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.
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?