Tag: 1988

1988, Music

Land of Dreams (1988) by Randy Newman

Full disclosure: I do not like Randy Newman. I have yet to hear more than maybe two or three songs of his that I think are really, truly great. (One of them is on this record.) Sure, most of them are above average, but his reputation far exceeds what I’ve heard, in my opinion.

1988, Music

No Rest for the Wicked (1988) by Ozzy Osbourne

I was really tempted to think of Ozzy as an anachronism by 1988, as metal had changed one hell of a lot in the last 20 years. But the opening intensity of the guitar gave me hope that maybe he wasn’t! Then that talk box kicked in, and I wasn’t so sure.

1988, Music

Watermark (1988) by Enya

“Orinoco Flow” floated around my aunt and uncle’s house every time I was there in late 1988 through 1989. In my memory, that song is playing every single time I visited their house as a child. I had no idea how to spell the title, and didn’t understand what it meant. All I knew was …

1988, Music

How Will I Laugh Tomorrow If I Can’t Even Smile Today (1988) by Suicidal Tendencies

This is one of those records which, had I found at the right time in my life, I might have really, really liked. It’s not that I don’t like it now, but I know too much now to be as impressed as I would have say, 5-10 years ago.

1988, Music

Power (1988) by Ice-T

Something seems to have happened within hip hop, between this record and the music that was everywhere during the 1990s (and everything that’s come since). To me, someone who doesn’t know hip hop at all, this sounds considerably older to me than N.W.A or Wu Tang, and even significantly older than Public Enemy. I think …

1988, Music

Eazy-Duz-It (1988) by Eazy-E

When I was younger and more of a music snob than I am now (still a snob, though), I used to dismiss singers who didn’t write their own songs as lacking talent. I’ve come to realize that’s pretty dumb, as most singers are not great songwriters and many if not most great songwriters are not …

1988, Music

Suffer (1988) by Bad Religion

My first impression of Bad Religion was from a significantly later record, when what they may have helped pioneer was everywhere. I thought, “Great, another skate punk band.” Sure, they’re a very literate punk band, but I’ve heard a lot of these bands and they pretty much sound the same.But if I try to put …

1988, Music

Hangin’ Tough (1988) by New Kids on the Block

I had turned 7 just a few days earlier when this came out so, though I am aware of NKOTB, and I’ve heard two of these songs way too many times as a child, this isn’t really the boy band that annoyed me. Sure, my step-sister had the tape, and I guess that was annoying …

1988, Music

Peepshow (1988) by Siouxsiee and the Banshees

The opening song “Peek-a-Boo” really threw me for a lip – those samples are a massive departure from what I’m familiar with from this band. My initial impression of it was that they were trying to piggyback on the emerging sound of hip hop and electro which they didn’t understand and were failing terribly. That …

1988, Music

Sunshine on Leith (1988) by The Proclaimers

If you’re my age, or a little older, you’ve heard “I’m Gonna Be” more times than you could count. Depending on how you feel about this song, you may be pleasantly surprised by the rest of the album or severely disappointed.Because the thing is, there’s maybe one or two tracks on this album that come …

1988, Music

Straight Outta Compton (1988) by N.W.A

Though I do not generally enjoy listening to Hip Hop, and still lack a frame of reference for most of it, if not all of it, I vowed to myself a few months ago that I would listen to more of it, at least to give myself some frame of reference – both for my …

1988, Music

Lucinda Williams (1988)

I was going to say that there’s something about a debut that tempers my expectations in a way that doesn’t happen with other albums. But this record wasn’t her debut; I hadn’t realized she put out two records way, way earlier, in 1979 and 1980. So I guess the positive spin on this is that …

1988, Music

Temple of Low Men (1988)

Like so much other music, I have come to this band backwards, having recently listened to Neill Finn’s solo debut before I had ever heard any of their records. What I discovered on his solo debut is that he is not my kind of songwriter and often not my kind of performer. This is not …

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.)