80. Flesh For Lulu, Plastic Fantastic
Tim Burton directed Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson to unprecedented box office heights in 1989, but the caped crusader isn’t the only associated with The Batcave that can claim significant success in the calendar year. With the band Flesh For Lulu, however, it’s not a crime-fighting lab located beneath stately Wayne Manor that they erupt from. Instead, it’s a bygone London club called The Batcave that was central to an emerging goth dance scene in the early eighties. When Flesh For Lulu got their start, no article on the band in the British press could go more than a column inch or two without citing the famous nightspot as a shortcut in describing their sound, which the band often seemed to find almost as annoying as questions about the derivation of their name. Since Plastic Fantastic is the band’s fourth full-length album, filled with slick, dark pop gems, Flesh For Lulu has clearly done a thorough job of getting past those shortcut definitions to assert their own identity.
79. Hothouse Flowers, Just a Note
There was a lot of excitement over the Irish band Hothouse Flowers after their debut album, 1988’s People. But new records take time, and as much as fans, and the record label for that matter, might have liked to see a new release in 1989, a proper follow-up wasn’t ready. Luckily, the band had enough spare bits to put together an EP to keep everyone satisfied, at least for a little bit. Just a Note has a couple of outtakes from People, including the band’s version of the traditional American folk song “See Line Woman,” and several live tracks strong enough to help Hothouse Flowers sell a few extra tickets the next time they tour. They’re also strong enough to earn plenty of radio spins. Anyway, it makes for some good playlist entries between the first and second albums.