1988 was a banner year for METAL, with Danzig, GN'R, Metallica, Living Color, and the alt-metal masterpiece by Jane's Addiction "Nothing's Shocking" (my pick for BEST ALBUM OF 1988) making my list. Headbanging my way through this one...
...but there were also some compelling albums by other types of Rock groups, too.
Fishbone, the Pixies, and the Sugarcubes (BJORK! with a rock band!) albums all made my list, as did Social Distortion (one of the best and most underrated bands/albums of all time) and....Enya. Don't judge me! Her gorgeous voice is music to sooth the savage beast, and to feed my imagination.
To me, 1988 was a weird year, which I suppose makes sense, since 1987 was filled with albums by all the giant bands (Smiths, Cure, REM, Depeche Mode, Replacements, U fucking 2). Perhaps as a result, I do not have a lot of favorite ALBUMS of 1988. For me the year was more about songs, probably influenced by DJing on college radio in addition to the dearth of big name releases.
Anyway, remember my rules: I had to love it THEN and NOW. So this rules out They Might Be Giants, whose silliness I loved at 19 but cannot abide at 44, as well as My Bloody Valentine and Pixies, whom I can't pretend to have known about in 1988. With that in mind, here is my top ten, in alphabetical order:
The Church, 'Starfish'
Cowboy Junkies, 'The Trinity Session'
The Feelies, 'Only Life'
Prefab Sprout, 'From Langley Park to Memphis'
The Primitives, 'Lovely'
The Pursuit of Happiness, 'Love Junk'
The Smithereens, 'Green Thoughts'
The Sugarcubes, 'Life's Too Good'
Ultra Vivid Scene, 'Ultra Vivid Scene'
The Wonder Stuff, 'The Eight Legged Groove Machine'
This is the year that I bet no one else's top ten will be like mine.
Additionally, I can't even say that I listen to these often. Probably just TPOH. And while I love UVS, it's the 1990 album Joy that I can't get enough of.
And, really, if I'm being honest, I didn't listen to the entire albums of Wonder Stuff, UVS, Primitives, Cowboy Junkies, or Prefab Sprout back then either. Only certain songs.
So I guess I only have a top 5. And that, in a nutshell, is 1988. Songs, not albums.
Love Hysteria by Peter Murphy is my fave.
Bringing Home The Ashes" by THE WILD SWANS is the best of its kind.In a perfect world it would have been a massive hit since every song on Bringing Home The Ashes is pure pop perfection:Paul Simpson's haunting and captivating voice, jangling and lush guitars,pensive lyrics and fantastic keyboards.It definitely captures 80s mood in their heartmeltingly seductive and ethereal sound.
Bad Religion - Suffer, That is all.
5 of my all time favorite bands, My Bloody Valentine, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Talking Heads, the Pixies, and Sonic Youth all released albums in 88. It made 6 of my choices very easy (had to vote for the Ciccone Youth, too!) Editing out a whole bunch of great albums for the last 4 slots was hard, though!
It's a little known fact that Morrissey (of the Smiths) co-wrote several tracks on the Dead Milkmen release Beelzebubba. He also led the band with his spiritual guidence for many years after. For that reason alone, when you cast your vote for Morrissey, be sure to vote for the Dead Milkmen as well in your top ten.. Thank you..
sorry guys and SUE about the multiplicate posts above--"smart"phone brainlocked! but please keep one of of them, ok?
it's wild to read the perspectives of the over-45 types with these polls. 1988 was LOADED! i chose 10 records and had to excise at least 10 more, including morrissey, my bloody valentine, the primitives, the wonder stuff, fishbone, and the three GREAT, seminal hip-hop albums (since i was so far over the limit it figured the neatest solution was to omit all the hip-hop)...it just seems to me that the "elders" (and ii'm 41, mind you) fancy themselves the keepers of the ancient scrolls of alternative-rock music, and anytime a once-revered artist got to a point in their career where they became more mature and more skilled at songwriting--an evolution common to every great, celebrated artist--they slag them off and dismiss them as, at best, not as good ad their "old stuff", and at worst, too commercial, sellouts, etc. accordingly, this means that everything released after, say, 1985, sucks. but when formerly "underground" or "fringe" bands cross over and achieve more mainstream success, there's usually a valid reason--namely, that they're making better records. but if you're truly "alternative", then you're supposed to have been horrified by the friday i'm in loves and everybody hurts and under the bridges of the world, when in reality all of those songs are terrific and special in their way. no, they're not one hundred years and swan swan h and true men don't kill coyotes. so what? a great song is a great song. the guy above who said viva hate was the only exceptional record of the whole year (and by the way, it's not even THAT good) is, to me, just curmudgeonly proto-hipster bullshit. alternative rock music, in all its numerous forms, satellites and subgenres, got BETTER as the second half of the 80s unfolded, and peaked between roughly 1987 and 1993 or '94. (yep. i said it. and for every bush, alanis and offspring you cite, i can counter with the likes of the smashing pumpkins, björk and jeff buckley.) that period, the late 80s/early 90s, is rivaled only by the two prior "wraparounds"--the punk/postpunk/new wave/disco/birth of hip-hop etc. of '77-'82, and the classic rock/folk-rock/psychedelia/prog-rock/birth of hard rock & heavy metal of '67-'72.
I hope the Wild Swans' "Bringing Home The Ashes" makes it in the list of top 10.
1988 was one of my favorite years in music...many of my favorite singers/bands had some great albums out: Moz, Peter Murphy, Siouxsie, The Church. sigh.
It's getting to be the point that, with only 10 choices, I have to choose the "non popular" favourites as I know the "mainstream" ones will get votes - even if they were one of my favourites too. I can't abandon some of the classics that might not be the most popular.
This was a really tough year to narrow down! Had to begin by putting in votes for Soul Asylum (Hang Time is an amazing record!) as well as Run Westy Run, then attempt to narrow down the remaining 7,000 great records to eight.
"It Takes A Nation of Millions...," "Surfer Rosa," and "Daydream Nation" are in the top 10 for the entire decade.
This was a touch year..IMO most of the good "80s" had already peaked. I can't remember being blown away by anything other than Viva Hate
It was so hard to choose one!
Kind of hard to pick for 1988. There are some real stand-out albums by Janes Addiction, Wire, Pixies and Siouxsie. However, I had hard time picking the rest. I had to dig a little and pick whatever was close to a great album for this year.
Kind of surprised, these are fun! Maybe we can start all over again with best singles of the 1980's!
This year was a lot easier for me, (which is good because next year will be hard). I thought Guns N Roses Lies was an EP? Interesting to see more "diversity" in musical styles as the years progress, particularly the inclusion of more rap and metal...although my taste was pretty varied I don't think I would have considered Metallica, Guns N Roses, NWA and Price as being college rock...
The Ocean Blue?
Too many great choices - too many great memories...