1988 Countdown: #81-90 Roundup


For those of you just tuning in: Cleaning out my garage earlier this year, I found three old videotapes that contained the entirety of MTV’s 1988 year-end top 100 countdown. Each Tuesday and Thursday for the past four months, I’ve written up another segment of the countdown (usually a video, but sometimes a commercial break). Improbably, we’re now one-fifth of the way done. So far, Kevin Seal has been our host, and has provided us with much sarcasm and squinting. My favorite clip has probably been the Pet Shop Boys’ “What Have I Done to Deserve This?” but I think the most entertaining video remains Cher’s “I Found Someone.” We’ve also had our fair share of dreck: take a bow, Glenn Frey.

Number of the 20 videos we’ve seen so far that were filmed partially or completely in black and white: 6.  Number that were straight-up performance videos (i.e. no plot or dancing girls): 3. Number that featured photos or cameras: 5. Number with really big hair and/or mullets: 6.

#81: Van Halen, “Finish What Ya Started”

#82: Icehouse, “Electric Blue”

#83: Pet Shop Boys, “What Have I Done to Deserve This?”

#84: Belinda Carlisle, “Circle in the Sand”

#85: The Fat Boys, “The Twist”

#86: Henry Lee Summer, “I Wish I Had a Girl”

#87: Kylie Minogue, “The Loco-Motion”

#88: Michael Bolton, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”

#89: The Traveling Wilburys, “Handle With Care”

#90: Natalie Cole, “Pink Cadillac”


A video not on the countdown that MTV played anyway: U2, “Angel of Harlem”

Ad time: Commercial Break #5, Commercial Break #6, Commercial Break #7, Commercial Break #8

And the countdown’s first hour, spanning #100 to #91.

posted 23 September 2008 in 1988 and tagged , . 2 comments

2 Comments on 1988 Countdown: #81-90 Roundup

  1. Chris M. Says:

    Not seen so far, sure to show up later: George Michael, arguably the No. 1 pop act of 1988. The two biggest bands, GnR and Def Leppard (except for that out-of-countdown “Armageddon It” clip). Bon Jovi, for that matter, although New Jersey came out at the end of ’88 and probably had only spawned one hit (“Bad Medicine”) by New Year’s Eve. INXS, coming off their biggest year ever (a 1987 album that spawned four Top 10 hits in ’88). Tiffany or Debbie Gibson, whom we discussed earlier. Terence Trent D’Arby. Steve Winwood. Exposé.

    The biggest pop act of 1989, but probably not on MTV’s radar yet: New Kids on the Block. By 31 Dec 88, they’d probably only scored a radio hit with “Please Don’t Go Girl”; the big breakthrough was yet to come. Also Bobby Brown, but maybe “Don’t Be Cruel” will show up before this is over; “My Prerogative” was just breaking at radio at this point. And Paula Abdul — just after the first of the year, “Straight Up” explodes and makes her a star.

    Not likely to show up at all: Madonna. Weirdly, 1988 was her one fallow year in the ’80s after her 1983–84 breakthrough. She was between albums (and bickering with Sean) at this point.

  2. Gavin Says:

    Coming attractions! Whee!

    As I may have mentioned, I don’t know what’s coming, except for what I remember from twenty years ago. So I’m hoping for “Straight Up” to make an appearance, but I’m not sure it will. Bobby Brown, however, I do vividly recall appearing on the countdown (those of us watching it got into an argument over whether the word was properly spelled “perogative” or “prerogative”).

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