News/research from teacher-journalist Robert J. Ballantyne

Paula Abdul, ‘The Way That You Love Me’

Why this dance-pop song became part of the soundtrack of my life for the week of January 7-13, 1990

Genre Key signature Tempo
Dance Pop E-Flat Minor Fast (120-155 BPM)

Songwriter/Producer: Oliver Lieber

The idea of keeping a top 10 popular music chart was inspired by a tear-off notepad. It was a simple to-do list with a countdown of 10 items that you could fill in. One random day in 1989, I started listing my favourite songs on it. As I started to take the lists more seriously, dutifully completing them every week, I made a promise to myself to fill out a list for every week of the entire next year.

Sundays were always the best day to make new lists, as I always had free time to watch music videos on MuchMusic on that day. While the original lists were lost years ago, I maintained the library over the years, first transferring them over to other sheets of paper, and eventually to a computer database.

Not surprisingly, Paula Abdul was the first artist to appear on my chart. I remember first hearing Abdul at my aunt’s house, with her cassette of Forever Your Girl playing all day through her boom box. The album had hit-after-hit-after-hit (“Straight Up”, “Cold Hearted” and the title track to name just three). Eventually, I convinced one of my parents to buy me a copy, too.


Abdul, P. (1988). The way that you love me [Song]. On Forever your girl [Album]. Virgin.

RPM. (1989, December 2). Top singles. Retrieved from

Wikipedia. (n.d.). Opposites attract. Retrieved from