MUSIC: In our CD player

Scott Gordon

At the end of the 80s we were all just dumb kids with no musical taste at all. That might be a rude assumption, but here are some of that period’s finer records.

The Pixies, Surfer Rosa (1988)

This debut is a jarring, freakish piece of hard rock. The vocal pairing of leader Black Francis and bassist Kim Deal, along with Joe Santiago’s jittery guitar leads, brings unmistakable color to this album.

The Cure Disintegration (1989)

It’s like one big miserable love song, starting with the beautiful synthesizers of “Plainsong” and descending into dismal masterpieces like “Prayers for Rain.” Robert Smith and co. accomplish a rare thing — being moody without sounding ridiculous.

The Stone Roses (1989)

A weird-looking group from Manchester, England, the Stone Roses had a surprising amount of charm and original melody on their debut. The music is bright, fun rock with a little darkness, folk and new wave dancebeat mixed in. Hear “She Bangs the Drums,” “Made of Stone” and “I am the Resurrection.”

Depeche Mode, Violator (1990)

Don’t mistake it for just another goofy synth-pop record. Synthesizers are the dark, active core of this album, complementing the thoughtful lyrics. The beauty of songs like “Waiting for the Night” and “Enjoy the Silence” show that Depeche Mode have more merit than the common “80s” pop act.

Jane’s Addiction, Ritual de lo Habitual (1990)

A lot of bands tried adopting Zeppelin’s massive sound, but only Jane’s nailed it. Sometimes epic, between pissed off and happy-go-lucky, the songs are rocking and mystifying. Singer Perry Farrell gives his own impressions on rockers like “Ain’t No Right” and the progressively-styled “Three Days.”