List: Top 5ive Albums Of The 1980s

Everyone loves lists, right? Well then, here comes a list: the best albums of the 1980s.

Any such “Top” list having to do with music is going to be controversial, of course. But this one may be less so than others, at least for me. These five albums simply stand out from all the rest. These were some of the strongest efforts by their creators, and helped shape both my life and the music business in general during that decade and for years thereafter. There are going to be other lists in Shoulblog in the future, some music-related, but I wanted to start with this one because it is, in fact, the most cut-and-dried.

Even though this exercise seems pretty …Keep reading

London Calling

It was 30 years ago this spring that music–both my own and the world’s at large–got an incredible jolt. The Clash album London Calling was released in England in December of 1979, and in the U.S. in January 1980. Normally I’m not an “early adopter” of new music, but thanks to my good friend Geoff, I had purchased it by early spring. The album grabbed hold of me immediately, and has never loosened its grip.

In early 1980, I was taking a semester off between two years at Mizzou and an expected transfer to a smaller school; Geoff was back in his New York home, having already transferred from Mizzou to CW Post. We stayed in touch through the U.S. Mail, occasionally sending each other cassettes of music we were listening to. One he sent me … Keep reading