This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

90

808 State

1989

90
Album Summary

90 is the second studio album by British electronic music group 808 State, released on 4 December 1989 as their first album on ZTT Records. The album features the single "Pacific State", which reached number 10 in the UK Singles Chart in November 1989. 90 was released in the United States as Utd. State 90, without "The Fat Shadow (Pointy Head Mix)", but with other bonus tracks. Slant Magazine listed the album at number 54 on its list of the "Best Albums of the 1980s", calling it a "thrilling expansion of the possibilities for acid house and arguably the best LP ever produced in the style". The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Wikipedia

Rating

2.67

Votes

11146

Genres

  • Electronica

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Fri Nov 12 2021
1

This would be perfectly adequate if I were on ecstasy in an abandoned warehouse or condemned townhouse and wanting to dance while some dude who brought his dog, who is very chill, keeps trying to talk to me about like, deep stuff.

👍
View Author
Tue Aug 10 2021
5

This album has some of the most complex and beautiful drum programming you are likely to ever hear. Makes you wonder what happened to not just these guys but to the scene as a whole. After a masterpiece like this which is truly blueprint for that big sound that everybody attempted to immitate. Check out 'Cobra Bora'. Just when you think it has done it's thing, it takes off to another level. Pure techno jazz of the very highest order. An absolute masterpiece from start to finish. This is more apparent now than ever before and although to the untrained ear (or novice) this may sound dated, its only because of those big stadium sounds (as used on ie. Cubik) that will make people think this. Unaware to them, It was these guys and more to the point, this LP that came above all, first in line with that sound. Think again. This is a classic of monumental proportion and defines that year not just by title alone but to hear it, is to go back to the finest techno music of that that year, 90

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 17 2021
4

very weird it is actually pretty entertaining

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 28 2021
1

I listened to this album for 39 minutes and now I'm clinically insane. I worry for the people who seek this out voluntarily. Best track: Magical Dream

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 24 2023
2

The thing about, Revolver (for example) is it doesn’t matter what year it is or what drugs you’re on, there’s just good music on there. Yeah, they were on acid, yeah it was ground breaking for the time but I can listen to it today and simply enjoy the songs. I feel like without the context of the year and the drugs, 90 by 808 State isn’t very engaging to me.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 24 2021
1

If a crappy C-movie was made music. First one I can't finish.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 02 2022
5

5.0 - When it comes to enjoying electronic dance records, I generally have a spotty history. I'm not sure what constitutes excellence within this genre but for me it has a lot to do with balance between a handful of variables. First is tone: is there a balance between light and dark, heavy and floating elements? Second, is there the right amount of surprise, familiar and unfamiliar? Third involves the beat: how well does it come together? Does the beat sound canned and cheap? Does it sound cool and tasteful? I realize as I'm writing this that there's a certain alchemy to dance music that I can't presently articulate. And I can't pinpoint exactly why this particular album puts me in a joyful trance where other electronic dance albums I've listened to have failed, sometimes miserably (see "Fat of the Land", "You've Come A Long Way Baby", "Darkdancer", "Exit Planet Dust"). But I do know that I'm fully engrossed and my brain is happy.

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 03 2021
3

Pacific 202 and 808080808 are just banging, but the rest just get a head nod here and there. Solid, but nothing outstanding or timeless.

👍
View Author
Mon May 30 2022
3

as far as dated dance music goes this was pretty good

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 22 2021
5

God so much of this is cliche now but they invented it

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 20 2022
4

I generally like this as it stirs up a fair amount nostalgia for this aesthetic. The fact that this came out in 1989 simply blows my mind. I can't think of any electronic music from that year that is as sonically dense as this, balancing samples, synths, and drum sequencers so fluidly. I have newfound respect for their place in the evolution of electronic music. Kinda prefer the Utd. State 90 version that starts off with Pacific 202.

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
4

A seminal album that I haven't listened to until now. Absolutely ahead of its time and has so much soul for a record that is completely electronic.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 06 2021
4

I remember listening to Pacific 202 and Cubik in the mix on Dave’s Dance music (CKLN) while we were unpacking & hanging pictures after moving to Toronto in 89. Compared to the so-called techno and acid-house that was all the rage (in the UK anyway) at that time, 808 State was more melodic. More songs verses tracks. The album gets off to a great start, but fades a bit at the end. The song Cubik was included on the North American release of this LP so I'll add 1 point for that banger.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 22 2021
4

Quirky, catchy, and solid beats, especially for the time.

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 12 2021
4

This album is a great lesson on the importance of song selection and sequencing. I was linked to the US version Utd. State 90, which is significantly different than the UK version. The US version is missing one forgettable track (The Fat Shadow) and it includes 5 additional tracks. The UK version starts off with two of the weakest tracks (Magical Dream and Acodia) while the US version opens with one of the strongest (Pacific 202). All 5 additional tracks on the US version (Boneyween, Kinky National, Cübik, Revenge of the Girlie Men, and State to State) elevate this album. I’m rating the US version, which is at least a 1 star boost from the UK version.

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 03 2022
4

Exhaustively polished dance music, especially for a record that came out pre-1990. There are hints of electronic music to come everywhere, and the sound design still blows a lot of modern projects out of the water.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 21 2022
4

Except for the parts that sounded like the alarm on my phone, I very much enjoyed this. Fun dance grooves with tiny melodic surprises.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 14 2024
4

Got aware of Graham Massey and his electronic band 808 State through Björk, since the man co-wrote the music of "Army Of Me" and "The Modern Things" on *Post*. *90* was released six years before that, and listening to it, it's not hard to understand how groundbreaking this record was for the whole acid-house genre. Lush textures and adventurous forays abound, and 808 State rarely dig the same groove twice. Which, in this particular genre based on *repetition* is rather commendable. So just like what LFO (another act harbouring a Björk collaborator) did to darker, more minimalistic strands of "house music" when they released their debut *Frequencies*, Graham Massey and co. accomplished something extremely valuable in the field of electronic music. They made it sound vital AND digestible in an album format at the same time. And that's quite a feat when you're playinng those styles. The highlights on 808 State's subsequent albums (*ex:el*, *Gorgeous* and the criminally underrated *Don Solaris*) are even *more* impressive, by the way. Unfortunately, the tracklisting on those later records is also admittedly bumpy--always with a few outlier cuts that are far from matching said highlights. In comparison, *90* is a much more cohesive and *tight* listen. Each track perfectly flows into the next, even if *all of them* explore very different moods--you're never quite sure of what you can expect, and yet the left turns still make a lot of sense. So yeah, why shouldn't we select this one? I still think that compared to *90*, the first half of *Don Solaris* is near-perfect, though. Give it a listen if you're interested in electronic music in the broadest sense of the term. For that last LP 808 State released during the nineties (not counting B-Sides and remixes compilations), the band went far beyond acid-house--they also successfully tampered with abstract hip-hop, pop-rock, drum'n'bass, big beat, steel drums and steel guitar samples, among many other things. The second half of that 1996 album loses the stellar momentum built up in the first, hence why you can't call this other LP *cohesive*. Yet the sounds on it aged a little better than the ones on *90*, I think. *90* still had one foot in the eighties, you see (it's sort of implied in the title, right?--this record references the decade to come, yet it was still released in *1989*, mind you). It's nice that 808 State pointed the way forward, yet they couldn't *fully* get rid of a few "clichés" here and there. At least, the album sounds less "dated" than New Order's *Technique* or Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner's *Electronic* project. When referencing that particular British "genre" (and the years said genre thrived), anthology lists always quote those two albums. *90* is rarely quoted, though, and honestly, it is clearly a notch above both of those records. Which is why I'm glad Björk made me know this album and the band that released it. You can always count on her and her insatiable quench for interesting collaborators to discover other great artists. 3.5/5 for the purposes of this list of essential album, rounded up to 4. Which translates to a 8.5/10 grade for more general purposes (5 + 3.5). Number of albums left to review: 287 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 315 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 175 (including this one) Albums from the list I won't include in mine (many other records are more important to me): 231

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 27 2023
3

Overall I really like it. There are some groovy beats and the drum machine work is exceptional. I’ll say that the music gets a bit ambitious and not all of the concepts land. As a whole this is very genre defining for the time and holds up today as a period piece of electronic house/trance.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 19 2024
3

I’ve been thinking about why the 90’s electronic records on this list don’t really resonate with me. It’s not because I think the music is bad or uninteresting, necessarily. It’s because most of them have not been very dynamic. I get it, it’s dance music designed for a night of dancing and drugs and fun. No problem with that. It’s that there’s no real ebb and flow in the songs. They kind of start, keep the same tempo, the different parts of the instrumentation always repeat at the same volume and are played at the same velocity. It feels mechanical, but not a good way. I don’t know… This ended up being a lot of words just for me to say, “this album is alright.”

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 23 2023
2

Nr. 45/1001 Magical Dream 3/5 Ancodia 2/5 Cobra Bora 2/5 Pacific 202 3/5 Donkey Doctor 2/5 808080808 2/5 Sunrise 2/5 The Fat Shadow NR Average: 2,29 Not my Kind of music

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 02 2024
2

I have a soft spot for a lot of these sounds. People like Aphex Twin would take this and iterate on it. So I see this album as important, but not necessary amazing. Probably very cool if you were into this when it came out tho

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 19 2021
5

2/18 Can't wait till I get a car. Standout Tracks: Cobra Obra, Pacific 202, Donkey Doctor, 808080808

👍
View Author
Wed May 19 2021
5

Never heard of this group or album before and really loved it.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 21 2021
5

Not as good as Underworld but not far off. Early 90's Manchester Techno? Yes please

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 29 2022
5

Takes me back to listening to the House music radio station with Hans on GTA san andreas

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 14 2022
5

This album is basically the musical equivalent of the frutiger aero aesthetic. It feels way ahead of its time. If someone told me this came out in 2004, I would not have been surprised. An album wayyyy ahead of its time with some profound influence on techno, edm, and even hip hop. On top of everything, the music in Neon White completely copies everything good from this album. Best Songs: Magical Dream, Cobra Bora, Pacific 202, 808080808 Worst Songs: Donkey Doctor

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 04 2022
5

I just always thought of 808 State as the Pacific 202 band, and little more. But this is a great album, and Pacific 202 actually proves to be one of the weaker tracks.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 08 2023
5

Now THIS I can really jam to. 808080808 goes hard af, "Sunrise" is pure bliss, and "Cobra Bora" sounds like a 90's Sonic stage. That's good stuff right there.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 30 2023
5

Awesome, the influence on a lot of electronic albums in the 90s is obvious.

👍
View Author
Tue May 23 2023
5

This era of electronic music is still refreshing in 2023. In fact, it's amazing what 808 State could do with much less technology. This album is a classic of the state of the art in 1990.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 26 2023
5

Really great and clearly very influential

👍
View Author
Tue Oct 24 2023
5

Right up my street - excellent album

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 13 2023
5

Instant tech house banger 5/5

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 20 2023
5

Oh snap haven’t heard this in ages. Had a cd single off this one. I am transported back in time from the first few beats. Wow this is a trip. It’s still so good. It’s the Hacienda, the Limelight. It’s old Broadway, the subway, the street hustle, the art, the rent parties. It’s the world before the internet. Before electronic and club music went mainstream. I can smell the steam from the smoke machine on the dance floor at the Palladium. When the rest of the world was listening to New Kids on the Block, this was happening in the club. It’s still so good.

👍
View Author
Wed Dec 27 2023
5

You threw enough British electronic albums at me, I was bound to like one of them eventually.

👍
View Author
Tue Feb 06 2024
5

Almost worth it for Pacific 202 on its own, but there are other great tracks here. I like.

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 26 2024
5

I absolutely love this album. It's a nostalgic trip back to a time when electronic music was truly unique, with each artist having their own distinctive sound. Unlike today's EDM scene where many tracks sound alike, the artists of this era, including 808 State, maximized the potential of their equipment, often limited by what they could afford. This album showcases the creativity and ingenuity of that time. While I understand why some may give these old-school electronic albums low ratings, to truly appreciate them, you had to have been part of that era and understand the cultural context of the time, as well as what was happening in the music scene.

👍
View Author
Mon May 20 2024
5

9/10 - Absolute banger of an album. I enjoyed almost every song on this. This is exactly the pre-edm electronic music that I love. Every song had something new and it changed as the songs went on which was so cool. I loved the way that the songs evolved. Overall a great album that I will listen to more.

👍
View Author
Fri May 24 2024
5

This was sick. Easy listening during the work day. Would prob put it at 4.5 but fuck it I'm going 5!

👍
View Author
Thu May 20 2021
4

Classic slice of Mancunian techno.... ticks all the boxes including nostalgia!

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 21 2020
4

it's an above average house album, the sound design is pretty unique, and the drum sound on the first couple of tracks is pretty good. kind of ethereal.

👍
View Author
Fri May 21 2021
4

Funky and cool. Good work music.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 21 2021
4

nice beats. best electric/house one so far. dancey dance :)

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
4

3.8 perhaps good ambient tunes

👍
View Author
Wed May 26 2021
4

Liked every song . Great music and techno beats. Shocked how old it is. Good to workout 🏋️‍♀️ with and have never heard of them before

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 21 2021
4

I like this. Start to end it is good.

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
4

Enjoyed that - ambient music great to work to and recognised a few of the tunes. 3.7 for me

👍
View Author
Mon Jul 19 2021
4

I like the atmospheric, even vaguely jazzy beats , such as Sunrise, mixed with more conventional elaborations of the old funk-soul sound. (7/10) Favourite Songs: Pacific 202

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 28 2021
4

I get around this energy. Pretty wild for pre 90s

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 26 2021
4

It was a very vibey album. I enjoyed it a lot, even if it had no real "substance" other than interesting instruments, sounds, and samples. Every song is something that I would put on in the background, but I wouldn't really actively listen to any, save for me favorite. Favorite track: Pacific 202

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Liked this, great to work to. Would have been fun clubbing in 90s to this

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 10 2021
4

Imagine this was really fun to rave to in the 90s. Would love to get ham and party to this at a festival.

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 18 2021
4

Better than I expected, doesn't fall into the massive hit and filler trap as the whole album is definitely a piece of work as opposed to some mashed up half ideas. I'd almost go as far as to say it's worth a listen even if you took Pacific state off it.

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 27 2021
4

Big beats are the best. I enjoyed this while I cooked pasta e faglioli

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 10 2021
4

-"Ancodia" is pretty catchy with the upbeat backbeat and "L-O-V-E Love" line -Nice driving groove in "Pacific 202" -Lots of good grooves and stuff for an electronic album

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 17 2021
4

Excellent, that's the good stuff.

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 06 2022
4

1989 - Techno, Acid house, Electronica, Synth-pop, New wave, Intelligent dance music

👍
View Author
Mon Mar 07 2022
4

Its 808's best album which means it must be very good.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 27 2022
4

Hated acid house at the time, mainly because all the big kids dressed in weird ghastly coloured shell suits knocking off tabs whilst gurning and dancing crazy style in fields and warehouses. In retrospect, quite an album.

👍
View Author
Thu May 05 2022
4

Whoa this was fun. Do I like house now?

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 03 2022
4

Yes yes yes. So retro future. Remembered some of it from my parents playing it back on the day.

👍
View Author
Mon Jun 20 2022
4

Sometimes this kind of music is good and I like it. Often it is boring and repetitive and not all that enjoyable for home listening. This album is not boring, definitely of its time, but quite delightful start to finish. Favorite: Pacific 202

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 22 2022
4

Je m'attendais à rien mais je suis agréablement surpris Prefs: Ancodia, Cobra Bora, Pacific 202, 808080808 Moins pref: Donkey Doctor

👍
View Author
Thu Jun 23 2022
4

Great but I think americans did it better

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 15 2022
4

La música techno de los 90s seguramente puede encontrar muchas de sus raíces en este disco. La música de los videojuegos seguramente tomó muchos elementos de este género porque a ratos pareciera el soundtrack de algún juego de NES o SNES. Pacific 202, 808080808, y Sunrise lo mejor del disco. 3.5 que voy a subir a 4, porque de lo poco que he escuchado de electrónica, es de lo que más me ha gustado.

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 21 2022
4

Good stuff! Not all was ground breaking but I definitely found a hit

👍
View Author
Thu Jul 28 2022
4

good electronica sound. I liked it. Ahead of its time.

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 12 2022
4

Late 80s electronic album from the UK. Pacific 202 still sounds as great now as it did in the 80s. The other tracks are very good: 8/10 overall

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 16 2022
4

Like the music at the end of an epic boss fight.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 21 2022
4

This was a lot of fun to listen to. Enjoyed hearing shades of The Hustle and Do You Know The Way To San Jose? on Cobra Bora and Sunrise. Was a perfect accompaniment to an afternoon of housework.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 21 2022
4

This was some fine electronic music. It had some good rhythm and some engaging samples. I struggle to appreciate why this album is so important to be on this list. But, I didn't mind listening.

👍
View Author
Fri Oct 21 2022
4

I sometimes get bored with electronic music, but this one was quite enjoyable. I loved that it sampled the Hustle.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 27 2022
4

Really enjoyed this slab of electronica

👍
View Author
Thu Nov 03 2022
4

Stand out tracks - Cobra Bora - Pacific 202 - Donkey doctor

👍
View Author
Fri Nov 11 2022
4

I wish I could go back in time to when dance music sounded like this.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Techno jazz, je pensqis pas ca existait, c’est vraiment pa smauvais .4

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 12 2023
4

Got me feeling like a fruity little dance floor baby first thing in the morning. Loved this ‘bum

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 13 2023
4

This is one my son would be proud of me for listening to. But, he wouldn't realize I went through a Madchester phase a long, long time ago.

👍
View Author
Thu Jan 19 2023
4

Mér finnst þetta æði. Mikil nostalgía, dans og chill. Pacific 202 verður á rípít hjá mér næsta klukkutímann.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 27 2023
4

An acid house release.. elements of it have dated but there are still some bangers in here

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 17 2023
4

groovy danceable stuff. 4 stars.

👍
View Author
Fri May 19 2023
4

Beep boop boots and pants but all and all pretty enjoyable

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 14 2023
4

Lush, perfectly produced acid house as likely to get your brain moving as it is your body.

👍
View Author
Fri Jun 16 2023
4

Who knew 80's synth music could be so vibey?

👍
Load more reviews