Top 40 – A Retrospective – 1989

When I’ve been compiling and researching (because yes, I have to look stuff up — any responsible music journalist should) every once in a while I’m surprised when I search through the list of albums released in a certain year and find that, to my tastes, there was very little to choose from. 1989 was such a year for me.

Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever

Other than Damn the Torpedoes, this may be Tom Petty’s most recognizable album. Look at the track listing and if you’ve even ever turned on a radio or watched a movie, you’ve heard 60% of the songs on here.

The Cure – Disintegration

According to Kyle from South Park, this is the best album ever.

It’s definitely on my top 10-ish. It’s so cinematic and large. To give you an idea of that, I’m not going to play one of the singles, but rather, the opener. Just close your eyes and crank this up to full volume if you can and let it wash over you.

Peter Gabriel – Passion

After SO, Peter Gabriel really started getting involved with World Music, and experimenting with sounds from Africa and the Middle East. This soundtrack for the film The Last Temptation of Christ is one of my favourite ambient albums. I think I’ll put it on right now.

Neil Young – Freedom

Neil Young returns with a vengeance, with his best album since Rust Never Sleeps. LOUD LOUD LOUD guitars. On the tour, Sonic Youth opened up for him, playing a lot of noise. He gets pretty abusive with both his lyrics and of his poor amplifiers. You’ve heard Rockin’ in the Free World of course, but Eldorado will always be my favourite from this record.

NIN – Pretty Hate Machine

Speaking of noisy….. I’ll admit, I didn’t really get into NIN until about ’95 when I saw the film Se7en, and that opening sequence with the remix of Closer freaked the hell out of me. Since then I’ve been a huge fan. If you’re at work, don’t play this. If you’re at home, crank it LOUD.



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