January 1988 - George Harrison has his third (and last) #1 US single "Got My Mind Set On You" (#2 UK) with a cover of James Ray's 1962 song written by Rudy Clark. January 1988 - Another band from L.A.'s Sunset Strip glam metal scene, LA Guns, release their debut album which peaks at #50 US.February 1988  Former Led Zeppelin singer, Robert Plant, releases his fourth solo album, Now and Zen. The album includes two tracks with guitar from Jimmy Page. February 1988 - Coventry, UK band The Primitives score a top five UK single with "Crash" off their debut album. February 1988 - Australian band The Church release their fifth album, Starfish, and score a US Top 40 hit with "Under The Milky Way". March 1988 - Michael Jackson goes to #1 US again (#21 UK) with the single "Man In The Mirror" from the album Bad - #1 US & UK.March 1988 - Just six months after the breakup of The Smiths, Morrissey releases his solo debut, Viva Hate, which goes to #1 UK, #48 US. March 1988 - Boston, MA band The Pixies sign with UK label 4AD and release their influential debut album Surfer Rosa produced by Steve Albini.March 1988 - Progressive metal band King's X from Springfield, MO release their debut album on Megaforce Records.April 1988 - Public Enemy goes to #8 UK, 42 US with their second album, It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.April 1988 - Minneapolis, MN band Soul Asylum leave local indie label TwinTone and release their major label debut album Hang Time on A&M.April 1988 - The Sugarcubes, an alternative rock band from Iceland, release their debut album and go top twenty in the UK. Lead singer Bjork would go on to a successful solo career.May 1988 - American rock band Van Halen release their eighth album, OU812 which goes to #1 US, #16 UK led by US #5 single "When It's Love".May 1988 - Redlands, CA alternative band Camper Van Beethoven release their debut album, Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart.May 1988 - Vivid is the debut album from New York City funk, metal band Living Colour. The album reaches #6 US and lead single "Cult of Personaltiy" goes to #13 US. May 1988 - Leavenworth, KS native Melissa Etheridge releases her debut album on Island Records  and peaks at #22 US.May 1988 - Prince releases his tenth album Lovesexy, which despite the questionable cover of Prince posing nude, goes to #1 UK, #11 US led by the Top Ten single "Alphabet St."June 1988 - UK artist Steve Winwood rolls out another #1 US, #4 UK album along with the #1 US single "Roll With It".June 1988 - Bobby Brown's new jack swing style brings him four US Top Ten hits including #1 US, #6 UK single "My Perogative" and a #1 US, #3 UK album on his second solo effort after leaving New Edition.July 1988 - Beat Dis is UK based DJ/Producer Tim Simenon, who uses samples to mix a big time hit single with "Bomb The Bass" which goes to #2 UK and tops the US dance charts.July 1988 - Australian child actress, Kylie Minogue switches to pop music and scores a #2 UK, #3 US hit with her cover of  Little Eva's 1962 hit "The Loco-motion".July 1988 - Rockford, IL band Cheap Trick reverse their declining fortunes with the ballad "The Flame" which becomes their first #1 single in the US.August 1988 - Combining celtic folk with rock, Dublin, Ireland band Hothouse Flowers release their debut album, People, which goes to #2 UK.August 1988 - NWA (Niggaz Wit Attitude) popularize gangsta rap with their second album, Straight Outta Compton, which goes to #37 US, #35 UK.August 1988 - Glenn Danzig, founder of the Misfits, releases the debut album of his new band Danzig.August 1988 - New York City band Winger release their debut album which peaks at #21 in the US.August 1988 - Los Angeles band Jane's Addiction sign with Warner Bros. and release their major label debut "Nothing's Shocking" #103 US. August 1988 - Two fans are trampled to death at the Castle Donnington, UK festival Monsters of Rock during Guns 'n Roses set.August 1988 - Clevland, OH native Tracy Chapman is discovered street performing in Boston and signed to Elektra Records. Her debut album goes to #1 US and UK driven by the top ten single "Fast Car" #4 UK, #6 US.August 1988 - Metallica release their fourth album, And Justice For All, which goes to #4 UK, #6 US establishing the band as a major arena act.September 1988 - Harlem, NY hip hop duo Rob Base & DJ E-Z score a US Top 40 hit with the single "It Takes Two".September 1988 - So.Cal. punk rockers Bad Religion release their third album, Suffer, which becomes the best selling album for their label Epitaph Records.September 1988 - Ice-T's second album, Power, gets major MTV exposure  with the single "I'm Your Pusher". The album peaks at #36 US.September 1988 - Breaking into the US Top Ten with his sixth album, Any Love, Bronx, NY native Luther Vandross also scores his fourth R&B #1 single with the title track.September 1988 - Irish singer Enya has an international hit with her second album Watermark. The single "Orinoco Flow" goes to #1 UK, #25 US.September 1988 - Detroit, MI duo Was (Not Was) break into the Top Ten in both the US and UK with the single "Walk The Dinosaur" from their third album.September 1988 - NYC vocalist, Bobby McFerrin, has the first ever a cappella #1 US hit with "Don't  Worry, Be Happy" based on the expression from Indian sage Meher Baba.October 1988 - UK metal veteran Ozzy Osbourne releases his fifth solo album, No Rest For The Wicked, which peaks at #13 US, #26 UK.October 1988 - American rock band Bon Jovi Top the US and UK album charts with their fourth album New Jersey, featuring the #1 US, #17 UK single "Bad Medicine".October 1988 - New York City alternative band Sonic Youth release the double album Daydream Nation, which cracks the UK Top 100 at #99. Sales are tepid, but the critics love it.October 1988 - Irish rock band U2 release the album and video Rattle and Hum which tops the US and UK charts. Parts of the album are recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis, TN.October 1988 - The Traveling Wilbury's, a supergroup including Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, George Harrison and Jeff Lynne, release their debut album which goes to #3 US, #16 UK.October 1988 - Seattle, WA hard rock band Soundgarden release their debut album, Ultramega OK on SST Records. Their sound would later be called "grunge".October 1988 - Paul McCartney goes back to his roots with an album of fifties covers initially released exclusively in the Soviet Union.November 1988 - American rock band Guns 'n Roses release their second album, Lies, which climbs to #2 US, #22 UK.November 1988 - London, UK band The Escape Club go to #1 US with their single "Wild, Wild West" from their second album. The song doesn't chart in the UK.November 1988 - The Beach Boys top the US charts (#25 UK) for the first time since 1966 with the single "Kokomo" from the Cocktail movie soundtrack.December 1988 - American band Chicago go to #1 US with the single "Look Away" from their 19th album.December 1988 - Toronto's Cowboy Junkies perfect their alt-country sound on their second album, The Trinity Sessions.December 1988 - Rock and roll pioneer Roy Orbison (above left with Bruce Springsteen) in the midst of a career comeback, dies of a heart attack at his home in Tennessee. December 1988 - Toledo, OH native Anita Baker has a #1 US, #9 UK album with her third release - Giving You The Best That I Got.December 1988 - Acid House music, which began in Chicago, moves from clubs onto the UK singles chart with the song "Stakker Humanoid" by Humanoid reaching #17 UK.1988 is the first year where CD's out-sell vinyl albums, although the cassette tape remains as the largest selling medium.December 1988 - American glam-metal band Poison finish the year with a #1 US, #13 UK single with their ballad "Every Rose Has It's Thorn".
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