Sunday, January 18, 2015

Best Albums: 1980 to 1989

So the first album I ever bought was the 1976 release Firefall by Firefall. The choice was inspired by the single "You Are the Woman." Loved that song. If I did buy any albums between 1976 and 1980 I don't remember it, but starting in 1980 I began to buy albums pretty regularly and so I've made a list of my top albums from 1980 to the present.  In this post we'll cover 1980 to 1989.

1980:  Crimes of Passion by Pat Benatar

This was a good choice back in 1980.  This album has held up well and I find myself still listening to it on occasion.  The only other release I know I bought that year was the Eagles Live album.

1981:  Worlds Apart by Saga

This was a breakout year for me in terms of purchasing albums.  There were four big ones for me in 1981.  Billy Squier's, Don't Say No; Foreigner's, Foreigner 4; ELO's, Time; and Worlds Apart by Saga.  I also got my first Walkman in 1981 and so I really started to get more into music at that point.

Worlds Apart was a big deal for me.  I liked the album so much I went back and bought up the rest of Saga's library and for a few years they were my go to band.  Because this stuff was outside the mainstream it gave me a sense of there being all of this music on the outside.

1982:  Lexicon of Love by ABC

I was very heavily influenced by MTV in 1982 and fell in love with this album when the band's movie Mantrap premiered on MTV.  I also bought George Throgood's Bad to the Bone album that year.

1983:  Pyromania by Def Leppard

It's a shame that this album is not available digitally, but I understand why these bands fight this stuff.  They don't get any money out of it, so why let it get released.  Still it's a shame because this was a brilliant album.

1984:  Diamond Life by Sade

It's hard to remember the timing of things.  I know I bought this album, but I believe it may not have been until 1985 after Promise.  I know I bought Like a Virgin by Madonna and Aerial Boundaries by Michael Hedges, but I keep thinking it was later as well.  I know Reckoning by REM came later for me.  A lot of good music in 1984.

1985:  Hunting High and Low by A-Ha

In 1985 my music life was mostly about Bruce Springsteen, The Doors, The Who, etc., but I really fell in love with this album.  For me this album has held up very well.

1986:  Soundrel Days by A-Ha

It's a shame that A-Ha never made it big in the US.  These first two albums were very good.  Hunting High and Low has held up better I believe, but this is a good second album.

1987:  Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by The Cure

I've written about this album in the past in a 5 star review. Funny to see how I have moved from Pat Benatar to The Cure in only a few years time. So strange the influence of college and all the different music you are exposed to.

1988:  Idlewild by Everything But the Girl

My music collection exploded in 1988 as my roommate and I spent most of our paycheck on albums every week.  It was a fun time for music, but this album stood out foe me and still does.

1989:  Disintegration by The Cure

If you are in college and not really making it, because you are spending all of your time listening to music, and you go back home to live with your folks, you really can't beat The Cure.


  1. This is great. This might be my favorite-ever Heath Post post.

  2. A few observations from nearby ... not disputing anything you said here, just reflecting ...

  3. I feel very confident that you purchased Promises before Diamond Life. I'm pretty sure the first Sade song that caught your ear was "Sweetest Taboo," which, I think, should go on the very, very short list for best video ever.

    1. Yeah I have the same thoughts on this. I cannot come up with a 1984 album that I'm sure I bought when it came out.

    2. A better choice would have probably been True by Spandau Ballet. Even though it came out in 1983, I'm pretty sure I didn't buy it until 1984 after I saw them perform on Tush.

  4. I know that second a-ha album was key, but, for my money, your key album of 1986 was the Kate Bush one ... what was it called? Into The Woods? ... it's the one with "Running Up That Hill." It probably actually came out before 1986, though. In any event, I think you purchased it and I bought Suzanne Vega on the same trip to Camelot Music on our first Thanksgiving breaks home to Paducah from college.

    1. I had thought about Big Country's The Seer for 1986. It is what inspired me to buy that Kate Bush album.

    2. Is that the Big Country record that you found in a Kroger cut-out bin one night we ran over to the Park Avenue store for Pizza Rolls?

    3. No that was Steeltown. The Seer is one I bought on cassette when we took a family trip to St. Louis. I listened to it all the way back home on my Walkman.

  5. I've also thought of Disintegration more than Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me as your signature Cure record, and your sentence about Disintegration here should be the opening sentence of a movie. You were absolutely into Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me in 1987, but it seemed to me that Disintegration was the one that totally grabbed you--and that you've actually come to appreciate Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me more in the years since. Again, I'm not saying that I'm right; I'm just saying what it looked like from my vantage point on the outside.

    1. On this one you're wrong. I was a bit of Cure fan, but Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me pushed me over the top for them. Loved this album when it was first out.

  6. Anyway, for this reason, the album I would slot in 1987 would be a mix tape that a song or two each from the Watermelon Men, the Brothers Johnson, Billy Bragg, Aimee Mann, Railroad Children, etc. I remember one trip to Lexington in either this year or 1988 and being aghast to learn that you were going to Cut Corner Records and only buying albums by artists of which you had near heard.