The year 1989 was marked by incidences of tragedy and controversy: the Exxon-Valdez disaster, the protests at Tiananmen Square, Jethro Tull beating Metallica for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance at the 31st Grammy Awards ...
And then there were the albums. As the decade came to a close, tastes were making a marked shift. New Wave had all but dried up, and punk, save a few rare exceptions, had returned underground. Metal was still the formidable force on the airwaves and the charts, but if you take a look at the list of LPs in the poll below, you'll notice a few outsiders sneaking in.
Seattle Sub Pop noisemakers Soundgarden and Nirvana, and compatriots Mother Love Bone, were beginning to rub shoulder to shoulder with Los Angeles' glam-rock darlings. With the Sunset Strip's saturated cache of Guns N' Crue copycats, the recording industry was poised for something revolutionary.
But before that fateful time, there were still some great rock records to be heard -- or had we by now all switched to CDs? No, I'm sorry; cassette tapes.