Thirty Years On: November 1988

Back again!  Thanks for waiting!  Here are a few of my favorite releases from late in the year.  I’m pretty sure by this point I was already obsessed with heading to Emerson College, having learned about it from a college fair in the Valley.  I remember spending a few mornings in The Pub Room writing up my admission forms and essays and looking forward to getting the hell out of town as soon as I could.  Changes were a-comin’.

The Wolfgang Press, Birdwood Cage, released November.  I’d first heard this band on 4AD’s Lonely Is an Eyesore compilation, and I loved the funk direction they’d decided to head towards.  

Danielle Dax, Dark Adapted Eye, released November.  She’s a singer I’d heard a lot about through music magazines and Trouser Press, but I’d only ever heard one song from her, a delicate and beautiful song called “When I Was Young”, which was only released as a b-side in 1986.  By 1988 she’d signed with Warner and released this great compilation containing multiple singles, about half of her UK Inky Bloaters album, and this new single.  She was weird and quirky, but she was a hell of a lot of fun.

The Waterboys, Fisherman’s Blues, released November.  I remember WMDK and most of the other AOR stations loving this album and playing the hell out of it.  You’ll still hear the title track on alternative radio to this day.  It’s probably their most well known track after “The Whole of the Moon.” 

Blue Clocks Green, “Hemingway” single, released November.  Alternately voted as the most favorite and the most reviled track by the DJs on WAMH during the ’88-’89 school year.  You either loved it or you hated it.  Sure, it’s a really dumb song, but it’s catchy as hell.  The 12″ of this album featured a remix called The Sun Also Reverses, which was the 7″ mix playing backwards.

My Bloody Valentine, Isn’t Anything, released November.  Before Loveless blew everyone’s mind in 1991, there was this album, a perfect bridge between their more psychedelic earlier sounds and their noisier follow-up.

REM, Green, released 8 November.  Their first album for Warner, this one divided some fans.  There’s a distinct move away from the acoustic countrified sound of the previous albums, leaning more towards the hard rock they’d started experimenting with on Lifes Rich Pageant as well as with more poppy fare.  This one’s my favorite REM album — it’s solid and it’s amazing.

Erasure, Crackers International EP, released 28 November.  Sneaking out some new tracks after the unexpected but welcome success of The Innocents earlier in the year, Erasure had another minor hit with the “Stop!” single.  

Coming Soon: December 1988!

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