Friday, April 22, 2022

The Music of 1986

 The one thing about 1986 is the large influence my freshman year roommate had on my music.  He and I were not really friends, but we were roommates and so you tend to get stuck listening to each others music.  He was from Chicago and so had a much different take on music than I did and had heard a lot of groups I had just never been exposed to until then.  

Albums I Listen to Today

1. Tinderbox by Siouxsie and the Banshees.  I've written about this album it's a 5 start album for me and one I never tire of.  

2. Heyday by The Church.  Like tinderbox this is one my roommate introduced me to and another one I still play all the time. 

3. The Queen is Dead by The Smiths.  Meat is Murder was my first Smiths album and then I got The Queen is Dead.  WOW again. 

4. Rapture by Anita Baker.  I think this is one of the best R&B albums of all time.  During my freshman year in college my neighbors played this song nonstop.

5. Candy Apple Grey by Husker Du.  I was just listening to this album last week.  I'm not the biggest Husker Du fan, but I love this album.  

6. Baby the Stars Shine Bright by Everything But the Girl.  Another classic album from EBTG.

Albums I No Longer Listen To Today

7. Lifes Rich Pageant by R.E.M.  Played this album to death back in 86/87.

8. Parade by Prince.  Played this album to death in 1990.

9. Scoundrel Days by A-Ha.  My album of the year in 1986.

10. The Seer by Big Country.  Really liked this album just don't listen to it anymore. 

11. The Good Earth by The Feelies.  This is a good album.  Not sure why I don't listen to it either.  A great clean the house record. 

12. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode.  I played this album to death in 1989.

13. Urban Beaches by Cactus World News.  This was one I got a year later and really enjoyed it. 

14. London 0 Hull 4 by The Housemartins.  Listening to the Housemartins always made me feel smart. 

15. More Pop, Less Art by Jr. Gone Wild.  "Heather on a Bad Day."  What a great song.  

16. Especially For You by The Smithereens.  My favorite backing vocal ever on a song comes from this album by Suzanne Vega. 

17. True Blue by Madonna.  They had a contest for fans to make a video for True Blue and then on MTV they played all the entries back to back to back for 24 hours.  A friend and I watched every entry, it only took 12 hours.  

18. Live/1975-85 by Bruce Springsteen.  This album ended by big love affair with Springsteen that lasted from 1985 to 1986. 

19. Talking With the Taxman About Poetry by Billy Bragg.  Love the song "Greetings to the New Brunette."

20.  Happy Head by The Mighty Lemon Drops.  This is one of those albums I always thought should be better than it was.  

21. The Blind Leading the Naked by Violent Femmes.  Nothing could ever live up to their first album.  


  1. One album that got missed from 1986 that was a big favorite of mine was Animal Magic by The Blow Monkeys. It was somewhere in the 1100s on the list of besteveralbums 1986.

  2. I spent 1986 listening to classic rock on WKDF-FM in Nashville and reading the Rolling Stone Record Guide. So this was the year in which I turned away from pop music and started listening to older music. 1985 was probably the last year in my life where most of the music I listened to came from that year.

  3. Of course, I kept buying each new R.E.M. album. Lifes Rich Pageant was issued on July 28, 1986, and it remains one of my favorite albums of all time.

  4. I can also remember going to the record store on November 10, 1986 and seeing the big stacks of Springsteen Live: 1975-85. I got the five LP set and I still have it to this day. I liked it more that Matthew did, and I still do.

  5. And that was pretty much it for modern music. It was around this time that I started joking that I would only listen to music if at least one of the band members had died.

  6. In 1986, I went to see "Top Gun," "The Color Purple," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Rocky IV," "Spies Like Us," and "Pretty in Pink." Ferris Bueller is the only one of those movies I would watch now, although my kids hate it.