So earlier this week I went to visit a long-time friend. I had originally met him sometime during the late 80s through a mutual friend, but hung out with him more during the mid-late 90s. Sometimes we used to go to Coney Island High together. Other times, we would just go bar hopping along the Lower East Side. This was way before NYC got bleached with gentrification. Back then, I did not give a toss about the next day; nevermind what would happen in the near future.
Of course, the good times don’t last forever. Nothing in life lasts forever. All you can do is to move on into the present. Anyway…I hopped onto a bus at NYC’s Port Authority to Reading, PA. Not that it was an exotic vacation by any means. In fact, downtown Reading is pretty much a dump. It wasn’t until I checked on my iPhone to discover Reading’s ranking as the 5th crime-ridden small town in America. Yeck.
Still, I had a good time. Went down a much needed walk down a nature trail. Along the way, me and the friend started talking about various music we grew up listening to. I’d be the first to admit, I much prefer to listen to music made 10-50 years ago as opposed to what’s being made now. Still, these conversations kinda sorta had me re-discovering stuff from long ago days. Like The Smiths for example. I was a big Smiths fan during my teen years. By the time 1993 rolled around however, I was so, so, so sick of them, and other such groups like The Cure. I’m still tired of The Cure. Unless its the very early stuff or Robert Smith’s side project The Glove, I never want to hear songs by The Cure ever again.
Rediscovering The Smiths proved worthy. Just listening to a few of Morrissey and Johnny Marr’s handiwork…they kinda like a Lennon/McCarthy of the 1980s. While everyone else was listening to garbage like Micheal Jackson, The Smiths hit a raw nerve to the disfranchised, the lonely, the confused, the heartbroken, the loners, the daydreamers.
When night came, we switched to early David Bowie. Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, Young Americans, and a bit of the Heroes era.
There’s music made for for temporary mass consumption, and then there’s music for the long-term influential. Musical acts like The Smiths and early David Bowie fall into the long-term influential. The long-term influential isn’t just for other musicians. The tunes of the long-term influential also affects artists, writers, actors, directors, designers, travelers, mystics, and so on. Music and art go hand in hand, for imagination is the magician’s most crucial asset.
On the way home back to NYC, I started to think about all the great bands from the 1980s and the ’90s. Today, I discovered this online article from the Flavorwire website: 10 Glaring Omissions from Rolling Stone’s Top Albums of the ’80s.
I remember buying that particular Rolling Stone issue, either in 1989 or 1990. While it did mention Culture Club, Duran Duran, and Human League, I was disappointed with some of the other choices. Okay, The Clash was an important band way back when, but their album “London Calling” is in no way the best album of the 80s. No way.
This is all subject to personal opinion. I say tomateoo, you say tomatoe. Personally, I like some of the albums that Flavorwire listed. Totally remembered purchasing “Psychocandy” by The Jesus and Mary Chain. I played that vinyl until all the grooves were scratched up.
Here’s the complete list of omissions as determined by Flavorwire. I had many of these selections, either on vinyl, cassette or CD:
Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Dinosaur Jr – You’re Living All Over Me / Bug
Nirvana – Bleach
Mudhoney – Superfuzz Bigmuff
INXS – Kick
Throwing Muses – Throwing Muses
Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Tender Prey
Big Black – Songs About Fucking
David Byrne and Brian Eno – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
The Cure – Disintegration / Pornography
Devo – Freedom of Choice
Black Flag – Damaged
Sonic Youth – Sister
Minor Threat – Out of Step
Jane’s Addiction – Nothing’s Shocking
Simple Minds – New Gold Dream
Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique
The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
Galaxie 500 – On Fire
Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Spacemen 3 – The Perfect Prescription
Cowboy Junkies – The Trinity Sessions
Killing Joke – Brighter than 1000 Suns
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
Echo & The Bunnymen – Ocean Rain / Crocodiles
The Triffids – Born Sandy Devotional
David Bowie – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps
Mötörhead – Ace of Spades
The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
De La Soul – 3 Feet High and Rising
Metallica – Master of Puppets
NWA – Straight Outta Compton
Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Soft Cell – Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
The Gun Club – Fire of Love
Leonard Cohen – I’m Your Man
Grace Jones – Nightclubbing
Cocteau Twins – Treasure
EPMD – Strictly Business
This Mortal Coil – This Mortal Coil
I would also add these…
Psychic TV – Allegory and Self/Towards Thee Infinite Beat (This definitely subject to personal opinion. While some people still love PTV, others loathe Genesis P-Orridge. Depends who you speak with.)
Siouxsie and The Banshees – Juju/Kaleidoscope/Kiss In The Dreamhouse/Tinderbox
Skinny Puppy – Remission/Bites
I would also replace the Killing Joke album “Brighter than 1000 Suns” with “Nighttime.” Ditto for Sonic Youth. Replace “Sister” with “Evol.”
Enough of this opinionated musical memory lane. Time to head back to the present.