Pitchfork: Best Albums of the 80s


I have been shouted at by drunk people for putting this on loop at my parties


‘First they get drunk and shout at you for playing Temporary Secretary on repeat. And then they can fuck off, because it’s a brilliant song’

Gandhi (misattributed)


Many years ago - probably mid noughties, I organised our own DiS users poll on the top 100 albums of the eighties, and published it on a website somewhere. I am sure the website has long gone, but perhaps the spreadsheet still exists on an old hard drive.

Does Sean keep an archive of old DiS user threads?

It would be interesting to see what y’all voted for.


Most of the old threads are still there. If you can remember the title you can probably find it via Google.


I like to tell people McCartney invented acid house and then play them this. It’s kind of true right?

The bonus tracks on the remaster of this album are incredible btw.


Too $hort - Life is…

Why had I not heard Too $hort before? (mostly) great $tuff


Change - the glow of love

Kind of liked this, but I think listening to it through shitty headphones on my morning commute isn’t doing it any favours.

should be driving around New York in a limo with Luther Vandross and lots of cocaine instead.




Abba - visitors

I hate abba. Or so i thought. But the title track is a banger. Realised i didnt know any of these songs. Which… helped? Familiarity, contempt etc. Some of the other songs are ok too. But some are up there with the worst music ive ever heard (ones basically an extended les dawson mother in law gag). Conclusion: confused.


Nuno cannvarro - plux quba

Wow. This has blown me away. Starts off sounding like a fragmented threnody for the victims of hiroshima, then like boards of canada interludes with muffled voices and woozy simplistic melodies, then gorgeous chimes.

Wow. Anyone with a passing interest in electronic music who hasn’t heard this really should. Ive been listening to it constantly over the last couple of weeks.


808 state - 90

After that^, this sounds pretty dated. obv pacific state is a stone cold classic, but didnt engage with much of the rest. Exception being cobra bora which is fantastic.


LiLiPUT - finally, a band from switzerland we can all get behind!!
Dead good this - lovely experimental all-female post punk with nonsense lyrics. Violin scraping song that properly sets my teeth in edge too.


Joe Jackson- night and day

Not for me i dont think. Sounds like how i imagine a billy joel album might sound like. Got that 80s pop rock voice thats really plain and loud (like huey lewis)


Steppin’ Out, though…

  1. I’m glad you’re still at this

  2. I revisited this album recently when I was last feeling very emotionally fragile. it’s pretty special.


Oh god - sorry to dig up an old thread - but his is so wrong!

McCartney used an old analogue synth for this - probably the ubiquitous Yamaha CS-80 - and the sounds that he produced are very much in line with the synthy noodlings that producers were coming up with all through the seventies.

The Acid sound is very specific to the Roland TB-303 - a bass guitar analogue synth. There are musicians that you could rightly say pre-empted Chicago Acid - but McCartney is not one of them.

How about Chris & Cosey? At least this track was released in 1981 - the same year that the 303 was launched.


You must be really tedious to get stuck in a conversation with at parties.


Ha. I’m not the one banging on about Paul McCartney :wink:


Queen Latifah - All hail the queen

Fantastic. Only 19 when this came out. Pretty amazing really. Production is great too.


Psychic TV - dreams less sweet

Starts with a twisted lullaby:

'And all the shadows settle
When doors forced open shut again
A flytrap and a petal
My eyes burn and claws rush to fill them

And in the morning, after the night
I fall in love with the light
It is so clear, I realize
That here at last I have my eyes’

Kind of got obssessed with this song a bit.

The album then proceeds with weird hymns, dogs barking, phones ringing, machine guns… shouting about stuff that goes on in the nursery… yeah this is great.