Nineteen years ago, Boyz ruled, rumps were Wreckxed, and Madonna scandalized the Vatican. We revisit and regrade the pop-music week that was

By Leah Greenblatt
November 04, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

How Do You Talk to an Angel

  • Music

1. Boyz II Men, ”End of the Road”
It may have been a very sad road — girl, don’t you know they cannot sleep at night without holding you tight?! — but it was paved in gold: The Cooleyhighharmonizers’ woeful ballad spent a record-shattering 13 weeks at No. 1. A

2. The Heights, ”How Do You Talk to an Angel”
When he wasn’t busy combing his pompadour and pushing Donna Martin down the stairs on the original 90210, actor Jamie Walters was honing his songcraft; though his musical drama The Heights lasted only 12 episodes, its sax-assisted soft-rock theme song still topped the charts. B-

3. P.M. Dawn, ”I’d Die Without You”
The maestros of incense-scented slow jams (see also: ’91 smash ”Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”) unleashed yet another plush velveteen sound-pillow. Yay, nap time! A-

4. Patty Smyth, ”Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough”
A huskier-than-thou adult-contemporary sing-off with Don Henley scored the Scandal singer and second Mrs. John McEnroe her only solo hit. B

5. Madonna, ”Erotica”
Oh, this old thing?Just a little ditty about sensuality (and, you know, ball gags) that got banned by MTV and totally freaked out the Pope. A-

6. House of Pain, ”Jump Around”
Pack it up, pack it in! Let them begin! The first and only members of hip-hop’s Irish-American Thug Life Hall of Fame earned their spot in that (imaginary) pantheon with this killer blast of rapid-fire rap bravado. A+

7. Snap!, ”Rhythm Is a Dancer”
Rhythm is also clearly no stranger to synthesizers, black vinyl catsuits, and Colombian-grade caffeine. The Europop party crew’s frantic dance-floor anthem became the stuff sweet Club MTV dreams were made of. B+

8. Wreckx-N-Effect, ”Rump Shaker”
Much like the Eskimos and their many words for snow, the momentary kings of New Jack Schwing had endless terms to express the ways in which they loved your booty, and exactly how they planned to zoom-a-zoom-zoom it. A-

9. Mary J. Blige, ”Real Love”
Years before she duetted with Bono and Andrea Bocelli and talked self-love on Oprah’s couch, she was just Mary — a fiercely talented girl from the Bronx searching for a man who wouldn’t take her heart and run. A+

10. TLC, ”What About Your Friends”
How crazy is it that this song is great, and yet is maybe only TLC’s eighth-best single? Dear ’90s: We miss you. A-

Source: Joel Whitburn Presents The Billboard® Hot 100® Charts—The Nineties

How Do You Talk to an Angel

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