A decade ago, I wrote a series of entries ranking my favorite albums from 1985 to 2004. My collection has expanded greatly since then, particularly in the last five years. So I wanted to see what has changed in 10 years.
And now we enter some new territory. I didn’t start collecting music in earnest till 1985, and I wouldn’t start exploring catalog music till 2005. Raiding thrift shops has allowed me to fill in a lot of history, which is why were expanding the range of this retrospective to as far back as 1978. Today, we start with 1984.
Stephen Sondheim, Sunday in the Park with George
The Replacements, Let It Be
Andersson / Rice / Ulvaeus, Chess
Art of Noise, Who’s Afraid of? … the Art of Noise!
Madonna, Like a Virgin
Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain
Bruce Springsteen, Born in the USA
Arvo Pärt, Tabula Rasa
Thompson Twins, Into the Gap
Other favorites from the year:
Guadalcanal Diary, Walking in the Shadows of the Big Man
Nena, 99 Luftballons
Eurythmics, 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
Sade, Diamond Life
I was much more into arcade video games — the classic era of Pac-Man and Galaga — than music in 1984. The only album I owned from that time is 99 Luftballons. Everything else I would discover later.
My 12-year-old self would not have known what to make of the Replacements or Arvo Pärt. He would have scoffed and wretched over the idea that Madonna or Prince could rank on such a list. They were his brother’s albums, after all.
He certainly did not have the sophistication or patience for two LPs of Mozart, although he might have really liked watching Amadeus.
And he would have definitely protested the inclusion of Bruce Springsteen on the list, all the while gazing lustily after the cover of Born in the USA.
He would have totally understood the Thompson Twins, though.