Music: I wish I was 10-15 years older

That way, I would have lived my childhood exposed to the 70s.

I’ve been on a pretty serious 70s kick lately and man, this stuff kicks the shit out of what I listened to when I was young :( Of course, the question is would I still be open-minded enough to have appreciated the good stuff from the early-mid 90s.

Meh, I’ve always been a bigger fan of the 60’s, the end of the 70s was pretty lackluster IMHO. I’m just not a big fan of all the boston, kansas and foreigner type bands. Though they both are better then the 80s (with a few exceptions).

Remember that you have better access to the cool 70s music now than most people in the 70s did.

Cool indie vinyl was pretty tough to get even in the 80s unless you knew radio guys.

The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, David Bowie, Wire, Joy Division, Kraftwerk, Elvis Costello, Television, Talking Heads, The Clash, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Pere Ubu, The Buzzcocks, Gang Of Four, Madness, The Damned, The Specials and Joe Jackson all made brilliant albums at the tail end of the seventies - plenty of good music in that somewhat maligned decade. Plus, Miles Davis’ crazy live records and piles of awesome funk music.

What pisses me off to no end is that so much great music of the 80s (my own teenage years) has been essentially forgotten or ignored. Based on the flashback/retro compilations and VH1 shows, you’d think everybody spent the decade listening to Madonna and the closest available John Hughes soundtrack.

Wow, those are all awesome examples MadKevin. You took me back to my youth there. Fortunately I got to see most of those bands live, too. (Not the Sex Pistols though.) I actually saw Gang of Four when they headlined over the then-new R.E.M., which seems completely odd now.

But as someone who bought and obsessed about music in the late 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and now…I can tell you, every decade rules, and every decade is shit. :) And usually it takes a good ten years (at least) to sort it all out.

What’s so great about the 80s?

Damn I miss the Ramones.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Sigh.

Although it did kind of turn to shit around 87.

I’m pretty sure “music” was the subject.

Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, Sister and EVOL.

The Minutemen’s Double Nickels On The Dime and Ballot Result.

Any Butthole Surfers record up to and including Hairway To Steven (greatest album title of all time, by the way).

New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies, Low-Life and Technique. And Susbstance, the greatest singles album in history.

Every Smiths record, except Rank.

Mission of Burma - all of it, but especially the Vs. album.

Husker Du - all of it.

The Replacements. For my money, “Alex Chilton” is the best guitar song of the eighties.

Black Flag, up to the moment Greg Ginn decided to be a jazz guy - Damaged, Slip It In, My War. Also Henry Rollins’ first couple of records, Hot Animal Machine and Lifetime - great forgotten meaty slabs of hardcore.

Big Black - all of it, but especially that fucked up cover of Kraftwerk’s “The Model”.

The Bad Brains - everything up to I Against I, the opening of which should’ve been enough to shame Eddie Van Halen from ever picking up the guitar ever again.

Billy Bragg - everything up to Worker’s Playtime. One of the best live acts I’ve ever seen.

The Cure, but not the MTV Cure - Faith, Pornography. Ah, who am I kidding? The MTV Cure kicks ass too. “Just Like Heaven” might be the second-best guitar song of the eighties.

Early, crazy hip-hop: Public Enemy, Grandmaster Flash’s “White Lines” (thank you, Shaun Of The Dead), Schooly D., Mantronix.

Early, crazy house/acid/club stuff: Art of Noise’s “Beat Box” and “Close To The Edit”, M.A.R.R.S., Pigbag’s “Papa’s Got A Brand-New Pigbag”, Pop Will Eat Itself.

Everything R.E.M. did up to Document - fucking brilliant. Has there ever been a cover version as good as R.E.M.'s “Superman”?

Bauhaus / Tones On Tail / Love & Rockets. I still play Express every week. It’s my personal favourite pot album.

There’s more, but that should give you an idea.

Oh, and I forgot to mention Violent Femmes, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Public Image Limited, Dinosaur Jr., Ministry, Jesus & Mary Chain, the Vince Clarke trinity of Depeche Mode / Yaz / Erasure, Stone Roses, Suicidal Tendencies, Jane’s Addiction, The Pogues, The Cramps, Echo & The Bunnymen and THE FUCKING PIXIES.

Nice list. The only thing to add off the top of my head is Sisters of Mercy and Birthday Party.

Oh, and to be just a little less indie I’ll throw in Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, XTC, and the 80’s King Crimson albums.

…and the Police.

I’m just going to toss this out, feel free to flame me, but I really think that Tears for Fears, both Big Chair and Sowing, were greatly underrated critically. Yes, I know that SftBC sold a zillion copies, but it often gets tossed into the Duran Duran, Arcadia (okay, I really like Election Day, sue me), Kajagoogoo, Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, et. al. camp. (note: I still like those bands, particularly for nostalgic reasons)

Best album of the 80s, however, is still Purple Rain. Sheer genius through and through.

Madkevin’s list is pretty extensive. To add:

ANYthing by Prince in that decade.

Thriller. 'Nuf said.

The dB’s.

Soul Asylum. HANG TIME is one of the greatest “lost” rock and roll albums of all time. “You’re in the movies now and I’m in your cartoon” indeed.

Mudhoney.

The Young Fresh Fellows.

Game Theory.

The Dream Syndicate.

The Rain Parade.

Green On Red.

The Three O’Clock. 16 TAMBOURINES is the greatest twinkpop album of all time.

Springsteen. NEBRASKA and THE RIVER

The Talking Heads.

The Fucking Pixies (SURFER ROSA and COME ON PILGRIM, have we really forsaken you?)

The Descendants/All.

Pylon.

Redd Kross. I still remember a now-very influential record company dude telling me back in 1990 that had NEUROTICA come out on a major label, we’d have had our NEVERMIND moment 4 years earlier. What an amazing fucking record.

The Go Gos.

The Bangles.

Robyn Hitchcock with and without The Egyptians.

Uncle Tupelo.

fIREHOSE.

My Dad Is Dead.

Scrawl.

The Embarrassment/Big Dipper.

Paul Simon. GRACELAND was some kinda thing back then.

A whole raft of SST stars: The Leaving Trains, Saccharine Trust, Meat Puppets, to add to madkevin’s mention of the Huskers, Minutement, and Black Flag.

Screaming Trees. BUZZ FACTORY. An unstoppable force of nature.

…and the Police.

I’m just going to toss this out, feel free to flame me, but I really think that Tears for Fears, both Big Chair and Sowing, were greatly underrated critically. Yes, I know that SftBC sold a zillion copies, but it often gets tossed into the Duran Duran, Arcadia (okay, I really like Election Day, sue me), Kajagoogoo, Thompson Twins, Howard Jones, et. al. camp. (note: I still like those bands, particularly for nostalgic reasons)

Best album of the 80s, however, is still Purple Rain. Sheer genius through and through.[/quote]

BTG, I think Tears were definitely got the short end due to having SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR selling a gajillion copies, but there’s definitely a brilliance of craft and a way with a hook and lyric that went far beyond the typical MTV new wave confectionary back in the day.

A few more essentials:

The Feelies. CRAZY RHYTHMS, THE GOOD EARTH, and ONLY LIFE. Fucking brilliant. Plus, a great laconic version of “Fame” as the high school reunion band in Jonathan Demme’s SOMETHING WILD.

And, hard as it might be to see today, how fucking amazing and how much of a jolt of pure lightning from the sky was THE HARDLINE ACCORDING TO TERRENCE TRENT D’ARBY when that came out? “If You Let Me Stay”, “Wishing Well”, “Sign Your Name”, and “Dance Little Sister” are enough brilliance alone as singles, but the whole record is that great.

Oh, man…you guys are taking me back to my WHFS roots now. Am I the only guy here who remembers “Rock Against Reagan” on the Mall or Weasel? Ah…the good old days when you never knew what kind of music you’d be hearing on a progressive station.

The shit’s all the same now or it sounds like something I’ve already heard before. Maybe every generation says that but, fuck, it’s true this time!

Nope. Right now is “the good ol’ days” for music. Trust me.

That’s pretty much when the toothpick comes out clean and you know you’re done. I was driving with a friend of mine when I was in my late-20s and the radio was on, and I literally “Goddamnit, all today’s music sounds the exact same and it’s all crap”.

He casually commented that I was now an old man. Which is true.

I mean, shit, to me “modern” music is still Korn, Nine Inch Nails, and Pearl Jam. My hip hop collection is the ever trite PE, NWA, and Cube. The kids these days think I’m quaint.

Maybe so but I remember rap, ska, cowpunk, industrial and speed metal all coexisting in the 80s. Now it’s just the same stuff with different names and higher production values. The jump from Elvis to The Beatles, that was huge, and The Beatles to The Sex Pistols, that was huge, but the jump from The Sex Pistols to Green Day? The only music, in my somewhat isolated dotage, that still sounds “new” to me is House but that’s been around for almost 20 years now.

I dunno, I suspect my point of view is easily demolished but it seems well founded. I say that as I reach for a jar of toothpicks. Bah, music. It’s gotten boring.