It’s that time again. The year is now 1995. With Boyz II Men carrying over in a non-consecutive run, we have 12 songs in this year’s poll, including the song with the longest run ever at the top of the Hot 100.
Boy, this says a lot about my experiences with Michael Jackson:
Circa 1985: played Thriller album until the cassette tape wore out. Bought another one. Wore it out too.
Circa 1995: You Are Not Alone? I have absolutely no memory of this song, even when I looked it up on YouTube.
Anyway, as far as what I did vote for: Seal wins it this year, by miles. I’m just surprised to hear that it’s a 1995 song. For some reason, I want to place it about ten years later, closer to 2005.
I can actually appreciate Gangster’s Paradise to some extent. But rap just doesn’t resonate with me. For me, rap is a performance art, but not necessarily music, if that makes sense. That’s purely my cultural upbringing/personal taste, and not a judgment against anyone else.
Just last week I saw a rock band in Seattle that specializes in covering TV theme songs and songs from classic movies, and for one song they had the bassist take the mic and cover Gangster’s Paradise. To the best of my recollection, it was the first time I had heard the song in about 18 years. (They killed it, for the record.)
As a Prince superfan, how can I, I say, how can I not vote for one of the TLC tunes? The answer (SPOILER ALERT) is that I cannot not cast a vote for TLC. But which song to vote for? “Creep” is a damn slinky, sexxxy (yes, the two extra X’s are necessary) fucking ditty. But ultimately, I went with “Waterfalls”, which harkens back to Prince at his absolute creative zenith (that would be ca. Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and Lovesexy, for those of you playing along at home).
Other, nearly as worthy choices? Madonna and Seal. And that’s fucking IT.
“Gangster’s Paradise” gets the highest score by far in the world-famous Ponch8 Music Rating System, the definitive system for differentiating good music from bad. Michael Jackson’s “You are Not Alone” is one of his worst songs, but it’s still better than the rest of this shite. Boyz II Men’s two entries tie for dead-ass last place.