Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1981: Dean's List


  1. Greatest Rap Hits Vol. 2 (Sugarhill) 19
  2. X: Wild Gift (Slash) 15
  3. Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Trust (Columbia) 13
  4. King Sunny Adé and His African Beats: The Message (Sunny Alade import) 12
  5. English Beat: Wha'ppen? (Sire) 9
  6. David Byrne: Songs from the Broadway Production of "The Catherine Wheel" (Sire) 9
  7. Gang of Four: Solid Gold (Warner Bros.) 6
  8. Psychedelic Furs: Talk Talk Talk (Columbia) 6
  9. Human Switchboard: Who's Landing in My Hangar? (Faulty Products) 6
  10. Tom Verlaine: Dreamtime (Warner Bros.) 5

  11. Black Uhuru: Red (Mango)
  12. UB40: Present Arms (DEP International import)
  13. Robert Ashley: Perfect Lives (Private Parts): The Bar (Lovely)
  14. Black Flag: Damaged (SST)
  15. The "King" Kong Compilation (Mango)
  16. Yoko Ono: Season of Glass (Geffen)
  17. Funkadelic: The Electric Spanking of War Babies (Warner Bros.)
  18. The dB's: Stands for Decibels (Albion import)
  19. The Blasters: The Blasters (Slash)
  20. Al Green: Higher Plane (Myrrh)
  21. Red Crayola With Art & Language: Kangaroo? (Rough Trade)
  22. The Clash: Sandanista! (Epic)
  23. Gregory Isaacs: Best of Gregory Isaacs Volume 2 (GG)
  24. Sly and Robbie Present Taxi (Mango)
  25. Meredith Monk: Dolmen Music (ECM)
  26. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts: Bad Reputation (Boardwalk)
  27. Shoes: Tongue Twister (Elektra)
  28. Ramones: Pleasant Dreams (Sire)
  29. Let Them Eat Jellybeans! (Virus import)
  30. Penguin Cafe Orchestra (Editions EG)
  31. Elvis Presley: This Is Elvis (RCA Victor)
  32. Tom Tom Club (Sire)
  33. Slave: Show Time (Cotillion)
  34. Shannon Jackson & the Decoding Society: Nasty (Moers Music import)
  35. C81 (Rough Trade/NME import cassette)
  36. Teena Marie: It Must Be Magic (Gordy)
  37. Kid Creole and the Coconuts: Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places (ZE/Sire)
  38. Marvin Gaye: In Our Lifetime (Gordy)
  39. James Blood Ulmer: Free Lancing (Columbia)
  40. Lucinda: Happy Woman Blues (Folkways)
  41. Aretha Franklin: Love All the Hurt Away (Arista)
  42. Linx: Intuition (Chrysalis)
  43. Rolling Stones: Tattoo You (Rolling Stones)
  44. Z.Z. Hill: Down Home (Malaco)
  45. Rick James: Street Songs (Gordy)
  46. Sir Douglas Quintet: Border Wave (Takoma)
  47. Squeeze: East Side Story (A&M)
  48. David Johansen: Here Comes the Night (Blue Sky)
  49. Earth, Wind & Fire: Raise! (Columbia)
  50. Bohannon: Alive (Phase II)
  51. Prince: Controversy (Warner Bros.)
  52. Warren Zevon: Stand in the Fire (Asylum)
  53. Mofungo: End of the World (unlabeled cassette)
  54. Garland Jeffreys: Escape Artist (Epic)
  55. John Anderson: 2 (Warner Bros.)
  56. Johnny Copeland: Copeland Special (Rounder)
  57. Muddy Waters: King Bee (Blue Sky)
  58. Stampfel & Weber: Going Nowhere Fast (Rounder)
  59. Smokey Robinson: Being with You (Tamla)
  60. Basement 5: 1965-1980 (Antilles).


  1. Funky Four Plus One: "That's the Joint" (Sugarhill 12-inch)
  2. Taana Gardner: "Heartbeat" (West End 12-inch)
  3. T.S. Monk: "Bon Bon Vie" (Mirage)
  4. "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel" (Sugarhill 12-inch)
  5. Killing Joke: "Change" (Editions E.G. import)
  6. Afrika Bambaata/Zulu Nation/Cosmic Force: "Zulu Nation Throw Down" (Paul Winley 12-inch)
  7. Bits & Pieces: "Don't Stop the Music" (Mango 12-inch)
  8. Medium Medium: "Hungry, So Angry" (Cachalot 12-inch)
  9. Liliput: "Eisiger Wind" (Rough Trade import)
  10. Black Flag: "Louie Louie" (Posh Boy)
  11. The Treacherous Three: "The Body Rock" (Enjoy 12-inch)
  12. Scritti Politti: "The 'Sweetest' Girl" (Rough Trade)
  13. Yoko Ono: "Walking on Thin Ice"/"It Happened" (Geffen)
  14. Teena Marie: "Square Biz" (Gordy)
  15. Frankie Smith: "Double Dutch Bus" (WMOT 12-inch)
  16. Depeche Mode: "New Life" (Mute import 12-inch)
  17. Pete Shelley: "Homosapien" (Genetic import)
  18. Kim Carnes: "Bette Davis Eyes" (EMI)
  19. Trickeration: "Rap, Bounce, Rockskate"/"Western Gangster Town" (Sounds of New York 12-inch)
  20. Rolling Stones: "Start Me Up" (Rolling Stones)
  21. Spoonie Gee: "Spoonie Is Back" (Sugarhill 12-inch)
  22. Chron-Gen: "Reality" (Step-Forward import)
  23. Brother D. & Collective Effort: "How You Gonna Make the Black Nation Rise" (Clappers 12-inch)
  24. Denroy Morgan: "I'll Do Anything for You" (Becket 12-inch)
  25. Luther Vandross: "Never Too Much" (Epic)


  1. Descendents: "Fat" E.P. (New Alliance)
  2. Gang of Four: Another Day/Another Dollar (Warner Bros.)
  3. Angry Samoans: Inside My Brain (Bad Trip)
  4. DNA: A Taste of DNA (American Clavé)
  5. Propellor Product (Propellor)
  6. Panics: "I Wanna Kill My Mom"/"Best Band"/"Tie Me Up, Baby!" (Gulcher)
  7. Bebe Buell: Covers Girl (Rhino)
  8. The Specials: "Ghost Town"/"Why?"/"Friday Night Saturday Morning" (Chrysalis)
  9. Peter Dayton: Love at 1st Sight (Shoo-Bop)
  10. Lyres: AHS-1005 (Ace of Hearts)

Village Voice, Feb. 1, 1982

1980 Essay | Critics Poll 1982