Top 20 Albums Of 1989 (Nos. 11-15)

For this week's Ranked!, we completed our look back at the '80s with our our twenty favorite albums released in 1989. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are numbers 11-15:

15. Skid Row, Skid Row

Let's face it--bands like Skid Row simply aren't bands that are destined to leave an indelible mark on the musical world. Although there was a short window (about 1988-1992) during which bands like this didn't look utterly ridiculous on stage, looking back now it's hard to believe that anyone ever took them even remotely seriously.

That said, I used to hang out at strip clubs and at a mega-venue in Baltimore called Hammerjacks back in the late '80s and early '90s, and hair bands were high on the playlist at that time. Even then, Skid Row was somewhere in the middle of the pack at best as far as I was concerned, but I did love to rock out to several of the songs on the Skid Row album--especially "18 And Life," "Youth Gone Wild," and "I Remember You" (the last being the obligatory power ballad of the bunch). Skid Row was one of the first CDs I ever bought, along with albums by Poison, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N' Roses, all of whom are going to be better remembered than Skid Row.

I was surprised to see that Skid Row has released five albums, the most recent of which came out in 2006. Maybe their new stuff is good... I don't know. For me, Skid Row was the beginning and the end of my interest in the band. They were a product of their time--and, at the time, I thought they were pretty decent.--Dave

14. De La Soul, 3 Feet High And Rising

3 Feet High And Rising was unlike any other rap album of its time. In a time when hardcore rap acts that told of life on the streets were all the rage (Public Enemy, N.W.A., etc.), De La Soul was a breath of fresh air, with an almost naivety to their sound. Set against the backdrop of a fictional game show, 3 Feet High And Rising was a collection of tunes that showcased the 3 MCs deft rhyming skills, playful themes, and inspired samples. But it was their themes that set them apart from the other acts: their songs were often fun and light and silly, having more in common with Fresh Prince than with Chuck D, while possessing all the talent of the latter. De La 101: "The Magic Number," "Jenifa Taught Me," "Eye Know," "Buddy," "Potholes In My Lawn," and the album's biggest hit, "Me Myself and I."--Chris

13. Nirvana, Bleach

Admit it: you didn't buy Bleach when it first came out. In fact, it was only after you thoroughly digested Nevermind that you decided to pick up its scruffy little brother. No worries. But when you did go about digging backward in the Nirvana catalog, you discovered Bleach was bleaker and less polished than Nevermind. But if you're like me, you instantly fell in love with tracks like "Blew," "About A Girl," "Love Buzz," and my personal favorite, "Negative Creep."--Chris

12. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Mother's Milk

Not to sound like a slavering fan, but when the Red Hot Chili Peppers hit the scene with Mother's Milk, it came with a sound I had never heard before. Their blend of punk/funk/rap was my first introduction to a blended genre sound that would become a signature of Southern California, which followed with other bands and other rock/punk/ska/rap combinations.  I almost didn't like Mother's Milk, but it was strangely catchy.  It was jarring but cool.  And they were obnoxious but also complete rock stars.  The more you listened to the album, the more you heard a sliver of something underneath all the in-your-face cockiness that made you want to keep listening, and that is ultimately the power of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.--The Weirdgirl

11. Aerosmith, Pump

This album was a pretty huge success for Aerosmith, a band that had already been around since the early 1970s and were doing ok. Pump, though, took them to the next level. It was a massive critical and public success and got them all kinds of awards and huge sales. It was actually their first Grammy award winner ("Janie's Got A Gun") and had the first Aerosmith song to chart at #1 ("Love In An Elevator"). On a personal note, I was baby sitting for a little boy when Aerosmith played Saturday Night Live in 1990. The kid I was sitting for was a hyper hopped-up little monster and got really into the "Janie" performance on the show. He did his best Steven Tyler impression and jumped on the couches, trying to make his mouth really big like Steven's. And then he started yelling, "Pull down your pants so I can sign your butt like a Cabbage Patch Kid!" True story. It was weird and creepy and kind of ruined Aerosmith for me for a long time.--Archphoenix

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