Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The 1986 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll

Albums

1. Paul Simon: Graceland (Warner Bros.) 1131 (96)
2. The Costello Show (Featuring Elvis Costello): King Of America (Columbia) 746 (59)
3. The Robert Cray Band: Strong Persuader (Mercury) 592 (57)
4. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band: Live 1975/85 (Columbia) 540 (48)
5. Run-D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Profile) 537 (54)
6. Beastie Boys: Licensed To Ill (Def Jam) 517 (43)
7. Peter Gabriel: So (Geffen) 459 (45)
8. R.E.M.: Life's Rich Pageant (I.R.S.) 433 (45)
9. Elvis Costello & the Attractions: Blood and Chocolate (Columbia) 419 (38)
10. The Indestructible Beat Of Soweto (Shanachie) 419 (36)
11. Janet Jackson: Control (A&M) 373 (31)
12. Hüsker Dü: Candy Apple Grey (Warner Bros.) 372 (40)
13. Steve Earle: Guitar Town (MCA) 330 (33)
14. The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy (Reprise) 308 (26) *
15. Mekons: The Edge of the World (Sin import) 303 (26)
16. Peter Case: Peter Case (Geffen) 287 (28)
17. Billy Bragg: Talking With the Taxman About Poetry (Elektra) 276 (23)
18. The Pogues: Rum Sodomy & the Lash (MCA) 269 (23) *
19. Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman: Song X (Geffen) 248 (22)
20. The Feelies: The Good Earth (Coyote) 242 (26)
21. Bodeans: Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams (Slash) 232 (22)
22. Minutemen: 3-Way Tie (For Last) (SST) 231 (22) *
23. Anita Baker: Rapture (Elektra) 225 (23)
24. Throwing Muses: Throwing Muses (4AD import) 209 (20)
25. Prince & the Revolution: Parade (Paisley Park) 208 (22)
26. The Smithereens: Especially for You (Enigma) 204 (18)
27. T Bone Burnett: T-Bone Burnett (Dot) 193 (19)
28. Talking Heads: True Stories (Sire) 187 (20)
29. Sonic Youth: Evol (SST) 186 (20)
30. The Smiths: The Queen Is Dead (Sire) 183 (18)
31. Richard Thompson: Daring Adventures (Polydor) 175 (21)
32. David & David: Boomtown (A&M) 172 (19)
33. XTC: Skylarking (Geffen) 165 (10)
34. Timbuk 3: Greetings From Timbuk 3 (I.R.S.) 159 (16)
35. Bad Brains: I Against I (SST) 145 (11)
36. The Screaming Blue Messiahs: Gun-Shy (Elektra) 124 (11)
37. Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians: Element of Light (Relativity) 117 (14)
38. Crowded House: Crowded House (Capitol) 111 (11)
39. Dwight Yoakam: Guitars, Cadillacs, Etc., Etc. (Reprise) 106 (11)
40. That Petrol Emotion: Manic Pop Thrill (Demon import) 104 (11)

*Includes 1985 votes: Jesus and Mary Chain 175 (15), Minutemen 130 (11), Pogues 82 (6).

This poll compiles ballots from 224 critics, each of whom divided 100 points among 10 1986 LPs. Maximum per album: 30. Minimum: 5. Points determined placement, with total mentions (indicated in parentheses) used to break ties.

Singles

1. Run-D.M.C.: "Walk This Way" (Profile) 78
2. Cameo: "Word Up" (Atlanta Arista) 68
3. Prince & the Revolution: "Kiss"/"Love Or Money" (Paisley Park) 64
4. Peter Gabriel: "Sledgehammer" (Geffen) 39
5. Billy Bragg: "Levi Stubbs' Tears" (Go! Discs import) 27 *
R.E.M.: "Fall On Me" (I.R.S.) 27
Timbuk 3: "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" (I.R.S.) 27
8. Steve Winwood: "Higher Love" (Warner Bros.) 24
9. Public Image Ltd.: "Rise" (Elektra) 23
Talking Heads: "Wild Wild Life" (Sire) 23
11. Janet Jackson: "Nasty" (A&M) 22
12. Beastie Boys: "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" (Def Jam) 20
The Smithereens: "Blood and Roses"/"Behind the Wall of Sleep" (Enigma) 20
Bruce Springsteen: "War"/"Merry Christmas Baby" (Columbia) 20
15. Pretenders: "Don't Get Me Wrong" (Sire) 19
16. Bangles: "Walk Like An Egyptian" (Columbia) 18
Ciccone Youth: "Into the Groovey"/"Burnin' Up"/"Tuff Titty Rap" (New Alliance/Blast First import) 18 *
Pet Shop Boys: "West End Girls" (EMI America) 18
Timex Social Club: "Rumours"/"Vicious Rumours" (Danya) 18
20. James Brown: "Living In America" (Scotti Brothers) 17 **
Madonna: "Papa Don't Preach" (Sire) 17
22. Robert Palmer: "Addicted To Love" (Island) 16
23. Bangles: "Manic Monday" (Columbia) 15
Bruce Hornsby and the Range: "The Way It Is" (RCA Victor) 15
Rolling Stones: "One Hit (To the Body)" (Rolling Stones) 15

*Includes EP votes: Billy Bragg 4, Ciccone Youth 3.

**Includes 1985 votes: 4.

EPs

1. Alex Chilton: No Sex/Under Class/Wild Kingdom (Big Time) 27
2. The Pogues: Poguetry In Motion (MCA) 24
3. Meat Puppets: Out Our Way (SST) 22
4. Scruffy the Cat: High Octane Revived (Relativity) 15
5. Uzi: Sleep Asylum (Homestead) 12
6. Balancing Act: New Campfire Songs (Type A) 11
Julian Cope: Julian Cope (Island) 11
Green On Red: No Free Lunch (Mercury) 11
9. Das Damen: Das Damen (SST) 10
10. Tommy Keene: Run Now (Geffen) 9

*Includes singles votes: 11.

Reissues

1. The Neville Brothers: Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers (Rhino) 43
2. Sam Cooke: The Man and His Music (RCA Victor) 39
3. Atlantic Rhythm and Blues 1947-74 (Atlantic) 23
4. James Brown: In the Jungle Groove (Polydor) 18
5. Nick Drake: Fruit Tree (Hannibal) 17
Aretha Franklin: 30 Greatest Hits (Atlantic) 17
7. Howlin' Wolf: Moanin' in the Moonlight (Chess) 15
8. Big Joe Turner: Rhythm and Blues Years (Atlantic) 13
9. Bo Diddley: Bo Diddley (Chess) 12
Duke Ellington: Money Jungle (Blue Note) 12

Videos

1. Peter Gabriel: "Sledgehammer" (Stephen Johnson) 87
2. Run-D.M.C.: "Walk This Way" (Jon Small) 41
3. Genesis: "Land of Confusion" (Splitting Image) 21
4. Talking Heads: "Wild Wild Life" (David Byrne) 16
5. Peter Gabriel: "Big Time" (Stephen Johnson) 13
6. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: "War" (Arthur Rosato) 12
7. Madonna: "Open Your Heart" (Jean-Baptiste Mondino) 11
Madonna: "Papa Don't Preach" (Peter Percher) 11
Paul Simon: "The Boy in the Bubble" (Jim Blashfield) 11
10. Prince and the Revolution: "Kiss" (Rebecca Blake) 10

Village Voice, Mar. 3, 1987


1985 Essay | Dean's List 1987