Sunday, April 3, 2011

Revisiting My Favorite Albums of The 1980s (Again)

So one year ago tomorrow, if you recall, I published this. In case you don't recall and don't feel like reading that (which would be perfectly understandable; it's very longwinded) I'll give you the highlights. Basically it said that my tastes in music change and I also hear new stuff all the time blah blah blah I'm republishing my Best Albums of Decades albums list! Yeah!

This time around, though, I'll spare you the color-coordinating and whatnot--and by spare you, I mean spare myself; that took me a long time. I also don't think I'll be writing too many (or any) explanations. The albums can speak for themselves, and, to be honest, I don't think the lists have changed too much. The major difference is that I'm including 102 albums instead of 90. So there.

So this post will count down my 102 favorite longplayers from the 1980s. Though I didn't get to witness the '80s firsthand, I've watched enough VH1 and John Hughes movies to get the gist of the decade. Bright colors, Molly Ringwald, et cetera. I've also sampled a lot of the decade's music, from its love-it-and-hate-it-simultaneously cheese pop to its early hip hop to its more darker bits of post-punk, new wave, and proto-indie rock. That last category--"post-punk, new wave, and proto-indie rock"--is arguably my single favorite musical subgenre ever (assuming it's considered a subgenre; it's pretty nondescript, after all). Which makes '80s music really excellent. I don't have much else to add--just read through the list, I guess. Happy April.

102. Skeleton Crew--Learn To Talk
101. Heaven 17--How Men Are
100. Black Flag--Damaged
99. The Birthday Party--Prayers On Fire
98. Crass--Penis Envy
97. Talk Talk--The Colour Of Spring
96. The Smiths--Strangeways, Here We Come
95. The Gun Club--The Las Vegas Story
94. Public Enemy--Yo! Bum Rush The Show
93. Ultramagnetic MC's--Critical Beatdown
92. Modern English--After The Snow
91. R.E.M.--Murmur

90. Harald Grosskopf--Synthesist
89. Wipers--Youth Of America
88. Dinosaur Jr.--You're Living All Over Me
87. Gang Of Four--Songs Of The Free
86. The Gun Club--Miami
85. Cabaret Voltaire--Red Mecca
84. Nine Inch Nails--Pretty Hate Machine
83. Boogie Down Productions--Criminal Minded
82. Rites Of Spring--Rites Of Spring
81. Kate Bush--Hounds Of Love

80. Leonard Cohen--I'm Your Man
79. Michael Jackson--Thriller
78. Big Black--Atomizer
77. Virgo--Virgo
76. Nurse With Wound--Homotopy To Marie
75. King Crimson--Discipline
74. Husker Du--New Day Rising
73. The Cure--The Head On The Door
72. Killing Joke--Killing Joke
71. The Misfits--Walk Among Us

70. The Pogues--Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
69. Arthur Russell--World Of Echo
68. Glenn Branca--The Ascension
67. Spacemen 3--Playing With Fire
66. Meat Puppets--Meat Puppets II
65. Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark--Architecture and Morality
64. The Cure--Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
63. New Order--Brotherhood
62. Dexy's Midnight Runners--Searching For The Young Soul Rebels
61. ESG--Come Away With ESG

60. Bauhaus--In The Flat Field
59. New Order--Movement
58. Bad Brains--Bad Brains
57. Beastie Boys--Licensed To Ill
56. The Ex--Tumult
55. The Feelies--The Good Earth
54. The Soft Boys--Underwater Moonlight
53. Adam & The Ants--Kings Of The Wild Frontier
52. New Order--Low-Life
51. Mission Of Burma--Vs.

50. Tears For Fears--Songs From The Big Chair
49. David Bowie--Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
48. The Human League--Dare
47. Television Personalities--And Don't The Kids Just Love It
46. The Gun Club--Fire Of Love
45. Prince--1999
44. Gang Of Four--Solid Gold
43. Talk Talk--Spirit Of Eden
42. John Zorn--Naked City
41. Minor Threat--Out Of Step

40. Modern English--Mesh & Lace
39. Eric B. & Rakim--Paid In Full
38. Young Marble Giants--Colossal Youth
37. De La Soul--3 Feet High And Rising
36. Mission Of Burma--Signals, Calls, and Marches
35. Pixies--Surfer Rosa
34. New Order--Technique
33. Prince--Dirty Mind
32. The Replacements--Let It Be
31. Public Image Ltd.--Second Edition

30. The Fall--This Nation's Saving Grace
29. Beat Happening--Jamboree
28. The Smiths--The Queen Is Dead
27. Kraftwerk--Computer World
26. Prince--Purple Rain
25. Husker Du--Zen Arcade
24. The Cure--Disintegration
23. Big Black--Songs About Fucking
22. Violent Femms--Violent Femmes
21. Galaxie 500--On Fire

20. Public Enemy--It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
19. Beastie Boys--Paul's Boutique
18. This Heat--Deceit
17. The Fall--Hex Enduction Hour
16. New Order--Power, Corruption & Lies
15. Spacemen 3--The Perfect Prescription
14. Sonic Youth--EVOL
13. The Jesus and Mary Chain--Psychocandy
12. Tom Waits--Swordfishtrombones
11. The Feelies--Crazy Rhythms

10. Sonic Youth--Sister
9. Isn't Anything--My Bloody Valentine
8. The Minutemen--Double Nickels On The Dime
7. Brian Eno & David Byrne--My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
6. Pixies--Doolittle
5. Tom Waits--Rain Dogs
4. Joy Division--Closer
3. Sonic Youth--Daydream Nation
2. Talking Heads--Remain In Light
1. Prince--Sign 'O' The Times

A little shake up in the top five leaves us with none other than Prince taking the top slot. Sign 'O' The Times is one of the most outrageous, genre-bending, indulgent, and catchy albums I've ever heard. It's also one of the best. Sorry, Daydream Nation--you had a good run. Here's to great pop music! (And post-punk, too...)

Prince doesn't seem to want videos of him on YouTube, but I found this one anyways. Enjoy.

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