1992 was the year Bill Clinton was elected as the president of the United States. It was also the year of the Los Angeles Riots. Vanessa Williams proved she survived the nude photo scandal of the 1980s when she hit No. 1 with “Save The Best for Last.”
There were a lot of great singles in 1992 by some incredibly big artists. Let’s take a look at the five best singles of 1992.
5. Mariah Carey, “Can’t Let Go”
“Can’t Let Go” was the second single from Mariah’s sophomore album Emotions. It’s hard to believe that this song never hit No. 1. It hit No. 2 at the very beginning of 1992. While some have accused Mariah Carey of having an unemotional voice that is just good for vocal acrobatics, “Can’t Let Go” proves this notion wrong.
“Can’t Let Go” is a very by-the-numbers breakup song, but Mariah’s voice takes it to another level. Mariah’s breathy emotional vocals wouldn’t make a return until she released the album Butterfly in 1997.
4. Madonna, “This Used to Be My Playground”
Speaking of emotional vocals, Madonna’s voice shimmers with emotion and loss in the theme song from the best movie Madonna was ever involved with, A League of Their Own. The song hit No. 1 in August of 1992, and often gets lost in the shuffle of Madonna’s hits.
“This Used to Be My Playground” is about loss. However, the person that was lost remains such a huge presence in a way that they are still alive.
“I can see your face in a secret place, you’re not just a memory,” Madonna sings with a girlish but lovely voice.
The song would also symbolize the end of Madonna’s “innocence” since what followed, the release of her 1992 album Erotica and book Sex, is often considered the most harsh (and most unnecessary) celebrity backlash in the history of entertainment.
3. Bruce Springsteen, “Human Touch”
Speaking of backlash, Bruce Springsteen suffered one when he got rid of the E. Street Band (temporarily) and put out two albums at the same time – Human Touch and Lucky Town. Both albums bombed, and the closest he got to having a hit single was the release of the song “Human Touch,” which hit the top 20 during the spring of 1992.
“Human Touch” is actually one of the best songs Bruce Springsteen has ever recorded. It’s erotic but not sleazy. It’s a banger but has all the sweet elements of a ballad. Vocally, it’s Bruce Springsteen at his best. As Songfacts notes, “Human Touch” is the only song from Springsteen’s poorly received 1992 albums that made it on his 1995 greatest hits collection.
2. Prince, “Diamonds and Pearls”
Diamonds and Pearls was a comeback album for Prince, who hadn’t had a huge hit since 1989. He recorded it with his new band The Power Generation. The title track was the best track off that album and hit No. 3 in early 1992.
“Diamonds and Pearls” is a straightforward love song in which Prince wants to give his lover diamonds, pearls, and the whole world. Because he can’t, he gives her the next best thing – his love. The song contains some of the best melodies Prince has ever put out.
1. Eric Clapton, “Tears in Heaven”
Although Clapton had been around for years, he scored his biggest hit in 1992 with “Tears in Heaven,” a tearful ballad about the death of his son Connor, who fell out of an apartment window. It peaked at No. 2 during the spring of 1992.
Clapton’s touching falsetto voice, the lush guitar rifts, and the beautiful lyrics make this the best song released in 1992. According to Songfacts, Clapton wrote this 1992 beauty with Will Jennings, who has written the theme songs from An Officer and a Gentleman as well as Titanic.
What were your favorite songs from 1992? Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Douglas C. Pizac/AP Images]