By Jack Sharkey, June 23, 2017

 

1992

Two seismic shifts occured in 1992, one that would change the rock world forever and one that would change the Country world in ways still being felt today. Wayne's World put Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody back on the charts sixteen years after it was released, but that was about the only good news for rockers of the long-hair, crunchy variety. When Nirvana's Nevermind was released in September 1991, the careers of metal hair-bands around the world literally ceased mid-song. One 80s hair-band holdover managed two chart hits in 1992,  but other than a few guitar bands here and there (U2 had two chart hits), the year belonged to Nirvana and new school R&B.

 

Jump - Kriss Kross We can excuse them for wearing their clothes backwards because whether Mac Dad or Daddy Mac, these kids were bad. When a twelve year-old tells you something is "bull crap" and you think it's cool, you know there's something going on.  

 

 

Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton When Eric Clapton's four year-old son fell from the 53rd floor of a New York apartment building in 1991, Tears In Heaven became Clapton's painful cry to the Fates. The song strikes so many people to this day because it is so real. On an interesting side-note, the song was also used in the movie Rush which featured a stirring guest appearance by Gregg Allman.     

 

 

Black Or White - Michael Jackson The King of Pop could do no wrong in 1992, except for the "panther sequence" at the end of the Jon Landis-directed Black Or White video which premiered simultaneously to 500 million people world-wide. And maybe also the prepsosterous notion that McCauley Culkin could rap (no Kriss Kross is he). But, beside all of that, the song was Jackson's strongest chart outing since the halcyon days of Thriller.         

 

 

To Be With You - Mr. Big This moderately successful hit is included here because it was the last hit from a genre that ruled American music for the five or six years preceding Nirvana releasing Nevermind. LA's hair-metal scene ruled with an invincible strangle-hold on guitar-based music until then, and Mr. Big was one of the lucky few who escaped the Grunge earthquake with one last power ballad.  

 

 

Achy Breaky Heart - Bill Ray Cyrus Back then, we all thought Billy Ray would be the worst Cyrus we would have to contend with. Garth Brooks is generally considered to have reset Country music a few years afterward, mostly because people would rather forget how huge this song was, but Achy Breaky Heart was the tune that shifted the Country music business and so far those reverberations are still being felt.     

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