150 Best Albums of 1987

I had forgotten just how prominent and effusive my praise of Prince’s landslide winner Sign “O” the Times was in  the Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll section for 1987. The first comment sidebar, called “Top Four Plus Five Plus” due to lack of heartfelt recommendations for top-ten-finishers John Hiatt, Los Lobos, John Cougar Mellencamp and XTC (one of which I’d just given an iffy Voice review to and now love), led with one “Chuck Eddy Ann Arbor” going on and on and on: “Sign ‘0’ the Times is how Sister would sound if Sonic Youth could dance, and if they had any balls. It is the most daring and consistent two-disc set since Second Edition, and though it’s less a historical-landmark-type ‘event’ than Dirty Mind or Purple Rain or even 1999, it’s still Prince’s most fantastic collection, his first one that actually grows on you over time…” I went on to claim it melded Santana, the Spinners, Joni Mitchell, Funkadelic, Kraftwerk and U2 into “one funny, funky, freaked-out, fucked-up, tossed-off mess with a weirdness that (unlike everybody else these days) Prince doesn’t have to fake.” Ad bullshitium.

So wouldn’t you know that, in the third of a century (how’s that for “time”?) since, it’s actually shrunk on me, considerably. I’d now probably rank it as Prince’s fifth best album (after his chronological third, second, fourth and fifth in roughly that order), without a single track I absolutely couldn’t live without. And in fact I did live without it for several years — Sold my vinyl copy who knows when and who knows why, only to replace it at my friends Jeff and Shelly’s moving sale a few summers back. Still like it fine — unlike his fellow Minneapolites the Replacements and Hüsker Dü, whose respective third-place-P&J Pleased to Meet Me and tenth-place-P&J Warehouse: Songs and Stories are more or less where I jumped ship, it at least makes the list below; unlike his fellow ’80s paragon Bruce Springsteen’s second-place-P&J (and apparent millennial hipster choice à la Nebraska for Xers) Tunnel of Love, which aside from the divorce-flashback-targetting “One Step Up” mostly still makes me shrug, Sign finishes well above the bottom 20. But in retrospect, 1987 was still responsible for 35 or so albums that mean more to me.

Robert Christgau, in his democracy-and-demographic-focused essay accompanying the poll, pegged 1987 as a transitional year for several critics he called out by name; one was me. Basing his conclusion on some barely coherent comments (“‘meaning’ has done more to damage rock’n’roll than Lee Abrams or the P.M.R.C. or the California Raisin Advisory Board ever could”) and a ballot balancing noisy albums from White Zombie and Feedtime with dancey singles from Debbie Gibson (two of hers) and Exposé, Xgau concluded that I was embracing incoherence as rock’n’roll’s purpose and opening my heart to manipulative pop. Which no doubt was at least part of what was going on. 

Linking recently to a Wire review that ran in the Voice that June, I called the summer of ’87 my “rockist period,” and scads of high-decibel indie and metal albums below, almost all of which I’ve revisited over the past few years, can still serve as evidence of that aesthetic. But by early months of ’88 I was falling for Debbie Gibson and Italodisco in the same music section. And if psycho-head pigfuck blowouts a/k/a/ butt-ugly blooze-rock updates are the teetering yin of that era’s Eddy ears, all the Latin freestyle “girl twirl” (Mike Freedberg’s phrase) by “piping, teen-toned synthesizer-backed Madonna clones” (Jon Pareles’s phrase) below serves as the tottering yang. I also voted for two singles by Poison, and one by Bon Jovi. My “poptimist (God I hate that ridiculous word) period” was clearly right around the corner. A few years later, I would revolve my second book around a 1987 album by Def Leppard, of all people.

Somewhere in between, I suppose, falls not only hip-hop (at least 10 albums below by my count, most bunched near the top) but also Guns N’ Roses. I was one of only four critics to vote for Appetite for Destruction in 1987 (not to mention probably the only one ever to heckle Pussy Galore by yelling Appetite song titles at the stage); a year later, carrying over 42 points, it placed 26th. But even I put it near the bottom of my ’87 top 10 (eighth place, six points), an underestimation given that in 1995 I placed it at the pinnacle of an all-time top 10 that ran in the Spin Alternative Record Guide. Truth is, I played that album so damn much in its first decade or two that I never need to hear the damn thing ever again as long as I live. (Same way I feel about all three legit Stooges albums, among other classics.) When I finally did pull Appetite out of its original woman-hating Robert Williams LP jacket and put it on a couple years ago, it still rocked my jungle. But since the Pet Shop Boys’ Actually, an album whose seeming emotional ambivalence I was emotionally ambivalent about at the time, is now an album I still play for pleasure once or twice a year, and since I can’t imagine a situation I’d put on GnR instead, PSBs get to be Public Eddy Number One.

It’s worth noting that, in his essay, Christgau explains how 22nd-place-P&J Actually received an overwhelming portion of its support from older voters. Among Pazzers over 36, it finished fifth; almost nobody under 29 listed it. I was 27 at the time, and I sure didn’t. John Szwed of New Haven suspected in the comments that, at 51, he was “your most senior pollee.”  Christgau, for his part, was an ancient 44. I’m 60 now. So maybe that explains something — my tolerance for grown-up c&w and even way more so r&b seems to have increased somewhat over time as well.  And yes, K.T. Oslin, who debuted in Billboard‘s country top 10 at 45 in 1987 while singing about reading magazine articles where women peak at 40 and men at 19, was already slated to place this high on my countdown before Covid-19 cut short her life on the Winter Solstice. She was 78.

  1. Pet Shop Boys Actually (EMI America)
  2. Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction (Geffen)
  3. Madonna You Can Dance (Sire)
  4. John Cougar Mellencamp The Lonesome Jubilee (Mercury)
  5. Schoolly D Saturday Night – The Album (Jive)
  6. Magazine 60 Costa Del Sol (Baja)
  7. Leather Nun Force of Habit (I.R.S.)
  8. 16 Bit Inaxycvgtgb (Ariola Europe)
  9. Hollywood East Star Trax 3 (Tzwu Chyl Singapore)
  10. Spoonie Gee The Godfather of Rap (Tuff City)
  11. Yvonne Chaka Chaka Thank You Mr. DJ  (Roy B./Polygram South Africa)
  12. Coloured Stone Black Rock From the Red Centre (Rounder)
  13. Sonny Rollins G-Man (Milestone)
  14. Eric B. and Rakim Paid in Full (4th & Broadway)
  15. Reggae Dance Hall Classics (Sleeping Bag)
  16. Les Rita Mitsouko The No Comprendo (Virgin)
  17. Michael Jackson Bad (Epic)
  18. Fun Fun Double Fun (ZYX)
  19. Chain Gang Mondo Manhattan (Lost)
  20. K.T. Oslin ‘80s Ladies (RCA)
  21. Alexander O’Neal Hearsay (Tabu)
  22. Blind Idiot God Blind Idiot God (SST)
  23. Tiffany Tiffany (MCA)
  24. Sonic Youth Sister (SST)
  25. Gilberto Gil Soy Loco Por Ti America (WEA Europe)
  26. Voivod Killing Technology (Combat/Noise)
  27. Debbie Gibson Out of the Blue (Atlantic)
  28. Exposé Exposure (Arista)
  29. Public Enemy Yo! Bum Rush the Show (Def Jam/Columbia)
  30. Feedtime Shovel (Aberrant Australia)
  31. L.L. Cool J Bigger and Deffer (Def Jam/Columbia)
  32. Bananarama Wow! (London)
  33. Screaming Blue Messiahs Bikini Red (Elektra)
  34. The Cover Girls Show Me (Fever)
  35. Sonny Sharrock Band Seize the Rainbow (Enemy)
  36. Prince Sign ‘O’ the Times (Paisley Park)
  37. Mose Allison Ever Since the World Ended (Blue Note)
  38. Ornette Coleman In All Languages (Caravan of Dreams)
  39. The Lazy Cowgirls Tapping the Source (Bomp!)
  40. Peter and the Test Tube Babies Peter and the Test Tube Babies (Profile)
  41. The Young Gods The Young Gods (Organik Switzerland)
  42. Sly & Robbie Rhythm Killers (Island)
  43. Yello One Second (Mercury)
  44. Betty Wright Mother Wit (Ms. B)
  45. Euro-Beat Mix Vol. II (ZYX)
  46. F/i Why Not Now?…Alan! (RRRecords)
  47. Bobby Jimmy and the Critters Back and Proud (Macola)
  48. Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine Let It Loose (Epic)
  49. Depeche Mode Music for the Masses (Sire)
  50. Redd Kross Neurotica (Big Time)
  51. Ronald Shannon Jackson When Colors Play (Caravan of Dreams)
  52. Black Britain Obvious (Virgin)
  53. Pebbles Pebbles (MCA)
  54. George Brigman & Split Human Scrawl Vagabond (Resonance Netherlands)
  55. Def Leppard Hysteria (Mercury)
  56. Naná Vasconcelos Bush Dance (Antilles New Directions)
  57. A Very Special Christmas (A&M)
  58. Ut In Gut’s House (Blast First UK)
  59. Kool Moe Dee How Ya Like Me Now (Jive)
  60. Rhythm Pigs Choke on This (Mordam)
  61. Fatal Beauty (Atlantic)
  62. Terry Allen Amerasia (Fate)
  63. Einstürzende Neubauten Fuenf Auf Der Nach Oben Offenen Richterskala (Relativity)
  64. Rhythim Is Rhythim Strings of Life (Transmat EP)
  65. Nicki Kleine Wünder (Piccobello/Virgin Germany)
  66. Trouble Run to the Light (Metal Blade/Enigma)
  67. Gladys Knight and the Pips All Our Love (MCA)
  68. Biota Bellowing Room (Recommended UK)
  69. Hades Resisting Success (Torrid/Combat)
  70. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded (B-Boy)
  71. The Whispers Just Gets Better With Time (Solar)
  72. The Godz Mongolians (Grudge)
  73. French Frith Kaiser Thompson Live, Love, Larf & Loaf (Rhino)
  74. Celtic Frost Into the Pandemonium (Combat/Noise)
  75. Hurby’s Machine: The House That Rap Built (Sound Check/Next Plateau)
  76. Nocera Over the Rainbow (Sleeping Bag)
  77. Bogshed Brutal (Shelfish UK)
  78. Spagna Dedicated to the Moon (Epic)
  79. Ricky Van Shelton Wild-Eyed Dream (Columbia)
  80. Faster Pussycat Faster Pussycat (Elektra)
  81. The Mekons New York (ROIR)
  82. Nomeansno Sex Mad (Alternative Tentacles)
  83. The Flaming Lips Oh My Gawd!!! (Restless)
  84. Scrawl Plus, Also, Too (No Other)
  85. The Necros Tangled Up (Restless)
  86. Rosanne Cash King’s Record Shop (Columbia)
  87. Soundgarden Screaming Life (Sub Pop EP)
  88. Crack The Sky Raw (Grudge)
  89. Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam Spanish Fly  (Columbia)
  90. Company B Company B (Atlantic)
  91. Agnetha Fältskog I Stand Alone (Atlantic)
  92. Carla Bley Sextet (Watt/ECM)
  93. Age of Chance Crush Collision (Virgin EP)
  94. Tim Berne Sanctified Dreams (Columbia)
  95. Warren Zevon Sentimental Hygiene (Virgin)
  96. The Accüsed More Fun Than an Open Casket Funeral (Combat)
  97. David Roter Method Bambo (Unknown Tongue)
  98. Manilla Road Mystification (Roadster)
  99. Regina Belle All By Myself (Columbia)
  100. Less Than Zero (Def Jam)
  101. Mark Stewart Mark Stewart (Upside)
  102. Crazy Backwards Alphabet Crazy Backwards Alphabet (SST)
  103. Big Black Songs About Fucking (Touch and Go)
  104. Full Force Guess Who’s Comin’ to the Crib? (Columbia)
  105. Lee “Scratch” Perry & Dub Syndicate Time Boom X De Devil Dead (On-U Sound UK)
  106. Rattlesnake Annie Rattlesnake Annie (Columbia)
  107. Inka Inka (Amiga East Germany)
  108. Col. Bruce Hampton Arkansas (Landslide)
  109. George Michael Faith (Epic)
  110. Green River Dry As a Bone (Sub Pop EP)
  111. White Zombie Psycho Head Blowout (Silent Explosion EP)
  112. The Gun Club Mother Juno (Red Rhino)
  113. Henry Kaiser Devil in the Drain (SST)
  114. This is Soca (Sire)
  115. Electric Peace Medieval Mosquito (Barred)
  116. Bert Robinson No More Cold Nights (Capitol)
  117. Pussy Galore Right Now! (Caroline)
  118. The System Don’t Disturb This Groove (Atlantic)
  119. Dinosaur You’re Living All Over Me (SST)
  120. Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion Technician (Touch and Go)
  121. The Cult Electric (Sire)
  122. Daniel Ponce Arawe (Antiles/New Direction/Island)
  123. Rosie Flores Rosie Flores (Reprise)
  124. The Fools Wake Up…It’s Alive!!! (PVC)
  125. Glenn Jones Glenn Jones (Jive)
  126. Sabrina Sabrina (Baby France)
  127. Barrence Whitfield and the Savages Ow! Ow! Ow! (Rounder)
  128. Age of Chance One Thousand Years of Trouble (Virgin)
  129. The Hit Factory: The Best of Stock Aitken Waterman (Stylus UK)
  130. Sewer Zombies Conquer the Galaxy (Subversive)
  131. The Ex Too Many Cowboys (Mordam)
  132. Drills Drills/Certificate of Penetration (Balls of Steel)
  133. The Sisters of Mercy Floodland (Elektra/Merciful)
  134. Bruce Springsteen Tunnel of Love (Columbia)
  135. Metallica Garage Days Re-Revisited (Elektra EP)
  136. Billy Joe Royal Royal Treatment (Atlantic America)
  137. Big Stick Crack Attack (Buy Our EP)
  138. Halo of Flies Garbage Rock (Twin/Tone EP)
  139. Bobby Durham Where I Grew Up (Hightone)
  140. Al Green Soul Survivor (A&M)
  141. Laughing Hyenas Merry Go Round (Touch and Go EP)
  142. Stevie Wonder Characters (Motown)
  143. K.D. Lang and the Reclines Angel With a Lariat (Sire)
  144. Screaming Trees Even If And Especially When (SST)
  145. .Joyce Sims Come Into My Life (Sleeping Bag)
  146. Primal Scream Volume One (Mercenary)
  147. Prong Primitive Origins (Mr. Bear EP)
  148. Dana Dane Dana Dane With Fame (Profile)
  149. Jellybean Just Visiting This Planet (Chrysalis)
  150. Glasnost (MCA)

6 comments

  1. via facebook:

    Steve Crawford
    I’ll have to check out that Terry Allen album. Not familiar with that one. During my year of living in Germany, I would come across occasional posters for Einstürzende Neubauten shows, which always made me smile and reminded me of this era.

    Chuck Eddy
    The Allen is a Viet nam-themed (and vaguely Christmas-themed I just remembered) collaboration with Bangkok-based Laotian musicians — probably the only country album you could ever say *that* about. Pretty sure it was initially only available on cassette. I did a short writeup of it when it was reissued decades later; will try to post that sometime.

    John Elliott
    Can’t argue with your #1, though mine would be Prince.

    Steve Pick
    1987 was a pivotal year for me, too – I was given the chance to write about any record I wanted in the Post-Dispatch 52 weeks a year – which turned into a column with my picture and everything two years later. There are a lot of records you name-check here which bring back fond memories, even though I haven’t heard them in forever. I still don’t get Guns n’ Roses – but the rest of your top 5 is pretty cool with me, if only the Mellencamp would have competed for my faves that year. Sonny Rollins G-Man gets placed that highly for the epic title track alone. When that man got rolling, he was unstoppable.

    Steve Pick
    Nice to see my friends Blind Idiot God at number 22 – the very finest of the SST explosion that started that year, and the only band on your list (or possibly any of your lists so far) to be included in my St. Louis Sound book.

    Chuck Eddy
    Not sure anybody ever did dub-metal better than that album,

    Chuck Eddy
    Hey Steve, are Drunks With Guns in the book? How about Fools Face? (Not much a fan of either, but at least I remember them.)

    Steve Pick
    Chuck Eddy Drunks didn’t make the cut. Fools Face was from Columbia, or at least definitely not from St. Louis

    Steve Pick
    I love Debbie Gibson, and have since back in the day. I performed “Only in My Dreams” in Debbie Gibson drag in two local Christmas pageants (the convoluted plot of the first one had her on the Isle of Misfit Pop Stars in a Rudolph parody). I also did a version of that song as a medley with “Sympathy For the Devil” and “Hey Jude” at a crazy charity event with a band put together just for the occasion.

    Jaz Jacobi
    Steve Pick “Na na na na na na na…woo woo”?

    Steve Pick
    I rank your #134 and #143 albums considerably higher than you do, though both have fallen a bit in my estimation since they came out. Also, Life Love Larf Loaf deserves much higher ranking, to my ears. Love to see all the wild metal jazz records that made that year so fun. Sonny Sharrock, Tim Berne, Ronald Shannon Jackson, et al. Your #70 album may have been the record I heard the most that year, thanks to working in a record store with some BDP fanatics.

    Edd Hurt
    “Live, Love” is my favorite Thompson album most days.

    Edd Hurt
    When it’s not his first album. I like him a lot but his albums don’t kill me, except for the guitar playing. “Shoot Out” is great but I never feel that dour, though that could change.

    Chuck Eddy
    #143 is the only k.d. lang LP I’ve ever cared about, though I guess I’m curious about her (Canada only I think) debut which I’ve never heard. Definitely find her way more fun in quasi-new wave than in her later quasi-torch song mode. Like how her version of “Rose Garden” predates her countrymen Kon Kan’s “I Beg Your Pardon” a few years later.

    Chuck Eddy
    As for metal jazz, Power Tools and Last Exit didn’t make the cut.

    Steve Pick
    Chuck Eddy I haven’t thought of Power Tools in 30 years.

    Like

  2. via facebook:

    Edd Hurt
    I rank the Go-Betweens’ “Tallulah” pretty high for ’87. Their best, in my opinion.

    Chuck Eddy
    A band that’s never grabbed me. I like the best-of okay.

    Steve Pick
    Chuck Eddy Edd Hurt Yeah – I missed out on them back in the day, though I remember liking Grant McLennan solo records more. I should probably check Tallulah out one of these days to see if it sounds better than I remember.

    Edd Hurt
    I read Xgau on them for years and never got it. I eventually got the picture in the late ’90s. At their best they beat the Housemartins and the dB’s and Aztec Camera and all that stuff going away. A group that has very little conventional apparatus to appeal to fans of that kind of thing and in fact they can be a bit boring or gawky or both. But I rank them very high on the pop-o-meter.

    Chuck Eddy
    Those other bands mostly draw blanks for me too, to be honest!

    Tim Ellison
    “Oblivious,” though!

    Chuck Eddy
    That and their Van Halen cover. I am fine with those.

    Edd Hurt
    The dB’s are great, the most accomplished pop band of the era except XTC, I guess, like em better than Squeeze. But certainly not a thing that fits into any zeitgeist of whatever. In that regard much like the far less technically adept Go-Betweens, 2 guys who could barely play and a good drummer who turned them into something they never could have been on their own–men. Lindy Morrison. Ha. Just kidding. Sometimes they used a drum machine.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I’m glad other people have trouble grasping, or at least fully enthusing about, the Go-Betweens. Folks tell me that someday I will fall hard for them, but my efforts at listening hasn’t turned into much but wandering-attention-span so far, and the more I hear, actually the LESS I’m impressed [as in, back when I only was familiar with 2 or 3 songs I expected that I WOULD like them].

    John Boegehold
    Agree about K.T. Oslin. When I heard she passed a couple days ago I listened to the 80’s Ladies album again. Still holds up. Great songwriting.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I gotta give that 2nd Prince album a more careful listen, then

    Chuck Eddy
    His most disco record, with his most metal song. And yet, he wasn’t considered a visionary yet — Just another r&b rookie crossing into Top 40.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I have maybe 20 Prince albums that I feel like I haven’t heard more than once [or never]!

    Chuck Eddy
    By the ‘9Os, I’ve entirely stopped caring. (Less work that way!)

    Jaz Jacobi
    I own a LOT more music that I wouldn’t have actually paid real money for, after people started dumping their entire collections of physical media en masse and this stuff started populating dollar bins. Now I just need to catch up with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. via facebook:

    Jaz Jacobi
    “Truth is, I played that album so damn much in its first decade or two that I never need to hear the damn thing ever again as long as I live. (Same way I feel about all three legit Stooges albums, among other classics.)”
    This is something I struggle with as I enter my fifties: were things that impressed me when I was younger actually not that GOOD in the first place, or have I just experienced them so much, the surprise and danger and excitement that my younger self was convinced was there now seems worn out and overly familiar? Especially since surprise, danger etc. was the primary bill of goods being sold by so much of this music [Velvets, Pixies, Husker Du etc etc etc]…
    ·
    Jaz Jacobi
    What’s really funny is if I make some offhand dismissal of, say, Lou Reed nowadays, if someone actually feels interesting in engaging with my opinion [instead of writing me off completely as a “troll” or “edgelord” or whatever those mean], they’ll try to explain to me what does appeal to other folks about this music, to bullet-point all the positive attributes they assume from my blase condemnation I’m naively missing, and they can turn me around on my misapprehension. To which I always have to blurt out, “No, I know all that, I get all that–I said the SAME things when I was in my twenties! It just doesn’t impress the person I am NOW in the same way…”

    Jaz Jacobi
    I used to feel annoyed at Christgau’s post-’90s practice of listing albums he listened to but didn’t feel moved to write anything about, or at least he would pick a song or two and still not tell you anything specific outside just the practice of mentioning the titles. But over time I’ve really started to notice how much of the VAST amount of music out there truly is dismissable–not “good” or “bad,” even, just “neither” as Christgau puts it–or all the eggs of quality can be found in a very small basket of tracks. This very often is true, not just on a single recording/album, but in some performer’s entire catalog–this may seem obvious to most, but I think for so long I was sufficiently caught up in “fandom,” in pronouncing my allegiances through posters on the wall and T-shirts and following every magazine article and purchasing every nook and cranny of someone’s musical output, that I was slow to question whether this all was a fool’s errand.

    Jaz Jacobi
    This all kind of leads to people rolling their eyes when I poo-poo some recent fave-rave as not worth my time, and they just act like I am “too old to get it.” But often I will offer as response to this that I’m getting quicker at recognizing the qualities that are impressive for a finite time, only for me to wonder later why I even bothered listening, and that much of what I respond negatively to in newer music is not so much that it doesn’t resemble what I enthused about in my youth, but rather that it DOES. I’m sure there’s a few Flaming Lips albums I’ve never heard that are better than the ones I DID buy in the ’80s, but I feel so good about moving on from those unaccomplished ’80s albums, it doesn’t make me feel eager to find out!

    Jaz Jacobi
    This is where I will sound about 3 or 4 steps behind the technological curve of a supposed “digital revolution,” but one of the most helpful factors in the development of my own taste was the CD burner–I could take a half-dozen overappreciated Guided By Voices albums that made me mad because they were 80% unlistenable, and boil all that down to an hour or so of tolerable tunes! [okay, maybe a half hour]

    Chuck Eddy
    See, I’m arrogant enough to not be at all convinced that there are any later Flaming Lips albums as good as the mid ’80s ones I sort of like, when they were at least in some sense still a hard rock band. And, I swear, I’ve never used a CD burner in my life — I mean, people used to burn me CDs, but I never burnt one myself. Never even made a mix CD. As far as mixes go, I skipped a couple steps — Used to make mix cassettes all the time, and now I make playlists on streaming sites for a living (and for my own use, though those usually just involve dumping music I’m interested in into a gigantic mix and putting it on random shuffle.) But I never had use for downloading, either. Never “owned” a single mp3. Never saw the point, and still don’t.

    Jaz Jacobi
    I’ve resorted to downloading only in the context of music that I really want but either is only on vinyl or there’s no physical release at all–but then I end up just making a CD myself.

    Jaz Jacobi
    Myself, I’ve never used a streaming service [for music OR video], sorry not to contribute to your bread-and-butter! [I just READ your playlists without hearing them, ha!] If someone could explain to me which music service allows me to download MP3s, AND to make CDs of those, for the price of a monthly fee instead of by the track/album, I would consider that. All I really want is CDs, I’m trying to motivate myself to get 75% of my vinyl/cassettes out the door!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. via facebook:

    Peter Stenhouse
    I count at least 10 albums that I loved at the time but haven’t played since at least 1990. I may have kept the Feedtime when I sold most of my vinyl a few years ago. Definitely didn’t keep the Barrence Whitfield.

    Edd Hurt
    Sharrock, Berne, Ornette, “G-Man.” I listen to Ronald Shannon Jackson’s album a lot. Still think “Sign o the Times” is Prince’s best. A deceptive album that can sound tossed off but I don’t think it is. “I Could Never” and the title track his best ever, I think, the richest music of his career. But for all that I listen to “Dirty Mind” way more now.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    I think the quasi-protest title cut is kind of embarrassing, actually.

    Edd Hurt
    For real? It’s so brilliant, I think, like real blues and real guitar playing and a sense of dread, Robert Johnson in Reagan America, not to get Greil Marcused out about it.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    Wow….*definitely* never thought of it that way. Interesting.

    Edd Hurt
    I find Barrence retro myself.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    Ha — At least a little bit!

    Graham Ashmore
    Apparently So Good It Hurts was released January 1, 1988. Maybe you got a review copy before that?

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    Discogs says 1987. And please please please never believe anything on Wikipedia that says an old album was released on January 1 — That’s the most obvious “we have no idea” red flag ever. Fun fact: The other Mekons album (really tape) on the list has the only liner notes I’ve ever written. https://www.discogs.com/The-Mekons-So-Good…/master/173198

    Graham Ashmore
    Yeah, I have the New York with your liner notes!
    All these years I’d thought Honky Tonkin’ was 1987 and So Good It Hurts 1988, and everything I’d ever read about the album through the years has said 1988. Discogs is the first I’ve seen that says 1987; I’m assuming they have some kind of firmer evidence. This is where I got the January 1:
    https://mekons.bandcamp.com/album/so-good-it-hurts

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    Okay, well, Xgau says ’88, Spin Alternative Guide says ’88, I reviewed it for Graffiti in ’88 (not sure which month). So who knows, maybe you’re right and I’ll bump it here for something to be named later. Stay tuned.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    And now it’s gone.

    Graham Ashmore
    All I know is I much prefer it to Honky Tonkin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. via facebook:

    Clifford Ocheltree
    badge icon
    M.I.A.????
    Anthrax: Among the Living
    Cure: Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me
    David Sylvian: Secrets of the Beehive
    Jesus and Mary Chain: Darklands
    John Zorn: Spillane
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Shaka Zulu
    Napalm Death: Scum
    Radio Futura: La canción de Juan Perro
    Salif Keita: Soro
    Sisters of Mercy: Floodland
    Smiths: Strangeways, Here We Come
    Spacemen 3: The Perfect Prescription
    Swans: Children of God
    Terence Trent D’Arby: Introducing the Hardline…
    · Reply · 1d · Edited
    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    Sisters of Mercy are up there — look again! Otherwise….Nah, I’ll pass. You saw my review of that Swans album, right?

    Clifford Ocheltree
    badge icon
    Did miss SoM in the list. No love for the Swans is a different tale. Perhaps an instance where context (and memory) play a part in my thinking.

    Edd Hurt
    I listen to David Behrman’s “Leapday Night” a lot, made Xgau’s list. The Professor Longhair album, ditto, is essential.

    Edd Hurt
    And please don’t neglect “Mel McDaniel’s Greatest Hits” !!

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    I’m saving Greatest Hits and archival LPs for later. I do like Mel McDaniel, and love Professor Longhair. (Though don’t know that specific album.)

    Edd Hurt
    That Longhair sounds good and is probably the best introduction to him

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    I’ve always sworn by this comp and Crawfish Fiesta. https://www.discogs.com/Professor…/release/1622267

    Patrick Hould
    Waitwaitwait… Hysteria at #55?!? What happened??

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    I’m so sorry to disappoint you! It just got really really….long, over the years. Too much to sit through to get to the good stuff. At this point, I’d rather listen to any of the three previous Def Leppard LPs. You live and learn.

    Brad Morosan
    Hmm. Although I liked it a lot at the time, G’n’R’s Appetite is the one that I could do without ever hearing again.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    You did notice that I said exactly that in the introduction, right?

    Brad Morosan
    Yes, I did notice that, Chuck. But it also means I wouldn’t have put it at #2, too.

    Chuck Eddy
    Author
    I’m just being objective there, I guess. Nothing on the list comes close to the impact Appetite had on me for those years I was actually playing it to death. It’s the same reason I wouldn’t penalize Stooges and Zeppelin and Clash albums (or wouldn’t penalize them much) just because I’d never choose to put them on anymore. It seems self-defeating to me: I loved this album so much that it must not be all that good! But then again, it’s very rare for me to put on *any* old album just for the sake of doing it; it’s been that way for years. In fact, one reason I decided to do this re-listening project to begin with is to force me to listen to old music that I probably never would again.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kazakh boyband Ninety One released the “Ah!Yah!Mah!” single on December 31, 2017 for some provocative reason, I’m sure, but I don’t know what it was. I have a vague memory of being told that they released it a minute before midnight! Jessica Doyle, who I need to write to about this, questioned me on calling it a 2018 single (which it most certainly was for the purpose of my 2018 ongoing top singles lists; if I were to go back and rerank singles I might give it to 2017 or 2018, depending on which year needs it more. But I’m not going to go back and rerank singles – BUT I never posted my FINAL 2018 singles list and it will certainly be on that when I get around to it, in my top ten).

    Pazz & Jop was the only end-of-year poll not to be utterly asinine about year of release and awarding points; if enough voters put something in a year then it belongs in that year, and the poll can carry points over from previous years so that songs and albs that straddle years don’t get penalized. And the point systems don’t assume you like your number one 10x more than your number 10.

    Liked by 1 person

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