My favorite songs of 1988

More great classic slow songs, plus we’re getting into the heart of my hip-hop phase. Yep.

In 1988 the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted, among others, The Beatles, The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan. Also in ’88, Andy Gibb died (March 10), Sonny Bono becomes Mayor of Palm Springs, California, and Michael Jackson becomes the first artist to have five songs from the same album reach No.1 on the Billboard 100 (Dirty Diana, Bad, Man in the Mirror, I Just Can’t Stop Loving You and The Way You Make Me Feel). The California Raisins also hit it big this year. It was also the year I began high school!

Another weird music fact from 1988 – John Fogerty was sued by his former label for… copying himself. His 1985 hit The Old Man Down the Road was “too similar” to his 1970 CCR song Run Through the Jungle. Fogerty won the lawsuit.

Unlike most rankings, I haven’t been simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because I know better than anybody that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank first tomorrow, if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment and I start singing along. You understand. So I group them instead of presenting a hard-and-fast order:

Not Bad
…with inter-group splitting.

First, a look at some videos of the best from that year

12 Solid Songs from 1988

One  – Metallica

A much-beloved song by rock fans around the world.

Kokomo  – The Beach Boys

A Little Respect  – Erasure

There She Goes  – The La’s

Pop Song ’89  – R.E.M.

Cult of Personality  – Living Colour

Bad Medicine  – Bon Jovi

Angel Of Harlem  – U2

Angel Eyes  – The Jeff Healey Band

Finish What Ya Started – Van Halen

18 Great Songs from 1988

I’ll Be There For You – Bon Jovi

Finest Worksong  – R.E.M.

In Your Room  – Bangles

A song I had forgotten. Listening to this, I realize how much I love Susanna Hoffs’ voice. They should be in the R’n’R Hall of Fame

I Hate Myself For Loving You  – Joan Jett

Desire  – U2

Copperhead Road  – Steve Earle

Used To Love Her  – Guns N’ Roses

Orange Crush  – R.E.M.

I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)  – The Proclaimers

Gypsy Road  – Cinderella

American Dream  – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Groovy Kind of Love – Phil Collins

The Look  – Roxette

Handle With Care  – The Traveling Wilburys

It would have been amazing to sit in that warehouse and watch these guys jam. You could see their love of music in their faces. Legendary.

All I Want Is You  – U2

The Flame  – Cheap Trick

End Of The Line  – The Traveling Wilburys

Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone)  – Cinderella

11 Truly Awesome tunes from 1988

Rave On – John Mellencamp

I really love this version. Always have, right from the start. The perfect song for his music style and voice.

What I Am  – Edie Brickell & New Bohemians

Straight Outta Compton  – N.W.A

Stand  – R.E.M.

Jane Says  – Jane’s Addiction

Just Like Paradise  – David Lee Roth

Eternal Flame  – Bangles

Coming Home  – Cinderella

Patience  – Guns N’ Roses

One of the best slow songs of all time, for my money

Every Rose Has Its Thorn  – Poison

Beds Are Burning  – Midnight Oil

I put the above songs into a YouTube playlist here

Check out my kickass Spotify playlists here

Here are all the worthy songs that were released or popularized in 1988…

Awesome – 1Beds Are Burning Midnight Oil
Awesome – 1Every Rose Has Its Thorn Poison
Awesome – 1Patience Guns N’ Roses
Awesome – 1Coming Home Cinderella
Awesome – 1Eternal Flame Bangles
Awesome – 1Just Like Paradise David Lee Roth
Awesome – 1Jane Says Jane’s Addiction
Awesome – 7Stand R.E.M.
Awesome – 7Straight Outta Compton N.W.A
Awesome – 7What I Am Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
Awesome – 7Rave OnJohn Mellencamp
Great – 12Don’t Know What You Got (Till It’s Gone) Cinderella
Great – 12End Of The Line The Traveling Wilburys
Great – 12The Flame Cheap Trick
Great – 12All I Want Is You U2
Great – 12Handle With Care The Traveling Wilburys
Great – 12The Look Roxette
Great – 12Groovy Kind of LovePhil Collins
Great – 19American Dream Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Great – 19Gypsy Road Cinderella
Great – 19I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) The Proclaimers
Great – 19Orange Crush R.E.M.
Great – 19Used To Love Her Guns N’ Roses
Great – 19Copperhead Road Steve Earle
Great – 19Desire U2
Great – 19I Hate Myself For Loving You Joan Jett
Great – 19In Your Room Bangles
Great – 19Finest Worksong R.E.M.
Great – 19I’ll Be There For YouBon Jovi
Solid – 30Finish What Ya StartedVan Halen
Solid – 30Angel Eyes The Jeff Healey Band
Solid – 30Angel Of Harlem U2
Solid – 30Bad Medicine Bon Jovi
Solid – 30Cult of Personality Living Colour
Solid – 30Pop Song ’89 R.E.M.
Solid – 30There She Goes The La’s
Solid – 30A Little Respect Erasure
Solid – 30Kokomo The Beach Boys
Solid – 30One Metallica
Solid – 40Funky Cold Medina Tone-Loc
Solid – 40Big League Tom Cochrane & Red Rider
Solid – 40Chains of Love Erasure
Solid – 40Devil Inside INXS
Solid – 40Lay Your Hands On Me Bon Jovi
Solid – 40Never Tear Us Apart INXS
Solid – 40Tall Cool One Robert Plant
Solid – 40When It’s Love Van Halen
Solid – 40Five Long YearsColin James
Solid – 40F*ck the PoliceN.W.A
Solid – 40Another Part Of MeMichael Jackson
Solid – 40Turn You Inside OutR.E.M.
Solid – 40Fast Car Tracy Chapman
Solid – 40Where Is My Mind? Pixies
Not Bad – 54Don’t Worry Be Happy Bobby McFerrin
Not Bad – 54Fat Weird Al Yankovic
Not Bad – 54Kissing A Fool George Michael
Not Bad – 54Make Me Lose Control Eric Carmen
Not Bad – 54Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) Enya
Not Bad – 54Roni Bobby Brown
Not Bad – 54Simply Irresistible Robert Palmer
Not Bad – 54Hands UpSway
Not Bad – 54My SongGlass Tiger
Not Bad – 54Voodoo ThingColin James
Not Bad – 54Chick and Cars (and the Third World War)Colin James
Not Bad – 54I’m Your PusherIce T
Not Bad – 54Doctorin’ The Tardis The Timelords
Not Bad – 54Gimme Hope Jo’anna Eddy Grant
Not Bad – 54Hands To HeavenBreathe
Not Bad – 54Wind Beneath My WingsBette Midler
Not Bad- 70Close My Eyes ForeverOzzy Osbourne and Lita Ford
Not Bad- 70ColorsIce T
Not Bad- 70Bring Me Some Water Melissa Etheridge
Not Bad- 70Don’t Be Cruel Bobby Brown
Not Bad- 70Every Little Step Bobby Brown
Not Bad- 70Forever Young Rod Stewart
Not Bad- 70Helter Skelter U2
Not Bad- 70I Know You’re Out There Somewhere The Moody Blues
Not Bad- 70I’m Your Man Leonard Cohen
Not Bad- 70It Takes Two Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
Not Bad- 70Like the Way I Do Melissa Etheridge
Not Bad- 70Look Away Chicago
Not Bad- 70My Prerogative Bobby Brown
Not Bad- 70Nothin’ But a Good Time Poison
Not Bad- 70Parents Just Don’t Understand DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince
Not Bad- 70Perfect World Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad- 70Plug Tunin’ De La Soul
Not Bad- 70Potholes in My Lawn De La Soul
Not Bad- 70Roll With It Steve Winwood
Not Bad- 70Straight Up Paula Abdul
Not Bad- 70The Living Years Mike + the Mechanics
Not Bad- 70Two Hearts Phil Collins
Not Bad- 70What’s On Your Mind (Pure Energy) Information Society
Not Bad- 70Wild Thing Tone-Loc
Not Bad- 70Wild Wild West The Escape Club
Not Bad- 70I’m Still SearchingGlass Tiger
Not Bad- 70Love Changes EverythingHoneymoon Suite
Not Bad- 70As Long As You FollowFleetwood Mac
Not Bad- 70I Don’t Want Your LoveDuran Duran
Not Bad- 70I Wish I Had a GirlHenry Lee Summer
Not Bad- 70Walk On WaterEddie Money
Not Bad- 70I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like ThatElton John
Not Bad- 70I Don’t Wanna Live Without Your LoveChicago
Not Bad- 70One Good WomanPeter Cetera
Not Bad- 70Alphabet St.Prince
Not Bad- 70When We Was FabGeorge Harrison
Not Bad- 70Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?Steve Winwood
Not Bad- 702 HypeKid ‘N Play
Not Bad- 70Baby I Love Your Way/FreebirdWill to Power
Not Bad- 70You Got It (The Right Stuff)New Kids On the Block
Not Bad- 70Tomorrow PeopleZiggy Marley
Not Bad- 70When Love Comes To TownBB King & U2
Not Bad- 70Domino DancingPet Shop Boys

1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s         2000s


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