Mixes By Year: 1987 Most Recommended Albums

***FIND ALL OF BDOG’S MIXES INCLUDING THE BELOW ON SPOTIFY!!!***


1987- A formative year for sure- the year of both my freshman and sophomore years in high school.  At the time I was mostly about  Heavy Metal and the harder edged Classic Rock (ala Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Doors) though I was expanding my taste to include the Beatles and some stuff from the more mainstream end of rock like U2 and INXS.  ’87 was not a good time for pop music overall though a handful of releases- U2’s “The Joshua Tree”, INXS’s “Kick”, George Michael’s “Faith”, Prince’s great sprawling double album “Sign O the Times” and Bruce Springsteen’s very adult oriented “Tunnel of Love” made things a bit more tolerable.

Mainstream R&B had mostly turned to crap other than the aforementioned Prince- most of the good urban stuff in ’87 could be found in the burgeoning rap scene.  Early releases from Run-DMC, LL Cool J & the Beastie Boys helped make rap more mainstream and ’87 proved a pivotal year in launching the music into its golden era.  Debut albums by Bronx’s Boogie Down Productions “Criminal Minded” and ace MC/DJ combo Eric B & Rakim’s “Paid In Full”, along with Long Island’s Public Enemy’s “Yo! Bum Rush the Show!” were some of the best and most important rap albums ever released.  Though LL Cool J’s 2nd album “Bigger and Deffer” was a disappointment compared with his debut, tracks “I’m Bad” and “I Need Love” (the first rap ballad) were seminal.  Kool Moe Dee, once a member of founding rap father’s Treacherous Three, released his debut as well with the great hits “How Ya Like Me Now” and “Wild Wild West”.  “Push It” by groundbreaking female duo Salt-N-Pepa was another monster cut and other greats by rap vet Spoonie Gee along with gangsta rap pioneers Ice T & Schoolly D & EPMD’s, Biz Markie & Ultramagnetic MC’s first singles and the ultimate Christmas rap song “Christmas in Hollis” by Run-DMC helped make ’87 a watershed year for rap music.  But the best was still to come for the genre.

Speaking of both Heavy Metal and crap, Metal was becoming increasingly popular and more awful.  Though underground Metal was strong with thrash album touchstones by Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer released the previous year, most of the genre was getting more popular and more mainstream.  Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” was actually one of the better pop metal albums released that year but it was a far cry from the quality of their previous “Pyromania” album.  Other groups like Poison, Ratt, Motley Crue, Whitesnake & Bon Jovi were heavily reliant on style over substance and much of their music was more pop oriented than Metal.  When you hear the term “Hair Band” it practically starts in ’87.  Even the bands just mentioned (Poison excepted) had a harder edge previous to that year.  Heavy Metal stalwarts Iron Maiden and Judas Priest had even gone softer to keep up with the trends.  The danger and edge was mostly gone from the music and the landscape was quite depressing.  Enter Guns N’ Roses.  Their late summer release “Appetite for Destruction” took awhile to take hold with the public but it was one of the few albums by an unknown band that I knew would be huge the moment I heard it.  Opening track and first single/video “Welcome to the Jungle” sounded like the antithesis of the cheesy, stale pop metal I just mentioned.  It was ballsy, dangerous, original & fresh- and the songs and playing on the album were phenomenal.  Though pop metal would grow even worse throughout the rest of the eighties and into the early part of the new decade, GNR carried the flag for what was left of the best of it.  The band and album would become huge and would even garner tons of radio and video airplay proving that you didn’t have to soften your sound to sell albums.  Though not quite heavy metal and not quite alternative rock The Cult’s “Electric” was another ass kicker of an album in ’87.  Pure rock n’ roll start to finish

Though quality top 40 and mainstream music in ’97 was dominated by a select few albums and ’87 in my opinion is one of the weaker years of the decade for this music, there was plenty of great rock music happening underground.  Groups like The Cure and R.E.M. were having their first hits- “Just Like Heaven” off of “Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me” and “The One I Love” from “Document” respectively.  Both bands were already well established in the underground and would become much bigger in the ensuing years.  The Replacements released their 2nd major label album (and last great one) “Pleased to Meet Me”.  Fellow Minneapolis band Husker Du released their swan song “Warehouse: Songs and Stories” and the great U.K. band The Smiths bowed out as well with “Strangeways, Here We Come”.  The Smiths four year run has to be put up there as one of the all time greats.  On the flipside of things Boston’s the Pixies released their debut EP “Come On Pilgrim” and Western Ma. group Dinosaur Jr. their first great album “You’re Living All Over Me”.  Though experimental noise group Sonic Youth had been around since the early 80’s, their 1987 album “Sister” marked their transition toward and slightly more mainstream, yet still musically challenging sound.  Back in the UK Jesus & Mary Chain released their follow-up to their great debut with “Darklands”, though not as groundbreaking as “Psychocandy”, it cleaned up their sound and further established them as an alternative band to be reckoned with.  Experimental/gospel psych group Spacemen 3 released their full length debut “The Perfect Prescription”, their first in a line of mind blowing epics- including albums released by lead guy J. Spacemen’s follow-up band Spiritualized.  Longtime U.K. heroes XTC stepped out of their identity to release “Psonic Psunspot” under an alias Dukes of Strastosphear which played homage to their sixties influences to the point where it sounded exactly like them!  L.A.’s Jane’s Addiction came out with their debut live EP which put them on the map in road to their follow-up masterpiece “Nothing’s Shocking” released in ’88.  That just touches on some of the best of alternative music in ’87.  The seeds were being planted for cultural domination in the early 90’s.

Though techno music was still in its nascent stage, crucial techno/house tracks like “Strings of Life” by Rhythm is Rhythm, AIDS lament “Silent Morning” by Noel, actual top forty hit, the mash-up track “Pump Up the Volume” by M/A/R/R/S and first acid house track “Acid Tracks” by Phuture all bear mentioning.  All of these tracks are constantly namechecked in the development of techno, house & big beat.  In addition, tracks by great synth driven groups like New Order (True Faith), Depeche Mode (Never Let Me Down Again and Strangelove) and Pet Shop Boys (It’s a Sin, Rent, What Have I Done to Deserve This) helped expand the genre and further bridge the gap between rock, synth-pop and club music.


THE REPLACEMENTS- PLEASED TO MEET ME

Buy Pleased to Meet Me (Expanded Edition) – The Replacements

Buy Pleased To Meet Me [Expanded Edition]Amazon




PUBLIC ENEMY- YO! BUM RUSH THE SHOW

Buy Yo! Bum Rush the Show – Public Enemy

Buy Yo! Bum Rush The ShowAmazon




GUNS N’ ROSES- APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION

Buy Appetite for Destruction – Guns N’ Roses

Buy Appetite For Destruction [Explicit]Amazon




BOOGIE DOWN PRODUCTIONS- CRIMINAL MINDED

Buy Criminal Minded (Deluxe Version) – Boogie Down Productions

Buy Criminal Minded Deluxe Edition [Explicit]Amazon




PRINCE- SIGN O’ THE TIMES

Buy Sign ‘O’ the Times – Prince

Buy Sign ‘O’ The Times [Explicit]Amazon




THE SMITHS- STRANGEWAYS, HERE WE COME

Buy Strangeways, Here We Come – The Smiths

Buy Strangeways, Here We ComeAmazon




THE PIXIES- COME ON PILGRIM EP

Buy Come On Pilgrim – Pixies

Buy Come On PilgrimAmazon




THE CURE- KISS ME KISS ME KISS ME

Buy Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (Remastered) [Bonus Version] – The Cure

Buy Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me (US Release)Amazon




BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN- TUNNEL OF LOVE

Buy Tunnel of Love – Bruce Springsteen

Buy Tunnel Of LoveAmazon




SPACEMEN 3- THE PERFECT PRESCRIPTION

*Album not available via iTunes or Amazon




INXS- KICK

Buy Kick – INXS

Buy KickAmazon




DINOSAUR JR. -YOU’RE LIVING ALL OVER ME

Buy You’re Living All Over Me – Dinosaur Jr.

Buy You’re Living All Over MeAmazon




JANE’S ADDICTION- JANE’S ADDICTION (LIVE)

Buy Jane’s Addiction – Jane’s Addiction

Buy Jane’s AddictionAmazon




HUSKER DU- WAREHOUSE: SONGS AND STORIES

Buy Warehouse: Songs and Stories – Hüsker Dü

Buy Warehouse: Songs And StoriesAmazon




R.E.M.- DOCUMENT

Buy Document – R.E.M.

Buy Document (R.E.M. No. 5)Amazon




DUKES OF STRATOSPHEAR- PSONIC PSUNSPOT

Buy The Dukes of Stratosphear: Chips from the Chocolate Fireball – XTC

Buy Chips From The Chocolate FireballAmazon

**Entire “Psonic Psunspot” album only available as part of the “Chips from the Chocolate Fireball” Compilation




U2- THE JOSHUA TREE

Buy The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered] – U2

Buy The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition)Amazon




SONIC YOUTH- SISTER

Buy Sister – Sonic Youth

Buy SisterAmazon




ERIC B & RAKIM- PAID IN FULL

Buy Paid In Full (Expanded) – Eric B. & Rakim

Buy Paid In FullAmazon




THE CULT- ELECTRIC

Buy Electric (Remastered) – The Cult

Buy ElectricAmazon


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