Greatest '80s Albums

The Top Ten

1 Thriller - Michael Jackson

I'm a primary metalhead, but Thriller was THE first and only song and album that caught my attention; opening the world of music into my little world and setting the foundation on my perception of great music. So if it weren't for Micheal Jackson, I wouldn't be a Pantera fan. - MinistryMonster

This is my all time fave album. I also love Slippery when wet, Back in Black, Master of the puppets, Appetite For Destruction and many others on the list I really do think that this should be #1 Shame on those who voted for all the Heart albums on this list! - idolangelx13

Thriller is the best of all time. It has sold more than any other album in history. Michael was an amazing musical genius dreaming this up and creating "Thriller" - love4mjj

Best selling Album of All Time by the Greatest Entertainer of All Time during the Greatest period of Music of All Time - Perfection - IIBK

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2 Master of Puppets - Metallica

I'm not primarily into metal or metallica but this is an amazing album that I have listened to many times, it fits together perfectly and the songs are of the kind that get better with every listen and not only does is sound great but it is a lyrical masterpiece.

I don't understand why there are no metal albums other than AC/DC and Metallica in the top ten. Metal is the best genre and Metallica one of the greatest bands to represent it. ##

So close to top ten! This album is the MASTER! - gibsonrock53

Awesome album

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3 Ride the Lighting - Metallica

Fade to black, for whom the bell tolls, creeping death, ride the lightning? All amazing songs. - Songsta41

This should be higher than MOP.

Great album

4 Appetite For Destruction - Guns N Roses

Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, Sweet Child O mine. All of these songs everybody here has at least heard once in their life, they are huge songs that have all come off this one album, more than most other albums can say, and the album is full of other underrated songs, it definitely deserves to be in the top ten.

Should be in the top 5 at least, they changed rock n roll and brought the LA sunset strip back to reality. How is it at number 18?

Every song on this album kicks ass, clearly the best ROCK album, if not THE BEST album of the 80's

Your joking this should be number 2

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5 Back In Black - AC/DC

Um, hello? Ac/dc's height of fame, every song was a hit, sold over 42 million copies worldwithe. Thriller is also a fantastic album, but the fact that Michael jackson is some twisted person now decreases its popularity. I just don't understand though - pauler94

Released in 1980, it started the decade off with a bang. - FearlessFreep

The most PERFECT classic rock songs ever written are here. Enough said. 42 minutes so no excuse you need to hear it once in your life.

Best AC/DC album ever

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6 Hunting High and Low - A-ha

Milestone Album. It was the first album of the young Band, it was full of emotions, melancholy and deepness. A timeless Masterpiece Album and imagine, it is not the best A-ha Album! A-ha is brilliant Now and Then

This album always make me thing of young love and innocence.. so pure

My first Album ever. And I love it.

This album only has 1 good song and you put it at three?

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7 The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden

Maiden's best album is inarguably one of the decade's finest. Classic songs (ranging from the well known - the title track, Hallowed By Thy Name, Run To The Hills - to the underrated gems - the much Maligned Gangland, 22 Acacia Avenue) fantastic production and the ever marvellous vocals of Bruce Dickinson help to solidify this album's stance as one of heavy metal's greats. While early Maiden had been fantastic, this is where they hit their peak, and continues to represent the best that metal had to offer, both in the 80's and of all time. An utterly timeless album (not very many popular 80's albums you can say that about) which represents heavy metal at its finest hour. - Mrveteran

Nothing is bad about this album, all the tracks are great all the way through to the end. It should be up there with Master of Puppets by Metallica.

Come on this is amazing, so much better than overrated Gun's n Roses

Come on, this should be in the top 10 at least. The single most kickass album of the 80s

8 True Blue - Madonna

Just brilliant album from Queen of Pop Madonna. I love every single track here but my most favorite songs are 'La Isla Bonita' and 'Papa Don't Preach' - Irina2932

I remember like it was yesterday, Madonna and Michael Jackson fever, no stupid technology, just a bad television and the street radios to sing those hits... good times, nowadays children sucks

Best album and album cover of the 80s! Madonna was at her pinnacle with true blue. Every song is awesome but I have to say my favorite is where's the party, it always gets me in a good mood and brings me back.

What Purple Rain ain't here!?!

9 Ten Songs by Adam Again - Adam Again
10 Like A Prayer - Madonna

Classic album that changed musical history. Hits "Like a Prayer", "Express Yourself", "Cherish", "Oh Father"...Madonna's vocal sounds great here. One of the most memorable albums ever - Sonya

Best album of the 80s for me, every song is awesome. The title song is by far, hands down, her best song. My favorite on this album is pray for Spanish eyes. Her voice is so pretty in it, And it's just such a beautiful song. This here is Madonna at her pinnacle.

The Contenders

11 The Joshua Tree - U2

There is also a DVD of the same name released by Eagle Rock Entertainment for Image Entertainment way back in the 2000s as a Classic Albums video disc for use with DVD players, DVD-ROM drives, game systems and DVD surround sound systems. - kristyrosepetal4

This album is timeless, sounds like it could've been released yesterday.

U2 is extremely underrated - Ajkloth

First U2 album I listened to. Thought it was ok at first. Then I listened to it a few months later and loved it. Then I listened to Achtung Baby which is even better in my opinion. Now I can’t stop listening to U2.

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12 This Year's Model - The Imperials
13 Purple Rain - Prince

I can't believe some of the crap that's above this great album... Come on "Slippery When Wet"?! "RhythmNation 1814"?! That's not even Janet's best album! You might as well as pick Right Said Fred! I've listened to those and many others on this list but they don't even approach the plateau that "Purple Rain" set. I really think that people should just get this album, listen to it and then come back and vote.

This was his ultimata masterpiece IT should be higher than this

Underrated,Better than a lot of of those albums!? 35? Should be 1!

the man

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14 Hysteria - Def Leppard

Fabulous album. Like a rock version of thriller every song could be and nearly was a single, the production by Mutt Lange is excellent truly an 80s classic should be in top 10.

Got this album because I wanted to know the band. It resulted in one of my favorite albums. Every single song in it is awesome.

Brilliant album. I still recall the goosebumps I felt on first hearing it.

Brings back the cool sounds and memories of parties, love and youth...

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15 Heaven on Earth - Belinda Carlisle

I hate when people call Belinda "one-hit wonder". This album is an absolute masterpiece and its biggest hit Heaven Is a Place On Earth is NOT the best here.

Magically beautiful.. Deserves more.. But thriller will always be the BEST FOREVER!

16 Remain In Light - Talking Heads

Should definitely be higher. Amazing album, Talking Heads' best album in my opinion. - Eddiej

17 The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths

This is my second favourite album of all time (first being everyone is here the Finn brothers)! How is it 105? Anyone who cannot appreciate The Smiths is missing 99% of their emotions.

So beautiful a pure masterpiece my third favorite album next to animals and wish you were here by pink Floyd

Well, the best album of the last century is #124. The internet is dead. No taste. The end.

Should be way higher

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18 The Big Picture - Michael W. Smith
19 Born In the U.S.A. - Bruce Springsteen

One of the defining albums of the 80s.Why is this not in top ten?

20 Reign In Blood - Slayer
21 1984 - Van Halen

1984 has some of the greatest tracks of Van Halen like: Top Jimmy, House Of Pain, I'll Wait, Jump, Panama, Drop Dead Legs, Girls Gone Bad And Hot For Teacher. Wait? That's all of the tracks on 1984! Wow! It's just such a great album.

Van Halen is the best.

22 Hounds of Love - Kate Bush

Kate is a one off and her fans simply adore her. I was an 18 year old lad with no future in a dead end job when I first heard running up that hill, and its utter beauty and poetic intensity inspired me to quit my job, go back to college and make something of myself. This album is that important to me. I love it and I love Kate

This is a masterpiece which has stood the test of time. Running up that hill one of the most haunting passionate beautiful songs of all time my 2nd favourite cloud busting so emotional she was barely 25 when this came out but Kate showed such wisdom and maturity in this Magnus opus

Why is the number 1 80s album so low down the list, its criminal.

A work of indescribable poetic beauty. A travesty that all those grunt rock albums by hairy Neanderthals are ahead of this. But there's no accounting for taste.

23 Doolittle - Pixies

Only 1 good album in the top ten (Master of puppets) and 1 OK one, (slippery when wet). Put Doolittle in at least the top 20 and it might help me forgive the terrible taste on this list just a little. Its without a doubt one of the greatest albums of all time.

Unfortunately, it is irrelevant how good the album is; all that matters is how commercial the artist is. Pixies are the ones influencing Kurt Cobain but sadly (in my opinion) they never became as big. Doolittle is Pixies' best album and deserves to be in the top ten list. Ps: Very excited over new album "Indie Cindy" released the 28:th

The only reason this isn't in the top 10 is because it's not as well known. One of the best albums of all time.

24 Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
25 ...And Justice for All - Metallica

One of the most underrated albums in history of music! Lyrics, riffs, solos, James voice... just magnificently. Not the best, but one of the best albums ever, that's for sure.

26 Full Moon Fever
27 Rhythm Nation 1814 - Janet Jackson

Classic album from 1989. It's my favorite Janet Jackson record - so powerful, deep and personal! 'Escapade', 'Black Cat', 'Come Back to Me' and 'Love Will Never Do (Without You)' are my favorite songs but I adore the whole track list - Irina2932

There's a few clunkers ("The Knowledge" comes to mind) but unbelievably solid for a dance album. Still sounds good now. - GBrady

Vanessa Hudgens' version of 'Come Back to Me' sounds similar to Janet Jackson's version. - kristyrosepetal4

Janet Jackson is so talented.. Her voice is really sweet.. Love her

28 The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
29 Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne

Ozzy,s best... spent many a night edbanging and air guitaring to this classic

30 Reckless - Bryan Adams

Fantastic track list. Not to deep, romantic and moving. Bryan wrote & composed all the songs here. He's true musical genius. Tracks 'Heaven', 'Summer of '69', 'Run to You', 'One Night Love Affair', 'Somebody' were memorable. - Irina2932

Not one bad Flippin track on the album. You just put it on and jam or go. This was before he got all soft and squishy in the 90s. Next to van halen ' 5150 and Journey Escape albums, a definite favorite of the 80s!

Solid start to finish

31 Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
32 Like a Virgin - Madonna

HOW IS THIS NOT IN THE TOP 10?! Madonna was the standout star of the 80's with like a virgin. This album turned her into an mtv icon. The material girl at her true best

How come this isn't at a higher position? This album was and still is iconic. - FlakyCuddles43

33 Long Play - Sandra

Awesome album - (I'll Never Be) Maria Magdalena, In the Heat of the Night are classics! - Oxana36

She became a huge star in Europe when this awesome album came out. She was popular in Asia too.

Just AWESOME! Sandra rocks!

34 Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
35 Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys
36 The Dreaming - Kate Bush
37 Among the Living - Anthrax
38 It'll End in Tears - This Mortal Coil
39 Bad - Michael Jackson

The phenomenon that ruled the 80s had only two releases in this decade. One changed the world forever and the follow-up to that was even better than first! BAD is Michael's most consistent album with every song being an equal winner. Sadly it couldn't out-perform its predecessor "thriller" due to various non-musical factors.

Thriller is overrated. This album set a new standard for Michael. He even wrote a large portion of the songs himself and produced almost all the tracks. This was truly the beginning of the best!

Even though Thriller was his best-selling album, Bad has and always will be my favorite, he definitely grew as an artist.

This should definitely be a least 2nd but all the MJ fans had to group up on Thriller to get MJ to number 1 lol - IIBK

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40 Closer - Joy Division
41 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A
42 Kill 'em All - Metallica

Metallica rulles

43 Disintegration - The Cure

#1 easily, no question. Not #126.

44 Diamond Life - Sade
45 Pyromania - Def Leppard

This really should be higher than it is. Other than it's follow-up Hysteria, there really isn't a better '80's rock album.

46 It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back - Public Enemy

Why isn't this album higher? Both this album and Thriller are best albums of 80's.

47 5150 - Van Halen
48 Last of the Runaways - Giant
49 The Nightfly - Donald Fagin

Masterpiece! About close to perfect and an album one can actually listen all the way straight through. Why would one skip anything of such pleasure.

What atmosphere and so tasteful. Excellent to be sure.

Great album, no clunkers (how many albums can you say that of? ) - all great tracks, still sound superb. Beautifully constructed songs as you'd expect from DF. Style and quality the whole way through.

Very classy and polished album. It's all good!

50 Escape - Journey

This is my favorite album of all time. It includes the hits: Don't Stop Believin', Stone In Love, Who's Cring Now and Open Arms. It also has the not as well known, but incredible, song Mother, Father. The album is well crafted, having good flow from start to finish. This album made it to number one on the charts in the fall of 1981, and the first track continues to sell at a surprising rate. This is one album that will not be forgotten so easily.

Don't Stop Believin'

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List Stats

8,000 votes
319 listings
10 years, 328 days old

Top Remixes (50)

1. Ten Songs by Adam Again - Adam Again
2. This Year's Model - The Imperials
3. The Big Picture - Michael W. Smith
GBrady
1. True Blue - Madonna
2. Reckless - Bryan Adams
3. Permanent Vacation - Aerosmith
Irina2932
1. Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston
2. Whitney - Whitney Houston
3. True Blue - Madonna
Larissa

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