KINKER KORNER’S TOP 33 ALBUMS OF 1988 NSFW

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I’m still convinced most people skip the intro so blah blah blah what a year etc….enjoy!

 

33.The Bangles-Everything

The last album by the group before they split up due to the media obsession over Susanna Hoffs causing tension within the group. It also happened to have their most recognizable song in “Eternal Flame” (Walk Like An Egyptian may be just behind it) so it’s a shame they couldn’t hold on to see where their well earned success would take them.

Highlights-“Complicated Girl” “Eternal Flame”

 

32.Dr Know-Wreckage In Flesh

Part of the Californian nardcore scene, Dr Know were one of those great bands that never broke out the way they probably should have but such is life, there’s been plenty of those bands on these lists. Fast paced hardcore punk tinged with a big metal influence.

Highlights-“War Theater”City Wheels”

 

31. The Pogues-If I Should Fall From Grace With God

The album that brought us the song that’s forever destined to be played every Christmas time “Fairy Tale Of New York”. A bonny, emotional song that is now so overplayed that I groan every time I hear it now. The rest of the album has great Pogues style tracks mixing punk attitude with traditional Celtic music.

Highlights-“If I Should Fall From Grace With God” “Bottle Of Smoke”

 

30. Weird Al Yankovic-Even Worse

The infinitely likeable parody king really  broke through with this one mainly for the parody of Michael Jackson’s Bad (which was called Fat because of course it was). It also has a few of his own songs which are nearly always good. It all depends on if you like the songs he is actually parodying as well I guess and this has a good collection.

Highlights-“(This Song’s Just) Six Words Long” Parody of George Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” “I Think I’m A Clone Now” Parody Of Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now”

 

29. Bolt Thrower-In Battle There Is No Law!

What a busy cover!. The debut album from the groove metal band I only really got into relatively recently. They had more of a death metal sound here in their early days. Super low budget and poor production quality but some great songs and a real head banger of an album and quite ahead of it’s time.

Highlights-“Forgotten Existence” “Concession Of Pain”

 

28. Big Country-Peace In Our Time

A definite departure for the Scottish post punk legends as they go for a more generic rock sound for a lot of the songs on this one. Stuart Adamson is such a good song writer that it doesn’t really matter what style he goes for though.

Highlights-“King Of Emotion” “Thousand Yard Stare”

 

27. Slick Rick-The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick

What a unique artist Slick Rick was. While most rap artists were puffing their chests out and trying to look tough, Rick went with a Pee Wee Herman look that helped him stand out as a geeky looking rapper in a genre full of posturing, This debut shows his style off perfectly with an upbeat sound and irreverent vocal and lyrical style.

Highlights-“Let’s Get Crazy” “The Ruler’s Back”

 

26. The Jeff Healey Band-See The Light

Blues rock is most certainly not my usual thing but here’s such emotion and passion behind Healey’s playing and songwriting. Couple his excellent guitar skills with the fact he is blind and you have one incredible talent. From standard bluesy jams to incredibly emotional ballads he nails it all with a laid back silky voice too.

Highlights-“Angel Eyes” “My Little Girl”

 

25. Danzig-Danzig

Everyone’s favourite grumpy roidy goth released his debut and the former Misifits frontman brought a slower blues metal style to the table than the hardcore punk he had been known for. Produced by Rick Rubin, the album had the song he’s most known for “Mother” on it but that wouldn’t become the huge hit it was until it’s re-release a few years later.

Highlights-“Twist Of Cain” “Mother”

 

24. Carcass-Reek Of Putrefaction

Formed by former members of Napalm Death, Carcass released this debut album of splattercore death metal. They would typically focus on gore and guts along with animal rights and far left wing politics. Comically over the top despite their deadpan and serious approach to their gore obsession, they became an incredibly influential group.

Highlights-“Foeticide” “Genital Grinder”

 

23. Boogie Down Productions-By All Means Necessary

After the tragic murder of DJ Scott La Rock KRS One focused a lot of this album on trying to bring attention to and stop the increasing violent nature of hip hop of which they had been a part of previously. It was a brave and self aware move in direction.

Highlights-“Stop The Violence” “My Philosophy”

 

22.Jane Wiedlin-Fur

The most talented and likeable member of The Go Go’s released her second and most successful album but it still paled in comparison to the huge success former bandmate Belinda Carlisle would go on to. She had a knack for catchy melodies which is evident as she wrote the majority of The Go Go’s ‘ stuff. The title is an attack on the fur trade.

Highlights-“Rush Hour” “Inside A Dream”

 

21. Screeching Weasel-Boogadaboogadaboogada

You saw these Chicago punks on a lot of the 90s lists if you’ve been keeping up with them so you know the drill but this second album is where they started to hone their sound and bring in a more melodic Ramones influence. They’d go on to refine their sound more but this is them at a raw turning point in their career and a real sign of things to come.

Highlights-“Dingbat” “Stupid Over You”

 

20. Anthrax-State Of Euphoria

After a couple of cracking covers for the previous albums what an absolute shitter this one is. I find this to be their most atmospheric albums with a really sinister tone but it still has the awesome song topics and continues the Stephen King theme with a song about Misery. Geek thrash.

Highlights-“Be All, End All” “Misery Loves Company”

 

19. Poison-Open Up And Say…Ahhh

Jesus christ they have a knack for shockingly shit album covers. Look we’ve been through this several times now…..Posion are catchy pop nonsense and their songs are fun little ditties. I understand the fury of me putting this above an Anthrax album etc but I used to listen to Fallen Angel on repeat it’s so melodic and catchy so guess what….I’m not intimidated into telling lies because it’s not the cool opinion. Poison were fun.

Highlights-“Fallen Angel” “Nothin’ But A Good Time”

 

18. Hogan’s Heroes-Built To Last

A fantastic debut from a fresh hardcore skate punk band who incorporated met style riffing to the enormous pun swagger they had. Passionate, aggressive and supremely energetic stuff. They were sadly very short lived as they split in 1993 but they left a real mark on the scene particularly in the underground as they never quite broke they way their influence suggests the New Jersey natives should have.

Highlights-“Change” “Mr Clean”

 

17. Iron Maiden-Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son

The singles from this album was the first I saw of Iron Maiden and I so clearly remember seeing the video for “Can I Play With Madness” which I thought was so cool at the time. Hilarious now as it’s such a ridiculous video but I loved it as a kid. They lost a lot of fans with the addition of keyboards and prog elements but gained plenty more with the success of the album.

Highlights-“Can I Play With Madness” “Moonchild”

 

16. Slayer-South Of Heaven

Following up one of the most revered thrash albums in Reign In Blood was always going to be an insanely hard task, especially as the song Raining Blood had become one of the poster songs (is that a thing?) for thrash. The band in their pomp and under the production umbrella of Rick Rubin gave it a real good shot with a less raw but well produced, powerful and threatening extreme metal album. One of their more underrated ones despite the hardcore fans revering it as a more considered musical album with differing tempos…..which Metallica found out could lose you a lot of fans back in the 80s.

Highlights-“South Of Heaven” “Silent Scream”

 

15. Tracy Chapman-Tracy Chapman

Usually when I put these kinds of albums on the lists it’s on the back of one or two strong songs that I really relate to but Chapman has banger after banger on this tremendous debut. For one her voice is special….I mean really special. That wee warble she has puts a lump in my throat and her mix of melody and brilliant lyrics make her an incredible songwriter that really peaked early and kind of never got to those heights again. Her songs are still being covered today, most recently in a terrible effort from pop anus Justin  Bieber…..I always thought she was English…..I’m not a clever man.

Highlights-“Talkin’ About A Revolution” “Fast Car”

 

14. Pixies-Surfer Rosa

The debut album from the immensely influential indie legends is full of all the dirty, melodic garage rock you’d expect from them and it has such a great, raw sound. It was a commercial failure but hit big with critics who championed them which would help them down the line as their popularity would grow by the day.Love the booming drum sound. This album was a massive inspiration to Nirvana who loved it so much they hired the producer to record In Utero.

Highlights-“Gigantic” “Where Is My Mind”

 

 

13. Suicidal Tendancies-How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today

This was the first Suicidal album I was familiar with as my buddy Ewan had it when we were young and I vividly remember the cover being on display all the time in his room. This really took the band away from their punk roots and really established them in the metal genre with guitarist Rocky George soloing more than ever. Frontman Mike Muir was at his roidy best at this time, bandana and all but his strength always lay in his social damning and introspective existentialism.

Highlights-“The Felling’s Back” “Trip At The Brain”

 

12. Social Distortion-Prison Bound

This is where the band really found their sound and moved away from hardcore punk to a more punkabilly sound and Mike Ness diving into his Johnny Cash obsession. It gave them a more commercial sound and helped them become the big band they would go on to become with a new found real sense of melody.

Highlights-“Prison Bound” “It’s The Law”

 

11. The Dead Milkmen-Beelzebubba

This was the album the band would end up being most known for due to the popularity of the single “”punk Rock Girl” which received heavy rotation on mtv. It’s funny because those who were buying the album based on the single and hoping for more straight forward ditties were met with weird, funny songs of differing styles and songs where it seems like the band are just having a laugh. Good stuff though.

Highlights-“Punk Rock Girl” “Rc’s Mom”

 

 

10. D.I-What Good Is Grief To A God?

A sort of supergroup (if there is such a thing in punk) made up of ex members of Adolescents and Social Distortion. This is their third and best album.It’s a raging mix of dark and moody punk with angry vocals and metal style solos. It’s great stuff and I wish their stuff was more widely known so check them out and see what you think.

Highlights-“They Lie, You Die/Fatso Nero” “Terrorist’s Life”

 

 

 

9. Erik B And Rakim-Follow The Leader

Funky, relaxing, soulful laid back, smooth hip hop from the influential duo on their second album which is a fair bit better than their debut. Man it’s so hard not to throw your neck muscles out with the amount of head bopping that come with listening to this.

Highlights-“Lyrics Of Fury” “Put Your Hands Together”

 

8.N.W.A-Straight Outta Compton

Well, you don’t need me to tell you how huge and influential this hip hop album was. There was a damn movie made where this was the centre piece recently for the love of god. Maybe it wasn’t the first but it surely was the album that ushered in the huge popularity of gangsta rap and about a million copycats came out the woodwork shortly after. There’s debate about the good and bad of the genre with some seeing how it highlighted inner city violence and police brutality in an extremely in your face. Others lamented how it got out of control and led to the glorification of said violence and posturing. I completely understand both sides of the argument but I’d much rather they got their point across succinctly like Public Enemy despite my love of many gangsta rap albums.

Highlights-“Express Yourself” “Fuck Tha Police”

 

7. Metallica-…And Justice For All

This used to be my favourite Metallica album when I was younger and although clearly I still thoroughly enjoy it I think I was more transfixed by a couple of incredibly strong songs. The album itself is still strong and acted as their first breakthrough as they made a video for “One” which got them major heat from fans which is ridiculous. Imagine the same people a few years later when Load came out….jeez. This is the first album to feature new bassist Jason Newstead who replaced Cliff Burton after the tragic bus crash that took his life. Shame the production team forgot to actually let us hear the bass. Unforgivable mistake.

Highlights-“One” “Blackened”

 

6. Doug E. Fresh And The Get Fresh Crew-The World’s Greatest Entertainer

Such a fun, good time party rap album. A fun, upbeat dance happy group of bouncy hip hop songs. Not much more to say really, just a good time album as the genre was moving towards a much darker area.

Highlights-“Guess? Who?” “On The Strength”

 

5. Testament-The New Order

The second album from the vastly underrated thrash legends top the mighty Metallica and Slayer on the list which I’m sure is a massive thrill for them……I love Alex Skolnick’s guitar work and the whole band are supremely talented. There’s some really intricate playing but most importantly it’s fast paced, in your face kick arse thrash.

Highlights-“Eerie Inhabitants” “The Preacher”

 

4.Public Enemy-It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

A massively important hip hop record that saw Chuck D at his most biting and lyrically stunning in his social commentary and scathing assessment of modern (1988) America. Lively beats and powerful vocal delivery with those lyrics just hit you like a punch in the face and for a wee boy in Scotland it opened my eyes to whole different world than the utopian America I was being sold on tv.

Highlights-“Bring The Noise” “Rebel Without A Pause”

 

3.Descendents-Two Things At Once

A Descendents album that isn’t number one!! whaaaaaa!. To be honest going by my normal rules it shouldn’t be this high as it’s a re-release of an album that already topped a list with an e.p tacked on. That said….it’s obviously going to be high up because….you know?. Deal with it.

Highlights-“I Like Food” “Bikeage”

 

2. EPMD-Strictly Business

If you’re keeping up then you’ll have seen these guys during the 90s lists. Love their stuff, it’s smooth, funky and their flow is excellent. Heavy on the samples as was the style at the time (I wore and onion on my belt) and a with a laid back party vibe, this album is great to have on when you’re chilling with your homeboys or your fly girl yea?…..cool.

Highlights-“It’s My Thing” “I’m Housin”

 

1 Bad Religion-Suffer

Well this was an easy one. Even before I started research on this year that Suffer was hands down winner. This album pretty much paved the way for the third wave 90s punk scene and became a massively influential and important album to the scene that I love so much. It was kind of a comeback album after they had a wee break and they just blew everything out of the water seemingly out of nowhere. An absolute powerhouse of a punk masterpiece encompassing melodic punk, hardcore and tidy production. One of my favourite albums of all time.

Highlights-“Give You Nothing” “When?”

 

Ok one more and that’s us done for the 80s. Hope you’re enjoying it so far. Catch me @swing_kinker and see you next time. Cheers x

 

 

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