Posted by: The Dilemma | December 8, 1985

The Top Ten Albums of 1985

Wow! What a year in music, everybody! So many amazing albums this year that I really had a hard time narrowing it down to just ten. But narrow it down I must, because i know that all the Pop Culture is HIV+ fans out there have been waiting for my annual list. Here we go!

10. Mick Jagger/She’s the Boss

Finally. Finally! Mick Jagger has been freed from the shackles of the sidemen who have dragged him down all these years. As Rolling Stone’s four-star review said, Mick is “one of rock’s nastiest, wittiest, most unsettling characters.” And Jagger makes a bold move here, firmly establishing himself on the current music scene by hooking up with Herbie Hancock’s producer. Tracks like “1/2 a Loaf” and “Turn the Girl Loose” are instant classics, and we’re bound to be listening to them years from now alongside “Satisfaction” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”

9. Rick Springfield/Tao

“Jessie’s Girl” was just the beginning. Tao finds the former soap hunk slipping comfortably into maturity and adulthood, as Springfield sings about topics like love and mortality. On “Walk Like a Man,” he sings, “I’m dreaming about la raison d’être/I’m frightened by the toxic threat.” Chilling. Ladies and gentlemen, I have seen the future of rock and roll, and its name is Rick Springfield.

8. Miami Sound Machine/Primitive Love

I can’t stop dancing to these conga rhythms! Ay Dios mio! Cuban import Gloria Estefan is hot, hot, hot. We be jammin’ to these baby all year long.


7. Night Ranger/Seven Wishes

“Sister Christian” is soooo last year. 1985 is all about “Sentimental Street” and “This Boy Needs to Rock.” And my Lord, does Alan Fitzgerald kill it on the synths in the latter. And what a video! We’ve been looking for a long time for the next Led Zeppelin. Lads, I think we’ve found them.

6. Starship/Knee Deep in the Hoopla

All together now: we built this city! We built this city! We built this city on rock and rollllllllllllll! So awesome. The song of the year. And side two of this incredible album is wildly underrated, and it’s where the chemistry between Grace Slick and Mickey Thomas really shines through.

5. David Lee Roth/Crazy From the Heat

You can take all these fancy young bands that the ‘zines go on and on about: your U2s and your Replacements and your Sonic Youths. You know what I say to those groups? Where’s the beef! There’s no substance there, just a lot of fluff and guys who don’t take showers. Diamond Dave, though? That’s real, old-time rock and roll. That’s the stuff.

4. USA For Africa/We Are the World

How about a round of our applause for ourselves, little Hulksters? Because this year, we accomplished something real. This year, we helped save the world. You’re welcome, formerly hungry Africans, from the bottom our hearts. Aside from helping do so much good, this album is notable for its depth. Of course the title track is a brilliant collaboration, but we also get Steve Perry’s “If Only for the Moment, Girl,” his electrifying departure from Journey, and Chicago’s amazing “Good for Nothing.”

3. Stryper/Soldiers Under Command

Holy Macanoli! Do the striped ones bring the rock with this one or what?! I many not be the most religious guy around, but these fellas make me wanna believe! Don’t believe me? Check out their rad version of “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” closing out side two in major style.

2. Phil Collins/No Jacket Required

In almost any other year, this would be a clear number one. We all loved Genesis, but Phil Collins’ solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying. The depth of feeling present on this record is truly astounding. No Jacket Required spoke to all of us, and soundtracked a lot our romantic relationships this year. Who among us didn’t weep to “One More Night,” wonder “Doesn’t Anybody Stay Together Anymore,” or plead, “Don’t Lose My Number.” One of the few artists out there who has the lyrical dexterity to match his haunting and subtle melodies. This is Phil Collins’ world. We’re just living in it.

1. David Hasselhoff/Night Rocker

Some people are just born to shine like stars. You mean, you’re telling me, that Michael Knight can also sing? What a talent. What a country. Effortlessly cool, Hasselhoff projects calm confidence as he croons his way through the best collection of songs since Abbey Road. 1986 has a lot to live up to.


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