A Long Listmaking Exercise For A Long Weekend

Jul 3rd, 2008 // 63 Comments

toys.jpgToday’s list that’s going around some blogs that I read: List the albums you like most from each year that you’ve been alive. It sounds simple, right? But in making a list like this, you realize things about yourself, like how Aerosmith’s peak for me came right around the year I was born, even though I didn’t really hear them until many years later. And how 2004 was something of a weak year for my personal canon, while 1989 was a really huge year for it, one where I had to pick between Like A Prayer, Doolittle, Cocked & Loaded, Full Moon Fever, and the album I finally wound up selecting. Anyway, peruse my list after the jump–Anthony made one too–and feel free to pick mine apart/make your own, although I should warn you that it took me a while to do. (I’m usually loath to use Wikipedia as a source, but its lists of album releases were helpful to cross-reference with Amazon, as were the Pazz & Jop rundowns on Robert Christgau’s site.) If people enjoy this exercise, maybe we’ll do singles lists next week! Or, hell, runners-up lists, since some of these “best” decisions were a lot harder than others.

1975 – Aerosmith, Toys In The Attic
1976 – Aerosmith, Rocks
1977 – Wire, Pink Flag
1978 – Van Halen
1979 – The Raincoats
1980 – Various artists, Wanna Buy A Bridge? comp
1981 – Motley Crue, Too Fast For Love
1982 – Michael Jackson, Thriller
1983 – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Dazzle Ships
1984 – Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
1985 – The Jesus & Mary Chain, Psychocandy
1986 – Janet Jackson, Control
1987 – Guns N’ Roses, Appetite For Destruction
1988 – Pixies, Surfer Rosa
1989 – Faith No More, The Real Thing
1990 – Mother Love Bone, Apple

(This is the point where things started getting tough, like three-solid-contenders-per-year tough.)

1991 – Soundgarden, Badmotorfinger
1992 – Unrest, Imperial ffrr
1993 – Afghan Whigs, Gentlemen
1994 – Pram, Helium
1995 – Helium, The Dirt Of Luck
1996 – Olivia Tremor Control, Music From The Unrealized Film Script Dusk At Cubist Castle
1997 – Built To Spill, Perfect From Now On
1998 – Pulp, This Is Hardcore

(Here the toughness subsides. Draw your own conclusions as to why.)

1999 – Mr. Bungle, California
2000 – PJ Harvey, Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea
2001 – Aveo, Bridge To The Northern Lights
2002 – Ikara Colt, Chat And Business
2003 – S Prcss, MNML
2004 – Dogs Die In Hot Cars, Please Describe Yourself
2005 – Celebration
2006 – Scritti Politti, White Bread, Black Beer
2007 – Siobhan Donaghy, Ghosts
2008 – Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Vol. 1

A thing to do. [bg5000]

  1. dippinkind

    late to the party, but im not gonna pass up any chance to make a list of albums, so…
    1968: 1910 Fruitgum Co. – Goody Goody Gumdrops
    1969: The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground
    1970: Led Zeppelin – Led Zeppelin III
    1971: John Prine – John Prine
    1972: Sparks – A Woofer in Tweeter’s Clothing
    1973 : Neu – Neu 2
    1974 : Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
    1975 : The Dictators – Go Girl Crazy !
    1976 : Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers – Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers
    1977 : Wire – Pink Flag
    1978 : Sham 69 – Tell Us The Truth
    1979 : Devo – Duty Now For The Future
    1980 : Kid Creole and the Coconuts – Off the Coast of Me
    1981 : Heaven 17 – Penthouse and Pavement
    1982 : Altered Images – Pinky Blue
    1983 : The Monochrome Set – Volume, Contrast, Brilliance
    1984 : Husker Du – Zen Arcade
    1985: Tex and the Horseheads – Life’s So Cool
    1986: Flipper – Public Flipper Limited
    1987 : Prince – Sign ‘o the Times
    1988 : Dinosaur – Bug
    1989 : Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
    1990 : Yo La Tengo – Fakebook
    1991 : Pegboy – Strong Reaction
    1992 : Heavenly – Le Jardin de Heavenly
    1993 : Tiger Trap – Tiger Trap
    1994 : Notorious B.I.G. – Ready To Die
    1995 : The 6ths – Wasps’ Nests
    1996 : The Frogs – My Daughter The Broad
    1997 : Ui – Lifelike
    1998 : Aislers Set – Terrible Things Happen
    1999 : Dolly Parton – The Grass Is Blue
    2000 : Alsace Lorraine – Through Small Windows
    2001 : Andrew W.K. – I Get Wet
    2002 : Ellery Eskelin with Andrea Parkins and Jim Black – 12 (+1) Imaginary Views
    2003 : The Majesticons – Beauty Party
    2004 : Pan Sonic – Kesto
    2005 : M.I.A. – Arular
    2006 : Leichtmetall – Wire Sind Blumen
    2007 : Pine Hill Haints – Ghost Dance

  2. friendslikeJimRome

    @dippinkind: 1999 Dolly Parton? WTF? Did you go on a canoing trip and get kidnapped or something?

  3. Kate Richardson

    @friendslikeJimRome: Pack your stuff and get out.

  4. dippinkind

    @friendslikeJimRome: it might be her bes album ever and i still listen to it all the time, as should all right-thinkin people who like a little bluegrass and/or dolly’s sweet voice. wake up, son!

  5. friendslikeJimRome

    @Kate Richardson: Chill, I happen to like country and country rock a lot. Just surprised to see Dolly on a list that is mostly very similar to a list I would make. When I think of Dolly Parton singing, the only thing that comes to my mind is “Working Nine to Five.”

  6. dippinkind

    @friendslikeJimRome: yeah, that album is way better than 9 to 5, you should really give it a listen sometime

  7. Anonymous

    1983- R.E.M.: Murmur
    1984- Husker Du: Zen Arcade
    1985- Husker Du: Flip Your Wig
    1986- Smiths: Queen is Dead
    1987- Go-Betweens: Tallulah
    1988- Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation
    1989- Beastie Boys: Paul’s Boutique
    1990- Public Enemy: Fear of a Black Planet
    1991- De La Soul: Is Dead
    1992- Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted
    1993- Nirvana: In Utero
    1994- Blur: Parklife
    1995- Pavement: Wowee Zowee
    1996- Sleater-Kinney: Call the Doctor
    1997- Elliott Smith: Either/Or
    1998- Refused: Shape of Punk to Come
    1999- Sleater-Kinney: Hot Rock
    2000- Modest Mouse: Moon & Antarctica
    2001- Avalanches: Since I Left You
    2002- Mr. Lif: I Phantom
    2003- Blood Brothers: Burn, Piano Island, Burn
    2004- Arcade Fire: Funeral
    2005- Kanye West: Late Registration
    2006- Ghostface Killah: Fishscale

    Strongest Years: 2003, 1997, 1993, 1987
    Weakest Years: 2001, 1998, 1995, 1985

    Toughest Omissions: Let It Be, Songs About Fucking, Blue Lines, Rid Of Me, Le Tigre, Relationship of Command, White Blood Cells, Source Tags and Codes, Decoration Day, Madvillainy

    Albums that make me wanna be older: Blonde on Blonde, Velvet Underground and Nico, Sweetheart of the Rodeo, Blue, Radio City, Songs in the Key of Life, Entertainment, London Calling, B-52s, Dirty Mind

  8. Chris N.

    1972 Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St.
    1973 Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
    1974 Kiss – Kiss
    1975 Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti
    1976 Kiss – Rock and Roll Over
    1977 Pink Floyd – Animals
    1978 Elvis Costello and the Attractions – This Year’s Model
    1979 Pink Floyd – The Wall
    1980 AC/DC – Back in Black
    1981 Prince – Controversy
    1982 Prince – 1999
    1983 The Police – Synchronicity
    1984 Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
    1985 John Mellencamp – Scarecrow
    1986 Peter Gabriel – So
    1987 Prince – Sign o’ the Times
    1988 Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
    1989 Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
    1990 Public Enemy – Fear of a Black Planet
    1991 Metallica – Metallica
    1992 Alice in Chains – Dirt
    1993 Pearl Jam -Vs.
    1994 Soundgarden – Superunknown
    1995 Garbage – Garbage
    1996 Tori Amos – Boys for Pele
    1997 Ani DiFranco – Living in Clip
    1998 Elvis Costello with Burt Bacharach – Painted from Memory
    1999 Robbie Williams – The Ego Has Landed
    2000 Pearl Jam – Binaural
    2001 Bob Dylan – “Love and Theft”
    2002 Dixie Chicks – Home
    2003 Anthrax – We’ve Come for You All
    2004 William Shatner – Has Been
    2005 M.I.A. – Arular
    2006 Dixie Chicks – Taking the Long Way
    2007 Little Big Town – A Place to Land
    2008 Jamey Johnson – That Lonesome Song

  9. jaymc

    Oh what the hell.

    1979 Michael Jackson, “Off the Wall”
    1980 Steely Dan, “Gaucho”
    1981 Kraftwerk, “Computer World”
    1982 Donald Fagen, “The Nightfly”
    1983 Philip Glass, “Koyaanisqatsi”
    1984 Prince, “Purple Rain”
    1985 The Cure, “Staring at the Sea: The Singles”*
    1986 XTC, “Skylarking”
    1987 Fleetwood Mac, “Tango in the Night”
    1988 Sonic Youth, “Daydream Nation”
    1989 The Pixies, “Doolittle”
    1990 The Sundays, “Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic”
    1991 Talk Talk, “Laughing Stock”
    1992 Pavement, “Slanted and Enchanted”
    1993 Digable Planets, “Reachin’: A New Refutation of Time and Space”
    1994 Pavement, “Crooked Rain Crooked Rain”
    1995 Sonic Youth, “Washing Machine”
    1996 Tortoise, “Millions Now Living Will Never Die”
    1997 Stereolab, “Dots and Loops”
    1998 Tortoise, “TNT”
    1999 Sleater-Kinney, “The Hot Rock”
    2000 Tara Jane O’Neil, “Peregrine”
    2001 Life Without Buildings, “Any Other City”
    2002 Interpol, “Turn on the Bright Lights”
    2003 OutKast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”
    2004 Erlend Oye, “DJ Kicks”
    2005 Kelley Polar, “Love Songs of the Hanging Gardens”
    2006 Girl Talk, “Night Ripper”
    2007 Field Music, “Tones of Town”

    *cheating a bit since this technically wasn’t released until early 1986, but it’s a comp that covers 1979-85, and I really couldn’t find any other candidates

  10. jaymc

    Oh, and 2008 = Hercules and Love Affair

  11. D.R. Mosby

    Rip Van Winkle checking in…

    1965 The Beatles – Rubber Soul
    1966 The Beatles – Revolver
    1967 The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico
    1968 Elvis Presley – NBC-TV Special
    1969 The Beatles – Abbey Road
    1970 The Beatles – Let It Be
    1971 Yes – Fragile
    1972 Roxy Music – Roxy Music
    1973 Bruce Springsteen – The Wild, the Innocent and the E Street Shuffle
    1974 Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)
    1975 Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
    1976 The Modern Lovers – The Modern Lovers
    1977 Steely Dan – Aja
    1978 Pere Ubu – The Modern Dance
    1979 Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures
    1980 XTC – Black Sea
    1981 The Teardrop Explodes – Wilder
    1982 X – Under the Big Black Sun
    1983 Echo and the Bunnymen – Porcupine
    1984 Julian Cope – World Shut Your Mouth
    1985 The Smiths – Meat is Murder
    1986 XTC – Skylarking
    1987 Microdisney – Crooked Mile
    1988 Morrissey – Viva Hate
    1989 The Blue Nile – Hats
    1990 Cocteau Twins – Heaven Or Las Vegas
    1991 The Jazz Butcher – Condition Blue
    1992 XTC – Nonsuch
    1993 The Fall – The Infotainment Scan
    1994 The Fall – Middle Class Revolt
    1995 Ben Folds Five – Ben Folds Five
    1996 The Blue Nile – Peace at Last
    1997 Ben Folds Five – Whatever and Ever Amen
    1998 New Radicals – Maybe You’ve Been Brainwashed Too
    1999 The Dismemberment Plan – Emergency & I
    2000 Cathal Coughlan – Black River Falls
    2001 The Dismemberment Plan – Change
    2002 Interpol – Turn on the Bright Lights
    2003 The Fall – The Real New Fall LP (Formerly Country on the Click)
    2004 The Hold Steady – Almost Killed Me
    2005 The Hold Steady – Separation Sunday
    2006 The Hold Steady – Boys and Girls in America
    2007 Nicole Atkins – Neptune City

  12. Anonymous

    Um, yeah. So it’s only been FOUR MONTHS since the last post, but I simply can’t resist the concept. I don’t care if I’m the equivalent of a tree falling in an empty forest.

    1980: Remain In Light (Talking Heads)
    1981: Ghost In The Machine (The Police)
    1982: Thriller (Michael Jackson)
    1983: Texas Flood (Stevie Ray Vaughan)
    1984: Like A Virgin (Madonna)
    1985: Brothers In Arms (Dire Straits)
    1986: So (Peter Gabriel)
    1987: The Joshua Tree (U2)
    1988: Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 (Traveling Wilburys)
    1989: Disintegration (The Cure)
    1990: Ragged Glory (Neil Young)
    1991: Achtung Baby (U2)
    1992: Erotica (Madonna)
    1993: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (Sarah McLachlan)
    1994: Definitely Maybe (Oasis)
    1995: Garbage (Garbage)
    1996: Sheryl Crow (Sheryl Crow)
    1997: The Colour And The Shape (Foo Fighters)
    1998: Before These Crowded Streets (Dave Matthews Band)
    1999: Play (Moby)
    2000: Breach (The Wallflowers)
    2001: Beautifulgarbage (Garbage)
    2002: Heathen (David Bowie)
    2003: Speakerboxxx / The Love Below (OutKast)
    2004: How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (U2)
    2005: Souls Alike (Bonnie Raitt)
    2006: I’m Not Dead (Pink)
    2007: Little Voice (Sara Bareilles)
    2008: Stop Drop And Roll!!! (Foxboro Hottubs)

  13. helly hansen

    Nina, wow you speak lots of useless words.

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