Top Ten Lists of Eighties Albums
What are your top ten favorite albums from the 80s?
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By: Rich Bunnell
- 10. Document by R.E.M.
Not as well received as the band's four albums that came before it, but still solid by all means, and despite what people say about the last four tunes, there really isn't a bad song on it. Is there any reason to memorize the "It's The End Of The World..." lyrics besides as a pathetic attempt to impress people? I sure wanna know because I memorized them myself...
- 9. Wild Planet by The B-52's
Darker and more "serious" than their 1979 debut, the songs are nevertheless more catchy. "Party Out Of Bounds" is a definite favorite, and everyone knows "Private Idaho," possibly the most concise song from their early period.
- 8. Rio by Duran Duran
A hold-over from my original list, since it's such a solid album--artistic and commercial success meet. Sadly, after this Duran turned to crap for a while until 1993, though several fans will hate me for saying that.
- 7. Reggatta De Blanc by The Police
It slightly doesn't make it to the 80's since it was released in 1979, but that didn't stop Rolling Stone from naming the Clash's 1979 "London Calling" album the best of the '80s. Not a bad song at all here, even though some people call it "underdeveloped." Idiots.
- 6. Lincoln by They Might Be Giants
Opens with "Ana Ng," the best song ever made, and doesn't let up with the weirdness and great tunes for 18 whole tracks. Their '90s albums were even better, in particular "Apollo 18."
- 5. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1.... by Midnight Oil
An amazing album from an amazing band. Ten tracks of pure greatness, and the feel of the album is gritty plus warming at the same time.
- 4. Nothing To Fear by Oingo Boingo
To Boingo fans this is without a doubt their best, though review books tend to favor "Dead Man's Party" and give this one a low rating for some unknown reason. A shame since this is a high-water mark in the songwriting of Danny Elfman, along with the Simpsons theme from eight years later.
- 3. The Big Express by XTC
Their second-best album---most fans consider it mediocre but I just can't see it since, besides the added B-Sides to the CD version, there aren't really any bad songs at all. Plus, it's really consistent and jerky.
- 2. Remain In Light by Talking Heads
Side 1's dancy, Side 2's mopey, "Once In A Lifetime" in the middle is magnificent, and all of it's great. A true proof that David Byrne and Brian Eno made an excellent team for those three albums, but the Heads were still able to pull it together for a couple more great albums after this.
- 1. Skylarking by XTC
There's nothing bad to say about this album. Even freakin' Rolling Stone, who usually have awful taste, cleared their heads for a moment and named this one of the Top 50 albums of the '80s. Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding are gods. Period. Buy their new album, it's utterly amazing in all ways an album can be amazing.
I have an earlier list that I sent in about a year and a half ago, but considering that it's filled with corporate rock (Heart's 1985 eponymous album for one) and greatest hits albums, I decided to send in another one now that I've found music from the '80s that's a bit less shallow, at least in MY opinion!
By: Noel Gardner
- 10. 'House Tornado' by Throwing Muses
Just edging ahead of their self-titled debut, the Muses' second LP wanders in, dazed and confused, full of piano ballads, rockabilly guitar lines and super-oblique imagery. Buy it on CD and get the 'Fat Skier' EP as well.
- 9. 'Bleach' by Nirvana
Walls of six-stringed sludge pouring out of the speakers, harmony and discord at one with another, slicing your flesh, teasing you... and it can still be a pop album if you want it to be. Therein lies Nirvana's genius.
- 8. 'Dangerous' by Bill Hicks
This isn't a music album, so it might not be strictly legit, but it's music to my twisted ears alright. For the uninitiated, Hicks was a stand-up comedy genius who died of cancer in 1994. The world is an infinitely poorer place without him, believe me.
- 7. 'Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables' by Dead Kennedys
Jello Biafra is possibly my all-time hero. He says things other people don't even dare to think, and he says it with such eloquence. This is actually his least favourite DKs album, but he'll never visit this site so I can say what the hell I want
- 6. 'Damaged' by Black Flag
I'm Henry. And you're with me now..." Oh shit. This is one long, beautiful, violent, mindblowing screech of pain. And it rules.
- 5. 'Out Of Step' by Minor Threat
Their crowning glory:25 intense minutes of staccato hardcore guitar assault. Message:"People act like arses all the dang time". Great.
- 4. 'Songs About Fucking' by Big Black
Just terrifying. Guitars you could strip paint with, a misanthrope's paradise and then some. And it's got 'Fish Fry' on it.
- 3. 'Zen Arcade' by Husker Du
Imagine if 'The Wall' was a punk rock album. And any good. The last track, 'Reoccuring Dreams' is like NOTHING else you will ever hear.
- 2. 'Daydream Nation' by Sonic Youth
Why are there no Sonic Youth LPs in this list? You dolts. This is their masterpiece, a 70-minute trip into a sandblasted void. It's a teenage riot I tell ya.
- 1. 'Let Them Eat Jellybeans!' by Various
A flawless (apart from the execrable Half Japanese) document of punk rock how it once was:as a tool for change, anarchy, revolution and evolution. Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Flipper, more. Unbelievable.
I'm into loads of music other than punk rock, but it just turned out that these are my '80s faves. Honourable mentions also go to:'Closer' (Joy Division); 'Surfer Rosa' (Pixies); 'Prairie School Freakout' (Eleventh Dream Day); 'Gluey Porch Treatments' (Melvins) and probably lots more. Oh, and I'll refrain from commenting on what terrible taste in music you lot all have.
Why is everyone choosing the same Albums?
By: Akieme Evans
- 10. Break Every Rule by Tina Turner
The follow up to her multi-platnium Private Dancer album, Tina does it again with this one with the hits, Typical Male, Two People, and What you Get Is What You See.
- 9. Who's Zoomin Who by Aretha Franklin
- 8. Colour Of My Numbers by Culture Club
- 7. Born In The USA by Bruce Springsteen
- 6. Purple Rain by Prince
- 5. Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston
Her Debut set Features, Saving all my love for you, How will I know, Greatest Love Of all,and You give good love. Whitney at her prime!
- 4. She's So Unsual by Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Just wanted to thave fun with this now classic album which includes Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and Time After Time.
- 3. Thriller by Michael Jackson
This album is thrilling with the hits Beat It, Thriller, and Billie Jean
- 2. Like A Virgin by Maddona
Maddonna at her prime the title track tells it all, includes material girl
- 1. Private Dancer by Tina Turner
Turner at her best, a must have for any rock music lover. Turner delivers her now classics, What's Love..., Better Be Good To ME, Private Dancer, Show Some Respect, and I Cant Stand The Rain.
All of These albums in my opinon are **** and a must have to any music collection.
By: Raymond Ho
- 10. Doolittle by Pixies
1989 -- Actually, the album that comes second to Paul's Boutique for creativity has to be Doolittle. A perfect balance of punk with pop, it's difficult to find a band with such an abundance of raw energy combined with intelligent songwriting. One of the few ALL AMERICAN bands to really have a lasting impact on the early 90's scence. They were way ahead of their time, not to mention the ones who paved the way for bands like Nirvana . . . etc. But who really cares right?
- 9. Darklands by The Jesus and Mary Chain
1987 -- No group has more style than this, period. If James Dean was still alive, he would be listening to this band. Too dark and slow for most people, but without a doubt one of the best bands of the 80's.
- 8. The Smiths by The Smiths
1982 -- The biggest breath of fresh air (although mixed in a bit of maudlin dust) to breeze into the 1980's. The Smiths arrived onto the music scene during a time when synths, and post-punk was the dominant force to be reckoned with. Johnny Marr's complex and beautiful songwriting abilities just blew all that away, and turned people's ears to something new and wonderful.
- 7. Rio by Duran Duran
1982 -- Duran Duran was probably one of the most underrated bands of the 80's, not because of their lack of recognition (they received plenty), but because of the overexposure. Their songwriting abilties were pure and strong, but was always overshadowed by their image and "big-budgeted" videos. If you have ever went to a Duran Duren concert, you would know what I mean when I say, "They can just stand there on stage and do nothing, and still they would have fans screaming for hours."
- 6. In My Tribe by 10000 Maniacs
1987 -- Probably THE album on this list with the most pop sensibilities, In My Tribe put together the qualities of Natalie Merchant's soulful vocals with very empathetic, politcally correct lyrics. This album made them!
- 5. The Joshua Tree by U2
1987 -- Just one word . . . "timeless".
- 4. Paul's Boutique by The Beastie Boys
1989 -- One of the most influential and creative albums of the 1980's. Paul's Boutique heavily used sampling and pieces from every genre imaginable from country to folk, and from rock to hip-hop. Hmmmmm, sounds similar to another artist that goes by the name of Beck . . . Their sensibilities do seem oddly close, but we know who came first ;o)
- 3. Stone Roses by Stone Roses
1989 -- One of the original Manchester bands who based their music on a certain psychedelic, acid-house sensibility. Beats were danceable and guitar licks were equally hypnotic. This band was far ahead of it's time especially for the States.
- 2. Blue Bell Knoll by Cocteau Twins
1988 -- Their first album to get any kind of mainstream attention, Blue Bell Knoll introduced to the perpetually "trendy" general public that MC Hammer would never last, while the beautiful, siren like melodies of the Cocteau Twins would enjoy longevity unseen by most of the acts of the 1980's.
- 1. Black Celebration by Depeche Mode
1986 -- Easily Depeche Mode's best album, let alone the best album of the decade. This album marked their turning point into legendary status. Songs with rich lyrics and complex structure, traits which were ostensibly lacking in their formative years. As more and more crappy bands appear year after year, the shear song writing exhibited on this album becomes more apparent.
New Order - Power, Corruption and Lies - 1983 Sugarcubes - Life's Too Good - 1988 Echo and The Bunnymen - Ocean Rain - 1984 Sting - Nothing Like the Sun - 1987 Joy Division - Closer - 1980
By: Trebor Carpenter
- 10. Horse Rotorvator by Coil
- 9. Boomerang by The Creatures
- 8. Meat is Murder by The Smiths
- 7. Pornography by The Cure
- 6. Daydream Nation by Sonic Youth
- 5. Throwing Muses by Throwing Muses
- 4. Tender Prey by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
- 3. Floodland by Sisters of Mercy
- 2. The Dreaming by Kate Bush
- 1. The Sky's Gone Out by Bauhaus
By: Peter Chimmerault
- 10. Dream Police by Cheap Trick
It's amazing how many of the rock groups from the seventies morphed so effortlessly into new wavers. Besides Cheap Trick, groups like J.Geils Band, The Tubes, REO Speedwagon, etc..
- 9. True Colors by Split Enz
Pure Pop Perfection by the brothers Finn. Many albums before and after just as good.
- 8. Here's To Future Days by Thompson Twins
It's amazing to me how a group that came out with such a pure pop masterpice as this, could follow up with pointless drek.
- 7. Lip Up Fatty by Bad Manners
Another CD that will most likely not see the light of day for awhile due to legal problems. Pure SKA done with sugh a joyfulness and energy for days.
- 6. Jumpin Jive by Joe Jackson
How can I pick the best Joe Jackson? Certainly not what he's most remembered for, but what a way to get into swing. Classic big band swing done by the new wave rocker.
- 5. Lone Rhinocerous by Adrian Belew
Unfortunately, the master tapes are gone and a CD reissue is not likely. Too bad, because this guy is brilliant!
- 4. Black Sea by XTC
I might be dipping slightly into borderline 70's/80's but this sleeper group of the 80's has brilliant lyrics and crafty tunes.
- 3. Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police
The first three albums by the Police are flawless. This one happens to touch my memory banks on the best.
- 2. More Specials by The Specials
The genius Jerry Dammers introduced me to the world of Lounge/Exotica on this daring follow-up LP.
- 1. East Side Story by Squeeze
The Lennon & McCartney of the 80's. An album where they chose to explore their creativity and still keep new-wavers happy! All previous releases are brilliant!
I grew up remembering music mostly from the late 70's early 80's. This is probably why most of my 80's albums mentioned are from that period.
By: Caleb Hopwood
- 10. Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister
i recently got the album and they rock
- 9. Rush by Movin Pictures
geddy lee rules ans so does rush
- 8. Dr Feelgood by Motley Crue
i love the crue and always will
- 7. Open Up And Say Ahhhh by Poison
poison rocks, nothing but a good times a great song
- 6. Back In Black by AC/DC
there first with brian johnson they rock.
- 5. crazy from the heat by david lee roth
dave is great with van halen and solo
- 4. Pyromania by Def Leppard
they rock i love photograph
- 3. Girls Girls Girls by Motley Crue
the crue rocks and always will
- 2. 1984 by Van Halen
roths last album with tham but a great album eddie is a great guitar player
- 1. Dirty Filthy Stinking Rotton Rich by Warrant
warrant rocks and still does
warrant rocks more then anyone.
By: Michael D. Maacks II
- 10. Appetite For Destruction by Guns 'N Roses
(1987)This album may have a couple throwaway tracks,but on the whole thing thing rocks raw and nasty-like. There's not much I can say about this one,except "Welcome to the jungle,we've got fun and games"
- 9. Ride The Lightning by Metallica
(1984)So sue me for not saying Master Of Puppets,but I have always had strong feelings for this album. It's less thrash,and more melodic. Not to say this one dosnt have it's raw out speed songs (like Fight Fire With Fire),but it also carried Metallica's first,and best ballad,Fade To Black,which has some of Hetfield's most emotional vocal work,as well as a great closing solo. Metallica may have lightened off alot in rescent years (to say the least),but this is a towering monument of a powerful thrash band.
- 8. Pyromania by Def Leppard
(1983)This album is what the Leps going in the 80's,and for good reason. This album has alot of landmark pop-metal fusions on it. in addition to the ones everyone knows,like Photograph,and Rock Of Ages,this album has some great lesser known tunes like Stagefright,Die Hard The Hunter,and Billy's Got A Gun. Plain and simple this album may not have sold like Hysteria would go on to do,but it helped drive one of the biggest bands of the decade.
- 7. World Wide Live by Scorpions
(1985)The audio levels on this album aren't mixed as well as they could have been,but this is one of the best live albums I've ever heard,simply because of the sheer balls. This album showcases songs from the Scorpions first 4 albums to make way in the states (Lovedrive,Animal Magnetism,Blackout,and Love At First Sting). The song selection is so perfect,the blistering opener Coming Home (it should be required by law the Scorps open with this),the anthematic Rock You Like A Hurricane,and everything else in the 80 minute masterpiece. Especially of note is the beautiful version of Holiday which omits the later part of the song,however shines above it's studio couterpart because of the connection between the band and the audience on it,the whole crowd was singing along and it's simply stunning.
- 6. Skid Row by Skid Row
(1989)This album in rock and roll the way God intended....raw and energetic. Skid Row came at the end of the decade,but they helped it go out with a bang. Their no holds barred sound was a wonderful mix of rock elements (metallic distortion,and blazing solos,with an Aerosmith-like swagger is cool stuff). A prime cut of this album is the song 18 And Life,a powerful example of the bands capabilities,Sebastian Bach's voice,and the brutal reality that this band put into their songs.
- 5. Somewhere In Time by Iron Maiden
(1986)I know i've covered Maiden once before,but I gotta give them their fair take. These guys can rock,and rock hard. This album shows the band fiddling with synth sounds for the first time,something that would make alot of hardcore metal fans cringe. Yet on this album synths and metal manage to mix perfectly. Some of the icy sounds Dave Murray gets through a guitar synth are purely amazing. This album also showcases some of the bands best lyrical work IMO. Especially the songs Caught Somewhere In Time and Wasted Years.
- 4. Shout At The Devil by Motley Crue
(1983)I knew I had to have an album by these guys on here. Motley Crue were the original badboys of commercial metal in the 80s. Shout is probably my fav album of theirs,because of it's dark sound. As excellent as the Crue's albums are however,nothing compares to their live performance. The energy,the lights,the pyrotechnics...it's simply friggin cool. Vince Neil gets a crowd going like no other (and the title track of this album is a live fav or mine. I've seen the Crue twice live,and nothing gets a crown up like screaming Shout Shout a few times). This is the album by which all other party rock bands are judged....and fail.
- 3. Under Lock And Key by Dokken
(1985)Dokken is not one of the best known rock groups in history,but this is likely their best known album. This album contains a perfect blend of blazing guitars (courtesy of guitar god George Lynch) and pop-powered energy. Another thing of note on this album is the production quality (very few albums are mixed as well as this one) and the vocal harmonies. Don Dokken's silky smooth voice shines on every song,especially on the gem "Don't Lie To Me" which was not a hit,or even a single,but without question my personal favorite Dokken tune.
- 2. Blizzard Of Ozz by Ozzy Osbourne
(1980)This album is one of the greatest debuts in rock history. Alot of people prefer Diary Of A Madman,but personally I prefer this release. Ozzy Osbourne has one of the most unique voices in rock,a very emotional wail that is a sound all his own. You can't say anything about this album,or the guitar for that matter,without thinking about fallen axe-man Randy Rhoads. He brought something to guitar,a magic that was often lacking before him. His death caused the world to probably miss out on what could have been an otherwise long,and excellent career.
- 1. Powerslave by Iron Maiden
(1984)This album just does it for me. It's powerful,yet melodic. From the fast paced opener Aces High,through the 13 minute long epic finale track Rime Of The Ancient Mariner,this album is not only metal or 80s music at it's finest,but some of the best popular music work ever. Each member of Maiden excels at what he does,yet none of the band showboats or upstages others. From Dave and Adrian's dueling guitar dances,to Nicko's powerful work on the skins,to Steve's throbbing,chugging bass and Bruce's powerful,range and emotion gifted voice,this album stands the test of time.
Well,this is the list of my favorite albums of the 80s. My list was dominated by metal,probably because I play guitar,and i've learned to appreciate the level of complexity of metal guitar,and because they have less 'throw-away' tracks than pop albums would tend to have (I may be a metal fan,but i'm not to hard to admit that I like my share of Journey,Richard Marx,and even Tiffany). Journey's Escape in an honorable mention in my book.
By: Rick Cortez
- 10. Toto IV by Toto
- 9. Chicago 17 by Chicago
Best group Ever!
- 8. Bold as Love by Bardeux
- 7. Out of the Blue by Debbie Gibson
- 6. Cargo by Men at Work
Best group ever!
- 5. Glass Houses by Billy Joel
- 4. Purple Rain by Prince
- 3. Exposure by Expose'
Best girl group ever!
- 2. Better Than Heaven by Stacey Q.
- 1. Reach the Beach by The Fixx
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