10 Best College Albums
So I present to you my (random number) favorite (random category) albums of all time. Join me from 1985 to 1989 as I, the post-Footloose midwesterner, venture to Miami of Ohio for years of utter bliss, a 19 year old drinking age and a 1.7 average my 2nd semester sophomore year. Hopefully these will bring back fond memories.
10. John Cougar Mellencamp — Scarecrow
The best of Mr. Cougar’s in my book. This was freshman year of college…six hours of driving back and forth from Oxford, Ohio to Chicago. I didn't have a car and always had to mooch a ride with my friend Elizabeth. At the time, she was way cooler than me. (I didn't become truly funny until senior year.) Anyway, this tape along with #9 were the core of what we listened to, well that and Nikki F. who never shut up in the back seat.
Favorite Song: Justice and Independence 85’
9. Talking Heads - Little Creatures
This always followed Scarecrow; from the opening "Hey" of And She Was to the the ironic symbolism of Road to Nowhere, this anchored the 2nd and 5th hours of our journeys. This marked my evolution into the world of alternative music after years of Bruce Springsteen and Prince.
Favorite Song: Stay Up Late
8 . INXS - Kick
A staple for most of the other 'top 100' Cd's lists. This group proved my ignorance freahman year as I asked a group of 10 other guys "Who are (pronounced) Inks?" Ah yes, what a way to really have the other newbies embrace you. It's hard not to like this CD. The infectious rhythms and the incredibly innovative Mediate video put these 12 songs into gold status the day they were released. (Truthfully I only liked the first 10 songs. The last two did nothing for me.)
Favorite Song: New Sensation
7. Bryan Adams - Into the Fire
I've seen Bryan Adams in concert three times; more than any other artist. I honestly have never gotten tired of hearing his songs. Reckless was a great album but on this next effort, he really matured from your standad pop ballad to some deeper shit in both his music and lyrics. There is no real popular track, but the songs are more powerful than on any other of his CD's.
Favorite Song: Rememberance Day
6. Def Leppard - Hysteria
Sarah & Croutonboy would have my ass if there were no hair bands. There was no greater rock CD for me at college than this one. Marking my junior year as I moved into the (soon to be devasted) Chi-Phi house, this blasted from every room the fraternity. For those keeping tack, that would be 5 rooms and thus would lead to closing the chapter my senior year. (The legacies we leave.) There is no better college anthem than "I'm hot, sticky sweet, from my head to my feet." This also was the first album to prove you only need one arm to be a great drummer.
Favorite Song: Pour Some Sugar on Me
5. Indigo Girls - (self title debut)
My friend Greg won two tickets to the REM concert in 1998 and took me. As the stage got dark, the crowd started screaming. Out walks Michael Stipe and says, "We're going to open with a new group from Athens. I think you'll really like them. They are called the Indigo Girls." Twelve hours later, we both had bought the CD and were playing it non-stop. There is something both soothing and energetic about the Indigo Girls. Their harmonies rival no other and to think that partners could create such warmth together is comforting.
Favorite Song: Land of Canaan
4. The Alarm - Declaration
Sticky point... in theory this was released in late 1984, but it wasn't until August 1985 as I moved into Stanton Hall that I heard to rhaspy vocals of Mike Peters and was instantly mesmorized by the unique sound of the group. Their songs of passionate uprisings and valiant battles connect from the opening of Declaration all the way through the to the last track.
Favorite Song: Blaze of Glory
3. Erasure - The Innocents
This group exploded on the scene my senior year. I was a major player in the A-Phi-O chapter at Miami (definately bigger than Ava's husband). We'd have theme parties almost every other month. In between the silly lip-synch contests (which I won once), we'd go crazy on the dance floor for hours. All the girls were totally impressed that I could dance and wore gel in my hair. (How naive they were-and I was-back then.) I can listen to this today and the music still makes me dance.
Favorite Song: Chains of Love
2. REM - Life's Rich Pagent
Truthfully, my favorite compliation by REM is Reckoning but since that was high school for me, Lifes Rich Pagent is a damn fine 2nd choice. Superman skyrocketed them from indie band to superstardom as every fraternity on campus would blast this from their windows. Some of the best low-key but powerful lyrics ever written.
Favorite Song: Cuyahoga
1. 10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe
I overplayed no other CD in my college career than this one. The first time I heard Natalie Merchant's voice, I fell in love with the Maniac's sound and obsessively bought their subsquent CD's the day they were released. It was a sad day when they split because independently neither has held the greatness they did together. And regardless of the Cat Stevens controversary, I love their version of Peace Train and think they were silly to remove it.
Favorite Song: Verdi Cries
Join me again (on another night when Larry goes out for a dinner with his friends) as I come up with some other inane, but memorable list of music.