The best of 1989 mix tape

Believe it or not, it’s time to cover the final year of the 1980s already. After this post I’m going to compile a best of the 80s cumulative based on the roughly 150 or so tracks that comprised the individual year mixes, but then it will be time to conquer a new decade.

1989 was interesting because there weren’t that many truly great song or albums, but there were a whole lot of very good ones, and some of those inevitably had to be cut to make the 60 minute running time. Love Shack by the B-52s, Running Down a Dream by Tom Petty, Elvis Costello’s Veronica, NiN’s Head Like a Hole, and XTC’s Mayor of Simpleton were among the last and most difficult omissions.

The selection criteria is here and the best of the 80s mixes are all collected here.

See a Little Light – Bob Mould

With the end of Husker Du, Bob was free to dial back on some of the noise but dial up the melody. More often than not the results were as good as this.

Me, Myself, & I – De La Soul

De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising featured an original, innovative sound for rap, highlighted by this track.

I’ll Be You – The Replacements

There’s not much that needs to be said about this, other than it is pretty close to a perfect song.

Evenfall – Michael Penn

This album tends to get overlooked, but it’s a pretty great precursor to some of Matthew Sweet’s exceptional 90s output. When it is remembered it is usually for the lead single, No Myth, but I always leaned to this one. Maybe it’s the big, honking sax that helps drive it.

Debaser – The Pixies

Such a great album. I could have picked any number of tracks from it but I settled on the opener.

Head On – The Jesus and Mary Chain

Paired together nicely with the Pixies, who would release a blistering cover of this song just a couple of years later.

This is the One – The Stone Roses

One of the many epic songs from the standout album of the year and one of my favorites ever.

Fun and Games – The Connells

A great one to kick off side B.

Lovesong – The Cure

Not nearly the best song on this exceptional album, but one of the few that doesn’t run 38 minutes long, so it gets the spot on the mix. Mrs. Lo is not happy about this one and has filed an official grievance over the snubbing of Pictures of You. Can’t say that I blame her.

Buffalo Stance – Neneh Cherry

Yeah, sorry, but this song is just tremendous, and I’ll hear nothing against it.

Dirty Blvd – Lou Reed

This album (New York) gets overlooked too often, but it’s a really great one. This song sums it up perfectly.

Pictures of Matchstick Men – Camper Van Beethoven

One of the better covers ever. All props to the Quo for the original.

Mr. Cab Driver – Lenny Kravitz

I used to like to play this one on my radio show, but you had to be quick with the mute button due to the rather prominent bomb he drops towards the end of the track.

Hey Ladies – The Beastie Boys

You couldn’t make a record like Paul’s Boutique today. Considered a bit of a flop at the time but now it’s rightly considered a landmark record.

Honeysuckle Blue – Drivin N Cryin

I think southerners of a certain age are compelled by law to include this on every mix they make due to the Blue Ridge Mountain name check, but thankfully it’s as good one.

So there it is. A pretty decent way to close out the decade I think. Here’s the Spotify playlist for your listening pleasure.

What did I miss? And what decade should I cover next?



Posted on September 26, 2014, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I was hoping Honeysuckle Blues would make it on there as well as Matchsctick Men…excellent choices! Keep it in drive and go to the 90’s next.

    • I think I’m going to cycle back to the 70s first for a change of pace. A lot of the early 90s stuff is similar to the late 80s and it’s starting to become a blur in my ear.

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