“Left of the dial” in 1985

The Replacements coined a musical term that meant a lot: “left of the dial.” It meant that when you were driving in an unfamiliar city and turned on the radio your first step was to turn the dial all the way to the left; if you didn’t find good music before you hit 92 FM, you were shit out of luck. College radio always broadcast on those frequencies–still does–so you’d hope to get a strong enough signal to get music that spoke to you. Because otherwise, my friend, it’s Madonna or REO Speedwagon or Whitney Houston for you. There are a few pop hits in the playlist below, but mostly these are the sounds you’d here on “progressive” college radio back in 1985.


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