Readers of That Grape Juice know what avid music lovers we are – especially of hits past.
So, as our retrospective features ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our newest feature Chart Rewind – a variation of our current Retro Rewind assay – accedes salutes to an entire era of music history.
This week we’ll just press play on ‘Just Because’ – the second single from Queen of Quiet Storm Anita Baker‘s triple platinum sophomore album, ‘Giving You the Best That I Got.’
Join us inside:
The burden for Baker to match or surpass the success of her sophomore album, 1986’s ‘Rapture,’ was answered with the release of 1988’s ‘Giving You the Best That I Got.’ Becoming her first and only (to date) Billboard 200 chart-topper, the LP’s sales were fueled in great part by the commercial response its first single (which also served as its title track). As ‘Giving’ gave the songstress the highest Hot 100 peak of her career when it hit #3, there was renewed pressure to keep that momentum going with its follow-up.
Enter ‘Just Because.’ Produced by Michael J. Powell and penned by prized songwriters Michael O’Hara, Sami McKinney, and Alex Brown, ‘Because’ echoed a number of the same sentiments its predecessor presented sonically, lyrically, and commercially. Sonically, the song is a soaring ballad that sees Anita’s supple alto soar as she lyrically narrates the heights of a dizzying love. Like ‘Giving,’ ‘Because’ instantly became a “must hear” at weddings.
Commercially, ‘Just Because’ jumped to #1 on the R&B charts (much like ‘Giving’). Unknown to fans at the time, despite her wealth of R&B/soul gems to follow over the next 15 years, ‘Because’ – which peaked at #14 this week in 1989 – would mark her last appearance in the Hot 100’s top 20 (to date).
Look below to see who joined her this week 30 years ago:
Hot 100 This Week in 1989
Hot 100 This Week in 2019
Click here to read this week’s full TGJ Chart Check [Hot 100].