One day at Amoeba Hollywood I proclaimed that Aztec Camera's 1983 release High Land, Hard Rain was one of the best records of the '80s. This single statement eventually led to over 200 Amoebites ranking their top 10 favorite albums from the ‘80s.
From the beginning we realized that it was impossible for most of us to condense our favorites from all genres into a tiny top ten list. So, we limited our lists to Rock/Pop and its sub-genres like punk, metal, goth, and new wave. Even so, it was a difficult selection process because not only are there hundreds of amazing records to consider, there is also the added dynamic of time.
The '80s were a long time ago and the music has had many years to gestate. We have a deep sense of nostalgia and sentiment with these albums as our fondest memories are associated with them. These are albums we LOVE.
- Henry Polk
P.S. We'll be posting new additions to the '80s list project from Amoeba staff members on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. See all entries in our ‘80s list series.
P.P.S. The '80s List Book is available for sale at Amoeba Hollywood.
The Smiths – Strangeways Here We Come (1987)
The Jam – Sound Affects (1980)
Specials – More (1980)
The Cure – Disintegration (1989)
Erasure – The Innocents (1988)
English Beat – I Just Can't Stop It (1980)
Minor Threat – Out of Step (1983)
Dexy's Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels (1980)
Joy Division – Closer (1980)
Morrissey – Viva Hate (1988)
I have been obsessed with zombies for as long as I can remember and I am not really sure why, but I just can't get enough of them! Not the band -- we're talking actual zombies here! Not that zombies actually exist...but you know what I mean. When I found out there was a band named Zombi, I figured I had to at least check them out and I soon became obsessed with Zombi as well. Zombi are a sort of prog space instrumental rock sort of band from Pittsburgh. You could compare them to Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Goblin, Giorgio Moroder, Yes, Rush, and the soundtracks of John Carpenter. I actually first got into Zombi by listening to Majeure, the project of Zombi drummer A.E. Paterra, which has one album from 2010, Timespan. I was hooked and immediately got all of the Zombi albums that I could find, starting with their last album, Spirit Animal, from 2009, and now I couldn't be happier to have a brand new Zombi album in my life, Escape Velocity, on Relapse. And it is just as good as their last -- dark and spacey. Everyone needs some Zombi in their life.
Listen to "Escape Velocity" by Zombi from their new album Escape Velocity...
I didn't really become an Okkervil River fan until Black Sheep Boy in 2005. Not sure what took me so long but there are a lot of bands out there! It just took me a while to devote some time to them. I already talked about them a bunch in two blogs so I won't waste too much more time on them here. Here I talk about The Stand Ins in 2009. And here I talk about The Stage Names in 2007. I don't want to end up repeating myself but I do still love Okkervil River. And yes, they are still putting out great albums! The new album is called I Am Very Far. I just can't get enough of Will Sheff's voice!
Not too long ago I acknowledged the slim possibility of this show with little faith, but Poison frontman Bret Michaels has once again given me something to believe in, as it seems he's stirred up just enough shit-slinging hearsay-hype to kick-start this Jack and Aquanet fueled juggernaut of a tour into reality! At least Poison has the decency to yield top billing to the Crüe and work the New York Dolls into the equation. One might wonder what former New York Dolls fan club president Mr. Steven Morrissey is thinking right about now...
October is always one of my favorite months. I love when summer starts to go away and it starts to get cold again. We have been having some October rain out here in Los Angeles that has been fabulous! This also means that Halloween is right around the corner! Many labels save their big releases for the end of the year, which also makes this time of year exciting for those of us that love music. October 12th is a big release day -- three of my favorite artists have releases on this date! It's almost too much to handle! Sufjan Stevens, Belle & Sebastian, & Antony & the Johnsons all have new albums -- all in one day! I have been patiently waiting for Sufjan to continue his series on all the 50 States. He gave us the brilliant Illinois and Michigan and then nothing else. I am of course wanting California and New York, but also all the States in between. I am hoping that he has actually been working on them in secret. He just continues to release these other albums to distract us, right? But then in a couple of years he will release a comprehensive 50 state box set. It will have an album for each state and also contain 2 7"s for the commonwealths and it will come with a puzzle. I could even be satisfied with an album of 150 songs with 3 songs for each state -- just give me something, Sufjan! A 7" for each state would also be amazing! His new album is called Age of Adz. I sort of had a strange reaction to it at first. It incorporates some electronics and at times sounds like a Lil Jon album...but it is still Sufjan, and I still love it. I just takes a couple of listens.
Belle & Sebastian's new album Write About Love also took a couple of listens to fall in love with. I was sort of still on my Belle & Sebastian high from seeing them in Vegas. And I do love the contest they ran to get fans to write about love. There are some great songs on Write About Love for sure but I really could have lived without the Norah Jones duet. I know this band is both easy to love and hate. Some people are very proud of their hatred of the band. I am one of the lovers of the band and I always will feel the same.