108. We Didn't Start the Fire - Billy Joel
- #1 for 2 Weeks in 1989 (December)
- Replaced: Blame It on the Rain - Milli Vanilli
- Replaced by: Another Day in Paradise - Phil Collins
- Sample Headline from its Reign: The Simpsons debut on FOX.
- #2 Hits It Prevented from Reaching #1: None
- Top 200 #1 Hits 1955-2000 Rank: #96
Billy Joel is often accused of being lame, soft and generally just sort of a self-aggrandizing jerk. But We Didn't Start the Fire is great for two reasons. One: it perfectly encapsulates the Baby Boomer/Trivial Pursuit experience in a lot less time than it takes to play Trivial Pursuit. And Joel is the perfect vehicle for Baby Boomer self-possession and his choice of 20th century landmarks has led to more history essays than Millard Fillmore's presidency. Two: Joel does a fantastic job recreating a modern Gilbert & Sullivan patter song. These are not easy to make, with their every-word-that-we-can-think-of lyrics. Joel's succeed because he keeps the words crisp and the ideas relevant to (at least some of) his audience. Sure it is just a list, but what a list!
Coming up: #107 - "Wanna bring a wild man back home"