Collingwood can lay claim to capturing the first ever ‘AFL’ Premiership, by virtue of the league changing from the VFL to the AFL in 1990. Captained by Tony Shaw, who also won the Norm Smith medal on the day, the Pies toppled the Bombers 89-41. Essendon had earlier that year claimed the pre-season ‘Fosters Cup’ and were minor premiers. The Hawks were chasing a 3-peat in 1990 but only managed 5th place and a first round finals exit, they did however reclaim the flag the following year, and the eagles would go on to claim their first AFL flag in 1992.
An answer which will surprise many, Hold on by Wilson Phillips had the best combined sales and radio play figures in 1990, despite only topping the charts for one week. Perhaps the most enduring track, Ice Ice Baby also spent one week at number one but was only the 45th biggest hit of the year, Roxette held the top spot for two weeks and came in second on the year-end chart. Vogue spent three weeks at number one and managed 5th in the year end charts, because I love you by Stevie B, Vision of Love by Mariah Carey and Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O’Connor held the record for longest at the top, each with four weeks at number one, but only managed 12th (1991), 6th and 3rd in the year-end hot 100 respectively.
1990 saw Cathy Freeman awarded the Young Australian of the Year for her achievements in athletics, including a Gold medal in the 4 x 100m relay at the 1990 Commonwealth games as a 17 year-old. She was named Australian of the Year after a gold medal in the 400 m at the Athens IAAF world championships in 1997, but this accolade wasn’t until 1998. Alan Border was the 1989 Australian of the Year for captaining the Aussies to an historic 4-0 Ashes victory, their first triumph in a Test series abroad since 1977, himself registering 6 half-centuries in the 5 tests. John Farnham’s peak came a few years earlier. His album ‘Whispering Jack’, which featured “You’re the voice”, has gone 24 times platinum, its popularity earned him the title of Australian of the Year in 1987. Fred Hollows was born and raised a kiwi, but was named “Australian of the Year” in 1990, 3 years before his death in 1993, and only a year after adopting Australian Citizenship. He was honoured for his work, which saw him restore sight to thousands of people in Australia and abroad, as well as the founder of the Fred Hollows foundation.
All classics which still resonate with all generations, Ghost grossed the most worldwide, while Home Alone was more successful on home (American) soil. The Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore movie pulled in more than $505 million (USD) worldwide, with Home Alone coming in second with $476 million and Pretty Woman third with $463. Indiana Jones was actually released - and made the majority of its box office earnings - in 1989, but it did not eclipse the earnings of Ghost, only taking home $474 million. It was the highest grossing film in 1989 however. The Oscar for best picture went to “Dances with Wolves” starring Kevin Costner, a category for which Ghost was also nominated, despite being more critically acclaimed though, it only accumulated $424 million at the box office, good enough for 4th place in 1990.
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