December 1989

The World in December 1989
The biggest news would have to be on the 3rd of December, when Margaret Thatcher, George Bush (Sr) and Mikhail Gorbachev declared the Cold War over. This was back when Britain was still relevant, in large part due to sheer force of will from Maggie. 2 days later she would defeat Anthony Meyer (who?) in a leadership challenge.

In the UK, aside from Maggie’s leadership challenge, we had the privatised water companies going on the stock market, making some people a LOT of money. Labour began its path towards Blairite sanity by abandoning its policy on closed shops. The economy continued to slide, inflation hit 7.8% during the year while growth dipped to 1.7%, with house prices in London falling 10% to an average of £86000 (what I wouldn’t give for prices to be that sane now).

Britain experienced its worst flu epidemic since the 70s with a million infections recorded by December, with hospitals forced to cancel surgery. We did not shut the country down. The estimated death count was between 19000 and 29000.

Elsewhere in the world, the entire Socualist Unity Party in East Germany resigned en-masse, part of the growing movement toward ending Communism and the cold war. In Czechoslovakia, a new non-Communist cabinet was sworn in, and in Chile the first free election in 16 years was held, and Brazil had their first in 29 years. The Romanian revolution began, this revolution would eventually lead to the overthrow of Nicolae Ceausescu, an incredibly corrupt Communist dictator.

Honestly it’s so odd – the UK’s economy was fucked, but outside of that there was so much hope, so much expectation, the world was throwing off the shackles of Communism and the light of Freedom shone brightly, a beacon of hope to all. This was the end of history, the future would be forever bright and prosperous. And now, look at us. We fucked it.

On TV the big event was Clive James On The 80s, broadcast on New Year’s Eve. In less welcome news, Doctor Who finally ended after 26 years – it would be a long wait for it to return with a fairly shit movie somewhere in the middle.

It’s two hours, it’s from a VHS recording (quality improves dramatically a few minutes in), but it’s totally worth your time. I remember staying up late to watch it – I’m sure some of the jokes flew over my head but I watched it again recently and it was amazing. It puts you right there in the moment, the 80s viewed through an 80s lens.

Elsewhere, the Simpsons premiered on Fox, and would go on to be a huge part of what defines the 90s.

The film charts are fucking GLORIOUS! Ghostbusters 2 at #1, Back To The Future 2 at #2, When Harry Met Sally at #3, honestly three of my all-time favourites, with Field Of Dreams at #4. We’ll never see a chart that good again.

The album chart sees Phil Collins at #1, and I know it’s not fashionable to like Phil, but I do so tough titties. Anyone who doesn’t like Another Day In Paradise isn’t human. Meanwhile, someone was stretching a joke far too thin with Jive Bunny at #2. Kylie was doing her thing at #3 but more importantly, Tina Turner had an absolute banger of an album, Foreign Affair, at #4 with the likes of Steamy Windows, The Best and I Don’t Wanna Lose You, songs which really take me right back there.

The singles chart has Band Aid 2 at number 1. It’s not as good as the first one. Lambada was a bit of a sensation at #5 despite being painfully mediocre – no idea why it was in the charts in December when it was the kind of song you’d hear on holiday in Spain with all the other Brits. It’s a weak top 10, but then that’s how it usually was around Christmas.

The best songs were probably Tina Turner’s I Don’t Wanna Lose You and Madonna’s Dear Jessie.

This Month We Cover The Following Magazine Issues (Click Images For More)

Reviews This Month

Review: Batman

Batman ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. I’m using Automation 224, in which we get a digitised image, some wibbly text and some scrolly text. The chiptune isn’t bad. So this is Issue 6’s big ticket item, with a million adverts everywhere for the game. Review…More

Review: Ghouls N Ghosts

Ghouls and Ghosts ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. I’m using Automation 199, another basic one with a simple image, scrolling text and chip tune. Not their most exciting work. So Ghouls and Ghosts is regarded as something of a classic overall, but what of the…More

Review: Snoopy

Snoopy ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. I’m using Automation 173, a fairly simple menu with a cool picture, some chip music and some scrolling text. The game kicks off with a simple animated intro with some reasonable chip music. That said, it fails to move…More

Review: Super Wonder Boy In Monster Land

Wonderboy In Monsterland ST Format Review My ReviewBefore starting my review, I must deal with the fact that I can’t hear Wonderboy without thinking of this song. For this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. I’m using Automation 214, this one’s quite a simple one with the chip tune and scrolling text…More

Review: Stormlord

Stormlord ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. I’m using Automation 225, which gives me a nice bit of chip music and the usual array of scrolly text, in this case with wibbly bars highlighting the text for the application list. We get an interesting explainer from…More

Review: Super League Soccer (this time the right one)

Super League SoccerNo box-art available ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. After my previous fail I hunted high and low but in the end had to settle for http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-super-league-soccer_11454.html which had a dump that appears to be from a more standard (non-scene) release. So graphics are rudimenatary, and…More

Review: Power Drift

Power Drift ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. The crack disk of choice today was Automation 311. Not a bad cracktro – a possibly-digitised image of a young lady in her underwear as text flies around, plus the usual scrolly text at the bottom border and…More

Review: Hard Drivin’

Hard Drivin ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. The crack disk of choice today was Automation 188. The intro has a pretty decent chiptune accompanying a weird monster, and scrolly text with a graphic equaliser overlaid. It’s not a bad intro, perhaps not anything special…More

Review: Ninja Warriors

Ninja Warriors ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. The crack disk of choice today was going to be Automation 319 which comes on 3 disks. The intro was a suitably jolly chip tune with a real emphasis on wibbly scrolling text. I can’t fucking read most…More

Review: Jumping Jackson

Jumping Jackson ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with my usual 1MB STFM. The crack disk of choice today was going to be Automation 239 but it decided not to work. In the end I went with SuperGAU 325 which has proven more helpful. It’s not got the most exciting intro…More

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