Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1986: Dean's List


  1. The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (Shanachie) 18
  2. Beastie Boys: Licensed to Ill (Def Jam) 15
  3. The Pogues: Rum Sodomy and the Lash (MCA) 13
  4. Robert Cray Band: Strong Persuader (Mercury) 12
  5. Hüsker Dü: Candy Apple Grey (Warner Bros.) 8
  6. Rolling Stones: Dirty Work (Rolling Stones) 8
  7. Paul Simon: Graceland (Warner Bros.) 8
  8. Sonny Sharrock: Guitar (Enemy) 8
  9. Motorhead: Orgasmatron (GWR/Profile) 5
  10. New Order: Brotherhood (Qwest) 5

  11. They Might Be Giants: They Might Be Giants (Bar/None)
  12. Dele Abiodun: Adawa Super Sound (Shanachie '85)
  13. Camper Van Beethoven (Pitch-a-Tent)
  14. Elvis Costello and the Attractions: Blood and Chocolate (Columbia)
  15. Pere Ubu: Terminal Tower: An Archival Collection (Twin/Tone)
  16. The Jesus and Mary Chain: Psychocandy (Reprise)
  17. The Three Johns: The World by Storm (Abstract import)
  18. Mekons: The Edge of the World (Sin import)
  19. The Costello Show (Featuring Elvis Costello): King of America (Columbia)
  20. Mofungo: Messenger Dogs of the Gods (Lost)
  21. Mutabaruka: The Mystery Unfolds (Shanachie)
  22. Run-D.M.C.: Raising Hell (Profile)
  23. The Lounge Lizards: Live in Tokyo/Big Heart (Island)
  24. XTC: Skylarking (Geffen)
  25. Astor Piazzolla: Tango: Zero Hour (American Clavé)
  26. Phil Alvin: Un "Sung" Stories (Slash)
  27. Peter Stampfel and the Bottle Caps (Rounder)
  28. Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys 2 (Capitol)
  29. The Housemartins: London 0, Hull 4 (Elektra)
  30. Timbuk 3: Greetings From Timbuk 3 (I.R.S.)
  31. Ladysmith Black Mambazo: Inala (Shanachie)
  32. Camper Van Beethoven: Telephone Free Landslide Victory (Independent Project '85)
  33. Prince and the Revolution: Parade (Paisley Park)
  34. Laurie Anderson: Home of the Brave (Warner Bros.)
  35. Black Flag: Who's Got the 10½? (SST)
  36. The Go-Betweens: Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express (Big Time)
  37. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: Live Alive (Epic)
  38. Aaron Neville: Make Me Strong (Charly import)
  39. Thomas Mapfumo: The Chimurenga Singles 1976-1980 (Meadowlark)
  40. Ornette Coleman and Prime Time: Opening the Caravan of Dreams (Caravan of Dreams)
  41. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: Live/1975-1985 (Columbia)
  42. Jimi Hendrix: Johnny B. Goode (Capitol)
  43. World Saxophone Quartet: World Saxophone Quartet Plays Duke Ellington (Nonesuch)
  44. Zazou Biyake: Mr. Manager (Pow Wow)
  45. Camper Van Beethoven: II & III (Pitch-a-Tent)
  46. New Model Army: The Ghost of Cain (Capitol)
  47. The Feelies: The Good Earth (Coyote)
  48. The Rattlers: Rattled (PVC '85)
  49. Steve Earle: Guitar Town (MCA)
  50. The Mahotella Queens (Shanachie)
  51. Don Dixon: Most of the Girls Like to Dance but Only Some of the Boys Like To (Enigma)
  52. David & David: Boomtown (A&M)
  53. The Velvet Underground: Another View (Verve)
  54. Katrina and the Waves: Waves (Capitol)
  55. Yaa-Lengi Ngemi: Oh, Miziki (MiyeMi)
  56. The Art of Noise: In Visible Silence (Chrysalis)
  57. Marvin Gaye: Motown Remembers Marvin Gaye (Tamla)
  58. Ruben Blades y Seis del Solar: Escenas (Elektra '85)

Pending: That Petrol Emotion, Pontiac Brothers, Soul Asylum's While You Were Out, Ronald Shannon Jackson with Twins Seven Seven

Jazz: Pullen-Adams, Metheny/Coleman, Abdullah Ibrahim, Adams-Pullen, Leaders


  1. Cameo: "Word Up" (Atlanta Artists)
  2. Beastie Boys: "Hold It, Now Hit It (Acapulco)" (Def Jam)
  3. Talking Heads: "Wild Wild Life" (Sire)
  4. Teddy Pendergrass: "Love 4/2" (Elektra)
  5. AC/DC: "You Shook Me All Night Long" (Atlantic)
  6. Aretha Franklin: "Jimmy Lee" (Arista)
  7. Sly Fox: "Let's Go All the Way" (Capitol)
  8. Mixmaster Gee and the Turntable Orchestra: "The Manipulator" (MCA)
  9. Junkyard Band: "The Word" (Def Jam)
  10. Timex Social Club: "Rumors" (Danya)
  11. Karen Finley: "Tales of Taboo" (Pow Wow International import)
  12. Skipworth & Turner: "Thinking About Your Love" (4th & B'way)
  13. Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald: "On My Own" (MCA)
  14. Timbuk 3: "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" (I.R.S.)
  15. Gwen Guthrie: "Ain't Nothin' Goin' On but the Rent" (Polydor)
  16. The Real Roxanne with Hitman Howie Tee: "Bang Zoom (Let's Go Go)" (Select)
  17. Bang Orchestra: "Samples" (Geffen)
  18. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: "War" (Columbia)
  19. Ciccone Youth: "Into the Groovey"/"Burnin Up"/"Tuff Titty Rap" (Blast First import)
  20. Gregory Abbott: "Shake You Down" (Columbia)
  21. Jermaine Stewart: "We Don't Have to Take Our Clothes Off" (Arista)
  22. P.B.S.: "Mr. Rogers"/"Girl of My Own" (Troubled Youth)
  23. Bruce Hornsby & the Range: "The Way It Is" (RCA Victor)
  24. Joeski Love: "Pee-wee's Dance" (Elektra)
  25. Pet Shop Boys: "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (EMI America)


  1. It Will Stand: Minit Records 1960-1963 (EMI America)
  2. The Swan Silvertones: Get Right With the Swan Silvertones (Archives Alive)
  3. Itchy Twitchy Feelings: Sue Records 1958-1966 (EMI America)
  4. Hank Williams: I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (Polydor)
  5. Esther Phillips: Set Me Free (Atlantic)
  6. The Neville Brothers: Treacherous: A History of the Neville Brothers (Rhino)
  7. Bo Diddley (Chess)
  8. James Brown: In the Jungle Groove (Polydor)
  9. Atlantic Honkers (Atlantic)
  10. The Spaniels: Stormy Weather (Charly import)


  1. Royal Crescent Mob: Land of Sugar (No Other)
  2. Shop Assistants (53rd & 3rd import)
  3. Sonic Youth: Starpower (SST)
  4. Sally Timms and the Drifting Cowgirls: The Butcher's Boy Extended Player (T.I.M. import)
  5. The New Dylans (Caveat Emptor)
  6. The Stouthearted (Indelible)
  7. Fearless Iranians From Hell (Boner)
  8. Wire: Snakedrill (Mute import)
  9. Mekons: Crime and Punishment (Sin import)
  10. Alex Chilton: "No Sex"/"Under Class"/"Wild Kingdom" (Big Time)


  1. Genesis: "Land of Confusion" (Splitting Image)
  2. David Lee Roth: "Yankee Rose" (David Lee Roth/Peter Angelis)
  3. Special Guests: "Paul Cezanne" (Cindy Keefer)
  4. Cameo: "Word Up" (Larry Blackmon)
  5. Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band: "War" (Arthur Rosato)
  6. Talking Heads: "Wild Wild Lfie" (David Byrne)
  7. Timbuk 3: "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" (Carl Crasso)
  8. Sly Fox: "Let's Go All the Way" (Mick Clever)
  9. Neil Young: "Touch the Night" (Tim Pope)
  10. Peter Gabriel: "Big Time" (Stephen Johnson)

Village Voice, Mar. 3, 1987

1985 Essay | Critics Poll 1987