The 25 best albums of 1988

5 April 2024, 22:25

Some of the most enduring albums of '88: Bummed,  Viva Hate, Lovesexy and Green.
Some of the most enduring albums of '88: Bummed, Viva Hate, Lovesexy and Green. Picture: Press

Cast your mind back to the days of Surfer Rosa, The Wonder Stuff, Happy Mondays, Lovesexy and Rattle & Hum.

  1. The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God: released 18th January 1988

    The third album from Shane Macgowan and his Irish post-punk outfit included the merry Fiesta, Thousands Are Sailing and the evergreen seasonal hit Fairytale Of New York.

    The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God
    The Pogues - If I Should Fall From Grace With God. Picture: Press
  2. The Mission - Children: released 29th February 1988

    Wayne Hussey's gothic rockers issued their second studio album, after he split from fellow darkwave legends The Sisters Of Mercy. The album included the hits Beyond The Pale, Tower Of Strength and a cover of Aerosmith's Dream On.

    The Mission - Children
    The Mission - Children. Picture: Press
  3. Morrissey - Viva Hate: released 14th March 1988

    Less than a year after the demise of The Smiths, Moz was back as a solo artiste with support from Mancunian guitarist Vini Reilly. While some of the album remains controversial, singles include Suedehead and Everyday Is Like Sunday.

    Morrissey - Viva Hate
    Morrissey - Viva Hate. Picture: Press
  4. Talking Heads - Naked: released 15th March 1988

    The eighth and final studio album from the influential art rock band - David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison - included guest appearances from Johnny Marr, Kirsty MacColl and many more.

    Talking Heads - Naked
    Talking Heads - Naked. Picture: Press
  5. Pixies - Surfer Rosa: released 21st March 1988

    After 1987's mini-LP Come On Pilgrim, the Boston band went into the studio with renowned producer Steve Albini for their first full-length outing. Big tunes include Where Is My Mind, Gigantic, Bone Machine and Cactus, later covered by David Bowie.

    Pixies - Surfer Rosa
    Pixies - Surfer Rosa. Picture: Press
  6. The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good: released 25th April 1988

    The Icelandic indie group - featuring Björk on lead vocals - issued their debut album which included their acclaimed single Birthday, Cold Sweat and Motorcrash.

    The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good
    The Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good. Picture: Press
  7. Prince - Lovesexy: released 10th May 1988

    After the huge success of 1987's Sign "O" The Time and the aborted "evil" follow-up "Black Album", Prince returned with the more wholesome Lovesexy (although he does appear on the cover in the nude). Tracks included the awesome Alphabet Street, Glam Slam, I Wish U Heaven and the "Black Album" outtake When 2 R In Love.

    Prince - Lovesexy
    Prince - Lovesexy. Picture: Press
  8. The House Of Love - The House Of Love: released on 16th May 1988

    Guy Chadwick was one of the most acclaimed singer-songwriters of the era and his band issued their first, self-titled album on Alan McGee's Creation label this year. Opening with the excellent Christine, the album didn't include the single Destroy The Heart - which went on to top John Peel's Festive 50 poll in 1988.

    The House Of Love - The House Of Love
    The House Of Love - The House Of Love. Picture: Press
  9. Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back: released 28th June 1988

    One of the most influential rap albums of all time was released this year - tracks included Bring The Noise, Don't Believe The Hype and Rebel Without A Pause.

    Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
    Public Enemy - It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back. Picture: Press
  10. The Wonder Stuff - The Eight Legged Groove Machine: released 15th August 1988

    Stourbridge's finest indie rockers had a confident debut which included the singles Give Give Give Me More More More, It's Yer Money I'm After Baby and A Wish Away.

    The Wonder Stuff - The Eight Legged Groove Machine
    The Wonder Stuff - The Eight Legged Groove Machine. Picture: Press
  11. The Smiths - Rank: released 5th September 1988

    Released a year after the iconic Manchester band called it a day, this was a live recording of The Smiths in action at Kilburn National Ballroom in London on the Queen Is Dead tour in October 1986. The Champions actress Alexandra Bastedo is your cover star.

    The Smiths - Rank album cover
    The Smiths - Rank album cover. Picture: Press
  12. Siouxsie & The Banshees - Peepshow: released 5th September 1988

    For their ninth studio album, the post-punk pioneers embraced a quirky pop sounds that resulted in the hits Peek-A-Boo, The Killing Jar and The Last Beat Of My Heart.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Peepshow
    Siouxsie & The Banshees - Peepshow. Picture: Press
  13. Metallica - ...And Justice For All: released 7th September 1988

    The band's fourth album saw the introduction of new bassist Jason Newsted and included the hit single One, plus the fan favourite Harvester Of Sorrow.

    Metallica - ...And Justice For All
    Metallica - ...And Justice For All. Picture: Press
  14. Talk Talk - Sprit Of Eden: released 12th September 1988

    The fourth studio album saw Mark Hollis and co venture into jazz and avant garde music - a long way from their synth pop roots. Spirit Of Eden didn't spawn any hit singles, but it remains one of the most influential albums of the 1980s.

    Talk Talk - Sprit Of Eden
    Talk Talk - Sprit Of Eden. Picture: Press
  15. Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Tender Prey: released 19th September 1988

    The fifth album from the Bad Seeds included the tracks The Mercy Seat and Deanna.

    Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Tender Prey
    Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds - Tender Prey. Picture: Press
  16. Billy Bragg - Workers' Playtime: released 19th September 1988

    Sir William's third full length album included the hit Waiting For The Great Leap Forwards.

    Billy Bragg - Workers' Playtime
    Billy Bragg - Workers' Playtime. Picture: Press
  17. Pet Shop Boys - Introspective: released 10th October 1988

    Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe's third studio album was part new material and part remakes and remixes. Hits included Left To My Own Devices, Domino Dancing and a cover of Sterling Void's house hit It's Alright.

    Pet Shop Boys - Introspective
    Pet Shop Boys - Introspective. Picture: Press
  18. U2 - Rattle And Hum: released 10th October 1988

    Bono issued a double album of live material from their Joshua Tree tour and new tracks like the No 1 hit Desire. The accompanying film and media onslaught led many to accuse the band of losing the plot, leading the Irish group to reconvene and come up with more innovative Achtung Baby.

    U2 - Rattle And Hum
    U2 - Rattle And Hum. Picture: Press
  19. The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues: released 17th October 1988

    Winsome folk rock from Mike Scott, which includes the memorable title track, plus A Bang On The Ear.

    The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues
    The Waterboys - Fisherman's Blues. Picture: Press
  20. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation: released 18th October 1988

    The New York band issued their landmark fifth album, which was to have an influenced on much of the alternative and grunge scene that followed. Tracks included Teen Age Riot and Silver Rocket.

    Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
    Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation. Picture: Press
  21. The Fall - I Am Kurious Oranj: released 24th October 1988

    The eleventh studio album from Mark E. Smith's collective was a fanciful song cycle supposedly marking the 300th anniversary of William of Orange's ascension to the English throne and was to be the soundtrack to a ballet choreographed by Michael Clark.

    The Fall - I Am Kurious Oranj
    The Fall - I Am Kurious Oranj. Picture: Press
  22. Dinosaur Jr - Bug: released 31st October 1988

    J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph (not the Wombats one) issued their third album, which included the grunge anthem Freak Scene.

    Dinosaur Jr - Bug
    Dinosaur Jr - Bug. Picture: Press
  23. R.E.M. - Green: released 7th November 1988

    For their sixth album, R.E.M. did the unthinkable - they went to a major label. Warner Bros, to be precise. It was the start of the band's stadium rock era and singles included Orange Crush, Stand and Pop Song '89.

    R.E.M. - Green album cover
    R.E.M. - Green album cover. Picture: Press
  24. Happy Mondays - Bummed: released 21st November 1988

    After the low-key release of the 1987 debut album, the Mondays finally found their groove with this superb record, produced by Joy Division legend Martin Hannett. Tunes included Wrote For Luck, Lazy Itis and Mad Cyril.

    Happy Mondays - Bummed album cover
    Happy Mondays - Bummed album cover. Picture: Press
  25. My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything: released 21st November 1988

    1988 was a great year for Alan McGee's Creation label: this was the debut album from the pioneering noise-rock (aka shoegaze) group and included the track Feed Me With Your Kiss.

    My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything
    My Bloody Valentine - Isn't Anything. Picture: Press