Top 10 new releases of 2008
With 2009 nearly here, state law dictates I can wait no longer to reveal any Best of 2008 lists. And looking back on this year, we had a lot of things worth celebrating tonight -- mainly the new music from our favorite '80s acts.
So here are my top 10 favorite new discs from '80s acts released in 2008. I've heard each of these start to finish, but see if you can guess which one CD I gave to music critic Sean Daly and said I never wanted to hear again.
TOP 10 NEW RELEASES OF 2008:
10. BLACK ICE (AC/DC): Those hard-rocking Aussies pride themselves on every album sounding the same. Still, they could have at least picked a better album of theirs to parody. But hard-core fans are happy, and that means something too. (Read review)
9. LIVE AT SHEA STADIUM (The Clash): This would be a top-five contender, except it's basically just an unreleased concert CD from the early '80s. Still, it's brilliant in nearly every way. Just avoid Rock the Casbah. (Read review)
8. SONGS FROM THE SPARKLE LOUNGE (Def Leppard): Old school, baby. O-L-D school. And we dig that about these guys. Please break out the Union Jack T-shirts on the next tour!
7. CHINESE DEMOCRACY (Guns N' Roses): The album everyone wanted to hate, but can't. It's better than expected, but not as good as it should be. (Read review)
6. VENUS IN OVERDRIVE (Rick Springfield): Rick takes his time on new releases and doesn't over-think the lyrics and melodies. That's right ... KISS (Keep it simple, Springfield). And it pays off big for him again on this completely likable album. (Read review)
5. TRAFFIC (ABC): Martin Fry considers himself an elder statesman of pop. But anyone who bought this album or caught them this summer on the Regeneration Tour is ready to lobby to land him a better job title. Prime Minister of the New Romantics maybe? (Hear interview)
4. FUNPLEX (The B-52's): All the time away from the recording studio didn't cause our favorite Athenians to lose their libidos when it comes to writing sexy, playful dance tracks. And give them credit for inventing my favorite word of 2008: Booty-bots! (Read review)
3. ACCELERATE (R.E.M.): Finally an album by R.E.M. (our second-fave group from Athens, Ga.) that we're not ashamed to add to our CD libraries. Crank it for Supernatural Superserious. (Read review)
2. REVELATION (Journey): What more can be said about new singer Arnel Pineda? After all these years, his face and vocals resurrected the Journey franchise. (Read review)
1. 4:13 DREAM (The Cure): A surprise pick for No. 1, but Robert Smith and gang turned out an album that rivals any in their deep collection. Lyrically poignant, musically breathtaking and emotionally nourishing. (Read review)
I'm leaving out: The Greatest Songs of the Eighties (Barry Manilow), Phoenix (Asia), Hole in the Sun (Night Ranger), Twentyfive (George Michael), Bring Ya To The Brink (Cyndi Lauper), Hard Candy (Madonna).