Thirty years ago today, one of the finest (and wildest) pop albums of all time was released. Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love is almost perfect (for true perfection, see the Kate Bush album that preceded it, 1982’s The Dreaming) and sounds as forward-thinking as it did on September 16, 1985 (granted, it could use a remastering). Bush performed the bulk of the album, including its entire Side B suite, The Ninth Wave, during her Before the Dawn residency at London’s Hammersmith Apollo last year. Below are its songs ranked, though it should be noted that every song in the Top 10 is within grasp of the others. This album is that good.
Prince, Madonna, and Michael Jackson were born within three months of each other in the middle of 1958. (Kate Bush was also born during this time period.) During the ‘80s, they redefined the way we consume pop music, and the cults they spawned predicted the rabid fandom that we see around most current pop superstars. Ranking their singles together just made sense, as both a critical exercise and an expression of masochism.
A decade ago, Kanye West, this era's most compelling pop musician, released his first album. The conflicted artist presented on The College Dropout—an avowed-Christian backpacker rapping about money, hoes, and rims again—has only grown more complicated in the years since then, and the result is a contradictory, often frustrating body of work. That is to say, an inadvisable subject for ranking.
On Tuesday, former U.S. poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Simic wrote on the New York Review of Books' web site about the pleasures of reliving his youthful experiences through the music and movies he could find on YouTube. When Gawker editor John Cook wrote to compliment him on the piece, Simic responded with the email reproduced (with YouTube links added) below. It is published with Simic's permission.
21. Brianna Haynes, "Thank You"