73 thoughts on “Spillyear 1987

  1. Three from me, surprisingly Smiths-free:

    1. REM – It’s The End Of The World As We Know It
    2. The Go-Betweens – Bye Bye Pride
    3. 10,000 Maniacs – Verdi Cries

  2. I’ve gone for three lesser lights in the post-C86 genre (hey – I’ve just invented a genre!).

    1. Blue Train – Wheels Go Round
    2. The Railway Children – Brighter
    3. Metro Trinity – Spend My Whole Life Loving You

  3. Awful year

    1) Death of a Disco Dancer – The Smiths
    2) Let the Music Use You – Night Writers
    3) Never Gonna Give You Up – Rick Astley

  4. I don’t remember it being a great year, to be honest.

    I think I will go for;

    PrinceSign o’ the Times
    The Grateful DeadTouch Of Grey
    REMFinest Worksong

    There were a few others I could have chosen, but these were things I was definitely playing a lot in 87.

  5. Great year, i’m spoiled rotten for choice.

    GnR – Welcome to the Jungle
    Prince – Sign O the Times or Housequake
    U2 – With or Without You
    Cure – Just Like Heaven, because i doubt i’ll find Prince on youtube.

    Too Many Smiths tunes to pick from
    Dond for REM, and i’d probably go Finest Worksong. We played that album to death.
    George Michael
    Terence Trent D’Arby
    Brucie’s Tunnel of Love album
    Husker Du Warehouse, which i wasn’t listening to at the time.

      • I loved this year, right up my alley. GnR slayed the hair metal dragon with one song, Prince finally embraced the funk and slayed all pretenders, best hip hop group ever released their debut (i didn’t get there till next album though), and some of the most gorgeous pop ever produced.

        (Afraid i’m not really with you on the power ballads though, except for Heart.)

      • Me too! I was too young at the time, but looking at it now, it seemed like something edgy was just about to happen and bands and genres were taking tentative steps towards something different.

        I realise I may be alone on the Soft Rock Power Ballad front, but I’m predicting some Whitesnake action from Prof. Abahachi!

  6. It was a very good year…

    MARRS – Pump Up the Volume
    King Sun – D Moet – Hey Love
    Justified Ancients of Mu Mu – Downtown

    which was a very hard choice so..

    Bubbling under:
    New Order – 1963 (I think it’s the right year this time)
    Susanne Vega – Luka
    Smiths – I Started Something
    Eric B and Rakim – Paid in Full
    Erasure – Victim of Love

    Almost all singles and I’m sure there are many I’ve forgotten.
    (donds for Prince btw)

  7. To be honest, in 1987 I was too busy working my way up the greasy pole to have taken in much new music. Much of my knowledge of the sort of good stuff people have nominated has come since – mostly thanks to you guys and gals. But these late discoveries tend to mean I have no idea what year they are from. However, in the mainstream, I looked at the top 100 for that year in the Uk, and it looks DIRE. Rick Astley mostly. Or covers and re-issues, due to the dearth of actual, you know, talent. Under the boardwalk. When a man loves a woman. Reet petite. La Bamba. Let it be. Stand by me. The list goes on and on. All great songs. But a sign of pop bankruptcy. However, on the good side, Alison Moyet was in her pomp. So I’ll pick:

    – Alison Moyet – Is this love
    – Alison Moyet – Weak in the presence of beauty

  8. I haven’t seen anything mentioned yet that I hate. However, as we entered 1987 my tastes were defined by noise:

    Sonic Youth: Schizophrenia
    Big Black: L Dopa
    Throwing Muses: Cry Baby Cry

  9. Welcome back, barbryn. I’m impressed that you’ve had time to do a ‘Spill post!

    1987 was the year I bought my first house (well, not outright, obvs.) I was 28 and had been in a relationship for seven or eight years, living separately, and can remember saying “I’m buying a house if you want to share it, if not, I’m buying it anyway”, or something charmingly romantic to that effect. I didn’t think he’d take me up on it but he moved in. It was a nice Victorian end of terrace which I should really have hung onto as it would be worth silly money now, but such is.

    Music-wise I’ve had a look at the charts as I can’t remember. Terence Trent D’Arby, definitely. Embarrassingly, George Michael and “Faith” (the single only – don’t know why I like it, but I do). And one that sticks in the head is T’Pau and “China in your Hand”.

    We listened to a lot of American blues and English folk at the time, not much of which drip fed into the charts. Bands / soloists I remember around that time were Dire Straits, Suzanne Vega, Peter Gabriel, Alison Moyet. I couldn’t stand the Pet Shop Boys or the Smiths – still can’t, sorry.

  10. Having scrolled down the ‘Best Albums of 1987’ list as far as Bruce Willis’s album, The Return Of Bruno, and found only one record I actually thought worth buying, I have to conclude this was a shit year. The ‘one record’ is the last U2 album of any value, The Joshua Tree. I’ll pick Where The Streets Have No Name from that, then.

    Carole has nicked the-greatest-single-of-all-time-(ho,ho) from – at long last! – a decent Grateful Dead studio album, so I’ll pick Throwing Stones instead, for having a message that has lasted and a great coda. Both these songs had been played for several years before 1987 pinned them to a slab of vinyl.

    And I’ll nab this before anyone else realises that 1987 was the year of its first release: Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl.

    • On a personal level, like ghe, I had my nose to the grindstone attached to the greasy pole. I had a minor meltdown early in the year when I simply ran away from it all for a short while and had to be coaxed gently back to the front line. It was having a set of absolute c**ts (Londis) for clients that did it.

    • I did have a momentary pang of guilt at grabbing Touch Of Grey, but I have to say it was a very small pang, and was over almost before it started.

  11. 1. KBC Band – America – Pulls off the neat trick of being a lefty political anthem and an unabashed patriotic flag waver at the same time

    2. Bruce Hornsby – Mandolin Rain – Beautiful song of love and loss, and so rare to hear a mandolin so prominently in a pop song of that era.

    3. Crowded House – Don’t Dream It’s Over – Always seemed like a subtle ’60s psychedelic throwback: surreal lyrics over a very lovely melody anchored by Hammond organ.

  12. Looks like it was a great year for metal and Soft Rock Power Ballads (which I have a weakness for). Plus classic hip-hop and some great noisy indie.

    Napalm Death released their masterpiece ‘Scum’ and the first stirrings of the of the dark and nasty Norwegian black metal scene were just starting. Bathory and Celtic Frost both dropped landmark records in ’87.

    On the Soft Rock Power Ballad front, there are so many classics! Cutting Crew, Starship, Heart, Whitesnake are all reasonably proudly present and correct in my 7″ collection.

    Will go for (before I change my mind!):

    Napalm Death – You Suffer
    Cutting Crew – (I Just) Died in Your Arms
    Public Enemy – Too Much Posse

      • It is indeed…hmmmm, maybe I should have gone for that one!

        When I was a teenager, my mate Neil and I used to have ‘Soft Rock nights’ every year or so. We’d get together in his bedroom and pool our Soft Rock Power Ballads collection together and (re)listen to everything. We weighed each tracks merits after every song and declared a winner for that year (no, we didn’t have girlfriends) at the end – I remember Cutting Crew winning one year, which is probably why I went for it.

      • I had a torrid affair with a girl from Fleetwood after we copped off to Heart’s Alone. Ay! Fond memories!

        These ultra-hip DJ nights I do are… er… sometimes… Oh foookit! They’re dross! People in Finland like Journey, Starship, Cutting Crew, Nik Kershaw, Whitesnake, Bangles, Heart. They like big rock ballads and I played loads last week after playing some great 1950’s rip-it-up-r’n’r! Later, I actually played Wild Horses for one of the slow songs, but I had no one to dance with!

      • Last summer i worked a lot of weddings and alumni parties, and for some reason Journey and Sweet Caroline were on every playlist. (And that fucking Black Eyed Peas tune). I had no idea how this came to be, till one of my bosses who moonlighted as a DJ told me – brides looked up playlists on wedding sites and just kind of copied them. I came to appreciate any deviation from the program – even when one wedding was a couple who went to school in Georgia and had a country tune playlist. I was even happy when the Wobble was played, at least it was fun to watch people dance to it. It was a jackpot when i worked one with a 90’s punk list.

        • Journey: Don’t Stop Believing…. Sweet Caroline and those BEPs…. The sort of songs somebody asks for 10 minutes after you’ve played ’em. Some people have cloth ears

      • Young kids here seem to know the Stones songs, problem is that they don’t seem to know that they’re by the Stones. Which is understandable i guess, seeing as it’s probably been a few decades since they released an album that wasn’t a compiliation.

        • Ha! Ha! I get that all the time! Al the great 1970’s rockers and funkers are known through cover versions. Ms Ex-Fuel couldn’t believe Tapestry was the work of one woman. The amount of times I have to say Stevie Wonder or Marvin Gaye wrote a certain song is quite astonishing…

  13. for me 1987 was a great year from a musical perspective.
    strangeways – smiths
    faith no more – introduce yourself
    floodland – sisters
    songs about fucking – big black
    come on pilgrim – pixies (didn’t hear this for a year after though)
    sister – sonic youth
    warehouse – husker du
    George best – wedding present
    within the realm of a dying sun – Dead can dance
    babble – that petrol emotion
    calenture – the triffids
    up for a bit with the pastels
    the shamen – drop
    spitting out miracles – blue aeroplanes

    i’ll pick:
    up for a bit – the pastels
    it’s all around – the shamen
    white kross – sonic youth

    though bogshed – champion love shoes, hit the north – the fall and many others off the above albums run close

      • I think I must have picked up Introduce yourself after 1987 as I have it on cd, whereas I have all the rest on vinyl apart from Warehouse.

        “it’s all around” was not on the original of Drop though I think they may have added it to the CD release which I don’t have. It was released on an EP which a mate of mine had so I only had it on cassette for many years. Eventually I contacted someone on Last fm and they emailed me the mp3. The Shamen were a very different outfit then to what they became – I think they credited Syd Barrett with this track although I don’t think it’s one of his.

      • Thanks fuel, yours too. I got a headache, like a pillow. i’d probably have gone for pavement saw, although ldopa and bad penny were alternate favourites at different times.

  14. I’m not going to Rebellion for the first time ever, my record player is playing up, and now I have to revisit 1987. Cheers, Babryn 😉
    A duff year even with the hindsight of the obscurities that I’ve come across since. Not a lot going on and my established favourites were generally releasing way below par stuff (Psychedelic Furs, Bunnymen etc). Everyone with a foot in the mainstream seemed to be polishing their sound for the radio and losing whatever made them interesting. I was mainly listening to The Clash, Sisters Of Mercy (Floodland is regarded by some as their peak, I disagree), Alien Sex Fiend, and Microdisney. I also bought a Crass best of – a pointer to the future! I contributed to a mate’s fanzine but my stuff was fairly cringeworthy
    I went to a grand total of TWO gigs (Stranglers, damned), but then that’s all I’ve managed this year. Not great.

    Microdisney – Mrs Simpson
    They were good! Crooked is my favourite of their albums

    PIL – Seattle
    Didn’t like it at the time, but I did later. The best thing they did in the late 80s.

    UK Subs – Another Cuba
    From one of their weakest albums, but a great track. Not sure about the metal guitar though. In fact in most years I’ve done this wouldn’t stand a chance, but there you go.

    I might have chosen Paranoid Visions – Look At Me as they were just getting going, but the right version isn’t on youtube.

  15. my favourite vinyl from ’87 must be:


    The Kiss – The Cure
    Nimrod’s Son – Pixies
    My Favorite Dress The Wedding Present

    Such a weird year for me – 17 years old – it’s my year zero – where I totally decided my taste, not magazines, newspapers, my brother or dad. My music.

    In 87 I sat in a pub with Carole Decker and sang a very drunken Heart and Soul – before the 2nd single was about to go massive and the rock press was going to hate her – not my type of thing but a great night.
    I bought anything connected with Paisley Park, including tracking down a vinyl bootleg of the Black album and an album by Jill Jones that I still have a soft spot for!

    Love and Rockets album got purchased even though they had gone all american and not the fun goths of Bauhaus anymore. We still had the Sisters.

    I discovered Pixies and got another Dinosaur (now) Jr. album for my noisy moments.
    I had an imported Jane’s Addition live album sent to me.
    Pop Will Eat Itself and Liabach were funny.
    The Smiths had had their day and weren’t as good as The Wedding Present.. hee hee.

    The Cure released my perfect album – meandering and pop /dark and jaunty – well MY teenage jaunty – it came with a limited edition orange vinyl 12″ too – boy was I happy – not as happy as lending the oversized t-shirt to my female friends to use as a nightshirt – the ‘kiss me’ was written in just the perfect place for a teenage boys imagination to go ‘interstellar’ – interstellar was the word that popped into my head – interstellar is the word that has to be typed.

    inxs released ‘need you tonight’ and ‘never tear us apart’ – I didn’t buy them but think they are great slices of pop rock

    for me – these too:

    Darklands The Jesus And Mary Chain
    Tarpit Dinosaur Jr.
    Hit the Hi-Tech Groove Pop Will Eat Itself
    Lucretia My Reflection The Sisters Of Mercy
    Paid In Full Eric B. & Rakim
    True Faith New Order
    All day and all night Jill Jones
    Sign ☮ the Times Prince

  16. Marrs – Pump Up The Volume
    Stump – Tupperware Stripper
    Lee “Scratch” Perry & Dub Syndicate – Jungle

    The year of the team-up: AR Kane & Colurbox, LSP & Dub Syndicate, Tackhead & Brain Moore, Yello & Shirley Bassey & Billy Mackenzie, Cabs & Adrian Sherwood…

  17. “I start to think
    & then I sink
    Into the paper
    Like I was ink”

    ’87 was a very good year for hip-hop music, a bucketload of classics to choose from :

    ‘I Know You Got Soul’ – Eric B & Rakim
    ‘Rebel Without A Pause’ – Public Enemy
    ‘Funky’ – Ultramagnetic MCs

  18. The 80s. Oh those hairstyles…

    Pet Shop Boys – It’s A Sin
    Bananarama – Love In The First Degree
    Fleetwood Mac – Little Lies

    Donds for Alison Moyet, REM, Pogues and Kirsty McColl

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