Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: February 1992

IRS & Willie Nelson settle on $9M tax bill (of $16.7M). Defense opens calling Noriega “our ally in war on drugs”. Jury selection begins in the trial of Los Angeles police charged with beating Rodney King. Mike Tyson convicted of raping Desiree Washington in Indiana. Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter. 100th episode of “Cops” airs on Fox. Jeffrey Dahmer found sane and guilty of killing 15 boys. Former silver Goodyear blimps are now painted yellow & blue. Ethiopia finds the remains of former Emperor Haile Selassie on the grounds of the Imperial Palace, under the private lavatory of dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam, who overthrew the Emperor. Peter Collins discovers nova Cygni 1992. The Socialist Labour Party is founded in Georgia. Khojaly massacre: about 613 civilians killed by Armenian armed forces during the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. Irish Supreme Court rules 14 year old rape victim may get an abortion. New Kids on the Block interrupt their tour to perform on The Arsenio Hall Show in response to rumors that the group lip-synchs its concerts. Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain marries Hole’s Courtney Love. Six major record companies reach an agreement to phase out the longbox form of compact disc packaging by April 1993, due to complaints that the packaging is environmentally wasteful.


Music

Honorable mentions: Public Image Ltd: That What Is Not. Guided by Voices: Propeller. Me Phi Me: One, interesting mix of rap and folk music. The Sugarcubes: Stick Around for Joy. Fu-Schnickens: F.U. Don’t Take It Personal. Tori Amos: Little Earthquakes. Darkthrone: A Blaze in the Northern Sky. Rollins Band: The End of Silence; a bit hypocritical of me to leave this band out if I’m to include Pantera, even if they don’t have anything remotely as good as Walk; Decent listen at first, but I grew tired of it by the time it was halfway over.

Sir Mix-a-Lot: Mack Daddy (4)

Alright, come on, you’ve heard this song Baby Got Back before. This has been used in so much shit over the past few decades. Because there exist people who like big butts and they cannot lie. Though I have to admit, butts have gotten a hell of a lot bigger over the years, so I’m not so sure he stands by that statement today. The track Baby Got Back alone threatens to make this the album of the year. But believe it or not, this has some serious competition from another album that manages to not only beat this one for album of the month, but also beats it for the most culturally iconic track of the year, let alone the month.


Yngwie Malmsteen: Fire & Ice (7)

The band that created one of my favorite early 90s heavy metal / hard rock albums that I’ve discovered so far returns with another that is more ambitious than their previous outing. From the first instrumental track, you know they’re more confident in what they can do. I dare say overconfident. While I do like this album, there weren’t as many great standout tracks compared to their last one. It’s still good, just that the album cover, and the expectations raised previously made me expect better. How Many Miles to Babylon is a track I find to be superior to the main single Teaser, and proof that in spite of the overconfidence, there’s still some solid stuff here. Also of note is the instrumental track Leviathan.


Manic Street Preachers: Generation Terrorists (10)

Solid enough album, but I couldn’t find any tracks that stood out enough from the others to be considered a main highlight. They’re consistently good, but nothing outstanding.


Social Distortion: Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell (11)

Growing after their surprise debut album. None of the tracks were as famous as the more well-known ones from their previous album, but it’s still a solid follow-up album.


Phish: A Picture of Nectar (18)

Man, this album is all over the place.


James: Seven (17)

This album eventually grew on me.


Shakespears Sister: Hormonally Yours (17)

This shouldn’t be my kind of music, but for some reason I like it.


2 Unlimited: Get Ready (24)

You all ready for this!? If there’s any track in existence that can rival (or even surpass) The Power (from the band Snap!) from May 1990, or Gonna Make You Sweat (aka Everybody Dance Now, by C+C Music Factory) from December 1990, it would be this track Get Ready For This. Used at so many sporting events and major sports games (whether in the major leagues or just at your local high school). This is iconic on the level of shifting the culture on its axis (just like those other 2 tracks from 1990). That alone makes this the album of the month, easily a mention among the albums of the year. Did I mention this is their debut album? And I have to admit, beyond just the major title track, the album itself is generally groovy.


Pantera: Vulgar Display of Power (25)

This is one of those bands I tried to get into when I was younger, but never could. That hasn’t changed today, but I have to respect its popularity and contribution to the metal genre. And its inspiration on Doom (the videogame). I’m not sure if I like any of their songs in their entire discography outside of the track Walk.


Boogie Down Productions: Sex and Violence (25)

Again, I’m not really a rap person. But something tells me this should be given a mention.


TLC: Ooooooohhh… On the TLC Tip (25)

Fuck it. Considering the top hits of the month are already rap/hip-hop-R&B/Dance genres, mine as well as go all in. I’m only really giving this a major mention because the music video for the track Ain’t 2 Proud 2 Beg is pure 90s.


UFO: High Stakes & Dangerous Men (?)

Just ok.




Movies

Honorable Mentions: Medicine Man, most of its attempts at humor failed, and this just feels like Hollywood cashing in on some South American native tribe craze that’s been in swing since the 80s with The Emerald Forest; this is no At Play in the Fields of the Lord, not by a longshot. Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, fuck this movie; I do believe Stallone is capable of comedy, but he winds up in such shitty comedy films. The Mambo Kings, I wanted to like this, but it’s just so by-the-numbers and dull, and doesn’t really stand out much. Where Angels Fear to Tread, just couldn’t get into this period drama, but you may find it to be worth a watch. Radio Flyer, this film may be considered a cult classic, but it really sucks; it won’t seem that way at first, for a typical emotionally manipulative film about child abuse; but by the time the last 30 minutes come by, from when the dog suddenly gets better and onwards… you can say what you want about this being intentional with regard to the narrator’s psyche (ie the narrator isn’t reliable compared to what’s happening in reality), it’s just stupid; this film is devious in all the worst ways with how it manipulates the audience and with what lesson it teaches. This Is My Life, it’s decent, but does the typical cliched bullshit that annoys me (like the dad being a bit of a one-dimensional asshole); plus the mother’s jokes didn’t land for me (not a good thing for something trying to convince me she’s become a successful stand-up comedian); if you don’t mind that, or if you just wanna see the lady who voices Marge Simpson, it’s a halfway decent film.

Final Analysis (7)

Starts out ok enough, but the last 20 minutes just go so off the rails (not in a good way), and the last moment is so unintentionally hilarious; I don’t know, you might enjoy this B movie thriller (at best) which had the potential to be better. Under Suspicion is a better film with a similar topic, though that’s not saying much.


Wayne’s World (14)

Leave it to the 90s to manage pulling off a release of a classic cultural icon of a film amidst a sea of mediocrity. This is the film of the month. This, along with one other, managed to redeem this month. The film that made Mike Myers a star (if the SNL skits didn’t do it already).


Scorchers (14, limited)

Not bad for a film that’s clearly based on a stage play.


First Circle (25, TV Movie)

It’s not as good as I wanted it to be, but it’s still not half bad for a made for TV miniseries about Soviet Russia. Particularly about these prisoner scientists and their paranoid lifestyle.


Memoirs of an Invisible Man (28)

One of John Carpenter’s last good movies. And I have to admit, I’m astonished seeing Chevy Chase starring in one of Carpenter’s films. Does some good concepts with the invisibility idea, particularly in how he would have to cope.


Under Suspicion (28)

Liam Neeson erotic thriller, where he’s falsely accused of killing his wife. Or is he? It’s one of those types of films. It’s not bad, though some will (understandably) find the ending far-fetched.


Hear My Song (?, previously released December 27, 1991 limited)

Interesting enough, though it may take a while for you to get into it.




Games

Honorable mentions: Soccer Brawl (Arcade, Neo Geo), decent, but nothing all THAT great. Adventure Island (Game Boy), it’s nice and all, but what’s the point when there’s the NES version? F-15 Strike Eagle (NES), so-so jet fighter game. Hook (NES), wait for the SNES and Genesis version. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (NES), might actually be better than the later SNES and Genesis versions, but still nothing special. Double Dragon 3: The Arcade Game (Sega Genesis), the worst of the Double Dragon games. Nolan Ryan’s Baseball (SNES). Falcon (1992; Turbografx).

M.C. Kids (February; NES)

This game does not deserve to be anywhere near as good as this.


Super Spy Hunter (February; NES)

Whew.


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (February 1, 1992; NES)

Might be the best of the NES TMNT games.


Tiny Toon Adventures: Babs’ Big Break (February; Game Boy)

Not bad.


Amazing Tater (February; Game Boy)

Decent puzzle game.


Blaster Master Boy (February; Game Boy)

Doesn’t really have anything to do with the NES classic Blaster Master, but it is an interesting take on the Bomber Man formula.


Paperboy (February; Sega Genesis)

The Genesis finally got its own port of this classic. Just as the NES did (and the SNES would get it too).


California Games (February; Sega Genesis)

A classic, for some reason.


Xenon 2: Megablast (February; Sega Genesis)

One of the better ports of this Amiga game (for the love of God, don’t play the Sega Master System version). Even the Game Boy would eventually get a port of this, but what’s the point in visiting that when there’s this? But that Megadrive cover…


Galaxy Force II (February; Sega Genesis, Arcade [1988])

This isn’t exactly a good port of the 1988 arcade game. But I’m mentioning this because of the great arcade experience, and how it had a clear influence on Starfox (later to be released on the SNES). The later Sega Saturn port would be better.


T2: The Arcade Game (1992; Sega Genesis, SNES [1994])

This is the port of the game I grew up with. Make no mistake, the arcade version is the way to go, but the console version is still fun, and has cheat codes (which I had to use to get past that dumb “protect the truck” level (stage 3 if I recall correctly).


Super Scope 6 (February 1; SNES)

I don’t care what people say, the Super Scope is awesome-looking, and it deserves a mention. And in all fairness, these games for it look fun too.


Star Trek: 25th Anniversary (22; PC, NES, Game Boy)

Quite possibly the best Star Trek video game ever made. The later CD version is the way to go. And, uh, I guess I’ll call this game of the month.


Dark Seed (1992; Amiga, PC)

The game H.R. Giger did some artwork on. Not anything that will be considered a personal favorite of mine, but it is a classic horror adventure game. Contender for game of the month (even if I can’t swear to it actually being released on this month of 1992).


Quest for Glory I: So You Want To Be A Hero (1992; PC [1989], Amiga [1990])

So here’s the thing. This game was originally released in 1989 under the title Hero Quest, but it’s had several re-releases that updated it (plus they had to avoid confusion with the board game of the same name). In this particular case for 1992, it’s the first 3.5″ disc version. Updated the audio, graphics, and name, making this a better version all-around. Contender for game of the month (even if I can’t swear to it actually being released on this month of 1992).




Shows

This isn’t exactly a month of shows that can be taken seriously.

Bodies of Evidence (26; CBS)

This is only worth mentioning just because George Clooney was in it. Otherwise, nothing all that special.


Scorch (28; CBS)

I mean, it’s just worth noting something like this existed, even if it only ran for a handful of episodes.


Fish Police (28; CBS)

To be honest, this is probably the show of the month. Some competition its got. But in all seriousness, this show is a lot more mature than you would expect, especially coming from Hanna-Barbera. Unfortunately, cancelled too soon, and only ran for 6 episodes (bad scheduling).


Edit (2-25-2021): Added UFO: High Stakes & Dangerous Men, and Yngwie Malmsteen: Fire & Ice to Music.

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