How Good Was The Year (in music) - 1988?

From those albums/songs already nominated, this is looking like it might be the hardest HGWTY to vote for yet. Strangely, though, I’ve always thought of 88 as being pretty weak, especially when compared to 89, which is huge year in music.

Single Nomination Les Negresses Vertes - Zobi la Mouche

Album Nomination R.E.M. - Green


Album - Waterboys - Fisherman’s Blues
Song - Throwing Muses - Juno


Nominate Song

(Though the definitive version/remix didn’t come out until 1990)


(Almost feels like I’m letting 1988 me down by not nominating Suedehead, Everyday is Like Sunday, Viva Hate or even Rank)

Great year. Near miss for AR Kane -69 and Pixies - Surfer Rosa but nominate album : Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll

Consolation prize for the Kaners - nominate song : A R Kane - Up.

Just listened to Late Night, Maudlin Street for the first time in years, still sounds stunning. Stephen Street is credited with writing the music and I know Vini disputes that, it really sounds like a perfect marriage of Morrissey and The Durutti Column to me, hard to imagine what it could have sounded like without Vini’s playing at any rate. This interview that came out over the Summer totally passed me by, it’s a really worthwhile read.

1 Like

Ahh, 1988. Sort of a pivotal year for 11 & 12 year old me. I may have still been listening to things like Huey Lewis & the News and Starship from 86 and 87, but it was otherwise all about glam rock/metal. And looking back, there aren’t a whole lot of albums from that year I was listening to at the time. I enjoyed lots of random popular singles across different genres, but for albums it was these and I’m not proud of it (or the posters I had on my walls).

Pink Floyd being the exception – I’d started to pick up on some classic rock like Led Zeppelin, maybe Black Sabbath or some solo Ozzy, and Pink Floyd from the radio. I liked the single Learning to Fly from the previous year’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, which led me to pick up the 88 live album Delicate Sound of Thunder.

For the search engine

Poison - Open Up and Say… Ahh!
Guns N’ Roses - G N’R Lies
Cinderella - Long Cold Winter
David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
Bon Jovi - New Jersey
Stryper - In God We Trust
Pink Floyd - Delicate Sound of Thunder
Europe - Out of This World
L.A. Guns - L.A. Guns

Being exposed to more 1988 albums the next few years…

Guns N’ Roses (having released Appetite for Destruction and blowing me away with Welcome to the Jungle the year before) and Metallica’s One (released as a single in January 89) were the impetus for me getting into heavier and less-glam metal, although I would still listen to glam metal at least through 91. In fact, although I remember the video for One airing frequently on MTV and enjoying it, regrettably it wasn’t until Enter Sandman in 91 that I really got into them and picked up the black album. Then I got …And Justice for All. But by then I’d already been exposed to Megadeth, Slayer, Suicidal Tendencies, and Anthrax via their 1990 albums, so I got into their 88 stuff shortly after. How did I not listen to Justice before all that? I’m sure it all happened very quickly. I really loved drawing all these band logos on my school book covers & binders.

I also remember my friend & neighbor’s older brother being into the heavier stuff before I was, he had all kinds of Iron Maiden on his walls and I found the Eddie artwork captivating (I recall Seventh Son of a Seventh Son on his walls). I wouldn’t get into Maiden until 92’s Fear of the Dark. I think Danzig came into my life a little later (probably after discovering Misfits) but it rounds out the collage so it’s staying. He was definitely in my ears around 92.

In that time I also got into more alternative stuff like Jane’s Addiction’s Ritual de lo habitual, RHCP’s Mother’s Milk & Blood Sugar Sex Magic between 89-91, but it would be a while before I got into indie & college rock. So while Sonic Youth and Pixies are high on my list now, they were nowhere near my radar in 88 or even the early 90s. I’m sure I had minimal exposure between 92 and 94 thanks to MTV, but I was still very much a metal head. And I was even further from discovering bands like Fugazi.

And in 92 I was exposed to industrial when a friend picked me up for school blasting Ministry’s “Burning Inside”. So that year I recall buying two 1988 albums the same day – Ministry’s The Land of Rape and Honey and Jane’s Addiction’s Nothing’s Shocking – and they remain high on my list. I don’t know when I got Skinny Puppy’s VIVIsectVI, but I remember being introduced to them via Last Rights in late 92 or early 93.

That’s also around the time I got into punk, with a new friend finding Descendents’ Hallraker tape in the school parking lot, leading to loads of fun. He’d already introduced me to Misfits by then, having bonded over our love for Metallica and well I don’t need to explain that connection. But I suppose that’s what led me to Danzig’s 88 debut.

For search

Metallica - …and Justice for All
Megadeth - So Far, So Good…So What!
Suicidal Tendencies - How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…
Slayer - South of Heaven
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Anthrax - State Of Euphoria
Overkill - Under the Influence
Testament - The New Order
Jane’s Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey
Descendents - Hallraker: Live!
Front 242 - Front by Front
Skinny Puppy - VIVIsect VI
My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult - I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits
Pailhead - Trait
Danzig - Danzig


Oh, go one then

Nominate Album

Viva Hate

1 Like

Loved these vids. And that’s all the glam I’m gonna post.

No one has even mentioned South of Heaven by Slayer yet. So I will.

What an amazing song.


Hi I’m blocked by Uncle Retro.

To be fair it was hidden in a novel.

Yea, I skipped that, sorry :smiley:

Dammit, Green, Fisherman’s Blues and SSOASS have all been nominated already. Means I’m gonna have to think about this

Pretty sure this was 1989 :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

I’ve been having a blast digging into the jazz of 1988.

Henry Threadgill’s Easily Slip Into Another World is absolutely brilliant, not someone I’d really listened to much before but I will be now.

Pharoah Sanders is a much more known quantity for me but I hadn’t heard this album before, also loved this, particularly the first track.

And it’s no coincidence that the artwork for this record looks more like a metal album. This is an avant-garde jazz supergroup of Sonny Sharrock on guitar, Peter Brötzmann on saxophone, Bill Laswell on bass and Ronald Shannon Jackson on the drums, and it rocks hard.


Going to decide my shouts tonight and make the polls tomorrow - so today is the last chance to add any more nominations.

1 Like

Please can I change my album nomination to American Music Club - California as it looks like no other bugger is going to nominate it.

I’d better get honing then. Got my albums down to a choice of four: The Fall’s Frenz Experiment and the self-titled albums by Ultra Vivid Scene, Lucinda Williams and Tracy Chapman.

So if anybody would like to nominate any of them to make my choice easier, go for it!

1 Like