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The Year in Music

@ByName:By Debby Levinson,

Marie E. V. Coppola and Annabelle Boyd


Poi Dog Pondering, on the other hand, gained exposure through a summer tour with Robyn Hitchcock and Winter Hours. Their mixture of ska, folk, Hawaiian, and any other musical style they could appropriate was an engaging one. Their self-titled debut album was equally charming.

Lured by the promise of very Rappers Public Enemy are also in a state of flux. After firing "spokesman" Professor Griff (controversial for his racist and anti-Semitic remarks), Public Enemy broke up in protest to what they considered hostile industry reaction to outspoken black groups such as themselves. Public Enemy is set to release their latest album, Fear of a Black Planet

, in late February.

The only group of last year who seemed to have broken up definitively was Government Issue, one of the most popular punk bands in the country. The band gave a jam-packed farewell performance at Washington, D.C.'s 9:30 Club and has divided itself into splinter groups. (Lead singer John Stabb's Weatherhead seems to be the only one with any real potential, however.)

Local music had another banner year with the release of the Pixies' Doolittlestars

This is hardly a definitive list; these are merely our personal preferences for the top 20 albums of 1989. They follow in alphabetical order.


Bob Mould

Kirsty MacColl Long sought-after as a backup singer by the likes of the Pogues and the Smiths, Kirsty MacColl finally came out with a full-length album of her own in 1989. Although MacColl had released some singles in the U. K. -- most notably covers of the Smiths' "You Just Haven't Earned it Yet, Baby" and Billy Bragg's "A New England" -- she was still relatively unknown to U. S. audiences, a situation that was not helped by Kite


B-52'sTheir first album since Bouncing off the Satellites

Big Audio DynamiteThe concept of an ex-Clash member producing such blatantly commercial music still disturbs me, but B.A.D. hasn't produced funk so solid since their debut album. Megatop Phoenix

David Bowie This beautifully packaged box set contains everything the loyal Bowie fan could possibly want, including a Grammy Award-potential booklet of liner notes by former Rolling Stone

editor Kurt Loder. The collection is worth the hefty price tag alone for the German-language version of "Heroes" and Bowie's sparse, uncertain demo of "Space Oddity."

Kate Bush


Elvis CostelloWhile this is hardly Costello's best album, bad Elvis is better than no Elvis at all. Not that there weren't good songs on Spike

Terence Trent D'Arby

Robyn Hitchcock 'n' the Egyptians

-- Queen Elvis

Joe Jackson

Nick Lowe

Nine Inch Nails -- Pretty Hate Machine

Tom Petty -- Full Moon Fever

The Red Hot Chili Peppers -- Mother's Milk

The Replacements -- Don't Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a Soul

The Rolling StonesUnlike the Who, who didn't bother recording a new album before embarking on a multi-million dollar tour, the Rolling Stones overcame their mutual differences long enough to produce their finest album since Tattoo You

The Smithereens

-- 11

VariousEven if you didn't like the movie, the soundtrack was superb. A sampler of the best in Australian music, Young Einstein

The Waterboys

Copyright 1990 by The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was originally published on Tuesday, February 6, 1990.
Volume 110, Year in Review
The story began on page 14 and jumped to page 15.

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