Category: 1989

1989, Music

Paul’s Boutique (1989) by Beastie Boys

My understanding is that this is the Beastie Boys’ best record. But I have come at it a super weird way, having heard three other records of theirs first, completely out of chronological order. So whatever awe I might have experienced hearing this immediately after Licensed to Ill is just not happening because of this, …

1989, Movies

Chameleon Street (1989, directed by Wendell B. Harris Jr)

This is a bonkers film about the a Detroit con man who successfully impersonated many people, which really serves as a vehicle for its director-star’s interpretation of the real person, rather than any kind of piece of docudrama. It’s a crazy story but that story is subsumed in a crazy art film.

1989, Music

The Stone Roses (1989)

Somehow in my mind I confused the Stone Roses with the Happy Mondays so my initial listen was kind of confusing. Anyway… I have read that this is the record that started Madchester/Baggy but listening to the first side of it it’s certainly hard to understand. You have to get to the second half before …

1989, Music

Street Fighting Years (1989) by Simple Minds

Simple Minds is one of those bands that put out an absolute ton of music but which I was only aware of due to their biggest hit. Until 2018 or 2019 I had never heard a single album of there’s. That one album sounded too much like U2 to me, but mostly because of Kerr. …

1989, Music

Disintegration (1989) by The Cure

“Disintegration is the best album ever!” says Kyle at the conclusion of “Mecha-Streisand” from the first season of South Park. I don’t know if I was even 17 yet when I first watched that episode and heard those words. I didn’t know much about the Cure, beyond the fact that Robert Smith could save the …

1989, Music

This Is the Day…This Is the Hour…This Is This! (1989) by Pop Will Eat Itself

One of the weirdest things to happen during the alternative era is that period of time when British rock bands started incorporating sampling into their music (and occasionally rap). The more of this music I stumble upon, the more I want to read a book about the whole scene because it’s kind of weird, right? …

1989, Music

Full Moon Fever (1989) by Tom Petty

For years, my only real experience of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was their 1993 Greatest Hits record. That record contained the three big hits everyone knows from this solo album, though I wasn’t too concerned that these were ostensibly solo singles on a record collecting the band’s hits. I also wasn’t particularly concerned, at …

1989, Music

Club Classics Vol. One (1989) by Soul II Soul

This is a review of a the original British album and British tradition dictates that the big single from the album is not released on that album, so that consumers have to buy both. So the song you know, “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” is only present here in an a cappella …

1989, Music

Like a Prayer (1989) by Madonna

Many years ago I was drinking at a bar in grad school, when the title track came on. A colleague of mine said it was a good song, I scoffed and we got in an argument, with everyone else siding with him and getting annoyed at me for being stupid. For my entire life I …

1989, Music

Oranges & Lemons (1989) by XTC

I don’t know anything about XTC really, just that one of their early ’80s albums has been on my “to listen” list for a very long time. I sort of assumed they were a post punk band but knew basically nothing else. Not knowing anything was good, as it often is, because I didn’t see …

1989, Music

Technique (1989) by New Order

The fusion of alternative and dance was such a big thing in the late 1980s in the UK. But it’s not something I really get because, well, I don’t like dance music. But I wish I could appreciate it more, because there are all these bands, with all these acclaimed albums, and I listen to …

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).

1989, Books, Non-Fiction

Summer of 49 (1989) by David Halberstam

I am not a Yankees fan or a Sox fan but I am a fan of The Breaks of the Game, probably the best book I have ever read about sports. Summer of 49  is not on that level, but, for someone like me who was not alive during the summer of 1949, and who was …

1989, Music

Symphonies Nos. 44, 88 and 104 (1989) by Joseph Haydn, performed by Capella Istropolitana conducted by Barry Wordsworth

This is a pretty arbitrary collection of three of Haydn’s symphonies, one from the middle period, and two from the end of his career, including his famous final symphony, the “London.” I have heard both 88 and 104 before. The performances are fine. The “Trauer” is pretty good. The first movement doesn’t really fit the …

1989, Music

The Paris Symphonies (1989) by Joseph Haydn, performed by the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment conducted by Sigiswald Kuijken

This is a collection of all six of Haydn’s “Paris” symphonies and is probably as close as one can get to a definitive collection of Haydn’s music on two discs, as he wrote so many damn symphonies (104 I believe). The first symphony, No. 82 (aka “The Bear”), was apparently written last. And that seems …

1989, Music

Morawetz / Ginastera: Harp Concertos (1989) by Gianetta Baril, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra conducted by Uri Mayer

I have long loved the harp. Ever since I first heard “She’s Leaving Home” sometime in my tweens I was enchanted. And yet I have done a piss poor job of ever seeking out harp music. I can’t really say why exactly, I guess I was just too busy looking for other sounds (that of …

1966, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1991, 2008, Music

Complete String Quartets (2008) by Philip Glass, performed by the Smith Quartet

First off, this is no longer ‘complete’ if it ever really was – Glass has apparently written a 6th quartet. (Also, there are other pieces he has written for string quartet that do not appear here, but they are not numbered among his string quartets, apparently.) Glass’ first quartet is a really great piece of …

1989, Music

Passion – Sources (1989) by Various Artists, curated by Peter Gabriel

On the one hand, this is a fine collection of “world” music, featuring all sorts of interesting pieces from different cultures. Moreover, it was released in connection to an “event” Hollywood film, meaning that this type of music got unprecedented exposure in North America.

1943, 1953, 1989, 2001, Music

Piano Concertos; Elegy for Anne Frank (2001) by Lukas Foss et al.

This is an odd compilation in that it combines performances of Foss’ work by others with two by himself. I don’t really know why they aren’t all by himself, but whatever. I was unfamiliar with Foss and I must say his music is interesting, if far less radical than the 20th century music I normally …

1989, Movies

Deep Star Six (1989, Sean S. Cunningham)

Though Leviathan has the cast – Peter Weller! Richard Crenna! Daniel Stern! – whereas this one is populated with That Guys, Deep Star Six does a significantly better job with the setup than Leviathan, the monster sub movie I’ve seen way too many times. Deep Star Six not as cerebral – and not as good – …

1871, 1872, 1989, Music

Dvorak Piano Trios Nos. 1 and 2 (1989) by the Raphael Trio

This collects Dvorak’s two least-regarded piano trios. I didn’t know that while I listened to it, and, now that I know, I’m not quite surprised. The music is certainly pleasant, but one can understand why people haven’t gone crazy over this music, which seems to me as if it could easily have been written in …

1868, 1869, 1870, 1871, 1874, 1879, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1989, Music

The Songs of Henri Duparc (1989) by Sarah Walker, Thomas Allen, Roger Vignoles

For reasons I can’t quite articulate, I find lieder tough to get into. My first reaction is to be a little surprised that this guy’s status in the canon rests on this.

1989, Books, Non-Fiction

The Life of Graham Greene Volume One: 1904-1939 (1989) by Norman Sherry

Sherry’s biography of the first 35 years of Greene’s life is exhaustive, that is probably the thing to start with. If you are not a fan of Graham Greene, I cannot emphasize enough that you should not read this book.

1989, Music

Variations, interlude et final; Prelude elegiaque; La plainte, au loin, du faune; Sonate (1989) by Paul Dukas, performed by Margaret Fingerhut

This is a quite surprising collection. Dukas – who apparently destroyed much of his output – used to be somewhat dismissed when it came to his piano music but I find what’s here – both the famous sonata variations and the less famous other two works – to be great, if not exactly life-changing. It’s …