#34: Rolling Stones, ‘Tattoo You’ (1981) vs. Oasis, ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ (1995)

What a juicy match-up – so many points of comparison: Two British bands…Two British bands with co-leaders who like to rip out each other’s throats…Two British bands with co-leaders like to rip out each other’s throats and were caught up in mega rivalries with other bands during their heydays (The Stones were The Beatles’ Blur, and Oasis were Blur’s The Beatles).

Confused? OK, let’s talk about lyrics instead.

Is it just me or does Mick Jagger sometimes like to garble his words? I think he does it to disguise when he’s saying something too subversive for radio, or when he’s just singing about his boner. Case in point – “Start Me Up” off of Tattoo You. I’d heard that song a million times and, before the internet ended every lyrical mystery, I had no idea what he was saying between “start me up”, “never stop” and “you make a grown man cry”.

Oasis’ cocky Gallagher brothers, on the other hand, believe we should hang onto their every word. The lyrics come through crystal clear, no matter how ridiculous they may be. Even they have admitted they don’t know what a wonderwall is. And how do you walk slowly down a hall, faster than a cannonball? And really – how can you be caught beneath the landslide and in a champagne supernova in the sky at the same time?

But they sing these goofy words with conviction and they are a shitload of fun to bellow along with, especially when drunk. I think perhaps this review from Consequence of Sound about the album’s 20th anniversary says it best, noting brother Noel – “…has his moments where he says something completely stupid and awesome at the same time”. I know Oasis have their haters – which makes sense because they’re dicks – but (What’s the Story) Morning Glory is one fantastic sing-along after another, and it was the biggest thing in the world when it came out. The Gallagher brothers thought they out-Beatled The Beatles and they totally did NOT, but they imitate them beautifully and still make it entirely their own.

Nothing against Tattoo You – often called the Stone’s last great album – it’s a ragtag collection of abandoned leftovers from previous recording sessions recycled because the band needed an album for an upcoming tour; and it’s far better than that description would make you think. I like their choice to put all the rockers on side one and all the ballads on side two. It sounds like they had a blast making it and it produced two classics: opener “Start Me Up” – which is a song about Mick’s boner pretending (just barely) to be a song about a car – and the beautiful closer “Waiting on a Friend”, which has a fabulous sax solo from Sonny Rollins.

So here’s what it comes down to: When I listen to Tattoo You it makes me want to listen to other Stones’ albums, but when I listen to (What’s the Story) Morning Glory it makes me want to listen to (What’s the Story) Morning Glory again.

JG

WINNER: Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 7

90s: 10

EARNED POINTS
80s: 9
90s: 15

Next week’s battle – #33: Husker Du, Zen Arcade (1984) vs. Eminem, The Slim Shady LP (1999)

#35: Metallica, ‘Kill ’em All’ (1983) vs. Wilco, ‘Being There’ (1996)

 

One thing I love about these battles is that they force me to listen to albums I used to love but rarely listen to anymore. Metallica’s debut album Kill ‘Em All is that for me.  This album introduced me to metal and for a brief 2-year period in my teens, I was a full blown metal head because of it. To me, this is authentic metal.  I F$%&ing love this album. It’s a hard high tempo metal experience filled with overdrive baselines, scorching guitar licks and anthemic vocal renderings. You can hear elements of punk music influences throughout, which weirdly adds a structured element to the songwriting and marries well with the lyrics’ rhythm and subject matter. I can see why Kill ‘Em All was a very influential album for metal bands to come. This album is an anger cry built for the masses. Its musical violence delivered in a way most had not heard before. Kill ‘Em All was groundbreaking.

Kill ‘Em All introduces itself to us as a building wave of drum rolls and guitar flourishes. A squealing guitar leads to a barrage of fast riffs and catchy metal verse.  “Hit the Lights”!!! Listen to us muther-f#$%ers.  We are on the scene and the scene won’t ever be the same.  We are like Sabbath on speed!!! Many may not agree with this, but I think the second track “Four Horseman” sounds a lot like Rush’s early records.  Good thing I love Rush! Just like that Canadian power trio, these polished thrash metal pioneers are so tight with their musicianship.  Its unrelenting musical beat down continues all through the album with songs like “Jump in the Fire”, “Whiplash”, and “No Remorse”.  This album is a heavyweight contender, completely ready to go toe-to-toe with any opponent.

It’s just too bad that Kill ‘Em All is up against one of my all-time favorite albums written by one of my all-time favourite bands.

Wilco’s Being There gets better for me with every listen.  I am so glad this battle gave me an excuse to listen to it over and over and over and over again. Being There is a gorgeous alt-collage of rock n’ roll, folk, country, grunge, pop, psychedelia and traditional Americana. The whole album is a love-hate letter to their fans, their band mates, and themselves.  “I want to thank you all, for NOTHING!!!” It’s that nothingness that they embrace.  It’s that nothingness that releases them and allows them to reflect on the beauty inherent in everything.  This contradiction threads throughout the album. I hear it even in their choice of song order, where they alternate from loud-outward expressions to soft-inward introspection. every song is a perfect reaction to what they just made as well as what I just heard.  After the steaming noise of “Misunderstood”, I need to simmer down with the calmness of “Far Far Away”.  After the tension has abated, I am ready to rock out with “Monday”.

Being There is perfectly arranged and listenable all the way through. There is no blunder here. Kill ‘Em All is perfectly listenable all the way through too. So if I am able to be as unbiased as I can be to even the playing field (which I can’t), this is a really close call. I think what Being There has that Kill ‘Em All doesn’t is a maturity and willingness to explore variations in tone and feel.  Of course we know that Metallica can show this maturity.  We see it in later albums.  Just not in this one.  Being There edges the win by a small margin.

JS

WINNER: Wilco, Being There (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 7

90s: 9

EARNED POINTS
80s: 9
90s: 13

Next week’s battle – #34: Rolling Stones, Tattoo You (1981) vs. Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)

#36: Anita Baker, ‘Rapture’ (1986) vs. A Tribe Called Quest, ‘The Low End Theory’ (1991)

Low End Theory is a hip hop masterpiece. This was the one that got me hooked on the jazzy-funky world of 90s hip hop. This album just hits my sweet spot. There are so many things to love about it. The boom bap “hits-da-high-hat” rhythm. The smooth rapping prowess of Q-tip and the late great Phife Dawg. It’s elevated song writing. Perhaps my favourite part of Low End Theory is its strong jazz influence. From recruiting legend Ron Carter to drop a funky-smooth upright baseline on the classic “Verses from the Abstract”, to sampling jazz fusion legend band Weather Report’s Birdland on “Butter”, Low End Theory set the bar for alternative hip hop. Defining a new form of hip hop (hands down my favourite era of the genre). The stone cold jams are endless. “Excursions”, “Buggin’ Out”, “Vibes and Stuff”, “Check the Rhyme”, and finishing on the high powered rap ensemble juggernaut “Scenario”. It doesn’t get much better than Low End Theory.

If anyone could battle against these 90s rap legends, it’s the strong satin sheets power of Anita Baker and her titanic soul-jazz album Rapture. I had no idea how freaking good this album was. This is not kids’ music. Anita Baker was my parents’ music, in heavy rotation on the local easy listening radio stations.  Because of this, I overlooked her greatness.  Well, no longer.  Anita’s voice is like no other, with its low register power and off note vocal tones. Her mighty voice is unmatched. Musically there are no slouchy songs on Rapture. Starting with “Sweet Love”, she grabs hold and doesn’t let go, leaving one in a heap on the floor from sheer exhaustion.

Anita was my parents’ music. And that’s a good thing. I am a parent. I get it now. Rapture is the blueprint for what adult romance should be. Rapture is a complex, well crafted mature escape. It is confident, sexual, experienced, loving, and healing. It’s got this low sway feel that makes me think of candle light dinners, red wine, conversation and laughter. We have a lot to learn from Anita.

Anita is the mature soul mother to those funky fresh kids of the 90s. But guess what mom! This is our time and these funky fresh kids from the 90s rule!

JS

WINNER: Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 7

90s: 8

EARNED POINTS
80s: 9
90s: 11

Next week’s battle – #35: Metallica, Kill ’em All (1983) vs. Wilco, Being There (1996)

#37: Marvin Gaye, ‘Midnight Love’ (1982) vs. Johnny Cash, ‘American Recordings’ (1994)

I thought about making sweet love to my wife the entire time I was listening to Midnight Love. I did not do that when I was listening to American Recordings. That alone might give it the win, but, lets break down why that is.  Why do I not want to make sweet love to my wife when I listen to American Recordings?

Well….I thought Nebraska (see battle #43) was bleak, but we hit our bleak peak with American Recordings. And not a bleak delivery that is in any way relatable to me.  It feels heartless. It’s an ugly dank piece of folk art. Although I can appreciate its time capsule nostalgia towards backwoods desperation and the artistic importance of music that tries to humanize horrible people doing horrible things.  I just can’t get past its shocking unpleasantness. It just doesn’t connect with me. I know this is veering (and cheating) a bit to bring in another album into the battle, but while I was trying to digest the dark and wretched mass that is American Recordings I coincidentally bought the vinyl double album masterwork The Basements Tapes by Bob Dylan and the Band. As I was reading the liner notes, it clicked that what they achieved in the basement of Big Pink is exactly what Johnny and Rick Rubin were trying to capture on American Recordings. Greil Marcus wrote it better than I ever could, so here it is….

I think you can hear what Bob Dylan is talking about in the music of Basement Tapes……one can hardly avoid hearing it.  It is a plain-talk mystery; it has nothing to do with mumbo-jumbo, charms or spells. The “acceptance of death” that Dylan found in “traditional music” – the ancient ballads of mountain music – is simply a singer’s insistence on mystery as inseparable from any honest understanding of what life is all about; it is the quiet terror of a man seeking salvation who stares into a void that stares back.  It is awesome, impenetrable fatalism that drives the timeless ballads…..

John is a master at delivering honest plain spoken diatribes from the perspective of lost people reflecting on mistakes they have made, hoping to be forgiven. This is why this album is so well regarded.  This is what American Recordings should be for me, but it isn’t.

What is for me are the charms and spells woven by the sweet, devilishly angelic voice of Marvin Gaye.  What is for me is the guttural slap happy bass lines that makes me wanna bite my lower lip and say “Good God!”.  What is for me are the complex chord changes and layered instrumentation specifically engineered to make that thing between my knees and my stomach start to rock back and forth. It makes me want to celebrate humanity by making sweet love to the best version of them (my wife). Marvin Gaye gave me the means to do that by filling the air in the room with Midnight Love.

JS

WINNER: Marvin Gaye, Midnight Love (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 7

90s: 7

EARNED POINTS
80s: 9
90s: 9

Next week’s battle – #36: Anita Baker, Rapture (1986) vs. A Tribe Called Quest, The Low End Theory (1991)

#38: Elvis Costello and the Attractions, ‘Imperial Bedroom’ (1982) vs. Soundgarden, ‘Superunknown’ (1994)

Oh Elvis, you poor little fellow – you drew a short straw with this one. You’re like the head of the chess club being sent out to grapple with the captain of the wrestling team. Don’t get me wrong, you’re a clever musical craftsman, but there is a rock n’ roll juggernaut thundering across the mat towards you. You might just want to run.

Full disclosure – your judge and juror is a slobbering fan of your opponent. As far as I’m concerned, Superunknown is the pinnacle of grunge achievement. There is no album from that legendary early 90s scene that captivated me more than this one. Because what’s better than grunge than grunge with Beatlesque ambition pumped through a psychedelic filter? Soundgarden had me at Badmotorfinger but they scooped me up and carried me away with this 1994 masterpiece.  Chris Cornell’s voice is a force of nature; the music is dark, heavy, melodic, creative, experimental. And BIG. They even make a pair of spoons sound epic.

The darkness is all the more potent since Chris Cornell’s suicide in May 2017. Suddenly songs like “Fell on Black Days”, “Black Hole Sun” and “The Day I Tried to Live” are all the more intense. I hadn’t listened to Superunknown in years. Listening to it now, I am struck by how great it still sounds.

But let’s give Imperial Bedroom its due, Elvis. On this, your seventh album, you expanded your sound and played with different genres. It’s been a genuine pleasure to discover it, and it’s prettier and more interesting than I expected. No doubt about it, you are a meticulous craftsman with a gifted band. I absolutely love the soaring “Man out of Time”, as well as “…And in Every Home”, which makes me think of Randy Newman, and “Pidgin English”, which starts out sounding like the Kinks and then…

…oh, why I am bothering with this analysis? This one is no contest and never was. Your shoulders have been on the mat from word one. Sorry, Elvis.

JG

WINNER: Soundgarden, Superunknown (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 6

90s: 7

EARNED POINTS
80s: 7
90s: 9

Next week’s battle – #37: Marvin Gaye, Midnight Love (1982) vs. Johnny Cash, American Recordings (1994)

#39: ZZ Top, ‘Eliminator’ (1983) vs. My Bloody Valentine, ‘Loveless’ (1991)

To some listeners, Loveless might sound like a thrown together mess, but it was actually crafted over a two year period completely out of the mind of front man Kevin Shields.  Perhaps overthought in its desire to sound completely different, it reshaped the role of guitars in the 90s rock cannon. Listening to Loveless is like being engulfed by the violent beauty of the sun.  It’s a barrage of nuclear reactions and solar emissions surrounding my ears and giving me warmth.  The bending chords and tremolo transitions are like atonal solar flares shooting out, surrounding my mind and overloading my senses.  The swirling sonic radiation creates auroras in my earholes that leave me in awe.  So as not to be burned, its stellar size sound is tempered by the crystalline voice of Bilinda Butcher.  Like coming out of a sleep on a beach with the blinding bright heat pouring down, her voice comes through as formless shapes passing in the distance.  I just can’t say enough solar hyperbole to demonstrate how much I love this album.  It is just so overwhelmingly pretty.

Enter the contender (good luck)…

On Eliminator, ZZ Top are architects. Drafting the blueprints for a perfect blues-rock album. It’s got tight lines and clean edges (unlike the weightlessness of Loveless). A perfectly engineered piece of material. As a kid growing up in the golden age of music videos, Eliminator ingrained formative memories for me.  That car.  Those legs coming out of that car.  Those women roughhousing that messy boy and making him over into that sharp dressed man.  Those two beards and that one guy who didn’t have a beard.  Those three fingers circling and pointing at that car as those women with those legs and that boy in that suit drive away.  In grade school I had a buddy named Denny.  He was a thickly built tall fella that seemed more mature than any of my other friends (now that I think about it, he probably failed a grade). He was the first to grow a mustache. He had a mullet hair cut that was tight and curly.  He had a boom box at school which he played constantly (I never understood why we got away with blaring it in the hallways).  The only thing I remember him playing was Eliminator.  Everything about ZZ Top and Eliminator seemed like it was for an older crowd. Hell, I was only eight years old when it came out.  Nowadays, the album just feels immature (maybe at the 10 year old level). Ultimately, Eliminator, just leaves me empty.

JS

WINNER: My Bloody Valentine, Loveless (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 6

90s: 6

EARNED POINTS
80s: 7
90s: 7

Next week’s battle – #38: Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Imperial Bedroom (1982) vs. Soundgarden, Superunknown (1994)

#40: U2, ‘War’ (1983) vs. Neil Young, ‘Harvest Moon’ (1992)

War is the third album by a band that was, at the time, young and raw and hungry, and it opens with the words “I can’t believe the news today/I can’t close my eyes and make it go away”. Harvest Moon is the 20th studio album from an established legend with nothing to prove and opens with the words “She used to work in a diner/never saw a woman look finer”. That pretty much tells you everything you need to know about this battle: youthful outrage trying to change the word versus aging comfort contentedly observing it.  

In a post-U2 360 world, it’s hard to believe there was a time when U2 were young and raw and hungry – and Bono had a last name (Vox, in case you’re wondering) – but that’s how it was when the band got down to business in the fall of 1982 to record what was a “do or die” album after the sophomore slump of October.

They went with “do” in a big way. While even better things were still to come, War let the world know this was a serious band with something to say and a desire to say it with stadium-sized anthems. A concept album of sorts, most of the songs are about the horrors of, you guessed it, war, and it’s great. It rocks and it preaches with the spirit of kids who believe that music can change the course of history. Of course we’ve all heard “Sunday Bloody Sunday”, “New Year’s Day”, “Two Hearts Beat as One”, and “40” enough times for them to be seared onto our brains, but every other song is pretty much just as good. I especially like “Seconds” – an oddball track that juxtaposes a playful beat and melody with a dark warning about nuclear war.

The whole band sounds energized but let’s give a special shout-out to the rhythm section, and particularly drummer Larry Mullen Jr. who, from the military march of “Sunday Bloody Sunday” to the rave-up ending of “Like a Song”, sounds like he’s banging his kit to save his life.

Neil Young had no such anxiety or eagerness to please when he called forth his crew of perfect country-rock session players (also known as the Stray Gators) and choir of big-name back-up singers (Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, Nicolette Larson), and ushered them back into the studio to make a sequel to his biggest-selling album – 1972’s Harvest.

The result, I would argue, is quite possibly better than Harvest. At its best, Harvest Moon is unbeatable. “Harvest Moon”, “From Hank to Hendrix” and “Unknown Legend” are absolutely marvelous (side note: you have to love how director Jonathan Demme used “Unknown Legend” in Rachel Getting Married). Like Tom Petty’s Wildflowers, it’s the kind of album you can put on in any situation and everyone in earshot will be glad you did – though you’d be well advised to skip the nauseating treacle of “Such a Woman”, as well as “Old King”, a goofy tribute to a dog he admits to kicking once. No one needs the line: “But that hound dog is his..tor..eeeeee.”

Overall, this battle is close but since we’re talking about rock n’ roll let’s go with youthful outrage over aging comfort.

JG

WINNER: U2, War (2 points)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 6

90s: 5

EARNED POINTS
80s: 7
90s: 5

Next week’s battle – #39: ZZ Top, ‘Eliminator’ (1983) vs. My Bloody Valentine, ‘Loveless’

#41: R.E.M., ‘Document’ (1987) vs. Guns n’ Roses, ‘Use Your Illusion I & II’ (1991)

Music snobs beware: you may be entering hostile territory. Because how could this even be a contest? A politically astute top-shelf album from one of the greatest indie rock bands of all time versus a big bloody mess of bombastic and petulant heavy metal.

R.E.M., hands down – right? And yet it’s not so obvious.

Document, R.E.M.’s fifth album, was the moment they decided to take a crack at stardom, and it worked. The tunes are a little more rockin’ than what came before. Peter Buck, famous for his jangly guitar, tries some new sounds to beautiful effect. And Michael Stipe’s lyrics, so often inscrutable on other albums, are clear and at the forefront, probably to make sure their scathing political commentary against Reagan’s America  came through loud and clear (oh, to imagine what they would say about a Trumpian world!). Almost every song is a gem (except maybe “Lightin’ Hopkins”) and even though I hate to single out the obvious ones…the vocal acrobatics on “It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I Feel Fine)” are still breathtaking and you gotta love a band that can trick people into thinking something as cold and mean as “The One I Love” is actually a love song.

But does Document contain anything that moves me as much as Slash’s guitar on “November Rain”? Or makes me laugh as much as the vulgar rant on “Get in the Ring”? Or gets me yelling and fist-pumping like “Breakdown”? Or transfixes me like the multi-movement epic that is “Estranged”?

It does not.

Use Your Illusion I and II add up to more than 2.5 hours of music and that is probably too much, but damn, when I listen to them now there is far less filler than I thought. No ideas were off limits when the Gunners hit the studio with this one. They rocked just as hard as ever, but expanded their sound to include other genres, like country, blues and electronica; and they added piano, strings, banjo and even a little sitar. Axl ranted against everythig under the sun. They shot for the moon, then blew it up on the way by. The Illusions were released one week before Nirvana’s Nevermind, so they have come to symbolize 80s metal’s last gasp. But what a gasp. Mammoth and ambitious, these albums sold about a bazillion copies, generated plenty of debate amongst hard rock fans, and still hold up today.

Document is excellent and, let’s face it, smarter; and R.E.M. is the more important band. But these battles are not about the artists, they are about the albums. And Use Your Illusions were a cultural event in a way that Document was not – people lined up outside record stores. That may be the last time that happened, and it will never happen again. Sorry, music snobs, but history decrees it must be so…

JG

WINNER: Guns n’ Roses Use Your Illusion I and II (1 point)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 5

90s: 5

EARNED POINTS
80s: 5
90s: 5

Next week’s battle  –  #40: U2, War (1983) vs. Neil Young, Harvest Moon (1992)

#42: The Robert Cray Band, ‘Strong Persuader’ (1986) vs. PJ Harvey, ‘Rid of Me’ (1993)

One thing Robert Cray and PJ Harvey can definitely agree on is that relationships are a bitch. Both albums are full of songs about love gone wrong, and they get sad and they get ugly. Cray sits silently in his room listening to his neighbours break up “because she was just another notch on my guitar” on “Right Next Door (Because of Me)”. And Harvey howls “You salty dog, you filthy liar/My heart it aches, I’m in the fire” on “Snake”, which appears to be a raging tribute to hate fucking.

The similarities pretty much end there. Cray’s album is pretty and too smooth for words, famous at the time for bringing blues to the masses. His voice is sweet and expressive and his guitar is amazing. While I was too busy listening to Springsteen, Paul Simon and Van Halen at the time to even notice it, I now imagine Strong Persuader was the soundtrack to a lot of dinner parties and spousal dates back in 1986.

Harvey’s Rid of Me, on the other hand, refuses to be the soundtrack to anything but her own meltdown. She was going through hell and you are bloody well going to sit there and listen to it. Christ Almighty! I thought Weezer’s Pinkerton was aggressive, but it’s applesauce compared to the hell that P.J. Harvey has wrought. She ties you up and rips your head off on the title track and threatens to kill you at the end of “Legs”. And as for “Rub it till it Bleeds”, well, it’s exactly what it sounds like.

A note on the production of Rid of Me – it’s awesome. Steve Albini was behind it. He’d previously worked with the Pixies and would go on to produce Nirvana’s In Utero after Cobain heard Rid of Me.  According to Harvey, she’s never seen anyone set up a studio the way he did, with mics all over the place, so you could feel the walls shake and the drum kit rattle. The impact is potent – you feel like you’re in the room with the band, probably lying on the floor with a cheap bottle of scotch.

Rid of Me also has a gonzo cover version of Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited”; and that awesome cover photo of Harvey, taken in a pitch black bathroom apparently, with the camera flash lighting her up at precisely the right hair-flinging instant. What more do you want really?

JG

WINNER: PJ Harvey, Rid of Me (1 point)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 5

90s: 4

EARNED POINTS
80s: 5
90s: 4

Next week’s battle  –   #41: R.E.M., Document (1987) vs. Guns n’ Roses, Use Your Illusion I & II (1991)

#43: Bruce Springsteen, ‘Nebraska’ (1982)vs. TLC, ‘CrazySexyCool’ (1994)

 

These albums are polar opposites. Nebraska is a stripped down depressing barn stomp and Crazy Sexy Cool is highly produced sweaty sex romp (exception being the righteous mega-hit “Waterfalls”). As much as CSC is a stone cold funkified-hip-hop jam, Nebraska is not that at all. It’s completely and perfectly bleak.

What both albums have is soul in spades. They got soul for days! Bruce’s titular first track, “Nebraska” is as if a grizzled country boy sliced his belly open and spilled his guts out on the table for all to see. Even an upbeat blues bar anthem  like “Open All Night” has a heartbreaking edge to it. On the paranoid drone shocker “State Trooper”, Bruce’s screaming yelps of “Woooo!!” are an unsettling wake up call of raw emotional energy. The rest of the songs are a collage of desperately brilliant Americana that is more compelling with each listen.

Crazy Sexy Cool is a different kind of soul. One that makes you wanna drop your hips and pucker your lips. I love the first track, a quick spit of verse by the late Phife Dawg introducing the ladies and setting the stage for the party to come.  Phife passes the mic to the ladies and they take us to their libido lagoon filled with deep circuitous roots running through dark organic wet earth giving rise to thick buttressed tree trunks.

This battle is a bit like comparing a low budget indie movie to a highly produced epic.  At the Oscars last year, Moonlight won out over the highly polished La La Land.  I am going to give the win to Nebraska over Crazy Sexy Cool for the same reason. Despite the deep base and glossy grooves, Nebraska is a deeper look into the human condition and just has more substance.

JS

WINNER: Bruce Springsteen, Nebraska (1 point)

BATTLE TALLY

80s: 5

90s: 3

EARNED POINTS
80s: 5
90s: 3

Next week’s battle  –  #42: The Robert Cray Band, Strong Persuader (1986) vs. PJ Harvey, Rid of Me (1993)