50 Years | 50 Records

1963-stones-iwannabeyourman1964-roy orbison - ohpretywoman1965-rolling-stones=satosfaction1966-?&theMysterians - 96 tears1967 -the nice - thoughts of emerlist1968-steppenwolf-borntobewild1969-king crimson-itcotck1970-kingcrimson-lizard1971-bowie-hunkydory1972-roxymusic1973-roxymusic-stranded1974-kraftwerk-autobahn1975-roxymusic-loveisthedrug1976-davidbowie-stationtostation1977-bowie-heroes1978-ultavox-systemsofromance1979-tourists-realityeffect1980-ultravox-vienna1981-omd-omduscomp1982-abc-lexiconoflove1983 -chinacrisis-fire+steel1984-simpleminds-sparkleintherain1985-propaganda-asecretwish1986-icehouse-measureformeasure1987-black-winderful life1988-wasnotwas-whatupdog1989 - swingoutsister-kaleidoscope 1990-electribe 101-electribalmemories1991-associates-popera1992-nits-ting1993-elektric music-esperanto1994-his+hers-pulp1995-differentclass-pulp1996-heaven17-boggerthanamerica1997-johnfoxx+louisgordon-shiftingcity1998-stephenduffy-ilovemyfriends1999-headmusic-suede2000-baxendale-youwillhaveyourrevenge2001-foxx-gordon-pleasuresofelectricity2002-simpleminds-cry2003-lilbeethoven-sparks2004-johncale-hobosapiens2005-ladytron-witchinghour2006-scrtiitpolitti-whitebreadblackbeer2007-onetwo-instead2008-blowmonkeys-devil'stavern2009-johnfoxxrobinguthrie-mirrorball2010-omd-historyofmodernbox2011-johnfoxx+themaths-interply2012-johnfoxx+themaths-evidence2013-hearts+knives-visage

Yesterday was my 50th birthday, so here’s a list of 50 significant records from each year of my life. Some of these were encountered in realtime, others were ex post facto. This grid corresponds to the year of each record’s release. I could make a second grid of the records that I listened to most during those years, which would be somewhat different. Caveat: I own all of these songs in one form or another. The record from 1963 was the only release I could find that I own which is halfway decent. I’m not such a fan of that particular Stones single. The rest are pretty amazing, though. Some years were very hard to pick. In the last 20 years, it got much easier to pick, even as the breadth of choices narrowed. Severely.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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14 Responses to 50 Years | 50 Records

  1. zoo says:

    A few observations:
    John Foxx is well represented.
    The Measure for Measure cover is hideous, even for an ’80s album cover
    Lexicon of Love over New Gold Dream? Really? :)

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Zoo – Foxx is over-represented for two reasons. 1) He is my favorite artist. 2) for the last 20 years I have bought far more older issues than current material, but have tried to keep abreast of his releases. Contemporary music flows at such a trickle in my world, that Foxx releases are probably 20% of all new releases over the last 12 years!

      I included the US “Measure For Measure” cover because it was the first that I owned, and it wasn’t until a decade later that I got an OZ pressing with the original cover, which is only slightly better, in my estimation.

      ABC vs Simple Minds was an issue where, in this case, I went with what I was listening to in real time as opposed to now. Trust me. I loved “New Gold Dream” but was far too busy listening to “Lexicon Of Love” on repeat all year to notice its relative superiority. By the same token, I was listening to “Poison Arrow” too much to notice that the finest song on “Lexicon” was “All Of My Heart” until fairly recently!

      That both of these albums continue to offer new discoveries 31 years later is testimony to their worth. I could have picked Peter Gabriel [“Security”] just as easily. The 77-83 period was hard to pick one title from. I did want to post today, so there we are.

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  2. Tim says:

    Birthday greetings from Wisconsin!

    I am impressed to see the Was (Not Was) in there. I wouldn’t put the album per se on a similar list but the track “Somewhere In America” is certainly a song that is dear to me.

    Your comments about ABC are interesting. I, too, listened to that one in a manner that borders on OCD. “All of My Heart” is a great song but on a technical scale some of the other ones to this day gobsmack me; “Datestamp” for example. There is an alchemy on that album that will never be reproduced.

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    • Echorich says:

      Tim I have to agree. Date Stamp and Valentine’s Day are treasures from Lexicon Of Love. But, and I will eat crow by saying this because of my well known love/hate of Trevor Horn’s treatment of ABC, the album version of Tears Are Not Enough is the stand out for me.

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      • postpunkmonk says:

        Tim/Echorich – It’s hard to believe in retrospect, that saner heads refused to strip mine “Lexicon” of the totality of its single-worthy material; that is to say, all nine songs!! That same year “Thriller” would drop and rewrite the music marketing rule book. I still can’t believe that “Poison Arrow” failed to top the charts the free world over!

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Tim – I was familiar with Was (Not Was) from the beginning, but hearing “Hello Dad (I’m In Jail)” made me cross the line. Then seeing them play live on various talk shows to promote their hit really won me over to the point of collecting.

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  3. Echorich says:

    Happy Birthday Monk!! Well I give you props for making some of the decision you made. I I think I may just sit down and do this same grid. I can tell you know there will be a good deal of Echo And The Bunnymen and a couple of Numan selections. 79 – 84 might cause me to seek therapy as well.

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  4. Happy birthday to a man who has brought much music, friendship and joy into my life. See you soon!!

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  5. Taffy says:

    soooo close – my bday was sept 27th (but my odometer just clicked 52). happy bday to you! cool idea to show one pivotal record per year of your life. i’d rip my hair out attempting such a feat, altho i’m positive 199o would be owned by the Pet Shop Boys Behaviour album (due to Being Boring, my favorite song of all time!).

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    • postpunkmonk says:

      Taffy – I hope you also had a happy birthday! “Behavior” was a great point for PSB to begin touring. That first night in Miami was stunning. Sort of like a Broadway revue, but with good music! I knew just from the title that “Being Boring” would be a pivotal song in their canon. Playing it the first time certainly confirmed that. The Life Grid was hard to construct, and it could have been done a thousand ways, but making it (especially in a limited amount of time) was an interesting exercise.

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      • Taffy says:

        i had an enjoyable day and an even better night, as I Djed my rock night (Bollocks) and we had a special “Birthday Blondie Bollocks” in honor of the Debbie Harry-obsessed birthday boy!
        I too saw the Pets initial US tour, and concur that it was superlative theatrical entertainment. I’ve seen every PSB tour (including the current Electric tour; well worth the trek to DC I made), and only the one supporting Release was a let-down.

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        • Echorich says:

          Taffy – I have to agree that the Release tour was just odd. It is definitely the album that took the most getting used to and over the past decade +1 year I have learned to love it, but the stripped down tour just didn’t do justice to the world of PSB. They looked lost on the big stage most of the time and there was a lack of intimacy, which I have to believe was part of what they were going for.
          The only other time I saw the Boys with little fanfare or stage set was the MusicCares show they did with Salt & Pepa as the opening act. Let me tell you I can still hear Neil saying “Let’s hear it for Salt and Pepa” when they came out on stage. It was at Roseland in NYC and was a mix of fans and music industry types, but the band played to the rabid fans at the front of the stage. They played a good 75 minutes and were quite impressive. It was definitely a case of the Boys gettng the crowd going which in turn got the Boys really going.

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  6. Dana Madore says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!

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