randal has it way easier having grown up in that polyester era known as the 70s as far as coming up with favorite albums from every year of his life. i found this slightly harder, considering that i don't listen to as much metal or new wave.
my dad once told me that the 80's were so bad he started listening to country and while my peers remember michael jackson in his heyday, i associate this era with bluegrass records and michael stipe.
1983 - U2 - war
U2 is one of those bands i got a lot of grief for liking in my younger days when the people i was hanging out with preferred black flag and crass. sure, henry rollins hates them, bono's talk about saving the whole world gets a little ridiculous, but these guys are one of the biggest bands in the world for a reason.
most political music from this era starts sounding a bit dated considering that ronald reagan is now deceased, but the first lp side of this album, with 'sunday bloody sunday,' 'seconds' and 'new year's day' does it for me every time.
1984 - minutemen - double nickels on the dime
short, jazzy, funny songs, and there's a lot of them. do you want new wave or do you want the truth?
1985 - camper van beethoven - telephone free landslide victory
because subcultural humor and taking the skinheads bowling never gets old. and driving around in the summer with this concoction of ska, eastern european folk instrumentals, stoner humor, and subcultural in-jokes. what it would sound like if the grateful dead and the dead milkmen had a baby. fantastic zappa-esque song titles too. as they would have said back then, "gnarly."
1986 - rem - life's rich pageant
my dad has been listening to REM for as long as i can remember, and this one gets the nod due to the inclusion of "fall on me" as one of the most beautiful songs ever written.
runner up - bad brains - i against i
1987 - U2 - joshua tree
a lot of this got overplayed, but this really is that good that U2 makes it on here twice. the overlooked second half with "in God's country" and the intense "exit" are just so good and i wish they'd play them live.
runner up: husker du - warehouse songs and stories,
1988 - jane's addiction - nothing's shocking
the album cover is tacky and perry/navarro are freaky, but this record is pretty darn epic. summertime rolls? beautiful.
1989 - de la soul 3 ft high and rising
de la soul just makes me smile, period. i probably would have started listening to hip-hop earlier if i was exposed to this instead of what the radio was churning out during my formative years.
the pixies - doolittle, the cure - disintegration