Sunday, November 03, 2013

My Favourite Albums of the 1980s

I bought "Still" by Joy Division in 1981 and it changed my life.  I'd heard a whole side played on Peel - one of the live sides - and didn't know a thing about this band but was intrigued. The album, in its stark industrial packaging gave no clues. I had to wait for friends to tell me that they were the same band as New Order when that band released its debut shortly afterwards, or that the lead singer had killed himself. Seems odd now, with all the biopics etc. but there was no "heritage music" industry at that point so all you had was the record racks and the occasional rock A-Z, most of which had only just been updated to include punk and new wave. The previous record I'd bought was novelty Beatles medley "Stars on 45", so it was quite a change. I soon got given my dad's old music centre as it was either that or they'd have to listen to this new unpalatable music downstairs. That's why "Still" is so high in this list though its not really a "proper" album. Better than the first 2 LPs I bought with my own money, B.A.Robertson and Boomtown Rats, neither of which have stood the test of time. Whereas my fave records of the 60s and 70s owe a lot to "best of" lists this was the first time I was making my own decisions - which is why Marc and the Mambas, Virgin Prunes, "Autoamerican" by Blondie and "Pornography" by the Cure are so prominent. I was so engaged with music during this period (at least until I started work in 1989) that its rare for me to find something from the 80s that I didn't know about - there's a few of course, and some bands that I overlooked then, I can see how good their records were. Later, but not too much later - maybe 1984 or 1985 I started listening to hip hop, dance, soul, funk - and though black music rarely makes "best of" album charts, I found plenty of stunning albums along the way. Again, I've had to be quite cruel to my favourite artists - time was when this would have consisted of Cocteau Twins, Cure, New Order, the Fall and not a lot else.

1 Psychocandy Jesus and Mary Chain
2 Treasure Cocteau Twins
3 Pornography The Cure
4 Parade Prince and the Revolution
5 3ft High and Rising De La Soul
6 Surfer Rosa Pixies
7 Songs about Fucking Big Black
8 Still Joy Division
9 The Smiths The Smiths
10 Youth of America Wipers
11 Sign o the Times Prince and the Revolution
12 Torment and Toreros Marc and the Mambas
13 Perverted by Language The Fall
14 Pirates Rickie Lee Jones
15 Daydream Nation Sonic Youth
16 Medicine Show Dream Syndicate
17 Low Life New Order
18 Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys
19 Violent Femmes Violent Femmes
20 Control Janet Jackson
21 Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables Dead Kennedys
22 Swordfishtrombones Tom Waits
23 Sulk Associates
24 New Gold Dream Simple Minds
25 Autoamerican Blondie
26 See Jungle! See Jungle! Bow Wow Wow
27 Appetite for Destruction Guns n' Roses
28 Ocean Rain Echo and the Bunnyman
29 High Priority Cherelle
30 Sextet A Certain Ratio
31 The Queen is Dead The Smiths
32 Foundation Steppers New Age Steppers
33 Power Ice T
34 Scary Monsters David Bowie
35 It will take a nation of millions Public Enemy
36 The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
37 Famous Blue Raincoat Jennifer Warnes
38 If I Die, I Die Virgin Prunes
39 Red Mecca Cabaret Voltaire
40 High Land Hard Rain Aztec Camera
41 Doolittle Big Black
42 Fishermans Blues  Waterboys
43 Blood and Chocolate Elvis Costello
44 Music for a New Society John Cale
45 Travelogue Human League
46 Suicide Suicide
47 Songs to Remember Scritti Politti
48 Closer Joy Division
49 Music Madness Mantronix
50 Hot Cool and Vicious Salt n Pepa
51 Diana Diana Ross
52 Computer Games George Clinton
53 My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Eno and Byrne
54 Penthouse and Pavement Heaven 17
55 Spring Hill Fair Go Betweens
56 Heaven or Las Vegas Cocteau Twins
57 Radio  LL Cool J
58 Tom Tom Club Tom Tom Club
59 Bizarro Wedding Present
60 Paid in Full Eric B and Rakim
61 First and Last and Always Sisters of Mercy
62 Micro Phonies Cabaret Voltaire
63 New York Lou Reed
64 Big Science Laurie Anderson
65 Playing with a different sex Au Pairs
66 Dare Human League
67 This Nations Saving Grace The Fall
68 Nebraska Bruce Springsteen
69 Hallowed Ground Violent Femmes
70 Soul Mining The The
71 Days of  Wine and Roses Dream Syndicate
72 Warehouse Song and Stories Husker Du
73 Whos gonna save the world Cindy Lee Berryhill
74 Just The Way You Like It SOS Band
75 Le Mystere De Voix Bulgares Various
76 Clan of Xymox Clan of Xymox
77 The Sky's Gone Out Bauhaus
78 The Scream Siouxsie and the Banshees
79 Junkyard Birthday Party
80 The Jaws of Life Hunters and Collectors
81 Straight out the Jungle Jungle Brothers
82 Like a Prayer Madonna
83 Hole Scraping Foetus off the Wheel
84 Plastic Surgery Disasters Dead Kennedys
85 Disintegration The Cure
86 Kilimanjaro Teardrop Explodes
87 Itll end in tears This Mortal Coil
88 The Art of falling apart Soft Cell
89 All over the place Bangles
90 The Hurting Tears for Fears
91 Club Classics vol 1 Soul II Soul
92 Nightclubbing Grace Jones
93 New York Lou Reed
94 Smell of Female Cramps
95 IV Zapp
96 The Clock Comes Down the Stairs Microdisney
97 Tin Drum Japan
98 Children of God Swans
99 Sister Sonic Youth
100 This is the Sea Waterbooys

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