Where Were You in '92?

Where Were You in '92?

1992: The year of big-butt anthems, achy-breaky hearts, and Madonna’s Sex book. The year that Boyz II Men and Whitney Houston shattered chart records, while U2 and TLC confronted the AIDS crisis head-on. The year that introduced us to grunge, G-funk, and… Right Said Fred. In this podcast, journalist Jason Lamphier (Entertainment Weekly) looks back at the major hits, one-hit wonders, shocking headlines, and irresistible scandals that shaped what might be the wildest, weirdest, most controversial 12 months in music history. Featuring interviews with music video directors, MTV bigwigs, obsessive superfans, and the artists themselves, Where Were You in '92? poses the question: What was it about 1992 that made it so groundbreaking, so bonkers, and so absolutely fabulous? New episodes drop every week beginning Nov. 16.

Episodes

February 23, 2023 56 mins

After Queen singer Freddie Mercury’s death in the fall of 1991, musicians confronted the AIDS crisis head-on. The band’s remaining members and a star-studded lineup celebrated the frontman’s legacy at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in spring 1992. Hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa reworked their single “Let’s Talk About Sex” into “Let’s Talk About AIDS” for an ABC special. R&B newcomers TLC appeared on talk shows with condoms embla...

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This week, we take a brief pit stop in our crazy ride through 1992 for something extra special: an intimate chat with Tori Amos, whose groundbreaking debut solo album, Little Earthquakes, paired pianos and guitars — and shook the music world to its core.

In an expanded interview from episode 5, the singer-songwriter discusses the uphill battle she faced to get the record made, the lasting impact of her very personal tracks “Silent...

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A feel-good alternative to hard-edged gangsta rap, Arrested Development burst out of Atlanta bearing messages of peace, love, and unity. After their critically acclaimed 1992 debut album, 3 Years, 5 Months and 2 Days in the Life Of…, won them a Grammy for Best New Artist, they were poised to become the next big thing in hip-hop. But if their success was massive and immediate, it was also fleeting. Their second album flopped and the...

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Vanessa Williams’ hit ballad “Save the Best for Last” spent five weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, became her signature song, and remains an adult-contemporary staple. But it was also a redemptive turning point for Williams, the first Black Miss America, whose reputation had been tarnished in 1984 when she gave up her title after Penthouse published nude photos of her from her past without her permission.

In this episode, w...

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In part 2 of the extraordinary tale of hair metal taking its last, glorious gasp as grunge and alternative swept America, we delve into the simmering tension between Guns N’ Roses’ Axl Rose and Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain. Their infamous feud reached a boiling point at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, but what were the events that led to that nasty, now-mythic showdown between two of rock’s most iconic frontmen?

We'll also examine how N...

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Guns N’ Roses’ 1992 hit “November Rain” was more than just an epic, nine-minute power ballad for the ages. It was a swan song for the band—and for all the hair bands who’d been dominating MTV and rock radio. As Nirvana’s grunge anthem “Smells Like Teen Spirit” burst onto the scene and birthed an icon, GN'R—who’d been one of the most popular acts in the world—began to unravel and lose the glow of the spotlight. 

In the next two epi...

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After scoring a No. 1 smash with her version of the Prince song “Nothing Compares 2 U” and winning Video of the Year at MTV’s VMAs, Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O’Connor became an international sensation. While her look—a shaved head and dazzling, doe-like eyes—was arresting, her vocals were next-level.

But she never wanted to be a pop star. She had a punk sensibility, railing against sexism and exploitation and refusing to let ...

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This week, we take a brief pit stop in our crazy ride through 1992 for something extra juicy: an unfiltered, free-flowing chat with rapper-producer Sir Mix-a-Lot, the man behind the most famous pop song about behinds ever made.

In an expanded interview from our first episode, we chat about the origins of his hit No. 1 single “Baby Got Back,” the on-set drama during the making of its music video, and why Mix thinks the track helped...

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With their unauthorized sampling, outrageous PR stunts, and signature ice cream van, the KLF set out to blow up the music industry. Pairing electric guitars with house beats, rapping with new age lyricism, and rave culture with the art world, the mysterious U.K. duo of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty were all about breaking rules and getting away with it. 

 

They reached their crazy sonic peak when they teamed up with country icon ...

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With her groundbreaking 1992 debut album, Little Earthquakes, Tori Amos paired pianos with guitars and shook the music world to its core. The record's most poignant and painful moment was the a cappella track “Me and a Gun,” a chilling account of the artist's sexual assault. Long before the MeToo movement, Amos was a hero and crusader who spoke truth to power, not only with her songwriting but with her work as the first spokesperso...

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Rapper Ice-T faced major backlash after he and his heavy-metal side project Body Count released their dark, menacing track “Cop Killer.” They’d been performing the song for a year before it appeared on their 1992 debut album, but the record landed in stores just weeks before four police officers were acquitted in the trial for the beating of Black motorist Rodney King and riots over the verdict erupted in the streets of Los Angeles...

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With his steamy good looks and painted-on jeans, muscley, mulletted country newcomer Billy Ray Cyrus came out of nowhere with a hit that catapulted him to superstardom. But he and his butt also became the butt of many, many jokes. Still, if his 1992 crossover smash, “Achy Breaky Heart,” is widely regarded as one of the cheesiest songs of all time, its music video transformed line dancing into a global sensation, and turned legions ...

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Sophie B. Hawkins dominated the airwaves with her 1992 debut single, “Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover,” a song with homoerotic overtones that were rare in mainstream pop at the time. If they went unnoticed by many listeners, she fought nearly every step of the way to express her progressive views and maintain her independence at her label, and struggled to find her place in the LGBTQ community.

Meanwhile, k.d. lang’s 1992 hit “Consta...

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“Oh… my… God, Becky. Look. At. Her. Butt.” It may be one of the most unforgettable opening lines of a song in the history of popular music. Say those words and they instantly conjure images of rump-shaking models, a pair of very annoying Valley girls, Cosmopolitan magazine, Jane Fonda, Ross and Rachel’s baby on Friends, Shrek, high school dances, bar mitzvahs, keggers, karaoke parties, and wedding receptions. The impact of Sir Mix-...

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November 9, 2022 2 mins

1992: The year of big-butt anthems, achy-breaky hearts, and Madonna’s Sex book. The year that Boyz II Men and Whitney Houston shattered chart records, while U2 and TLC confronted the AIDS crisis head-on. The year that introduced us to grunge, G-funk, and… Right Said Fred. In this podcast, journalist Jason Lamphier (Entertainment Weekly) looks back at the major hits, one-hit wonders, shocking headlines, and irresistible scandals tha...

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