Best of 1988

With the end of October in sight, we present the results of Part 9 of our year-long Best of the ’80s feature, a year-by-year poll of Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to determine the best albums of each year of the 1980s — and then, at the end of 2013, we’ll run a huge best-of-the-decade poll to crown the overall rulers of the ’80s.

After two straight polls that exceeded 50,000 votes apiece, we saw a drop in the 1988 survey, with about 48,000 total votes, a drop possibly due to a couple major website outages during the voting period — or people are just less interested as we approach the end of the ’80s. More than 300 different albums earned votes via both the pre-selected ballot and write-ins.

So thank you all for voting and sharing your thoughts. Take a look at the Top 100 list below — and feel free to offer your own take on the results, good or bad, in the comments below.

And stay tuned for the Best of 1989 poll, which will launch next week.

PAST RESULTS: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987

 

SLICING UP EYEBALLS READERS POLL: TOP 100 ALBUMS OF 1988

 

Pixies, 'Surfer Rosa'

1. Pixies, Surfer Rosa

BACKSTORY: With their their first full-length, the Pixies perfected their trademark loud-quiet-loud sound, delivering an instant classic filled with unforgettable songs (“Where Is My Mind?,” “Bone Machine”).
SINGLES: “Gigantic”
BAND: Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, David Lovering
PRODUCER: Steve Albini
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

R.E.M., 'Green'

2. R.E.M., Green

BACKSTORY: Released on Election Day, R.E.M.’s major-label debut addressed themes both political and personal, further rocketing the band into the mainstream with a string of hit singles.
SINGLES: “Orange Crush,” “Stand,” “Pop Song 89,” “Get Up”
BAND: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
PRODUCER: Scott Litt and R.E.M.
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Morrissey Viva Hate

3. Morrissey, Viva Hate

BACKSTORY: Released less than a year after Johnny Marr’s departure killed The Smiths, Morrissey’s very successful solo debut found the singer collaborating with The Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly.
SINGLES: “Suedehead,” “Everyday is Like Sunday”
BAND: Morrissey, Stephen Street, Vini Reilly, Andrew Paresi
PRODUCER: Stephen Street
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Church Starfish

4. The Church, Starfish

BACKSTORY: The veteran Australian rockers finally broke through in the U.S. with their fifth album and, specifically, the crossover modern-rock singles “Under the Milky Way” and “Reptile.”
SINGLES: “Under the Milky Way,” “Reptile,” “Destination”
BAND: Steve Kilbey, Peter Koppes, Marty Willson-Piper, Richard Ploog
PRODUCER: Greg Ladanyi, Waddy Wachtel and The Church
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Jane's Addiction Nothing's Shocking

5. Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking

BACKSTORY: With their first studio album and major-label debut, following the self-titled live album, Jane’s established themselves as leaders of the growing alt-rock scene that would break wide in the early ’90s.
SINGLES: “Jane Says,” “Mountain Song,” “Ocean Size”
BAND: Perry Farrell, Dave Navarro, Eric Avery, Stephen Perkins
PRODUCER: Dave Jerden and Perry Farrell
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Siouxsie and the Banshees Peepshow

6. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Peepshow

BACKSTORY: Siouxsie and the Banshees expanded to a five-piece for the first time with this, their successful ninth album, bolstered by a huge modern-rock hit in single “Peek-a-Boo.”
SINGLES: “Peek-a-Boo,” “The Killing Jar,” “The Last Beat of My Heart”
BAND: Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, Budgie, Martin McCarrick, Jon Klein
PRODUCER: Siouxsie and the Banshees and Mike Hedges
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Sonic Youth Daydream Nation

7. Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation

BACKSTORY: Considered by many to be Sonic Youth’s masterwork, the band’s sprawling fifth album — a double record — helped land the group a major-label deal and spawned a classic single.
SINGLES: “Teen Age Riot”
BAND: Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley
PRODUCER: Nick Sanaso and Sonic Youth
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Cocteau Twins Bluebell Knoll

8. Cocteau Twins, Blue Bell Knoll

BACKSTORY: The Cocteaus finally got U.S. distribution with their fifth album, a record stacked with the band’s trademark elements: shimmering guitars and the ethereal wailing of Elizabeth Fraser.
SINGLES: “Carolyn’s Fingers”
BAND: Elizabeth Fraser, Robin Guthrie, Simon Raymonde
PRODUCER: Cocteau Twins
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Ministry Land of Rape and Honey

9. Ministry, The Land of Rape and Honey

BACKSTORY: On his third album under the Ministry banner, Al Jourgensen firmly veers into industrial territory, a stark contrast from debut With Sympathy and its darker follow-up Twitch.
SINGLES: “Stigmata,” “Flashback,” “The Land of Rape and Honey”
BAND: Alain Jourgensen, Paul Barker
PRODUCER: Hypo Luxa, Hermes Pan, Eddie Echo
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Sugarcubes Life's Too Good

10. The Sugarcubes, Life’s Too Good

BACKSTORY: The debut album from the Icelandic rockers introduced Björk to the world, spawned a number of modern-rock hits and landed the band on a high-profile tour with New Order and PiL.
SINGLES: “Birthday,” “Coldsweat,” “Deus,” “Motorcrash”
BAND: Björk, Einar Örn, Þór Eldon Jónsson, Bragi Ólafsson, Sigtryggur Baldursson
PRODUCER: Ray Shulman
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

11. U2, Rattle and Hum
12. My Bloody Valentine, Isn’t Anything
13. Peter Murphy, Love Hysteria
14. The Pogues, If I Should Fall from Grace with God
15. Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
16. Erasure, The Innocents
17. The Mission, Children
18. Front 242, Front By Front
19. The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Blues
20. The House of Love, The House of Love

 

dinosaurjr

21. Dinosaur Jr, Bug
22. Cowboy Junkies, The Trinity Session
23. N.W.A., Straight Outta Compton
24. Pet Shop Boys, Introspective
25. Talk Talk, Spirit of Eden
26. Metallica, …And Justice For All
27. Dead Can Dance, The Serpent’s Egg
28. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Tender Prey
29. Tracy Chapman, Tracy Chapman
30. Fine Young Cannibals, The Raw & The Cooked

 

livingcolour

31. Living Colour, Vivid
32. They Might Be Giants, Lincoln
33. Camper Van Beethoven, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
34. Crowded House, Temple of Low Men
35. The Smithereens, Green Thoughts
36. The Go-Betweens, 16 Lovers Lane
37. Edie Brickell & New Bohemians, Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars
38. Leonard Cohen, I’m Your Man
39. Duran Duran, Big Thing
40. Galaxie 500, Today

 

billybragg

41. Billy Bragg, Workers Playtime (TIE)
41. Skinny Puppy, VIVIsectVI (TIE)
43. Talking Heads, Naked
44. Robyn Hitchcock and The Egyptians, Globe of Frogs
45. Enya, Watermark
46. Fields of the Nephilim, The Nephilim
47. The Wonder Stuff, The Eight Legged Groove Machine
48. The Dead Milkmen, Beelzebubba
49. Information Society, Information Society
50. Camouflage, Voices & Images

 

danzig

51. Danzig, Danzig
52. The Feelies, Only Life
53. The Godfathers, Birth, School, Work, Death
54. Happy Mondays, Bummed
55. The Mighty Lemon Drops, World Without End
56. Guns N’ Roses, GN’R Lies
57. Prince, Lovesexy
58. The Primitives, Lovely
59. Big Audio Dynamite, Tighten Up Vol. 88
60. All About Eve, All About Eve

 

marcalmond

61. Marc Almond, The Stars We Are
62. Fishbone, Truth and Soul
63. Book of Love, Lullaby
64. Wire, A Bell Is a Cup… Until It Is Struck
65. Bad Religion, Suffer
66. Butthole Surfers, Hairway to Steven (TIE)
66. Prefab Sprout, From Langley Park to Memphis (TIE)
68. Social Distortion, Prison Bound
69. a-ha, Stay on These Roads
70. Soundgarden, Ultramega OK

 

thefall

71. The Fall, The Frenz Experiment
72. Violent Femmes, 3
73. Throwing Muses, House Tornado
74. The Fall, I Am Kurious Oranj
75. L7, L7
76. Slayer, South of Heaven
77. Skin Yard, Hallowed Ground
78. Soul Asylum, Hang Time
79. UB40, UB40
80. Marty Willson-Piper, Art Attack

 

everythingbutthegirl

81. Everything But the Girl, Idlewild
82. Thomas Dolby, Aliens Ate My Buick
83. Eric B. and Rakim, Follow the Leader (TIE)
83. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult, I See Good Spirits and I See Bad Spirits (TIE)
85. Julian Cope, My Nation Underground
86. The Proclaimers, Sunshine on Leith
87. The Style Council, Confessions of a Pop Group (TIE)
87. ‘Til Tuesday, Everything’s Different Now (TIE)
89. Lucinda Williams, Lucinda Williams
90. Big Country, Peace in Our Time

 

pursuitofhappiness

91. The Pursuit of Happiness, Love Junk (TIE)
91. Devo, Total Devo (TIE)
93. James, Strip-mine
94. American Music Club, California
95. Ciccone Youth, The Whitey Album
96. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Nothing Wrong
97. Let’s Active, Every Dog Has Its Day
98. Hothouse Flowers, People
99. The Bangles, Everything
100. Killing Joke, Outside the Gate

 

 

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