Field of Science

Best Rock Albums of the 80s

Over at Patheos, Ed Brayton as a child of the 80s posted his:

The Best Albums of the 1980s

As a child of the 80s myself, entering high school in 1983, and a music lover I thought I'd add my two cents (which was worth a lot more back then, although still not much more than two cents). Overall, I have a lot of overlap with Ed's choices of bands, although I often choose different albums. Also, I'm specifying 'Rock' albums, because there are other 80s albums I love that are not Rock. 

So, where we agree:

The Police – Synchronicity An amazing album Miss Gradenko, Synchronicity II, and King of Pain are some of my favorite songs. 
Peter Gabriel – So Got to see Gabriel in concert and he is amazing. 'So' fuses with The Police as Stewart Copeland plays some of the percussion on Red Rain. Regardless, 'In Your Eyes' is probably the best love song ever written. (and I'm not generally a fan of love songs.)
Guns n Roses – Appetite for Destruction Come on? Do I really need to comment? Mr. Brownstone, Welcome to the Jungle, It's so Easy....enough said.
Talking Heads – Stop Making Sense While I did not get the Talking Heads during high school, I discovered them during my early years of college. Kind of perfect for Stop Making Sense.
Eric Clapton — Journeyman (Ed also included August here, but although I was familiar with many of the tracks on the album, was not really in my wheelhouse.)
Where we agree on bands, but not albums:

U2 – Rattle and Hum (Ed picked the Joshua Tree, which I thought was overrated. I would have taken Boy or War, both excellent albums, over The Joshua Tree.)
Yes – Big Generator (Ed picked 90125, which is a great album. Big Generator resonated with me more and represented a memorable summer in my life. I could also put Robert Plant in here for 'Now and Zen' for that same summer.)
Where we part ways:
My Choices not on Ed's List
REM  — Fables of the Reconstruction (although Murmur and Document are in the running). How can you consider important music from the 80s and omit R.E.M., sure they're from Georgia, but they're from Athens which also has some great breweries.
Pink Floyd — The Final Cut and Momentary Lapse of Reason I know Pink Floyd is arguably a 60s or 70s band, but the Final Cut, which I actually discovered in the 90s, and Momentary Lapse of Reason are amazing albums for completely different reasons.

Def Leppard — Pyromania The 80s without Def Leppard is like the 30s without the Great Depression, why even talk about it?

Ed's Choices not on My List

Living Colour – Vivid (Great band and music that I am only recently coming to appreciate)

Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Not my experience.

Prince – Purple Rain (Great artist but never quite clicked with me.)

Stevie Ray Vaughan — Couldn’t Stand the Weather (Excellent artist, but there are so many excellent artists....Santana...just saying)

Genesis – Three Sides Live (Look I love Genesis, especially before Peter Gabriel left, but they reinvented themselves extremely well with Phil Collins as the front man. I just don't have them higher on my list of definitive 80s bands. For a road trip 'Something in the Air Tonight' is a must.)

End point: If I redo this in 5 years how much overlap will there be? Will Duran Duran make the cut, Flock of Seagulls? Doubtful.

3 comments:

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos said...

Y'all seem to be ignoring Thriller, Born in the U.S.A., Graceland, and Promise.

Proving once again that "best music" is a fun but pointless exercise.

~~ Paul

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Anebo said...

Sorry, but the best Albums of the 1980s were Hogwood's recordings of the complete Mozart Symphonies, as well as the Handel Water and Fireworks Music (nothing like the trumpet solos on that album had ever been heard in recording before), and Solti's Ring (you don't know what that means, do you?).