Kinker Korner’s Top 34 Albums Of 1986 NSFW

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These intros are all starting to sound the same so……go!.

 

34. Ramones-Animal Boy

Definitely one of the weaker Ramones albums and one that sees them perhaps struggling to fit in with the times including a laughable ballad with synths that just sounds desperate. When they are doing what they always do it comes off pretty well but the magic was wearing off y this point. There’s still plenty songs to enjoy in amongst the guff.

Highlights-“Love Kills” “Animal Boy”

 

33. They Might Be Giants-They Might Be Giants

The New York geek rocker’s debutĀ  shows all the promise of upbeat synthpop and jangly guitar happiness that they’d become known for. Weird, geeky, esoteric humorous songs that people either get or really don’t. One of those bands.

Highlights-“Nothing’s Gonna Change My Clothes” “Don’t Let’s Start”

 

 

32.Nu Shooz-Poolside

Electronic funky dance music that no doubt had the Miami dancefloors bouncing like Gloria Estefan’s living room. Good time Latin style dance music very much of it’s time….maybe due a comeback.

Highlights-“I Can’t Wait” “Lost Your Number”

 

31.Nuclear Assault-Game Over

After leaving Anthrax, the band he co-founded after falling out with the band, Danny Lilker formed Nuclear Assault and this is their debut. If you were getting sick of the strong punk years and wanted more metal then rejoice because 1986 was an incredible year for thrash and I’m a big thrash fan so expect to see lots of it. Also punk was laying low at this point for the most part.

highlights-“Radiation Sickness” “Stranded In Hell”

 

30. Genesis-Invisible Touch

A favourite of Patrick Bateman…you’ll be seeing more of them so take that as you will. After a few years working on their solo projects the band got back together and produced their most successful album ever. It frankly sounds like a Phil Collins solo album and it’s a far cry from the Peter Gabriel prog rock era where he would pretend to be an amoeba and use interpretive dance to signify it’s evolution. Yea, I’ll take their pop stuff over that.The great title track helped it become a huge success.

Highlights-“In Too Deep” “Anything She Does”

 

29. Bronski Beat-Truthdare Doubledare

After Jimmy Somerville left to form The Communards the electro dance band replaced him with John Foster and while his voice doesn’t have the distinct falsetto power of the former he does a solid job with the material. Fans of Scottish comedian Limmy who know his early work will be very familiar with the album’s opener and will no doubt put a smile on your face.

Highlights-“Hit That Perfect Beat” “Punishment For Love”

 

28. Gang Green-Another Wasted Night

Hardcore punk from Boston Mass, with a rapid pace and aggressive, energetic vocals. Songs about boozing, partying and of course an Aimee Mann cover that did well in the underground punk scene.

Highlights-“Another Wasted Night” “Alcohol”

 

27. Poison-Look What The Cat Dragged In

State…..of….that…..cover. I’ve already discussed my feelings on Poison during the 90s lists so no need to go over old ground but safe to say I have a soft spot for the band that were considered everything wrong with late 80s metal. I just found a lot of their stuff catchy and I wasn’t aware enough at their peak (I was 2 when this was released) to be annoyed by their omnipresence on MTV etc. Fun album.

Highlights-“Cry Tough” “Talk Dirty To Me”

 

26. Flotsam And Jetsam-Doomsday For The Deceiver

The debut from thrashers Flotsam And Jetsam is sadly more famous for it featuring Jason Newstead who would go on shortly after to join Metallica and help them shoot into the stratosphere. I think a lot of Metallica fans who hadn’t heard this would be surprised at some of his work as he really gets to let loose on the tracks in a way that Metallica didn’t let him do. Anyway the whole band are on form here and it’s a cracking thrash classic.

Highlights-“Hammerhead” “She Took An Axe”

 

25.Public Image Ltd-Album

“Neil, you’re a punk you must love Johnny Rotten”………yea about that……no. After the Sex Pistols disbanded Rotten formed PIL who were never really up to much but the odd song here and there was good. Then with this album a lot of things seemed to click for them. He used a lot of guest musicians like the legendary Ryuichi Skamoto and Steve Vai which seems so out of left field but it helps craft more balanced songs and structures.

Highlights-“Rise” “Fishing”

 

24. The Smiths-The Queen Is Dead

I hate having to keep praising anything involving Morrissey but I like Johnny Marr’s playing and he seems like a thoroughly decent lad so it makes it easier. A lot of folk rate this as the best Smiths album which I don’t but there is still a lot to like here. Less angry sounding than the previous album and more back to the melancholy sound I prefer from them.

Highlights-“Bigmouth Strikes Again” “Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”

 

23.U.K.Subs-In Action

A celebration of the first ten years of the Subs with singer Charlie Harper getting a group of musicians together to perform songs from the first 8 albums with most original members having moved on to other things. A great collection of first wave punk and interesting to see the evolution of their songs.

Highlights-“Keep On Running” “Police State”

 

 

22. Peter Gabriel-So

With the help of the Stephen R. Johnson directed video for “Sledgehammer” and the song’s heavy rotation on MTV this became a monster hit for Gabriel. I’ve always really enjoyed his voice and when he isn’t being too arty farty (for my tastes) then I really get on with his stuff. Certainly one of the more creative men in mainstream music.

Highlights-“Don’t Give Up” “In Your Eyes”

 

21. Cryptic Slaughter-Convicted

If ever proof was needed that this was a crossover thrash/punk band then how about that metal as f**k logo with the totally comic book punk rock cover art?. A cacophony of belligerent noise from a bunch of snot nosed punk kids and what a brilliant wall of noise it is.

Highlights-“Nuclear Future” “Low Life”

 

20. Iron Maiden-Somewhere In Time

That stunning cyerpunk cover art from regular collaborator Derek Riggs may just be one of the best ever with it’s many references to past Maiden songs, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Bladerunner, Batman and all sorts if you look hard enough. The album itself is a divisive one with it’s use of synthesizers and a slower pace. It was originally going to be an acoustic album so I don’t know how their fans would have reacted to that…..actually I think I do.

Highlights-“Wasted Years” “Sea Of Madness”

 

19. Husker Du-Candy Apple Grey

Moving away from any semblance of hardcore punk they had courted previously, Husker Du continued their transition into more melody based emotional rock, even added acoustic songs to break up the flow. This was probably them finding their true sound and it’s what they perfected and became most known and influential for.

Highlights-“Sorry Somehow” “Too Far Down”

 

18. G.B.H-Midnight Madness And Beyond

The Brummie street punks were trying their best to keep the UK hardcore candle burning when the flame was rapidly burning out. I always respect bands for sticking to their guns when the scene they were a part of has changed with the trends. Happens all too often and the ones who fight for their scenes are bands to be respected, not mocked. This whole “oh they should evolve with the times” bullshit doesn’t wash with me.

Highlights-“Too Much” “Chance For Living”

 

17. Lionel Richie-Dancing On The Ceiling

Yea boiiii! Big Lionel is back and he’s clearly been listening to loads of Huey Lewis. Nothing wrong with that, I mean it’s a far cry from his true soul days but he made it work and holy crap did it connect with the public. This era of his music he just couldn’t stop making hits. It’s quite funny, I said in the last list he was on that I found it harsh that he was accused of doing “white guy music” to fit in whatever that means. He combats that here with a terrible false Jamaican accent on a reggae style song……stick to what you know big man. He wouldn’t release an album for another decade.

Highlights-“Dancing On The Ceiling”Deep River Woman”

 

16. Run DMC-Raising Hell

Well if the last album saw them become the kings of underground hip hop, Raising Hell saw them explode into the mainstream with huge success. Even if you’re not a fan of hip hop I guarantee you know a whole load of songs on this album as they have nearly all been sampled, parodied, used in movies or covered. A monster hit in the world of rap. It’s most notable for the collaboration with Aerosmith on “Walk This Way” which was monumental.

Highlights-“Peter Piper” “It’s Tricky”

 

15. Bad Brains-I Against I

The hardcore legends’ third and most successful album sees them adding more elements of funk and reggae to their sound. Never been a huge fan of their reggae stuff but I like it when they add funk to their established punk sound. Singer H.R even recorded the lyrics to one of his songs over the phone from the prison he was serving time in for selling weed. That’s dedication.

Highlights-“I Against I” “House Of Suffering”

 

14. Beastie Boys-Licensed To Ill

Three white Jewish punks from New York discovered hip hop and decided that was the route they were going take. This debut album saw them taking that punk attitude and snarling defiance into the hip hp genre making it the first rap album to top the charts. This caused initial resentment in the hip hop community as it was seen as the black community’s way of communicating with the world. When it became clear how serious they were and how much they respected the genre and it’s forefathers then the resentment dulled and they were welcomed into the genre more.Obviously they would go on to become a massive group for many years.

Highlights-“Brass Monkey” “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

 

13. The Bangles-Different Light

The second album from pop rocker The Bangles was where tension in the band started to form with the media seeing Susanna Hoffs as the star of the group and not giving the rest much attention. She is one of the most perfect looking women ever created so it’s kind of understandable but it’s a shame that tore them apart. Even Prince became obsessed with her and gave the band their hit “Manic Monday”.

Highlights-“If She Knew What She Wants” “Manic Monday”

 

 

12. Megadeth-Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying

Dave Mustaine and his band of not so merry men continued their mission of dominating metal with their second album and it includes some incredible guitar technique from the man himself. The entire band are extremely talented but Mustaine’s playing is so intricate it’s a thing of beauty. I don’t usually care about how well people play, I am a punk after all but when they actually make good music with their crazy technique then it can leave you in awe.

Highlights-“Peace Sells” “Devil’s Island”

 

11. Slayer-Reign In Blood

A seminal behemoth in the world of thrash metal. The mere mention of this album will have metalheads throwing their horns in the air and screaming SLAAYYYERRRR DUDE at the top of their lungs. Make of that what you will. Brutally violent, fast and heavy stuff that cemented the band as one of the leaders of the genre.

Highlights-“Angel Of Death” “Raining Blood”

 

10.Cyndi Lauper-True Colours

The real queen of pop is back for her second album and although it doesn’t hit the quirky heights of her debut it still has a good collection of upbeat ditties and emotional, heartfelt ballads. Of course it’s led by it’s masterful title song which is an all time classic pop song.

Highlights-“True Colours” “Maybe He’ll Know”

 

9. Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band-Live 1975-85

This is the second live Springsteen album I’ve had on these lists, the other coming much later but it just shows his power on the stage. An incredible live performer and the performances were plucked from various shows on different tours to get a large scope of songs from the era.

Highlights-“Badlands” “Born To Run”

 

8. Dead Kennedys-Bedtime For Democracy

The final album from the legendary punk group before their acrimonious split is, in my opinion some of their best work. I know I’m in the minority there as this seems to be their forgotten album in a sense, it rarely gets talked about. It’s filled with anti Reagan fury and saw the band weary from internal strife and the lengthy obscenity trial from the previous album still dragging them down. Despite the setbacks it’s the Kennedy’s at their hate filled and spitefully witty best.

Highlights-“Rambozo The Clown” “Macho Insecurity”

 

7. The Cure-Standing On A Beach

A collection of the band’s singles up to that point so if you’ve been following these lists then you know my love for the band and obviously the album is stunning. It would be higher but I’ve covered a lot of these songs on their respective albums so my highlights are going to include songs I haven’t mentioned yet that deserve your time.

Highlights-“A Forest” “The Love Cats”

 

6. Paul Simon-Graceland

Surely one of the most celebrated albums in the world of music criticism up there with the likes of Pet Sounds and Sgt Pepper’s. It saw the sexy pop midget travel the globe getting inspiration for his music and incorporating a world music sound with African tribal music and all sorts of different instrumentation and guest musicians. It really is a cracking album with varying genres pretty much all hitting the mark.

Highlights-“Diamonds On The Souls Of Her Shoes” “You Can Call Me Al”

 

5. Exumer-Possessed By Fire

The debut from German thrashers Exumer is an absolute belter and sadly not talked about very often. I mean it beat Reign In Blood on Kinker Korner…..that’s a huge achievement maybe probably maybe not. Gotta love those old thrash covers too. I really love this underdog thrash album.

Highlights-“Destructive Solution” “Sorrows Of The Judgement”

 

4. Poison Idea-Kings Of Punk

Just as punk seemed to be on it’s last legs and no new standouts were coming to the fore, Poison Idea, who had been bubbling under the surface exploded onto the scene with their debut album and holy crap is it a statement. Hyper aggressive, fast with elements of thrash in there and a massive swagger evident by the title of the album.

Highlights-“Subtract” “Death Wish Kids”

 

3. Huey Lewis And The News-Fore!

Yup, Patrick Bateman really nailed it with this one. Two albums a murderous psychopath recommended are on my list….I don’t know what to make of that but hey it’s a fantastic pop rock album with brilliantly written and composed songs. My punk cred goes flying out the window as usual with this being ahead of the Kennedy’s, Poison Idea etc but screw it I always bring the honesty.

Highlights-“Forest For The Trees” “I Never Walk Alone”

 

2. Metallica-Master Of Puppets

In my opinion this is the pinnacle of Metallica’s discography nailing a perfect balance between their thrash roots and the slower, more considered style they would go on to acheive great success with. Some of their best riffs, best solos and overall best songs. An incredible metal album with the title song one of the most memorable thrash songs ever.

Highlights-“Battery” “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)”

 

1 Descendents-Enjoy!

Oh boo hoo shut up I told you whenever there’s a Descendents album it’s probably going to top the list. This was the first one I heard way back in the early 90s when my buddy Ewan put some songs on a mix tape he made for me. It was love from then on. It’s filled with toilet humour and parodies of other genres like thrash but all with good humour and that typical Descendents charm. It’s not their best album but it means a lot to me with it being my first.

Highlights-“Get The Time” “Hurtin’ Crue”

 

We’re getting near the end of the decade now. Let’s see how the trends changed toward the end when we come back for 1987. Catch me @swing_kinker until then. Cheers x

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