13 Great Albums That Will Turn 30 This Year

1988 was an exceptional year for rock & pop music releases both in Oz and internationally

1988 was THIRTY years ago. Remember the Australian Bicentenary and when $2 coins were brand new? 

What was your soundtrack that year? We've collated a list of some of the best albums from that year, all celebrating 30th anniversaries this year. If we've missed your favourite please let us know in the comment section on our Facebook page. 

Pixies - Surfa Rosa

The Pixies first full-length release, Surfer Rosa is often cited as a favourite of music critics and is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best rock albums. Many alternative rock artists, including Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins and PJ Harvey, have cited the album as inspirational; Nirvana's Kurt Cobain frequently acknowledged that Surfer Rosa was a strong influence on Nevermind, and, in 1993, Cobain hired the album's recording engineer Steve Albini to record his own band's album In Utero.

Check out this great live version of "Where Is My Mind?" performed live at the UK's famous Glastonbury Festival in 2014.

The Church - Starfish

Starfish is the fifth album by The Church, released in February 1988. A true breakthrough album for them, Starfish went gold in America and has remained their most commercially successful release. The album sold 600,000 copies in the United States alone. The first single, "Under the Milky Way", charted well in the American Top 40, peaking at #24 and #2 on Mainstream Rock, leading to significant exposure of the then relatively underground Australian act. Here at home, "Under the Milky Way" climbed to #5, and Starfish reached #7 on the album charts, the band's highest positions ever.

The Church were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2010, and here is the live performance that followed.

Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking

The debut major label release for Jane's Addiction in August 1988 which spawned the hits "Jane Says" and "Mountain Song" to commercial and critical success. Perry Farrell created the cover image to Nothing's Shocking, which features a sculpture of a pair of nude female conjoined twins sitting on a sideways rocking chair with their heads on fire. Farrell said the image, like much of his artwork, came to him in a dream. Farrell hired Warner Bros. employees to create the cover sculpture; after learning how to create sculptures by watching them closely, he fired the Warner Bros. staff and created the artwork himself!

Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation

After Daydream Nation was released in October 1988, it received widespread acclaim from critics and earned Sonic Youth a major label deal. The album was ranked high in critics' year-end lists of 1988's best records. Daydream Nation has since been widely considered to be Sonic Youth's greatest work, and an influence on the alternative and indie rock genres. It was chosen by the US Library of Congress to be preserved in the National Recording Registry in 2005.

Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

The album charted for 49 weeks on the US Billboard 200, peaking at #42. By August 1989, it was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipments of one million copies in the United States. The album was very well received by music critics, who hailed it for its production techniques and the socially and politically charged lyricism of lead MC Chuck D. It also appeared on many publications' year-end top album lists for 1988.

Since its initial reception, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back has been regarded by music writers and publications as one of the greatest and most influential albums of all time. In 2003, the album was ranked number 48 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest ranking of all the hip hop albums on the list, and the only one acknowledged in the top hundred.

U2 - Rattle & Hum

Produced by Jimmy Iovine released on 10 October 1988, while the film was distributed by Paramount Pictures and was released on 27 October 1988. Following the breakthrough success of the band's previous studio album, The Joshua Tree, the Rattle and Hum project captures their continued experiences with American roots music on the Joshua Tree Tour, further incorporating elements of blues rock, folk rock, and gospel music into their sound. A collection of new studio tracks, live performances, and cover songs, the album includes recordings at Sun Studios in Memphis and collaborations with Bob Dylan, B. B. King, and Harlem's New Voices of Freedom gospel choir.

Metallica - ...And Justice For All

The lyrics on this album feature themes of political and legal injustice seen through the prisms of censorship, war, and nuclear brinkmanship. The album's front cover, designed by Stephen Gorman on a scheme by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, features a representation of Lady Justice, bound by ropes, with two breasts bare and its scales tipping toward one plate filled with money. The phrase "...And Justice for All" appears spray-painted in the lower right corner. The album title is derived from the American Pledge of Allegiance. Three songs from the album were released as singles: "Harvester of Sorrow", "Eye of the Beholder" and "One"; the latter being Metallica's first music video.

The Go-Betweens - 16 Lovers Lane

16 Lovers Lane was the sixth album by Aussie indie rock group The Go-Betweens, released in 1988 by Beggars Banquet Records. Prior to the recording of the album, longtime bassist Robert Vickers left the band when the other group members decided to return to Australia after having spent several years in London, England; he was replaced by John Willsteed. The album was recorded at Studios 301 in Sydney, between Christmas 1987 and Autumn 1988.

16 Lovers Lane was the final release from the original version of the band. The Go-Betweens broke up in 1989 and would produce no other material until Grant McLennan and Robert Forster reformed the band, with a completely different line-up of personnel, in 2000.

Roxette - Look Sharp

The second studio album by Swedish pop duo Roxette. The album was released on 21 October 1988, two years after their debut Pearls of Passion (1986). The album was an immediate commercial success in Sweden, debuting at number one and eventually being certified 6× platinum there.

Although commercial success elsewhere was initially modest, the album was the duo's international breakthrough. It went on to be certified platinum or multi-platinum in numerous territories, while four of its singles went on to become global hits. "The Look", "Listen to Your Heart", "Dangerous" and "Dressed for Success".

Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman gained critical acclaim from a wide majority of music critics, praising the simplicity, Chapman's vocal ability and her political and social lyrical content. The album received commercial success in most of the countries it was released, making it to the top of the charts in many countries, including Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. It peaked at #1 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with sales exceeding over six million copies in the United States alone.

L7 - L7

L7 is the first album by the Los Angeles all-female band L7. Recorded in 1987 and released in 1988, the album demonstrates the band's punk rock origins, although there are traces of the heavier grunge sound that dominated their later work. It was followed by Smell The Magic in 1990.

Prince - Lovesexy

Price's tenth album! He referred to Lovesexy as a gospel album. It opens with a sermon of sorts; "Eye No", a positive energetic track advising people to be free from their vices and to reject Satan, and affirming his belief in God, while using his bully pulpit to encourage the listener to do the same. This album was recorded in just 7 weeks and received mixed reviews. "Alphabet Street" was the only Top 10 single from the album.

Kylie Minogue - Kylie  

Despite the mixed critical reaction, Kylie was a worldwide success. It peaked at number one in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan, and it produced three number one singles in Australia. In North America, the album peaked low on the Billboard charts, yet still managed to sell over 500,000 copies and was certified gold. In Australia, the album was re-issued as The Kylie Collection, also in 1988, as well as a VHS video in Australia featuring bonus remixes. Kylie was certified seven times platinum in the UK and has sold over 5 million copies worldwide.