Thursday, January 22, 2004

I love me some Simon Reynolds, y'all know that, but all I can think is that he really is English if he considers 1984, probably the best year for pop radio ever, a "grand Epoch of Disappointment, Frustation, Clutching At Straws." Line 'em up: '84 airplay was dominated by the singles off Purple Rain (and indeed Prince's biggest year ever for outside work, not including Chaka Khan's cover of "I Feel 4 U"--Sheila E., the Time), Born in the U.S.A. (never gave much of a damn for it as an album per se but the singles are grate and so are the B-sides, e.g. "Pink Cadillac"), She's So Unusual ('83 album, '84 radio impact), Van Halen's 1984, as well as several might as well be one-shots by established artists (John Waite's "Missing You" foremost among them), and tons of excellent indie rock (Let It Be, Double Nickels on the Dime, Zen Arcade, Meat Puppets II), the first Run-D.M.C. album and first L.L. Cool J single . . . just to scratch the surface. Whereas England had, um, Echo & the Bunnymen. Ulp. Update: hey, Andy, please note wording: "might as well be one-shots by established artists." Defending a year with a great record by an otherwise miserable artist /= defending it with the artist. (And don't even try and tell me "Missing You" isn't a great record, because I will laugh and laugh and laugh.)

(Simon's statement was brought to us by Marcello "I flame other bloggers for living in the past even as I do epic roundups of every record ever to chart 20 or so years ago" Carlin. Who's right about 1985 being the worst pop year ever, by the way.)