I Love the Eighties: My Top 100 Albums of 1989


Well, it has finally happened in a school distinct here in Indiana. A school shooting has happened. It is the school system from which my father graduated, is a major conference rival of the schools were I last taught and coached and is only a twenty-minute drive from here. Every time these school shootings happen, I get more and more pissed off at myself, my leaders, my elders and my generation for forcing our children, THE FUTURE and LEGACY of our country to continually suffer from the scars of this gun-obsessed culture. As a teacher, I weep. As a parent, I cry. As an American, “my hands are clenched in fits of rage” (my apologies to Don McLean, it just fits). I come from a family of responsible gun owners, but I have chosen not to own one, even though I know how to properly handle them, thanks to the tough teachings of my maternal uncle, God rest his soul. Yet, something must be done to correct this societal ill. The school’s mascot is a Miller, and I still have friends who teach and coach there. Beginning today, I urge everyone to be #MillerStrong in support of a hurting community. Okay, deep breath Keller! That’s enough of this crap! Let’s move on with what this blog is truly about – Rock Music. Specifically, the music of 1989.

5.25 Replacements - Don't Tell a Soul

1989 was an exciting year. First, it was the last year of the Eighties, which had always been exciting to me to face another decade coming to its end. Second, I began working on the classwork necessary to get my teaching license. Since this was during the days before people were being encouraged to obtain a Master’s Degree and Teacher’s License, I was working with Ball State, my alma mater, as to which classes to take at Miami of Ohio before I moved back to Indiana in order to transfer back to good ol’ Ball U. And, finally, as well as most excitedly, we had our younger son at the end of the school year. He was born while I was taking an education night class, so I was wearing a hospital-issued beeper (remember those?) so my wife could contact me if she went into labor while I was in class. Fortunately, #2, just as his brother did, waited until midnight on a Saturday morning to send his mother into labor. This time, she was technically admitted to the hospital for a whole seven minutes before giving birth to this mountain of a baby. I say this because there has been nothing petite about #2, except for his confidence, which we worked hard to improve. Needless to say, the young man is successful, holding onto a Master’s Degree and about to marry the love of his life whom he has dated since the end of their high school freshman year.

5.25 De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising

Many nutty things happened in 1989. Since we were living near Cincinnati, the news was all about Pete Rose’s gambling shenanigans, in addition to the protests over in China that were put to rest after military action. And, finally, my Batman was made into a movie, which jump-started the current superhero movie being released every six weeks, or less. And, yet, I am addicted to them, although they are no longer all must-see events in a theater. But, they remain must-owns in my Blu-Ray collection. Yes, I am a loser, but you probably surmised that.

5.25 Aerosmith - Pump

Anyway, rap and alternative music ruled my listening pleasures. The Beastie Boys grew up, put their frat boy, beer-swilling, party-going personas, grew up and created perhaps the greatest rap album of all-time, though at the time, it caught everyone by surprise and was a commercial disappointment. But, the whole project was so far ahead of the time, with layers and layers of samples, making it difficult to discern where the sample ended and the new music began, thus opening a whole new production technique to the genre that we still find Kanye trying to catch up with. Also, a new rap group, De La Soul, burst on the scene, showing us that samples from Hall & Oates and Steely Dan could be turned into funky hip hop tunes.

5.25 Faith No More - The Real Thing

On the alternative side, The Cure and Love & Rockets, two goth punk bands from the UK, toned down the noise and scored Top Ten singles. I really thought one of my favorite alternative bands, The Replacements, would follow R.E.M. into commercial success with their 1989 album Don’t Tell a Soul, but I was wrong…again! Finally, an innovative band of college kids from Boston, Pixies, released their seminal Doolittle album which would never lead the band to commercial success but would influence an unknown Seattle band’s sound that would eventually rule the world for a short time in the Nineties, as Nirvana would openly copy their sound from the Pixies. And, speaking of Nirvana, their great debut album, Bleach, was released on a public who only wanted the latest Poison-copycat band’s music.

5.25 SRV - In Step

Oh, sure, we still had teenybopper music; tired, partied-out hair metal tunes and some last gasps from some classic rock giants (Paul McCartney, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper and Billy Joel), but the year truly did belong to the burgeoning rap and alternative scenes. And, MTV was once again playing a role in these genre’s success with their seminal programs Yo! MTV Raps and 120 Minutes.

5.25 The Cult - Sonic Temple

Well, let’s take a look at the music that I like, which is probably different from you, which is why opinions on music, politics and the like are so much fun. Everyone brings a different perspective. You just gotta respect each other.

5.25 1.Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique

5.25 2.Pixies - Doolittle

  1. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
  2. Pixies – Doolittle
  3. Bob Mould – Workbook
  4. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
  5. Fine Young Cannibals – The Raw & the Cooked
  6. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814
  7. Madonna – Like a Prayer
  8. Tom Petty – Full Moon Fever
  9. The B-52’s – Cosmic Thing
  10. De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
  11. The Replacements – Don’t Tell a Soul
  12. The Cure – Disintegration
  13. Tears for Fears – The Seeds of Love
  14. Simply Red – A New Flame
  15. Don Henley – The End of the Innocence
  16. Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time
  17. Faith No More – The Real Thing
  18. Neneh Cherry – Raw like Sushi
  19. Nirvana – Bleach
  20. Elvis Costello – Spike
  21. Paul McCartney – Flowers in the Dirt
  22. Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
  23. New Order – Technique
  24. Neil Young – Freedom
  25. XTC – Oranges and Lemons
  26. King’s X – Gretchen Goes to Nebraska
  27. EPMD – Unfinished Business
  28. Boogie Down Productions – Ghetto Music: The Blueprint of Hip Hop
  29. Mötley Crüe – Feelgood
  30. Kate Bush – The Sensual World
  31. Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule
  32. The The – Mind Bomb
  33. The Cult – Sonic Temple
  34. The Smithereens – 11
  35. Love & Rockets – Love & Rockets
  36. Tone-Lōc – Lōc-ed After Dark
  37. Bangles – Everything
  38. The Rolling Stones – Steel Wheels
  39. Roy Orbison – Mystery Girl
  40. Prince – Batman
  41. 10,000 Maniacs – Blind Man’s Zoo
  42. Jody Watley – Larger Than Life
  43. Bob Dylan – Oh Mercy
  44. UB40 – Labour of Love II
  45. Aerosmith – Pump
  46. Enuff Z’Nuff – Enuff Z’Nuff
  47. 2 Live Crew – As Nasty as They Wanna Be
  48. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Automatic
  49. Skid Row – Skid Row
  50. The Tragically Hip – Up to Here
  51. The Someloves – Something or Other
  52. Soundgarden – Louder Than Love
  53. Lisa Stansfield – Affection
  54. Queen – The Miracle
  55. Alannah Myles – Alannah Myles
  56. Depeche Mode – 101
  57. Eurythmics – We Two Are One
  58. Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Step
  59. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Mother’s Milk
  60. Billy Joel – Storm Front
  61. John Cougar Mellencamp – Big Daddy
  62. Ice-T – The Iceberg/Freedom of Speech…Just Watch What You Say
  63. 3rd Bass – The Cactus Album
  64. Terence Trent D’Arby – Neither Fish nor Flesh
  65. Phish – Junta
  66. Camper Van Beethoven – Key Lime Pie
  67. Peter Murphy – Deep
  68. Chris Isaak – Heart-Shaped World
  69. Quincy Jones – Back on the Block
  70. Tracy Chapman – Crossroads
  71. David Byrne – Rei Momo
  72. The Jungle Brothers – Done by the Forces of Nature
  73. Biz Markie – The Biz Never Sleeps
  74. Queen Latifah – All Hail the Queen
  75. Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. One (aka ‘Keep on Movin’’)
  76. John Lee Hooker – The Healer
  77. Trip Shakespeare – Are You Shakespearienced?
  78. Melissa Etheridge – Brave and Crazy
  79. Lou Reed – New York
  80. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate
  81. Technotronic – Pump Up the Jam: The Album
  82. Van Morrison – Avalon Sunset
  83. Lyle Lovett – Lyle Lovett and His Large Band
  84. Ministry – The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste
  85. Mudhoney – Mudhoney
  86. Big Daddy Kane – It’s a Big Daddy Thing
  87. Heavy D & the Boyz – Big Tyme
  88. The Neville Brothers – Yellow Moon
  89. Indigo Girls – Indigo Girls
  90. Babyface – Tender Lover
  91. Chris Rhea – The Road to Hell
  92. The DOC – No One Can Do It Better
  93. Urban Dance Squad – Mental Floss for the Globe
  94. Young MC – Stone Cold Rhymin’
  95. Cher – Heart of Stone
  96. LL Cool J – Walking with a Panther
  97. Alice Cooper – Trash
  98. MC Lyte – Eyes on This
  99. Debbie Gibson – Electric Youth
  100. Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know It’s True

5.25 New Order - Technique

5.25 Enuff Z'Nuff - ST

So, that’s the last year of the Eighties. Shortly, I will give you my wrap up of the Eighties, then I promise to go back to reviewing albums. This is a holiday weekend in the States, as we celebrated Memorial Day, a day to think about the loved ones who served in the military and lost their lives, as well a day to remember all of our lost loved ones. Peace to you all.

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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