Thursday, September 01, 2005

When I'm walking, I strut my stuff

Phantom Scribbler has a cool twist on the music-from-high-school meme that's been going around. The list below is the top 100 albums of the 1980s, so judged by some ex-DJs for a college station in California. And it's a far sight better than the horrific songs that made the top 100 in 1990, when I graduated from high school.

So, logistics: I've bolded albums I loved (in whole or in part) and asterisked stuff I'm not familiar with. Albums that didn't inspire strong feelings were left alone. Keep in mind that it is very early in the morning -- couldn't sleep for the last several hours -- so some of what seems like witty commentary to me at the moment may in fact be slightly incoherent rambling.

1. Replacements, Let It Be (1984)
2. R.E.M., Murmur (1983)
3. Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes (1983) -- Is there anyone who grew up in the 80s who does not know every single line of "Blister in the Sun"?
4. Los Lobos, How Will the Wolf Survive (1984)
5. Tom Waits, Rain Dogs (1985)
6. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Get Happy (1980)
7. Jane's Addiction, Nothings Shocking (1988)
8. Billy Bragg, Talking With the Taxman About Poetry (1986)
9. Pixies, Surfer Rosa w/ Come on Pilgrim (1988) -- I thought I was so freakin' cool when I finally learned about the Pixies. Never realized how late I was to that particular party, though.
10. Jesus & Mary Chain, Psychocandy (1985)
11. Replacements, Tim (1985)
12. Pretenders, Pretenders (1980)
13. Talking Heads, Remain In Light (1980)
14. The Smiths, The Queen is Dead (1986) -- My friend Nikki was a diehard Smiths fan -- gigantic Morrissey poster on the bedroom wall, this album and "Hatful of Hollow" on constant rotation in her car...
Pixies, Doolittle (1989)
16. Camper Van Beethoven, Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)
17. *Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
18. *Soft Boys, Underwater Moonlight (1980)
19. XTC, Skylarking (1986) -- This one just sparkles. So good. And "Dear God" inspired a major fight with my (very religious) mother.
20. Pogues, If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1987)
21. Billy Bragg, Back to Basics (1987)
22. Joy Division, Closer (1980)
23. Talking Heads, Stop Making Sense (1984)
24. Clash, Sandinista! (1980)
25. X, Los Angeles (1980)
26. Cure, Head on the Door (1985)
27. Husker Du, New Day Rising (1985)
28. U2, War (1983) -- My first boyfriend was absolutely obsessed with U2, to the extent that he'd make me mix tapes (mix tapes!) with B-sides and rarities, which at one point included some songs from War. Come to think of it, that was kinda cool.
29. Marshall Crenshaw, Marshall Crenshaw (1982)
30. Pretenders, Pretenders II (1981)
31. U2, Boy (1980)
32. Sonic Youth, Sister (1987)
33. *Blasters, The Blasters (1981)
34. R.E.M., Reckoning (1984)
35. Sugarcubes, Life's Too Good (1988)
36. Bob Mould, Workbook (1989) -- Holy shit, I love this album. Recently rediscovered my copy and put it on the iPod; every time one of the songs comes up, I am oh-so-happy to hear it. Pure genius.
37. Pogues, Rum Sodomy & the Lash (1985)
38. R.E.M., Life's Rich Pageant (1986)
39. De La Soul, 3 Feet High and Rising (1989) -- Another one of my favorites, which actually seems to have aged very well.
40. English Beat, I Just Can't Stop It (1980) -- I never owned this album, but LOVED the songs whenever I heard 'em. We had a pretty great local alternative station in the area; they handed out these small, square bumperstickers, and it was such a badge of honor to stick one on your car (when you finally got a car...). They played the English Beat all the time.
41. The Smiths, The Smiths (1984)
42. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Rattlesnakes (1984) -- I finally started listening to Lloyd Cole in college. He was just so darn sensitive...
43. Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)
44. Brian Eno and David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)
45. Big Audio Dynamite, This Is Big Audio Dynamite (1985)
46. Waterboys, This Is the Waterboys (1985) -- Ok, the only song I know from this album (but I think I own three different versions of it) is "Whole of the Moon."
47. Lou Reed, New York (1989)
48. *Rockpile, Seconds of Pleasure (1980)
49. Sinead O'Connor, The Lion and the Cobra (1987)
50. Prince, Sign O' The Times (1987)
51. Beastie Boys, Licensed To Ill (1986)
52. Prince, 1999 (1986)
53. U2, The Joshua Tree (1987) -- I think this might be a perfect album.
54. XTC, English Settlement (1982)
55. David Bowie, Scary Monsters (1980)
56. Stone Roses, Stone Roses (1989) -- Pretty much the soundtrack to my freshman year of college.
57. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine (1989) -- Along with this one, too.
58. AC/DC, Back in Black (1980)
59. Go-Go's, Beauty and the Beat (1981)
60. Police, The Ghost in the Machine (1981)
61. Love and Rockets, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven (1985)
62. Husker Du, Warehouse Songs and Stories (1987) -- Sadly, my love for Bob Mould solo and for Sugar, his band after that, never led me to go back and check out Husker Du. It's always been on my to-do list, though....
63. Camper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988) -- Does it date me to mention that this was the first album I ever bought? And by "album," I do indeed mean vinyl. I had lots of albums by that point -- freebies from the radio station where my dad worked -- but this one seemed cool enough to spend my own money on.
64. Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (1982)
65. Cocteau Twins, Treasure (1984)
66. *Beat Farmers, Van Go (1986) -- The name sounds familiar, but I'm not placing any of the tunes.
67. They Might Be Giants, They Might Be Giants (1986)
68. Kate Bush, Hounds of Love (1985)
69. U2, The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
70. Prefab Sprout, Two Wheels Good (1985)
71. Robin Hitchcock and the Egyptians, Queen Elvis (1989)
72. *Chameleons U.K., Strange Times (1986)
73. *Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1981) -- I thought I knew this album, but then I realized I had the Dead Kennedys mixed up with the Dead Milkmen of "Punk Rock Girl" fame. Oops.
74. John Lennon / Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy (1980)
75. Robyn Hitchcock, I Often Dream of Trains (1984) -- "Uncorrected Personality Traits" was on repeat in the cassette players of certain friends' cars...
76. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams (1988) -- Oh, how I wish I was smart enough then to have known about this album...
77. Public Image Ltd., Album (1986)
78. Replacements, Hootenanny (1983)
79. Dinosaur Jr., You're Living All Over Me (1987)
80. Fall, The Frenz Experiment (1988)
81. Elvis Costello, Imperial Bedroom (1982)
82. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Tender Prey (1988)
83. *Toy Dolls, Dig That Groove Baby (1983)
84. Replacements, Pleased to Meet Me (1987)
85. Hoodoo Gurus, Stoneage Romeos (1984) -- My friend Kristi was absolutely obsessed with the Hoodoo Gurus in high school. Smart girl.
86. *Rave-Ups, Town & Country (1985)
87. Specials, The Specials (1979) -- We had a small but devoted ska contingent at my high school, and went to see local and regional ska bands somewhat regularly. Just the other day I was trying to remember the exact technique for skanking, the ska dance where you sort of run in place and hop up and down at the same time.
88. Squeeze, Argybargy (1980) -- "Pulling Mussels from the Shell," "If I Didn't Love You, I'd Hate You" -- good stuff.
89. *fIREHOSE, Ragin', Full On (1986)
90. *Minutemen, Three-way Tie for Last (1985)
91. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies (1983)
92. Beastie Boys, Paul's Boutique (1989) -- This is another one that's aged really well.
93. Cure, Boys Don't Cry (1980) -- Another album that somehow convinced me I was cool just for listening to it.
94. Husker Du, Zen Arcade (1984)
95. Velvet Underground, VU (1985)
96. *Galaxie 500, On Fire (1989)
97. *Various, Repo Man Soundtrack (1984)
98. *Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, From Her to Eternity (1984)
99. Everything But the Girl, Eden (1984)
100. Devo, Freedom (1980)