The best of 1988 mix tape

I must admit I am really disappointed. I’ve known from the beginning that when the best of 1988 mix tape came around I would be able to share one of my favorite songs ever with you, Firefly by American Music Club, one of the pioneers of “alt country” and a direct predecessor of bands like Wilco. Only, that song and the album that contains it, California, are of course missing from Spotify. Fear not, for here it is in all of its twangy glory.

1988 was another great year, so apologies to Let’s Active’s Every Dog Has Its Day and a couple of songs from the Sugarcubes (aka the band that launched Bjork into the world) for just missing out on inclusion. Also, by all rights there should be at least one NWA song on here, but nothing is lamer than a middle aged white dude including Straight Outta Compton or F*** the Police on a playlist, so I decided not to go down that road.

Criteria for selection is here, and the rest of the best of the 1980s playlists are here.

Gigantic – The Pixies

The Pixies are in the house! Get used to seeing them for a while, but I can virtually guarantee that nothing from Indie Cindy will be making the 2014 list.

Eye of Fatima (Pt. 1) – Camper Van Beethoven

Dave Lowery gained more fame and notoriety fronting Cracker a few years later, but he was never better than he was with CVB.

I’m Sorry – Hothouse Flowers

I wore this song out on my radio show in college, which you wouldn’t have heard unless you were within 10 feet of the radio station thanks to the awesome power of the WPLS transmitter back in the day.

Everyday is Like Sunday – Morrissey

Listen to this song and think about this for a second: at one time somebody with the NFL’s marketing department heard this and thought “this will make a great TV ad for football!”

Copperhead Road – Steve Earle

Awesome is not even close to sufficiently describing this song. Bada** is pretty close though.

Bring the Noise – Public Enemy

Yeeeaaaahhhhh Booooiiiiii. (Um, remember what I said about middle aged white guys and rap? Great song though.)

You Are the Everything – R.E.M.

I really wanted to put World Leader Pretend on here, but my love for this song knows no bounds.

Flowers – Galaxie 500

These guys put out 3 of the best albums from the late 80s/early 90s, so you will see them again soon.

Fisherman’s Blues – The Waterboys

Another constant on college radio back in the day. Such an epic tune.

Balloon Man – Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians

This song contains one of my favorite lines ever (“and it rained, like a slow divorce”) from a guy who wrote so many great ones.

Feed Me With Your Kiss – My Bloody Valentine

Nobody before or since has sounded quite like MBV. If the Pixies mastered the “loud, quiet, loud” song structure, MBV somehow managed to be both quiet and loud simultaneously.

LA County – Lyle Lovett

I’m not a Lyle Lovett fan in general, but Pontiac is a great album and this is the best track on it. One that wouldn’t have sounded out of place if Johnny Cash had performed it at Folsom Prison.

Ana Ng – They Might Be Giants

What does it mean? No idea. I just like it.

Teen Age Riot – Sonic Youth

The word classic gets thrown around a lot, but this one deserves it.

Fairytale of New York – The Pogues

It has gone down as one of the most beloved Christmas songs ever, but this is just a great song, period. RIP Kirsty MacColl.

So there you are. One more mix tape and it will be time to reveal the overall Best of the 80s mix. Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.

Which one of you favorites are missing here?



Posted on September 24, 2014, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. For some reason, this is the list that has elicited the greatest nostalgia. Bravo, Jimmy!

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