The dB's: Stands For Decibels (1981)
I tend to view this album and its 1982 follow-up, Repercussion, as a combined work (I had a cd which paired the two albums); both have some fantastic songs and a few I tend to skip over, making it easy to cull them down into a single (and much better) record. Still, the debut is plenty great on its own merits.
As noted, I'm a sucker for Holsapper's poppier tracks. "Black And White" is near-perfect treble-crazy power pop, jangly guitars and killer hooks, the sort of thing you'd imagine would have torn up the charts in a just universe. Nearly as great are the arch "Bad Reputation" and mid-tempo classic "Big Brown Eyes," the sort of things that just jam themselves into your head with sweet-as-sugar choruses; while the more narrative and herky-jerky "The Fight" is pure fun. The cd adds Holsapple's catchy b-side "Judy," a song inexplicably omitted from the original album.
Not that I mean to slag Stamey's contributions; "Cycles for Second" is a frenzied percussive piece that gives the band's rhythm section of Will Rigby and and Gene Holder a chance to shine. (Stamey left after the second album -- which included his finest pop moment, "Ask For Jill" -- with the trio soldiering on for a few more albums, all of which were solid efforts with a few killer tracks apiece.) He and Holsapple would periodically regroup, both for an album under the duo's names and, in 2012, for a new dB's album.)
Here's an animated take on "Big Brown Eyes" (from filmmaker Emily Hubley, sister of Yo La Tengo drummer Georgia Hubley):