|1987 was a kind of an oasis of strong album releases within the otherwise weak era of the late 1980s. The year saw the commercial comebacks of Aerosmith and George Harrison, long awaited studio releases by Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, and U2, and a powerful debut by Guns n Roses.
We featured albums from the year 1987 during September and October 2012. During this 25th anniversary celebration of this music, we have originally reviewed these albums:
Deep Purple – The House of Blue Light
Def Leppard – Hysteria
Fleetwood Mac – Tango In the Night
Grateful Dead – In The Dark
Guns n’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
George Harrison – Cloud Nine
The Hooters – One Way Home
INXS – Kick
John Mellancamp – The Lonesome Jubilee
Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love
U2 – The Joshua Tree*
Whitesnake – Whitesnake
Yes – Big Generator
*1987 Album of the Year
Below are further descriptions of each album, in the order that we reviewed them.
|September 3, 2012
|Def Leppard wanted to write an album made of “greatest hits” when they started Hysteria and wanted to chart at least seven singles. Amazingly, they pretty much achieved these goals. But in doing so, they may have produced the most expensive record ever made in the UK, due to a toxic mixture of bad decisions and personal tragedy.
|September 7, 2012
|In the Dark was the first studio album by the Grateful Dead in over seven years and a “comeback” album on several levels. It was the most popular album in the band’s long career, but proved to be a mixed blessing for longtime fans as a whole new generation of “deadheads” entered the scene.
|September 12, 2012
|The first Pink Floyd album not to feature founder and bassist Roger Waters, A Momentary Lapse of Reason represented a definite transition into a new phase for the band and came in the midst of a turmultuous period of lawsuits and name calling between Waters and his former bandmates.
|September 17, 2012
|Whitesnakes‘s eponymous 1987 bears the dual distinction of being the moment where a rock band finally reaches its full commercial promise and assures its own rapid demise. Both of these achievements could be placed on the lap of the group’s founder, lead vocalist, and all-powerful decision maker David Coverdale.
|September 21, 2012
|Kick, the 1987 blockbuster by Australian band INXS, did just about everything you can expect from a high-end pop/rock album of the 1980s. It forged incredibly catchy and modern sounding songs, while not giving way to the mind-numbing, formulaic trends on many contemporary artists of the time.
|September 24, 2012
|Tango In the Night is the fifth and final studio album by successful quintet that brought sustained stardom for Fleetwood Mac. Like their previous four albums, it found popular success driven by the angst and inner turmoil of the band and resulted in the parting of guitarist Lindsey Buckingham soon after its release.
|September 27, 2012
|After a long hiatus form the regular recording process, former Beatle George Harrison released Cloud Nine. This was Harrison’s tenth solo studio album and last to be released in his lifetime. The album was a surprise, re-establishing Harrison as a radio pop artists as well as a receipient of much critical acclaim.
|October 1, 2012
|Guns n’ Roses arrived like a tsunami on the rock scene with their strong 1987 debut Appetite for Destruction, a hard rock album which blew the glam out of the hair-band dominated scene. The album was born out of a created spurt unlike anything the band would replicate in the future.
|October 5, 2012
|Big Generator by Yes was recorded in three different countries and took four years to make due mainly to creative differences and shifting band personnel. Still, the album was the apex of the band’s fine and unique work during the 1980s.
|October 9, 2012
|The famous “Mark II” linep of Deep Purple had three separate phases. The middle “reunion” period from 1984 to 1988 included The House of Blue Light in 1987, which added a strong dose of classic rock legitimacy to an area dominated by modern trends and hair bands.
|October 13, 2012
|After two years of extensive touring, the Philadelphia based group The Hooters returned to the studio to record One Way Home. Unlike their breakthreough predecessor, this album was heavily folk and Americana influenced and a testament to the band’s desire to put the music first.
|October 17, 2012
|In one way, Tunnel of Love marked a return to the simple folk/Americana form that predated the phenominal mid 1980s success of Bruce Springsteen. In a contrasting other way, it also marked a severing point from the most mucically lucrative years of his career.
|October 20, 2012
|Song for song, The Lonesome Jubilee may be John Mellencamp‘s strongest album and it solidified his signature sound of midwestern folk in the rock n roll era. Although he continued to have commercial success for many subsequent years, this 1987 album marked the peak of Mellencamp’s career.
|October 23, 2012
|Permanent Vacation is considered Aerosmith’s true “comeback” album after their turmultuous era of the early 1980s. It went on to sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone and would reinvent the band through the rest of the 1980s and throughout the 1990s, as they pretty followed the same formula and found continued commercial success.
|October 28, 2012
One of the most anticipated albums of the 1980s, The Joshua Tree was inspired by U2‘s American tour experiences. The band forged a “cinematic” quality for the record which evoked a sense of location and landscape and pushed the band over the top from popular to legendary.
|Final 1987 Poll Results
|Q: What is the best album of 1987?
Conducted on our site, September-October, 2012
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