Jul 10

Popular ’88

Popular114 comments • 4,150 views

WELL DONE EVERYONE! We’ve made it through 1988. But the 80s still have more to throw at us. Let’s regroup and take stock of the year – use the poll to indicate which tracks YOU would have given 6 or more out of 10 to.

And use the comments to discuss the year in general – which, as has often been mentioned in the regular comments boxes, was actually pretty damn good.

Which of these Number One Singles of 1988 Would You Have Given 6 Or More To?

View Results

Poll closes: No Expiry

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  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Four out of nineteen! Dear oh dearie me…

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Only four that I could vote for with any sort of enthusiasm.
    What a dreadful year for UK Number 1s

  3. 3
    Tom on 27 Jul 2010 #

    7 out of 19, which for me is very low. Started off actually quite promisingly IMO but went into a death spiral.

    This was my Year Of Disapproving Of Pop and I could certainly have picked worse, even though the charts were full of great house singles.

  4. 4
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The NME Critics’ poll for 1988 is a much better list;

    1. The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (Mute)
    2. Everyday Ls Like Sunday – Morrissey (HMV)
    3. Alphabet Street – Prince (Paisley Park)
    4. Suedehead – Morrissey (HMV)
    5. Destroy The Heart – The House Of Love (Creation)
    6. Big Fun – Inner City (10)
    7. Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr (Blast First)
    8. Crash – The Primitives (Lazy)
    9. Sidewalkin’ – The Jesus & Mary Chain (Blanco Y Negro)
    10. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah – The Pogues (Pogue Mahone)
    11. Anchorage – Michelle Shocked (Cooking Vinyl)
    12. Someday – Ce Ce Rodgers (Atlantic)
    13. Follow The Leader – Eric B & Rakim (MCA)
    14. Left To My Own Devices – Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone)
    15. Don’t Believe The Hype – Public Enemy (Def Jam)
    16. Can You Party? – Royal House (Champion)
    17. Reachin’ – Phase II (Republic)
    18. Weekend – Todd Terry (Sleeping Bag)
    19. You’re Going To Miss Me – Turntable Orchestra (Republic)
    20. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman (Elektra)
    21. Teardrops – Womack & Womack (4th & Broadway)
    22. People Have The Power – Patti Smith (Arista)
    23. What’s The Matter Here? – 10,000 Maniacs (Elektra)
    24. Beat Dis – Bomb The Bass (Rhythm King)
    25. Distant Relatives – Mega City 4 (Decoy)
    26. Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry (Circa)
    27. Goon Girl – Roxanne Shante (A & M)
    28. Gigantic – Pixies(4AD)
    29. Prize – Kitchens Of Distinction (One Little Indian)
    30. Cold Metal – Iggy Pop (A & M)
    31. Sometimes In Vain – The Parachute Men (Fire)
    32. Theme From S’Express – S’Express (Rhythm King)
    33. I’ll House You – Jungle Brothers (Gee Street)
    34. I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) – The Proclaimers (Chrysalis)
    35. Def Con One – Pop Will Eat Itself (Chapter 22)
    36. Heart – Pet Shop Boys (Parlophone)
    37. Plane Crash EP – Inspiral Carpets (Playtime)
    38. Rumours – Gregory Isaacs (Greensleeves)
    39. Collision – Loop (Chapter 22)
    40. Love & Mercy – Brian Wilson (Warners)
    41. Kidney Bingos – Wire (Mute)
    42. Just Got Paid – Johnny Kemp (CBS)
    43. Perfect – Fairground Attraction (RCA)
    44. Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm – The Wedding Present (Reception)
    45. Christine – The House Of Love (Creation)
    46. Voodoo Ray – A Guy Called Gerald (Deconstruction)
    47. Map Of The World – Corn Dollies (Medium Cool)
    48. What Is Soul – Stereo MCs (Gee Street)
    49. Victoria – The Fall (Beggars Banquet)
    50. The Race – Yello (Phonogram)

  5. 5
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The Melody Maker list is also very good;

    1. The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    2. You Made Me Realise – My Bloody Valentine
    3. Freak Scene – Dinosaur Jr.
    4. Gigantic – Pixies
    5. Destroy The Heart – The House Of Love
    6. L’amourir – The Young Gods
    7. Christine – The House Of Love
    8. Sidewalking – Jesus & Mary Chain
    9. Feed Me With Your Kiss – My Bloody Valentine
    10. Martha’s Harbour – All About Eve
    11. Follow The Leader – Eric B & Rakim
    12. Alphabet Street – Prince
    13. Up Home EP – AR Kane
    14. Crash – The Primitives
    15. Teardrops – Womack & Womack
    16. Collision EP – Loop
    17. Patti – Scritti Politti
    18. The Race – Yellow
    19. Revolution – Spaceman 3
    20. Headhunter – Front 242

  6. 6
    Rory on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Eight from me (same as 1987 – sure didn’t expect that): Pet Shop Boys, S’Express, Fairground Attraction, Timelords, Yazz, Hollies, U2, Enya. A few of those were borderline, and only two would I say I like a lot.

    Here are the number ones for the year on the Australian Music Report chart, with * denoting an Australian artist. I would rate seven of these as a six or above:

    Rick Astley, “Never Gonna Give You Up”
    George Michael, “Faith”
    George Harrison, “Got My Mind Set on You”
    Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”
    *Kylie Minogue, “I Should Be So Lucky”
    Billy Ocean, “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car”
    Cheap Trick, “The Flame”
    Louis Armstrong, “What a Wonderful World”
    *Kylie Minogue, “Got to Be Certain”
    *John Farnham, “Age of Reason”
    Fairground Attraction, “Perfect”
    Robert Palmer, “Simply Irresistible”
    U2, “Desire”
    Phil Collins, “A Groovy Kind of Love”
    Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”
    The Beach Boys, “Kokomo”

    The ARIA charts started this year, at the time Cheap Trick were number one, but the only significant difference from the above was that Phil Collins didn’t reach the top of them.

    New albums I was listening to in 1988: Temple of Low Men by Crowded House, Peace in Our Time by Big Country, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1, Now and Zen by Robert Plant, Rattle and Hum (for better or worse) by U2, and Ram it Down by Judas Priest. No hip discovery of early Pixies for me.

    My pick for the 1988 number one that should have been is “Under the Milky Way Tonight” by the Church, which peaked in the low 20s in Australia and the US and at 90 in the UK, so clearly I’m dreaming.

  7. 7
    Tom on 27 Jul 2010 #

    re the NME list: In the last week of 1988 I decided it was time to start buying a music paper, so I went and got the Christmas issues of the NME and Melody Maker and made my choice according to their end of year lists. I would like to say that the breadth and open-mindedness of the NME list was what made me choose them but to be honest it was probably the two Morrissey singles in the top four.

    What I was listening to: er, The Smiths, incessantly. House Of Love. Pet Shop Boys. I’d love to say It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back too but no, I got that a few months into ’89. From this point to the start of 1991 I took the NME’s word as gospel, generally, and though I started listening to the charts again I kept it pretty quiet.

  8. 8
    punctum on 27 Jul 2010 #

    8 out of 19 for me. Never know from that lot that it was one of the best years for music, would you?

  9. 9
    punctum on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The Rattle And Sinker affair resulted in the cancellation of my subscription to the NME. I did buy the Christmas issue to look at the EOY lists but MM became my journal of choice, just before it began to run out of steam.

  10. 10

    (extended re-examination of said affair in the FT pipeline) (VERY extended erg)

  11. 11
    Tom on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The saving grace of the NME at that time – which you can see from those lists really – is that despite the losing of the hip-hop wars they were MUCH better at covering rap and house music than MM were in ’89-’90, so even though that wasn’t remotely a factor in my initial choice it helped me get over my suspicion of that stuff pretty fast, and by mid-89 the Hacienda playlist was orthodox NME-endorsed Good Taste anyhow. I’ve no idea how much this was editorial policy or how much it was certain staffers – Jack Barron, Helen Mead, Sarah Champion – being given rein.

    What got me to jump ship in 91 was bloody shoegazing TBH.

  12. 12
    Steve Mannion on 27 Jul 2010 #

    As ever, THE FACE win with their blatant lunchtime in the pub free-for-all:

    1. NENEH CHERRY Buffalo Stance
    2. ROYAL HOUSE Can You Party
    3. STETASONIC Talkin’ All That jazz
    4. INNER CITY Big Fun
    5. THE WONDER STUFF A Wish Awaya
    6. SOUL II SOUL Fair Play
    7. PUBLIC ENEMY Bring The Noise
    8. PRINCE Alphabet City
    9. TEN CITY Right Back To You
    10. BLACK RIOT A Day In The Life Of
    11. MANDY SMITH I Just Can’t Wait (Cool ‘n’ Breezy mix)
    12. SUGAR BEAR Don’t Scandalise Mine
    13. JVC FORCE Strong Island
    14. DE LA SOUL Jennifer
    15. THE JUNGLE BROTHERS I’ll House You
    16. MLK PROJECT I Have A Dream
    17. SMITH & MIGHTY Anyone
    18. PHASE II Reachin’
    19. S’XPRESS Theme From S’xpress
    20. WILL DOWNING Love Supreme
    22. THE TRUTH Open Our Eyes
    23. BRANDON COOKE/ROXANNE SHANTE Sharp As A Knife (Acid Remix)
    24. ROACHFORD Cuddly Toy
    25. EPMD Strictly Business

  13. 13
    Rory on 27 Jul 2010 #

    @11 Don’t tell me you missed out on Going Blank Again!

    I used to have a black T-shirt featuring the cover of the Twisterella single. I stopped wearing it when someone unfamiliar with the band asked if the message was entirely suitable.

    Must resist the urge to fast-forward mentally past 1989-90…

  14. 14
    Tom on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Haha love the token shit rock record at #5 there.

    (The Eight Legged Groove Machine was the first record I ever bought with money I had earned doing a job. It was also the last time I ever believed anything Q Magazine said.)

  15. 15
    swanstep on 27 Jul 2010 #

    6 out of 19 for me (stretching it in some cases). No metal on the NME and MM lists (from G’n’R to Metallica to Ministry to Jane’s) makes them look closed-minded and provincial. Xmas listening for me was 16 Lovers Lane while I strolled around nicely deserted museums and galleries in Wash DC.

  16. 16
    weej on 27 Jul 2010 #

    4 out of 19 for me too. Particularly bad was the second half of the year – out of nine #1s four are currently in the readers’ bottom 25.

  17. 17
    Tom on 27 Jul 2010 #

    #15 Yeah that’s a good point. The NME and MM didn’t really get onto metal at all until grunge – and then at that point they all retrospectively loved Jane’s etc. G’n’R got roasted for “One In A Million” but had hardly been given much attention before that.

    The other big thing that made them start covering it was Sounds – the third weekly music paper – closing, though. Rock and metal were very much seen as Sounds’ territory. Their singles list is lost to history but their albums list has Queensryche, Slayer, Jane’s in there. (No G’n’R even in 1987 though – total UK critic blindspot?)


  18. 18
    taDOW on 27 Jul 2010 #

    voted 7 from uk list (“6” is a pretty low bar)

    u.s. number ones 1988

    george michael – faith
    whitney houston – so emotional
    george harrison – got my mind set on you
    michael jackson – the way you make me feel
    inxs – need you tonight
    tiffany – could’ve been
    expose – seasons change
    george michael – father figure
    rick astley – never gonna give you up
    michael jackson – man in the mirror
    billy ocean – get out of my dreams, get into my car
    whitney houston – where do broken hearts go
    terence trent d’arby – wishing well
    gloria estefan & miami sound machine – anything for you
    george michael – one more try
    rick astley – together forever
    debbie gibson – foolish beat
    michael jackson – dirty diana
    cheap trick – the flame
    richard marx – hold on to the nights
    steve winwood – roll with it
    george michael – monkey
    g’n’f’n’r – sweet child o’ mine
    bobby mcferrin – don’t worry be happy
    def leppard – love bites
    ub40 – red red wine
    phil collins – groovy kind of love
    beach boys – kokomo
    the escape club – wild, wild west
    bon jovi – bad medicine
    will to power – baby i love yr way/freebird
    chicago – look away
    poison – every rose has its thorn

    sweet jesus the power ballads

  19. 19
    Steve Mannion on 27 Jul 2010 #

    I never liked Metal more than I did in 1988 ha (maaaybe 93 but that was an odd year).

  20. 20
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    I’m pretty sure that Sounds didn’t do a singles list at all in 1988, going through one of their silly rockist “singles are for sissys” phases.

  21. 21
    Rory on 27 Jul 2010 #

    I wish we could have talked about “Got My Mind Set on You” here. The “Threetles”, the anthologies, everything Beatles-related from the 1990s arguably started with that.

    INXS was such a near miss, too. That would have been fun.

    I also would have loved to lay the boot into “Kokomo”, but you got off lightly there. SEVEN WEEKS at number one in Australia. I still can’t get into Pet Sounds because of it.

  22. 22
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    A few MM journalists (Chris Roberts, The Stud Brothers IIRC) really liked Jane’s Addiction before 1991, and the Stud Brothers were keen on Metallica, Megadeth, etc (perhaps they only got to share one vote between them). In a more trad vein, Steve Sutherland hailed the likes of Bon Jovi and David Lee Roth as titans of rock.

    Metal didn’t impinge much on the NME worldview, its true, though Iron Maiden got a cover in 1988, and I remember sympathetic Metallica coverage in the late 1980s.

  23. 23
    thefatgit on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The NME’s attitude to metal can be summed up by Paolo Hewitt (of all people) being sent to interview Thor and to witness his party piece of blowing up hot water bottles until they burst.

    Oh yeah, 7 also for me. Some great stuff coming to the fore in 88 showing early how the 90’s were going to shape up. Shame the top of the charts failed to reflect it.

  24. 24
    thefatgit on 27 Jul 2010 #

    As per usual:
    John Peel’s Festive Fifty 1988

    1. House of Love – Destroy The Heart
    2. Wedding Present – Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm
    3. Jesus and Mary Chain – Sidewalking
    4. Wedding Present – Take Me (I’m Yours)
    5. Dinosaur Jr – Freak Scene
    6. My Bloody Valentine – You Made Me Realise
    7. Pixies – Gigantic
    8. Wedding Present – Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?
    9. House of Love – Christine
    10. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Mercy Seat
    11. Inspiral Carpets – Keep The Circle Around
    12. Morrissey – Everyday Is Like Sunday
    13. Morrissey – Suedehead
    14. The Fall – Cab It Up
    15. Wedding Present – I’m Not Always So Stupid
    16. The Fall – Bremen Nacht
    17. My Bloody Valentine – Feed Me With Your Kiss
    18. House of Love – Love In A Car
    19. Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot
    20. Sugarcubes – Deus
    21. Robert Floyd & The New Four Seasons – Something Nice
    22. Morrissey – Late Night Maudlin Street
    23. Morrissey – Disappointed
    24. The Fall – Big New Prinz
    25. Billy Bragg – Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards
    26. Cocteau Twins – Carolyn’s Fingers
    27. The Fall – Kurious Oranj
    28. Overlord X – 14 Days In May
    29. Sonic Youth – Silver Rocket
    30. Pixies – Where Is My Mind
    31. Mudhoney – Sweet Young Thing Ain’t Sweet No More
    32. Spit – Road Pizza
    33. James – What For
    34. Pooh Sticks – On Tape
    35. Stump – Charlton Heston
    36. The Fall – Jerusalem
    37. Shalawambe – Samora Machel
    38. McCarthy – Should The Bible Be Banned
    39. Pixies – River Euphrates
    40. The Fall – Guest Informant
    41. Loop – Collision
    42. Flatmates – Shimmer
    43. Mega City 4 – Miles Apart
    44. New Order – Fine Time
    45. Pixies – Bone Machine
    46. Primitives – Crash
    47. Darling Buds – Shame On You
    48. Happy Mondays – Wrote For Luck
    49. Wedding Present – Don’t Laugh
    50. Public Enemy – Night Of The Living Baseheads

  25. 25
    pink champale on 27 Jul 2010 #

    could i just whisper that i also bought ‘eight legged groove machine’ on Q magazine’s recommendation and it was a total revelation to me – suddenly the future had arrived and it’s name was indie. frankly though, that was the least Q could do after making me buy “street fighting years” and joe jackson’s “blaze of glory”.

  26. 26
    flahr on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Funf here (S’Express, PSB, Yazz, Enya, Aswad – not a list I expected to type today frankly). Isn’t Anything and Surfer Rosa are both pretty high up on my Hypothetical Best Albums EVA list, and Lovely is a good album too.
    Oh and of course Introspective and It Takes A Nation Of Millions… too!

    Pulled randomly from the Internet, the best-selling singles of 1988 in the UK were apparently:
    1. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe And Wine
    2. Yazz & The Plastic Population – The Only Way Is Up
    3. Kylie Minogue – I Should Be So Lucky
    4. Kylie Minogue & Jason Donovan – Especially For You (oof! Sorry Bunny!)
    5. Tiffany – I Think We’re Alone Now
    6. Glenn Medeiros – Nothing’s Gonna Change My Love For You
    7. Phil Collins – A Groovy Kind Of Love
    8. Wet Wet Wet – With A Little Help From My Friends/Billy Bragg ft. Cara Tivey – She’s Leaving Home
    9. Hollies – He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother
    10. Womack & Womack – Teardrops

  27. 27
    vinylscot on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Only four from this year, and they’re probably all sixes – an appalling year for number ones – but a great year for singles, as shown in the NME and Peel lists.

  28. 28
    Rory on 27 Jul 2010 #

    We’ve made it through just under five years of charts since this time last year, from #532 to #620. On that rate of progress, we could reach 1990 around October, 2000 by the end of 2012, and 2010 by early 2016. So we’ll be completely up to date by… 2018?

    That’s assuming that the next couple of months aren’t the end of us all. You thought 1988 was bad…

  29. 29
    lonepilgrim on 27 Jul 2010 #

    re 28 *runs off screaming*

  30. 30
    thefatgit on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Rory @21…I bought Kokomo, but only for Heroes And Villains on the b-side. How sad was that?

  31. 31
    punctum on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Written by Mike Love, John Phillips, Scott McKenzie and Terry Melcher; talk about a pension plan. Biggest selling Beach Boys single worldwide, apparently. Featuring Van Dyke Parks on accordion; how the hell did they persuade him to get back in the same room as Mike “Number One Without The Genius” Love again?

  32. 32
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    TOTPWatch: In the studio for the Top of the Pops transmitted on 25 December 1988 were; S’Express, Pet Shop Boys (performing both ‘Always On My Mind’ and ‘Heart’), Aswad, Fairground Attraction, Yazz & The Plastic Population, The Timelords & Gary Glitter, Wet Wet Wet and The Hollies. Anthea Turner, Bruno Brookes & Gary Davies were the hosts.

  33. 33
    Rory on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The roping-in for effect of place names in “Orinoco Flow” had nothing on “Kokomo”.

  34. 34
    Steve Mannion on 27 Jul 2010 #

    “Aruba, Jamaica, ooh I wanna take ya to Bermuda, Bahama, okay then just Scarborough”

  35. 35
    lex on 27 Jul 2010 #

    A few “it’s OK, I guess” ticks, only two genuinely enthusiastic ones (“Heart”, “Theme From S’Express”).

  36. 36
    lockedintheattic on 27 Jul 2010 #

    & the list from Record Mirror:

    1 The House Of Love Destroy The Heart
    2 Dinosour Jnr Freak Scene
    3 The Pixies Gigantic
    4 Pet Shop Boys Left To My Own Devices
    5 Morrissey Every Day Is Like Sunday
    6 Aztec Camera Somewhere In My Heart
    7 The Go Betweens Streets Of Your Town
    8 Danielle Dax Cat House
    9 Morrissey Suedehead
    10= Erasure Ship Of Fools
    10= Nick Cave The Mercy Seat
    12 Diesel Park West Jackie’s Still Sad
    13 Inner City Big Fun
    14 Sabrina Boys (Summertime Love)
    15= Neneh Cherry Buffalo Stance
    15= Bomb The Base Beat Dis
    17 Prince Alphabet Street
    18= Salt-N-Pepa Shake Your Thing
    18= Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine
    18= The Wedding Present Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?
    18= S’Express Theme From S’Express

  37. 37
    anto on 27 Jul 2010 #

    I would still argue the corner for 1988 as a decent pop year –
    Oh L’amour, Suedehead, Crash, Love is Contagious, Mandinka, Sidewalking, Rush Hour, Don’t Make Me Wait, I Don’t Believe in Miracles(Sinitta!? well I bloomin’ well liked that one), I Wish U Heaven , Left to my own Devices, Buffalo Stance, Breathe Life Into Me, also a remarkable run of form for Kim Wilde – You Came, Never Trust a Stranger and Love is a 4-letter Word which is one of the swooniest, dreamiest pop tunes ever I think.

    In summary a good year at number7 and number 14 and number 17 just not at number one.

  38. 38
    Billy Smart on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The ‘phantom’ number ones of 1988, that topped the NME/ ILR charts but not the BBC ones;

    Beat Dis – Bomb The Bass (2 weeks)
    Together Forever – Rick Astley (1)
    Yo Twist – The Fat Boys & Chubby Checker (1)
    We Call It Acieed – D Mob (1)

  39. 39
    Andrew Hickey on 27 Jul 2010 #

    punctum – Parks was a good friend of Terry Melcher, the producer and co-writer of the track. He also added accordion to the terrible Brian-less album Summer In Paradise for the same reason.

  40. 40
    Mark M on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Re 15/17:I remember the Melody Maker being quite keen on the po-faced metal of the time (Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax – who also had the fashionable PE connection). Don’t know what they released in 1988 specifically.
    What’s interesting is that even from The Face list you wouldn’t really get the notion that there had been a huge pop cultural shift over the course of the year.

  41. 41
    thefatgit on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Sabrina! Hoho! That video in the pool, white bikini barely covering her ample bosom. Beefcake for the girls and the sexually ambiguous alike. Every young red-blooded male’s dream.

  42. 42
    lonepilgrim on 27 Jul 2010 #

    re40 para2 I seem to recall that The Face had a bit of a relaunch sometime after this – perhaps reflecting the fact that they appeared to have been caught napping by the House/Acid/Rave scene.

    My highlight for 1988 was seeing Prince at Wembley on the Lovesexy tour. He performed in the round and I was in the second row – wonderful.

  43. 43
    swanstep on 27 Jul 2010 #

    The Record Mirror list gets my vote so far.

    Most overlooked song of the year? This b-side gem from the Go-betweens.

    Most pregnant with meaning, political stories? There are two: (i) Soviets finally give up in Afghanistan, and Gorbachev ends Brezhnev doctrine, in principle allowing eastern europe to go its own way. 1989 would put all that into explosive practice, and triumphalism of various sorts (‘the end of history’, ‘we mujahadeen can destroy empires’) would become commonplaces. (ii) First round of ominous data about climate change leads to formation of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which us tasked to produce its first report by 1990, and Al Gore holds first congressional hearings on the topic in the US in August ’88 but is really more interested in his abortive presidental primary run.

    I swear reality does feel rather a lot like a formed-in-late-1988, Donnie Darko tangent universe! Maybe only the internet is preventing some wormhole from collapsing.

  44. 44
    LondonLee on 27 Jul 2010 #

    Only 4 from me, very poor Reeves.

    I guess I was listening to Inner City, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim and Neneh Cherry so it must have actually been quite a good year.

  45. 45
    Tom on 28 Jul 2010 #

    #43 one of the Go-Betweens’ best ever songs, that – why on earth wasn’t it an A-Side, or at least on an album?

  46. 46
    Hofmeister Bear on 28 Jul 2010 #

    I could only bring myself to vote for 3 of them, which turned out to be the leading trio on the list. Belinda Carlisle was borderline admittedly.

  47. 47
    swanstep on 28 Jul 2010 #

    @45, Tom. Rock ‘n’ roll friend *is* on the bonus disc of the 2004 reissue of 16 Lovers Lane, and it was on the Go-B’s initial ‘best of’ cd (the one with the glorious green leaves against blue sky cover), though not on their more widely available, late ’90s ‘best of’.

    But why the initial misjudgment? I dunno. Choosing singles and mixes and album tracks well, editing one’s output well more generally, seems to be a specific skill that some artists have a lot more of than others. Suede used My Insatiable One and To the Birds as The Drowners’ bonus tracks/b-sides (making it one of the best singles I’ve ever actually bought), and didn’t put them on the album. That’s mad, but beautifully so I guess.

  48. 48
    Tom on 28 Jul 2010 #

    I think Suede were chasing the coverage they ended up getting: they had a TON of buzz, they didn’t have the songs for an album at that point, so capitalising on the buzz by putting their best songs on the debut single was a smart move. Three very different songs too – implying a range I’m not sure they really delivered on.

    With hindsight I can see R’n’R Friend wouldn’t have fit on 16LL – very different vibe – but also with hindsight it seems like their best shot at an alt.rock perennial (even has the dog-whistle title)

    The second half of that first Go-B’s best of with the collected early singles, B-Sides etc is a marvellous thing (well, so’s the first half, but that stuff IS all on later best-ofs). It was how I first encountered them, and I didn’t know it was a hits-then-bits deal, so of course I assumed “Rock N Roll Friend”, “When People Are Dead”, “Baby You Won’t Find It Again” et al were all well-known and loved parts of the band’s catalogue just like “Bachelor Kisses”.

  49. 49
    DietMondrian on 28 Jul 2010 #

    All Suede’s early singles – up to the point where Bernard Butler left and they started running out of material (and conversely, perversely, started stretching their thinning material out on two-part CD singles) – had brilliant B-sides.

    For me, it added to the thrill of the band, to buy the early singles and find the jems “thrown away” there.

    Highlights: High Rising off So Young; My Dark Star off Stay Together.

  50. 50
    Tom on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Yeah, “Killing Of A Flash Boy” (off er I dunno) is probably the Suede song I still listen to most.

  51. 51
    Billy Smart on 28 Jul 2010 #

    B-side of ‘We Are The Pigs’!

    Post-Butler Suede still occasionally managed some fantastic B-sides; Europe is our Playground, Every Monday Morning Comes, Jumble Sale Mums – and, especially, Popstar, which I always think of as a drugged-up Brett having an out-of-body experience and watching himself.

  52. 52
    swanstep on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Another overlooked song from 1988: the La’s There she goes. I didn’t hear it until 1990 IIRC. Did anyone here catch it on first release (it isn’t on any of the lists above)? And is this really a 1988 vid.? If it is, did anyone see it at the time?

    #48-#51. Too bad Suede won’t be troubling Popular directly, eh?

  53. 53
    flahr on 28 Jul 2010 #

    #52: I suspect most people didn’t hear it till the album in ’90; it didn’t get anywhere above Number 80 until 1989 and it only reached the Top 40 (peaking at 13) in 1990 after the album.
    Thankfully it’s on a couple of ‘best songs of 1988’ lists compiled in hindsight.

  54. 54
    Billy Smart on 28 Jul 2010 #

    I bought ‘There She Goes’ in November 1988! Its got one very good doomy B-side called ‘Who Knows?’, that never seems to get included on super-deluxe reissues of the album. It hung around the lower reaches of the charts for months and months, and when it eventually became a hit two years later its reappearance was greeted with bemused surprise from those who remembered it from the first time around. I certainly don’t remember it having that video, though, more a blurry 16mm thing shot in Liverpool backstreets.

    I also saw The La’s, third on the bill in an NME-sponsered CND benefit at the Town & Country Club in March 1989, the first ever concert that I paid to see. The Darling Buds headlined, and Sandie Shaw and Bradford also played.

  55. 55
    will on 28 Jul 2010 #

    I remember hearing There She Goes on a Radio One session (Janice Long?) in May ’88. Loved it then, but for me it’s one of those records that down the years has lost its lustre through overexposure..

  56. 56
    punctum on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Never liked the song or the group much. Sounded purposely retro at a time when we were trying to get on with the future. Does he really sing “Jason Donovan”?

  57. 57
    Conrad on 28 Jul 2010 #

    A magnificent 2 out of 19. S-Express and Belinda Carlisle.

    So, the House of Love. They saeem to be top of every magazine/inkie list for 1988. I don’t I’ve ever heard “Destroy the Heart”. I know very little about them.

    were they any good?
    do people, i.e. the popular comments crew, still listen to them?

  58. 58
    Billy Smart on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Now you’re talking – I LOVED The House of Love when I was sixteen and seventeen. That first album is like a classic rock primer for a 1988 indie kid – This is what you can do as a four-piece guitar band. There has never been an album that I have more anticipated in my life than that one with the butterfly on the cover, my appetite especially whetted by the EP of I Don’t Know Why I Love You with its surprisingly direct B-Sides, Clothes and Secrets, brooding and remorseful.

    I still listen to them with pleasure and excitement, but the weak link is much more apparent to me as a middle aged man than as a teenager. Guy Chadwick’s lyrics set himself up as some kind of prophet or seer, but generally lack any real depth or sense of personal engagement. Its a small lexicon of profound imagery – fire, heart, love, Jesus – shuffled around in every song. Combine that with Chadwick’s obvious discomfort at being a frontman (and advanced age) and you can see why they were superseded by the Roses and the Mondays before they ever really got going as a leading act.

    I always remember an Adam Sweeting review of a HoL concert at the Albert Hall that I attended, describing Guy Chadwick as having the volcanic stage presence of “a mild-mannered matchstick”

  59. 59
    Billy Smart on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Destroy The Heart also topped the NME Readers Poll for 1988, wheras MM readers voted for Tower of Strength by The Mission. I’ll look up the full results in my old copies when I’m next at my parents’ house.

  60. 60
    flahr on 28 Jul 2010 #

    Dear me but “Tower of Strength” is so U2 it hurts.

  61. 61
    Rory on 28 Jul 2010 #

    @58, amen. Their 2004 comeback album didn’t set me on fire, but Jesus, I sure did love the Fontana/butterfly album with all my heart. One of my early ’90s favourites, and it’s lasted well for me.

    (All this talk of Suede and House of Love and shoegazing only reminds me how utterly my tastes diverge from the UK number ones from here until about 1995. Mustn’t say more, or the Jive Bunny will be angry.)

  62. 62
    Mark M on 28 Jul 2010 #

    House of Love? Terrible band – sub-U2 nonsense. Saw them supporting the Primitives at the Marquee in ’86 and decided I wanted them to do well because I’d ‘discovered’ them. Quite liked the original version of Shine On. Liked every subsequent single much, much less, until I spent several weeks puzzling over the first album before I realised the reason I was struggling with it was that it was no cop at all: stiff, pompous, fun-free.
    Chadwick is a godawful singer and – as already noted – an absolutely shocking lyricist. Great comedy character, though – his embrace of E-culture is the high point of any account of Creation records.

  63. 63
    will on 28 Jul 2010 #

    I loved the first album, wasn’t really keen on anything post-Terry Bickers. They seemed a very ordinary band after he left.

  64. 64
    swanstep on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Semi-funny note about Suede’s boffo first single: I misheard The Drowners chorus’s ‘taking me over’ as ‘taking the anchor’. It made sense… drowning, boats, anchors, but it also supported smutty hypotheses about what sex act might be being alluded to. I was quite disappointed when I learned the real lyric just a few years ago.

    @BillySmart, 54. Well done on your early La’s-spotting.

  65. 65
    swanstep on 29 Jul 2010 #
  66. 66
    byebyepride on 29 Jul 2010 #

    @45, @46, @47

    re: Rock and Roll Friend. My memory is that this was just a matter of timing – the song was written after the album had been recorded, so was only available as a B-side. But I remember the sleeve notes for the beggars banquet best-of making a bit of a thing about how many great songs they’d ‘thrown away’ (perhaps we could say given away?) as B-sides so they may have been happy to build the legend up.

  67. 67
    byebyepride on 29 Jul 2010 #

    @57 re: The House of Love. I still listen to them, albeit partly for the memories, as I must know every note of the first album, and lots of the rest. I remember being very disappointed by the butterfly album / Fontana – on the grounds that I’d heard much of it before (peel sessions, blind from the cassette version of the first album) and that even I could see that the Beatles and the Stones was total drivel. The album Babe Rainbow a late high point, IMHO.

  68. 68
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Two amusing Stuart Maconie observations about ‘The Beatles & The Stones’;

    ‘”The Beatles and The Stones/ sucked the marrow out of bones” – Sadly no photographic evidence has yet been found to support this assertion.’

    ‘”The Beatles and The Stones/ Put the V in Vietnam” – So what was it called before 1962? Ietnam?’

  69. 69
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Re 64: God, I was disappointed when I read the lyric sheet for the first Suede album and discovered that the chorus of Metal Mickey was “She sells heart! She sells meat!”. My own version “She’s so hard! She’s so fleet!” fitted Suede’s perceived hallmark ambiguous romanticism much better.

  70. 70
    thefatgit on 29 Jul 2010 #

    I think HoL’s glorious moment in the sun was more to do with Alan McGee and his hyperbole rather than any lasting talent. Although “Destroy The Heart” does have a soupcon of jangly charm.

  71. 71
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2010 #

    The thing about ‘Destroy The Heart’ at the time though, was that it sounded Sturm und Drang dynamic, rather than Soup Dragons weedy-jangly. It was often played along with ‘You Made Me Realise’ and ‘Gigantic’ on the 1988 Billy turntable and didn’t sound out of place next to those singles.

  72. 72
    Rory on 29 Jul 2010 #

    @62, fair enough that you don’t like HoL, I know many don’t, but in what way are they “sub-U2”? They sound nothing like U2 to me: Chadwick was nothing like Bono as a singer, they never aspired to stadium-filling rock, they didn’t do sub-ambient, roots rock or pomo reinvention… apart from both being guitar rock of some kind, I can’t see it.

  73. 73

    I have a bunch of early HoL stuff on vinyl, sent to me for free and unrequested, so assiduous was Mr McGhee about getting easily swayed critics onside. I don’t think I played any of them more than a couple of times ; maybe I should sell them and make lots* of unearned money.

    *Yes I know.

  74. 74
    punctum on 29 Jul 2010 #

    HoL – absolutely tremendous live*, always rather disappointing on record, due I think to undernourished production.

    *I once went to see them do three London gigs in one night – 1990 or possibly 1991 – at UCL, the Town & Country Club (I think; it could have been the Camden Underworld) and finally the Dome in Tufnell Park. Entirely different set lists for each gig and they were splendid.

  75. 75
    Stevie on 29 Jul 2010 #

    The HoL Peel session with ‘Love in a Car’ soundtracked my A-level revision so their corny majesty will always have a place in my heart. Saw their reunion gig a couple of years ago and Mad Terry B was still great. Funny how everyone expected them to be huge around the end of 88, they appeared on the end of year South Bank Show special and I remember Bill Drummond writing an article in Blitz magazine saying they would be the next Pink Floyd or something. Also predicting that a shapeshifting S-Express would set the agenda for the next 5 years of UK pop.

    By 88 I had finally kicked the NME habit and taken up full time with MM – not because I liked the Young Gods or whatever, but just because Reynolds, Stubbs, Wilde, Roberts etc were so clearly leagues better writers, whatever they were getting worked up about, than Maconie etc. The terrible fall off in the second half of the year must have contributed to me finally packing in my Smash Hits subscription in favour of the Face/Blitz/i-D etc.

  76. 76
    punctum on 29 Jul 2010 #

    …whereas what happened was that a shapeshifting Bill Drummond would set the agenda for the next 5 years of UK pop! Respect to Mark Moore though; he was in on the ground floor with the vogueing thing (see McLaren’s remarkably underrated Waltz Darling album) and one of his S’Express colleagues makes a return to Popular at the turn of the millennium.

    We recently found a used copy of the second S’Express album, Intercourse (which I don’t recall ever seeing new in the shops at the time – was it even reviewed anywhere?) with “Mantra For A State Of Mind,” “Nothing To Lose,” etc. Fine stuff.

  77. 77
    pink champale on 29 Jul 2010 #

    re 69 “she sells meat” is a tremendous line, i’ve always thought – one of suede’s very best stabs at the unspecifiably dirty.

    on the disappointing butterfly album, i seem to remember that when ‘never’ first came out it was scorned by fans as an act of terrible betrayal, like it was ‘self portrait’ or something (or at least ‘ouija board, ouija board’). HOL were indeed great live though – their show at the hummingbird in birmingham (supported by some have fins, aficionados will note) was the third proper gig i ever went to i think and made a big impression.

    i get the feeling from this thread (and my general sense of the majority demographics here) that i’m not the only one for whom the next few years saw the charts as an interesting sideshow to cud b-sides that were at the centre of the pop universe. it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in the comments threads.

  78. 78
    Billy Smart on 29 Jul 2010 #

    ‘Never’ was like a dress rehearsal for the great Stone Roses ‘One Love’ letdown of 1990… And both of those singles have got fantastic B-sides (‘Soft as Fire/ Safe’ and ‘Something’s Burning’) that outshine their slapdash public faces.

  79. 79
    Martin Skidmore on 29 Jul 2010 #

    I ticked 7, 2 or 3 of them very marginal. I was listening to indie, hip hop and house back then, and I probably saw a few of the bands in some of those lists – Wedding Present probably, maybe the Fall, almost certainly the Flatmates, who I knew very slightly.

  80. 80
    Mark M on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Re 72: chiming guitars (as opposed to the fuzzy or jangly option taken by their Creation contemporaries) and stentorian vocals plus grandiose yearning equalled U2 to me. And I think Chadwick aspired very much to stadium filling…

  81. 81
    Mark M on 29 Jul 2010 #

    What I think I mean is if you stand them next to the actual U2, they don’t sound that epic. If you place them alongside early Primal Scream or Slaughter Joe, they do…

  82. 82
    Steve Mannion on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Interesting to see the stark difference between the disco fodder at the top and the big blustery ballads at the bottom here.

    So what WERE or are people’s favourite ballads of 1988?

  83. 83
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Was Maconie writing much for NME in 88? I know he’d arrived because I remember him — very amiable fellow — but I don’t recall that he was setting its tone and agenda yet. Though it’s really strange how distorted your idea is of how a magazine comes across to readers, when you’re actually on the inside.

  84. 84
    Tom on 29 Jul 2010 #

    I made pretty much exactly the same switch as Stevie at almost the same age – gave up on NME, then when I got back into the music press it was Melody Maker circa early 92: I decided I preferred style over content (where content = the specific bands covered, not the ideas about those bands) and MM had all the style.

    Maconie did set a lot of the tone on the NME in 89 – he, Andrew Collins and Swells were the joke-tellers. Back then I liked his comedy pieces a lot.

    This Maconie review is of indirect nostalgic relevance http://home2.btconnect.com/iconic-trash/trigger-happy.html though I wouldn’t rep for the writing on it.

  85. 85
    Tom on 29 Jul 2010 #

    Surely everyone’s favourite ballad of 1988 is the one I should be writing about right now instead of thinking about the House of Love ;)

  86. 86
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 29 Jul 2010 #

    NME was very much in transition in 1988: there’d been a very significant management purge of the editorial team in 1987, and the new editor was putting together a new team and establishing a new direction which very likely didn’t gel until 1989. I actually applied for the job that James Brown got — assistant editor — but I didn’t get it: possibly because I was interviewed IN THE PUB which totally threw me (I doubt I was seriously in the running: as I recall part of my pitch was “raise the quality of writing”, which wouldn’t actually have excluded “funny”). A whole bunch of contributors quietly left at this point; I was able to fashion a noisy exit because I am a massive drama queen.

  87. 87
    taDOW on 30 Jul 2010 #

    fave ballad of 88

  88. 88
    mike on 30 Jul 2010 #

    From the archives: these were my favourite singles of 1988:

    1. left to my own devices – pet shop boys 
    2. right back to you – ten city 
    3. alphabet street – prince
    4. buffalo stance – neneh cherry 
    5. can you party – royal house 
    6. fast car – tracy chapman 
    7. teardrops – womack & womack 
    8. reachin’ – phase II 
    9. fairplay – soul II soul 
    10. ye ke ye ke – mory kante (original/afro-acid remix) 
    11. it takes two – rob base & dj e-z rock 
    12. first we take manhattan – leonard cohen 
    13. it’s alright – sterling void 
    14. the only way is up – yazz & the plastic population 
    15. theme from s-express – s-express 
    16. follow the leader – eric b & rakim 
    17. jenifa (taught me) – de la soul 
    18. know how – young mc 
    19. cars and girls – prefab sprout 
    20. every day is like sunday – morrissey

  89. 89
    punctum on 30 Jul 2010 #

    And DJ Punctum’s token classic ’88 single waiting to be rediscovered: “Don’t Scandalize Mine” by Sugar Bear.

    I miss Champion Records; the label was always a guarantee of quality, like ECM.

  90. 90
    Tom on 30 Jul 2010 #

    #89 I’m sure it gets rediscovered every 10 years or so and never takes, which is a shame – I first heard it in the mid-90s thanks to some “how on earth were these not smashes” feature or other.

  91. 91
    admin on 31 Jul 2010 #

    Little admin note: I’ve finally tracked down and zapped the bug that was resetting vote counts very high in older polls with multiple answers like this. (This was making all the old polls appear with tiny bars, all in proportion, but scaled down so that the top result looked like it had something small like only 20% of the vote, etc)

  92. 92
    wichita lineman on 2 Aug 2010 #

    Re: HoL and Suede. Didn’t both have the marrow sucked out of their bones when their rather talented guitarists left after an album and a half (ish)? Always thought they were very similar in many respects, Guy C and Brett A running their bands like military leaders (Chadders had an army upbringing, after all) and using the same key words in most of their songs (jesus/plastic/fire vs trash/wild/council flat). Both fond of singing “so young”, which neither were (ouch).

    Metal Mickey lyric – snap, except I thought it was “she’s so hard, she’s so clean”, which is not really the kind of girl Mr Anderson was describing. Also thought So Young’s chorus was “let’s kiss the coppers” and The Wild Ones were “running with the tarts tonight”. His diction was rather limp.

  93. 93
    Rory on 2 Aug 2010 #

    @92 Sacrilege! I loved Dog Man Star and feared the worst when Butler left, but was absolutely obsessed with Coming Up, my favourite Suede album bar none. Listened to it non-stop on my walkman for months, backed on C90 with Pulp’s His ‘n’ Hers.

    Butler’s solo efforts, on the other hand…

  94. 94
    wichita lineman on 2 Aug 2010 #

    W&W’s Teardrops was no.1 in Holland for SIX WEEKS. Shame on the UK. Is there a Dutch Popular out there somewhere?

    Re 93: I was a little harsh on ‘The Boy Oakes’-era Suede (but only a little). Yes, Bickers and Butler both suffered from Marr syndrome (again that’s a LITTLE harsh on Butler, but basically true).

  95. 95
    Rory on 2 Aug 2010 #

    @94 No argument from me on the albums after Coming Up, but Oakes was the last one to blame.

  96. 96
    wichita lineman on 2 Aug 2010 #

    Those Norwegian number ones in full:

    Belinda Carlisle – Heaven Is…
    Billy Ocean – Get Outta My Dreams
    A Ha – Stay On These Roads
    Prince – Alphabet Street
    Ofra Haza – Im Nin Alu
    Tindrum – Drums Of War
    Viggo Sandvik – Fisking I Valdres
    Europe – Superstitious
    Transvision Vamp – I Want Your Love
    Vidar Theisen & the Retrievers – Heavy Metal
    Koreana – Hand In Hand
    One 2 Many – Downtown
    Sam Brown – Stop

  97. 97
    Dominic on 6 Sep 2010 #

    Favourite ballads of 1988:

    Perhaps “Love Is Contagious” by Tajeh Sevelle,

    Perhaps “Come Into My Life” by Joyce Sims.

    (I suppose if the original release of “Stop” by Sam Brown counts here, that too)

    Very much less sappy than the high-charting ones… My, didn’t the quality of number ones drop off as the year went on though, after such a vaguely promising spring and winter.

    Worst top 40 single of the year? “Soldier of Love” by Donny Osmond, perhaps?

    And “Destroy The Heart” – a fantastic explosion. Best number 76 hit ever. Was quite fond of some of the HoL’s later stuff, too.

  98. 98
    Billy Smart on 7 Sep 2010 #

    NME Readers Poll – Best Single of 1988

    1. Destroy The Heart – The House of Love
    2. Sidewalking – The Jesus & Mary Chain
    3. Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
    4. Suedehead – Morrissey
    5. Crash – The Primitives
    6. The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    7. Desire – U2
    8. Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now? – The Wedding Present
    9. Christine – The House of Love
    10. Fine Time – New Order

  99. 99
    Billy Smart on 7 Sep 2010 #

    Melody Maker Readers Poll – Best Single of 1988

    1. Tower of Strength – The Mission
    2. Desire – U2
    3. Martha’s Harbour – All About Eve
    4. Christine – The House of Love
    5. Everyday Is Like Sunday – Morrissey
    6. Moonchild – Fields of the Nephilim
    7. The Mercy Seat – Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
    8. Crash – The Primitives
    9. A Wish Away – The Wonderstuff
    10. You Made Me Realise – My Bloody Valentine
    =. Cathouse – Danielle Dax

  100. 100
    Billy Smart on 18 Oct 2010 #

    For Chelovek, here are the number 41s of 1988 – an evocative list!;

    Eurythmics – Shame
    Bryan Ferry – Kiss & Tell
    Maxi Priest & Beres Hammond – How Can We Ease The pain?
    Taylor Dayne – I’ll Always Love You
    The Style Council – How She Threw It All Away
    Jellybean – Coming Back For More
    Kiss – Turn On The Night
    Siouxsie & The Banshees – The Killing Jar
    Freddie Jackson – Crazy
    The Human League – Love Is All That Matters
    The Proclaimers – Sunshine On Leith
    Transvision Vamp – Sister Moon
    Mista E – Don’t Believe The Hype

  101. 101
    Chelovek na lune on 19 Oct 2010 #

    Hmm, Mista E “Don’t Believe The Hype”: I seem to recall this track was the focus of a lot of tabloid hysteria about raves, etc. (Listening to it on youtube: I hear the voice of someone pretending to be Prince Charles, or possibly samples of him, with other sampled voices talking about “the acid house”. Am sure I’ve heard it lots since, actually!

    Bryan Ferry’s “Bete Noire” (from which “Kiss and Tell” is taken) is a fine pop album, ALMOST as polished and perfect in its way as “The Lexicon of Love”. Barely a duff track, though “The Right Stuff” was the best single (which barely got any higher than no 41)

    Proclaimers – absolute classic track.
    Tranny Vamp – has aged surprisingly well. I recall a big tabloid fuss about naked Wendy James in the video (but don’t recall ever seeing it)

    Not impressed by the Taylor Dayne or Siouxsie tracks; and the Style Council one (complete with B-side “Oh I Do Like To Be B-Side the A-Side” suggesting further that the creativity had run out, and, oh, the less said about their awful cover version of the wondrous “Promised Land” the better) was also somewhat below their best. I sill can’t decide whether that Human League track is a minor gem or not.

    Strange to see so many relatively big names on the no 41 list this year.

  102. 102
    Mark M on 14 Dec 2010 #

    The Face’s films of 1988 (not numbered):

    Wings Of Desire


    Near Dark




    Planes Trains And Automobiles

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Hollywood Shuffle

    The Hidden

    A pretty weak bunch, I think, and considering they’re not numbered, putting Ironweed and Barfly next to each other makes it seem sameier than it is. The ‘Also’ list contains Robocop and Midnight Run, both of which I’d take over everything on the main list any day, plus a bunch of ehs? What was Angel Dust? The Fruit Machine? The Dead Can’t Lie? Hidden City?

    Not making the list at all were films including: Beetle Juice, A Fish Called Wanda, Hairspray and Colors.

  103. 103
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 14 Dec 2010 #

    Tampopo is terrific.

  104. 104
    enitharmon on 14 Dec 2010 #

    Huh? 1988 is the year of Cinema Paradiso, one of those films that would make my all-time top twenty. And if you think it’s a typical piece of elitist arty-farty European cinema you haven’t seen it!

  105. 105
    Mark M on 14 Dec 2010 #

    Pretty sure Cinema Paradiso came out in 1989 here – it won the Best Foreign Language Film BAFTA in 1990.

  106. 106
    swanstep on 26 Jun 2012 #

    I just got around to listening to Talk Talk’s Spirit of Eden (1988) (I’d previously only known the two tracks from the album that made it onto their Natural History (Best of).) Holy crap, it’s great, and, as with MBV, it feels like one of those (not so) secret playbooks that all sorts of subsequent, good-to-very-very-good bands have been cribbing from/reading off (Sigur Ros, Radiohead, Broken Social Scene just for starters).

    Anyhow, it’s interesting to come back to this page and see that it’s on *nobody’s* list for the year and hasn’t come up in 100+ comments including several by me (whereas if you check current critics’ lists and meta-lists for 1988, SoE is top 10 and sometimes top 5). I guess that SoE’s initial critical as well as public reception must be in part a testament to just how much else that was immediate and exciting was going on in pop music at the time, so that something pretty essentially contemplative like SoE couldn’t and didn’t break through for anyone much.

    I’d be interested in hearing from anyone who was right *on* this at the time. Was anyone an ignored voice at Melody Maker, say, about this record? Anyone got any wider anecdotes about (insights into) Mark Hollis? Any good links for those of us catching up? (I’ve looked on a couple of ilxor threads and people often mention a Mojo piece, but no links…) And still no 331/3 book on SoE apparently.

  107. 107
    punctum on 26 Jun 2012 #

    No – Steve Sutherland at MM gave it a rave review. The NME on the other hand pretended it didn’t exist, so preoccupied were they at the time with musical giants like Motorcycle Boy.

  108. 108
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 26 Jun 2012 #

    haha if i recall correctly nme’s motorcycle boy cover happened because an editor had LOST the actual images — now forgotten — that were intended to go on the cover and MB was a frantic last-minute much-deprecated compromise

    as a metaphor for the extent to which the NME had missed their way in 1988, this episode is reasonably perfect: in effect the same set of editors were gradually losing the kinds of writers who had an ear for such stuff — 1988 being the year i walked out (did i ever tell this story?)

    not that i paid much attention to talk talk — steve sutherland’s tastes and stances (politics, demeanour) have never been mine, and i would have taken the line that if a senior editor was backing them at a pop weekly, they were not per se the kinds of material i needed to chase up or down at that fraught moment

  109. 109
    punctum on 26 Jun 2012 #

    I kept up with Talk Talk for New Pop reasons and when I saw veteran improv names like Dave White and Hugh Davies on Spirit Of Eden I went oho (Tarbuck-style).

  110. 110
    Ed on 27 Jun 2012 #

    @98, 99. Striking how far the weeklies seem to have been out of step with their readers. NME readers = indie kids! MM readers = Goths!

    (Actually I don’t really remember the 1988 NME, which may have lapsed from the more eclectic tastes of its mid-80s incarnation. The 1988 MM was very arsequakey, though, an inclination that gets reflected only at No 10= in the readers’ choices.)

    @102 Near Dark is great fun. It just about invented that whole “modern vampires + tortured teen romance” genre, though, so it has a lot to answer for.

  111. 111
    swanstep on 27 Jun 2012 #

    @107-109. Thanks for your responses. Reading around, it seems as though there’s going to be a fresh wave of Talk Talk awareness in the next few months with a double-cd tribute album and an associated new book coming out.

    The instrumentation on both Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock is really aurally unfathomable at times. One has to check liner notes and guess that, yes, *that* must be massed violas or *that* must be a shozyg (whatever that is). I guess there was plenty of this sort of experimentation around both in parts of prog (Elevator over the Hill) and parts of avant-classical (some Jocelyn Pook/Regular Music stuff perhaps) before TT, but even now so few people are really on top of that material that, if anything, these last two TT albums (which I currently can’t stop listening to!) are going to end up being entry points for most listeners to that other even less commercial/poppy stuff.

  112. 112
    Auntie Beryl on 7 Mar 2019 #

    Funny that a lengthy discussion of 1988 in Popular terms should end up examining Spirit Of Eden and its absence from critic’s lists.

    Swanstep @106 asks if anyone within the music press was fighting its corner at the time – oddly enough, I took a chance on SOE unheard, after liking what I’d heard of The Colour Of Spring and reading about the new album in (of all places) Q.

    Paper round money well spent, I’d say.

    Talk Talk’s adventures in the music press are gathered in one handy place here: http://www.snowinberlin.com/

  113. 113
    Mark M on 7 Mar 2019 #

    Hang on, the Melody Maker was keen on Talk Talk. And so it follows that Spirit of Eden was number 14 in Melody Maker’s albums of the year 1988 – between Skinny Puppy and Megadeth. (And, uh, the reason it doesn’t appear in the lists earlier in the comments is because those are singles – or songs, in the case of Peel’s Festive Fifty).

  114. 114
    Ed on 8 Mar 2019 #

    That is a fun list of albums, although posterity raises an eyebrow at Megadeth scoring higher than Miss America, Daydream Nation and It Takes a Nation of Millions.

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