Top Ten Lists of Eighties Albums
What are your top ten favorite albums from the 80s?
This page currently edited by: stingr22. Past editor: Junior
By: West S
- 10. Under A Blood Red Sky by U2
Because it was the first U2 album I ever heard, it probably changed my life. I haven't listened to it for years - but it had to get a mention !
- 9. Out Of Time by REM
- 8. More Songs About Buildings And Food by Talking Heads
- 7. The Queen Is Dead by Smiths
- 6. Rattle And Hum by U2
When I first bought this, I liked it but thought it was one of their worst. Now, with hindsight, it sounds like their best and freshest.
- 5. Fables Of The Reconstruction by REM
When REM were exciting, they made this pastoral collection of fabulousness.
- 4. Doolittle by Pixies
How amazing is this album? I remember being in school and playing this loudly in break times.
- 3. Strangeways Here We Come by The Smiths
End of an era.
- 2. Stone Roses by Stone Roses
After The Smiths, a wonderful revelation. I never forget the first time I heard this one and just flipped.
- 1. Time by E.L.O.
Just the best record they ever made. "Remember the good old 1980s..when things were so uncomplicated..I wish I could go back there again". Quite, Mr. Lynne! It really is like an audio-time machine.
- 10. Tattoo You by The Stones
The Stones great comeback album. A must have for any Stones fan like myself.
- 9. 4 by Foreigner
Another album without a bad track. Put it in today and you will find yourself singing along.
- 8. Synchronicity by The Police
This album still sounds fresh today.
- 7. Straight To Goodbye by Pale Divine
If you never heard of this group go out and find this must have album. An absolute classic without a bad song on the CD. Mr. Michael, The Fog and the title cut are great 80's songs.
- 6. Appetite For Destruction by Guns N Roses
This album put an end to the Glam Rock wanna be bands with this Hard Rockin Debut.
- 5. New Jersey/Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi
It's too bad this group was overshadowed by their good looks because they are great musicians. Who didn't get lucky once or twice to Bon Jovi?
- 4. Born In The USA by The Boss
The Boss put some testosterone back in 80's music with this hit packed album.
- 3. 1984/Diver Down by Van Halen
You listen to these albums and wonder why the hell David left the band. What is wrong with that man?
- 2. Hysteria/Pyromania by Def Leppard
Def Leppard brought a smooth sound to metal that still hasn't been touched.
- 1. Joshua Tree/Rattle & Hum by U2
The best albums from the band of the 80's. If you find a bad song on these albums let me know.
By: Cesar CG
Brothers in arms(Dire Straits), True Blue(Madonna),Soundtrack(Top Gun)
By: Gabe Ferguson
- 10. Green (1988) by R.E.M.
R.E.M.'s most successful '80's album thrust them into superstardom in the '90's.
- 9. Heaven on Earth (1987) by Belinda Carlisle
Carlisle's brief success hinged on this album, which produced three of the most memorable tracks of the decade.
- 8. 1984 (1984) by Van Halen
Van Halen's last album with David Lee Roth was their best -- the others don't even come close.
- 7. Pump/ Permanent Vacation (87/89) by Aerosmith
These two late '80's albums brought Aerosmith out of obscurity and back into the spotlight.
- 6. Ride the Lightning (1984) by Metallica
Metallica changed the face of heavy metal music, and "Ride the Lightning" showcased the new metal sound like no other album had.
- 5. Greatest Hits (1989) by Billy Ocean
You need the greatest hits album to truly appreciate this underrated '80's artist.
- 4. True Blue (1986) by Madonna
5 bonafide hits are on this album, Madonna's best and most underrated.
- 3. No Jacket Required/ But Seriously... (85/89) by Phil Collins
Both of these albums are loaded with hits from one of the most successful solo artists of the decade.
- 2. Thriller (1982) by Micheal Jackson
A classic. Hard to deny it #1.
- 1. Invisible Touch (1986) by Genesis
The best album from the best group of the 1980's.
By: john hilbun
- 10. cop (1983) by swans
definitely the darkest, most tortured album ever made. lacking the sense of irony of goth, it treads a painful path all its own.
- 9. generic (1980) by flipper
the direct polar opposite of the dead kennedys. slow, dumb, inept, and perfect.
- 8. loveless (1990) by my bloody valentine
noisy, ethereal, dreamy, and highly praised. but it's so easy to lose yourself in this album, riding the wash of noise right back to the womb.
- 7. m.x.b.x: 10000 miles at light velocity (1998) by melt banana
Recorded live in studio, this shows melt banana at their frantic, spastic, naked best! So visceral! So precise!
- 6. reign in blood (1986) by slayer
only 29 minutes long, this album was made in 1986 and still doesn't sound dated, and never gets boring or masturbatory. THE metal album.
- 5. hole (1985) by scraping foetus off the wheel
this album is basically you inside jim thirlwell's twisted mind. sample-crazy, schizophrenic, brooding, exciting, breakthrough stuff. It's hard to believe it was recorded in 1984.
- 4. walk among us (1981) by misfits
beautiful, raw, compelling, fun, only 30 minutes long with glenn danzig. need i say more?
- 3. disco volante (1996) by mr. bungle
the most unusual and consistently interesting album ever released by a major label.
- 2. bullhead (1992) by melvins
recorded in just a few takes, this is very heavy, intelligent music that trancends the dumb metal genre.
- 1. psychocandy (1984) by jesus and mary chain
sounds like the beach boys playing basement tapes beatles in hell. the perfect combination of pop and noise. still shocking to this very day!
these albums are in no particular order. Boing!
By: Antoine Tremblay
- 10. True Colors by Cyndi Lauper
I have been a Cyndi Lauper fan for 15 years, so I certainly do not consider myself a novice when it comes to her music. She's a fabulous, generally underrated singer who's range is both magnificent and mesmerizing. "She's So Unusual" (1983) is a masterpiece of music, so therefore any next effort (and many artists face this) is greatly criticized and compared to the freshman effort. "True Colors" (1986) eliminates any ideas that Ms. Lauper was a flash-in-the-pan, one-hit-wonder. From the opening track, the exhilerating "Change of Heart," to the last, the synthesized-garnished, all-out-'80s gem "One Track Mind," Cyndi fills our ears with dulcet melodies, and euphonious harmonies. This is truly a depreciated magnum opus.
- 9. Seven Year Itch: 1982-1989 by Platinum Blonde
Seven Year Itch compiles 16 of the best tracks from Platinum Blonde's three Epic albums and contains all of the band's chart hits, in addition to key album tracks and personal selections by band members and fans. All songs have been remastered, and the set contains a detailed booklet that contains photos and in-depth information on each song, along with the story of the rise and fall of Platinum Blonde by noted writer Ralph Alfonso.
- 8. Rio by Duran Duran
From its Nagel cover to the haircuts and overall design - and first and foremost the music - Rio is as representative of the eighties as it gets, at its best. The original Duran Duran's high point, and just as likely the band's as a whole, its fusion of style and substance - the latter something far too many critics assumed wasn't present - ensures that even two decades after its release it remains as listenable and danceable as ever. Whether the fivesome intended it as such, Rio is a landmark of rock and roll instrumentation crossed with electronics and post-disco beat, bright in tone, excellently arranged and sharply performed. The quintet integrates its sound near-perfectly throughout, the John and Roger Taylor rhythm section providing both driving propulsion and subtle pacing. For the latter, consider the lush semi-tropical sway of "Save a Prayer" or the closing paranoid creep of "The Chauffeur," a descendant of Roxy Music's equally affecting dark groover "The Bogus Man." Andy Taylor's muscular riffs provide fine rock crunch throughout, Rhodes' synth wash adds perfect sheen, and Le Bon tops it off with sometimes overly cryptic lyrics that still always sound just fine in context courtesy of his strong delivery. Rio's two biggest smashes burst open the door in America for the New Romantic/synth rock crossover. "Hungry Like the Wolf" blended a tight, guitar-heavy groove with electronic production and a series of instant hooks, while the title track was even more anthemic, with a great sax break from guest Andy Hamilton adding to the soaring atmosphere. Lesser known cuts like "Lonely In Your Nightmare" and "Last Chance on the Stairway" still have pop thrills a-plenty, while "Hold Back the Rain" is the sleeper hit on Rio, an invigorating blast of feedback, keyboards and beat that doesn't let up. From start to finish, a great album that has outlasted its era.
- 7. A Private Heaven by Sheena Easton
Taking on a notably sexier stance and wetting her feet in slightly funkier repertoire, A Private Heaven expands a good deal on Easton's trademark light pop. The lively "Strut" and the provocative, Prince-penned "Sugar Walls" both made the Top Ten on the pop charts (the latter also made the R&B Top Ten) and serve as two of the set's strongest offerings. The snappy, jazzy "Back in the City" and memorable ballad "Hard to Say It's Over" are not instantly as catchy, but ultimately just as strong. Filler syndrome is not escaped entirely, but isn't in excess, making this a desirable addition to Easton collections.
- 6. Sports by Huey Lewis & The News
Picture This found Huey Lewis & the News developing a signature sound, but they truly came into their own on their third album, Sports. It's true that the record holds together better than its predecessors because it has a clear, professional production, but the real key is the songs. Where their previous albums were cluttered with generic filler, nearly every song on Sports has a huge hook. And even if the News aren't bothered by breaking new ground, there's no denying that the craftmanship on Sports is pretty infectious. There's a reason why well over half of the album ("Heart of Rock & Roll," "Heart and Soul," "I Want a New Drug," "Walking on a Thin Line," "If This Is It") were huge American hit singles — they have instantly memorable hooks, driven home with economical precision by a tight bar band, who are given just enough polish to make them sound like superstars. And that's just what Sports made them.
- 5. Thriller by Michael Jackson
What impresses after a decade is Jackson's range of musical expression, one that touches the schmaltzy pop of Paul McCartney (his duet partner on "The Girl Is Mine") on one side and the hard rock of Van Halen (whose guitarist, Eddie Van Halen, is heard on "Beat It") on the other, with plenty of mainstream rock/pop and dance music in between. It's no accident that the record found a home in so many record collections — there's good music here for everyone. And of course, by summing up the state of pop music, Jackson also redefined it — this was a high-water mark for pop music never equaled since, even in his subsequent music.
- 4. Like A Virgin by Madonna
Armed with the talents of producer Nile Rodgers, Madonna surpassed the excellence of her self-titled debut album with its superb, hit-laden follow-up Like a Virgin — arguably, the album that really made Miss Ciccone a superstar. While Rodgers' early projects outside of Chic (including Sister Sledge and Diana Ross) sounded very much like that seminal disco group, that was no longer the case in the mid-'80s (when he was working with everyone from David Bowie to Duran Duran). Virgin never sounds like anything but a Madonna album, although Rodgers' gift for sleek, seductive dance music (Chic's specialty) is evident on such gems as "Dress You Up," "Angel" and the Motownish title song. Though R&B and dance music are dominant, Madonna obviously wasn't content to focus on the urban-contemporary market exclusively, and she embraces quirky, new wave-ish pop with likeable results on "Over and Over" and the infectious "Material Girl." Everything on Virgin is well worth hearing, including non-hits like Madonna's pleasant ballad "Shoo Be Doo" and her remake of Rose Royce's "Love Don't Live Here Anymore." All too many dance-floor divas are never heard outside the clubs — a fate that Madonna, like Donna Summer before her, guarded against. With Virgin, Madonna became one of the 1980s' best-selling pop icons without losing her sizeable club following.
- 3. Beauty and the Beat by The Go-Go's
Although the relatively polished production belies the Go-Go's' punk roots, Beauty & the Beat remains one of the cornerstone albums of new wave, bristling with energy, revamped surf-rock and girl-group hooks, and an intoxicating sense of fun. The infectious, bouncy "We Got the Beat" and the pulsating "Our Lips Are Sealed," which Jane Wiedlin co-wrote with Terry Hall, sent Beauty & the Beat to unexepected hit status, but they only scratch the surface of the wonderful pop songs that comprise the record. Nearly every song on the record is a delight, propelled by big, catchy hooks and an exuberant sense of fun. "Lust to Love," "Skidmarks on My Heart," "Tonite" and "Fading Fast" could have been hits in their own right, but as it stands, they help make Beauty & the Beat into a terrifically exciting pop album.
- 2. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode
Whether the band felt it was simply the time to move on from its most explicit industrial pop fusion days, or whether increased success and concurrently larger venues pushed the music into different avenues, Depeche Mode's fifth studio album saw the group embarked on a path that in many ways defined their sound to the present: emotionally extreme lyrics matched with amped-up tunes, as much anthemic rock as they are compelling dance, along with stark, low-key ballads. The slow, sneaky build of the opening title track, with a strange distorted vocal sample providing a curious opening hook, sets the tone as Gahan sings of making it through "another black day" while powerful drums and echoing metallic pings carry the song. Black Celebration is actually heavier on the ballads throughout, many sung by Gore — the most per album he has yet taken lead on — with notable dramatic beauties including "Sometimes," with its surprise gospel choir start and rough piano sonics, and the hyper-nihilistic "World Full of Nothing." The various singles from the album remain definite highlights, such as "A Question of Time," a brawling, aggressive number with a solid Gahan vocal, and the romantic/physical politics of "Stripped," featuring particularly sharp arrangements from Alan Wilder. However, with such comparatively lesser-known but equally impressive numbers as the quietly intense romance of "Here Is the House" to boast, Black Celebration is solid through and through.
- 1. She's So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper
Her best effort, this includes the excellent ballad "Time After Time" and the nutty dance cut "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." Also featured are cool remakes of "Money Changes Everything" and Prince's "When You Were Mine."
We are the 80s generation, the 80s childs! Don't ever forget that! The 80s lives on! FOREVER!
By: Michelle Downes
- 10. Rio by Duran Duran
I was brainwashed by my sister onto this one: it's sleek, sexy and just a bit racy. Can you help but sing along?
- 9. The Lexicon of love by ABC
This really is worth a second listen, if only to see the songs that weren't singles: "4 Ever 2 Gether" and "Date Stamp" are two of my favourites, as well as the ubiquitous "The Look Of Love".
- 8. Actually by Pet Shop Boys
Behind the pop, there's a comment on Thatcherite Britain, you know...well, nearly.
- 7. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode
This is one of those albums that scares you the first time you hear it. Not for the faint-hearted...
- 6. The Hurting by Tears for Fears
Classy, gorgeous guitar rhythms, pained lyrics, no jollity whatsoever. There's nothing wrong with that...
- 5. The Final by Wham
Stadium sing-alongs, beautiful ballads. Odd facial hair. Oh well, can't have it all...
- 4. Music For The Masses by Depeche Mode
Damn, I was born ten years too late for this one.
- 3. The Head on the Door by The Cure
This is full of tunes that have you thinking about them in your sleep, "Close to Me" especially; while maintaining the right amount of schmaltz to make them credibly miserable.
- 2. The Innocents by Erasure
Damn my sister for liking this perfect and catchy electronic collection as well as getting me into Duran Duran!!!! Melancholy, dancey and ethereal.
- 1. Songs From The Big Chair by Tears For Fears
Eight songs that are as perfectly beautiful as they are emotive, "Head Over Heels" being the absolute best song ever written.
Feel free to comment on the Eighties: I'm getting into it more now than I ever did then!
- 10. Cure by Boys Don't Cry
- 9. Peter Gabriel by So
- 8. Cars by Heartbeat City
- 7. Wham! by Fantastic
- 6. Depeche Mode by Some Great Reward
- 5. Arcadia by Arcadia
- 4. Format Project by All That & a Bag of Marshmallows
- 3. Culture Club by Colour by Numbers
- 2. New Order by Substance
- 1. Rio by Duran Duran
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