Muzix
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Last Active 05-24-11 9:37 pm
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05.24.11 Muzix, 1985

Muzix, 1985
1The Jesus and Mary Chain
Psychocandy


Everyone reacts to the sonics of Psychocandy and Jesus & Mary Chain did manipulate feedback to create shoegaze music. What some forgot amid all the scenester hype is that straight up & bone dry Candy is the years best set of songs.
2Tom Waits
Rain Dogs


Waits isn't for everyone but Rain Dogs is perfect, the best way to figure out if you palette at all suits Tom's Howlin' Wolf via Beefheart inspired blues and cast of characters.
3Prefab Sprout
Steve McQueen


Sprout was my favorite discovery made while researching 1985. They were huge in England, never more than a college band here. However, they wrote pop songs on par with anyone of the period. Listen to the guitar interplay on Faron Young or Appetite's matter-of-fact affirming air and you'll know what I mean.
4 The Fall
This Nation's Saving Grace


I'm not going to pretend to having the Fall's prolific discography committed to memory because I don't. I just know this record is often cited as the place to start discovering this seminal band. It's easy to hear why. Besides well written, well worn songs what most comes oozing from this record is Mark E Smith's personality, and he happens to be someone you like to hang around.
5Rites of Spring
Rites of Spring


Before joining Fugazi, Guy Picciotto formed Rites of Spring, invented emo punk, broke up and severely resented being called emo punk. However, considering the degree to which the style, watered down though it is, has dominated the American rock landscape, its important to note anyway.
6Husker Du
New Day Rising


Minneapolis' Husker Du led the lo-fi punk scene of the mid-80s. You can tell a lot about a Du fan by whether they prefer this or Zen Arcade. On New Day Rising their songs have developed more and they weren't so dependant upon feral screaming. By the way, the feral screaming here is damn good too.
7 Dexys Midnight Runners
Don't Stand Me Down


It was largely ignored at the time. In Europe, the short sighted rock press who saw nothing wrong with suspending Kevin Rowland's creative license, dismissed it looking for another Too Rye Aye. Rowland himself said recording it was miserable but this many years later the record is regarded as Dexy's masterpiece.
8LL Cool J
Radio


It didn't have the same weight as Run DMCs Raising Hell or the run Public Enemy would have later in the decade but there is no denying the importance of L dropping Radio in '85. Sparse and minimal, old school milestones like this provide a reference and remind of the power rap wields when left to be what it is instead of overproduced, self-obsessed drek.
9The Pogues
Rum, Sodomy & The Lash


Like Tom Waits, the Pogues are an acquired taste. It helps if you're Irish or just grew up son to an innkeeper of the 19th century. After you get past the rough edges though and Shane McGowan's writing is able to peek through, you get it.
10Kate Bush
Hounds of Love


What would Lilith Fair be without Kate Bush? Tori Amos especially owes Kate a depth of gratitude. This was the first of Bush's dreamy, mystical records and the opener is a classic.
11Slayer
Hell Awaits


Reign In Blood is Slayer's unchallenged masterpiece. It's influence can be heard far outside of metal itself, appropriate since so did its influences. However within metal, especially extreme metal, it's importance is unrivalled inspiring the 2nd wave of black metal in equal measure as Venom, Celtic Frost and Bathory.
12a-ha
Hunting High and Low


A-ha never got very much respect but this is one of the premier synth pop albums of the decade. Years later, stars like Chris Martin of Coldplay sung Hunting High & Low's praises. It's more than the album with Take On Me. Every song is wonderful.
13The Waterboys
This Is The Sea
14Simply Red
Picture Book


Blue eyed soul in the 80s was Darryl Hall & and John Oates if you lived in America and Simply Red in England. This record was a pleasant surprise during my focus of '85. Holding Back The Years is the hit. The entire disc is a joy.
15Tears For Fears
Songs From The Big Chair


Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith's pop experiments hit their watermark on Big Chair. It's a more odd record than you remember. Album tracks like The Working Hour and Listen endure as well as the singles.
16Dire Straits
Brothers In Arms
17Possessed
Seven Churches


The creation of death metal as a subgenre is a pretty remarkable reason for inclusion but mostly this is here because it shreds with songs as lethal as its riffs. I wasn't listening to Possessed in 1985, I was 12, but if i had it would have scared the shit out of me.
18Arcadia
So Red The Rose


It's no reflection on them, but sans the Taylor brothers (not actually brothers) this is one of the best Duran Duran albums. Rhodes was never this daring again composing for synth and Le Bon's performance suggests he enjoyed the break from Duranie madness. Think of it as their Beatles For Sale, only they didn't following by changing pop music forever. It's an understated, yet ambitious, set from a band at the top trying new things.
19John Mellencamp
Scarecrow


In the early days John (Cougar) Mellencamp was a more accessable, less substantial Springsteen clone. Then Bon Jovi came along and Cougar became a poet laureate. Eh, the truth probably is somewhere in the middle. However, most agree this is his most significant album. It doesn' t have as many hits as Uh-huh or a titanic one like Jack & Diane, but that works to the record's advantage. Scarecrow is allowed to exist for what it is, an album instead of a delivery system for the latest quest of Casey Kasem supremecy, and in that context it soars.
20 The Cure
The Head on the Door
21 Propaganda
Secret Wish


I had no experience with Propaganda before researching 1985. This German synth-pop act takes the dire mid-eighters commitment to sophistication, however, beyond the lipstick and sour faces. Its pretentious as hell, of course, and doesn't have the immediacy of works like Arcadia's So Red the Rose, but I couldn't help wondering if the music here led Talk Talk to take their post-rock turn for the better the later half of their career and, subsequently, inspired the Bark Psychosis's and Disco Inferno's of the world.
22The Dead Milkmen
Big Lizard in My Backyard


Listening to this album, you don't know whether to be amused or mentally stimulated. Like a lot of college rock of the period (see the Mekons), it's protest music for wise asses.
23 The Chameleons
What Does Anything Mean? Basically
24 REM
Fables of the Reconstuction
25Green On Red
Gas Food Lodging


Cajun flavored trad rock of striking effectiveness, how has time forgotten these guys?
26Marillion
Misplaced Childhood


There is no denying that this record is piled higher with cheese than a Dimmu Borgir release. Additionally, Its a prog album about lost innocence which give it the further indignity of preciousness. However, Misplaced Childhood is so unabashed in its investment as to be uncompromising. One either has to concede they take themselves too seriously to be able to entertain such themes or relent to its charms with a knowing smile, and any piece of art that determined to illicit a cathartic response has to be worth something.
27The Replacements
Tim


Kind of the odd step-cousin fixed between family favorites, Pleased To Meet Me and Let It Be, Tim is often elevated beyond its true merit. It's a strong record in its own right that rides the coattails of proxy of better albums similar to how Piece of Mind does from Iron Maiden.
28Exodus
Bonded By Blood


The best thrash album not from one of the big 4, BbB sounds like a thrash record from 1985, which is to say, a hell of a lot it fun, and not in need of the silly rerecording what's left of the band offered up a couple years ago.
29Dead Can Dance
Spleen and Ideal


This is Dead Can Dance's best record and if I was doing a purely subjective list of favorite albums it would be much higher on this list. However, Dead Can Dance's importance to pop music stops pretty soon after the bands who wanted to be the next Dead Can Dance. Its funny how little of the greater rock consciousness includes a desire to mine the wisdom of past celtic farmers or Ottoman bishops, the common scabs...Bleh!
30The Mekons
Fear and Whiskey
31The Wake
Here Comes Everybody


Factory Records vets released a mess of singles before their album, which makes their inclusion in the recent reissue a boon and a bane to the release. There is literally no continuity between the singles and its clear that the album is its own animal unto itself, however, you'd be a fool to not want them both. So even if together they don't work together as a solidified program, they are welcomed in their adjoined state for practical reasons. As an aside, it is so blatantly apparent Wild Nothing are big fans.
32The Cult
Love


The Cult sure have aged well. They proved to be one of the decades most consistent bands. This is their first great record featuring their first great single, She Sells Sanctuary.
33The Legendary Pink Dots
Asylum


To the neophyte, there is no preparing you for a Pink Dots release. There might be no artist that is more unpredictable from album to album and its no source of solace that you have no experience with them yet to create a set of false expectation. Basically, this is an avant-pop band existing through the lens of the post-punk environment around it. However, from song to song, the ideas here are so realized yet erratic as to cause concern as to the mental well being of its authors.
34Katrina and the Waves
Katrina and the Waves


When KatW rerecorded the best material from their first two albums as power-pop instead of post- punk, it made all the difference. "Fine. Listen to sad bastard music, see if I care..."
35Stormtroopers of Death
Speak English or Die


When Scott Ian had studio time left over after completing Anthrax album, Spreading The Disease, SOD was born. Speak English or Die is the only album informed as to what was ridiculous about 1985 and happy being in on the joke. Ok, maybe The Dead Milkmen...
36Iron Maiden
Live After Death


Definitive mid-80's live document of one of metal's best ever bands. The only reason this is 36 and not 16 or even 6 is how sprawlingly intimidating it is. Basically an anthology of Iron Maiden's most fertile period, Live After Death never ends. And further, why all the dead space? We don't need preserved the minutes of crowd noise between songs. Even a condensing of songs to be included would have been welcome. Still, if you want a Maiden live record, your choice is an easy one, and as good as they still are, they never would be this powerful again.
37 The Hoodoo Gurus
Mars Needs Guitars!


While it didn't have highs of fellow countrymen, INXS, Mars Needs Guitars is actually more consistent than Listen Like Thieves. It's an unassuming but delightful indiepop record without a misstep anywhere, except for that album cover.
38The Alarm
Strength


It's so...urgent...uh..yeah urgent...i just want to, er...do something...exert my will...change the world just by virtue of it...we can do this people!!!!!!
39Yello
Stella


Yello hadn't even regarded album track, Oh Yeah, as a potential selling point, releasing Desire and Vicious Minds instead, but when it was selected for the soundtrack to hit film, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, they had their claim to fame. The rest of the album is campy Euro-cheese, of course, to our ears today, but Yello in fact was pretty important within the greater electronica community.
40INXS
Listen Like Thieves
41Phil Collins
No Jacket Required


Admittedly, much of NJR hasn't aged well. Of the singles, Take Me Home sounds the best today. For better or worse though few records capture the zeigiest of pop radio in 1985 better than No Jacket Required.
42Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston


The album itself is awful, but man, what and instrument.
43 The Eurythmics
Be Yourself Tonight
44Husker Du
Flip Your Wig


The lesser release in a prolific year from Minneapolis legend, Husker Du, this album probably would sound better if they hadn't also released New Day Rising.
45The Smiths
Meat Is Murder
46Pentagram
Pentagram/Relentless


The problem with doom acts between Black Sabbath and the 90s is that none of them added anything to the sludge between Black Sabbath and the 90s. That said, Pentagram is a killer band who stepped in to carry the flag while Sabbath was comparatively off its game. All the St. Vitus and Candlemass fans are gonna be mad at me now.
47Celtic Frost
To Mega Therion
48New Order
Low-life
49Killing Joke
Night Time
50 Robert Wyatt
Old Rottenhat
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