MARTIEN: This was of course THE year of Dutch soccer as "our" boys won the European Championships, defeating the Russians with 2-0 in 
the finals. However the most memorable game was of course the semi-final in Hamburg against Germany, were we beat our long 
time enemy with 2-1. Finally we got our revenge for the lost final back in 1974.

But this is a music site, so let’s talk about the music in good old 1988. At the famous Pinkpop Festival I saw and heard the Red Hot Chilli Peppers for the first time in my life and at the notorious metal festival Dynamo Open Air I banged my head and 
screamed along to songs of Exodus, Candlemass and Laaz Rockit. 

'This album blew me of my feet'

My favourite album of 1988 is without any shadow of a doubt 'Operation Mindcrime' by Seattle rockers Queensryche. This album 
blew me of my feet when I was listening to it for the first time and songs like 'Spreading The Disease', 'Suite Sister Mary' or 'Eyes Of A Stranger' still give me goose bumps, even if the album is already 21 years old. 

'Operation Mindcrime' is a 
classic metal/hard rock album that every self respecting music lover should have in his/hers album collection.

Van Halen with Sammy Hagar on vocals released a very good album as well. The songs were great but most of all I liked the title of the album OU812 (Oh, you ate one too). Metal heroes Metallica came up with 'And Justice For All', an album filled with great heavy riffs, hooks and grooves and even had an almost hit with one of Metallica’s best known songs: 'One'.

A couple of "new" bands entered my music scene like King’s X, Living Colour and Kingdom Come. These three bands, that I still cherish after all those years, all released brilliant debut albums. And although lots of people labelled Kingdom Come as a nasty and irritating Led Zeppelin clone, I simply loved their debut album. 

Songs like 'Pushin’ Hard' or 'What Love Can Be' still sound amazing and this is of course especially due to the astonishing throat of Lenny Wolf. 

'the most underrated rock band ever'. 

Swamp rockers King's X's 'Out Of The Silent Planet' was filled with dirty, boogie-like hard rock, dominated by the phenomenal dark voice of Doug Pinnick. This super band, of which I have all their albums, is till this day the most underrated rock band 

Living Colour surprised me with a mix of hard rock, metal, funk and blues rock on 'Vivid' and finally the music 
business had their first black metal band! The trademarks of the band are of course Corey Glover's vocals and Vernon Reid's Jimi Hendrix-like guitar playing.

Other great rock albums in 1988 were: 'Dragon's Kiss' by super speedy guitar picker Marty Friedman, 'No Exit' by Fates Warning and 'Transcendence' by the masked Crimson Glory. 

Greatest hits on the radio were: 'Sweet Child Of Mine', 'Every Rose Has Its Torn', 'Love Bites', 'Angel' and 'Desire'. Def Leppard who had a hit with 'Love Bites' had had some rather difficult years (the drummer lost his arm and the singer lost his voice) but with this song the band had their first chart-topper. 

'Rock music was still not taken very seriously'

Bon Jovi returned in the charts with 'Bad Medicine' on which Jon and Richie collaborated with Desmond Child again. Rock music was still not taken very seriously as "musicians" like Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, George Michael and Rick Astley hit the charts and sold lots of singles and albums.

For me 1988 was a good rock year, but not very exceptional, also due to the 
fact that my all time fav band Rush did not release a new album.

KIMMO: 1988 wasn't necessarily as great a year as the one before or the one after, but it still was one of the "golden years" of hard rock. Looking back, some of the albums released that year have really found their way to my favourites over time, back then I wasn't so fond of them. Sure, I liked Queensryche and Dare when I heard them for the first time, but did I consider them classics then? No way, I'm afraid. Then again, something like Joshua's "Intense Defence" was utterly fantastic back then, but now 20 years later, it hasn't aged that well and I haven't played it nearly as much as I've played Dare or 'Ryche.

Some of the albums on the list bring back memories of being in a record store, and hearing the tunes for the first time. The sensation of being utterly blown away by a killer song almost never happens these days, but back then it did. I remember being floored by the title track of Skagarack's album, Dare's "Into The Fire" and Bon Jovi's "Born To Be My Baby", just to name a few. What's cool is that those songs haven't lost their magic.

[ 1988 ]

Choose a year:
[1980] [1981]
[1982] [1983]
[1984] [1985]
[1986] [1987]
[1988] [1989]

Alan, Bandi, Kimmo, Martien, & yours truly, Urban of RockUnited.Com have been spending weeks, months, wading through a bunch of weird looking artcovers and albums of the eighties!  Indeed, not an easy task, tracking back in space and time, especially since some of us were almost still in diapers (sticky) at the early days of this era of grand and fantastic music. Check out the left-side border for our yearly write-up in 'black', and this is RockUnited's official 'Best-Of-Album Chart of 1988', calculated from the individual charts. No live-ones, EP's or compilations are included, merely studio albums. You can find them all and complain about our personal taste (or rather the complete lack of it) further down this page! This is merely our humble and tiny celebration of the hairmetal days or daze for that matter. Enjoy or not - this is the eighties: 1988.


80. Kreator - Terrible Certainty 
79. China - China
78. Fate - Cruisin' For A Bruisin'
77. Night Ranger - Man In Motion
76. China Sky - China Sky
75. Scanner - Hypertrace 
74. Idle Cure - Tough Love
73. Return -Attitudes
72. Testament The New Order
71. Lillian Axe - Lillian Axe

70. King Kobra - III
69. Michael Katon - Proud To Be Loud
68. Forbidden - Forbidden Evil
67. 1927 - ...ish
66. Sha-Boom - R.O.C.K
65. Slayer - South of Heaven
64. Lita Ford - Lita Ford
63. Bad Company - Dangerous Age
62. Bonnie Tyler - Hide Your Heart
61. Death Angel - Frolic Through The Park

60. Armored Saint - Saints Will Conquer
59. Sanctuary - Refuge Denied
58. Hurricane - Over The Edge
57. Talk Of The Town - Talk Of The Town
56. Sacred Warrior - Rebellion
55. Brighton Rock - Take A Deep Breath
54. Vicious Rumors - Digital Dictator
53. Saxon - Destiny
52. Guns N' Roses - Lies
51. Scorpions - Savage Amusement

50. Dirty Looks - Cool From The Wire
49. Joe Satriani - Dreaming #11
48. Danny Wilde - Any Man's Hunger
47. Crimson Glory - Transcendence
46. Cinderella - Long Cold Winter
45. Impelliteri - Stand In line
44. Marty Friedman - Dragon’s Kiss
43. Stage Dolls - Stage Dolls
42. Skagarack - Hungry For A Game
41. Rick Springfield - Rock of Life

40. Anthrax - State Of Euphoria
39. Ya Ya - II
38. Witness - Witness
37. Manowar - Kings of Metal
36. Kansas - In the Spirit of Things
35. Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest for the Wicked
34. Vinnie Vincent - All Systems Go
33. Survivor - Too Hot To Sleep
32. Warrant - Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich
31. Chicago - 19

30. The Jeff Healy Band - See the Light
29. Honeymoon Suite - Racing After Midnight
28. Running Wild - Port Royal
27. Soundgarden - Ultra Mega Ok
26. Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey
25. Poison - Open Up and Say Ahh
24. Winger - Winger
23. King's X - Out Of The Silent Planet
22. Petra - On Fire
21. Alien - Alien

20. Megadeth - So Far, So Good...So What!
The snarling, ehh, close to, whining, voice of Dave Mustaine (ex-Metallica), not every man's poison. One of the 'Big Four' of Thrash Metal, along with Anthrax, Metallica and Slayer. Contains the hit single, 'In My Darkest Hour', written by Mustaine as a tribute to his previous band's bassist and buddy, Cliff Burton. Mega Thrash !

19. Fates Warning - No Exit
Check out the artcover. Ugly as hell and one of the worst ever!!! The music on the other hand is a completely different issue. Cincinatti Techno, Prog, outfit, who did Dream Theater kind of music years before they did. Queensryche fans should feel right at home too. This was their bestseller and yet it merely reached #111 on the US chart.  

18. House Of Lords - House Of Lords
The new project by Gregg Giuffria of Angel. Signed to $immons Records by label owner: Gene Simmons of KISS. Originally meant as the thrid 'Giuffria' album. However, Gene didn't fancy the vocalist and demanded a new one, as well as a new monicker. The Stan Bush penned, 'Love Don't Lie', a minor hit and the album peaked at #79 in US.

17. Van Halen - OU812
The album's title was supposed to be a play on David Lee Roth's, 'Eat 'Em and Smile', release. Not sure what they've been eating really? This was a major disappointment after the excellent '5150' album. However, it killed any and all opposition in the US chart (#1). The catchy hit single, 'When It's Love', peaked at #5 in the charts.

16. Stryper - In God We Trust
'In Him We Must Believe'. They didn't trust their old, 'To Hell With The Devil', sound however. 'In God We Trust', an even more commerical and radio friendly affair as they sold their souls to MTV (ouch!). The single, 'Always There For You, peaked at #71 on the US chart. The album didn't chart at all really. Sweet and sort of catchy.

15. Metallica - ...And Justice For All
...And a crappy sound picture for bass guitar and drums. Seriously, what were they thinking about? Let's get a new bassist (Jason Newsted), but do not let anyone hear him play on the new album. And the drums? Tin cans? The songs are actually kind of underrated tho'. Good stuff. Their break through album, #6 in the US chart. 

14. Toto - The Seventh One
Their most succesful release since 1982 and 'IV'. It's also the second and last album to feature Joe Williams on lead vocals (he would however return in the '00's as a backup singer). The hit single, 'Pamela' reached the top-40 in the states. They were more popular in Europe by now and would tour over here for many years to come. Nice!

13. Vixen - Vixen
Formed in 1980 by guitarist Jan Kuehnemund, signed to EMI in '88 (many line-up changed in between those years). The all-female band (not a bunch of cross-dressers as the rest of the 80's acts) re-recorded three songs from the Jeff Paris album, 'Wired Up'. Richard Marx co-wrote the minor hit, 'Edge Of A Broken Heart'. Catchy and fun stuff. 

12. Dan Reed Network - Dan Reed Network
A superb Hard Rock/Funk album by Dan Reed and his multi-coloured and ethnical band. Think Bon Jovi mixed with Prince and you're close to the core. Signed to Mercury with the aid of Derek Shulman (Bon Jovi, Cinderella). The song' Ritual' cracked the US top-40. Very underrated act. Max Martin stole the sound to create pop hits for Britney, etc.

11. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part: II
The second part of the grand and fantastic speed/power metal saga of the seven keys. MTV put the single 'I Want Out' into heavy rotation on its 'Headbanger's Ball' show and smiley pumpkins were Helloween's chosen brand of imagery. Not sure why the pumpkins, really? The quirky sounding, 'Dr.Stein', was another weird, but great metal moment. 

10. Living Colour - Vivid
Hey, look, it's some kind of fusion of heavy metal, jazz, hard rock, punk, and lots and lots of f-u-n-k. 'Vivid' to say the least. The brilliant guitarist Vernon Reid delivers some truly wicked licks here. Scored a deal with Epic after a demo produced by Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. The album reached #6 in the US. The single, 'Cult Of Personality' #13. 

9. David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
The second solo album by the former frontman of Van Halen. Also the last to feature the super-group line-up of Steve Vai (guitar) and Billy Sheehan (bass). The latter would set up his own band (Mr.Big) and Vai joined the  Whitesnake. The catchy hit single, 'Just Like Paradise', peaked at #6 in the US. More fun than most VH albums with DLR.

8. Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Yet another Maiden LP about good and evil, heaven and hell. However, this one is more of a concept idea. There's a lyrical storyline inspired by folklore, mysticism, prophecy, afterlife. Ehhh.. wait, that could be any Maiden album really. Peaked at #12 in the US. Number 1 in the UK were they also had four Top-10 singles. Can I Play With Madness?

7. Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come
Took a massive beating in the press for its Led Zeppelin sound? Yeah? Who cares what a bunch of old farts thinks anyhow? Led Zep were never originals in the first place, they stole most of their sound from black artists. Marvelous vocals by Lenny Wolf (ex-Stone Fury) and impressive material, took the album to #12 in the US. Great!

6. Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey
1988, a rather difficult year for the Swede. He crashed his Jaguar E-Type into a tree and ended up in a coma for a week. Worst of all, nerve damage to his right hand was reported. His album featured Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow) and contains his best material ever? Fender honored him with his own signature guitar (first ever alongside Clapton). 

5. Magnum - Wings Of Heaven
Magnum's seventh studio album and the third and last in the essential 'trilogy' of albums by the band (On A Storyteller's Night, Vigilante). Recorded in the Wisseloord studio and produced by the Dutch, Albert Boekholt, the sound is more of a return to the pompous work. The epic, 'Don't Wake The Lion', clocks in at 10:34. Marvelous schtuff.

4. Dare - Out Of The Silence
Merely the second best 'Out Of...' album of the year (Europe). Strangely enough, the two acts also went out on tour together in '88. Dare is the project of former Thin Lizzy keyboard player, Darren Wharton. It's a grand AOR debut and they've sadly never quite managed to re-create the formula since. One-hit album kind of band. 

3. Europe - Out Of This World
Considering the success of 'The Final Countdown', this was a bit of a let down in actual sold copies. However, 'Out Of This World' achived platinum status in the states as well as the #19 spot on the billboard chart. 'Superstitious', peaked at #31. It's a great album and new boyo, Kee Marcello, came up with a superb tone and sound.

2. Bon Jovi - New Jersey
Yet another commercial as well as charting success for the Jeresy lads. The album stayed at the #1 spot for four weeks and sold five million copies in six months in the states. 'Bad Medicine' and 'Ill Be There For You' reached #1 on the billboard singles chart. The album's three other singles all reached top ten (a record for hard rock music).

1. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
Who killed Mary? The concept album of all concept albums. Well, it's actually more of a Metal/Rock Opera. There's been talks about an off-Broadway stage version too. A great story-line about a man's disillusion with society, thus, anarchy, conspiracy, and finally, revolution. Strong secondary chracters, monologues, and most importantly, songs (duh!), makes this one fantastic metal/prog album of '88. (all album comment nonsense by: Urban)

INDIVIDUAL LISTS OF 1988 *Personal Stuff*

Urban (Wally):

Albums Top 40:

1. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
2. Dan Reed Network- Dan Reed Network
3. Manowar - Kings Of Metal
4. Iron Maiden - 7th Son of A 7th Son
5. Europe - Out of This World 
6. Running Wild - Port Royal 
7. Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come
8. Toto - The Seventh One
9. Metallica - And Justice For All 
10. Magnum - Wings Of Heaven 

11. Bon Jovi - New Jersey
12. Megadeth - So Far So Good So What
13. Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey
14. Petra - On Fire!
15. Helloween - Keeper Of The 7keys 2
16. Dare - Out of The Silence
17. Fates Warning - No Exit
18. Vicious Rumors - Digital Dictator
19. Sacred Warrior - Rebellion
20. Sanctuary - Refugee Denied

21. Soundgarden - Ultra Mega Ok
22. King's X - Out of The Silent Planet
23. Vinnie Vincent - All Systems Go
24. Slayer - South Of Heaven
25. Forbidden - Forbidden Evil
26. King Kobra - III
27. Chicago - 19
28. Anthrax - State Of Euphoria
29. Testament - The New Order
30. Vixen - Vixen

31. Scanner - Hypertrace
32. Honeymoon Suite - Racing After Midnight
33. Alien - Alien
34. David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
35. Stryper - In God We Trust
36. Scorpions - Savage Amusement
37. Living Colour - Vivid
38. Warrant - D.R.F.S.R.
39. Talk Of The Town - Talk of the Town
40. Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest For The Wicked


Albums Top 40:

1. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
2. Dare - Out Of The Silence
3. Witness - Witness
4. Honeymoon Suite - Racing After Midnight
5. Skagarack - Hungry For A Game
6. Stage Dolls - Stage Dolls
7. Europe - Out Of This World
8. Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey
9. Helloween - Keeper Of The 7 Keys II
10.House Of Lords - House Of Lords

11.Danny Wilde- Any Man's Hunger
12.Dirty Looks - Cool From The Wire
13.Magnum - Wings Of Heaven
14.Petra - On Fire!
15.Bon Jovi - New Jersey
16.Alien - Alien
17.Rick Springfield - Rock Of Life
18.Brighton Rock - Take A Deep Breath
19.Hurricane - Over The Edge
20.Vixen - Vixen

21.Scorpions - Savage Amusement
22.Talk Of The Town - Talk Of The Town
23.Stryper - In God We Trust
24.Sha-Boom - R.O.C.K
25.Winger - Winger
26.Lillian Axe - Lillian Axe
27.Poison - Open Up And Say... Ahh!
28.Toto - The Seventh One
29.Return -Attitudes
30.Idle Cure - Tough Love

31.Dan Reed Network - Dan Reed Network
32.Survivor - Too Hot To Sleep
33.Warrant - Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich
34.China Sky - China Sky
35.Night Ranger - Man In Motion
36.Chicago - 19
37.Fate - Cruisin' For A Bruisin'
38.China - China
39.Joshua - Intense Defense
40.Romeo's Daughter - Romeo's Daughter


Albums Top 20:

1. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
2. Van Halen - OU812
3. Metallica - And Justice For All
4. King's X - Out Of The Silent Planet
5. Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come
6. Marty Friedman - Dragon's Kiss
7. Fates Warning - No Exit
8. Living Colour - Vivid
9. Crimson Glory - Transcendence
10.Magnum - Wings Of Heaven

11.Joe Satriani - Dreaming #11
12.Iron maiden - 7th Son Of A 7th Son
13.Soundgarden - Ultramega ok
14.Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest For The Wicked
15.Megadeth - So Far SO Good So What
16.Yngwie Malmsteen - Odessy
17.Anthrax - State Of Euphoria
18.David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
19.Armored Saint - Saints Will Conquer
20.Bon Jovi - New Jersey

21.Death Angel - Frolic Through The Park
22.Europe - Out Of This World
23.House of Lords - House Of Lords
24.Jeff Healey - See The Light
25.Michael Katon - Proud To Be Loud


Albums Top 20:

1.  Kansas - In the Spirit of Things
2. It Bites - Once Around The World
3. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
4. Ya Ya - II
5. Survivor - Too Hot To Sleep
6. David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
7. Dare - Out of The Silence
8. Impelliteri - Stand In line
9. Bon Jovi - New Jersey
10.Magnum - Wings Of Heaven

11.Living Colour - Vivid
12.The Jeff Healy Band - See the Light
13.Van Halen - OU812
14.Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey
15.Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come
16.Vinnie Vincent  - All Systems Go
17.Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A 7th Son
18.Saxon - Destiny
19.Stryper - In God We Trust
20.Vixen - Vixen


Albums Top 30:

1. Europe - Out of This World
2. Bon Jovi - New Jersey
3. Queensryche - Operation Mindcrime
4. Poison - Open Up and Say Ahh
5. David Lee Roth - Skyscraper
6. Winger - Winger
7. Warrant - Dirty Rotten Stinking Filthy Rich
8. Cinderella - Long Cold Winter
9. Toto - The Seventh One
10.Dan Reed Network - Dan Reed Network

11.Dare - Out of the Silence
12.Yngwie Malmsteen - Odyssey
13.Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys 2
14.Chicago - 19
15.Vixen - Vixen
16.Guns n' Roses - Lies
17.Living Colour - Vivid
18.Vinnie Moore - Time Odyssey
19.Alien - Alien
20.Stryper - In God We Trust

21.Bonnie Tyler - Hide Your Heart
22.Bad Company - Dangerous Age
23.Lita Ford - Lita Ford
24.1927 - ...ish
25.House of Lords - House of Lords
26.Kingdom Come - Kingdom Come
27.Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest for the Wicked
28.Rick Springfield - Rock of Life
29.Running Wild - Port Royal
30.Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son


Songs of the year:

Bon Jovi - Born To Be My Baby
Metallica - One 
Helloween - I Want Out
Lita Ford - Kiss Me Deadly
Yngwie Malmsteen - Heaven Tonight
Europe - Superstitious
Poison - Every Rose Has It's Thorn
Queensryche - I Don't Believe In Love
Toto - Pamela
Dare - Into The Fire
Iron Maiden - Can I Play With Madness
Dan Reed Network - Ritual
Manowar - Kingdom Come
Magnum - Start Talking Love
Chicago - Look Away
Van Halen - When It's Love
Stryper - In God We Trust
Vixen - Edge Of A Broken Heart
Scorpions - Rhythm Of Love
Survivor - Desperate Dreams
Cheap Trick - The Flame
Alien - Tears Don't Put Out The Fire
Talk Of The Town - Free Like An Eagle
Kingdom Come - Get It On
Vinnie Vincent Invasion - That Time Of Year
Black'n Blue - Rock On
Cinderella - Don't Know What You Got Until It's Gone
Megadeth - Darkest Hour
David Lee Roth - Just Like Paradise

Roxette - Dangerous
A-ha - Stay on These Roads
Johnny Hates Jazz - Shattered Dreams
Martika - Toy Soldiers  
Proclaimers - I'm Gonna Be (500 miles)
Primitives - Crash 
Boy Meets Girl - Waiting for a Star To fall
Bangles - Eternal Flame 
Jane Wiedlin - Rush Hour
Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
Sade - Love Is Stronger Than Pride
Breathe - Hands To Heaven
When In Rome - The Promise 
Tracy Chapman - Fast Car 
Deacon Blue - Real Gone Kid
Freiheit - Keeping the Dream Alive 
Hothouse Flowers - Don't Go 
Bryan Ferry - Kiss and Tell
New Order - True Faith 
Morrissey - Suedehead
Chris Rea - Josephine 
U2 - Angel Of Harlem
Fine Young Cannibals - She drives me Crazy 
Womack & Womack - Teardrops

Urban (Wally):

POP/Rock albums of the year:

1. Roxette - Look Sharp
2. Morrissey - Viva Hate
3. Johnny Hates Jazz - Turn Back The Clock
4. A-ha - Stay On These Roads
5. U2 - Rattle And Hum 
6. Breathe - All That Jazz
7. Bonnie Tyler - Hide Your Heart
8. Climie Fisher - Everything
9. Blue Zone - Big Thing 
10.Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden

11.Leonard Cohen - I'm Your Man
12.Sade - Stronger Than Pride
13.Pixies - Surfer Rosa
14.All About Eve - All About Eve 
15.Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman 
16.Cocteau Blue  - Blue Bell Knoll
17.Crowded House - Temple of Low Men 
18.Pet Shop Boys - Introspective
Jane Wiedlin - Fur
20.Boy Meets Girl - s/t