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10 Glaring Omissions from Rolling Stone’s Top Albums of the ’80s

Rolling Stone, bless them, republished their list of “The 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s” on their website this week. The feature – originally published in 1989 – makes for strange and occasionally bewildering reading. For a start, it’s topped by The Clash’s London Calling, which is undeniably a masterwork but also was undeniably released in 1979 (and no, we’re not buying the January 1980 US release date as an excuse here). Now, we know better than anyone that lists are always subjective, and whatever you include people are going to complain (hey, it’s actually nice to be complaining about someone else’s lists for once). And admittedly, we’re evaluating this list with the benefit of 20 years of hindsight. But even so, there are some glaring omissions from RS’s selection – here are 10 records that really should have featured somewhere near the top, but didn’t feature at all.

Pixies – Surfer Rosa (1988)

In Rolling Stone’s defense, Surfer Rosa was only a year old when this list was made. But then, the magazine clearly wasn’t really down with what was happening in the late 1980s indie scene – there’s no mention in the Top 100 for Dinosaur Jr’s You’re Living All Over Me or Bug, or for any of Throwing Muses’ records, or Jane’s Addiction’s killer 1988 debut Nothing’s Shocking, or anything by the Gun Club. We can just about forgive them for not including Nirvana’s Bleach or Mudhoney’s Superfuzz Bigmuff, which probably hadn’t made their way to the magazine’s office by the time this list as compiled. But no Pixies? Really?

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