69 thoughts on “Spillyear 1989

  1. I love the first Stone Roses album, and I don’t care if this makes me some sort of Gen X indie cliche. Could choose anything from it, but This Is The One is the one.

    3 Feet High And Rising is probably my favourite hip-hop album, and I don’t care if this makes me some sort of white indie boy who doesn’t buy many hip-hop albums cliche. Now I like playing Tread Water to my kids.

    The Sundays’ Reading, Writing and Arithmetic is one of my most-played records, and I don’t care that it came out in 1990 because Can’t Be Sure was a single in 1989.

    Lots of other great things though.

    I started secondary school in 1989. I was only taking a vague interest in music at the time (I remember liking “Manchild” by Neneh Cherry and “Back to Life” by Soul II Soul, which suggests an intriguing alternative musical direction I might have taken), but do remember getting excited by the goings on in Eastern Europe.

  2. Raw alike Sushi was that yestr but I picked the Buffalo Stance single for 88 so..

    Soul II Soul – Keep On Moving’
    Due Last Soul – Me Myself and I
    Pixies – Monkey Gone to Heaven

  3. Wow, there was still rock and roll on the radio then! Like proper hard edge rock. This is going to be difficult.

    Dunno what my other two will be, but first is a cinch:
    Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored

  4. Last full year in UK:

    Barry Adamson – ‘For Your Ears Only’: The Man With The Golden Arm.
    AC Marias – Just Talk
    Love & Rockets – So Alive or Ultra Vivid Scene – Mercy Seat (feeling indecisive today).

    • Ooh, big donds to Love & Rockets, that’s a fave by them, although as someone without long legs I was a bit disappointed that Danny Ash hadn’t written it about me.

  5. Kirsty MacColl – Dancing in Limbo
    David Byrne – Independence Day (mainly for the Kirsty choir)
    Bob Dylan – Disease Of Conceit

  6. Stone Roses – I Wanna Be Adored
    Daniel Lanois – Jolie Louise
    Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale (reunited with Maureen Tucker, it’s a rambly epic bit of goodness that I don’t think got much attention at the time or since lol ).

  7. Donds for all Stone Roses. Which i didn’t know of at the time, wasn’t aware of them over here at all, we had other things going on.

    Cure – Lovesong
    B-52s – Roam
    Stone Roses – Fools Gold, She Bangs the Drums, Waterfall, I Am the Resurrection, Sugar Spun Sister
    I really can’t seem to pick one, i love them all. Ok, Waterfall, i guess.

    also –

    Beastie Boys – Hey Ladies
    Nirvana – Blew
    Pixies – Here Comes Your Man
    Stones – Almost Hear You Sigh

  8. First off, I have to say that the rise of Grunge completely passed me by, and with a few exceptions, it is a musical style that I’ve never much cared for.

    1989, especially in hindshight does look like a pivotal time in world affairs. We might look back at the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and the election victory of Solidarity in Poland as being the main triggers for the end of the Warsaw Pact, if we were being simplistic about it. We might also look at the events in China and see Tiananmen Square as a harbinger of change too. A more reasoned analysis might suggest that events do not happen from nowhere and the things wee like to see as pivot points are really no more than separate bumps on a network of long and bumpy roads that never really end, but we like straightforward, linear narratives, especially if we can write them while looking back and picking out the events that can be used as signposts to point to the ending we have chosen. .

    Still, I can remember watching these events occurring and feeling that we were living in a world of huge changes, and 1989 does have the distinction of being a year when many of the bumpy roads converged at a junction, to keep my tortuous analogy going, and many of the old certainties came to an end. I think, for me, the violent toppling of the Ceaucescu regime in Romania stands out, culminating in thr execution of the dictator and his wife on Christman Day.

    So, enough of all that fluff. What about the music. What was I buying? I definitely bought;

    Lou ReedNew York
    Soul To SoulClub Classics Vol. One
    Bob DylanOh Mercy
    Tears For FearsSowing The Seeds Of Love
    Don HenleyThe End Of The Innocence
    The Stone RosesThe Stone Roses
    John Lee HookerThe Healer
    Daniel LanoisAcadie
    Bonnie RaittNick Of Time

  9. Oops, I missed the important part. The songs.

    ………But two albums that I wished that I’d heard and bought in 1989 wereThe Thex‘s Mindbomb and Technique by New Order and I didn’t get The Grateful Deadx‘s Built To Last until the year after.

    And what shall I pick? It is really tough, because there are TOO MANY great tunes.

    Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence
    Adeva – Respect
    Lou Reed – Halloween Parade

    I could easily have listed a dozen more ……………

  10. I was exposed to a load of new music in 1989 because I went to university and meet people who brought their listening habits from all over the place into my aural space. So I second all Stone Roses and Pixies (although I really don’t like them much now) and must mention the Cure’s Disintegration which other people say is a pivotal album of theirs, but I didn’t love it at the time.
    There were still goths releasing things that got shown on telly in 1989 so I must have these

    Psychonaut – Fields of the Nephilim
    a quasimystical song with chanting, still amazing live

    Fire Woman – The Cult
    I slept in the living room because the debut of this was on a late night show, the hair is the video made it worth it

    Barging into the Presence of God – Pale Saints
    no one seems to have heard of Pale Saints, but I really liked their gloomy indie stuff.

      • Cool, I’ve introduced them to people, but never met anyone who liked them independently! What else did he like? Also was he from Leeds?

        I chose their whole e.p there (I still have it, a soft grey cover with blurry images on it) I have added the song “Sight of You” to the playlist.

        • I know he liked My Bloody Valentine, because he was the person who got me into them, actually. He liked Lush, The Blue Nile and The Brilliant Corners as well. In fact he got a few of us from work to go and see The Brilliant Corners at The Fleece. They were OK.

    • Very much like the Pale Saints. I’ve even got them listed. Really love that sound. Carole mentioned Lush and their new single is classic early Lush. I also like Growing Up Absurb era Brilliant Corners – Uber C86.

      • Yay another Pale Saints fan! It’s all different now isn’t it, but at the time I felt like they were “my” band. I haven’t listened to the new Lush yet, I shall go and do so now. Thanks

      • ha ha – fuel, you beat me to Kinky Love by Pale Saints and I beat you to Bull in Heather by Sonic Youth in fetishes.

        Pale Saints are ace – I have the 4AD output on vinyl and saw them live a few times – 4AD double and triple header gigs were so good between ’87 and ’91 – one Pixies gig was them – Pale Saints and The Wolfgang Press and that was my ideal night out EVER.

  11. flesh colored house – bastro
    gouge away – pixies (dead, hey, wave ….)
    ever – lemonheads (mallo cup is great too)

    chrome/bloody mary – jesus lizard
    man vs nature – killdozer
    head like a hole/sin – nin
    only a prawn in whitby – cud
    just like heaven – dinosaur jr
    a love from outer space – ar kane
    mercy seat – uvs
    joan of arc – bitch magnet
    black sun – loop
    sugar spun sister/adored/resurrection – stone roses
    sight of you – pale saints – good call Beth, wouldn’t have thought of this

  12. The Blue Nile – The Downtown Lights
    Black Box – Ride on time
    808 State – Pacific State
    Maria McKee – Breathe
    Lil Louis – French Kiss
    Digital Underground – Doowutchyalike

    Roses and Pixies are well covered and … ohhhh I forgot The Triffids with Too Hot to Move, I’m sure it’s not the only thing

    • Pacific State is a simply wonderful piece of music. Although I danced to it endlessly back then, I never owned any of the versions of it until I bought the remastered 2-CD 808:90 a few years ago.

    • Timeless sound – my kids love it. I’ve been listening to 808 State alongside Matrixxman all week, so it’s been like 1989 fast-forwarded and filtered through 2016 in my head.A perfect theme for me, right now.

  13. Being a Manc – the only one here, I think – I should join in the Roses adoration, shouldn’t I? But it didn’t seem that special to me at the time. The whole Madchester/Hacienda thing happened just up the road but I never even looked in. At the age of 36, I felt a little too old I think and the music, though groovy and fun, didn’t seem that interesting.

    Although the Roses themselves seemed very nice when we met them in Heathrow the following April.

    • My father’s side of the family lived for several generations in Salford. Not quite the same as Manchester but as good as. My mother grew up in Wythenshawe on Britain’s largest council estate. I grew up in Stockport.

      It wasn’t just Manchester and music there was a whole “Doowutchyalike” attitude that was mixing up genres and introducing old sounds to new sounds and it felt revolutionary. Then again, there was also Jive Bunny, SAW, one hit wonders, the inevitable commodification of the fresh sounds (Numero Uno; cheese I like, but still cheese), and the excess drug use of those that led the way..,

  14. Annus horriblis on a personal front; my friend died of cancer and my dad died as well; I was left with scarring after a hospital “trial” and altogether umpteen other really shite things happened. The main song I recall at the time is Mike & the Mechanics “Living Years”, but wiki says this was released in 1988. I bought “Kite” by Kirsty MacColl , a brilliant album from which I will choose “Days”, because it made me think of my dad. Apart from that I can’t find anything with the right release date – the Stone Roses passed me by.

  15. I was still working for the Rathbone Society – it was a job I’d been forced into by the dole people, under the Government’s attempt to make the unemployment figures look better by siphoning people off into what was first called the Community Programme and then Employment Training. Actually, in retrospect, it was a good thing for me: I learned a lot and got experience of working with people with learning difficulties, which stood me in good stead later on.

    Tom Petty’s first solo album Full Moon Fever came out in ’89 so I’ll choose the inevitable Runnin’ Down A Dream. That year we heard Robert Earl Keen’s The Road Goes On Forever for the first time (it’s been a good little earner for him over the years), and Dylan’s Oh Mercy album included one of my favourites of his later songs, Most Of The Time.

  16. Two things I enjoy each week at the Spill, one is Earworms which I usually participate in and this is the other, both involve playlists, I don’t participate here very often because I don’t think most people would care about what I was listening to way back when and without cheating and picking from online lists I’d have no idea what I was listening to specifically nor would I know what I bought. I bought tons of stuff, often haphazardly and very little of it was pop music.
    But as I stated up top this is a favorite event for me each week, I’ll usually spend several hours going through the playlists, listening to totally unknown groups and watching the various videos. Total enjoyment.
    What I enjoy most of all is the creativity of all those groups and all those video artists, though in many cases I don’t particularly enjoy the end products, the music and the films, but I don’t think either were made with the likes of me in mind as the audience. Reading the comments attached to each piece, I’m very aware of how appreciative their audiences are. What I appreciate is the widespread energy and creativity that all of these, dare I say ‘young people’ show. It was never like this when I was an adolescent. But I realize that I look at the videos critically, since I used to teach film production, I see them through a teacher’s eyes. Some I discard though most I find creative and entertaining.
    This is a relatively new art form, the marriage of music to specific images. As a film maker I always enjoyed the process of editing film to music more than anything. I think I made one of the very first music videos, it was for TV for a jazz group called Glider, it was in about 1970. I’d never seen nor heard of another before that.
    Without going through the entire list and re-viewing everything I don’t think I can comment on any specifics though I can say that I enjoyed Franco obviously, plus Santana, Pale Saints, Adeva, Soul to Soul and Kirsty McColl. I will have another go later; thanks to all the Spillers who contributed.

    • One of the first music videos (if it qualified as a video) that I remember was Nilsson’s version of “Without You”, I can’t find it on YouTube but it made an impression on me at the time (1970ish) because I’d never seen anything like that before.

  17. The first Stone Roses album is in my all time top 10 so I should pick one from that and although it should be I Am The Resurrection as its my fav I will go with ‘Elizabeth My Dear’ as its so subversive and subtle ( and no-ones mentioned it!) and reminds me of the 1st article I ever read about them in Time Out (I think) by Nick Coleman which sold me on their attitude !


    Debaser – Pixies
    I Thank You – Adeva
    Kennedy – The Wedding Present (a bona fide classic)

    • dond for Debaser, and Elizabeth My Dear, which i meant to mention but forgot. As a yank who refuses to recognize royalty, i have a big soft spot for that one.

  18. Not a lot going on for me but here’s a few bits I’ve dug up – a goth bias this time

    Screaming Marionettes (aka The Marionettes) – Like Christabel
    How much more goth could this be? And the answer is none. None more goth

    James Rays Gangwar – Another Day Another Million Dollars
    James Ray anticipates the Panama Papers. Huge sound fronted by a mini-Eldritch (or maybe it’s the other way round.

    Cowboy Killers – Sergeant Bastard
    Melodic thrash punk from the Welsh Dead Kennedys

    • Predictable donds for the first 2, James Ray has been active lately with James Ray and the Black Hearted Riders. I haven’t heard of the last one, will check it out.

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