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12 Essential 1980s Alternative Rock Albums

PopMatters' '80s alt-rock primer spotlights the essential alternative rock albums from the broad genre's rich and diverse early years.

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Robin Guthrie: Emeralds

More lush, glacial guitarscapes from the ex-Cocteau Twin. More focused this time, too.

Music

Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd: Bordeaux

As gorgeous as "Bordeaux" is, this collaboration has well overstayed its welcome and fails to engage.

Music

Cobra Killer: Uppers and Downers

Between the two extremes of Uppers and Downers the third choice of the happy medium would serve Cobra Killer much better.

Music

Elizabeth Fraser: Moses EP

The voice of Cocteau Twins makes a welcome return with this three-track tribute to a late friend.

Music

Robin Guthrie: Angel Falls EP

The ex-Cocteau Twin doles out hazy, effects-heavy guitar like it's 1988. Only duller than ever.

Music

Robin Guthrie & Harold Budd: After the Night Falls

The ex-Cocteau Twin and the ambient pioneer team up again. In the '80s, they had a name for this: New Age.

Music

Cocteau Twins: Lullabies to Violaine Volume 1

...and from vital to less vital in 14 years, 16 EPs, and two double-disc sets of opulent art-music.

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