32 Big Ones

So I saw this thing on Nialler9 where you have to list your favourite record from every year you’ve been alive, and I thought sure why not.

1976 Stevie Wonder Songs in the Key of Life
1977 The Beach Boys Love You
1978 Elvis Costello This Year’s Model
1979 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes
1980 Stevie Wonder Hotter Than July
1981 Human League Dare
1982 ABC The Lexicon of Love
1983 Michael Jackson Thriller
1984 I don’t have any albums from 1984, save REM’s Reckoning, and I don’t like it
1985 The Replacements Tim
1986 The Pogues Rum Sodomy and the Lash
1987 REM Document
1988 Traveling Wilburys Volume One
1989 De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising
1990 Sonic Youth Goo
1991 Nirvana Nevermind
1992 Faith No More Angel Dust
1993 Matthew Sweet Altered Beast
1994 Pavement Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
1995 Teenage Fanclub Grand Prix
1996 High Llamas Hawaii
1997 Ben Folds Five Whatever and Ever Amen
1998 Air Moon Safari
1999 The Flaming Lips The Soft Bulletin
2000 OutKast Stankonia
2001 Pernice Brothers The World Won’t End
2002 Wilco Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
2003 OutKast Speakerboxxx/The Love Below
2004 Kanye West The College Dropout
2005 The New Pornographers Twin Cinema
2006 Lupe Fiasco Food & Liquor
2007 Lupe Fiasco The Cool

Basically I went through Robert Christgau’s Pazz and Jop pages and picked out whatever I liked best from the list, with the exception of a couple of entries: Matthew Sweet and The High Llamas, which I remembered as being from those years in particular because I played them a lot. I listened to Altered Beast the other day: that is one twisted and bitter piece of work. Sweet’s previous album, Girlfriend was a sort of power-pop flouncing about the bedsit thing, and I never really got into it, but Altered Beast is full of really dark stuff: lovers getting tied up and drugged, people finding out that their former loves are pathetic and disgusting. It really is a masterpiece, of sorts. I surprised myself with how mainstream my choices were, and also with a couple of choices in particular- the Travelling Wilburys at the time didn’t appeal at all, but I quite like the first record now. If pushed to pick an album out of all those above which I could keep if the others were going to be taken away from me, I’d probably go for Tim by the Replacements, strangely. The album has an oblique, jaded feel to it, even when it’s rocking hard, and it sounds better the older I get and the further I drift from the first time I heard it.


2 Responses to “32 Big Ones”

  1. 1 Longman Oz July 9, 2008 at 12:44 pm

    That is an impressively eclectic selection! Must play the Travelling Wilburys again soon!

    For what it is worth, I thought ’84 was a great year for new music. For example, Springsteen, Smiths, Echo & The Bunnymen, Replacements, The Fall, Prince, Cocteau Twins, Minutemen, Husker Du, and U2 all brought top albums out. So I call upon thee to reconsider! 😉

  2. 2 Hugh Green July 9, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Yeah, on reconsideration I guess I could have included one of the above (bar U2 – like their earlier stuff, but I’m not dying about The Unforgettable Fire). But looking down the lists, there just wasn’t one that really ‘did it’ for me, whereas the others did.

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