Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1989: Dean's List


  1. Pulnoc: Live at P.S. 122 (unreleased tape) 17
  2. The Mekons: The Mekons Rock 'n' Roll (A&M) 13
  3. Neil Young: Freedom (Reprise) 13
  4. Mahlathini & Mahotella Queens: Paris-Soweto (Polydor) 11
  5. Laurie Anderson: Strange Angels (Warner Bros.) 10
  6. The Beastie Boys: Paul's Boutique (Capitol) 7
  7. The Neville Brothers: Yellow Moon (A&M) 6
  8. Remmy Ongala and Orchestre Super Matimila: Songs for the Poor Man (Real World) 6
  9. The Jungle Brothers: Done by the Forces of Nature (Warner Bros.) 6
  10. Pere Ubu: Cloudland (Fontana) 5

  11. De La Soul: 3 Feet High and Rising (Tommy Boy)
  12. The Kampala Sound (Original Music)
  13. George Clinton: The Cinderella Theory (Paisley Park/Warner Bros.)
  14. Marshall Crenshaw: Good Evening (Warner Bros.)
  15. Los Van Van: Songo (Mango)
  16. Terence Trent D'Arby: Neither Fish Nor Flesh (Columbia)
  17. Cheb Khaled/Safy Boutella: Kutché (Capitol/Intuition)
  18. Boulevard of Broken Dreams: It's the Talk of the Town and Other Sad Songs (Hannibal)
  19. Neneh Cherry: Raw Like Sushi (Virgin)
  20. 3rd Bass: The Cactus Album (Def Jam)
  21. E.U.: Livin' Large (Virgin)
  22. Van Morrison: Avalon Sunset (Mercury)
  23. Chaba Fadela: You Are Mine (Mango)
  24. Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation 1814 (A&M)
  25. Diblo: Super Soukous (Shanachie)
  26. Fine Young Cannibals: The Raw and the Cooked (I.R.S.)
  27. Al Green: Love Ritual: Rare and Previously Unreleased 1968-1976 (MCA)
  28. Black Havana (Capitol)
  29. Tabu Ley: Babeti Soukous (Realworld)
  30. L.L. Cool J: Walking With a Panther (Def Jam)
  31. Negativland: Helter Stupid (SST)
  32. Baaba Maal and Mansour Seck: Djam Leelii (Mango)
  33. Nuestras Mejores Cumbias (Globo)
  34. Roxanne Shanté: Bad Sister (Cold Chillin')
  35. Royal Crescent Mob: Spin the World (Sire)
  36. Meat Puppets: Monsters (SST)
  37. Culture: Cumbolo (Shanachie)
  38. Technotronic: Pump Up the Jam: The Album (SBK)
  39. Daniel Owino Misiani and Shirati Band: Benga Blast! (Virgin)
  40. Steve Jordan: The Return of El Parche (Rounder '88)
  41. Yo La Tengo: President Yo La Tengo (Coyote)
  42. The African Typic Collection (Virgin)
  43. Jimmie Dale Gilmore: Jimmie Dale Gilmore (Hightone)
  44. Thomas Mapfumo: Corruption (Mango)
  45. Too Much Joy: Son of Sam I Am (Alias)
  46. Thelonious Monster: Stormy Weather (Relativity)
  47. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: In Step (Epic)
  48. Alpha Blondy: Revolution (Shanachie)
  49. Keith Whitley: I Wonder Do You Think of Me (RCA)
  50. The Jayhawks: Blue Earth (Twin/Tone)
  51. Queen Latifah: All Hail the Queen (Tommy Boy)
  52. Ice-T: The Iceberg: Freedom of Speech . . . Just Watch What You Say (Sire)
  53. Lou Reed: New York (Sire)
  54. Mofungo: Work (SST)
  55. Ernest Tubb: Live, 1965 (Rhino cassette/CD)
  56. The Fall: I Am Kurious (Oranj) (Beggars Banquet '88)
  57. Clint Black: Killin' Time (RCA)
  58. Mojo Nixon and Skid Roper: Root Hog or Die (Enigma)


  1. Technotronic Featuring Felly: "Pump Up the Jam" (SBK)
  2. Tone-Loc: "Funky Cold Medina" (Delicious Vinyl)
  3. Fine Young Cannibals: "She Drives Me Crazy" (I.R.S.)
  4. Digital Underground: "Doowutchyalike" (Tommy Boy)
  5. Inner City: "Good Life" (Virgin)
  6. Public Enemy: "Fight the Power" (Motown)
  7. Madonna: "Like a Prayer" (Sire)
  8. Public Enemy: "Welcome to the Terrordome" (Def Jam)
  9. Ten City: "That's the Way Love Is" (Atlantic)
  10. Aerosmith: "Janie's Got a Gun" (Geffen)
  11. Maurice: "This Is Acid" (Vendetta)
  12. Neneh Cherry: "Buffalo Stance" (Virgin)
  13. Kool G. Rap & D.J. Polo: "Road to the Riches" (Cold Chillin')
  14. Def Jef: "Give It Here" (Delicious Vinyl)
  15. Soul II Soul: "Keep On Movin'" (Virgin)
  16. A Tribe Called Quest: "Description of a Fool" (Jive)
  17. The Stop the Violence Movement: "Self-Destruction" (Jive)
  18. Front 242: "Welcome to Paradise" (Wax Trax)
  19. 2 Live Crew: "Me So Horny" (Luke Skyywalker)
  20. Denise Lopez: "Sayin' Sorry (Don't Make It Right)" (Vendetta)


  1. Hillbilly Music . . . Thank God! (Bug/Capitol)
  2. Thelonious Monk: Standards (Columbia)
  3. Johnny Mercer: The Capitol Collector's Series (Capitol)
  4. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers: Best of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers (Rhino)
  5. Wire: On Returning (1977-1979) (Restless Retro)
  6. Leadbelly: Alabama Bound (RCA)
  7. The Modern Lovers: The Modern Lovers (Rhino/Beserkeley)
  8. Hank Thompson: The Capitol Collector's Series (Capitol)
  9. Hipster's Holiday (Rhino)
  10. The Best of Doowop Uptempo (Rhino)

Village Voice, Feb. 27, 1990

1988 Essay | Critics Poll 1990