Kinker Korner’s Top 28 Albums Of 1985 NSFW

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Halfway through the decade and we’re not stopping for anything. The styles and fashions may be changing but Kinker Korner will always stay true to it’s roots….or something. It’s getting harder to do these intros so just read on….

 

28. The Damned-Phantasmagoria

Less punk infused and more on the goth rock side of things with deeply atmospheric, horror movie like compositions with organs and eerie wind blowing through the cracking of lightning. They really lay the goth on thick for this one and it’s fun in a hokey way. That’s Vivienne Westwood model and Nick Cave’s future wife Susie Bick on the cover.

Highlights-“Is It A Dream” “Street Of Dreams”

 

27. The Clash-Cut The Crap

Well then….what a sad end to a beloved and legendary band. They were laughed into the void by critics and fans alike for their final effort but is it really that bad?. No…..it’s not but it’s certainly odd. Drummer Topper Headon and guitarist Mick Jones were gone and a drum machine was used which still remains a baffling decision for a punk rock record. Nonetheless if you can get past the fact this is a Clash album there’s some good songs in there.

Highlights-“Three Card Trick” “This Is England”

 

26.Go West-Go West

The English pop/rock/synthpop duo made their debut and scored a hit with “We Close Our Eyes” and the whole album has that distinctly 80s sound that we’re really getting into now with big heavy electronic snare hits, jangly guitars and funk bass. It’s a sound that became derided and seen as a detrimental side of 80s pop music but like with everything when it’s done well it works.

Highlights-“S.O.S” “We Close Our Eyes”

 

25.Phil Collins-No Jacket Required

I’ll never understand how big Phil let this picture of his greasy spit curl be mass produced and sent out into the world. Have a wee shower mate. Although it doesn’t have a banger as good as “It Don’t Matter To Me” it was a monster hit and won three grammys. I’d go as far as to say it’s probably his most well known album of the 80s. Heavy on the keyboard pop and less of the soul stuff sadly. Well known to American Psycho fans.

Highlights-“Take Me Home” “Sussudio”

 

24. Kreator-Endless Pain

The debut from German thrash metal legends Kreator actually mixes a death metal sound with the thrash sound that was big at the time. Fast, aggressive, incomprehensible and impossible not to headbang to. 

Highlights-“Cry War” “Living In Fear”

 

23. The Dead Milkmen-Big Lizard In My Backyard

The debut album from the band that became big on the college radio scene. Mixing humorous, geeky lighter punk rock with college rock they take the approach of the nerd playing dungeons and dragons in their basement, too afraid to speak to girls rather than puffing their chest and yelling about politics.

Highlights-“Beach Song” “Violent School”

 

22. Fear-More Beer

The hard partying, riot inciting, fan punching, controversy courting hardcore band’s second album is more of the same in your face punk rock with sing Lee Ving’s crooning, 50s influenced singing style leading the way. One for the kids to blast when they’re pissed off at their parents.

Highlights-“The Mouth Don’t Stop (The Trouble With Women Is) “Have A Beer With Fear”

 

21. Husker Du-New Day Rising

The band were really starting to refine their sound in the genre that would become known as post hardcore and would also influence early emo bands. Pretty sure I said this stuff last time I talked about them. It’s not a genre I would ever fully cling on to but like I always say there are gems from every genre I can pick out and enjoy.

Highlights-“I Apologize” “Powerline”

 

20. Run D.M.C-King Of Rock

Hugely influential, ambitious and an album way ahead of it’s time. They took their own brand of simplistic hip hop which mainly attracted black fans and mixed it with heavy guitar riffs that would normally attract white audiences. Seems simple now as it’s been done to death but mixing rap with rock back them melted brains and helped turn Run D.M.C into megastars.

Highlights-“Can You Rock Like This” “You’re Blind”

 

19. GWAR-Hell O

Everyone’s favourite interplanetary alien gross out punk metalheads landed on earth and released their debut which is still divisive amongst fans and the band themselves. It’s poorly produced and all that so I understand but I kind of like that and it fits in with the story of these mysterious creatures coming to earth and releasing this weird, noisy punk rock album about toilet humour and genocide. Good times.

Highlights-“War Toy” “Ollie North”

 

18. Whitney Houston-Whitney Houston

Let it never be said that my music taste is boxed in. We move from the ugliest of ugly in GWAR to the beautiful Whitney. One of music’s tragic stories is our Whitney. Plucked off the street and packaged as a sweet girl next door when really she was an outspoken girl with attitude and after years of that being locked up it all exploded in self destructive ways. It’s a tale that keeps getting told over and over again with all these Disney girls etc and it never stops being sad. Her debut here has all of that 80s pop cheese you’d expect but her powerful voice and and some catchy tunes help it rise above some of the other pop queens of the time…..not Lauper though, never Lauper.

Highlights-“How Will I Know?” “Saving All My Love For You”

 

17. Slayer-Hell Awaits

More brutally evil, fast paced thrash from one of the big four in the genre. As cliched as it gets but I like that. It’s all Satan and death and hell and murder and stuff. The classic lineup of Tom Araya, Dave Lombardo, Jeff Hanneman  and Kerry King were still intact when they released their second album.

Highlights-“Necrophiliac” “Kill Again”

 

16. The Exploited-Horror Epics

The Scottish street punks are back again with another aggressive fistful of fast paced, rip roaring hardcore punk rock. I particularly like Wayne Tyas’ bass riffs on this album and although the production is a little odd on this one and Wullie Buchan’s overuse of his toms gets a little intrusive. Otherwise a great collection of songs though including a beautiful ballad about Maggie Thatcher……ahem…….

Highlights-“Maggie” “Don’t Forget The Chaos”

 

15. Prince And The Revolution-Around The World In A Day

Prince went in a direction he hadn’t been in previously and I don’t believe he did again when he released this psychedelic collection of songs that takes influence from Sgt Pepper era Beatles stuff. Prince considered it a deeply personal album. 

Highlights-“Raspberry Beret” “Paisley Park”

 

14. Anthrax-Spreading The Disease

The second album from geek thrashers Anthrax is the first to feature long term members Joey Belladonna and Frank Bello. Great album this and what a fantastic cover by Dave Heffernan that shows their comic book love as does the content in the album with songs referencing Judge Dredd, Batman etc and the title itself is an ode to Stephen King’s The Stand. They really embraced geek culture back when that was a dangerous thing to do.

Highlights-“Gung Ho” “Medusa”

 

13. Tears For Fears-Music From The Big Chair

The duo  I always mistook for Ween when I was  young……Anyway their second album here proved a massive breakthrough finding particular success in the states. The British duo brought big booming drums, tight songwriting and  deep, powerful and echoing vocals. A mix of upbeat pop and emotional, dark, atmospheric songs make them a real standout for the times in chart music. Songs from this album are still used in media today regularly.

Highlights-“Everybody Wants To Rule The World” “Mothers Talk”

 

12. John Mellencamp-Scarecrow

Yer man is back with more blue collar anthems like a diet Springsteen. Sounds degrading but it’s not meant to be I mean he’s the king of the genre so to be close behind him is a compliment. Great, simple compositions that never fail to get the head bopping.

Highlights-“Small Town” “Between A Laugh And A Tear”

 

11. The Smiths-Meat Is Murder

More political and scathing in nature than their debut, Meat Is Murder sees the band going in a darker direction and more angry than melancholic. Johnny Marr’s guitar playing showed it’s influences of rockabilly etc which I feel did take away from his own unique style that was displayed on the debut.

Highlights-“What She Said” “Barbarism Begins At Home”

 

10. The Pogues-Rum, Sodomy & The Lash

I’m cheating a bit here by putting in the reissue of this album which came out in 2005 because it included an e.p track that is my favourite Pogues track ever in “Rainy Night In Soho” which was also referenced in the great comic Hellblazer during it’s classic run. Anyway the second album is more punk infused with traditional Irish music and it works wonderfully.

Highlights-“Rainy Night In Soho” “A Pair Of Brown Eyes”

 

9. Circle Jerks-Wonderful

Don’t know why I love that album cover so much….it’s terrible and brilliant, especially when you know who is involved. A slightly different direction for the jerks in this album with less aggression and not played at such a ferocious speed but it still has that sardonic humour and punk attitude that makes them such a great, snot nosed band.

Highlights-” Wonderful” “The Crowd”

 

8. Megadeth-Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good

Hot on the heels of his firing from Metallica for partying too hard, Dave Mustaine got himself together and started a crusade to become better than his former band. He formed Megadeth and this was their debut release which also wuickly shot them up into the regards of thrash fans with technical playing and intricate composition. They would obviously go on to become one of the thrash big four.

Highlights-“Killing Is My Businees…And Business Is Good” “Mechanix”

 

7. Misfits-Legacy Of Brutality

A compilation of early tracks, many of which were unreleased at the time from the Static Age sessions. Gothic horror themed punk from the Danzig era released after the band’s split.

Highlights-“Hybrid Moments” “Halloween”

 

6. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers-Southern Accents

Another solid entry into the always solid Tom Petty discography with his pop flavoured folk songs. Always lyrically sound and with simple, catchy compositions it’s hard to find a bad Petty album which, for his long tenure is an incredible achievement.

Highlights-“Don’t Come Around Here No More” “Dogs On The Run”

 

 

5.The Jesus And Mary Chain-Psychocandy

The debut album from the Scottish rock band is hugely influential in the shoegaze, noise rock genre that I’m usually not a fan of of. I feel a lot of bands influenced by TJAMC forgot about the melody, the heart and soul of the music and just found it easy to hold their guitars up to their amps and make feedback noise without any rhyme or reason. Never forget the melody you dingus.

Highlights-“Taste Of Cindy” “Just Like Honey”

 

4. The Descendents-Bonus Fat

A compilation of early work and e.ps  from the greatest band in the world. Teen angst, food, coffee and childish humour from a time before they really found their sound but were still fantastic.

Highlights-“I Like Food” “Hey Hey”

 

3. Dead Kennedys-Frankenchrist

A different kind of album for the Kennedys with more progressive, jazzy song compositions and not many hardcore songs in the traditional sense. The attitude is still there, the message is still there but for the most part it’s just delivered in a different way with the band saying they took influences from things like spaghetti western movies. This was the album that saw them facing obscenity trials for the inner sleeve containing H.R Geiger’s Landscape #xx which was a gothic painting of rows of penises and vulvae in a typically nightmarish Geiger fashion.

Highlights-“Hellnation” “MTV Get Off The Air”

 

2. The Cure-The Head On The Door

This album saw the return of my boy Simon Gallup on bass and also saw the band head in the goth pop direction they’d become known for. Don’t let the pop word scare you though as The Cure’s music at this stage and going forward is anything but throwaway. There’s some really beautiful stuff on this album and an all time favourite Cure song for me too. These goths really knew how to throw a tune together.

Highlights-“In between Days” “Push”

 

1 Descendents-I Don’t Want To grow Up

Big shock I know but what am I gonna do, lie to you? Just takle it as a given that most years there’s a Descendents album out it’s probably going tot op or at least be near the top of the list. They mean that much to me so it’s just how it is. Their second album is an all time classic and helped shape the melodic punk scene with songs about love, rejection, bullies and all sorts of teen angst subjects that most teens, particularly those who relate to punk for being different can relate to.

Highlights-“Christmas Vacation” “Silly Girl”

 

That’s us past the half way mark and I can feel the smelly hand of hair metal sneaking up on us so let’s see where 1986 takes us. Until then catch me @swing_kinker and thanks for reading. x

 

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