Song: “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss” by P.M. Dawn
Reached #1: November 30, 1991 (their first, 1 week)
Laden with shoutouts to other songs, with a video based on Christian imagery, and beneficiaries of a new Billboard tracking system, P.M. Dawn did for Spandau Ballet’s “True” what the Ballet couldn’t do themselves – reach #1.
Before November 1991, record stores and radio stations called their information into Billboard – which meant there could be actual (and accidental) manipulation. But this was the first attempt at media monitoring by Nielsen, and their Soundscan technology came online with the 11/30/91 chart – moving P.M. Dawn to #1 officially for the first time. Reportedly, on the unofficial test charts earlier in November, P.M. Dawn were #1 as well…
If you listen to the song, they shout out with mirrored lyrics or song titles to Joni Mitchell, Wham!, and the Pointer Sisters, among others.
The album, called Of The Heart, Of The Soul, and Of The Cross: The Utopian Experience (wow) generated just the one hit, and kind of settled in the top quarter of the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. But this song is still on radio playlists two decades later…
The duo (brothers whose stepfather was Kool & The Gang’s George Brown) had two other US Top 10 hits… then as most acts do, they fell off the pop charts completely. One half of the duo, Attrell “Prince Be” Cordes, has been through the wringer in recent years, with two strokes and the loss of a leg to diabetes and gangrene. His brother had left P.M. Dawn previously, but the songs live on with their cousin Doc.G.
Other songs that reached #1 on November 30:
1968 – “Love Child” by Diana Ross & The Supremes (their eleventh, 2 weeks)
1985 – “Separate Lives” byPhil Collins & Marilyn Martin (his fourth, 1 week)