“It’s a Mistake” by Men at Work: pop at the height of the cold war

There's not a bad song on Cargo (1983), but "It's a Mistake" is one of the standout cuts on the album. Written by Colin Hay, it was the third single off Cargo and did pretty well on the charts. If I remember correctly, the video was in heavy rotation on MTV for a while, but … Continue reading “It’s a Mistake” by Men at Work: pop at the height of the cold war

“Document” by R.E.M. (No. 19)

For Document R.E.M. picked up a much harder edge than previous albums. Sure, Life's Rich Pageant dabbled a bit with more aggressive guitar, but Document has a much harsher sound throughout. And it sounds so, so good. Document practically kicks you in the face with the opening track, "Finest Worksong." A whip-crack snare and then … Continue reading “Document” by R.E.M. (No. 19)

“Queen Elvis” by Robyn Hitchcock ‘n’ The Egyptians (No. 21)

Watching "alternative" bands like The Cure, R.E.M., and U2 punch through to mainstream success, I had high hopes that Robyn Hitchcock would break through with Queen Elvis. Released in March 1989, Hitchcock was opening for R.E.M. on the Green tour. Queen Elvis, by Robyn Hitchcock 'n the Egyptians, was on a major label and they … Continue reading “Queen Elvis” by Robyn Hitchcock ‘n’ The Egyptians (No. 21)

“Waxworks” & “Beeswax” by XTC (No. 31)

Waxworks and Beeswax are a double dose of angular, jumpy, frenetic pop from Swindon's XTC. This pairing captures the very best of XTC's early period, before they evolved into a more "pastoral" (and Beatlesque) sound on later albums. Officially Waxworks: Some Singles 1977–1982 and Beeswax: Some B-Sides 1977–1982 are separate albums. However, I'm lumping them … Continue reading “Waxworks” & “Beeswax” by XTC (No. 31)