Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1985: Dean's List


  1. Mekons: Fear & Whiskey (Sin import) 16
  2. Aretha Franklin: Who's Zoomin' Who? (Arista) 13
  3. The Replacements: Tim (Sire) 13
  4. Lost in the Stars: The Music of Kurt Weill (A&M) 12
  5. Hüsker Dü: New Day Rising (SST) 11
  6. Velvet Underground: VU (Verve) 9
  7. Willie Nelson & Hank Snow: Brand on My Heart (Columbia) 9
  8. The Blasters: Hard Line (Slash) 6
  9. Joe Higgs: Triumph (Alligator) 6
  10. Talking Heads: Little Creatures (Sire) 5

  11. The Pogues: Rum Sodomy & the Lash (Stiff import)
  12. Thomas Mapfumo: Ndangariro (Carthage '84)
  13. Linton Kwesi Johnson: In Concert With the Dub Band (Shanachie)
  14. Go Go Crankin' (4th & B'way)
  15. Scritti Politti: Cupid & Psyche 85 (Warner Bros.)
  16. Marti Jones: Unsophisticated Time (A&M)
  17. The Dead Milkmen: Big Lizard in My Backyard (Fever)
  18. George Clinton: Some of My Best Jokes Are Friends (Capitol)
  19. Yabby You: Fleeing from the City (Shanachie)
  20. Dramarama: Cinema Verité (New Rose import)
  21. Hüsker Dü: Flip Your Wig (SST)
  22. John Anderson: Tokyo, Oklahoma (Warner Bros.)
  23. Ras Michael & the Sons of Negus: Rally Round (Shanachie)
  24. Minutemen: 3-Way Tie for Last (SST)
  25. Rosanne Cash: Rhythm and Romance (Columbia)
  26. Katrina and the Waves (Capitol)
  27. Phranc: Folksinger (Rhino)
  28. Steve Arrington: Dancin' in the Key of Life (Atlantic)
  29. Willie Nelson: Me and Paul (Columbia)
  30. The Go-Betweens: Metal and Shells (PVC)
  31. Robert Cray Band: False Accusations (Hightone)
  32. Kid Creole and the Coconuts: In Praise of Older Women and Other Crimes (Sire)
  33. Phezulu Eqhudeni (Carthage)
  34. Marshall Crenshaw: Downtown (Warner Bros.)
  35. George Strait: Something Special (MCA)
  36. Fela Anikulapo Kuti: Army Arrangement (Celluloid)
  37. UB40: Geffery Morgan (A&M '84)
  38. The Rave-Ups: Town & Country (Fun Stuff)
  39. David Byrne: Music for the Knee Plays (ECM)
  40. Conjure (American Clavé '84)
  41. Harold Budd/Brian Eno: The Pearl (Editions EG '84)
  42. Fela Anikulapo Kuti: No Agreement (Celluloid)
  43. Mofungo: Frederick Douglass (Coyote/Twin/Tone)
  44. Nomads: Outburst (What Goes On '84)
  45. Artists United Against Apartheid: Sun City (Manhattan)
  46. Nile Rodgers: B-Movie Matinee (Warner Bros.)
  47. Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey and His Inter-Reformers Band: Juju Jubilee (Shanachie)
  48. Jimmy G. and the Tackheads: Federation of Tackheads (Capitol)
  49. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Ulwandle Oluncgwele (Shanachie)

Pending: Rubén Blades, Celibate Rifles, Camper van Beethoven, Toure Kunda, Biograph


  1. Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew: "The Show" (Reality 12-inch)
  2. Aretha Franklin: "Freeway of Love" (Arista)
  3. Roxanne Shanté: "Roxanne's Revenge" (PopArt 12-inch)
  4. Roky Erickson: "Don't Slander Me" (Dynamic)
  5. Artists United Against Apartheid: "Sun City" (Manhattan)
  6. Ramones: "Bonzo Goes to Bitburg" (Beggars Banquet import 12-inch)
  7. Beastie Boys: "Rock Hard" (DefJam 12-inch)
  8. USA for Africa: "We Are the World" (Columbia)
  9. Strafe: "Set It Off" (JusBorn 12-inch)
  10. Run-D.M.C.: "King of Rock" (Profile 12-inch)
  11. Aretha Franklin: "Who's Zoomin' Who?" (Arista),
  12. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam With Full Force: "I Wonder If I Take You Home" (Columbia 12-inch)
  13. Ready for the World: "Tonight" (MCA)
  14. Prince and the Revolution: "Raspberry Beret" (Paisley Park)
  15. Paul Young: "Every Time You Go Away" (Columbia 12-inch)
  16. Cheech & Chong: "Born in East L.A." (MCA)
  17. Jean Knight: "My Toot Toot" (Mirage)
  18. Klymaxx: "Meeting in the Ladies Room" (Constellation)
  19. Fishbone: "? (Modern Industry)" (Columbia)
  20. Special Guests: "Cezanne" (Special Guests)
  21. Nonfiction: "Dead into West Virginia"/"Speak the Same to Everyone" (Proud Pork)
  22. Wiseblood: "Motorslug" (WaxTrax)
  23. Shalamar: "Don't Get Stopped in Beverly Hills" (Columbia 12-inch)
  24. Fela Anikulapo Kuti: "Army Arrangement" (Celluloid 12-inch),
  25. Sonic Youth: "I Killed Christgau with My Big Fucking Dick (And Now It Don't Work No More)" (Forced Exposure)


  1. Double Dee & Steinski: The Payoff Mix/Lesson Two/Lesson 3 (Tommy Boy)
  2. Big Black: Racer-X (Homestead)
  3. UB40: Little Baggariddim (A&M)
  4. Alex Chilton: Feudalist Tarts (Big Time)
  5. Lifeboat (Dolphin)
  6. Aaron Neville: Orchid in the Storm (Passport)
  7. Screaming Blue Messiahs: Good and Gone (Big Beat import)
  8. Undercurrent: Rockin Asunder! (Double Image cassette)
  9. Psychotics: Mass Insanity Destroying Civilization (Olive Tree)
  10. Full Time Men (Coyote)


  1. Fishbone: "? (Modern Industry)"
  2. Artists United Against Apartheid: "Sun City"
  3. Kid Creole and the Coconuts: "Endicott"
  4. Aretha Franklin: "Prisoner of Love"
  5. John Fogerty: "Centerfield"

Village Voice, Feb. 18, 1986

1984 Essay | Critics Poll 1986