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The Music of 79-96 a nostalgic look back (1 Viewer)


Jan 24, 2000
I was flipping through my copy of the CMJ (College Music Journal) 500 that was published back in 97 and thought it would be interesting to list the charts they published from 79-96 for discussion. I was not intending this to be a poll but would be interested in everyones views of their personal favorite year and what year took a turn for the worse.
Fyi. Top 25 albums of each year are calculated from CMJ college and commercial alternative radio airplay in that calandar year. I find these chart much more interesting than what would have been the corresponding Billboard (sales) charts during those same time periods. Though in later dates the difference between the 2 charts will become blurred.
Top 25 Albums Of 1979
1.Blondie “Parallel Lines”
2.Joe Jackson “Look Sharp”
3.The Knack “Get The Knack”
4.The Cars “Candy-O”
5.Graham Parker “Squeezing Out Sparks”
6.Supertramp “Breakfast In America”
7.George Thorogood And The Destroyers “Move It On Over”
8.Ian Hunter “You’re Never Alone…”
9.Elvis Costello And The Attractions “Armed Forces”
10.Nick Lowe “Labour Of Lust”
11.The Police “Outlandos D’Amour”
12.Bram Tchaikovsky “Strange Man, Changed Man”
13.Led Zepplin “In Through The Out Door”
14.Talking Heads “Fear Of Music”
15.Rickie Lee Jones “Rickie Lee Jones”
16.Flash And The Pan “Flash And The Pan”
17.The Jam “All Mod Cons”
18.Horslips “The Man Who Built America”
19.The B-52’s “The B-52’s”
20.Cheap Trick “Live At Budokan”
21.10cc “Bloddy Tourists”
22.Grateful Dead “Shakedown Street”
23.Dire Straits “Dire Straits”
24.Neil Young “Comes A Time”
25.Bad Company “Desolation Angels”
Top Albums Of 1980
1.Pink Floyd “The Wall”
2.Pretenders “Pretenders”
3.The Clash “London Calling”
4.Tom Petty “Damn The Torpedoes”
5.Devo “Freedom Of Choice”
6.Specials “The Specials”
7.Squeeze “Argybargy”
8.J. Geils Band “Love Stinks”
9.Pete Townshend “Empty Glass”
10.Genesis “Duke”
11.Bob Seger “Against The Wind”
12.Billy Joel “Glass Houses”
13.Gary Numan + Tubeway Army “The Pleasure Principal”
14.Peter Gabriel “Peter Gabriel”
15.Elvis Costello And The Attractions “Get Happy”
16.Utopia “Adventures In Utopia”
17.Ramones “End Of The Century”
18.XTC “Drums And Wires”
19.Dan Fogelberg “Phoenix”
20.Linda Ronstadt “Mad Love”
21.Madness “One Step Beyond”
22.Bruce Cockburn “Dancing In The Dragon’s…
23.Heart “Bebe Le Strange”
24.Warren Zevon “Bad Luck Streak…”
25.Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”
Top 25 Albums Of 1981
1.Adam And The Ants “Kings Of The Wild Frontier”
2.The Clash “Sandinista”
3.Phil Collins “Face Value”
4.Squeeze “East Side Story”
5.Psychedelic Furs “Talk Talk Talk”
6.Tom Petty “Hard Promises”
7.The Tubes “The Completion Backward Principal”
8.Billy Squier “Don’t Say No”
9.Moody Blues “Long Distance Voyager”
10.U2 “Boy”
11.Romeo Void “It’s A Condition”
12.Steve Winwood “Arc Of A Diver”
13.Icehouse “Icehouse”
14.The Who “Face Dances”
15.Foreigner “4”
16.Santana “Zebop”
17.Go-Go’s “Beauty & The Beat”
18.The Jam “Sound Affects”
19.Duran Duran “Duran Duran”
20.X “Wild Gift”
21.Brian Eno/David Byrne “My Life In The Bush…
22.Garland Jeffreys “Escape Artist”
23.XTC “Black Sea”
24.Gang Of Four “Solid Gold”
25.Dave Edmunds “Twangin”
Top Albums Of 1982
1.Go-Go’s “Beauty And The Beat”
2.Soft Cell “Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret”
3.Police “Ghost In The Machine”
4.Human League “Dare”
5.Cars “Shake It Up”
6.A Flock Of Seagulls “A Flock Of Seagulls”
7.Haircut 100 “Pelican West”
8.XTC “English Settlement”
9.J. Geils Band “Freeze Frame”
10.Men At Work “Business As Usual”
11.Duran Duran “Rio”
12.Gang Of Four “Songs Of The Free”
13.Joan Jett “I Love Rock N’ Roll”
14.Roxy Music “Avalon”
15.Motels “All Four One”
16.Stray Cats “Built For Speed”
17.John Cougar “American Fool”
18.Asia “Asia”
19.Elvis Costello And The Attractions “Imperial Bedroom”
20.Translator “Heartbeats And Triggers”
21.Romeo Void “Never Say Never (EP)”
22.Waitresses “Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful”
23.Billy Idol “Billy Idol”
24.Fleshtones “Roman Gods”
25.The Jam “The Gift”
Top 25 Albums Of 1983
1.David Bowie “Let’s Dance”
2.U2 “War”
3.Culture Club “Kissing To Be Clever”
4.R.E.M. “Murmur”
5.English Beat “Special Beat Service”
6.Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”
7.Talking Heads “Speaking In Tongues”
8.Violent Femmes “Violent Femmes”
9.Tears For Fears “The Hurting”
10.Police “Synchronicity”
11.The Fixx “Reach The Beach”
12.Alarm “Alarm (EP)”
13.Ultravox “Quartet”
14.Spandau Ballet “True”
15.Def Leppard “Pyromania”
16.Thomas Dolby “Blinded By Science (EP)”
17.Aztec Camera “High Land, Hard Rain”
18.Elvis Costello And The Attractions “Punch The Clock”
19.New Order “Power,Corruption,And Lies”
20.B-52’s “Whammy”
21.Fun Boy Three “Waiting”
22.Echo And The Bunnymen “Porcupine”
23.Michael Jackson “Thriller”
24.Thompson Twins “Side Kicks”
25.Fleshtones “Hexbreaker”
Top 25 Albums Of 1984
1.R.E.M. “Reckoning”
2.Cars “Heartbreak City”
3.Cyndi Lauper “She’s So Unusual”
4.Lou Reed “New Sensations”
5.INXS “The Swing”
6.Bruce Springsteen “Born In The USA”
7.Psychedelic Furs “Mirror Moves”
8.Bangles “All Over The Place”
9.Thompson Twins “Into The Gap”
10.Wang Chung “Points On The Curve”
11.Eurythmics “Touch”
12.Prince “Purple Rain”
13.Style Council “My Ever Changin Moods”
14.Simple Minds “Sparkle In The Rain”
15.M+M “Mystery Walk”
16.Siouxsie & The Banshees “Hyaena”
17.Alarm “Declaration”
18.Smiths “Smiths”
19.Echo & The Bunnymen “Ocean Rain”
20.Howard Jones “Human’s Lib”
21.Pretenders “Learning To Crawl”
22.Elvis Costello And The Attractions “Goodbye Cruel World”
23.China Crisis “Working With Fire And Steel (EP)”
24.Van Halen “1984”
25.Husker Du “Zen Arcade”
Top 25 Albums Of 1985
1.Tears For Fears “Songs From The Big Chair”
2.New Order “Low-Life”
3.R.E.M. “Fabels Of The Reconstrution”
4.Talking Heads “Little Creatures”
5.Dire Straits “Brothers In Arms”
6.Guadalcanal Diary “Walking In The Shadow…”
7.Smiths “Meat Is Murder”
8.Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark “Crush”
9.Sting “The Dream Of The Blue Turtles”
10.Eurythmics “Be Yourself Tonight”
11.Frankie Goes To Hollywood “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”
12.Three O’Clock “Arrive Without Travelling”
13.Robyn Hitchcock “Fegmania”
14.Shriekback “Oil And Gold”
15.Hooters “Nervous Night”
16.Husker Du “New Day Rising”
17.Velvet Underground “VU”
18.Bryan Ferry “Boys And Girls”
19.Howard Jones “Dream Into Action”
20.U2 “Wide Awake In America (EP)”
21.Suzanne Vega “Suzanne Vega”
22.John Fogerty “Centerfield”
23.‘Til Tuesday “Voices Carry”
24.Beat Farmers “Tales Of The New West”
25.Bongos “Beat Hotel”
Top 25 Albums Of 1986
1.Peter Gabriel “So”
2.Smiths “The Queen Is Dead”
3.INXS “Listen Like Thieves”
4.Jesus And Mary Chain “Psychocandy”
5.The Cult “Love”
6.Smithereens “Especially For You”
7.Bangles “Different Light”
8.Fine Young Cannibals “Fine Young Cannibals”
9.Violent Femmes “The Blind Leading The Naked”
10.R.E.M. “Lifes Rich Pageant”
11.Art Of Noise “In Visible Silence”
12.Sonic Youth “EVOL”
13.BoDeans “Love&Hope&Sex&Dreams”
14.Let’s Active “Big Plans For Everybody”
15.Joe Jackson “Big World”
16.Screaming Blue Messiahs “Gun-Shy”
17.Lou Reed “Mistrial”
18.Dream Syndicate “Out Of The Gray”
19.Cactus World News “Urban Beaches”
20.Timbuk 3 “Greetings From Timbuk 3”
21.Woodentops “Giant”
22.Public Image Ltd. “Album”
23.Husker Du “Candy Apple Grey”
24.Gene Loves Jezebel “Discover”
25.Ramones “Animal Boy”
Top 25 Albums Of 1997
1.U2 “The Joshua Tree”
2.Replacements “Pleased To Meet Me”
3.The Cure “Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me”
4.XTC “Skylarking”
5.Suzanne Vega “Solitude Standing”
6.Dead Milkmen “Bucky Fellini”
7.Husker Du “Warehouse:Songs And Stories”
8.Los Lobos “By The Light Of The Moon”
9.Mission U.K. “God’s Own Medicine”
10.Smiths “Louder Than Bombs”
11.Lime Spiders “The Cave Comes Alive”
12.Psychedelic Furs “Midnight To Midnight”
13.Sonic Youth “Sister”
14.That Petrol Emotion “Babble”
15.Firehose “Ragin, Full-On”
16.Scruffy The Cat “Tiny Days”
17.X “See How We Are”
18.10,000 Maniacs “In My Tribe”
19.Hoodoo Gurus “Blow Your Cool”
20.The The “Infected”
21.Stranglers “Dreamtime”
22.R.E.M. “Document”
23.Siouxsie & The Banshees “Through The Looking Glass”
24.The Damned “Anything”
25.Dukes Of The Stratosphear “Psonic Psunspos”
Top 25 Albums Of 1988
1.Midnight Oil “Diesel And Dust”
2.Camper Van Beethoven “Our Beloved Revolutionary…”
3.Sugarcubes “Life’s Too Good”
4.The Church “Starfish”
5.Sinead O Connor “The Lion And The Cobra”
6.Smithereens “Green Thoughts”
7.Tracy Chapman “Tracy Chapman”
8.Soul Asylum “Hang Time”
9.Primitives “Lovely”
10.Godfathers “Birth,School,Work,Death”
11.Ziggy Marley “Conscious Party”
12.Railway Children “Recurrence”
13.Firehose “If’n”
14.Big Audio Dynamite “Tighten Up Vol 88”
15.Wire “A Bell Is A Cup…”
16.Erasure “The Innocents”
17.Talking Heads “Naked”
18.Shriekback “Go Bang”
19.Mighty Lemon Drops “World Without End”
20.Sisters Of Mercy “Floodland”
21.Robyn Hitchcock “Globe Of Frogs”
22.Jesus And Mary Chain “Barbed Wire Kisses..”
23.Peter Murphy “Love Hysteria”
24.Hothouse Flowers “People”
25.Living Colour “Vivid”
Top 25 Albums Of 1989
1.The Cure “Disintegration”
2.Pixies “Doolittle”
3.Love And Rockets “Love And Rockets”
4.Bob Mould “Workbook”
5.R.E.M. “Green”
6.B-52’s “Cosmic Thing”
7.XTC “Oranges & Lemons”
8.Public Image Ltd. “9”
9.The The “Mind Bomb”
10.The Cult “Sonic Temple”
11.Replacements “Don’t Tell A Soul”
12.Indigo Girls “Indigo Girls”
13.Hoodoo Gurus “Magnum Cum Louder”
14.10,000 Maniacs “Blind Man’s Zoo”
15.Concrete Blonde “Free”
16.Elvis Costello “Spike”
17.Stone Roses “Stone Roses”
18.Lou Reed “New York”
19.New Order “Technique”
20.Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Mother’s Milk”
21.Godfathers “More Songs About Love And Hate”
22.Fine Young Cannibals “The Raw & The Cooked”
23.Pere Ubu “Cloudland”
24.Violent Femmes “3”
25.Xymox “Twist Of Shadows”
Top 25 Albums Of 1990
1.Depeche Mode “Violator”
2.Social Distortion “Social Distortion”
3.Sundays “Reading,Writing,And Arithmetic”
4.Peter Murphy “Deep”
5.They Might Be Giants “Flood”
6.Sonic Youth “Goo”
7.Lightning Seeds “Cloudcuckooland”
8.Midnight Oil “Blue Sky Mining”
9.Concrete Blonde “Bloodletting”
10.Ultra Vivid Scene “Joy 1967-1990”
11.World Party “Goodbye Jumbo”
12.Nine Inch Nails “Pretty Hate Machine”
13.Iggy Pop “Brick By Brick”
14.Jesus And Mary Chain “Automatic”
15.The Church “Gold Afternoon Fix”
16.Sinead O Connor “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got”
17.Nitzer Ebb “Showtime”
18.Soup Dragons “Lovegod”
19.Public Enemy “Fear Of A Black Planet”
20.Jesus Jones “Liquidizer”
21.Urban Dance Squad “Mental Floss For The Globe”
22.Breeders “Pod”
23.Creatures “Boomerang”
24.Aztec Camera “Stray”
25.Gene Loves Jezebel “Kiss Of Life”
Top 25 Albums Of 1991
1.R.E.M. “Out Of Time”
2.Jesus Jones “Doubt”
3.Smashing Pumpkins “Gish”
4.Primus “Sailing The Seas Of Cheese”
5.King Missle “The Way To Salvation”
6.Ride “Nowhere”
7.Siouxsie & The Banshees “Superstition”
8.School Of Fish “School Of Fish”
9.Material Issue “International Pop Overthrow”
10.Throwing Muses “The Real Ramona”
11.Ned’s Atomic Dustbin “God Fodder”
12.Fishbone “The Reality Of My Surroundings”
13.Big Audio Dynamite II “The Globe”
14.Happy Mondays “Pills N Thrills And Bellyaches”
15.Electronic “Electronic”
16.La’s “La’s”
17.Feelies “Time For A Witness”
18.EMF “Schubert Dip”
19.Meat Puppets “Forbidden Places”
20.Chapterhouse “Whirlpool”
21.The Farm “Spartacus”
22.Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians “Perspex Island”
23.Pop Will Eat Itself “Cure For Sanity”
24.Violent Femmes “Why Do Birds Sing”
25.Wonder Stuff “Never Loved Elvis”
Top 25 Albums Of 1992
1.U2 “Achtung Baby”
2.Pearl Jam “Ten”
3.Rollins Band “The End Of Silence”
4.Lemonheads “It’s A Shame About Ray”
5.Red Hot Chilli Peppers “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”
6.Beastie Boys “Check Your Head”
7.Cracker “Cracker”
8.Tori Amos “Little Earthquakes”
9.Matthew Sweet “Girlfriend”
10.L7 “Bricks Are Heavy”
11.Helmet “Meantime”
12.Nirvana “Nevermind”
13.Juliana Hatfield “Hey Babe”
14.The Cure “Wish”
15.Live “Mental Jewelry”
16.Jesus And Mary Chain “Honey’s Dead”
17.Faith No More “Angel Dust”
18.Soup Dragons “Hotwired”
19.Teenage Fanclub “Bandwagonesque”
20.Sonic Youth “Dirty”
21.Ministry “Psalm 69: How To Succeed…”
22.Soundtrack “Singles”
23.XTC “Nonsuch”
24.Curve “Doppelganger”
25.Social Distortion “Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell”
Top 25 Albums Of 1993
1.Stone Temple Pilots “Core”
2.Cranberries “Everybody Else Is Doing It, So…”
3.Soul Asylum “Grave Dancers Union”
4.Belly “Star”
5.Urge Overkill “Saturation”
6.Lenny Kravitz “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
7.Dinosaur Jr. “Where You Been”
8.PJ Harvey “Rid Of Me”
9.The The “Dusk”
10.Radiohead “Pablo Honey”
11.Frank Black “Frank Black”
12.Smashing Pumpkins “Siamese Dream”
13.Primus “Pork Soda”
14.Porno For Pyros “Porno For Pyros”
15.Verve “A Storm In Heaven”
16.Butthole Surfers “Independent Worm Saloon”
17.Flaming Lips “Transmissions From The Satellite Heart”
18.Ween “Pure Guava”
19.Mighty Mighty Bosstones “Don’t Know How To Party”
20.Catherine Wheel “Chrome”
21.Matthew Sweet “Altered Beast”
22.Posies “Frosting On The Beater”
23.Juliana Hatfield Three “Become What You Are”
24.Tool “Undertow”
25.Depeche Mode “Songs Of Faith And Devotion”
Top 25 Albums Of 1994
1.Green Day “Dookie”
2.Soundgarden “Superunkown”
3.Live “Throwing Copper”
4.Beastie Boys “Ill Communication”
5.Weezer “Weezer”
6.Nine Inch Nails “The Downward Spiral”
7.Tori Amos “Under The Pink”
8.Pavement “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain”
9.Meat Puppets “Too High To Die”
10.Stone Temple Pilots “Purple”
11.Hole “Live Through This”
12.Velocity Girl “Simpatico”
13.Sonic Youth “Experimental Jet Set..”
14.Sky Cries Mary “This Timeless Turning”
15.Frente “Marvin The Album”
16.Reverend Horton Heat “Liquor In Front”
17.Offspring “Smash”
18.Lush “Split”
19.Helmet “Betty”
20.Rollins Band “Weight”
21.Magnapop “Hot Boxing”
22.Beck “Mellow Gold”
23.Sarah McLachlan “Fumbling Toward Ecstasy”
24.Toad The Wet Sprocket “Dulcinea”
25.Figgs “Low-Fi Society High”
Top 25 Albums Of 1995
1.Bush “Sixteen Stone”
2.Bjork “Post”
3.PJ Harvey “To Bring You My Love”
4.Catherine Wheel “Happy Days”
5.Primus “Tales From The Punchbowl”
6.Alanis Morissette “Jagged Little Pill”
7.Supergrass “I Should Coco”
8.Morphine “Yes”
9.Matthew Sweet “100% Fun”
10.Stone Roses “Second Coming”
11.Throwing Muses “University”
12.Better Than Ezra “Deluxe”
13.Foo Fighters “Foo Fighters”
14.Elastica “Elastica”
15.Yo La Tengo “Electr-o-pura”
16.Everclear “Sparkle And Fade”
17.Fugazi “Red Medicine”
18.Muffs “Blonder And Blonder”
19.Archers Of Loaf “Vee Vee”
20.Seaweed “Spanaway”
21.Presidents Of The USA “Presidents Of The USA”
22.Belly “King”
23.Hum “You’d Prefer An Astronaut”
24.Radiohead “The Bends”
25.All “Pummel”
Top 25 Albums Of 1996
1.Beck “Odelay”
2.Reverend Horton Heat “It’s Martini Time”
3.Soul Coughing “Irresistible Bliss”
4.Rage Against The Machine “Evil Empire”
5.Stereolab “Emperor Tomato Ketchup”
6.Butthole Surfers “Electriclarryland”
7.Jawbox “Jawbox”
8.Aini Difranco “Dilate”
9.Squirrel Nut Zippers “Hot”
10.Cibo Matto “Viva La Woman”
11.Lush “Lovelife”
12.Possum Dixon “Star Maps”
13.KMFDM “Xtort”
14.Man…Or Astro-man “Experiment Zero”
15.Ash “1977”
16.Soundtrack “Trainspotting”
17.Tori Amos “Boys For Pele”
18.Bob Mould “Bob Mould”
19.Nada Surf “High/Low”
20.Sublime “Sublime”
21.Sebadoh “Harmacy”
22.Red Five “Flash”
23.Bikini Kill “Reject All American”
24.Gravity Kills “Gravity Kills”
25.Kostars “Klassics With A K”
The Cure “Disintegration”, Pixies “Doolittle”, Replacements “Don’t Tell A Soul”, Stone Roses “Stone Roses” and Bob Mould’s “Workbook” seal the deal and make 1989 my year. As for turn for the worse…I would have to say with the exception of Pavement’s brilliant “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” in 1994 the blatant commercialization of music really began to rear its ugly head, though it could be argued it happened at least 2 years earlier.

andrew markworthy

Senior HTF Member
Sep 30, 1999
There is a solid body of empirical evidence that people tend to rate the best years for music as being those which coincide with their late adolescence and early twenties. Accordingly, forty-year olds like me will tend to identify with the early part of the chart, thirty-somethings with the later part. Anyone in their teens is likely to be going 'dinosaurs!' to the selection of fossils on display.
Objectively, and in spite of what I've just said, I prefer the early period on the whole. Punk (which was never really more than a fashion statement) had transformed into new wave (which easily had the better tunes) and the empty-headed beast that was disco had retreated back into the wilderness where it belonged. The major stadium bands of the previous generation were reaching maturity and produced arguably their finest work. Sure, there is good stuff amongst the later years, but I cannot help noticing a higher proportion of one hit wonders.


Supporting Actor
Mar 30, 2000
It's surprising to see that Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation didn't make the 1988 list.
I agree that the mid-90s saw the co-opting of "alternative music." The college stations that used to play daring, innovative stuff in the 80s and early 90s are now playing the blandest commercial dreck and trying to pass it off as "edgy."

Brian Perry

Senior HTF Member
May 6, 1999
It's interesting that three of the best selling albums of 1981 are not even on the list:
REO Speedwagon High Infidelity
Styx Paradise Theater
Rush Moving Pictures

Stephen L

Second Unit
Jan 3, 2001
I definately favor the early part of the list.FWIW my fave albums from these lists are :79..1-The Jam 2-Elvis 3-J.Jackson 4-Nick Lowe 5-Graham Parker..'80...1-Clash 2-Specials 3-Squeeze 4-Tom Petty 5-Pretenders..'81-The Jam 2-U2 3-Clash 4-XTC 5-Gang of Four '82..1-Roxy Music 2-The Jam 3-Police 4-Billy Idol 5-XTC '83-1-NewOrder 2-U2 3-David Bowie 4-English Beat 5-Echo&Bunnymen '84..1-Smiths 2-REM 3-Husker Du 4-Simple Minds 5-Style Council '85-1-'Til Tuesday 2-Smiths 3-Bryan Ferry 4-Tears For Fears 5-New Order.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
Interesting lists, thanks for posting. It's fun to see that there's some curious choices. For instance, the Talking Heads' masterpece "Remain In Light" didn't make it, but the markedly inferior "Naked" did. Also, the B-52's downright awful "Whammy" makes the list for its year. That album SUCKED ASS! Lots of holes and substandard drek there. Also, it's interesting to see how the music labelled as "alternative" turned mainstream over the years.
Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker

Anthony Hom

Supporting Actor
Mar 24, 1999
The most underrated music era was the New Wave years from 1979-1985. It was a interesting melding of punk and mainstream pop to create some of the most quirky fun rock music.

Mikael Soderholm

Apr 5, 1999
Stockholm, SWEDEN
Real Name
Mikael Söderholm
I agree with Philip about Remain In Light, I thought this was a typo

I also note that Bowie's Scary Monsters from 1980 was not on the list, while 83's Let's Dance was. While I am a Bowie fanatic, and think all of his albums should be there
, I think Scary Monsters has stood the test of time better than Let's Dance.
That said, I (being in my early 40s) also like the earlier lists better, thereby proving Andrew's point :).
No! Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
The most underrated music era was the New Wave years from 1979-1985. It was a interesting melding of punk and mainstream pop to create some of the most quirky fun rock music.
Very interesting comment. As a huge DEVO fan I agree to an extent. Among musicians much of this music is held in high regard.
Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker

Kevin P

Jan 18, 1999
Reviewing the list confirms what I've believed for a long time now--the best stuff was from '79-85. Things started to go downhill in '86 (note that I was 20 then), and there weren't enough good songs in the entire 90s to fill a two-CD set.
Even listening to the old stuff over again (I have tons of 80s stuff on CD), I still prefer the stuff from the early-mid 80s, even songs I had never heard back then, so it's not so much a nostalgia thing as a quality of music thing.

David Judah

Feb 11, 1999
Wow, what a trip down memory lane--I'd have to say '84 was tops for me although I can find alot of good music in every year.
Being a college radio list, I'm suprised Joy Division's Closer didn't make the list in 1980, but I'm not suprised about REMs placements. They certainly were the darlings of college radio.

Anthony Hom

Supporting Actor
Mar 24, 1999
I am surprised to hear others think that 1979-1985 was a great time. It was one of the rare time for me that I liked what was happening on both album and singles during that time. I always kept tabs as to what was good until 1986. For some reason, the spark had faded after that point and I lost interest in singles and eventually new albums.
Rock was turning from new wave to rap and alternative and the fun had faded. The depressing suicidal songs had replaced the quirky sarcastic songs and it was less enjoyable to listen to new stuff.


Second Unit
Jan 22, 2000
'82 was a great year for me: Human League, Go-Go's, Flock of Seagulls, Soft Cell and Duran Duran. Stuff from Joan Jett, John Cougar, Police, and the Stray Cats started me on my way to the heavier stuff.
Link Removed


Supporting Actor
Mar 30, 2000
Any list that ranks "The Joshua Tree" over "Document" should be accompanied by a gigantic grain of salt.
Two points...
1) Document is better than The Joshua Tree.

2) This is not a "best-of" list, nor is it a "best selling albums" list, it simply documents which albums received the most airplay on college radio during the years 1979-96. While bands like Styx sold a ton of records and were widely played on commercial radio, they didn't pop up on many college playlists.

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
1) Document is better than The Joshua Tree.
Though stated as a fact, this is an opinion. I happen to think that "The Joshua Tree" is far better than "Document". Of course, I can't stand REM and feel they are extremely overrated so there you go. At least I don't confuse my opinions with facts.
Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker

Brook K

Senior HTF Member
Feb 22, 2000
Another vote for The Joshua Tree. Document was almost the turning of the worm for me, still a very good album, but not as good as what came before, IMO, while The Joshua Tree is U2 at the height of their powers, though War is my favorite of their albums.
I'm surprised that no Mode before Violator, showed up. No Music For The Masses?, especially no Black Celebration?
Nice to see The Smiths strong showing, 80's music didn't get any better:
Hang the DJ
Because the music he constantly plays
Means nothing to me about my life

While in my state of mind during the period, every word that Morrissey spoke was truth.
"It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen"
S&S Challenge: 72 ...27

My DVD Collection


Supporting Actor
Mar 30, 2000
quote: Though stated as a fact, this is an opinion. [/quote]
No shit, Sherlock, it's obviously an opinion. Any such statement is always obviously an opinion, so obvious that an "I think" or "IMHO" would be totally fucking superfluous.
It should be pretty clear that I was teasing JasenP, not categorically stating that his opinion was "wrong."
Phil, your taking offense at something so unremarkable and inoffensive is bewildering. Do you really hate R.E.M so much that you need to raise such a petty stink with someone who shows a preference for one of their albums?

Philip Hamm

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 1999
quote: Do you really hate R.E.M so much that you need to raise such a petty stink with someone who shows a preference for one of their albums?[/quote]Yup. I liked "Reckoning" a little but about half way through it I got tired of the same song over and over again in the same minor key. And every album is the same over and over in the same minor key... Drives me nuts.
REM. They are definitely talented musucians and good songwriters, I just don't like 'em.
Philip Hamm
AIM: PhilBiker

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