First Hit #1: December 13, 1986
Bruce Hornsby is angry. He thought there were things wrong in the ’80s – economic injustice, racism, and people just accepting these things – and he decided to write a song about it. His anger comes through in his performance, which has a certain contained rage going through it, and it comes out in his words. He wants people to rise up and change the world, and parts of his song get his message across. But, weirdly, his anger must have dissipated when it came to writing the melody, because the piano isn’t angry at all, and put above a nifty shuffling beat it’s actually almost delightful. He also leaves time for two piano solos, making it a song that is just as memorable for the way he’s tinkling the ivories as the what the song is about. Sure, there’s the argument that you need sugar to accompany the medicine, and that’s not entirely wrong, but Hornsby accidentally focuses on the sugar a bit too much, making a great song about piano that might have a social message hidden in there somewhere, maybe.