Chart Rewind: Cher’s ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ Met Its Hot 100 Peak This Week in 1989

Published: Friday 20th Sep 2019 by Rashad

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.

While Cher’s position in the Pop sphere had been long established by her brigade of 60’s and 70’s hits, transitioning into the 80’s was proving itself quite the challenge.  After a slew of missteps in the early part of the decade, its latter half – thanks to hits found aboard her self-titled 18th LP (1987) and its follow-up, 1989’s ‘Heart of Stone’ – saw the once-misplaced diva find her place again among the day’s musical leading ladies (see:  Madonna, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, Paula Abdul, etc.).

Yet, after scoring 3 top 20 hits in just two years (‘I Found Someone,’ ‘We All Sleep Alone,’ and ‘After All’), few would have predicted the truest demonstration of her reestablished commercial viability would come courtesy of ‘If I Could Turn Back Time’ – the second single from her 19th studio album.  Penned by legendary songwriter Diane Warren, word has it Cher initially rejected the song upon hearing its demo but was later convinced to record it for inclusion on ‘Stone.’  The advice proved lucrative.

Already a winner at radio by the time its Marty Callner-directed music video dropped, jaws dropped after one peek at the clip which featured the then-43-year-old donning a black one-piece bathing suit over a fishnet body stocking.  Initially banned by MTV for its sexual innuendos and shots of Cher’s exposed buttocks, the ban would later be lifted but the controversy aroused from the hoop-la aroused public interest in ways the diva’s career hadn’t known prior.  The result?  The song shot to a #3 peak on the Hot 100 this week in 1989.  The placement became her highest since her hit ‘Dark Lady’ topped the charts in 1973.

While only going on to be certified Gold by the RIAA, the tune may lack industry recognition by way of Grammy Awards but it endures as one of the decade’s most memorable offerings and a signature from her wealth of Pop classics.  Look below to see who joined her in the top 25 this week 30 years ago:

Hot 100 This Week in 1989

Hot 100 This Week


Click here to see this week’s full TGJ Chart Check.

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    • Kennedy September 21, 2019

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  1. Lanafan1 September 20, 2019

    I love her ?

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