1980s Album Reviews

The 1980s often get bad press, but they were full of great music. Admittedly many acts from earlier eras struggled to adapt to new technology and made weak albums. But many new acts thrived, and there was diversity; hip hop emerged, there was a fertile 1980s alternative rock scene, and exciting mainstream acts like Madonna and Prince.

Major 1980s acts that I would like to cover include Prince, Metallica, and Sonic Youth.

The Blue Nile Album Reviews

The Blue Nile Album Reviews
The three members of The Blue Nile all attended Glasgow University in the late 1970s. Vocalist Paul Buchanan studied medieval history and literature, Robert Bell studied mathematics, and Paul Joseph...

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Lindsey Buckingham Album Reviews

Lindsey Buckingham Album Reviews
Even if you don't know him by name, you've surely heard Lindsey Buckingham's work in the pop era of Fleetwood Mac. While Stevie Nicks was the public face of the...

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Kate Bush

Kate Bush
Kate Bush was discovered by Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour as a teenager, and placed into a training scheme by her record label EMI, where she was taken out of...

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Marshall Crenshaw Album Reviews

Marshall Crenshaw Album Reviews
Detroit's Marshall Crenshaw doesn't belong in the conversation of the most important musicians of his generation. Yet he's a talented craftsman, whose deft guitar pop is likeable and accessible. He's...

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Dire Straits Album Reviews

Dire Straits Album Reviews
Dire Straits were a talented band at the wrong time. They emerged in the punk era in Britain, but front-man Mark Knopfler's virtuoso finger-picking and Dylan-adjacent lyrics were distinctly un-punk....

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Peter Gabriel Album Reviews

Peter Gabriel Album Reviews
Leaving Genesis after six albums, at the age of 25, Peter Gabriel's solo career initially felt like an attempt to distance himself from his former band. It took him a...

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Amy Grant Album Reviews

Amy Grant Album Reviews
The Queen of Christian pop music, Amy Grant also enjoyed success as a crossover pop artist in the 1980s and 1990s. Born in Georgia, her family moved to Nashville when...

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Marillion Album Reviews

Marillion Album Reviews
Neo-prog band Marillion took their name from JRR Tolkien’s The Silmarillion. They played their first show in London in 1978 - an all-instrumental lineup from which only drummer Mick Pointer was...

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New Order Album Reviews

New Order Album Reviews
Joy Division's lead vocalist Ian Curtis took his own life on the eve of the band's first US tour. The band rebranded as New Order - taking their name from...

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Pet Shop Boys Album Reviews

Pet Shop Boys Album Reviews
Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe met in a Chelsea hi-fi shop in 1981, both interested in disco and electronic music. They formed a duo, based on a shared love of...

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Pixies Album Reviews

Pixies Album Reviews
New Zealand is a lovely country, with lots of sheep and mountains, and it's a good idea to come and visit us if you ever have the chance. Charles Thompson,...

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Prefab Sprout Album Reviews

Prefab Sprout Album Reviews
Formed around the songwriting talents of Durham's Paddy McAloon, Prefab Sprout enjoyed some commercial success in the 1980s and early 1990s, but have been relegated to the status of cult...

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R.E.M. Album Reviews

R.E.M. Album Reviews
R.E.M. emerged in the wake of punk from Athens, Georgia, and started their career as an insular Indie band, with cryptic albums that enjoyed a cult following. But gradually they...

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Run-DMC

Run-DMC
Run-DMC emerged early in the development of recorded hip hop. They helped to transform the genre from an underground movement with a handful of important singles, like Grandmaster Flash and...

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The Smiths Album Reviews

The Smiths Album Reviews
The unlikely pairing of socially awkward Steven Morrissey and guitarist Johnny Marr, extroverted and four years Morrissey's junior, formed the nucleus of The Smiths, whose witty and stripped-down music was an...

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Sting Album Reviews

Sting Album Reviews
Conventional wisdom suggests that Gordon Sumner surrendered his credibility when he left The Police, letting his pretentiousness overcome him as he dabbled in jazz and saved the rainforests. As a...

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The Stone Roses Album Reviews

The Stone Roses Album Reviews
The Stone Roses were formed in Manchester in 1983, around singer Ian Brown and guitarist John Squire. Drummer and backing vocalist Reni (Alan Wren) signed up in 1984, while Mani...

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Talk Talk Album Reviews

Talk Talk Album Reviews
While there's a natural progression between each of Talk Talk’s five studio albums, the distance between their 1982 synth-pop debut The Party’s Over and 1991’s jazz and ambient-influenced Laughing Stock...

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Suzanne Vega Album Reviews

Suzanne Vega Album Reviews
Suzanne Vega was born in Santa Monica, California. At the age of two, she moved to New York City when her mother married Puerto Rican writer Edgardo Vega Yunqué. She...

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The Waterboys

The Waterboys
Mike Scott was born in Edinburgh, the son of an English teacher. Scott's interest in literature is clearly visible in his catalogue, but his life was changed when he bought...

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10,000 Maniacs Album Reviews

10,000 Maniacs Album Reviews
10,000 Maniacs have one of the most misleader monikers in popular music. From their name, you'd expect speed metal or punk, but instead, they're a folk-rock band with socially conscious...

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1980s Miscellany

1980s Miscellany
This page collects odds and ends from 1980s artists: Beastie Boys | Tracy Chapman | Rush | Toto Beastie Boys Paul’s Boutique 1989, 9/10Paul’s Boutique was initially a commercial disappointment for...

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Browse this Site's Review Archives

Read about the discographies of musical acts from the 1960s to the present day. Browse this site's review archives or enjoy these selections:

Blog Posts from Aphoristic Album Reviews

I add new blog posts to this website every week. Browse the archives or enjoy this random selection: