25 Years of Lists

A friend of mine posted a Facebook status listing his favorite movie for every year he’s been alive.  (It started with Spaceballs…which I saw in theatres…so I’m old now.)  Hi list got me thinking about doing the same thing, but with albums…which got me thinking about a retroactive list I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  Friends of the blog will know I put a lot of time and effort into putting together my annual “Top Ten Albums” lists every year.  Well, I’ve long-since wanted to do top ten albums lists for every year I’ve been alive…but fuck, that sounds like a lot of work.  So I’ve done the next best thing…

As you’ll see below, I’ve scrolled through Wikipedia and just noted the stuff I’d definitely put on those lists if I did make them–just the no-brainers.  In most cases, there weren’t 10 to consider, playing by that rule–a couple years only have TWO entries!  (I could probably still pull off top tens, but I don’t want to do it and you sure don’t want to read it, so this is shorter.)  There’s some stuff that would have made a top ten that isn’t here at all because it wasn’t a “no brainer.”  I’m just listing the stuff that might’ve contended for top-spots.  No runners up.  (Difficult task, believe me!)  And since I did this all in one sitting and just scanned through each year on Wikipedia ONCE, please pardon any omissions.  For the most part these lists are in no particular order–although I am listing my album of the year for that year as the first entry each time.  And there’s some occasional commentary here and there I hope you’ll enjoy.

One more thing…  I’m only going from 1980 to 2005.  From 2006 onward, I’ve got top ten lists on this blog, and you can start reading them here, if you’re interested. Now…let’s go!

  • 1980:
    Queen – The Game
    Rush – Permanent Waves
    Pete Townshend – Empty Glass
    Tom Waits – Heartattack and Vine
    Motorhead – Ace of Spades – (That’s right…when I was born, Motorhead released Ace of fucking Spades.  You’re welcome.)
    REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity
  • 1981:
    Rush – Moving Pictures
    Frank Zappa – Tinsel Town Rebellion
  • 1982:
    Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast
    Lou Reed – The Blue Mask
    Willie Nelson – Always on My Mind
    Frank Zappa – Ship Arriving too Late to Save a Drowning Witch – (My all time favorite album cover.)
    Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance
    Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
    Prince – 1999
    Descendents – Milo Goes to College
  • 1983:
    Styx – Kilroy Was Here – (Yeah, I stand by it!)
    Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind
    Yes – 90125
  • 1984:
    Van Halen – 1984
    Prince – Purple Rain
    U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
    Replacements – Let it Be – (By far the ballsiest album title they could’ve released.)
  • 1985:
    Descendents – I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
    Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
  • 1986:
    Queen – A Kind of Magic
    Elvis Costello – King of America
    Metallica – Master of Puppets
    Van Halen – 5150
    Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey
    Judas Priest – Turbo
    Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time
    Slayer – Reign in Blood
  • 1987:
    Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me
    Husker Du – Warehouse: Songs and Stories
    U2 – The Joshua Tree
    Anthrax – Among the Living
    Prince – Sign O’ the Times
    Sammy Hagar – I Never Said Goodbye
    Def Leppard – Hysteria
    Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason
    Rush – Hold Your Fire
    Yes – Big Generator
  • 1988:
    Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
    Pixies – Surfer Rosa
    Weird Al Yankovic – Even Worse – (I am absolutely not kidding.)
    Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime
    Living Colour – Vivid
    Van Halen – OU812
    Elton John – Reg Strikes Back
    Metallica – …And Justice for All
    REM – Green
  • 1989:
    Replacements – Don’t Tell A Soul
    Lou Reed – New York
    Pixies – Doolittle
    The Cure – Disintegration
    Queen – The Miracle
    Tin Machine – Tin Machine
    Pete Townshend – The Iron Man
    Nine Inch Nails – Pretty Hate Machine
    Rush – Presto
  • 1990:
    Queensryche – Empire
    Primus – Frizzle Fry
    Damn Yankees – Damn Yankees
    Extreme – Pornographitti
    Pixies – Bossanova
    Anthrax – Persistence of Time
    REO Speedwagon – The Earth, A Small Man, His Dog, and a Chicken – (Still one of my all time favorite album titles.)
    Styx – Edge of the Century
    Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
  • 1991: (VERY hard year to pick a favorite! Also a banner-year for marking how much changed with the influx of grunge.)
    Pearl Jam – Ten
    Motorhead – 1916
    Queen – Innuendo
    Mr. Big – Lean Into It
    Yes – Union
    Primus – Sailing the Seas of Cheese
    Van Halen – For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge (aka “FUCK”)
    Metallica – Black Album – (I’m not a big fan of the album, but it deserves to be listed.)
    Spin Doctors – Pocket Full of Kryptonite
    Rush – Roll the Bones
    Nirvana – Nevermind
    U2 – Achtung Baby
  • 1992:
    Dream Theater – Images and Words
    Lou Reed – Magic and Loss – (Probably Lou’s best work.)
    KISS – Revenge – (A rarity to see me give props to KISS, but it’s a great album!)
    Elton John – The One
    Cure – Wish
    Pixies – Bone Machine
    Extreme – III Sides to Every Story
    Tragically Hip – Fully Completely
    REM – Automatic for the People
  • 1993:
    Rush – Counterparts
    Living Colour – Stain
    Anthrax – Sound of White Noise
    Pete Townshend – Psychoderelict
    Nirvana – In Utero
    Posies – Frosting on the Beater
    Pearl Jam – Vs.
    Motorhead – Bastards
  • 1994:
    Queensryche – Promised Land
    Johnny Cash – American Recordings
    Kings X – Dogman
    Cheap Trick – Woke Up With a Monster
    Nine Inch Nails – The Downward Spiral
    Yes – Talk
    Rollins Band – Weight
    Live – Throwing Copper
    Stone Temple Pilots – Purple
    Alice Cooper – The Last Temptation
    Dream Theater – Awake
    Black Crowes – Amorica
    Pearl Jam – Vitalogy
  • 1995:
    Van Halen – Balance
    Extreme – Waiting for the Punchline
    Primus – Tales from the Punchbowl
    Alanis Morissette – Jagged Little Pill
    Son Volt – Trace
    David Bowie – Outside
    DC Talk – Jesus Freak – (Which I’m maybe a little embarrassed about…but it is very well constructed and mixed.)
  • 1996:
    Descendents – Everything Sucks
    Audio Adrenaline – Bloom – (I know…but this was actually a good year for Christian rock, and this record is one of the reasons I say that.)
    Newsboys – Take Me to Your Leader – (The other reason I say that.)
    Lou Reed – Set the Twilight Reeling
    Stone Temple Pilots – Tiny Music… Songs from the Vatican Gift Shop
    Sloan – One Chord to Another
    Black Crowes – Three Snakes and One Charm
    Rush – Test for Echo
    Spice Girls – Spice
    Johnny Cash – Unchained
  • 1997:
    Cheap Trick – Cheap Trick (’97)
    David Bowie – Earthling
    Live – Secret Samadhi
    Queensryche – Hear in the Now Frontier
    Foo Fighters – The Colour and the Shape
    Sammy Hagar – Marching to Mars
    Radiohead – OK Computer
    Dream Theater – Falling Into Infinity
    Spice Girls – Spice World
    Modest Mouse – The Lonesome Crowded West
  • 1998:
    Dropkick Murphys – Do or Die
    All – Mass Nerder
    Sloan – Navy Blues
    Refused – The Shape of Punk to Come
  • 1999:
    David Bowie – Hours – (One of my favorite Bowie records, in general.)
    Paul Westerberg – Suicaine Gratifaction
    Black Crowes – By Your Side
    Misfits – Famous Monsters
    Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
    Get Up Kids – Something to Write Home About
    Live – The Distance to Here
    Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 2 – Scenes from a Memory
    Melanie C – Northern Star
    Foo Fighters – There is Nothing Left to Lose
  • 2000:
    Queens of the Stone Age – Rated R – (This might be the only QOTSA album I genuinely like, and it’s a work of genius.)
    Union – The Blue Room
    Aimee Mann – Bachelor No. 2
    Pearl Jam – Binaural
    Johnny Cash – American III
    Iron Maiden – Brave New World
    Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet
    All – Problematic
    Modest Mouse – The Moon & Antarctica
    Godspeed You! Black Emperor – Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven
    Sammy Hagar – Ten 13
    U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind
  • 2001:
    Drive-By Truckers – Southern Rock Opera
    Dropkick Murphys – Sing Loud, Sing Proud
    American Hi-Fi – American Hi-Fi
    Mark Lanegan – Field Songs
    Rufus Wainwright – Poses
    Stone Temple Pilots – Shangri-La Dee Da
    Live – V
    Tenacious D – Tenacious D
  • 2002:
    David Bowie – Heathen – (Another of my all-time favorite Bowie records.)
    Dream Theater – Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence – (Although it took me YEARS to come around on it.)
    Flogging Molly – Drunken Lullabies
    Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
    Get up Kids – On a Wire
    Bruce Springsteen – The Rising
    Aimee Mann – Lost in Space
    Foo Fighters – One by One
    Johnny Cash – American IV: The Man Comes Around
    Hank Williams III – Lovesick, Broke and Driftin’ – (A great album that is so deeply connected with some memories in my life that I have trouble listening to it.)
  • 2003:
    Drive-By Truckers – Decoration Day
    American Hi-Fi – The Art of Losing
    Neil Young – Greendale
    Warren Zevon – The Wind – (Recorded while Zevon knew he was dying of cancer. A moving listen, with that in mind.)
    Iron Maiden – Dance of Death
    My Morning Jacket – It Still Moves
    Frank Black – Show Me Your Tears
    David Bowie – Reality
    Billy Talent – Billy Talent
    Alice Cooper – The Eyes of Alice Cooper
  • 2004:
    Modest Mouse – Good News for People Who Love Bad News
    The Hold Steady – Almost Killed Me
    Alanis Morissette – So-Called Chaos
    Motorhead – Inferno
    Old 97s – Drag It Up
    Drive-By Truckers – The Dirty South
    Arcade Fire – Funeral
    Elvis Costello – The Delivery Man
    Brian Wilson – Smile – (I’m cheating with this one, but it deserves to be recognized.)
    James Blunt – Back to Bedlam – (I know…shut up…)
    U2 – How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb
  • 2005:
    Aimee Mann – The Forgotten Arm – (Probably my favorite Aimee Mann record.)
    …and You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead – Worlds Apart
    Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
    Ryan Adams – Jacksonville City Nights
    Bruce Springsteen – Devils & Dust
    Dream Theater – Octavarium
    Sufjan Stevens – Come on Feel the Illinois
    Frank Black – Honeycomb
    Michael Penn – Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947
    Coheed & Cambria – Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness In Space
    Neil Young – Prairie Wind

Congratulations if you read all that…boy the movie-list idea sure would’ve been shorter and more fun, huh?