wilson Phillips, ”You’re in Love”
Just some gold-plated Ladies of the Canyon, singing sweet harmonies and wearing brocade vests like nobody’s business. B

8. Londonbeat, ”I’ve Been Thinking About You”
It’s a European spandex dance party! And you’re invited. A-

9. Madonna, ”Rescue Me”
Madge never really needed a man to save her. But she still asked on this throaty dance floor SOS from 1990’s The Immaculate Collection. B+

10. Enigma, ”Sadeness Part 1”
It’s a European incense trance party! And you’re invited. B

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