Steve Lamacq has been asking listeners to his 6Music show for their choices for favourite album of 1989. I’ve been really enjoying hearing lots of music from that year on his show so I think I must be pretty much his target audience for that kind of question!
In 1989 I was 18 and working at The HMV Shop. I passed my driving test which meant all of a sudden it was much easier to travel to gigs in Brighton / Portsmouth / Southampton / London etc. My first Glastonbury festival was also in 1989 (hear all about that on our most recent podcast)
If the Mercury Prize was held in 1989, which of these albums would you choose to win The Silvery Music Prize, and why?
📻 @steve_lamacq weekdays from 4pm. pic.twitter.com/C0XQd3H3Hj
— BBC Radio 6 Music (@BBC6Music) September 17, 2019
I’ve made a list of my own 25 favourite albums from that year. Not many surprises here for anyone that knows me! 24 of these are albums that I bought and loved at the time. Number 18 on the list is one that I’ve discovered and fallen in love with far more recently.
I’ve chosen a favourite song from each of these albums for the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.
25. Lincoln – They Might Be Giants
24. Avalon Sunset – Van Morrison
23. More Songs About Love And Hate – The Godfathers
22. Cosmic Thing – The B52s
21. Maria McKee – Maria McKee
20. Hope And Despair – Edwyn Collins
19. Earthquake Weather – Joe Strummer
18. The Enraged Will Inherit The Earth – McCarthy
17. Moss Side Story – Barry Adamson
16. This Time Around – Green On Red
15. Spike – Elvis Costello
14. Kite – Kirsty MacColl
13. Raw Like Sushi – Neneh Cherry
12. Indigo Girls – Indigo Girls
11. Disintegration – The Cure
10. Rei Momo – David Byrne
9. Here Today Tomorrow Next Week – The Sugarcubes
8. Love Is Hell – Kitchens of Distinction
7. Blind Man’s Zoo – 10,000 Maniacs
6. Don’t Stop The Night – Momus
5. The Sensual World – Kate Bush
4. Bizarro – The Wedding Present
3. Technique – New Order
2. Me & A Monkey On The Moon – Felt
1. Doolittle – Pixies
I saw 8 of those bands on tour supporting these albums
- Van Morrison @ Glastonbury
- Joe Strummer @ The Dome, Brighton
- Green On Red @ The Town & Country Club
- Elvis Costello @ Royal Albert Hall & Glastonbury
- The Sugarcubes @ Portsmouth Guildhall
- 10,000 Maniacs @ The Town & Country Club
- The Wedding Present @ Kilburn National
- Pixies @ Glastonbury
5 of the albums I chose are also on Steve Lamacq’s list of 12 (Neneh Cherry, New Order, The Cure, Kate Bush, Pixies)
Interesting list – quite surprised at our lack of crossover as I only own 10 of those 25. I’d have the likes of De La Soul, Bob Mould’s Workbook, Hats by The Blue Nile, Lou Reed’s New York, Nirvana’s Bleach, Freedom by Neil Young, Dylan’s Oh Mercy, On Fire by Galaxie 500, Mudhoney, Hunkpapa, Buffalo Tom, Spacemen 3’s Playing With Fire, JAMC Automatic, Macca’s Flowers In The Dirt, Wire’s IBTABA and XTC’s Oranges & Lemons in there. No proper Fall album that year, but Seminal Live has one truly fabulous song on so might sneak in too!
Lou Reed, Throwing Muses, McCartney were all on my list but didn’t quite make the top 25.
Loved De la Soul at the time but never want to listen to the whole album these days. Same goes for Oh Mercy.
I remember being really disappointed with Automatic, still think it’s a big dropoff from Darklands.
I’ve really tried to like The Blue Nile several times but I just can’t get into it.
Nice. Of course you missed out on Guided By Voices – Self-Inflicted Aerial Nostalgia, but then so did most people, including me (i picked up a copy 5 years later). Your number 1 would be mine too – I saw Pixies play in Sheffield on the Bossanova tour the following year, which sealed the, ahem, deal, but Doolittle was on constant repeat before then. I reckon I had about half the albums in your list, but I do remember playing The The – Mindbomb a lot that year too. 1989 – the year of the last half decent Elvis Costello album, eh?
I missed Pixies in Sheffield in 1990 (City Hall I believe?), but I’d seen them at the Octagon Centre and Kilburn National in 1989 – agree, possibly my top pick for 89
Yes, it was the City Hall. They opened with Cecilia Ann from behind a curtain. Very cool. This was the night I properly fell in love with Kim Deal.
2nd time I saw Pixies was Portsmouth on that 1990 tour you’re talking about.
The day after I drove up to Sheffield to visit my mate up at university up there. He and all his mates had seen Pixies in Sheffield a few days before (must be same gig you were at).
That same weekend I was up there I chose to stay in the student union bar playing pool + getting pissed instead of driving to Leeds to see QPR, which was the main reason for me going up north in the first place.
I missed QPR coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 and Roy Wegerle scoring that year’s goal of the season.
In many subsequent visits to Elland Road I’ve never seen us win or even come close to it.
Funnily enough I was at that Leeds game and have less fond memories of it. We missed a penalty, I think. Not sure if that was before or after Wergerle dribbled round the whole Leeds team. Let’s not go changing your fortunes at ER any time soon though, eh?
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