Friday, May 6, 2022

The Music of 1987

1987 was a fun year for music.  I pretty much spent all my extra money on music that year so a lot of fun stuff.  

Albums I Listen to Today

1. Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me by The Cure.  This was an immediate favorite for me.

2. Wildflowers by Watermelon Men.  This album is better than Past, Present and Future from 1985.

3. Poetic Champions Compose by Van Morrison.  This was a go to album for my wife and I in 1998-99.

4. Reunion Wilderness by The Railway Children.  I still enjoy these albums today and I'll never understand why they didn't get say as big of following as a Big Country or Sundays. 

5. In My Tribe by 10,000 Maniacs.  Just a great album.  

6. Louder Than Bombs by The Smiths.  This is the first Smiths album I bought new when it came out.  

7. Tunnel of Love by Bruce Springsteen.  It's the last Springsteen album I ever bought and when I bought it I wasn't sure what I thought of it.  Now it's really the only one I ever put on to listen to from start to finish. 

8. The Lion and the Cobra by Sinead O'Connor.  O'Connor I think made some very good albums after this debut, but I think it's the best thing she ever did.  Every so often I'll get in the mood for her and put this album on. 

9. Nathalie Archangel by Nathalie Archangel.  One of those rare great finds at Cut Corner Records in 1987.  This is a great album that has held up really well.  

10. Strangeways, Here We Come by The Smiths.  This was a big play for me in 1988.

Albums I No Longer Listen to Today

11. Document by R.E.M.  This is the last R.E.M album I ever bought. 

12. The Joshua Tree by U2.  Easily my album of the year from 1987 and the last U2 album I ever bought.  See a trend here?

13. Back to Basics by Billy Bragg.  I still go to this album all the time, but never to listen to from start to finish.  If you are going to own any Billy Bragg this is the album to own.  

14. Engine by American Music Club.  I was so into this album from 1987 to 1988 drove my roommate nuts.  

15. Through the Looking Glass by Siouxsie and the Banshees.  Tinderbox was the peak for Siouxsie.

16. She Was Only a Grocer's Daughter by The Blow Monkeys.  My roommate really liked this album.

17. Sign 'O' the Times by Prince.  I bought this album and copied it onto cassette and then listened to it for the first time driving home after my first year of college.  

18. Sister by Sonic Youth.  I came upon this album about 3 years later.

19. Substance by New Order.  If you are going to own a New Order album this is the one since it is a collection of their singles, and for me New Order was always about their singles. 

20. Music For the Masses by Depeche Mode.  The last Depeche Mode album I ever bought. 

21. Solitude Standing by Suzanne Vega.  For me nothing she did was ever as good as her first album. 

22. The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death by The Housemartins.  A fun album at the time. 

23. Dead Letter Office by R.E.M.  I really enjoyed this album back in 1987. 

24. Midnight to Midnight by The Psychedelic Furs.  This was all about one song, "Heartbreak Beat."

25. Into the Woods by The Call.  I'm pretty sure playing playing "I Don't Wanna" really loud one night got the cops called to our apartment. 

26. Jody Watley by Jody Watley.  I really liked "Looking For a New Love."

27. Chris Isaak by Chris Isaak.  I bought this album around 1998 or so after buying Forever Blue and really liking it. 


  1. I still listen to The Joshua Tree and Tunnel of Love. Document is, and remains, one of my favorite albums of all time. But I spent most of 1987 listening to classic rock and this was when I really started to learn the history of pop music.

  2. In the summer of 1987, I went to see Dan Ackroyd's version of Dragnet, and I saw the re-release of Snow White. And I think that was about it for that summer at the movies.

  3. Looking back on everything, I now think that the 1980's lasted from Reagan's debate with Carter until Magic Johnson's hook shot to beat the Celtics in Game Four of the 1987 Finals.

  4. Also, in 1987 I read every detective novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, and I started reading G.K. Chesterton. Those developments launched an interest in British history and literature prior to World War II that eventually had a huge impact on my thinking.

  5. Sometime 1989 or 1990, Billy Bragg gave a concert in New Haven, Connecticut, and I went to see him in Matthew's honor. He was fantastic, and I've always been very happy that I saw that show.

  6. I don't know why I so enjoy the experience of being able to pinpoint where I was and what I was doing on a particular date in the past, but I SO ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE OF BEING ABLE TO PINPOINT WHERE I WAS AND WHAT I WAS DOING ON A PARTICULAR DATE IN THE PAST ...

  7. On the evening of Friday, Sept. 11, 1987, I rode with two WKU friends in a Honda Civic hatch from Bowling Green to Louisville. We listened to Document over and over and over again, and I remember sitting in the backseat thinking about how I couldn't imagine wanting to ever again listen to anything by Bruce Springsteen, U2, The Who or anyone else when I could instead be listening to "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)." ...

  8. So then we got to Fern Creek and the house of the one guy's parents where we were staying for the weekend. (Can't remember what we went up there for. But I did eventually end up buying a Honda Civic--but a sedan, not the hatch--from the guy's dad, and that was a great car.) We flipped on the TV in the basement where the other guy and I would be sleeping, and the MTV Video Music Awards program was on the air. Maybe it was just starting. They announced that Prince would be performing, and the other guy got so excited to see him ...

  9. I was starting to soften on Prince. I had definitively resisted him when we were at Heath. I thought he seemed silly and effeminate, and I didn't want to get associated with either of those two things at all. But then I went off to WKU and was trying on new versions of myself, and there was so much 1999 and Purple Rain being played at dance parties. I was an English minor, and I was smoking clove cigarettes, and I had taken 100-level religion and philosophy intro classes, and I was meeting all sorts of new people. I had quit ragging on Prince and scanning away when he turned up on the radio ...

  10. Then Prince came out and did this, and suddenly I couldn't imagine wanting to ever again listen to "It's the End of the World As We Know It" or anything else by R.E.M. or anyone else.