College Countdown: 90FM’s Top 90 of 1989, 36 and 35

36. Adrian Belew, Mr. Music Head

Listing off the bands and performers that Adrian Belew has played with during his career is like flipping through a cool kid’s record collection. David Bowie, Talking Headsand Frank Zappa all provided Belew a showcase for his amazing guitar calisthenics, and he served as a prominent member of both King Crimson and The Bears. For someone who’s a valued collaborator, it’s arguably important that solo endeavors be truly one-man affairs. That was largely the case with Belew’s 1989 solo album. Appropriately entitled Mr. Music Head, Belew was personally responsible for virtually every sound on the album. The only other credited musician was Mike Barnett, who played some bass. There was, however, still room for one other very special guest as Belew opened his studio up to his then eleven-year-old daughter Audie to provide additional vocals on the college radio hit “Oh Daddy.”

clam dip
35. Soul Asylum, Clam Dip & Other Delights

Soul Asylum, one of many fine bands to call Minneapolis home, may have made the jump to the major label stratosphere with 1988’s Hang Time, but that didn’t necessarily mean they were completely done with their independent roots. Their next release was issued by the little Twin Cities company that was their original home. As a bonus, it allowed for some gentle tweaking of the corporate behemoth that swept the hard rocking quartet. The EP Clam Dip & Other Delights directly spoofs one of the earliest releases on the A&M label, the kitschy classic from label co-founder Herb Albert entitled Whipped Cream & Other Delights. This time, in place of model Dolores Erickson posing provocatively in a small mountain of luscious dairy goodness, the cover features Soul Asylum’s bassist Karl Mueller in a far less appealing cream-colored brick of goo, complete with protruding fish heads. By all accounts, posing was not a pleasant experience and may have necessitated ample helpings of alcohol. It wasn’t just the label that indicated a hometown dedication on this release. The band also covered the song “Chains” by local band The Wads, and wrote the song “P-9” about the Hormel strike in nearby Austin, Minnesota.

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