At the tail end of the 1989, the music industry was about to experience a sea change. Although some acts in the realms of hair metal and hip hop were still doing alright, no one could have been prepared for the age of irony that was about to explode into existence in the coming decade. Across the decade that would follow, we would be exposed to music unlike anything we had ever heard before.
On the pop charts, that is. Though some of these genres had been alive and well for years at this point, it wasn't until the '90s that they really broke, leaving behind classic songs that we will probably never see again. While some were definitely more noteworthy than others, it's hard to even imagine all of these great songs co-existing in the same area, with grunge being on the same level as pop punk, gangsta rap, and even the acoustic side of alternative music.
Much like the aesthetic that they were pulling off, this really was an 'anything goes' kind of time, which made for some of the most eclectic music to ever grace the pop charts. Even though we may not see something done to this extreme happen on the charts any time soon, it's nice to reel back the tape to see just how well it turned out.
10. November Rain - Guns N Roses
Once the new year of 1990 started off, the age of hair metal felt like it had officially run its course. After all, with the strongest thing on the charts at the time being Warrant's Cherry Pie, it felt like all of the good natured fun of the genre had been traded in for some of the most lackluster songs in history. Even though the street urchins of LA didn't have a prayer anymore, Axl Rose made one hell of a sendoff for the genre with November Rain.
Although most of Guns N Roses' Use Your Illusion records feel bloated due to Rose's inflated ego running rampant, this is one of those moments where the grandiosity feels warranted, expanding the song from a typical ballad into a 9 minute epic that doesn't pull any of its punches. Along with having some of Slash's greatest guitar work, the song is Rose's answer to Bohemian Rhapsody, taking different sections of songs and making them flow flawlessly into different areas that many questioned if hair metal was even capable of doing.
By the time the final breakdown kicks in and Slash's guitar takes everything away, you can practically see all of the chaos of the genre's final days reaching its apex in real time. Complete with just the right over the top video to accompany it, this was the final hoorah that the poodle haired generation really needed before grunge came into focus.