New Sensations: 50 Iconic Albums That Defined 1984
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Four represented an interesting crossroads in music.
Classic rock giants of the Sixties and Seventies had strayed far from their roots. Speed and thrash metal were on the rise, waiting in the background to storm the parapet.
In the underground, there was a fascinating musical stew brewing. Black Flag had turned their back on the ultra-influential, hyper-speed hardcore that had made them famous and turned to sludge metal. Husker Du were writing pop songs buried in layers of noise. Minutemen were a politically conscious funk-punk band with songs that frequently skirted under two minutes.
Prince broke boundaries and records with Purple Rain, an album that merged funk, R&B, soul, disco and rock into one irresistible combination. Bruce Springsteen turned to synthesizers and simplified messages for his own blockbuster album, Born In the USA, a record that sawed off the more difficult-to-grasp edges of his previous masterpieces.
Pink Floyd had essentially fallen apart (so David Gilmour and Roger Waters released solo albums), the Rolling Stones were at a creative low point, while Led Zeppelin and the Who had called it quits earlier in the decade. Their struggles left a gaping chasm at the center of rock, and bands of all kinds from a myriad of increasingly splintered sub-genres raced to fill it in.
Meanwhile, Stevie Ray Vaughan released his second album, and Johnny Winter was burning up the fretboard over at Alligator Records.
Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Four didn’t bring the sort of apocalyptic world promised by George Orwell, but it did bring a year of absolutely fascinating music! Enjoy the photo gallery below. Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look.
NOTE: As we say every year, this list is presented in no particular order. Once again, it is presented in no particular order. None.
Enjoy! (P.S.: There might actually be 51 albums in the gallery. Hope you don't mind!)
Anthrax — Fistful Of Metal
Mercyful Fate — Don't Break the Oath
Black Flag — My War
Bruce Springsteen — Born In the U.S.A
Yngwie Malmsteen — Rising Force
Quiet Riot — Condition Critical
David Gilmour — About Face
Deep Purple — Perfect Strangers
Red Hot Chili Peppers — The Red Hot Chili Peppers
Steve Vai — Flex-Able
Husker Du — Zen Arcade
Ratt — Out Of the Cellar
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts — Glorious Results Of A Misspent Youth
King Crimson — Three Of A Perfect Pair
The Replacements — Let It Be
Lou Reed — New Sensations
Dio — The Last In Line
Y&T — In Rock We Trust
Metallica — Ride The Lightning
Motorhead — No Remorse
Prince — Purple Rain
Queen — The Works
Queensryche — The Warning
Ramones — Too Tough To Die
R.E.M — Reckoning
Talking Heads — Stop Making Sense
Van Halen — 1984
The Smiths — The Smiths
Roger Waters — The Pros And Cons of Hitchiking
Los Lobos — How Will the Wolf Survive?
The Cure — The Top
Twisted Sister — Stay Hungry
U2 — The Unforgettable Fire
Kiss — Animalize
Whitesnake — Slide It In
Johnny Winter — Guitar Slinger
Son Seals — Bad Axe
Pretenders — Learning to Crawl
Johnny Copeland — Texas Twister
The Cult — Dreamtime
Rush — Grace Under Pressure
Minutemen — Double Nickels On the Dime
Spinal Tap — This Is Spinal Tap
Bob Marley — Legend: The Best of Bob Marley
Iron Maiden — Powerslave
Foreigner — Agent Provocateur
Bon Jovi — Bon Jovi
The Pogues — Red Roses for Me
Judas Priest — Defenders of the Faith
Scorpions — Love at First Sting
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble — Couldn't Stand the Weather