1988

Acid House and Ecstasy were turning the nation's youth into brain-damaged, sex-crazed savages...

After the promise of 87, things continued in an upward direction. Acid House and Ecstasy were turning the nation’s youth into brain-damaged, sex-crazed savages, according to the reliably levelheaded tabloids. What they didn’t seem to notice was that E was also turning vicious footie hooligans into loved-up hippies. Instead of banning it they should have shipped it out to all the world’s trouble spots, ending war forever.

Gone: Tracy Chapman. Overly earnest black American folk singer who stole the hearts of guilt-ridden white liberals. Sort of a cross between Joan Armatrading and Joni Mitchell. Probably responsible for Alanis Morissette.

Best album: The Pixies – ‘Surfer Rosa’

Single of the year: Eric B and Rakim – `Follow The Leader’

Band of the year: Public Enemy

1988 belonged to: Acid House.

Event of the year: A Summer of illegal all-night drug and dance-fuelled parties. After the early 80s hiatus it was virtually raining classic albums, The Pixies, My Bloody Valentine, Sonic Youth, Happy Mondays and Public Enemy led the charge. Even heavy metal started to pull itself out of the dark ages with Guns N’Roses, Metallica and Slayer consigning the poodle perm to the past. Unfortunately, a huge crush during G’N’R‘s set at Donnington also consigns two young metal fans to the past.

Chart-wise, 88 saw the start of the rise of the sinister PWL mini empire, with cutesy-pie Kylie at the helm. Years later she would discover sex and release some half-decent records. Homegrown sample-led hits from the likes of S-Express and Bomb The Bass at least ensured a modicum of quality.