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Jay Ferguson's Top 5 Underrated Records of the Eighties


1. Squirrel Bait _Skag Heaven_ (1986)
	While other mid-'80s guitar bands such as 
	Husker Du, Big Black, and Sonic Youth are 
	namedropped and heralded on a regular basis, 
	this band of kids from Louisville, Kentucky are
	scarcely mentioned.  This, their second (and
	last) record, blew every other band out of the
	water that year.  Members went on to form Slint
	and Palace Brothers.

2. The Family (1985)
	Another of Prince's protege bands, but unlike a
	lot of his musical sidekicks (Sheila E and The
	Time not included) this band had great songs 
	and weird funk production going for them.  A
	lost '80s R&B classic.  Also includes the 
	original version of "Nothing Compares 2 U."

3. That Petrol Emotion _End of the Millenium Psychosis Blues_ (1988)
	Their previous album, _Babble_, was greeted with 
	open arms by critics and adventurous fans alike,
	but this record nosedived.  I still can't figure 
	out why.  Continued herein is Velvets/Television
	sharp guitar stylee, acoustic numbers, full-on
	rock and wicked dance songs (before they were cool
	again) while still sounding naturally like
	themselves.  Around 500 copies sold in Canada.
	A true lost classic.

4. P-Funk All Stars _Urban Dancefloor Guerillas_ (1983)
	Parliament/Funkadelic will always be best known for
	(and justly so) _Maggot Brain_, _Mothership
	Connection_, and _One Nation Under a Groove_, but
	this little known minor masterpiece deserves to be
	heard regularly.  This record is mostly sparse, bass
	heavy phat four on the floor funk.  It is the logical
	progression from George Clinton's early '80s _Computer
	Games_ record.  Includes a couple of awesome team-ups
	with Sly Stone.

5. Gray Matter _Food for Thought_ (1985)
	Sprouting from the Washington D.C. hardcore scene,
	this band had the emo-core (!!) sound of Rites of
	Spring tempered with more hummable melodies.  
	Although not originally on the Dischord label (but
	now reissued on that label) and not considered a
	classic D.C. hardcore band (like Minor Threat, Dag
	Nasty, Scream, etc.), Gray Matter is _the_
	underrated D.C. band of the 1980s.  Machine gun
	drumming, Jeff Turner's hoarse vocals and their
	catchy melodies could have made them a million
	buck$ in this day and age.  Includes essential
	cover of "I Am the Walrus".

     _                                  _     James R. Covey <jrcovey\!/ac.dal.ca>
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