Daydream Nation Straight Outta Compton Lincoln The Trinity Session
It Takes a Nation of Millions Surfer Rosa Spirit of Eden Isn't Anything

Even without running the numbers, it's evident that there is more of a consensus with our editors' favorite albums and singles of 1988 than with any other year we've covered in our AllMusic Loves series. Daydream Nation, Isn't Anything, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Surfer Rosa, and Straight Outta Compton came up big. While not one of them is surprising, there were plenty of "non-landmark" releases that, just as much, exemplified the year. For instance, it wasn't just a great year for "Golden Age" hip-hop. There was a steady supply of excellent pop-rap singles that were all over radio, most of which get at least one mention, including "Supersonic," "Cars with the Boom," and "It Takes Two." 1988 was not a pivotal year -- unless, perhaps, you are a house head -- yet our editors had no trouble recalling hundreds of releases that remain loved.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
Happy Mondays - Bummed
Keith Richards - Talk Is Cheap
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
Morrissey - Viva Hate
R.E.M. - Green
The Smithereens - Green Thoughts
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
Was (Not Was) - What Up, Dog?
Boogie Down Productions - By All Means Necessary
My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
Prince - Lovesexy
Crowded House - Temple of Low Men
Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
The Traveling Wilburys - Vol. 1
Randy Newman - Land of Dreams
Ciccone Youth - The Whitey Album

The Primitives - "Crash"
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - "It Takes Two"
The Pogues - "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah"
Tommy Conwell & the Young Rumblers - "I'm Not Your Man"
The Church - "Under the Milky Way"
Dinosaur Jr. - "Freak Scene"
George Michael - "Father Figure"
Morrissey - "Everyday Is Like Sunday"
LL Cool J - "Going Back to Cali"
Public Enemy - "Don't Believe the Hype"
Prince - "Alphabet St."
Talking Heads - "(Nothing But) Flowers"
Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Pet Shop Boys - "Left to My Own Devices"
David Lee Roth - "Just Like Paradise"
Bob Dylan - "Silvio"
Robert Plant - "Tall Cool One"
Crowded House - "Better Be Home Soon"
My Bloody Valentine - "Feed Me with Your Kiss"

Jonathan Ball
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
The Mission U.K. - Children
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey
The Church - Starfish
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey
The Pursuit of Happiness - Love Junk
Various Artists - Just Say Yo
Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll
Peter Murphy - Love Hysteria
Marty Wilson-Piper - Art Attack
Living Colour - Vivid
Jimmy Page - Outrider
Guns N' Roses - G N' R Lies
Circus of Power - Circus of Power
Smashed Gladys - Social Intercourse
Van Halen - OU812
Metallica - ...And Justice for All

Winger - "Seventeen"
Depeche Mode - "Behind the Wheel"
The Mighty Lemon Drops - "Inside Out"
U2 - "Desire"
Steve Winwood - "Roll with It"
Poison - "Nothin' But a Good Time"
INXS - "Devil Inside"
INXS - "New Sensation"
Guns N' Roses - "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Love and Rockets - "No New Tale to Tell"
Kingdom Come - "Get It On"
Erasure - "Chains of Love"
The Escape Club - "Wild Wild West"
The Jack Rubies - "Be with You"
The Screaming Tribesmen - "I've Got a Feeling"
R.E.M. - "Pop Song 89"
R.E.M. - "The One I Love"
Terence Trent d'Arby - "Wishing Well"
Robert Plant - "Heaven Knows"
Information Society - "What's on Your Mind (Pure Energy)"
The Communards - "Never Can Say Goodbye"
The Smithereens - "Only a Memory"

John Bush
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
Morrissey - Viva Hate
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
The Church - Starfish
Front 242 - Front by Front
Ministry - The Land of Rape and Honey
The Fall - The Frenz Experiment
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
Beat Happening - Jamboree
Galaxie 500 - Today
EPMD - Strictly Business
Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown
Biz Markie - Goin' Off

They Might Be Giants - "Ana Ng"
They Might Be Giants - "Purple Toupee"
They Might Be Giants - "Snowball in Hell"
They Might Be Giants - "We're the Replacements"
The Church - "Under the Milky Way"
Morrissey - "Everyday Is Like Sunday"
The Go-Betweens - "Streets of Your Town"
R.E.M. - "Orange Crush"
The Fall - "Big New Prinz"
Mudhoney - "Touch Me I'm Sick"
Front 242 - "Headhunter"
Ministry - "Stigmata"
Nitzer Ebb - "Control I'm Here"
Skinny Puppy - "Testure"
Pet Shop Boys - "Left to My Own Devices"
The Stone Roses - "Elephant Stone"
The Wedding Present - "Why Are You Being So Reasonable Now?"
EPMD - "It's My Thing"
Ultramagnetic MC's - "Ease Back"
Public Enemy - "Bring the Noise"

Matt Collar
1988 was the year I really started buying music for myself. I listened to stuff before that, of course, but as a freshman in high school, my musical identity was an all-encompassing obsession. To be perfectly honest, however, I didn't discover Fugazi or Galaxie 500 until college. Everything else though was on regular rotation on my cassette player. And I won’t pretend to be some kind of in-the-know teen hipster. In fact, I remember first reading about Cowboy Junkies and the Feelies in Time magazine, of all places. And I picked up my love of Morrissey from my older sister, who had the Smiths on vinyl. That said, I stumbled across the Railway Children's Recurrence while thumbing through the used cassettes at the local record store. Like most of the albums on this list, it still makes it into my rotation today.

The Church - Starfish
Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
Crowded House - Temple of Low Men
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
The Feelies - Only Life
Fugazi - Fugazi
Galaxie 500 - Today
Morrissey - Viva Hate
My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
The Railway Children - Recurrence
Sade - Stronger Than Pride
The Smiths - The Peel Session
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good

Andy Kellman
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Fingers Inc. - Another Side
My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
Guy - Guy
Eric B. & Rakim - Follow the Leader
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
Throwing Muses - House Tornado
A.R. Kane - 69
Bobby Brown - Don't Be Cruel
808 State - Newbuild
For Against - December
Fugazi - Seven Songs
EPMD - Strictly Business
Ultramagnetic MC's - Critical Beatdown
The House of Love - The House of Love
Savage Republic - Jamahiriya
Loop - Fade Out
Mary Margaret O'Hara - Miss America

New Edition - "If It Isn't Love"
Womack & Womack - "Teardrops"
EPMD - "You Gots to Chill"
Inner City - "Good Life"
Living Colour - "Cult of Personality"
Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - "It Takes Two"
Will Downing - "In My Dreams [Rapid Eye Mix]"
Eric B. & Rakim - "Paid in Full [Seven Minutes of Madness]"
Terence Trent d'Arby - "Wishing Well"
A Guy Called Gerald - "Voodoo Ray"
Run-D.M.C. - "Run's House"
MC Lyte - "Paper Thin"
The House of Love - "Christine"
Al B. Sure! - "Nite and Day"
Bobby Brown - "Don't Be Cruel"
Jungle Brothers - "I'll House You"
Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Peek-A-Boo"
Boogie Down Productions - "My Philosophy"
De La Soul - "Plug Tunin'"
Marley Marl - "The Symphony"

Jason Lymangrover
Boogie Down Productions - By All Means Necessary
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
EPMD - Strictly Business
Eric B. & Rakim - Follow the Leader
Galaxie 500 - Today
Happy Mondays - Bummed
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Jane's Addiction - Nothing’s Shocking
J.V.C. F.O.R.C.E. - Doin' Damage
Living Colour - Vivid
Momus - Tender Pervert
My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Everything
N.W.A - Straight Outta Compton
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Peepshow
Slick Rick - The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden

Cocteau Twins - "Carolyn's Fingers"
The Church - "Under the Milky Way"
Leonard Cohen - "Everybody Knows"
Danzig - "Mother"
Morris Day - "Fishnet"
The Dead Milkmen - "Punk Rock Girl"
Eazy-E - "Boyz-n-the Hood"
E.U. - "Da Butt"
Guns N' Roses - "Patience"
Michael Jackson - "Man in the Mirror"
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - "Parents Just Don't Understand"
J.J. Fad - "Supersonic"
LL Cool J - "Going Back to Cali"
Morrissey - "Suedehead"
The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York"
Queensrÿche - "Eyes of a Stranger"
R.E.M. - "Orange Crush"
Run-D.M.C. - "Beats to the Rhyme"
Sir Mix-A-Lot - "Posse on Broadway"
They Might Be Giants - "Ana Ng"

J. Scott McClintock
Ultra Vivid Scene - Ultra Vivid Scene
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
Danielle Dax - Dark Adapted Eye
The Dead Milkmen - Beelzebubba
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
The Fall - The Frenz Experiment
Fugazi - Fugazi
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Globe of Frogs
Robert Earl Keen, Jr. - The Live Album
Masters of Reality - Masters of Reality
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
The Wonder Stuff - The Eight Legged Groove Machine
Louis Philippe - Ivory Tower
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln

Julian Cope - "Charlotte Anne"
Leonard Cohen - "First We Take Manhattan"
Erasure - "Chains of Love"
Fields of the Nephilim - "Phobia"
Front 242 - "Headhunter"
The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Sidewalking"
Pretty Poison - "Catch Me I'm Falling"
Moev - "Crucify Me"
Happy Mondays - "Wrote for Luck"
Iron Maiden - "The Clairvoyant"
Kingdom Come - "Loving You"
Peter Koppes - "Take a Vow"
L.A. Guns - "Bitch Is Back"
Laibach - "Across the Universe"
Metallica - "Harvester of Sorrow"
The Mission U.K. - "Tower of Strength"
My Bloody Valentine - "I Can See It (But I Can't Feel It)"
Pixies - "Where Is My Mind?"
The Waterboys - "When Ye Go Away"
"Weird Al" Yankovic - "Fat"

James Christopher Monger
The Godfathers - Birth, School, Work, Death
The Pogues - If I Should Fall from Grace with God
The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues
Peter Murphy - Love Hysteria
Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
Enya - Watermark
Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians - Globe of Frogs
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Midnight Oil - Diesel and Dust
Danielle Dax - Dark Adapted Eye
They Might Be Giants - Lincoln
Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
The Dead Milkmen - Beelzebubba
Violent Femmes - 3
Camper Van Beethoven - Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart
Manowar - Kings of Metal
Cowboy Junkies - The Trinity Session
Dead Can Dance - The Serpent's Egg
Metallica - …And Justice for All

Fugazi - "Waiting Room"
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - "Deanna"
Prince - "Alphabet St."
The Mission U.K. - "Tower of Strength"
The Church - "Under the Milky Way"
Masters of Reality - "Domino"
The Silencers - "Sacred Child"
The Smithereens - "Only a Memory"
Robert Plant - "Heaven Knows"
The Pursuit of Happiness - "I'm an Adult Now"
Judas Priest - "Hard as Iron"
Julian Cope - "Charlotte Anne"
When in Rome - "The Promise"
The Proclaimers - "Oh Jean"
Steve Earle - "Copperhead Road"
R.E.M. - "Orange Crush"
Ministry - "Stigmata"
Cocteau Twins - "Athol-Brose"
Leonard Cohen - "Everybody Knows"
Morrissey - "Every Day Is Like Sunday"

Heather Phares
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Pixies - Surfer Rosa
My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
Throwing Muses - House Tornado
The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
Wire - A Bell Is a Cup...Until It Is Struck
Pere Ubu - The Tenement Year
The Fall - The Frenz Experiment
Ciccone Youth - The Whitey Album

The Church - "Under the Milky Way"
Terence Trent d'Arby - "Wishing Well"
Guns N' Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle"
L'Trimm - "Cars with the Boom"
George Michael - "Faith"
R.E.M. - "Finest Worksong"
Run-D.M.C. - "Run's House"
Salt-N-Pepa - "Push It"
Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Peek-A-Boo"
They Might Be Giants - "Ana Ng"

Tim Sendra
Beat Happening - Jamboree
Dinosaur Jr. - Bug
Eleventh Dream Day - Prairie School Freakout
Felt - Pictorial Jackson Review
Galaxie 500 - Today
The Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane
My Bloody Valentine - Isn’t Anything
Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden
The Pooh Sticks - Orgasm

14 Iced Bears - "Come Get Me"
Another Sunny Day - "I'm in Love with a Girl Who Doesn't Know I Exist"
The Field Mice - "Emma's House"
The Field Mice - "The Last Letter"
The Orchids - "Give Me Some Peppermint Freedom"
The Orchids - "Underneath the Window, Underneath the Sink"
The Sea Urchins - "Solace"
My Bloody Valentine - "Feed Me with Your Kiss"
My Bloody Valentine - "You Made Me Realise"

Although some songs in these lists were released in 1987, they peaked in the U.S. in 1988.

Previously
AllMusic Loves 1968
AllMusic Loves 1974
AllMusic Loves 1977
AllMusic Loves 1984
AllMusic Loves 1987
AllMusic Loves 1993
AllMusic Loves 1999