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Dan Mitchell
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7 of the most 'Essential" albums of the 80's

Imagine that you could only have 7 albums from the 80's...what would they be?  What types of music would be represented in your limited but "Essential" collection?  Tonight on "The List" I made my choice for those 7 albums; Murmur-R.E.M.-When I first heard Radio Free Europe in 1983 It was hard to understand what the heck Michael Stipe was singing.  The sound of the band absolutely captivated me and I looked forward to each subsequent release with anticipation of an evolving, socially relevant, and little did I know at the time...Hall of Fame Band.  The Murmur became a big noise! Born in the USA-Bruce had gone main stream and produced an album that ruled the airwaves for over 2 years with 7 top 40 hits.  He may have stoked the star-making machinery a bit more with the new ripped physique and the "Hollywood" videos...but The Boss did not loose his heart for working-class Americans.  Graceland-Paul Simon-A singer songwriter for the ages.  Paul's thoughtful lyrics and love of world music made this album a must have for those who like to sit, and take in a quiet musical expression.  Graceland won the Grammy for Album of Year...Academy voters can't be wrong can they?  Forget Milli Vanilli... The Joshua Tree-U2-With their 1987 album U2 cemented themselves as superstars.  The album was very radio friendly but by no means pop in anyway.  With it, the band staked claim to their eventual legacy.  The most important band of the last 30 years. Pyromania-Def Leppard-If you have to have some Pop Metal (and you do) on your list of essential 80's albums...It has to be Def Leppard.  Great Hooks, Power Chords and crisp vocals.  Foolin, Rock of Ages and Photograph are all highly crankable...and they followed up this excellence with Hysteria.  It was a tough choice. So-Peter Gabriel-Nominated for an Album of the Year Grammy, the album lost to Graceland, Peter Gabriel's "So" was another adventure in world music.  Full on Motown tinged lust pounded Sledgehammer.  In Your Eyes is one of the 80's most intelligent love songs.  So why not add So to your list of "Essential 80's Albums? And finally... Combat Rock-The Clash-Just as they truly broke through to the American mainstream with songs like "Should I Stay, or Should I Go and "Rock the Casbah" The Clash were falling apart in 1982.  Joe Strummer sacked Mick Jones and fired Topper for heroin addiction.  It was basically all over.  So I look at this album as the realization of what was always there...and a sad statement to the difficulties of keeping a great band together.  Too many egos and too much temptation. So that's it...your thoughts are welcome...and thanks for listening.  

04/20/2010 4:22PM
7 of the most 'Essential" albums of the 80's
Please Enter Your Comments Below
04/28/2010 3:55PM
Patty from Castle Rock
Dan, Seriously, the best "THE" bands of all time and you include The CLASH? Seriously now. How about The Band, The Grateful Dead? or even the The Kinks or even The Monkeys would have been more appropriate. We all know that you love the Clash, we have to hear them all the time, but REALLY..... Think about it. Thanks, Patty
05/08/2010 7:50AM
Hiya Daniel. As I told you, I think this list is excellent. Couldn't have done it better myself ( with a year to think about it!) but i was wondering if you had to make the same list but with 70's albums...what would THEY be? Off the top I think Frampton Comes Alive, Moondance, Let it Be, Dark Side of The Moon, Hotel California... of course I would pick some Three Dog Night (Joy to the World?) or Steely Dan (Can't But A Thrill?)...I dunno...I haven't given it enough thought. Cause that's YOUR Job! I'll be interested in knowing what your picks would be. Hear ya this afternoon! :)
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