Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The 1988 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll

Albums

1. Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back (Def Jam) 1011 (79)
2. Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Blast First/Enigma) 716 (58)
3. Tracy Chapman: Tracy Chapman (Elektra) 685 (59)
4. Midnight Oil: Diesel and Dust (Columbia) 308 (27) *
5. Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked (Mercury) 296 (31)
6. Was (Not Was): What Up, Dog? (Chrysalis) 273 (23)
7. Pere Ubu: The Tenement Year (Enigma) 264 (26)
8. Keith Richards: Talk Is Cheap (Virgin) 264 (25)
9. Traveling Wilburys: Volume One (Wilbury) 263 (26)
10. Randy Newman: Land of Dreams (Warner Bros.) 261 (25)
11. Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (Columbia) 254 (23)
12. Brian Wilson: Brian Wilson (Sire) 248 (24)
13. Ornette Coleman and Prime Time: Virgin Beauty (Portrait) 234 (21)
14. Richard Thompson: Amnesia (Capitol) 219 (22)
15. Cowboy Junkies: The Trinity Sessions (RCA) 217 (20)
16. Lucinda Williams: Lucinda Williams (Rough Trade) 214 (20)
17. Prince: Lovesexy (Paisley Park) 211 (26)
18. John Hiatt: Slow Turning (A&M) 209 (21)
19. Womack & Womack: Conscience (Island) 207 (19)
20. Prince: The Black Album (bootleg) 203 (21)
21. U2: Rattle and Hum (Island) 203 (15)
22. George Michael: Faith (Columbia) 199 (17) *
23. Living Colour: Vivid (Epic) 196 (19)
24. Talking Heads: Naked (Fly/Sire) 193 (22)
25. Graham Parker: The Mona Lisa's Sister (RCA) 191 (20)
26. Guns N' Roses: Appetite for Destruction (Geffen) 190 (14) *
27. The Feelies: Only Life (A&M) 185 (19)
28. Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films (A&M) 184 (17)
29. Van Morrison & the Chieftains: Irish Heartbeat (Mercury) 180 (16)
30. Camper Van Beethoven: Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart (Virgin) 168 (18)
31. Patti Smith: Dream of Life (Arista) 162 (18)
32. Pet Shop Boys: Introspective (EMI-Manhattan) 149 (15)
33. Lyle Lovett: Pontiac (Curb) 136 (14)
34. Jane's Addiction: Nothing's Shocking (Warner Bros.) 131 (13)
35. R.E.M.: Green (Warner Bros.) 129 (14)
The Sugarcubes: Life's Too Good (Elektra) 129 (14)
37. K. D. Lang: Shadowland (Sire) 124 (14)
38. The Robert Cray Band: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Mercury) 124 (11)
39. Metallica: . . . And Justice for All (Elektra) 117 (12)
40. Ambitious Lovers: Greed (Virgin) 115 (12)

*Includes 1987 votes: Midnight Oil 11 (1), Michael 125 (13), Guns N' Roses 42 (4). This poll compiles ballots from 212 critics, each of whom divided 100 points among 10 1988 LP's. Points determined placement, with total mentions (indicated in parentheses) used for tie-breaking. Maximum per album: 30. Minimum: 5.

Singles

1. Tracy Chapman: "Fast Car" (Elektra) 55
2. Robe Base & D.J. E-Z Rock: "It Takes Two" (Profile) 38
3. Guns N' Roses: "Sweet Child o' Mine" (Geffen) 30
4. Prince: "Alphabet St." (Paisley Park) 29
5. Midnight Oil: "Beds Are Burning"/"The Dead Heart" (Columbia) 27
6. Public Enemy: "Don't Believe the Hype"/"Prophets of Rage" (Def Jam) 25
Traveling Wilburys: "Handle With Care" (Wilbury) 25
8. Bobby Brown: "My Prerogative" (MCA) 24
9. Eric B. & Rakim: "Follow the Leader" (Uni) 22
D.J. Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince: "Parents Just Don't Understand" (Jive) 22
The Primitives: "Crash" (RCA) 22
12. Terence Trent D'Arby: "Wishing Well" (Columbia) 21 *
13. Guns N' Roses: "Welcome to the Jungle"/"Mr. Brownstone" (Geffen) 20
14. E.U.: "Da Butt" (EMI-Manhattan) 17
15. The Sugarcubes: "Birthday" (Elektra) 15 *
16. Eric B. & Rakim: "Paid in Full" (4th & B'way) 14 *
Michelle Shocked: "Anchorage" (Mercury) 14
18. Salt-n-Pepa: "Push It"/"Tramp" (Next Plateau) 13 *
19. Ofra Haza: "Im Nin-alu"/"Galbi" (Sire) 12
20. Ice-T: "Colors" (Cold Chillin') 11
Michael Jackson: "Man in the Mirror" (Epic) 11
Salt-n-Pepa: "Shake Your Thang" (Next Plateau) 11
Patti Smith: "People Have the Power" (Arista) 11
Keith Sweat: "I Want Her" (Vintertainment) 11 *
Tone-Loc: "Wild Thing" (Delicious Vinyl) 11

*Includes 1987 votes: D'Arby 11, Sugarcubes 2, Eric B. 1, Salt-n-Pepa 8, Sweat 4.

EPs

1. Bruce Springsteen: Chimes of Freedom (Columbia) 13
2. Pussy Galore: Sugarshit Sharp (Caroline) 11
3. Mudhoney: Superfuzz Bigmuff (Sub Pop) 8
4. Billy Bragg: Help Save the Youth of America: Live and Dubious (Elektra) 7
Live Skull: Snuffer (Caroline) 7
6. Poi Dog Pondering: Poi Dog Pondering (Over Easy) 6
7. Bullet LaVolta: Bullet LaVolta (Taang!) 5
Divine Horsemen: Handful of Sand (SST) 5
Grant Hart: 2541 (SST) 5
Mission of Burma: Mission of Burma (Taang!) 5
Soundgarden: Screaming Life (Sub Pop) 5

Reissues

1. Chuck Berry: The Chess Box (Chess) 35
2. Roy Orbison: For the Lonely (Rhino) 25
3. Willie Dixon: The Chess Box (Chess) 16
4. Eric Clapton: Crossroads (Polydor) 15
5. Ray Charles: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (Rhino) 11
6. The Byrds: Never Before (Re-Flyte) 9
Woody Guthrie: Dust Bowl Ballads (Rounder) 9
8. Ann Peebles: Greatest Hits (MCA) 8
9. Etta James: The Sweetest Peaches (Chess) 7
Ramones: Ramonesmania (Sire) 7

Village Voice, Feb. 28, 1989


1987 Essay | Dean's List 1989