Category: 1988

1988, Music

It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988) by Public Enemy

Though I have no one coming on the podcast to help me with this record, I made a promise to listeners and myself that I would try not to ignore major hip hop releases, even if I feel like an imposter when I try to talk about music I have no context for. So, here …

1988, Music

A Bell Is a Cup Until It Is Struck (1988) by Wire

I am a long-time fan of both Pink Flag and especially Chairs Missing but have somehow never managed to get to any of their other material. Having not heard their first album after they reunited either, this is a surprise.

1988, Music

Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (1988) by Camper Van Beethoven

Perhaps for the first time they acknowledge their debt to Kaleidoscope by covering a song Kaleidoscope covered (“O Death”). If I didn’t think these guys were the ’80s College Rock Kaleidoscope before, I do now.

1988, Music

Lovesexy (1988) by Prince

To the extent that I know Prince, I know him as the dynamic performer who effortlessly combines aspects of R&B (funk, soul, etc.) with elements of rock (psychedelia, art rock, hard rock) and pop. Well, he’s dialed down the ambition at this point in his career and I’m not sure that’s a good thing.

1988, Music

Melissa Etheridge (1988)

I know virtually nothing about the history of queer/LGBT performers and especially singer-songwriters in popular music. Depending upon how you feel about the queerness of David Bowie or Freddie Mercury, I may know absolutely nothing. So I don’t truly know how much of a landmark this record is, by a woman who was out, if …

1988, Music

Life’s Too Good (1988) by The Sugarcubes

For Bjork fans coming to this after listing to her solo career, this album feels like a bit of glimpse into Bjork in utero: her voice is already fully formed and distinct but much of the other stuff that make Bjork Bjork seems missing or replaced by a rock band which sometimes has a male …

1988, Music

History of a Time to Come (1988) by Sabbat

I am, on some level, a sucker for thrash. Yes, this was released in 1988. Yes, it is heavily influenced by the major American thrash bands. No, there isn’t the kind of genre-creating and genre-defining additions to trash that other late ’80s bands were able to create, on this particular record. I don’t care. Its’ …

1988, Music

Tracy Chapman (1988)

Chapman’s self-titled album is the introduction of a strong new, one might even say necessary, voice. She offers what was likely a very unique perspective in late 1980s, that of a folk-singing African American woman. Excuse my ignorance but I’m not sure there was much precedent for her, even by 1988. (When I say folk, …

1988, Music

Viva Hate (1988) by Morrissey

One of my reasons for my antipathy towards Morrissey (and the Smiths) is the music, and I must say the music here is much artier and weirder than I was expecting. (I think we can thank Vini Reilly for that. He’s a musically interesting guy in ways that Street and Morrissey normally are not.)

1988, Music

I’m Your Man (1988) by Leonard Cohen

So many of these songs have made it into the broader culture – either through covers or through the songs actually getting played places I would hear them – that I actually thought I had heard this record before. I can’t find any record of that, but I sure got a sense of musical deja …

1988, Music

What Up, Dog? (1988) by Was (Not Was)

Imagine if you can a musically less sophisticated but infinitely slicker, but lyrically more earnest Steely Dan, recording with the very latest in ’80s musical technology, and featuring mostly guest vocalists, and you maybe get some idea of what Was (Not Was) sounds like. You also have to up the R&B quotient while dropping the …

1988, 2017, Theatre

Confederation Part II: Canadian Pacific Scandal and The Saskatchewan Rebellion (part of The History of the Village of Small Huts) Live at Soulpepper Thursday July 27

We liked Part I of this section of The History of the Village of Small Huts that we went back for more.

1988, Movies

High Spirits (1988, Neil Jordan)

This is a very, very silly but endearing film, shot in just an incredible-looking castle and half the fun is just ogling the castle. But Peter O’Toole is great and there are some memorable turns by other members of the cast. This is one of those 80s films with rough edges (the script could have …

1973, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Music

Knussen: Horn Concerto, Whitman Settings, The Way to Castle Yonder, Flourish with Fireworks (1996) by Various Artists

This is a collection of Knussen’s orchestral music.

1975, 1979, 1988, Music

Knussen: Symphonies Nos. 2-3, Trumpets, Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Cantata (1988) by Various

This is a compilation of a few of Knussen’s pieces, which, far as I can figure, are performed by three different ensembles, including an ensemble conducted by Knussen himself.

1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, Music

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) by Aphex Twin

I am familiar with electronic music up until a point – that point is somewhere in the very early 80s. I have no idea what happened between then and the music we have today (save for the odd track that gets played too much or turned into stadium music).

1988, Music

Nothing’s Shocking (1988) by Jane’s Addiction

Unlike the follow up, I really like this one. The production’s better, even if the song’s aren’t. (Everything’s a little more raw and unhinged.) Whether you think of this as hard rock or some kind of metal, there was nothing really like this being made in the late ’80s; funkier and way weirder than the …

1988, 2013, Books, Non-Fiction

How to Work a Room (1988, 2013) by Susan RoAne

There are parts of this book that are helpful if you are shy (the author claims that most of us are shy…) or if you don’t know how to go about networking. But… Like most self-help books, it is awfully repetitive.And that’s hard to take.Also, the author doesn’t understand proper emphasis, despite teaching English herself. …

1897, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1911, 1921, 1927, 1980, 1988, 1989, Music

Holst: A Winter Idyll (1993) by David Atherton et al.

This is a collection of short orchestral pieces and excerpts of longer ones, by Holst. It is not performed by the same group throughout (as it’s a compilation) though, as far as I can tell (listening to a digital copy), the conductor is the same throughout (David Atherton). “A Winter Idyll” starts rather lively for …

1868, 1884, 1988, Music

Grieg: Piano Concerto; Holberg Suite (1988) by Various Artists

This is one of those extremely annoying compilations where there is virtually no information: we know the performers of the pieces but not when or where. Labels like Quintessence get their hands on recordings that don’t have copyright protection in North America and release these recordings to unsuspecting consumers such as libraries, which is how …

1988, Music

Symphony No. 8; Ballade; Slavonic Festival (1988) by Alexander Glazunov, performed by Various Artists

I really don’t like these arbitrary compilations, where there’s one major work fleshed out with other smaller works, and when the performances are by different orchestras / performers, it’s all the more frustrating.

1590s, 1610s, 1988, 2004, Music

Carlo Gesualdo Madrigaux a 5 voix (1988) by Les Arts Florissants conducted by William Christie and Tenebrae responsories for Maundy Thursday (2004) by the King’s Singers

How we remember the past is always fascinating. They say the winners write history and that’s fine when it comes to political violence, but how relevant is that to art? Why exactly was Gesualdo forgotten for a couple centuries?

1988, Music

Dvorak: Symphony No. 8 / Brahms: Symphony No. 3 (1988) by Wiener Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

In 2013, I wrote the following: At first this seemed to me like an arbitrary combination (something which I generally dislike) but for some reason the two works seem to mesh well together, and it’s not just because they were written within five years of each other. They seem (at least on my first listens) …

1988, Music

Spirit of Eden (1988) by Talk Talk

Ever since I became a fan of the horribly named genre post rock in the early ’00s, I always wondered where it came from. It has long seemed to me to have emerged from nowhere. What music from the ’80s could have possibly told us we would be listening to “rock” bands trying their hardest …

1988, Music

The Chess Box (1988, Chess) by Willie Dixon

So Dixon is unlike pretty much all the other major figures in post-war blues in that he rarely led groups. He was more of a songwriter and producer (and, of course, bassist). He’s only the frontman on something like 5 or 6 of these songs.

1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1988, 2003, Music

The 50th Anniversary Collection by James Brown (Polydor 2003)

James Brown’s importance can not be understated. He is on The List of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century (along with Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Dylan, Duke Ellington, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Frank Zappa and maybe a few others). This compilation of his hit singles gives a very good idea of his progression …