|Discovolante's Best of: 1984|
From the beginning of the year to the end, via the Sputnik release calendar.
Dukkuliser was a female new wave band from Iceland that proved to be highly groundbreaking for the time. Their straightforward, post punk sound proved to be very influential among Icelandic bands at time time, influencing countless female fronted/all female bands in their home country.
|2||The Leaving Trains|
Well Down Blue Highway
One of the biggest cult bands from the West coast, The Leaving Trains were around for over 20 years and released some quality albums during their run. One of their best releases was their 1984 debut "Well Down Blue Highway", which was an album that was both jangly and lively with a strong psychedelic tinge. A nice early indie rock gem.
Meat Puppets II
One of the biggest radical musical improvements, Meat Puppets went from a painfully mediocre hardcore band to a quirky indie rock band with tons of character. The first foray in this direction was their second album, appropriately titled "Meat Puppets II", which mixes surrealistic and sarcastic lyrics with a Western, off kilter sound. Blending alt country with early indie rock, Meat Puppets concoct a legendary offering which shows amazing evolution.
|4||Sun City Girls|
Sun City Girls
Taking heed from guys like The Residents, Sun City Girls emerged from Arizona during the late 70s and created some of the most discombobulated, batshit crazy and grim music of the 80s and early 90s. They made their debut in 1984 with their sardonic self-titled album, which pioneered numerous avant-garde techniques which were not yet widely used. Definitely one of the most unorthodox and "acquired tastes" on the list.
Cat Farm Faboo
Frightwig was a band that was around about 8 years too early. Their 1984 debut "Cat Farm Faboo" was specifically lightyears ahead of much of the underground music scene at the time. Infusing feministic lyrics and a lo-fi noise-punk sound, "Cat Farm Faboo" was an album that was practically the blueprint to riot grrrl.
All Part of Growing Up
Lost Cherrees were a band from the more artistic anarcho-punk subgenre that were unique even amongst that group. Their debut "All Part of Growing Up" mixes arthouse surrealism with an upbeat new wave kick, making it one of the best albums of the 80s anarcho scene by far.
Sleep It Off
Among the brash, anti-commercial sound that was no wave, Cristina was amongst the lone more accessible artists, having a more sophisti-pop sound than 99% of the other no wave artists. Her best moment by far was her second (and ultimately final) album "Sleep It Off", which was a mesmerizing blend of cuttingly pessimistic lyrics and misleadingly upbeat, yet always off-center, new wave instrumentation. A brilliant piece of art pop that should've been far bigger than it was.
Perhaps the album with the most divisiveness in The Cure's original album discography, their 1984 album "The Top" was a bold break away from their usual bleak post-punk sound, and instead explored genres which they would never experiment with again. Their most eclectic album to date, "The Top" is an album that continues to have a polarizing impact among their fanbase. Either you'll really like it, or you'll... not like it much... if at all lol.
Fistful of Metal
Although understandably not held up to the same standard as their later albums, "Fistful of Metal" is still one of the most revolutionary albums in mid 80s heavy metal by far.
The third album, and their last for 16 years, "Talk Show", originally had a lackluster reputation to it. Thankfully though, it has gained a worthy cult following for being an album chockful of memorable, quality pop ditties, despite the internal scarring it would cause.
Laurie Anderson really is an artist one has to respect, with the amount of ballsy extremely dense art pieces she orchestrated that became commercial successes, with perhaps her biggest moment being her 1982 single "O Superman". My personal favorite moment in her illustrious musical career, however, has to be her second album "Mister Heartbreak", which, while similar to the anticommercial attitude of her previous album "Big Science", manages to ever so slightly cross over to a more mainstream friendly, poppier sound, hitting a perfect balance in the process.
Thought of to be one of the first real hip hop masterpiece albums, Run-D.M.C. was quite literally bound for hip hop godliness right out the gate. Case-in-point being their simply amazing self-titled debut from 1984, which is rightfully so credited as one of, if not the, most influential and groundbreaking rap albums from the early days. It's impossible to single out a sole moment as being more impressive than others, a true game changer in not just rap music, but popular music in general.
The Spangle Maker
Although only three songs long, "The Spangle Maker" EP by Cocteau Twins is the stuff that really connects with the deepest banks of your musical consciousness. It also contains one of their greatest songs in their rather vast catalog "Pearly-Dewdrops' Drops", which is really more than enough for "The Spangle Maker" to be included on any best-of list, although the other two songs that make up the EP are in the same league of brilliance.
One of the top 5 greatest albums of all time, bar none.
An album, and actually a band, that was far ahead of its time, Scratch Acid was a band that predated the chaotic noisy post-hardcore that would be all so common in the underground music scene during the 90s by over a decade. Their debut EP in particular is widely regarded as their finest moment, which I absolutely agree with. Its vicious, wallowing sound brings you down to the pits of psychotic desperation, which can be indeed staggering. A stellar release that was way, way too far ahead of its time.
Largely known to be one of the earliest bands of Bjork, KUKL actually has a sound that goes beyond that association. As particularly shown on their 1984 debut album "The Eye", KUKL has a chaotic post-punk sound with heavy goth overtones, and is an incredibly underrated effort. It's also impressive to see Bjork herself do this sort of music, which she would never, ever do anything similar to again.
The first band on any of my best-of lists to be featured twice, Cocteau Twins' album "Treasure" is just... awesome. "Lorelei", man.
An album with a mixed legacy, indeed, Visage's third album "Beat Boy" has since developed a small cult following for its daring approach to go beyond the catchy gothy new wave that they were known for, into previously unexplored territory. An album you'll either appreciate or despise, really.
A hard rock classic.
Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac
Vast and overwhelming, Butthole Surfers' first full length continues to be one of the most beloved underground punk albums of all time.