Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1988: Dean's List


  1. Franco and Rochereau: Omona Wapi (Shanachie '85) 16
  2. African Connection Vol. 1: Zaire Choc (Celluloid import cassette/CD) 16
  3. Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back (Def Jam) 14
  4. Sonic Youth: Daydream Nation (Blast First/Enigma) 13
  5. Heartbeat of Soweto (Shanachie) 10
  6. Lucinda Williams: Lucinda Williams (Rough Trade) 8
  7. Pere Ubu: The Tenement Year (Enigma) 7
  8. Papa Wemba: L'Esclave (Gitta import) 6
  9. Ambitious Lovers: Greed (Virgin) 5
  10. The Sonny Sharrock Band: Seize the Rainbow (Enemy '87) 5

  11. Ornette Coleman and Prime Time: Virgin Beauty (Portrait)
  12. Folkways: A Vision Shared (Columbia)
  13. Zani Diabete & the Super Djata Band: Zani Diabete & the Super Djata Band (Mango)
  14. EPMD: Strictly Business (Fresh)
  15. The Bhundu Boys: Tsvimbodzemoto: Sticks of Fire (Hannibal)
  16. The Robert Cray Band: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (Mercury)
  17. Zimbabwe Frontline (Virgin)
  18. Michelle Shocked: Short Sharp Shocked (Mercury)
  19. Hurricane Zouk (Earthworks/Virgin)
  20. Stella Chiweshe: Ambuya? (Globestyle import)
  21. Dele Abiodun: It's Time for Juju Music (Super Adawa import)
  22. Eric B. & Rakim: Follow the Leader (Uni)
  23. Richard Thompson: Amnesia (Capitol)
  24. Najma: Qareeb (Shanachie)
  25. The Jungle Brothers: Straight Out the Jungle (Idlers)
  26. Traveling Wilburys: Volume One (Wilbury)
  27. James Brown: Motherlode (Polydor)
  28. Flipper: Sex Bomb Baby! (Subterranean)
  29. Patti Smith: People Got the Power (Arista)
  30. Thunder Before Dawn (Earthworks/Virgin)
  31. Was (Not Was): What Up, Dog? (Chrysalis)
  32. Astor Piazzolla: The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night (Tango Apasionado) (American Clavé)
  33. Hairspray (A&M)
  34. Gilberto Gil: Soy Loco Por Ti America (Braziloid)
  35. Obed Ngobeni: My Wife Bought a Taxi (Shanachie)
  36. Feedtime: Shovel (Rough Trade)
  37. Prince: The Black Album (bootleg cassette)
  38. Mory Kante: Akwaba Beach (Polydor)
  39. Donner Party: Donner Party (Pitch-a-Tent)
  40. Guy: Guy (Uptown/MCA)
  41. Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (Columbia)
  42. Joe Louis Walker: The Gift (Hightone)
  43. Pet Shop Boys: Introspective (EMI America)
  44. Dag Nasty: Field Day (Giant)
  45. Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens: Thokozile (Virgin)
  46. Womack & Womack: Conscience (Island)
  47. Heartbeat Soukous (Earthworks/Virgin)
  48. The Go-Betweens: 16 Lovers Lane (Capitol)
  49. Miriam Makeba: Sangoma (Warner Bros.)
  50. Black Uhuru: Brutal (RAS '87)
  51. Buzzcocks: Lest We Forget (ROIR cassette)
  52. Shannon Jackson: When Colors Play (Caravan of Dreams '87)
  53. Big Black: Songs About Fucking (Touch & Go '87)
  54. Mofungo: Bugged (SST)
  55. Bootsy Collins: What's Bootsy Doin'? (Columbia)
  56. Voice of the Beehive: Let It Bee (London)
  57. Maroon: The Funky Record (Arb Recordings)
  58. Randy Travis: Old 8 X 10 (Warner Bros.)
  59. Jon Hassell: The Surgeon of the Nightsky Restores Dead Things by the Power of Sound (Intuition/Capitol)
  60. The Real Roxanne: The Real Roxanne (Select)

Pending: Steve Jordan, Motorhead.


  1. EPMD: "Strictly Business" (Fresh)
  2. Roxanne Shanté: "Go On Girl" (Cold Chillin')
  3. Public Enemy: "Don't Believe the Hype" (Def Jam)
  4. Rob Base & D.J. E-Z Rock: "It Takes Two" (Profile)
  5. Bobby Brown: "Don't Be Cruel" (MCA)
  6. Eric B. & Rakim: "Paid in Full (Seven Minutes of Madness Mix)" (4th & B'way)
  7. Chubb Rock with Hitman Howie Tee: "DJ Innovator" (Select)
  8. Salt-n-Pepa: "Shake Your Thang" (Next Plateau)
  9. De La Soul: "Plug Tunin'"/"Freedom of Speak" (Tommy Boy)
  10. Cheryl "Pepsii" Riley: "Child (The Confrontation Mix)" (Columbia)
  11. Royal House: "Can You Party" (Idlers)
  12. The Jesus and Mary Chain: "Surfin' USA"/"Kill Surf City" (Warner Bros.)
  13. Biz Markie: "Pickin' Boogers" (Cold Chillin')
  14. Michelle Shocked: "Anchorage" (Mercury)
  15. Rick James: "Loosey's Rap" (Reprise)
  16. Tracy Chapman: "Fast Car" (Elektra)
  17. Stetsasonic: "Talkin' All That Jazz" (Tommy Boy)
  18. Tony! Toni! Tone!: "Little Walter" (Wing)
  19. Kid 'n' Play: "Gittin' Funky" (Select)
  20. Biz Markie: "This Is Something for the Radio" (Cold Chillin')
  21. Patti Smith: "People Have the Power" (Arista)
  22. Ice-T: "I'm Your Pusher" (Sire)
  23. Tiffany: "I Saw Him Standing There" (MCA)
  24. Talking Heads: "(Nothing but) Flowers" (Sire)
  25. Guy: "Groove Me" (MCA)


  1. Camper Van Beethoven: Vampire Can Mating Oven (Pitch-a-Tent '87)
  2. Go Go Live at the Capitol Centre (I Hear Ya)
  3. Miracle Legion: Glad (Rough Trade)
  4. Half Japanese: US Teens Are Spoiled Bums (50 Kazillion Watts)


  1. Tom T. Hall: The Essential Tom T. Hall: Twentieth Century Collection/The Story Songs (Mercury)
  2. The Flying Burrito Brothers: Farther Along: The Best of the Flying Burrito Brothers (A&M cassette/CD)
  3. Joe Tex: I Believe I'm Gonna Make It (Rhino)
  4. Sonny Boy Williamson: Down and Out Blues (Chess)
  5. James Brown's Funky People (Part 2) (Polydor)
  6. Are You From Dixie? Great Country Brother Teams of the 1930s (RCA CD)
  7. Thelonious Monk: Thelonious Monk and the Jazz Giants (Riverside CD)
  8. Ann Peebles: Greatest Hits (Hi)
  9. Roy Orbison: For the Lonely: A Roy Orbison Anthology, 1956-1965 (Rhino)
  10. The 5 Royales: Laundromat Blues (Apollo)

Village Voice, Feb. 28, 1989

1987 Essay | Critics Poll 1989