Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Pazz & Jop 1980: Dean's List


  1. The Clash: London Calling (Epic) 25
  2. Talking Heads: Remain in Light (Sire) 15
  3. Prince: Dirty Mind (Warner Bros.) 12
  4. Tom Robinson: Sector 27 (I.R.S.) 12
  5. Wanna Buy a Bridge? (Rough Trade) 9
  6. Jon Hassell/Brian Eno: Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics (Editions E.G.) 7
  7. John Lennon/Yoko Ono: Double Fantasy (Geffen) 5
  8. Bruce Springsteen: The River (Columbia) 5
  9. Professor Longhair: Crawfish Fiesta (Alligator) 5
  10. The Jacksons: Triumph (Epic) 5

  11. Gang of Four: Entertainment! (Warner Bros.)
  12. Public Image, Ltd.: Second Edition (Island)
  13. Alberta Hunter: Amtrak Blues (Columbia)
  14. Neil Young: Hawks and Doves (Reprise)
  15. Chic: Real People (Atlantic)
  16. Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band: Doc at the Radar Station (Virgin)
  17. The Feelies: Crazy Rhythms (Stiff)
  18. Stevie Wonder: Hotter Than July (Talma)
  19. Poly Styrene: Translucence (United Artists import)
  20. Si Kahn: Home (Flying Fish '79)
  21. The Psychedelic Furs (Columbia)
  22. Pretenders (Sire '79)
  23. LPJE: Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival 1980 (Latin Percussion Ventures, Inc.)
  24. The English Beat: I Just Can't Stop It (Sire)
  25. Pere Ubu: The Art of Walking (Rough Trade)
  26. Pere Ubu: New Picnic Time (Chrysalis import)
  27. John Prine: Storm Windows (Asylum)
  28. Smokey Robinson: Warm Thoughts (Talma)
  29. Rockpile: Seconds of Pleasure (Columbia)
  30. Joe "King" Carrasco and the Crowns (Stiff import)
  31. X: Los Angeles (Slash)
  32. Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson: 1980 (Arista)
  33. Steel Pulse: Reggae Fever (Mango)
  34. Michael Hurley: Snockgrass (Rounder)
  35. The Undertones: Hypnotised (Sire)
  36. The Suburbs: In Combo (Twin/Tone)
  37. The Clash: Black Market Clash (Epic)
  38. Bootsy: Ultra Wave (Warner Bros.)
  39. T-Bone Burnett: Truth Decay (Takoma)
  40. Lydia Lunch: Queen of Siam (ZE).

No room in the Inn: the Brains, Junie. Wait Till Last Year: XTC (Drums and Wires), the Brides of Funkenstein (Never Buy Texas from a Cowboy), Smokey Robinson (Where There's Smoke . . .). Alternative disciplines: Arthur Blythe (Illusions), Steve Reich, Dollar Brand (African Marketplace), Big Youth (Progress), Henry Cow, Michael Mantler. Judgment reserved: Joy Division, Al Green, Bunny Wailer, Pylon, Sandanista!


  1. Pylon: "Cool" (Caution)
  2. The Beat: "Twist and Crawl" (Go-Feet 12-inch import)
  3. Diana Ross: "Upside Down" (Motown)
  4. John Anderson: "She Just Started Liking Cheatin' Songs" (Warner Bros.)
  5. Joy Division: "She's Lost Control" (Factory)
  6. Stevie Wonder: "Master Blaster (Jammin')" (Tamla)
  7. Pretenders: "Brass in Pocket" (Sire)
  8. The Slits: "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (Antilles)
  9. Lenny Kaye: "Child Bride" (Mer)
  10. Suzanne Fellini: "Love on the Phone" (Casablanca)

Village Voice, Feb. 9, 1981

1979 Essay | Critics Poll 1981