The Record Collection: 1989 – 2

R.E.M. | Life’s Rich Pageant | I.R.S, 1986 |

The fourth studio album from R.E.M. was my first encounter with the band. I bought it on cassette in 1986, and the LP version three years later. It’s still the favorite album from a band I never stopped adoring. Characterized by a cleaner production than on their previous efforts (thanks to Don Gehman), a punchy sound while maintaining their enigmatic presence and jangly roots. And of course, it has some of the band’s greatest songs, including the killer opening trio of «Begin the Begin», «These Days» and «Fall On Me.» I wish I still was in college, bury magnets, swallow the rapture.

The Beasts of Bourbon | The Axeman’s Jazz | Big Time 1985 |

A super supergroup from Australia, including members from Hoodoo Gurus, The Johnnys and of course The Scientists (Kim Salmon). This is their debut album, originally released down under a year before. With a mix of swamp rock, psychobilly and country blues, somewhere between The Cramps, Nick Cave and Hank Williams, this here beast was created during one particularly dark and gloomy evening in Sydney. The opening track and leadoff single, where singer Tex Perkins does a convincing take on Leon Payne’s classic murder ballad «Psycho» still remains one of the highlight on an album packed with stories about death and misery. The Beasts of Bourbon were confronting, abusive and filled with desperation and despair. This album gives you plenty of it all. Pour yourself a glass, turn the lights down low and join this band along the lost highway and into the night.

American Music Club | California | Frontier 1988 |

‘To the left, a beautiful California landscape
Dead ends in the sky
And to the right, beautiful mountains rise
High and dry
Another futile expression of bitterness
Another overwhelming sensation of uselessness’

Mark Eitzel is one of the great American storytellers and voices; deep, stoic and soulful, he fleshes out personal anguish and wry observations with an unmatched eloquent pen. American Music Club lived up to their name and incorporated many different styles into their music over the years, always gravitating around Eitzel’s magnetic presence, and on California they played it all out so extremely well. There is a barren feeling deep inside this golden landscape, where dreams meet the sea, a sense of sadness, longing and hopelessness so wonderfully conveyed on tracks like «Last Harbour», «Western Sky», «Laughingstock» or «Firefly», but all conducted with elegance and beauty. Into a story not only about inner demons, or the state of California, but of America itself.

The Band of… Blacky Ranchette | Heartland | Zippo 1986 |

When Howe Gelb got the country itch, he let Giant Sand rest for a while, saddled up Blacky, teamed up with some of his finest compadres and set out on the western trails. The first Blacky LP came back in 1985, ‘Heartland’ followed a year later. Both albums are a testament to the sparkling relationship between Gelb and Rainer Ptacek, two creative geniuses and close friends until Rainer sadly passed away in 1997. Blacky pursued a more pure country sound than the Giant Sand moniker could provide, but always bumped into the usual detours that makes Howe Gelb’s music so irresistible. This is a “lost” Americana classic way before that became a hip term.

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ | Mystery Road | Island 1989 |

Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ masterfully merged Southern indie with Southern hard rock and country, and managed to unify it all into a stirring hot cocktail under the guidance of singer and main songwriter Kevn Kinney. Their two previous albums are both wonderful, but Mystery Road shines with confidence, power and the sharpest set of tunes in their entire album catalog. The country/folk songs are particularly strong, «Ain’t It Strange,» With the People,» «Peacemaker,» and of course the wonderful «Straight to Hell» are classics in its own right and also remains a missing link between Gram Parsons and Uncle Tupelo and the whole Americana resurgence of the 1990s. But Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ always had the urge to rock off too, Aerosmith style («Toy Never Played With,» «Wild Dog Moon») and ‘Mystery Road’ gives you plenty of it all. This is an album you can drive and cry to.

Pixies | Surfer Rosa | 4AD 1988 |

This is one of my definitive favorite albums of all times, and both Surfer Rosa and Doolittle are on my Top 10 Album List of the 1980s. Pixies was brand new to me when I bought ‘Surfer Rosa’, on a warm springs day, and it became the soundtrack for the summer when I turned 17. How fortunate! I believe the combination of their super catchy songs and disturbing lyrics («He bought me a soda and he tried to molest me in the parking lot», «I got no lips, I got no tongue, where there were eyes, there’s only space», «I’m the horny loser») somewhat resonated to a teen life being equally carefree and confusing. Needless to say, all these songs here are classics in my book, and every time I put on the album, not as often as before I have to admit, but it’s just as rewarding as in 1989, I’m being transferred back to this time in my life. So grateful Pixies was there to guide me into adulthood. PS: On the back cover, I still see the fingerprint marks from the day I bought it. I hated the stains back then, now it’s almost like a stamp of remembrance, something that would never occur in the digital world. There’s a beauty in that as well.

The Feelies | Only Life | A&M 1988 |

Some discovered The Feelies on their 1980 debut album, and I guess that must’ve been a thrilling experience. I bought my first Feelies-album on a hunch (I believe) some time in 1989. Their legacy didn’t matter to me, it was all about the moment. In hindsight, Only Life might not be considered such a seminal album, but to a perpetual nervous teen it was mind-blowing and just the best thing ever. I was well into jangle pop at the time, but was starting to look out for something with more punch, and The Feelies served just the right mixture of restless indie charm and groovy rhythms. As a huge fan of all kinds of horror movies, I remember how the cover art appealed to me big time, imaging these five fellas standing in front of Amityville, Elm Street or whatever VHS flick I was watching at the time. I guess that is what I still find fascinating; the dreamlike, hypnotic sounds of innocence and the tempting undertows towards something darker. I never tire of The Feelies, and I’ll never stop listening to this album.

Dinosaur Jr. | Bug | SST/Blast First 1988 |

Remember the last time you heard a new album and instinctively knew it would not only blow your brains out in the moment, but also mark the beginning of a life long relationship? An album of such impact that you just had to play it over and over again, share its brilliance with anyone with the slightest of interest and memorize every word and note? Not too often these days for my part, but hopefully youngsters still do, it’s a glorious feeling. I went and saw Dinosaur Jr in this tiny club after buying Bug in the summer of 1989, holding my under-aged breath while sneaking in, squeezed in right by the speaker and witnessed a loud, loud mess of guitar insanity, the songs hardly recognizable, buried deep below endless layers of feedback and noise. My ears were ringing for weeks afterwards. Bug is also a noisy mess, but with this brilliant mixture of emotional vulnerability, slacker coolness and full on assaults that makes it such a classic. «Freak Scene» is the obvious key track, a super catchy indie anthem if there ever was any. I was not the only kid yelling out lines like these on a frequent basis, but it was like J spoke directly to me:
«Sometimes I don’t thrill you
Sometimes I think I’ll kill you
Just don’t let me fuck up will you
’cause when I need a friend it’s still you
What a mess» ‘Bug’ is a lot more thank «Freak Scene» though, «They Always Come», Budge» and «Let it Ride» are equally addictive, and I’ve always adored hazy slow burners like «Yeah We Know» and «The Post» just as much. One of my fondest memories is tied to the sludgy, epic finale of «Don’t.» Remember how I occupied the DJ booth at our weekly youth club disco and blasted it on max volume, giggling at the horrified faces in front of me. Oh the days of joy and guitar noise.

Black Sun Ensemble | s/t | Reckless 1988 |

Much of the music from the American southwest is rooted in the dusty ground with the barren landscape as a majestic backdrop, but some went even further. I was deep into many of the bands being labeled as ‘desert rock’ at the time, but Black Sun Ensemble was something else indeed. There is an undeniable flavor of the frontier twang in their sound, but as they reached for the sky, they also discovered other horizons, including ritual music, Medieval patterns, space rock and Indian raga. This album is a collection of some of their early hard-to-get cassette releases (‘Sapphire Sky Symphony’, ‘Raga Del Sol’) and a couple of new tracks, and works as a great introduction to one of the many overlooked bands from this time and place. It is a magic carpet ride of hypnotic cosmic desert psychedelia centered round the intricate guitar work of Jesus Acedo (1962-2013), imagine a mix of John Fahey, Jimi Hendrix and Ravi Shankar, instrumental explorations of the outer world and of the inner mind. It’s a trip alright, this is Country & Eastern at its finest.

The Leaving Trains | Transportational D. Vices | SST 1989 |

The Leaving Trains came out of the same vital Los Angeles scene that spawned likeminded artists like The Gun Club, The Flesh Eaters and The Dils. They were a wild ride in the glory days and left behind a string of great albums in the latter half of the 1980s ranging from rambling punk frenzy to introspective, self-loathing material. Transportational D. Vices leans towards the former, with its hard-hitting down-and-out tunes mostly between 1-2 minutes long (including a cool cover of Urinals’ «Black Hole»). Falling James Moreland was the only steady member in a band with a constant revolving lineup, and his keen melodic sense always shines through their ramshackle sound. Falling James is quite a story by the way, notoriously known for his crossdressing appearances, a super brief marriage with Courtney Love, name-dropped by Tom Waits («Gun Street Girl»), and now retired from music he’s a writer for L.A. Weekly. ‘Transportational D. Vices’ is produced by Earle Mankey (the Weirdos, Runaways, Concrete Blonde, The Three O’Clock, The Long Ryders) and the album cover is a photo of Howe Gelb’s very own ’66 Barracuda. Such is the life of Falling James, packed with fame and tragedy, peculiar incidents and surrounded by cult figures, living in the gutter and looking at the stars. Just as the songs he made.

Reklamer

The Record Collection: 1988 (51-60)

The album collection in chronological order from when it was bought. Revisited one at the time. Part 5.

Sonic Youth | Daydream Nation | Blast First 1988 |


Bought in late October 1988, when this was brand new I guess. I knew Sonic Youth a little bit from before, had been scared off by ‘Confusion is Sex’ and fell in love with ‘Sister’ earlier in the same year. But this is still my gateway album into a band I’ve never tired from. Sonic Youth will forever be one of my definitive favorite bands. ‘Daydream Nation’ was a mind blowing experience back then, and it’s just as good today, 30 years later, ranking as one of the true masterpieces of not only 1980s guitar rock, but as a beacon in American underground culture.

R.E.M. | Green | Warner 1988 |


Is ‘Green’, their major label debut, the last great album of R.E.M.? I don’t know, I’m well aware of the enormous success they were about to enjoy later on, but for me, this was actually the final album I bought and enjoyed from start to finish from a band that was tremendously important to me. “World Leader Pretend” will forever remain an eternal favorite, but the whole album is just gorgeous. A soundtrack to the indian summer of 1988.

Divine Horsemen | Devil’s River | New Rose 1986 |


A Lee & Nancy kinda dark cowpunk romance set in the LA gutter, based on equal love for punk rock and honky tonk; Divine Horsemen are one of the true alt.country pioneers – but arrived a bit too early to cash in on the thing. ‘Devil’s River’ is their finest moment, and it has aged well too. Chris D and Julie Christensen was a mighty fine unit back in those days. And hey, it’s engineered by Mr Brett over at Westbeach.

Black Flag | My War | SST 1984 |


How much damage did this album cause for a young innocent kid, unaware of the sludgy nightmare on the b-side? I was already a fan of early Black Flag, “Six Pack”, TV Party” and such stuff, but this was a whole other ballgame. Little did I know that ‘My War’ became the gateway album to my grunge phase, right around the corner. The Pettibon cover is brilliant, too.

Green On Red | Green On Red | Down There/Enigma 1982 |


The musical roots to this EP can be traced back to the 1960s and bands like the Seeds and Electric Prunes, infused with the nervous tension of the early 1980s. ‘Green On Red’ is a dense masterpiece from a band in its very infancy, a night road trip from the Arizona desert to the backstreets of Los Angeles, where our protagonists evolves from youthful naivists to dark-eyed realists. “I made a pact with the devil that night” snarls Dan Stuart, while Chris Cacavas clings on to a steady organ drone. This might be a prediction of greater albums to come, but Green On Red never captured this almost dreamlike state of past and present ever again. I love it.

Thin White Rope | Red Sun EP | Demon 1988 |

“Red Sun” is the one majestic centerpiece in a catalog full of them, and it’s still the perfect song for those sweltering 100 degrees summer evenings on the porch. The grinding cover version of “Some Velvet Morning” is also worth mentioning, those guitars stems from a whole other solar system. Such a great EP, such a great band.

The Long Ryders | 10-5-60 | Zippo 1987 |


Six wonderful tracks of paisley power, where ‘60s folk rock meets ‘80s garage revival. “Born To Believe In You” was my favorite back then, and it still is.

True West | Drifters | Zippo 1984 |


The combination of chiming guitars, rootsy sound and retro-friendly jangle pop sure is irresistible. True West did it better than most of their peers, and ‘Drifters’ is their masterpiece. Especially side 2, including some of their most memorable songs, “And Then the Rain”, “Morning Light” and others, is standout. ‘Drifters’ is a mighty fine album.

Lee Clayton | Naked Child | Capitol 1979/1983 |


Where the heck is Lee Clayton today??

Motörhead | Ace Of Spades | Bronze 1980 |


Everything is cool about this album. I believe I bought it – in the fall of 1988 – mostly because of the cover art – I mean, what’s not to dig about those three mighty grim lookin’ cowboys posing in the desert. But the songs are killer too, of course. Timeless on all levels.

The Record Collection: 1988 (1-20)

The album collection in chronological order from when it was bought. Revisited one at the time.

Fetchin Bones | Bad Pumpkin | Capitol 1986 |

Underrated and sadly forgotten North Carolina quintet combining a kind of Southern jangly vibe with restless proto-grunge. They supported R.E.M and the B-52’s, whom they both are sonically related to. This is their second album, marking their move from small db Records to a major label without losing their spark. Rather this LP still holds up thanks to careful production by Don Dixon and tight songs throughout the record. And Hope Nicholls was a great singer back then, and she still is.

Ben Vaughn Combo | The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn | Restless/Making Waves 1986 |

‘I got a 1969 Rambler American/Baby aren’t you impressed/Sure I could have a Datsun 280 Z/But I’m not like all the rest’ Ben Vaughn blends humor and wit with classic American music; rock’n’roll, rockabilly and country twang. He’s been doing his thing since the early 1980’s, and has released albums better than this during his long career. But Vaughn and his Combo had such an irresistible charm on songs like “I’m Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)”, “I Dig You Wig” and “Wrong Haircut” that makes his debut album still a treat to listen to.

The Dream Syndicate | This Is Not The New Dream Syndicate Album… Live! | A&M 1984 |

Recorded live at the Aragon in Chicago one hot July night in 1984, when The Dream Syndicate toured on ‘The Medicine Show’ (released a month prior) with R.E.M. Only five songs long, but these are all classics – from a band in blistering shape. The classic line up of Steve Wynn, Dennis Duck, guitarist Karl Precoda on his last album with the Syndicate, and newcomer Mark Walton. Tommy Zvoncheck guests on keys, but this performance is first and foremost about four guys and great songs; long jams, feedback orgies and the joy of a sweaty club night. That’s rock and roll.

Guadalcanal Diary | 2×4 | Elektra/Asylum 1987 |


Producer Don Dixon is synonymous with some of the finest guitar rock of the 1980s, with a jangly signature sound that mainly captured the spirit of Southern indie and mostly known for his work with early R.E.M. Guadalcanal Diary, also from Georgia, never earned the same levels of commercial success. A new listen to the hands down masterpiece ‘2×4’ serves as a reminder on how that is just unfair. They shared some obvious similarities, but this quartet had a more direct and extrovert approach to their songwriting. This is their finest moment, an energetic and eclectic set of pure excellent songs.

The Screaming Blue Messiahs | Bikini Red | Elektra 1987 |


London based Screaming Blue Messiahs rose from the ashes of Motor Boys Motor (named after a 101’ers tune) exposing a crew owing debt to the likes of Bo Diddley, Little Richard and Captain Beefheart. With some adjustments to the line-up, the smokin’ trio was finally settled as the highly skilled outfit of Bill Carter on guitar and vocals, Chris Thompson on bass and Kenny Harris on thundering drums. Soon after they were renamed the Screaming Blue Messiahs. The Vic Maile produced ‘Bikini Red’ saw the band dwelling even deeper into iconic American pop and trash culture. Complete with references to Elvis, cars, booze, TV evangelists and fast living, the music itself proves an amalgam of rockabilly, rhythm & blues, hillbilly and surf fronted by Bill Carter who (with an American accent) declared that “Jesus Chrysler Drives a Dodge,” “I Can Speak American” and even “I Wanna Be a Flintstone.

Various artists | I Was A Teenage Zombie | Enigma 1987 |


Still haven’t seen the movie, but suspect the soundtrack is superior to the comedy-horror flick. This is a decent selection with some of the finest indie artists of the time picked from the Enigma roster. The db’s, Smithereens, and Los Lobos are all in here, and the Fleshtones got a minor hit with the theme song. The highlights are Violent Femmes’ “Good Feeling” and The Dream Syndicate with the haunting masterpiece “Halloween.”

R.E.M | Chronic Town | I.R.S 1982
R.E.M | Murmur | I.R.S 1983 |
R.E.M | Reckoning | I.R.S 1984 |


I discovered R.E.M with ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ as a 13-14 year old kid, and immediately fell in love, not only with R.E.M but in alternative American guitar rock in general. So when I finally switched over from cassettes to LP’s in 1988, purchasing their back catalog was obviously a high priority. One lucky day I went home with ‘Chronic Town’, ‘Murmur’ and ‘Reckoning’ bought from a friend, meaning days and weeks of deep listening. Humming along to barely recognizable lyrics. R.E.M might went on to release better albums later in their career, but these three albums, they’re all equal to me, really captures all I love about them. And they still sound as adventurous and amazing as they did on that February day in 1988.

Green On Red | Gas Food Lodging | Enigma 1985 |


Green On Red released nothing but excellent albums between 1982-88, and some great moments in the years after. This is the band in its prime; Dan Stuart, Big Dog MacNicol (RIP), Jack Waterson, Chuck Prophet and Chris Cacavas made one helluva great line up, supported with fine production from Paul B. Cutler of the Dream Syndicate. From the blazing opener ‘That’s What Dreams’ to the campfire version of ‘We Shall Ocercome’, this is rootsy ragged rock at it’s finest, but side 2 with ‘Sixteen Ways’, ‘The Drifter’ and ‘Sea Of Cortez’ are particular standouts. Heck, all of them are.

Thin White Rope | Bottom Feeders | Zippo/Frontier 1988|

Not too many bands can boast a recorded history without any major flaws. But Northern California’s Thin White Rope are one of those. They made great studio albums throughout, well known for their even more ferocious live shows of massive wall of guitars and bulldozer sound. The group never really fit into the categories used for branding guitar dominated rock in the 1980s. Thin White Rope were too harsh to be labeled as jangle, too loud for the emerging alternative country movement and too dark to fit into the flowery Paisley Underground. ‘Bottom Feeders’ is an EP of four originals and two covers (Jimmy Reed’s “Ain’t That Loving You Baby” and highlighted with a blistering live version of Suicide’s “Rocket USA”) and tucked between the bleak masterpieces ‘Moonhead’ and astonishing ‘In The Spanish Cave’. But there’s no reason to ignore this little beast of chainsaw guitars, raspy vocal and spooky vibes. Great cover art by Steve Blickenstaff.

The Dead Kennedys | Frankenchrist | Alternative Tentacles 1985 |


In an ideal world, songs about corrupt government, robots replacing the working class, suburban decay and structural racism would be of out of date some 30 years down the line. Alas, as we all know, the topics raised on ‘Frankenchrist’ are more relevant than ever. “No wonder others hate us/And the Hitlers we handpick/To bleed their people dry/For our evil empire”, Biafra sings on the album standout ‘Stars and Stripes of Corruption’ like an omen for the presidency and leadership in 2018. ‘Frankenchrist’ might lack the immediate punk anthems of its predecessors, but musically this is also Kennedy’s best and most diverse album, where they expanded their punk roots and embraced a far more eclectic sound to include surf, Latin, psychedelic and synth elements. The album is mostly remembered for the massive controversy that followed, when the band was brought to court – and to their knees – due to the inlay poster ‘Penis Landscape’ by H.R Giger. Such fools, when the real concern should’ve been on solving the real problems outlined here. ‘Frankenchrist’ is an underrated gem in the band’s catalog.

The Replacements | Let it Be | Twin/Tone / Zippo 1984 |


This is just the ultimate album when you’re 16 and life to go. The Replacements’ combination of restless energy and slacker attitude, teen angst and drunken confidence hit like a bomb when I bought ‘Let It Be’ in 1988, and it became the soundtrack into adolescence. “How young are you?/How old am I?/Let’s count the rings around my eyes” is just an ace opening statement into an album packed with classic coming of age tunes miles ahead from their previous more punk based efforts, sometimes like a mix of the Stones’ swagger and ‘Born to Run’ era Springsteen. The album cover is perfect too, remember how I just wanted to climb that roof and squeeze in between these four hoodlums from Minneapolis.

Green On Red | Gravity Talks | Slash 1983 |


I first heard Green On Red on the ‘Slash Cuts’ compilation, where “Five Easy Pieces” was a standout. Driven by Chris Cacavas’ psychedelic keyboard swirls and Dan Stuart’s snarling vocals, the band found their own place in their infancy combining 60’s garage/psychedelia and Dylanesque folk-rock. Gravity Talks is a very fine document of this epoch, provided by a bunch of clever outlaw kids from Arizona still not sure about where to go. I love the nervous desperation that hangs over the whole album, a youthful energy impossible to replicate later in a career. ‘We don’t pretend to know everything or speak out loud like our parents did’, Stuart sings on the anthemic “Brave Generation”, name checking Fitzgerald and Faulkner on a coming of age story of growing up between the Vietnam war and Cold War anxiety: ‘We’re not beat, we’re not hip, we’re the Brave Generation, what a trip.’

The Del Fuegos | Boston Mass | Slash 1985 |


Yet another album bought off the ‘Slash Cuts’ compilation I guess. There was nothing hip or super fancy about the Del Fuegos in 1988, still aren’t. But their basic and credible urban heartland rock ‘n’ roll has some strong timeless qualities – and time has fared rather well with this one, their second album. Fronted by the Zanes’ brothers and produced by Mitchell Froom, Del Fuegos’ hammered out a couple of easy to like bar room and streetwise backroad tunes – equally perfect for both purposes (not at the same time though). This is the ‘sound of our town’, that’s the sound of Boston, Mass all right.

The Dream Syndicate | Medicine Show | A&M 1984 |

Following their raucous debut full length, The Dream Syndicate signed with a major label, teamed up with renowned producer Sandy Pearlman (Blue Öyster Cult, The Dictators, The Clash) and spent five months in the studio to finish their Medicine Show. It was met with various receptions at the time, but has gained favorable to classical status over the years. Pearlman and Syndicate shaped a far different sound for this album, more related to Television, The Cars and Neil Young than Velvet Underground. This is American gothic stories filled with some of Steve Wynn’s most memorable characters on songs like “Burn”, “Armed With An Empty Gun” and “Bullet With My Name On It.” But the panoramic widescreen vision reveals in its full on side 2: The title track, the blistering jam “John Coltrane Stereo Blues” and “Merritville” are all epic and has deservedly so become standards in the band’s catalogue. Medicine Show was obtained at a time when learning the lyrics was part of buying an album. I memorized all of these songs by heart, and they’re still holding on to me.

Hüsker Dü | Warehouse: Songs And Stories | Warner 1987 |

Could have been the one to boast Zen Arcade or New Day Rising as my entry points to Hüsker Dü, but as it happened their swan song Warehouse: Songs and Stories became my gateway album. I discovered them without any anticipation or deep knowledge about their astonishing back catalogue. I was just thrown into this sprawling sonic assault of thin fuzz, frenetic pace and way to clever poetry for a kid my age. It was almost too much. I guess the sheer intensity and emotional depth did resonate very well at the time. And the songs are catchy as hell. I didn’t care to much about the front cover though, but adored the back cover; those three weird and average looking guys laying on the grass surrounded by psychedelic blasts. 30 years down the road it still sounds like an amalgam of 60’s pop anthems filtered through a punk psychedelic odyssey, I particularly recall “Ice Cold Ice”, “Could You Be the One” and especially “She Floated Away” being played nonstop. Warehouse: Songs And Stories is a breathtaking kaleidoscopic soundtrack of youth, the sound of a band that had finally grown up – but also a band that were falling apart. In the end, I guess everything does.

The Del-Lords | Johnny Comes Marching Home | EMI America 1986 |

Of all the albums bought in my pioneer days, this is the one I probably know the least. I don’t recall the actual purchase, nor the songs in detail. So with a bit of excitement I drop the needle and press play. Just like the first time. The archetypal 80s sound aside, time has fared rather well with Johnny. The cover doesn’t lie. These four tough, denim and leather dressed New York guys could’ve been lifted straight outta ‘American Graffiti’, cruising down the main drag and looking for trouble at the soda shop while hanging round the jukebox. And it’s pretty much that kind of music they make; no nonsense rock rooted directly back to the 1950s with a modernized and radio friendly sound – and some nice parts of chiming Byrds-like guitars. Not bad at all, formerly Dictators’ and front man Scott Kempner is a great songwriter and assembled a more than decent cast of characters, including Eric ‘Roscoe’ Ambel, for The Del-Lords. Sometimes all we need is to rock out, have a good time and don’t worry too much. The sound of carefree times has no expiration date.

Danny & Dusty | The Lost Weekend | A&M 1985 |

When you’re 15-16, life’s at the crossroads. Your path is not yet set, there are choices to be made; sports, school, or well, smoking and drinking. Now, I’ll never blame Danny & Dusty for leading me down the wrong road, but those two fellas on the cover sure seems to have a good time! Who doesn’t wanna join in on their drunken choir? And Danny & Dusty sounds just like a couple friends having the time of their lives. It certainly helps when they happened to be Dan Stuart and Steve Wynn, joined by a fine group of likeminded ramblers from The Long Ryders and Green On Red/The Dream Syndicate. They dropped most of their gloomy credibility and pretensions outside and entered the bar with nothing but good intentions: to sing, drink, shoot stories, long on talk and short on cash, and drink some more. ‘One’s too many, and a hundred’s not enough’ as they say in the legendary movie The Lost Weekend (I watched it immediately after buying the album.) The result is loose and spontaneous, but not too sloppy, rather it’s rowdy, confident and has actually aged very well. The songs are great, from when the word is out until we knock on heavens door begging for hangover relief on Sunday. Chris Cacavas is perfect as the barroom pianist, Dan and Steve know how to tell stories about winners and losers in the shadow of the Hollywood neon glimmer. Lebowski might be the dude, but these guys, they were the real dudes.

The Cramps | Psychedelic Jungle | I.R.S. 1981 |

‘Primitive, that’s how I live.’ Lux Interior holler and howls all the way through ‘Psychedelic Jungle.’ The Cramps’ second album is onehelluva slow burning garbage crate digging bonanza of 1950s sleaze and dark shades, a wild, weird and wicked entry to a world of voodoo rockabilly, haunted garage rock and deranged punk. I discovered the band, as far as I remember, with a live version of “Sunglasses After Dark” played on radio, and was immediately hooked. I don’t play this too often though, must’ve been years since I was reminded to not eat stuff from the sidewalk

Unsung Heroes: Buffalo Tom

Boston was a pivotal nerve center for Eastern seaboard punk and hardcore in the early 1980s. A tight-knit musical community of often politically charged bands on either side of hard drinking or straight edge, commonly bonded by intensity and violence, Boston hardcore breathed through the city’s various college radio stations, Newbury Comics and the whole fanzine culture.

The scene also enjoyed the luxury of dedicated local record labels, in particular Taang!, that paved way for the alternative music boom to come. The hardcore scene waned within a few years, but the cultural impact it made is far more everlasting, and Boston had by then established a well-oiled infrastructure for fostering underground music. Taang! also gradually evolved beyond its hardcore roots, releasing hometown alternative pioneers like The Lemonheads, Moving Targets and Swirlies.

Another crucial point of interest in the growth of New England’s alternative sound was Boston recording studio Fort Apache, which housed seminal bands like Pixies, Throwing Muses, Belly, Dinosaur Jr., Bullet LaVolta, Sebadoh, Blake Babies and literal thousands more over the years. This further fortified Boston as one of the major ports of emerging indie rock of the 1980s and 1990s, continuously being fed each year by new hordes of students and local kids, including Bill Janovitz.

In 1982, at the age of 16, Bill and his family relocated from Long Island to Massachusetts. The move brought the aspiring musician straight into a honey bucket of independent creativity and vibrant teen spirit. Janovitz soon discovered usual suspects like Black Flag and the Replacements, who roamed across America and played every town and every club at the time. Attending the post-punk breeding ground of UMass Amherst, he met up with soon to be bandmates Chris Colbourn (bass) and drummer Tom Maginnis, and also befriended J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr., who later became an important patron of the band soon to be baptized Buffalo Tom.

Their eponymous 1989 debut album, Buffalo Tom, recorded by Mascis at Fort Apache, introduced us to a band peppered with teen angst and a knack for loud, distorted walls of guitars that couldn’t quite hide an obvious flair for pop hooks underneath it all. Propelled by the lead single “Sunflower Suit,” a regular at MTV’s 120 Minutes back in the days, the debut established the band as immediate indie darlings.

But Buffalo Tom soon replaced the charming ramshackle noisefest in favor for a more coherent slacker sound on their 1990 sophomore effort, Birdbrain, gradually leading up to the power trio’s classic mid period, defined by the critically acclaimed albums Let Me Come Over (1992), Big Red Letter Day (1993) and Sleepy Eyed (1995).

The remarkably steady line-up has continued to release quality albums up to the present, albeit at a slower pace than the years of their youth. Without ever losing their initial spirit, later albums like Three Easy Pieces (2007) and Skins (2011) are characterized by as always-intelligent songwriting, thoughtful and mature without ever losing their biting edge. Buffalo Tom has always balanced on this thin line, between gorgeous melancholy, in-your-face quiet-loud dynamics, jangly post-punk and arena sized anthems.

Of all the albums in their consistently strong catalog, Let Me Come Over holds a special place amongst many of their fans. Celebrating the record’s 25th anniversary this year, it is a flawless tour de force of poignant songwriting, packed with hook-laden, angst-ridden anthems like “Taillights Fade,” “Velvet Roof,” “Porchlight” and “Mineral.” In a fair world, Let Me Come Over would have secured Buffalo Tom among the stars.

And of course, they lived through an exciting time of alternative American guitar rock, witnessing firsthand the insanity of the Nevermind-fueled craze of major label deals, radio airplay and TV-appearances. Buffalo Tom surely benefited from this boom, but they never received their deserved mainstream recognition.

In a recent interview with Stereogum, Bill Janovitz wisely reflects on their lack of commercial success: “I can give you theories why I think we weren’t bigger. I think our lyrics are opaque, but we’re not like Pavement with opaque music. A lot of our music was very emotional, but it wasn’t really direct songwriting. There really wasn’t a compelling frontman. It was faceless and nerdy, but not ‘nerdy cool,’ like Weezer. It was a bunch of things that were never quite right. I wish I could blame a press agent or a manager or a label. But I think we were given an ample shot.”

But time might still be on their side. While a huge lump of their peers has fallen back to obscurity, Buffalo Tom still shines as a beacon of guitar rock. Their timelessly crafted songs have never been in style – and they’ve never gone out of style. BBC praised its songs as “a deeper take on the usual indie fare – slightly more intense than your Lemonheads, not as drunk on soul as Afghan Whigs, but not quite the self-loathing of Nirvana,” while Magnet magazine defined it “by the contradictions between Buffalo Tom’s rock-star aspirations and its inability to stomach the posturing that comes along with it, choosing instead to lay waste to its imperfections with some of the most devastatingly beautiful guitar rock of the ’90s.”

As a songwriter that has influenced generations to come we talked to Bill Janovitz about 5 albums that changed his life, in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of Let Me Come Over and their ongoing anniversary tour.

* * *

Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited
The Rolling Stones: Out of Our Heads

I received these two LPs on the same day from the next-door neighbors of my grandparents when I was about 8 years old, in 1973-74. I had no older siblings, so the only records I had around the house were from my parents’ and they were not real rock and rollers or record buyers, so there was a scarce collection of Elvis Presley, the Mills Brothers, the Ink Spots, Bossa Nova stuff, etc. But I was obsessed with AM radio and carried around a yellow Panasonic transistor radio wherever I went. But mostly spent hours in my bedroom listening to it.

Receiving these two mono LPs as a hand-me-down, though, was a huge revelation. I knew almost nothing about Dylan and had only heard a relative few Stones songs by that point. These two albums, both released in 1965, were truly life changing. This is not an overstatement; they were so mysterious and dark, and made me want to know more about the artists, depicted so enigmatically lackadaisical or aloof on their respective covers. Both records are steeped in the blues and filled with arcane references. In Bob’s case, there is the surrealist symbolism and amphetamine-driven stream of consciousness, Biblical, Shakespearean, Americana, and other obscure allusions. With the Stones, they are variously lampooning an “Under Assistant West Coast Promo Man” or dropping London references, like “an heiress” who “owns a block in St. John’s Wood.” And the Stones had all these covers of classic soul and blues songs making up half the album. So I eventually went on to find the originals.

It took me years to figure out what the hell all of this was about. And in Dylan’s case, I am still not sure. But it was all driving, compelling, and sexy music and I became hooked to smart rock and roll from that point.

The Beatles: The Beatles (The White Album)

I had bought Sgt. Peppers when I was 12, though the first LP I recall buying was Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life. Both were hugely important in my life, but as I picked up the guitar to learn at age 12, they were both distant from what I felt I could even possibly learn how to play. Meanwhile, the White Album was far more approachable, with the exception of some of the darker experimental corners. One of the first songs I learned how to play was “Rocky Raccoon.” It might still hold number one Beatles record in my heart.

Talking Heads: Remain in Light

My “cool uncle” from NYC bought me three records (I later discovered it was his younger and hipper boyfriend who picked them out) for my 14th birthday, clearly intended to open my mind, which was begging to be opened, having grown up in the decidedly more conservative suburb of Huntington, Long Island, where ’60s and ’70s mainstream rock was holding strong in 1980. They gave me a Nina Hagen EP, the first U2 record, Boy, and Talking Heads’ Remain in Light. The Hagen record was a hoot and a mild shock. My buds and I knew about punk rock but I could not yet figure out that Nina was a poseur/train jumper. No one had heard of U2 yet, and that sounded so new and fresh, yet accessible. I am not sure if I knew they would become so huge so fast, but neither was I surprised when they did.

But it was Remain in Light that drew me in immediately and I keep listening to though all my years. The Eno-driven production; the loops; the Fela Kuti and African rhythms; the off-kilter paranoid and funny poetry of David Byrne’s lyrics; but most of all, the still-insane-sounding guitar work by Adrian Belew, who I think was the most innovative guitar player since Jimi Hendrix — all of it blew my mind and made me ambitious to be an artist, to make music that was new and at least attempted to be innovative. I had known the Heads for a few years, “Psycho Killer,” “Take Me to the River,” “Cities,” and “Life During Wartime,” were all getting lots of airplay in NY. But this record was revolutionary for me and I became a huge fan, going to see them in Providence on the tour that was filmed for the Jonathan Demme (RIP) movie, Stop Making Sense.

R.E.M.: Murmur

My trajectory of seeking out new music continued, and became especially easier when I turned 16 and my family relocated to the suburbs of Boston in 1982. College radio was and continues to be a strong presence around here. I finished my last two years of high school in a tiny conservative town, with a graduating class of 180 (compared to around 800 at my New York school). But lots of the kids in my class were into new wave, punk rock, etc. The Clash were huge and kids were buying the Violent Femmes first record, the Specials, Police, plus the more adventurous of us were going into Boston to Newbury Comics record store (there was only one at the time) and buying New Order, Mission of Burma, the dBs, Echo and the Bunnymen, and that sort of thing. It was just an exciting time. So much seemed to be changing rapidly from 1980 to 1984. One of the bands that everyone loved was the English Beat, who played the Walter Brown hockey arena at Boston University in the spring of 1983. A bunch of us loaded into a few cars and went to skank our skinny asses off.

But the opening band, R.E.M., stopped me in my tracks. No one had heard of them. Instead of the light and bright ska-pop of the Beat, R.E.M. was this murky, yes, jangly group that looked like artsy hippies in flannel shirts, long hair, white shirts with vests, Rickenbacker guitars, in blue lights and shadows. Occasional lyrics floated to the surface of this mysterious, dreamlike music. Just as with the Stones and Dylan records, they were the proverbial portals and I wanted to dive in and learn more, and just as with those artists, I became a lifelong fan of R.E.M. I felt like they were my discovery. It was not hand-me-down music. It was an unparalleled thrill when Buffalo Tom was invited to stay at Peter Buck’s house in Athens on one of our first tours. He was an exceedingly gracious host who kept us up until dawn playing records and talking about music.

If I were to go past five of these, I would add Let It Be by the Replacements and Zen Arcade by Hüsker Dü, both of which directly changed my pathway and helped lead Chris, Tom, and I into forming Buffalo Tom. But that’s for another day.

Bjørn Hammershaug

5 Videoer: R.E.M

5. Can’t Get There From Here
Album: Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

When the world is a monster bad to swallow you whole
Kick the clay that holds the teeth in throw your trolls out the door

4. Driver 8
Album: Fables of the Reconstruction (1985)

And the train conductor says
‘Take a break Driver 8, Driver 8 take a break
We can reach our destination, but we’re still a ways away’

3. Fall On Me
Album: Lifes Rich Pageant

There’s a problem, feathers, iron
Bargain buildings, weights and pulleys
Feathers hit the ground
Before the weight can leave the air

2. So. Central Rain
Album: Reckoning (1984)

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry

1. Radio Free Europe
Album: Murmur (1983)

Calling on in transit…

1980-tallet: 200 Favorittalbum

80s_albums_final_1200
Denne lista over de 200 beste albumene fra 1980-tallet er ikke satt sammen av et panel med eksperter som har kåret en objektiv og endelig avgjørelse (som om det skulle være mulig). Dette er en liste over mine favoritter. De fleste ble oppdaget på 80-tallet, spesielt etter 1986, og står dermed selvsagt ekstra sterkt i internminnet. Andre har blitt ervervet og verdsatt i ettertid, og bidrar (heldigvis) til at sjangerbredden er noe variert og at tilsiget er konstant økende.

Et kjapt blikk på de 200 avslører at amerikansk gitarrock stod – og står – høyere i kurs enn, la oss si britisk synthpop. Ei heller er sjangre som hardrock og hip hop overrepresentert for å si det forsiktig – og mange av tiårets storselgere innen pop og rock gikk under denne radaren da, og har blitt liggende senere. Men noe skal man også ha til gode. Dette er min liste pr nå, og den er på langt nær hugget i stein. Tvert i mot, jeg gleder meg til å flikke på den, og bytte ut med nye favoritter ettersom de kommer min vei. Dette er uansett alle vinnere.

Utvalget er begrenset til to album pr. artist, så her er det mange darlings som er killed. Albumene er satt opp i rekkefølge, men etter de 20-30 første må det sies at den eksakte plasseringen er noe lemfeldig organisert. Uansett, skal du først ha med deg 200 80-tallsskiver på en øde øy ville jeg startet omtrent her.

doolittle1-10:
Pixies: Doolittle (1989)
Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (1988)
Dinosaur Jr.: You’re Living All Over Me (1987)
Nirvana: Bleach (1989)
The Replacements: Let It Be (1984)
R.E.M: Murmur (1983)
Violent Femmes: s/t (1983)
Pixies: Surfer Rosa (1988)
Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique (1989)
Giant Sand: Valley of Rain (1985)

miami11-20:
Gun Club: Miami (1982)
The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms (1980)
The Dream Syndicate: The Days of Wine and Roses (1982)
Hüsker Dü: Warehouse: Songs and Stories (1987)
Wipers: Youth of America (1981)
Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (1984)
Butthole Surfers: Locust Abortion Technician (1987)
Thin White Rope: Moonhead (1987)
Green on Red: Gravity Talks (1983)
Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (1988)

reckoning21-30:
R.E.M: Reckoning (1984)
Mudhoney: Superfuzz Bigmuff (1988)
deLillos: Suser avgårde (1986)
Meat Puppets: II (1983)
Sonic Youth: Sister (1987)
Dinosaur Jr.: Bug (1988)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Tender Prey (1988)
The Smiths: The Queen is Dead (1986)
Nomeansno: Wrong (1989)
Hüsker Dü: New Day Rising (1985)

freshfruit31-40:
Dead Kennedys: Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables (1980)
Brian Eno & Daniel Lanois: Apollo – Atmospheres & Soundtracks (1983)
Talking Heads: Remain in Light (1980)
Black Flag: Damaged (1981)
Giant Sand: The Love Songs (1988)
Slayer: Reign in Blood (1986)
David Bowie: Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) (1980)
Jokke & Valentinerne: Et hundeliv (1987)
Joy Division: Closer (1980)
Julee Cruise: Floating Into the Night (1989)

fugazi41-50:
Fugazi: s/t EP (1988)
The Replacements: Tim (1985)
The Stone Roses: s/t (1989)
Raga Rockers: Maskiner i Nirvana (1984)
The Rain Parade: Emergency Third Rail Power Trip (1984)
Tom Waits: Rain Dogs (1985)
Jane’s Addiction: Nothing’s Shocking (1988)
Green on Red: Gas Food Lodging (1985)
N.W.A: Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Killdozer: Intellectuals Are the Shoeshine Boys of the Ruling Elite (1984)

songsabout51-60:
deLillos: Hjernen er alene (1989)
Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man (1988)
Godflesh: Streetcleaner (1989)
Arthur Russell: World of Echo (1986)
Naked City: Torture Garden (1989)
Descendents: Milo Goes to College (1982)
Cosmic Psychos: Go the Hack (1989)
Tad: God’s Balls (1988)
Big Black: Songs About Fucking (1987)
Swans: Children of God (1987)

brownreason61-70:
Butthole Surfers: A Brown Reason to Live (1983)
The Dream Syndicate: Live at Raji’s (1989)
Thin White Rope: In the Spanish Cave (1988)
The Cramps: Psychedelic Jungle (1981)
The Pogues: If I Should Fall From Grace With God (1988)
Barracudas: Drop Out With the Barracudas (1982)
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: It’s Time For… (1986)
Bad Brains: s/t (1982)
The Fall: This Nation’s Saving Grace (1985)
Sunnyboys: s/t (1981)

suffer71-80:
Bad Religion: Suffer (1988)
The Soft Boys: Underwater Moonlight (1980)
Faith No More: The Real Thing (1989)
Bruce Springsteen: Nebraska (1982)
American Music Club: California (1988)
Metallica: Master of Puppets (1986)
Napalm Death: Scum (1987)
The Waterboys: This is the Sea (1985)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: Kicking Against the Pricks (1986)
Hasil Adkins: He Said (1985)

ultramega81-90:
Soundgarden: Ultramega OK (1988)
Lounge Lizards: s/t (1981)
Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Sessions (1987)
Rapeman: Two Nuns and a Pack Mule (1989)
Orchestra Baobab: Pirates Choice – the 1982 Sessions (1989)
Massacre: Killing Time (1981)
Michael Jackson: Thriller (1982)
Guns N’ Roses: Appetite for Destruction (1987)
King Sunny Ade: Juju Music (1982)
Knutsen & Ludvigsen: Juba Juba (1983)

junkyard91-100:
The Birthday Party: Junkyard (1982)
The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy (1985)
XTC: English Settlement (1982)
Prince: Sign ‘O’ The Times (1987)
Tom Waits: Swordfishtrombones (1983)
The The: Infected (1986)
Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (1988)
dePress: Block to Block (1981)
Brian Eno & David Byrne: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981)
Motörhead: Ace of Spades (1980)

***

graceland101-110:
My Bloody Valentine: Isn’t Anything (1988)
The Pogues: Rum, Sodomy and the Lash (1985)
This Heat: Deceit (1981)
Paul Simon: Graceland (1986)
Richard & Linda Thompson: Shoot Out the Lights (1982)
Dire Straits: Making Movies (1980)
The Go-Betweens: 16 Lovers Lane (1988)
Young Marble Giants: Colossal Youth (1980)
Echo & The Bunnymen: Ocean Rain (1984)
Prefab Sprout: Steve McQueen (1985)

nightfly111-120:
The Cure: Pornography (1982)
The Wipers: Over the Edge (1983)
Neil Young: Freedom (1989)
Dumptruck: for the Country (1987)
The Jesus Lizard: Pure (1989)
The Gun Club: Fire of Love (1981)
Donald Fagen: The Nightfly (1982)
Elvis Costello/The Costello Show: King of America (1986)
Lou Reed: New York (1989)
Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Searching For the Young Soul Rebels (1980)

lost_weekend121-130:
Scratch Acid: Berserker EP (1987)
Pylon: Chomp (1983)
David Sylvian: Secrets of the Beehive (1987)
Anthrax: Among the Living (1987)
Scientists: Weird Love (1986)
AC/DC: Back in Black (1980)
Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (1984)
Orange Juice: You Can’t Hide Your Love Forever (1982)
Flipper: Album – Generic Flipper (1982)
Danny & Dusty: The Lost Weekend (1985)

donut_comes_alive131-140:
Mission of Burma: vs (1982)
Iron Maiden: Number of the Beast (1982)
Slint: Tweez (1989)
Roky Erickson: The Evil One (1980)
Alice Donut: Donut Comes Alive (1988)
Died Pretty: Free Dirt (1986)
The Legendary Stardust Cowboy: Rock-It to Stardom (1984)
U2: War (1983)
Killing Joke: s/t (1980)
Circle Jerks: Group Sex (1980)

houndsoflove141-150:
Saccharine Trust: Paganicons (1981)
Squeeze: Argybargy (1980)
Radka Toneff: Fairytales (1982)
Kate Bush: Hounds of Love (1985)
Fang: Landshark (1982)
Steve Earle: Guitar Town (1986)
Moving Targets: Burning in Water (1986)
The Long Ryders: Native Sons (1984)
Swell Maps: Jane From Occupied Europe (1980)
Tears For Fears: Songs From the Big Chair (1985)

oceanrain151-160:
The Triffids: Born Sandy Devotional (1986)
Motor Boys Motor: s/t (1982)
Living Colour: Vivid (1988)
P.I.L: Metal Box (1980)
X: Los Angeles (1980)
The db’s: Stands For Decibels (1987)
Hoodoo Gurus: Stoneage Romeos (1984)
Agent Orange: Living in Darkness (1981)
The Psychedelic Furs: s/t (1980)
Eyeless in Gaza: Red Rust September (1983)

repareres_jokke161-170:
ESG: Come Away With ESG (1983)
RUN DMC: Raising Hell (1986)
Galaxie 500: On Fire (1989)
True West: Drifters (1984)
Minutemen: What Makes a Man Start Fires? (1982)
Jokke & Valentinerne: Alt kan repareres (1986)
Black Flag: My War (1984)
Minor Threat: Out of Step (1983)
Divine Horsemen: Devil’s River (1986)
Naked Prey: 40 Miles From Nowhere (1987)

rotorvator171-180:
The Feelies: Only Life (1988)
Stan Ridgeway: The Big Heat (1985)
Green River: Rehab Doll (1988)
Coil: Horse Rotorvator (1986)
D.O.A: War on 45 (1982)
Dead Kennedys: Frankenchrist (1985)
David Lynch: Eraserhead (1982)
The Cramps: Songs the Lord Taught Us (1980)
Wall of Voodoo: Call of the West (1982)
The Beasts of Bourbon: Sour Mash (1988)

paganplace181-190:
The Waterboys: A Pagan Place (1984)
Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (1986)
Dead Moon: In the Graveyard (1988)
The Pretenders: s/t (1980)
Los Lobos: How Will the Wolf Survive (1984)
Suicidal Tendencies: s/t (1983)
Camper Van Beethoven: Telephone Free Landslide Victory (1985)
Violent Femmes: Hallowed Ground (1984)
Lloyd Cole & the Commotions: Rattlesnakes (1984)
The Rainmakers: s/t (1986)

deadcops191-200:
Rockpile: Seconds of Pleasure (1980)
The Crucifucks: s/t (1984)
Glenn Branca: The Ascension (1981)
M.D.C: Millions of Dead Cops (1982)
Dumptruck: for the Country (1987)
The New Christs: Distemper (1989)
Bitch Magnet: Umber (1989)
Oxbow: Fuck Fest (1989)
Lard: The Power of Lard (1989)
Alphaville: Forever Young (1984)

Bjørn Hammershaug

Adjø Solidaritet: 1980-tallet – 100 Favorittlåter

For noen er musikken på 80-tallet ensbetydende med spjåkete metal eller dyster synthpop. For meg var 80-tallet først og fremst synonymt med en musikalsk oppvåkning, der første halvdel stort sett handlet om barndommens tilfeldigheter, men som i siste halvdel fant en form som har vært et fundament siden: Amerikansk undergrunnsrock, både i ulike punka varianter og i mer roots-orientert form.

Denne lista preges ikke uventet av nettopp låter fra denne opplysningstiden: Fra undergrunns-pionerer som The Feelies og Sonic Youth og punk fra Descendents og The Dead Kennedys, via janglerock (R.E.M) og ørkenrock (Giant Sand). Men i denne – for mange sikkert ensartede – miksen er det også funnet rom for mer enkeltlåtfavoritter fra artister som Jona Lewie og David + David. Kun én låt pr. artist, likevel er det altfor mange som ikke har fått plass, for mange til å nevnes, men dette summerer i det store og hele opp mitt 80-tall på låtsiden.
mudhoney

Sonic Youth: Teen Age Riot (1989)
Dinosaur Jr.: Freak Scene (1988)
Fugazi: Waiting Room (1988)
Pixies: Debaser (1989)
Violent Femmes: Blister in the Sun (1983)
Nirvana: School (1989)
The Feelies: The Boy With The Perpetual Nervousness (1980)
Mudhoney: Touch Me I’m Sick (1988)
Wipers: Youth of America (1981)
R.E.M: So. Central Rain (1984)

replacements

Tad: Loser (1989)
The Dead Kennedys: Holiday in Cambodia (1980)
Giant Sand: Thin Line Man (1986)
The Replacements: I Will Dare (1984)
The Dream Syndicate: Halloween (1982)
Butthole Surfers: Hey (1983)
The Gun Club: Carry Home (1982)
Julee Cruise: Falling (1989)
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Mercy Seat (1988)
Brian Eno: Weightless (1983)

jokke

Thin White Rope: Red Sun (1988)
Hüsker Dü: She Floated Away (1987)
deLillos: Sveve over byen (1989)
The Church: Under the Milky Way (1988)
World Party: Ship of Fools (1986)
Echo & the Bunnymen: The Killing Moon (1984)
Jokke & Valentinerne: Tida er inne (1987)
Slayer: Angel of Death (1986)
John Cooper Clark: Beasley Street (1980)
Minutemen: This Ain’t No Picnic (1984)

cramps

Raga Rockers: Når knoklene blir til gele (1983)
The Cramps: Sunglasses After Dark (1980)
Meat Puppets: Plateau (1984)
The Smiths: Bigmouth Strikes Again (1986)
Black Flag: Rise Above (1981)
Alice Donut: Lisa’s Father (Waka Baby) (1988)
The Dicks: The Dicks Hate the Police (1980)
Nomeansno: It’s Catching Up (1989)
Lard: The Power of Lard (1989)
Green on Red: Sea of Cortez (1985)

nwa

Cosmic Psychos: Quarter to Three (1988)
Kjøtt: Jeg vil bli som Jesus (1980)
NWA: Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Jane’s Addiction: Mountain Song (1988)
The Cure: Just Like Heaven (1985)
Suicidal Tendencies: Institutionalized (1983)
Lillebjørn Nilsen: Aleksander Kiellands Plass (1985)
Laibach: Across the Universe (1988)
Public Enemy: Bring the Noise (1988)
Lounge Lizards: Incident on South Street (1981)

pogues

Pylon: Crazy (1983)
American Music Club: Highway 5 (1988)
The Pogues: Thousands Are Sailing (1988)
David + David: Welcome to the Boomtown (1986)
Rod Stewart: Young Turks (1981)
dePress: Bo Jo Cie Kochom (1981)
Tears For Fears: Head Over Heels (1985)
Imperiet: Märk hur vår skugga (1987)
Swans: New Mind (1987)
Killdozer: Man of Meat (1984)

bigblack

Young Marble Giants: Searching for Mr. Right (1980)
Big Black: L Dopa (1987)
Bad Religion: I Want to Conquer the World (1989)
Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers: Just About Seventeen (1986)
Agent Orange: Bloodstains (1981)
Naked Prey: What Price for Freedom (1986)
The Jesus Lizard: Blockbuster (1989)
Died Pretty: Blue Sky Day (1986)
Flipper: Sex Bomb (1982)
Bad Brains: Pay to Cum (1980)

l7

Tom Waits: Cold Cold Ground (1987)
Dire Straits: Tunnel of Love (1980)
Helmet: Born Annoying (1989)
Scratch Acid: Mary Had a Little Drug Problem (1986)
Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band: Against the Wind (1980)
L7: Bite the Wax Tadpole (1988)
Prince: Sign O the Times (1987)
Green River: Swallow My Pride (1988)
Bitch Magnet: Americruiser (1989)
The La’s: There She Goes (1988)

bangles

The Waterboys: Church Not Made With Hands (1984)
Wall of Voodoo Mexican Radio (1982)
Faith No More: Epic (1989)
Zero Boys: Livin in the 80’s (1980)
The Bangles: Manic Monday (1986)
Descendents: Suburban Home (1982)
Motor Boys Motor: Drive Friendly (1982)
Massacre: Killing Time (1981)
Stan Ridgeway: Camouflage (1986)
XTC: Dear God (1986)

soundgarden

Soundgarden: Ugly Truth (1989)
Arthur Russell: Treehouse (1986)
The Stone Roses: Fools Gold (1989)
Madonna: Like a Prayer (1989)
The Rain Parade: Look At Merri (1983)
Yo La Tengo: The Evil That Men Do (1989)
Jason & The Scorchers: Broken Whiskey Glass (1985)
The Boomtown Rats: Banana Republic (1981)
Bruce Springsteen: Atlantic City (1982)
Metallica: Master of Puppets (1983)

Bjørn Hammershaug

…the longlist….
Cowboy Junkies: Misguided Angel (1988)
Eldkvarn: Kungarna Från Broadway (1988)
Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime (1980)
Buffalo Tom: Sunflower Suit (1989)
Go-Betweens: Was There Anything I Could Do (1988)
Mission Of Burma: That’s When I Reach For My Revolver (1981)
Neneh Cherry: Buffalo Stance (1988)
Opal: Happy Nightmare Baby (1987)
The New Christs: No Way on Earth (1989)
Billy Joel: A Matter of Trust (1986)
Lee Clayton: 10 000 Years/Sexual Moon (1983)
The Triffids: Wide Open Road (1986)
INXS: Never Tear Us Apart (1987)
Dinosaur L: GoBang! (1982)
Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: The Waiting (1980)
Naked City: The Sicilian Clan (1989)
Chris Isaak: Blue Hotel (1987)
E.S.G: Dance (1983)
Sunnyboys: Happy Man (1981)
John Mellencamp: Rain On The Scarecrow (1985)
Glenn Branca: Lesson No. 2 (1981)
Beastie Boys: High Plains Drifter (1989)
Electric Light Orchestra: From the End of the World (1981)
Steve Earle: Guitar Town (1986)
Joy Division: Islolation (1980)
The db’s: Bad Reputation (1981)