1. Elvis Costello, Trust — A confident show of force from Mr. Reliable before plunging into Nashville terra incognita.
2. U2, Boy — Raw, quivering messages from the heart. Defiant expressionism at a time we could use it.
3. The Clash, Sandinista! — Overblown, overambitious and only this bunch could pull it off. Still the only band that matters?
Go-Go's, Beauty and the Beat — Refreshing dose of pop insouciance. Also the new wave chart invaders of the year.
5. Squeeze, East Side Story — Craftsmanship needn't be dull. Someday their songs will get the recognition they deserve; don't wait.
6. Holly And The Italians, The Right to Be Italian —
More polished than the Go-Go's, but just as breezy and tuneful. (Subscribers: Play flexi-disc for details.)
7. The Pretenders, II — Derivative? Sure! But Chrissie Hynde can still charm your pants off (sic) when she wants.
8. The dB's, Stands for DeciBels — Thanks to an amazing time-warp, this band is with us right now—and almost singlehandedly saving power pop's reputation.
The Undertones, Positive Touch — Derry's finest grow up without growing Old. Refined yet rocking, and true to its title.
10. Dictators, Fuck 'Em if They Can't Take a Joke — Our first cassette-only selection. Rock will never die as long as bands like this are around to give it a swift kick in the pants.