Entertainment Quarter-Century: New Classic Albums

Entertainment Weekly is celebrating its 1000th issue with a bunch of lists of “new classics” from 1983 to the present. Such lists are, of course, just asking for flames, and Stereogum and its readers rise to the juicy bait of the 100 best albums list.

You can head over to EW to find more lists to chortle over, and even some to be interested by. Or you could stay here for my top 10 albums since 1983. Here’s the list, starting with that very year.

  • Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads, 1983.
  • High Land Hard Rain, Aztec Camera, 1983.
  • King of America, Elvis Costello, 1986 (53 on EW list).
  • Acadie, Daniel Lanois, 1989.
  • Workbook, Bob Mould, 1989.
  • Electr-O-Pura, Yo La Tengo, 1995.
  • You? me? us? Richard Thompson, 1996.
  • OK Computer, Radiohead, 1997 (62 on EW list).
  • One free slot because I’m bound to have forgotten something, perhaps from this 11-year gap.
  • The Midnight Organ Fight, Frightened Rabbit, 2008.

Yes, I do think that the last of these really is that good, as far as I can tell about such a recent album. Here’s my favorite track from it.

There is a strong bias toward the first half of the quarter-century. And the tenth album might turn out to be something (perhaps by R.E.M.) from those dozen years. In some ways, that’s fine, because it shows that almost all the albums have stood a ten-year-plus test of time.

5 thoughts on “Entertainment Quarter-Century: New Classic Albums”

  1. i think you might be right about that frightened rabbit album. a true modern classic. can’t stop listening to it.

  2. going by their list and adding a few of my own:

    Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea PJ Harvey
    Let It Be The Replacements
    Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Wilco
    King of America Elvis Costello
    Car Wheels on a Gravel Road Lucinda Williams
    Nevermind Nirvana
    Pretty much anything by Richard Thompson
    The Mountain, Steve Earle & Del McCoury band
    Flood, They Might Be Giants
    Rig Rock Jukebox (various) (http://www.answers.com/topic/rig-rock-jukebox?cat=entertainment )
    Sons of Soul, Tony! Toni! Tone!
    Little Sparrow, Dolly Parton
    Guitars Cadillacs Etc. Etc., Dwight Yoakam
    See How We Are, X
    …And a Time to Dance Los Lobos
    How Will the Wolf Survive? Los Lobos
    Swordfishtrombones, Tom Waits

    ah bleep it … i’ll do my own post on this.
    i just don’t get radiohead.

  3. Constantine,
    I’m not sure that I get Radiohead either, but OKC is *the* best example of swaggering “we’re making a great album here.” (Pink Floyd can kiss the dark side of their moon – I’ve never regretted selling my copy of DSotM).
    I’m currently trying to get Sigur Ros. Their new album is helping me.

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