Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Essential 80’s Alternative

This Essentials installment was inspired by Steve’s Essential Albums of the 1980s. His post got me thinking about all of the different ways that you could do an Essentials list for the 80’s. You could so alternative/underground Essentials, mainstream Essentials, or general Essentials (a combination of the first two). Steve’s list would fall into the general category. I wanted to do something a bit more specific, so I started thinking of doing 80’s alternative/underground albums. Then while lying in bed I got the idea for going songs instead of albums and have since tossed both ideas around in my head. Now that I sit down to write this post I have decided to go with songs. Now generally in my song lists I include the name of the album/release that the song comes from, but I am not going to do that today (mostly because it is wicked early and I don’t want to have to look them up).

So for those of you who have ever wanted to get into the underground music of the 1980’s, I suggest that you go and download (preferably purchasing them from the band if at all possible) the following tunes. This will probably be pretty long, but could have be much longer. (Listed in no particular order)

1. “Anything, Anything (I’ll Give You)” by Dramarama
2. “Rise Above” by Black Flag
3. “TV Party” by Black Flag
4. “No Need” by Big Drill Car
5. “Walk Together, Rock Together” by 7 Seconds
6. “99 Red Balloons” by 7 Seconds
7. “Satyagraha” by 7 Seconds
8. “Clenched Fists, Black Eyes” by 7 Seconds
9. “Kill the Poor” by Dead Kennedys
10. “Holiday in Cambodia” by Dead Kennedys
11. “Chickenshit Conformist” by Dead Kennedys
12. “Bloodstains” by Agent Orange
13. “People Are People” by Depeche Mode
14. “Everything Counts” by Depeche Mode
15. “Skin Deep” by ALL
16. “She’s My Ex” by ALL
17. “Where Are They Now?” by Cock Sparrer
18. “A Girl Like You” by The Smithereens
19. “Under Your Influence” by Dag Nasty
20. “Fall” by Dag Nasty
21. “Hope” by Descendents
22. “Silly Girl” by Descendents
23. “Clean Sheets” by Descendents
24. “Little Fury Things” by Dinosaur Jr.
25. “Freak Scene” by Dinosaur Jr.
26. “Still in Hollywood” by Concrete Blonde
27. “Punk Rock Girl” by The Dead Milkmen
28. “Don’t Let’s Start” by They Might Be Giants
29. “Ana Ng” by They Might Be Giants
30. “Rise” by Public Image Limited
31. “Seattle” by Public Image Limited
32. “Brave Captain” by fIREHOSE
33. “Love Will Tear Us Apart” by Joy Division
34. “Listen Like Thieves” by INXS
35. “No Control” by Bad Religion
36. “Do What You Want” by Bad Religion
37. “Annette’s Got the Hits” by Redd Kross
38. “Party at Ground Zero” by Fishbone
39. “Teenagers from Mars” by The Misfits
40. “Where Eagles Dare” by The Misfits
41. “Astro Zombies” by The Misfits
42. “Unity” by Operation Ivy
43. “Knowledge” by Operation Ivy
44. “Elvis is Everywhere” by Mojo Nixon
45. “Closer to Fine” by The Indigo Girls
46. “Start Today” by Gorilla Biscuits
47. “Sitting Around at Home” by Gorilla Biscuits
48. “The Killing Moon” by Echo & the Bunnymen
49. “Bring on the Dancing Horses” by Echo & the Bunnymen
50. “Waiting Room” by Fugazi
51. “Bad Mouth” by Fugazi
52. “Makes No Sense at All” by Husker Du
53. “Flip Your Wig” by Husker Du
54. “These Important Years” by Husker Du
55. “Could You Be The One?” by Husker Du
56. “Straight Edge” by Minor Threat
57. “Think Again” by Minor Threat
58. “Salad Days” by Minor Threat
59. “This Ain’t No Picnic” by The Minutemen
60. “# 1 Hit Song” by The Minutemen
61. “Stigmata” by Ministry
62. “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel
63. “Here Comes Your Man” by The Pixies
64. “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies
65. “Gigantic” by The Pixies
66. “Down In It” by Nine Inch Nails
67. “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails
68. “Radio Free Europe” by R.E.M.
69. “(Don’t Go Back To) Rockville” by R.E.M.
70. “Fall On Me” by R.E.M.
71. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.
72. “Mommy’s Little Monster” by Social Distortion
73. “Don’t You Forget About Me” by Simple Minds
74. “Alive and Kicking” by Simple Minds
75. “Bizarre Love Triangle” by New Order
76. “Temptation” by New Order
77. “Teen Age Riot” by Sonic Youth
78. “Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads
79. “Our House” by Madness
80. “I Melt with You” by Modern English
81. “If You Leave” by OMD
82. “Pretty in Pink” by The Psychedelic Furs
83. “We Care a Lot” by Faith No More
84. “Should I Stay or Should I Go” by The Clash
85. “In Between Days” by The Cure
86. “Just Like Heaven” by The Cure
87. “Close to Me” by The Cure
88. “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Go’s
89. “Vacation” by The Go-Go’s
90. “Just Like Honey” by The Jesus and Mary Chain
91. “Head On” by The Jesus and Mary Chain
92. “Happy When It Rains” by The Jesus and Maru Chain
93. “Wild in the Streets” by The Circle Jerks
94. “Live Fast Die Young” by The Circle Jerks
95. “If I Should Fall from Grace with God” by The Pogues
96. “Bastards of Young” by The Replacements
97. “Left of the Dial” by The Replacements
98. “I Will Dare” by The Replacements
99. “Within Your Reach” by The Replacements
100. “This Charming Man” by The Smiths
101. “How Soon is Now” by The Smiths
102. “What Difference Does it Make?” by The Smiths
103. “Rock This Town” by The Stray Cats
104. “I Will Follow” by U2
105. “Gloria” by U2
106. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2
107. “Pride (In the Name of Love)” by U2
108. “Bad” by U2
109. “I Held Her in My Arms” by Violent Femmes
110. “Kiss Off” by Violent Femmes
111. “Add It Up” by Violent Femmes
112. “Blister in the Sun” by Violent Femmes
113. “Johnny Hit and Run Pauline” by X
114. “Los Angeles” by X
115. “Sink with Kalifornia” by Youth Brigade
116. “New York's Alright If You Like Saxophones” by Fear
117. “Bela Lugosi’s Dead” by Bauhaus
118. “Jane Says” by Janes Addiction
119. “Take the Skinheads Bowling” by Camper Van Beethovan
120. “Institutionalized” by Suicidal Tendencies
121. “Pay to Cum” by Bad Brains
122. “Dear God” by XTC
123. “Going Underground” by The Jam
124. “Higher Ground” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
125. “Knock Me Down” by Red Hot Chili Peppers
126. “Knock Me Down” by The Outlets

This is just a sampling of the great music that was released in the 80’s (which took me three days of blogging time to put together). For those interested, I highly suggest the boxed set Left of the Dial: Dispatches from the 80s Underground as a great starting point for the alternative scene of the 1980s.


Anonymous said...

you have many listed I've heard OF, but never listened to, and so many more that are also faves of mine - amazing.

Jason B.

Dave said...

Thanks Jason. I'm glad you liked it. All of those are great songs and for many of the bands I could have listed many, many, many more but tried to not go too crazy on this one (just look at the Essential Descendents/ALL list that I put together).

Which bands had you heard of but not actually heard?

Thanks again for the comment. :o)

Anonymous said...

Enjoy your blog very much ... that post makes me incredibly nostalgic.

But you left off The Specials. BOOOO!

Dave said...

There were a few things that I left off because they were technically not released in the 80’s. The Specials are a perfect example. Their debut album, The Specials, was released in 1979. That was also the reason why I left off stuff from The Clash’s London Calling, Concrete Blonde’s Bloodletting, and The Charlatans UK’s Some Friendly (they were released in 79, 90, and 90 respectfully).

I probably could have made the list twice as long at least, but it would have taken even longer to put together. I was going off most stuff I have on my computer and then a few other things that I could think of and look up pretty easily.

I’m glad you liked the list though and thanks for commenting. :o)

Anonymous said...

Gotcha. If only they'd waited a few months ... I remember seeing The Specials performing "Gangsters" and "Too Much Too Young" on Saturday Night Live (it was during the 1979-1980 season that SNL purists want to forget forever, but they were arguably the best musical act on the show that season).

Writing other comments at my own blog right now.

Dave said...

What is your blog? I'd like to read it.

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