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Senior Year

Senior Year, 1989: Hangin' Not So Tough

by Wendy Lee Nentwig

Senior Year, 1989: Hangin' Not So Tough

About this playlist

Hindsight has a way of putting everything -- including music trends -- in perspective. What was once the height of cool (or at least was something you wouldn't be totally embarrassed to be caught listening to) suddenly has the potential to send your social status plummeting.

Time has not been kind to the '80s. As we look back, it's hard not shudder at the neon clothes, the spandex, the hairspray, the boy bands. The year 1989 was particularly cringe-worthy, with top tunes including hits by Phil Collins, Roxette and The Bangles. The biggest scandal was Madonna's "Like a Prayer" video, which cost her a Pepsi endorsement (gasp!). The year was also marked by an endless stream of artists who tried to play it tough but were only about as scary as running into Josh Groban in a dark alley.

It was a year that was marked by the rise of New Kids on the Block and the birth of groups like C + C Music Factory, Right Said Fred and En Vogue. It was also a year that saw MTV taken over by leather-clad artists like Bobby Brown, Paula Abdul, Poison, Janet Jackson, Warrant, Guns 'n Roses and Aerosmith scowling and sneering unconvincingly in video after video. Even Prince went corporate, watering down his sexy swagger for the Batman soundtrack.

Still, as guilty pleasures go, you can't help but sing along when you hear these songs. Maybe it's the nostalgia factor -- or maybe all those '80s artists were really onto something. Either way, we dare you not to enjoy this 1989 mix. Just be sure to discreetly slip on some headphones first, so no one else has to know. We promise, your secret's safe with us.

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