Is There Anyone In Music Who Doesn’t Wish It Was 1989?

Is There Anyone In Music Who Doesn’t Wish It Was 1989?

Are they for real? Assuming he doesn’t still think Donnie et al are still in their teens, the only reason he’d team up with a group he wouldn’t have been caught dead with 20 years ago is that he really misses 20 years ago. And it seems he’s not alone. We’ve got Sonic Youth filling most to all of their sets with Daydream Nation, Public Enemy taking a nation of millions back in time, Dinosaur Jr. reunited, R.E.M. showing off a drummer, My Bloody Valentine acting like ain’t a damn thing changed, Lloyd and Lil’ Wayne sampling “Ashley’s Roachclip,” and Pretty Ricky rocking giant shoulderpads. While it’s no news that nostalgia can run in twenty-year loops, it’s possible that no one who pushed product back in the day, and is still trying to do so now, wouldn’t mind hearing it was 1989 again. Are any artists actually in a better state now than they were then? I could think of very, very few.

1. Green Day


American Idiot is their biggest album since Dookie, so the boys probably aren’t ready to get back in touch with their inner Gillman St. An Operation Ivy reunion, though? With Rancid now stuck with the drummer from the Used, that shit could happen tomorrow.

2. U2


On a relative scale, that post-Rattle & Hum period was a bit icky. Not that most bands today wouldn’t be happy to have been in their cowboy hats.

3. Kid Rock


Oh sure, “All Summer Long” is nostalgic. But not for this.

Beyond that, I’m at a loss! Even old bands with comeback albums like Motley Crue and Def Leppard were still doing better in ’89! Journey was on hiatus, but Neal Schon was still making hit ballads with Bad English! Don Henley may not have had the Eagles, but he had The End Of The Innocence! Rod Stewart could do what he wanted, and Janet could rely on the Rhythm Nation. Neil Young may be proud of Living With War, but it’s not “Rockin’ In The Free World.” Elvis Costello had “Veronica,” Paul Westerberg had “I’ll Be You,” Donna Summer had “This Time I Know It’s For Real.” Rattle & Hum was only barely a flop, but I just cannot think of an act that did worse but is doing fine now. Can you think of a veteran artist today who can say they are in a better state, commercially and artistically, than they were in 1989?

Michael Jackson Plans Comeback With New Kids On The Block [Showbiz Spy]
Green Day live @ Paint Factory 1989 prt1 [YouTube]
Siskel & Ebert review “Rattle & Hum” [YouTube]
Kid Rock – Yo Da Lin In The Valley [YouTube]