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.