Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Top 10 Favorite Albums of 1986

1986 was a magical year for me.  It was the year of Alternative an Punk discovery while still grounded in Metal and Hip-Hop.  Some of my favorite albums of all time were released this year.  Some are favorites for sentimental reasons.  Regardless, it was a magical year for music in general.

Depeche Mode / Black Celebration - This is my favorite Depeche Mode album.  Ironically, it was the last one I purchased.  I owned most of the 12" singles from the album before I owned the actual album.  That makes sense as most of their 12" remixes are better than the album versions.  This album is dark, beautiful, depressing, and dance-able all at once.  With the exception of one or two tracks it is solid all the way through.  I spent a lot of time alone with this album. Can you say. "Teenage Alienation"?

The Smiths /  The Queen Is Dead - I was introduced to this album by my 11th grade English teacher, of all people.  He made a copy of it for me and then ridiculed me for not knowing who The Smiths were.  I still have the cassette today.  Not because of the sentimental value.  It is because I am a pack rat.

This album had me from the opening track.  I have owned this album in every format.  It is timeless.

Siouxsie & The Banshees / Tinderbox - A girl that I really liked in High School had lent me this cassette.  I must have REALLY liked her because I can't believe I gave it back!  It was my introduction to Siouxie Sioux.  The atmosphere of 'Cities in Dust' along with her chilling vocals was fitting for my brooding teenage years.  Although I celebrate their entire catalog this still remains my favorite to date.

New Order / Brotherhood - This album was the soundtrack to my John Hughes life.  With all of the musical outlets to be dark and moody this album made you move.  It made you feel alive.  It was the precursor to  my life of drugs.  I can only imagine had I discovered this during that stage.

Metallica / Master of Puppets - This album was a life changer.  Sure, I was in the adolescent stage to brooding but I was rooted in metal and I still had anger.  This married classical, metal, and punk into a classic barrage.  If ever I need inspiration I turn to this album.  It makes me wonder what might have been if Cliff was still here.

The Cure / Standing on a Beach - This compilation is as good as any primer for any band out there.  Poppy, gloomy, and gothic it hits all the The Cure's eras throughout their career up until this point.  It was just enough to get me ready for 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me'.  There were something about girls that liked The Cure at this point in time...

Van Halen / 5150 - I remember how excited I was when I found out that Sammy Hagar was fronting Van Halen.  I was already a big fan.  This album really combined the best of both worlds.  It just screams summer.  Although my favorite track at the time of its release was 'Dreams' it has shifted to '5150' these days.

Crowded House / Crowded House - 'Don't Dream It's Over' was played to death when this came out.   What clinched me buying it though was knowing it contained members of Split Endz.  Even still, I was surprised just how strong the rest of this debut album was.  They have moments on their follow up albums but none of them really ever captured the magic of this release.

A-Ha / Scoundrel Days- Sure, you know the falsetto squelch of 'Take On Me' but can you name anything else?  Then shame on you.  There is a reason why this trio continued to put out music until 2010 with a loyal fan base.  That reason is that they continued to make good music.  This album may not have had the same airplay but it was just as strong as their debut.

Beastie Boys / License to Ill - I had already known of the Beastie Boys by the time of the release.  Lady B would play 'Beastie Groove' on her Beat Street show and I would check the record store every week looking for an album.  It blended rock, rap, and a sense of humor unlike anything else at the time.  Although it quickly became a frat boy anthem it still stands up today.  Every track is a classic.

Honorable Mention: Genesis / Invisible Touch - I know, I know.  But who DIDN'T have this album at my age. It didn't matter what kind of music you listened to, there was something on this album for everyone.  I even saw them on this tour.  Going back to it today it comes off a little cheesy in parts but it's hard to dent good memories.  Except for the video for 'Land of Confusion'.  Those puppets are creepy!

See you when the needle drops.


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