Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The 1984 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll

Albums

1. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the U.S.A. (Columbia) 1757 (136)
2. Prince and the Revolution: Purple Rain (Warner Bros.) 1687 (136)
3. Los Lobos: How Will the Wolf Survive? (Slash) 1123 (102)
4. The Replacements: Let It Be (Twin/Tone) 937 (76)
5. Tina Turner: Private Dancer (Capitol) 808 (80)
6. R.E.M.: Reckoning (I.R.S.) 793 (76)
7. The Pretenders: Learning to Crawl (Sire) 702 (72)
8. Hüsker Dü: Zen Arcade (SST) 658 (58)
9. Lou Reed: New Sensations (RCA Victor) 586 (60)
10. Run-D.M.C.: Run-D.M.C. (Profile) 523 (55)
11. Cyndi Lauper: She's So Unusual (Portrait '83) 517 (50) *
12. Bangles: All Over the Place (Columbia) 458 (52)
13. Ramones: Too Tough to Die (Sire) 405 (38)
14. Minutemen: Double Nickels on the Dime (SST) 362 (35)
15. The dB's: Like This (Bearsville) 350 (40)
16. Womack & Womack: Love Wars (Elektra '83) 272 (28) *
17. Laurie Anderson: Mister Heartbreak (Warner Bros.) 267 (28)
18. Rubén Blades y Seis del Solar: Buscando America (Elektra) 257 (20)
19. Laurie Anderson: United States Live (Warner Bros.) 247 (14)
20. Meat Puppets: Meat Puppets II (SST) 213 (26)
21. Neville Brothers: Neville-ization (Black Top) 204 (21)
22. The Smiths: The Smiths (Sire) 187 (14)
23. Let's Active: Cypress (I.R.S.) 176 (18)
24. Tom Verlaine: Cover (Warner Bros.) 156 (19)
25. Van Halen: 1984 (Warner Bros.) 156 (13)
26. Del-Lords: Frontier Days (EMI America) 155 (20)
27. Linton Kwesi Johnson: Making History (Island) 153 (14)
28. George Clinton: You Shouldn't-Nuf Bit Fish (Capitol '83) 149 (16) *
29. U2: The Unforgettable Fire (Island) 149 (15)
30. King Sunny Ade and His African Beats: Aura (Island) 149 (14)
31. Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense (Sire) 148 (17)
32. ZZ Top: Eliminator (Warner Bros.) 148 (14) *
33. Peter Wolf: Lights Out (EMI America) 135 (16)
34. The Gospel at Colonus (Warner Bros.) 130 (15)
35. Lyres: On Fyre (Ace of Hearts) 114 (12)
36. The Everly Brothers: EB 84 (Mercury) 110 (12)
37. P. Funk All-Stars: Urban Dancefloor Guerillas (CBS Associated/Uncle Jam '83) 110 (11) *
38. Del Fuegos: The Longest Day (Slash) 108 (12)
39. The Special AKA: In the Studio (Chrysalis) 102 (10)
40. Rickie Lee Jones: The Magazine (Warner Bros.) 101 (11)

*Includes 1983 votes: Lauper 83 (7); Womack & Womack 36 (4); Clinton 83 (8); ZZ Top 90 (9); P. Funk All-Stars 57 (6).

This poll compiles ballots from 240 critics, each of whom divided 100 points among 10 1984 LP's. Maximum points per album: 30. Minimum: 5. Points determined placement, with total mentions (indicated in parentheses) used to break ties.

Singles

1. Prince: "When Doves Cry"/"17 Days" (Warner Bros.) 111 *
2. Bruce Springsteen: "Dancing in the Dark"/"Pink Cadillac" (Columbia) 71 *
3. Tina Turner: "What's Love Got To Do With It" (Capitol) 61
4. Hüsker Dü: "Eight Miles High" (SST) 56
5. Van Halen: "Jump" (Warner Bros.) 52
6. Prince: "Let's Go Crazy"/"Erotic City" (Warner Bros.) 43 *
7. Afrika Bambaataa & The Godfather of Soul James Brown: "Unity" (Tommy Boy) 39
Run-D.M.C.: "Rock Box" (Profile) 39
9. Chaka Khan: "I Feel for You" (Warner Bros.) 37 *
10. Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" (Portrait) 34 **
Cyndi Lauper: "Time After Time" (Portrait) 34
12. U2: "Pride (In the Name of Love)" (Island) 33
13. John Fogerty: "The Old Man Down the Road"/"Big Train (From Memphis)" (Warner Bros.) 32
14. The Pretenders: "Middle of the Road"/"2000 Miles" (Sire) 28 **
15. Bruce Springsteen: "Born in the U.S.A."/"Shut Out the Light" (Columbia) 27 *
Sheila E.: "The Glamorous Life" (Warner Bros.) 26
17. The Replacements: "I Will Dare" (Twin/Tone) 25
The Special AKA: "Free Nelson Mandela" (Chrysalis) 25
19. The Bangles: "Going Down to Liverpool" (Columbia) 22
R.E.M.: "South Central Rain" (I.R.S.) 22
21. Time Zone: "World Destruction" (Celluloid) 20
Deniece Williams: "Let's Hear It for the Boy" (Columbia) 20
23. Malcolm McLaren: "Madam Butterfly" (Island) 18
24. Tina Turner: "Better Be Good to Me" (Capitol) 17
25. Newcleus: "Jam on It" (Sunnyview) 16
John Waite: "Missing You" (EMI America) 16

*The singles tally was complicated this year not only by votes for B sides (indicated only when there was more than one) but by separate votes for 12-inch versions, 15 in the case of "Dancing in the Dark." "When Doves Cry," "Erotic City," "Girls Just Want To Have Fun," "Born in the U.S.A.," and "I Feel for You" also got scattered 12-inch-only votes. Both B-sides and 12-inches were included in a single's basic total, with no critic permitted to vote twice for the same record.

**Includes 1983 votes: Pretenders 18, Lauper 8.

EPs

1. Tommy Keene: Places That Are Gone (Dolphin) 32
2. Jason & the Nashville Scorchers: Fervor (EMI America) 18
3. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band: The Legendary A&M Sessions (A&M) 16
Love Tractor: 'Til the Cows Come Home (DB) 16
5. Art of Noise: Into Battle with the Art of Noise (Island) 14
6. The Judds: Wynonna & Naomi (RCA Victor) 13
7. The LeRoix Brothers: Forget About the Danger . . . Think of the Fun (Columbia) 12
The Waterboys: The Waterboys (Island) 12
9. Julie Brown: Goddess in Progress (Rhino) 11
Charlie Pickett and the Eggs: Cowboy Junkie Au-Go-Go (Open) 11
Salem 66: Salem 66 (Homestead) 11

*Does not include the 30 1983 votes for the Praxis version, which omitted "Absolutely Sweet Marie," and which would have lifted Fervor to first.

**Includes 1983 votes: 8.

Videos

1. Art of Noise: "Close (to the Edit)" (Zbigniew Rybczynsky) 35
2. Cyndi Lauper: "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" (Ken Walz) 34 *
3. Van Halen: "Hot for Teacher" (Peter Angelis) 29
4. The Cars: "You Might Think" (Charlex/Jeff Stein) 28
5. Frankie Goes to Hollywood: "Two Tribes" (Godley & Creme) 20
6. Van Halen: "Jump" (Peter Angelis) 18
7. ZZ Top: "Legs" (Tim Newman) 16
8. Cyndi Lauper: "Time After Time" (Edd Griles) 12
9. Bob Dylan: "Jokerman" (George Lois) 11
10. Lou Reed: "I Love You Suzanne" (Tim Newman) 10

Village Voice, Feb. 18, 1985


1983 Essay | Dean's List 1985