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November 6, 2021


[Album 976 – 982 / 1001]

Of the ‘1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die,’ 28 are from the year 1989.

I’ve reviewed all but seven of them already (Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire, John Zorn – Spy vs. Spy: Music of Ornette Coleman, Baaba Maal & Mansour Seck – Djam Leelii, The Cure – Disintegration, Coldcut – What’s That Noise?, De La Soul – 3 Feet High & Rising, Jungle Brothers – Done by the Forces of Nature).

Which 1989 albums are the most essential to hear again?

Ranked by their essential-ness, here’s how I’d prioritize revisiting these 28 albums, enjoy!



28. Barry Adamson – Moss Side Story. His first of two on the list.

27. Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol. One. Not to be confused with De La Soul (also with a 1001 album from 1989)

26. Young Gods- L’eau Rouge. The years of French paid off, in knowing that this meant ‘the red water’ …

25. 808 State – 90. …and I enjoyed learning here that an ‘808’ is a drum machine.

24. Baaba Maal & Mansour Seck – Djam Leelii.

23. John Zorn – Spy vs. Spy: Music of Ornette Coleman.

Quite different in sound, yet their two respective rankings could easily be interchangeable.

22. Queen Latifah – All Hail the Queen. From around the time of her memorable Fresh Prince appearances.

21. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814.

Not meaning to brag, but I have this on CD / Cassette / (title track on) Cassingle!



20. Coldcut – What’s that Noise?

When teaching integers, I often say, in math and only in math, 2 wrongs make a right.

(-2)(-3) = + 6.

And I suppose I’ve found an asterisk to the ‘only in math’ rule as with this album, the idea of coldcuts & unidentifiable noise aren’t terribly appealing, yet together, it’s a positive outcome!

19. Neneh Cherry – Raw Like Sushi. Mmmmmmmmmmmm sushi.

18. Bonnie Raitt – Nick of Time. A good one from start to finish.

17. John Lee Hooker – The Healer. Should be good for what ails.

16. Fugazi – Repeater. Unlike the ‘Fugazi’ as described by Matthew McConaughey in The Wolf of Wall Street, this does exist & I’m glad it does!

15. Jungle Brothers – Done by the Forces of Nature.

14. De La Soul – 3 Feet High & Rising.

13. Spacemen 3 – Playing With Fire.

You know the expression, right place, right time?

I have a sneaking suspicion that these albums are the right albums for me, I just didn’t run into them at the right place &/or time.

As a result, I’m confident that I’ll be back at a more optimal occasion.

12. N.W.A. – Straight Outta Compton. I’m pleased to own the audiocassette.

11. fIREHOSE – Fromohio. Anything that makes me think of UHF, sold!

10. Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule. Up there with his fine Zoolander cameo.

9. Faith No More – The Real Thing. It’s it!

Also known as the opposite of this band:



8. Madonna – Like a Prayer. Her first of three.

7. Aerosmith – Pump. Their third of three.

6. Pixies – Doolittle. Their second of three.

5. New Order – Technique. Their second of two.

4. Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique. Their second of three.

3. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses. I Wanna Be Adored, what an opener.

2. Kate Bush – The Sensual World. Love & Anger especially.

1. The Cure – Disintegration. To borrow a line from Kyle on South Park, Disintegration is the best album ever (or at least from 1989)!



Verbalize the Positive

I love when years are name-checked in song, such as in Public Enemy’s Fight the Power.

1989, the number, another summer!

From → 1980s

  1. Beasties Pixies Fugazi are top 3 for me!

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Are would argue that The Stone Roses’ debut is one of the best debut albums ever. Oh, and Disintegration and Doolittle are both excellent albums also.

  3. Kravitz debut is a good pick Geoff. Same with Pump. Teebones bro Darr loves Paul Boutique which I bought back in 89 on cassette tape.

  4. Some good ones here. I can’t believe Madonna’s Like A Prayer is 1989? I thought it was earlier than that.

  5. Strangely enough, I saw a CD of Aerosmith’s ‘Pump’ at my local mall this past Thursday.

  6. Seems like a really good year – Technique and Paul’s Boutique are both great.

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