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: Matthew Johnston
- 10. Kylie by Kylie Minogue
Just look at the cover.
- 9. Rebel Yell by Billy Idol
This one is just...an 80's staple. - Key tracks - Flesh for Fantasy, Rebel Yell, Eyes Without A Face, The Dead next door.
- 8. Fair Warning by Van Halen
This album just has something about it that I love. Van Halen's debut was of course fanstastic but I think Fair Warning was their first great record in the 80's. There's no party anthems on this record and compared to Van Halen's other records it's very dark. The guitar work is of course, fantastic. It branches out musically more than any of their other records of the 80's. - Key Tracks - Unchained, So This Is Love?, Mean Street, Sinner's Swing!
- 7. Sign 'O' The Times by Prince
The 80's was Prince's decade. His sexually fueled Funk-Rock was just what the music of the decade needed. and with his 1987 record, Sign 'o' the times, He brings it so another level yet again. This is a double album that contains the next evolution of Prince. The record branches out in more directions than Prince has before. It's the first time I recall Prince branching into some social commentary and doing it in a way that is artistic and smart. This record is eclectic and so sprawling that it's mind boggling. It's bleak but it still has several bright moments. A daring and bold album. - Key Tracks - Sign 'O' the Times, Hot Thang, If I Was Your Girlfriend, U Got The Look.
- 6. Master of Puppets by Metallica
Their last great record in my opinion. A masterpiece of metal that is so thick and brooding its scary. Not to slam Metallica, but everything since this is a joke. - Key tracks - Orion, Master of puppets, Battery, The thing that should not be.
- 5. Appetite For Destruction by Guns 'n' Roses
What can I say that has not already been said? GnR was the grittiest and most amazing band to hit the hard-rock scene in the eighties. Their take no prisoners style of rock was just what the rock world needed at the time. great record, every track is a keeper. - Key Tracks - Welcome to the Jungle, Mr. Brownstone, Sweet Child 'o' Mine, Nightrain
- 4. 3 Feet High and Rising by De La Soul
Stands up against any rap record ever produced. The use of samples is seamless, abundant, and revolutionary. This record changed hip-hop and is not widely recognized for it. - Key Tracks - Me, Myself and I, Ghetto Thang, Buddy, Say no go.
- 3. Dirty Mind by Prince
This is where Prince truly came into his own. The subject matter is very taboo. It ranges from incest to oral sex. So sexually driven and raw...yet still easy enough to really get into. It's a very short record but horrifically fantastic. Funky and Brilliant. Dirty...yet impossible to resist. - Key Tracks - Uptown, Dirty Mind, Head, Do it all night.
- 2. Thriller by Michael Jackson
Michael had "it" in the 80's. He was not trying to be political in his music at this point and that's the reason this record succeeds where his others fail. It's pure fun and energy. Dancable Pop with a broad range of sounds. - Key Tracks - P.Y.T., Thriller, Billie Jean, Beat it, Human Nature.
- 1. Purple Rain by Prince and the Revolution
Prince is the greatest performer of the 80's...Maybe of all time. This record is his most solid work and propelled him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The material never gets old. One of the greatest records of all time. A Funk-Rock-Pop masterpiece. - Key Tracks - When Doves Cry, Computer Blue, I Would Die 4 U, Let's Go Crazy.
The Key tracks are just MY favorites from each record. there ya go.
By: William Norling
- 10. Master of Puppets by Metallica
I could write for ever on this one. Title track is my favorite to date. A great sone in "Orion" no lyrics and some mean solos. "Sanitarium" is another instant classic on this album. My underground favorite is "Dissposable Heros" Fast, long, and has a solo that goes for 1 min. and 10 seconds. "Battery" is also a great opening song, and food for thought---canadian band (you should know) Rush helped put the guys songs in order on the album (they helped)
- 9. Back in Black by AC/DC
Is there a more classic rock album. Nobody will ever make a rock album the same. The only equal (rockwise) is Van Halen's debut. Both deserve credit, but Back in Black is just amazing.
- 8. Randy Rhodes Tribute by Ozzy Osbourne
The Prince of Darkness does all his greatest solo hits with his greatest guitar player by his side (live)!!!! Randy is my favorite guitarist and plays at the top of his game in this album. A must have for any rockers with old school tracks with new solos like "Iron Man" "Paranoid" and has a great guitar solo at the end of "Suicide Solution" Buy this album.
- 7. Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani
Amazing album. Joe lays down some firey tracks in Surfing with the Alien and Crush. Anybody that has everybeen interested in playing the guitar, or even likes listening to great music, this is a must buy album. You could pay twice the price for the album and it would be worth it.
- 6. Appetite for Destruction by Guns and Roses
What else can I say? Amazing album and some of the greatest guitar work in late 80's and definetly the best in the 90's. (being that Nirvana killed the guitar solo)
- 5. Thriller by Michael Jackson
Used to own the album. Not my style, but the Eddie Van Halen solo in "Beat It" is classic Eddie. Thriller is also a classic.
- 4. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden
Iron maiden is my second favorite band (to metallica) of all time. The number of the beast has some of their greatest songs, and Dickenson brings something to the band that was missing in the first albums. Amazing album, as all of them are.
- 3. Hysteria by Def Leppard
I know all the words to all the songs. Amazing album. Could be a little too produced at times, but still worth every penny.
- 2. ...and justice for all by Metallica
Not as good as master of pups. but still has "one" on the album. Had the song not gotten so much radio play, it would be the greatest metal song of all time. Other tracks including the title track, and to live is to die are worth buying the album for. The bass on the album is a little to thumpy for me. I always need to turn down the bass when I put the album in, but all in all great album.
- 1. Kill em' All by Metallica
Kirk Hammet has some of his best solo work on their debut album. One of the few revolutionary speed metal albums of all time. Amazing bass player (that is now missed) and James Hets. voice is rough, rugged, and raw. No metallica album would ever be as fast or in your face.
I didn't put Ride the Lightning on here because some of the album is mediocore. Fade to Black and the title track do deserve credit though.
- 10. The Legendary Pink Dots by Island of Jewels
1986. Another old favorite, this time in a sort of industrial meets synthpop meets prog meets 20th century orchestral music vein. Very weird, thoroughly original concept album, with harrowing vocals from lead singer Edward Ka-Spel.
- 9. Kate Bush by The Dreaming
1982. Freaky, theatrical, demented art-rock. Kate Bush can use her voice in more ways than most, and she really throws everything in here. Far and away her best work.
- 8. Stormy Six by Macchina Maccheronica
1980. Extremely dense Italian avant-prog. Some of the most intricate composition in all of rock. Some circus music here, too.
- 7. Thinking Plague by In This Life
1989. An old avant-prog favorite.
- 6. News from Babel by Letters Home
1986. Beautiful, delicate chamber rock from former members of Henry Cow (Lindsay Cooper, Chris Cutler, Dagmar Krause) plus Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt. Hints of klezmer, art song, experimental electronics. Very subtle.
- 5. XTC by The Big Express
1984. Clunky, awkward and brilliantly written. One of XTC's best (though not quite as good as 1979's Drums and Wires).
- 4. Cardiacs by A Little Man and a House & the Whole World Window
1988. British prog-punk, with Gentle Giant counterpoint, Spike Jones wackiness and a circus music vibe. Far better than it has any right to be.
- 3. The Pixies by Surfer Rosa
1988. The classic that accidentally started both indie rock and alternative. Almost every song taken on its own seems badly proportioned or annoying, but together they're somehow fantastic.
- 2. Kukl by Holidays in Europe
1986. Björk's early post-punk band's second album. Dissonant, sample-heavy, very complex and better than anything she's done since.
- 1. Only a Lad by Oingo Boingo
1981. Debut of Danny Elfman's spiky, hyperactive New Wave band. Shocklingy catchy tunes, perverse and vitriolic lyrics, theatrical and versatile vocals with plenty of falsetto. Completely amazing. I listened to it three or four times the day I got it.
Yeah, I've already done this twice, but I felt like doing it again in tribute to my discovery of OINGO BOINGO. Also, this time I'm limiting myself to one album per band.
By: Victor P.B.
- 10. Frontiers by Journey
1983 Best Song: Faithfully
- 9. Heaven On Earth by Belinda Carlisle
1988 Best Song: Heaven Is A Place On Earth
- 8. Substance by New Order
1987 Best Song: True Faith
- 7. Escape by Journey
1981 Best Song: Open Arms
- 6. Danger Danger by Danger Danger
1989 Best Song: Don't Walk Away
- 5. Live In The City of Light by Simple Minds
1987 Best Song: Big Sleep
- 4. No Protection by Starship
1987 Best Song: Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
- 3. The Seeds of Love by Tears For Fears
1989 Best Song: Famous Last Words
- 2. Great Southern Land by Icehouse
1989 Best Song: No Promises
- 1. Raised on Radio by Journey
1986 Best Song: Suzanne
Big Country, excellent songs spread across mediocre albums.
By: Biff Taubin
- 10. Introducing the Hardline by Terence Trent D'arby
One great voice, one great album, never to be heard from again.
- 9. Raising Hell by Run DMC
This album was the Hip Hop equivallent of the Beatles Sargeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It's the dividing line between what came before it and what came after it.
- 8. She's so Unusual by Cyndi Lauper
She was the Christina Aguilera to Madonna's Britney musically and asthetically. (She Bop, Girl's Just wanna have fun, Time after time and the awesome remake of Prince's when you were mine.
- 7. Madonna by Madonna
All of Madonna's best pop is right here...Borderline, Burnin Up, Lucky Star, Holiday. You better ask somebody!!!
- 6. Candy Girl by New Edition
This album gave us the formula by which all boy bands would follow while borrowing from the original boy band of brothers...the Jackson 5
- 5. Sign o' the times by Prince
Too good to be classified as just an 80's album
- 4. Purple Rain by Prince
The master of all he surveyed...this put folks on their a**.
- 3. Pyromania by Def Leppard
The most well crafted pop metal album ever, heavier that Bon Jovi yet not too pretty to hate
- 2. Rio by Duran Duran
This album and group typified the boy band and second British invasion of the 80s.
- 1. Thriller by Michael Jackson
For all the right reasons and all the wrong reasons this is the quitessential 80s album
All of prince's 80's catalog, U2 Joshua Tree, Kissing to be Clever Culture Club, Debarge, Van Halen 1984, John Lennon Double Fantasy
- 10. Rolling Stones by Tattoo You
My favorite of the Stones. Also reminds me of cruising when I was 16.
- 9. J Geils Band by Freeze Frame
Reminds me of being 16 and cruising. We were the first at school to like them.
- 8. Prince by Purple Rain
Wow! Reminds me of cruising summer 1984. One of our favorites for cruising.
- 7. Def Leppard by Hysteria
Great great album! Saw them in concert during this album & they are just as great in concert!
- 6. Survivor by Vital Signs
- 5. Bruce Springsteen by The River
Another album my husband turned me on to. I never like Bruce Springsteen before this album. Great album! My favorite of Bruce.
- 4. The Kinks by Give The People What They Want
My husband turned me on to this album when we met & it is great! I never liked the Kinks before this album. It is kind of weird & quirky.
- 3. Bryan Adams by Cuts Like A Knife
Makes me think of my senior year in high school. This may have been his first. I know it was the first one that produced hits & I loved it. Still do.
- 2. Duran Duran by Rio
First album to put Duran Duran on the map. Feel good album.
- 1. Pyromania by Def Leppard
The first album that put Def Leppard on the map! Has a lot of great songs. I love the whole album.
These are in no particular order. These are my personal favorite of the 80s. I was 15-25 years old in that decade.
- 10. Stone Roses by Stone Roses
The 80s precursor (and prototype) for Oasis, Blur, Coldplay, etal...
- 9. Straight Outta Compton by NWA
Scared the he** out of me...
- 8. Back In Black by AC/DC
Great album that ushered in a decade of crappy, big hair/heavy plastic rip-offs...
- 7. Paul's Boutique by Beastie Boys
Gave white rappers everywhere hope...for better or worse...
- 6. Closer by Joy Division
Not exactly my cup of tea, but you can't deny the lasting influence...
- 5. Zen Arcade by Husker Du
The defining album of the forefathers of "Alternative"...
- 4. Like A Virgin by Madonna
Yes, she can't sing, but what female, pop act doesn't emulate her?...
- 3. Raising Hell by Run DMC
Maybe its just me, but had you heard of rap before this album? (OK, save "Rappers' Delight")...
- 2. Surfer Rosa by Pixies
The 80s album and band with arguably the greatest influence on the 90s...
- 1. Thriller by Michael Jackson
The "Gold Standard" for pop albums ever since...
These are not my favorite albums, but these are the albums from the 80s that have had a lasting influence. The albums that capture the "magic" of the 80s (i.e.: Songs From The Big Chair/Tears For Fears, Lexicon Of Love/ABC) would be a different list all together (well, save Purple Rain...see below). I obviously couldn't contain myself to the Top 10. Honorable Mention (yes, essentially #11-#20): Murmur/REM, Master of Puppets/Metallica, Doolittle/Pixies, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back/Public Enemy, Nothing Shocking/Jane's Addiction, Purple Rain/Prince, Daydream Nation/Sonic Youth, Rio/Duran Duran, Pretty Hate Machine/Nine Inch Nails, Pyromania/Def Leppard
By: Joe Rags
- 10. Colour By Numbers by Culture Club
- 9. 5150 by Van Halen
- 8. Slippery When Wet by Bon Jovi
- 7. Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
- 6. 1984 by Van Halen
- 5. War by U2
- 4. Hysteria by Def Leppard
- 3. Scarecrow by John Mellencamp
What rock n roll is all about. R-O-C-K in the U.S.A. always pumps me up.
- 2. Appetite for Destruction by GNR
Every song is kick-a**. Slash is one of the best guitar players of all-time. Izzy is one of the coolest rockers ever.
- 1. The Joshua Tree by U2
The Edge's guitar playing on every single song is masterful. Bono's singing is simply emotional and genuine.
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