Psychocandy Radio Steve McQueen Cupid & Psyche 85
Low-life Rum Sodomy & the Lash First and Last and Always Rain Dogs

It's the classic year of college rock -- or perhaps more specifically, it's the year that Minneapolis dominated the sound of America from the upper reaches of the Top 40 to the underground of college radio. The former was all about Prince, who undercut his Purple Rain train by quickly releasing the Paisley Underground-accented Around the World in a Day while others, like Ready for the World, were ripping off his 1999 synth groove. The latter belonged to the Replacements and especially Hüsker Dü, who released the twin titans of Flip Your Wig and New Day Rising on the heels of '84's Zen Arcade. But it's also the year that rap began to edge its way onto the charts and the year U.K. rock began to shake off the stylized threads of the New Romantics for murky guitars via the Smiths and Jesus and Mary Chain, modernistic rock countered by the rise of roots rock from America's heartland and the pubs of Britain, where Dire Straits had a surprise smash hit. They all provide plenty of reasons to love 1985.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Hüsker Dü – Flip Your Wig
Hüsker Dü – New Day Rising
The Replacements – Tim
R.E.M. – Fables of the Reconstruction
Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
Prince & the Revolution – Around the World in a Day
Talking Heads – Little Creatures
Run-D.M.C. – King of Rock
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit – The Rose of England
Bob Dylan – Empire Burlesque
The Pogues – Rum Sodomy & the Lash
John Fogerty – Centerfield
The Smiths – Meat Is Murder
Sonic Youth – Bad Moon Rising
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians – Gotta Let This Hen Out!
Dire Straits – Brothers in Arms
INXS – Listen Like Thieves
Camper Van Beethoven – Telephone Free Landslide Victory
Scritti Politti – Cupid & Psyche 85
Los Lobos – How Will the Wolf Survive?
Sting – The Dream of the Blue Turtles
Marshall Crenshaw – Downtown
John Cougar Mellencamp – Scarecrow
The Style Council – Our Favorite Shop

Prince & the Revolution – "Raspberry Beret"
Scritti Politti – "Perfect Way"
R.E.M. – "Can't Get There from Here"
Hüsker Dü – "Makes No Sense at All"
Eurythmics – "Would I Lie to You"
John Fogerty – "The Old Man Down the Road"
Talking Heads – "Road to Nowhere"
Murray Head – "One Night in Bangkok"
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers – "Make It Better (Forget About Me)"
Don Henley – "All She Wants to Do Is Dance"
Huey Lewis – "The Power of Love"
The Power Station – "Some Like It Hot"
Charlie Sexton – "Beat's So Lonely"
The Coward Brothers – "The People's Limousine"
Madonna – "Material Girl"
The Dream Academy – "Life in a Northern Town"
'Til Tuesday – "Voices Carry"
Level 42 – "Something About You"
Ready for the World – "Oh Sheila"
Dire Straits – "Walk of Life"
Mick Jagger – "Just Another Night"
Hooters – "And We Danced"
Pete Townshend – "Face the Face"
Arcadia – "Election Day"

John Bush
Even though I was a music-addicted teenager in the '80s, I had no interest in the big three -- rap, punk, and synth pop. Fortunately, that left me plenty of time to focus my adolescent adoration on individual bands/objects (like New Order, R.E.M., the Smiths, INXS, Bauhaus), and still leave plenty of time to hear a bit of the rapturous perfect pop still being aired on the radio ('Til Tuesday, anyone?). Producers had finally figured out how to reconcile the sterility of digital production with the presence and atmosphere that a good song requires. The result of this was magic -- pop songs that sounded like nothing else heard before them, pop songs that you got lost inside (especially when you were listening on your Walkman). There's a long list of artists affected by this production aesthetic (even when you narrow it down to 1985), but those who nailed it, themselves or with outside help, included a variety of talents: Bryan Adams, Simple Minds, Phil Collins, Tears for Fears, a-ha, Scritti Politti, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, the Power Station, Foreigner, Dire Straits, and Simply Red. Plus, of course, 'Til Tuesday, whose "Voices Carry" was the clouded but strangely comforting song I listened to most on my Walkman that year.

R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction
INXS - Listen Like Thieves
David J - Crocodile Tears and the Velvet Cosh
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
The Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard in My Backyard
New Order - Low-life
Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
ABC - How to Be A... Zillionaire!
The Cult - Love
The Sisters of Mercy - First and Last and Always
Skinny Puppy - Bites
The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean? Basically
The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock
The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
7 Seconds - Walk Together, Rock Together
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Brian Eno - Thursday Afternoon

'Til Tuesday - "Voices Carry"
Bryan Adams - "Run to You"
Tears for Fears - "Everybody Wants to Rule the World"
Simple Minds - "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
Billy Joel - "You're Only Human (Second Wind)"
INXS - "Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain)" (YouTube)
The Cure - "In Between Days"
Echo & the Bunnymen - "Bring on the Dancing Horses"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Just Like Honey"
Killing Joke - "Eighties"
Camper Van Beethoven - "Take the Skinheads Bowling"
Beat Happening - "Our Secret"
Billy Bragg - "Jeanne [Peel Session]"
Sonic Youth f/ Lydia Lunch - "Death Valley '69"
Madonna - "Material Girl"
Katrina & the Waves - "Walking on Sunshine"
The Power Station - "Get It On (Bang a Gong)"
Jan Hammer - "Miami Vice Theme"
Dire Straits - "Money for Nothing"
Simply Red - "Holding Back the Years"

David Jeffries
Big Audio Dynamite - This Is Big Audio Dynamite
Clan of Xymox - Clan of Xymox
Colourbox - Colourbox
The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
Gene Loves Jezebel - Immigrant
Gregory Isaacs - Private Beach Party
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Killing Joke - Night Time
LL Cool J - Radio
Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Machinations - Big Music
Mad Professor - Who Knows the Secret of the Master Tape?: Dub Me Crazy, Pt. 5
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen
Propaganda - A Secret Wish
Red Lorry Yellow Lorry - Talk About the Weather
Run-D.M.C. - King of Rock
Scritti Politti - Cupid & Psyche 85
Shriekback - Oil and Gold
The Sisters of Mercy - First and Last and Always
Mark Stewart - As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade

Thom Jurek
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Firstborn Is Dead
Crime and the City Solution - Just South of Heaven
Scientists - Atom Bomb Baby
Hüsker Dü - Flip Your Wig
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
Kommunity FK - Close One Sad Eye
Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit - Rose of England
The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
The Replacements - Tim
Shriekback - Oil and Gold
The Sisters of Mercy - First and Last and Always
Slayer - Hell Awaits
Sonic Youth - Bad Moon Rising
Mark Stewart and the Mafia - As the Veneer of Democracy Starts to Fade
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
LL Cool J - Radio
Run-D.M.C. - King of Rock
Dub Syndicate - Tunes from the Missing Channel
The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
Jason & the Scorchers - Lost and Found
Green on Red - Gas Food Lodging
Butthole Surfers - Psychic... Powerless... Another Man's Sac
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen
Faith/Void - Faith/Void
Jacobites - Robespierre's Velvet Basement
Sly and Robbie - Language Barrier
Leonard Cohen - Various Positions
Miles Davis - You're Under Arrest
John Carter - Castles of Ghana
Kip Hanrahan - Vertical's Currency
Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society - Decode Yourself
Marc Johnson - Bass Desires
Abdullah Ibrahim - Water from an Ancient Well
Gianluigi Trovesi - Dances
John Zorn - The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone
Carmen Lundy - Good Morning Kiss
Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun
Nile Rodgers - B-Movie Matinee

Andy Kellman
Special mention to wizard Wally Badarou, whose weird keyboard magic is the common thread through Robert Palmer's"I Didn't Mean to Turn You On," Level 42's "Something About You," and The Power Station, as well as some of the other editors' loved albums: Language Barrier, She's the Boss, and Electric Africa. Banner year for him.

Propaganda - A Secret Wish
René & Angela - Street Called Desire
Scritti Politti - Cupid & Psyche 85
Kate Bush - Hounds of Love
Prince & the Revolution - Around the World in a Day
Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair
Loose Ends - So Where Are You?
New Order - Low-life
Alexander O'Neal - Alexander O'Neal
Sade - Diamond Life

Loose Ends - "Hangin' on a String (Contemplating)"
Model 500 - "No UFO's"
Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam with Full Force - "I Wonder If I Take You Home"
René & Angela - I'll Be Good"
Prince & the Revolution - "Raspberry Beret"
Scritti Politti - "Perfect Way"
LL Cool J - "Rock the Bells"
Roxanne Shanté - "Bite This"
Abecedarians - "Smiling Monarchs"
World Domination Enterprises - "Asbestos Lead Asbestos"

Jason Lymangrover
Black Flag - In My Head
The Cure - The Head on the Door
The Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard in My Backyard
The Descendents - I Don't Wanna Grow Up
The Fall - This Nation's Saving Grace
Fear - More Beer
Hüsker Dü - New Day Rising
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
LL Cool J - Radio
Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun
Minutemen - 3 Way Tie for Last
New Order - Low-life
The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
Prince & the Revolution - Around the World in a Day
R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction
The Replacements - Tim
Run-D.M.C. - King of Rock
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs

James Christopher Monger
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Iron Maiden - Live After Death
The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
Tears for Fears - Songs from the Big Chair
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Fegmania
The Dead Milkmen - Big Lizard in My Backyard
Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms
John Mellencamp - Scarecrow
Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
Prince & the Revolution - Around the World in a Day
Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of a Teenage Heaven
Talking Heads - Little Creatures
Subhumans - Worlds Apart
The Damned - Phantasmagoria
a-ha - Hunting High and Low
Toy Dolls - A Far Out Disc
Howard Jones - Dream into Action
Wall of Voodoo - Seven Days in Sammystown
The Exploited - Horror Epics
The Waterboys - This Is the Sea

Ratt - "Lay It Down"
Adam Ant - "Apollo 9"
The Dream Academy - "Life in a Northern Town"
Level 42 - "Something About You"
The Outfield - "Your Love"
Duran Duran - "A View to a Kill"
AC/DC - "Sink the Pink"
Nick Lowe - "The Rose of England"
‘Til Tuesday - "Voices Carry"
Kate Bush - "Jig of Life"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Just Like Honey"
The Cure - "Close to Me"
The Sisters of Mercy - "Black Planet"
The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now"
Dead Can Dance - "Enigma of the Absolute"
The Cult - "Phoenix"
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "Tupelo"
Sting - "If I Built a Fortress (Around Your Heart)"
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - "Don't Come Around Here No More"
Nick Mason - "Lie for a Lie"
Hooters - "And We Danced"

Sean Westergaard
I was a sophomore in college in 1985 and my musical tastes were expanding exponentially, thanks mostly to WCBN-FM Ann Arbor. In addition to so-called "college rock," they played the widest variety of music I've ever heard on one station (and continue to do so). During that period, I discovered that I actually like jazz and country music and the "new" sounds of the NY downtown scene and Celluloid records were blowing my mind. There was a wealth of fine record stores in town at the time (sigh) and I had ample time to dig around. Good times.

28th Day - 28th Day
Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy - I Only Have Eyes for You
Willem Breuker Kollektief - To Remain
Ornette Coleman - Opening the Caravan of Dreams
Deadline - Down by Law
Manu Dibango - Electric Africa
Dinosaur - Dinosaur
The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock
The Golden Palominos - Visions of Excess
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Fegmania!
Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society - Decode Yourself
The Knitters - Poor Little Critter on the Road
Sleepy LaBeef - Nothin' But the Truth
Meat Puppets - Up on the Sun
The Ordinaires - The Ordinaires
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Freaky Styley
Semantics - Semantics
David Sylvian - Words with the Shaman
Trouble Funk - Saturday Night (Live from Washington, D.C.)
John Zorn - The Big Gundown: John Zorn Plays the Music of Ennio Morricone

Matthew Garbutt
Barrington Levy – Prison Oval Rock
Dexy's Midnight Runners – Don't Stand Me Down
Guana Batz – Held Down at Last
Green on Red – Gas, Food and Lodging
Hüsker Dü – New Day Rising
New Order – Low-life
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – The Firstborn Is Dead
Tav Falco's Panther Burns – Sugar Ditch Revisited
The Cure – The Head on the Door
The Fall – This Nation's Saving Grace
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Psychocandy
The Meteors – Monkey's Breath
The Playn Jayn – Five Good Evils
The Pogues – Rum Sodomy & the Lash
The Prisoners – The Last Fourfathers
The Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always
The Smiths – Meat Is Murder
The Style Council – Our Favourite Shop
Thee Mighty Caesars – Thee Mighty Caesars
Tom Waits – Raindogs

Cabaret Voltaire – "I Want You"
Cameo – "Single Life"
Frankie Paul – "Pass the Tu Sheng Peng"
Killing Joke – "Love Like Blood"
Lone Justice – "Ways to Be Wicked"
Misty in Roots – "Food, Clothes and Shelter"
New Model Army – "No Rest"
Pet Shop Boys – "West End Girls"
Prefab Sprout – "When Love Breaks Down"
Prince & the Revolution – "Raspberry Beret"
Scritti Politti – "Wood Beez"
Slaughter Joe – "I'll Follow You Down"
The Cult – "She Sells Sanctuary"
The Loft – "Up the Hill and Down the Slope"
The Redskins – "Kick Over the Statues"
The Shop Assistants – "All Day Long"
The Smiths – "Shakespeare's Sister"
The Untouchables – "Free Yourself"
The X-Men – "Spiral Girl"
Wayne Smith – "Under Me Sleng Teng"

James Wilkinson
R.E.M. - Fables of the Reconstruction
The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder
Dexy's Midnight Runners - Don't Stand Me Down
New Order - Low-life
Camper Van Beethoven - Telephone Free Landslide Victory
The Dentists - Some People Are on the Pitch They Think It's All Over It Is Now
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Fegmania!
Neil Young - Old Ways
The Pogues - Rum Sodomy & the Lash
The Pale Fountains - ...From Across the Kitchen Table
Bert Jansch - From the Outside
Pentangle - Open the Door
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen
Original Soundtrack - Back to the Future

The Dentists - "Strawberries are Growing in My Garden (And It's Wintertime)"
The Smiths - "The Boy with the Thorn in His Side"
The Smiths - "How Soon Is Now"
The Cure - "In Between Days"
The Dukes of Stratosphear - 25 O'Clock
Stone Roses - "So Young"
Bruce Springsteen - "Dancing in the Dark"
The Smiths - "Shakespeare's Sister"
The Cure - "Close to Me"
The Dentists - You and Your Bloody Oranges EP
The Stranglers - "Let Me Down Easy"
Felt - "Primitive Painters"
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers - "Don't Come Around Here No More"
Bruce Springsteen - "Glory Days"
Manchester United FC - "We All Follow Man United"

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