The World in October 1989
In the UK we had our first World Wrestling Federation event. Rover launched the 200 series, and England qualified for Italia 90 by drawing with Poland. The stock market fell dramatically fuelling fears of a recession, while the party formed from the merger of the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party renamed itself to the Liberal Democrats. They were irrelevant then, had a brief spell in coalition in the 2010s but then faded back to irrelevance. The Guildford Four, wrongly convicted of terrorist activity in 1975. Labour had a 10 point lead over the Tories, but with the previous election in 1987, they would have to wait until 1992 to have a crack at the Tories, and in reality they had peaked too soon. British rail announced YET ANOTHER delay to the Channel Tunnel.
In America the Dow Jones hit a record high of 2791.41 (at time of writing it’s currently 26501.60). The Galileo Probe was sent on its journey to Jupiter (I love shit like that), and the Flag Protection Act came into effect, sparking protests. It was eventually struck down.
Elsewhere, Communism was in decline, with East Germany having to close its border with Czechoslovakia to prevent emigration among other things, with Hungary declaring its Third Republic, marking the end of Communism.
On TV Jeremy Paxman made his first appearance as presenter of Newsnight where he would gain a reputation for a combative style. Michael Palin began his career in travel TV by debuting his Around The World In 80 Days. ITV added a third weekly episode of Coronation Street, contributing to the over-saturation of soaps on British TV. Birds Of A Feather first appeared on BBC1 – it was billed as comedy but it was never funny. It would last for 11 years, and then return in 2014 for fuck’s sake.
The film charts see Robin Williams being fucking brilliant in Dead Poets Society at #1. At #2 was the silly but kinda fun in a cheesy way K9, with Lethal Weapon 2 at #5, and The Fly 2 at #7 (I honestly didn’t know there was a sequel).
The album chart sees a new entry from Kylie Minogue, the difficult second album which saw a continuation of the Stock, Aitken and Waterman formula with some absolute bangers. Tracy Chapman’s Crossroads and Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair follow with Gloria Estefan next, in a female-dominated top 4.
The singles chart has Jive Bunny at #1 but there is at least some decent stuff below with Black Box, Technotronic, Sydney Youngblood and Rebel MC. The big stand-out is of course Billy Joel with We Didn’t Start The fire.
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