KINKER KORNER’S TOP 35 ALBUMS OF 1989 NSFW

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Well then, the 80s come to a close and what a journey it’s been. Let’s see how we end the decade then shall we?.

 

35. Awesome Dre And The Hardcore Committee-You Can’t Hold Me Back

The first rapper out of Detroit to release a major label album. Dre released a couple of big albums and then completely fell off the musical planet. The album cover is great as it has two warring rappers brought before Dre and he has them make their peace. Incredible, imagine that happening in the 90s with the whole east vs west stuff.

Highlights-“Sackchasers (Keep It Going Baby)” “Killer On Wax”

 

34.Ramones-Brain Drain

Remember for their last entry I was talking about the band having something of an image crisis and trying to keep up and fit in with about a million scenes?. This album sums it it up….I mean look at that cover by Matt Mahurin. It’s awesome but it’s straight off a thrash album and inside you have a pop christmas song!. Anyway there’s some good songs as there always is on Ramones records but the wheels were really coming off at this point and Dee Dee was out of the band shortly after.

Highlights-“Pet Semetary” “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)”

 

 

33.Big Drill Car-Cd Type Thing

BDC are often credited as one of the forefathers of the third wave of melodic punk bands, particularly the ones that came out of California. I even see some of what would go on to be known as grunge at times in their music, particularly the funky jam style that Pearl Jam would nail. Anyway, catchy if unspectacular songs with really tight musicianship. I love Frank Daly’s vocals. Every format had a different name i.e Tape Type Thing, Album Type Thing but I had the cd so it was Cd Type thing for me.

Highlights-“About Us” “Diamond Earrings”

 

32. The Wonder Stuff-Hup

The second album from the hippy dippy midlands alt rock band The Wonder Stuff saw them break through to the mainstream. They’re one of those bands I was always aware of but other than a few songs on this album they pretty much passed me by. The lead single from the album seen bellow is an absolute corker though.

Highlights-“Don’t Let Me Down Gently” “Them, Big Oak Trees”

 

31. Del Amitri-Waking Hours

This is considered the first proper album from the band after the minuscule  output of their post punk influenced debut a few years later that many didn’t realize existed until it’s re-release two decades later. Justin Currie, in his mid twenties here shows off his songwriting skills and how he’s one of Scotland’s best pop rock songsmiths and the band would go on to have a fair bit of success. They went quiet for a while after the ninties but the mid 00s saw Scrubs using some of his work and there was something of a renaissance.

Highlights-“This Side Of The Morning” “Nothing Ever Happens”

 

30. Exodus-Fabulous Disaster

Man the last few years have seen a lot of thrash on these lists. The first half of the decade was all punk and the second half is thraaaaash baaaaybeeeeee. Exodus were a fun band and here we see a more varied album with differing paces than the usual rapid thrash norm but it still remains true to their metal roots.

Highlights-“The Last Act Of Defiance” “Toxic Waltz”

 

 

29. Bolt Thrower-Realm Of Chaos

Whilst I love metal and know a fair bit about certain aspects it’s not my scene like punk is so I don’t know if I’ll get an arse whooping for this but here goes. I think Bolt Thrower really paved the way for bands like Slipknot, listen to some of the guitar riffs on this album and tell me it doesn’t remind you of Iowa era Slipknot. So groove laden but brutal and downtuned (I think). Anyway that’s my bombshell….do with it what you want.

Highlights-“Eternal War” “Through The Eye Of Terror”

 

28. Wrathchild America-Climbing The Walls

Thrash is still going strong in 1989 when the glam metal scene is trying to kill them off and it’s just before grunge got the job done. This debut album came out at the tail end of the scene’s height which is a shame as they really could have gone on to be one of the big players had they got there earlier. It’s fast, tight and the drumming from a young Shannon Larkin is excellent. He’d go on to be more well known in Godsmack.

Highlights-“Hell’s Gates” “Climbing The Walls”

 

27. Geto Boys-Grip It! On That Other Level

The original HARDCORE rap group from Texas are back for their second album and it’s a beast. I always loved the fact they’re super controversial and really hardcore in their content but they sampled things like the Steve Miller Band and Pink Floyd. Cool stuff.

Highlights-“Gangsta Of Love” “Size Ain’t Shit”

 

26. D.I-Tragedy Again

A second entry on Kinker Korner for the Californian punk band. As I said before, one of those bands that influenced loads of groups that followed but always remained a cult band. The fact that they featured members of Social Distortion and Adolescent makes it all the more odd that they didn’t break bigger.

Highlights-“Chiva” “Manhole”

 

25. Whiplash-Insult To Injury

Another great thrash album by a band I only discovered in the last few years. Great guitar work, catchy hooks and fun vocals. I always wonder how certain bands don’t make it bigger, especially in genres like thrash and punk where fans are so loyal and try to build up bands as much as possible. The music industry is an odd world.

Highlights-“Hiroshima” “Ticket To Mayhem/4 E.S”

 

24. Annihilator-Alice In Hell

Love that album cover. Yes it’s more thrash but as I believe the kids say these days, sorry not sorry…hashtags….pogs?. I don’t know any more. Yes it’s more thrash and there’s more to come so deal with it or move along. Not usually a big fan of this band but I really enjoy this album for sure. A very solid debut.

Highlights-“Alison Hell” “Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade”

 

23. Madonna-Like A Prayer

This is the album that took Madonna from cute little pop star to being accepted properly as an artist by critics with her introspective songs and confrontational videos. Songs about family, sexually freedom and female empowerment made this a monster hit. She was never the strongest singer but she didn’t need to be she had the other sides of being a star down perfectly whatever you think of how she did it.

Highlights-“Dear Jessie” “Like A Prayer”

 

22. Sepultura-Beneath The Remains

The Brazilian metal legend’s first major label release is super aggressive with crushing riffs and moving from hardcore punk style rhythms to thrash metal to groove and death metal. Brutal stuff from the Cavalera brothers and the band who would rage into the 90s and become legends.

Highlights-“Stronger Than Hate” “Slaves Of Pain”

 

21.Stezo-Crazy Noise

Probably the happiest album cover ever. Stezo was originally a dancer for the successful and excellent hip hop group EPMD but decided to give it a go himself. The handsome and charismatic MC never broke out in a way close to EPMD or many others which is a shame as he had the chops, the moves, innovative production skills and the looks to be a star and he did achieve moderate success.

Highlights-“Talking Sense” “Put Your Body Into It”

 

20. Kreator-Extreme Aggression

This was the album that took the German thrash legends to a wider market and introduced them to many outside of their homeland. They’d go on to create many more great thrash albums and never really changed their style when the genre went out of favour. Got to respect them for that, keeping it real. They are in a lot of my 90s and 00s lists so they kept the quality high.

Highlights”No Reason To Exist” “Some Pain Will Last”

 

19. Operation Ivy-Energy

The first and only album from the hugely influential ska punk band that famously featured Tim Armstrong who would go on to form Rancid. Most bands from the hugely successful third wave of ska a few years later drew inspiration from this album and credit them as massive influences.

Highlights-“Knowledge” “Unity”

 

18. The Jesus And Mary Chain-Automatic

The Reid brothers pretty much recorded their third album alone with the use of a drum machine in lieu of an actual drummer. It doesn’t really hurt the music as I always felt they had a very synthetic sounding drum sound anyway. More melodic shoegaze rock from the Scottish group.

Highlights-“Here Comes Alice” “Between Planets”

 

17. Nirvana-Bleach

I remember the first time I saw Nirvana was on an episode of terrible yoof tv programme The Word when Nevermind was starting to blow up. Not too long after that my buddy Rick gave me a shot of a cassette of Bleach. It was gritty, dark and noisy and frankly unlike anything I had heard before and I really enjoyed it. My enjoyment of the band has definitely died down over the years and I was never obsessed in the first place but Bleach will always remind me of the first time I’d put their music into my ghetto blaster and played it loud.

Highlights-“Big Cheese” “Love Buzz”

 

 

16. Overkill-The Years Of Decay

New Jersey thrash fronted by the squealing and incredibly likeable Bobby Blitz. This is considered one of their best albums and it’s hard to disagree with that, it’s very good. I particularly love the sound of D.D Verni’s bass.

Highlights-“Elimination” “Nothing To Die For”

 

15. Testament-Practice What You Preach

Third entry in a row for the talented and mega underrated thrash legends. This album sees them moving away from lyrical themes of demons and hell etc and into the real world of politics and corruption. It’s a heavy, rhythmic, intelligent thrash album.

Highlights-“Practice What You Preach” “Blessed In Contempt”

 

 

14. Nuclear Assault-Handle With Care

Don’t throw your back out with this one because it is HEAVY!….awesome joke. Seriously though this is a powerful, groove and speed laden album that would have a pit running in circles and smashing into each other.

Highlights-“New Song” “Surgery”

 

13. Tom Petty-Full Moon Fever

Of all the celebrity deaths that occurred over the last couple of Years, Tom Petty’s hit me the hardest. I’ve always been a big fan of his music and he is a huge influence on me melodically despite me being in the punk genre. Anyway, at a time where guys like Tom who had been in the business for years were struggling to stay relevant, Tom hit big with an album that contains some of his most popular songs ever. 

Highlights-“I Won’t back Down” “Free Fallin'”

 

12. Pixies-Doolittle

Gil Norton’s considerable production helped take the alt rock band from critical darlings but relative unknowns to mainstream stars. For me, this is their strongest work with brilliantly melodic songs but with a dirty, grubby sound and a mix of light and dark sounding songs with intelligent lyrics.

Highlights-“Debaser” “Here Comes Your Man”

 

11. Paradox-Heresy

A criminally underappreciated thrash band from Germany. They have a surprising amount of melody in their music which is quite rare for the thrash genre and they have harmonies in the vocals and thought out chord progressions. If you like the genre at all then seriously check these guys out. This album is top class.

Highlights-“Search For Perfection” “Serenity”

 

10. Lou Reed-New York

Often considered the pinnacle of Lou Reed’s solo career, this album was scathing in it’s moral outrage and addresses the struggles of the homeless, aids victims, racial tension and other topics that concerned him. The album revitalized his career which, as a solo artist had badly struggled and it made him completely relevant again.

Highlights-“Romeo Had Juliette” “Last Great American Whale”

 

9. Descendents-Hallraker:Live!

The second live album by the best band in the world would normally be higher but all of the songs have been covered in previous lists. It’s a live Descendents album, obviously it’s great and it has an excellent setlist (I prefer the Liveage! set though) and loads of energy.

Highlights-“Christmas Vacation” “Pep Talk”

 

 

8. All-Allroy’s Revenge

For those who don’t know All is Descendents with a different singer as Milo was away to college at the time. For this album singer Scott Reynolds replaced Dave Smalley and he has a great voice. This is probably my favourite All album. Beautifully melodic but still with that punk spirit. Great stuff.

Highlights-“Gnutheme” “She’s My Ex”

 

7. Beastie Boys-Paul’s Boutique

To me, their second album was a pretty big step up from their debut with much better sampling techniques and production skills with the help of the Dust Brothers who honed their skills. It’s juvenile, fun and a much more refined and focused hip hop album than their previous effort.

Highlights-“Egg Man” “Shake Your Rump”

 

6.D.R.I-Thrash Zone

The kings of crossover thrash are back for their fifth album full of relentlessly fast punk/metal and it gets you about as pumped as possible. I started throwing my cat around the room and kicking the doors in (I would never harm my cat don’t freak out). Basically what I’m trying to say is it’s music to fuck shit up to.Alt right types will be heartbroken that these badarse thrashers are socially conscious and calling for things like gun control waahh waahh.

Highlights-“Gun Control” “Thrashard”

 

5. EPMD-Unfinished Business

The second release from the talented hip hop duo sees them continue their rise in popularity and well earned it was too. Smooth, laid back beats and funky flow are the order of the day in this rap classic. I don’t hear them spoken about so much these days but these guys were a big deal.

Highlights-“Knick Knack Patty Wack” “So Wat Cha Sayin'”

 

4.De La Soul-3 Feet High And Rising

A wonderful hip hop album that bucked the trend of the burgeoning violence in the genre with what at the time was classed as hippy-hop. It’s a term they’d come to hate and go in a harder direction which is a shame as it made them unique with the bright colours, flowers etc but they weren’t a joke party band they had a message and just happened to convey it through very upbeat rap.

Highlights-“The Magic Number” “Eye Know”

 

3. Sloppy Seconds-Destroyed

The debut from the immature, slobbish, fat, gross out punks is an absolute banger and very influential to the third wave punk bands that came a few years after. Influenced heavily by Ramones and clearly Kiss as the title and brilliant cover shows. Initially shunned as a gimmick which they admitted was the case due to people wanting to come and see a 500 pound guitarist but they quickly established themselves as a brilliant punk band.

Highlights-“Janie Is A Nazi” “If I Had A Woman”

 

2.Bad Religion-No Control

After last year’s seminal and epic “Suffer” Bad Religion really found their sound and got themselves on a roll to become one of the greatest punk bands of all time. Socially conscious, fast, melodic and Greg Graffin’s great folky voice driving the great band’s furious pace. Excellent stuff and very very close to being number one.

Highlights-“I Want To Conquer The World” “Big Bang”

 

1. The Cure-Disintegration

“DISINTEGRATION IS THE BEST ALBUM EVER!” as Kyle from South Park screams at Robert Smith. Not a bad shout actually, it’s beautiful. After a couple of commercially viable and pop heavy albums the band move back to the gloomy doom goth sound of the likes of “Pornography” but they still managed to make it more melodic than the previous darker albums. There’s such beauty in this album that it breaks your heart, well my heart listening to it. It’s a man pouring his heart out through the speakers. I really struggled between this and number two for the top spot but Disintegration is so heart achingly gorgeous it has to win.

Highlights-“Pictures Of You” “Closedown”

 

..and so the 80s come to a close. I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane and if you haven’t checked my other lists looking at the 90s and 00s then have a peek. Catch me back here for whatever I get up to next and get me @swing_kinker cheers x

 

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