1. Cameo, "Word Up!" They'd been making albums for a decade when this one came out.
2. Run-D.M.C., "It's Tricky." I love the kinds of people they put in their videos. This one has Penn & Teller.
3. Laurie Anderson, "Language Is a Virus." "O Superman" may be one of the weirdest records to be a hit, not weird as in "novelty record" but weird as in "arty." She worked with William S. Burroughs ... she released a five-LP live album ... she directed her own concert film, from which this song is taken ... she invented instruments ... she was an artist-in-residence for NASA ... hell, this year she even married Lou Reed.
4. The Pretenders, "Don't Get Me Wrong." Chrissie as Mrs. Peel. Seems so obvious, but until the video I hadn't ever thought of it.
5. The Beastie Boys, "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." The first rap album to hit the top of the pop charts. Whenever Rich Aurilia bats for the Giants, they play this song (Richie's from Brooklyn) ... I always wonder if Aurilia actually likes rap music.
6. Timex Social Club, "Rumors." Berkeley's own (take that, Green Day).
7. The Bangles, "Manic Monday." Since we're making local connections, Susanna Hoffs went to Cal. This track is proof that in those days, even if Prince didn't appear on a list like this, he appeared on a list like this.
8. Peter Gabriel, "In Your Eyes." If you can't guess in advance what the video link is, you don't know your Lloyd Dobler.
9. David & David, "Welcome to the Boomtown." One nice thing about talking up music from 1986 is that I get to promote this album, which has to be one of the great one-offs of all time.
10. Billy Bragg, "Levi Stubbs' Tears." When the world falls apart, some things stay in place.