Greatest '80s Albums

The Top Ten

1 Thriller - Michael Jackson

Far far the best album of the 80s in fact the best album of all time

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

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

This is simply one of the best albums EVER! Metallica for the win!

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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

Yeah! This one owns every album here Guns N' Roses RULE!

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5 Back In Black - AC/DC

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.

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

Great album. Masterpiece after masterpiece - fuadmondeo

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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.

One of the best voice in the world of music many awesome songs like The sun always shines on T.V.

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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 Ten Songs by Adam Again - Adam Again

Might be the best album / artist on this list you never heard of

9 This Year's Model - The Imperials
10 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

the greatest album ever made next to Achtung baby

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The Contenders

11 Purple Rain - Prince

Excellent

Ree

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

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12 Remain In Light - Talking Heads

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

13 The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths

Is best innit

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.

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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 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!?!

16 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.

17 The Big Picture - Michael W. Smith
18 Reign In Blood - Slayer
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 1984 - Van Halen

Van Halen is the best.

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.

21 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

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.

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

22 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.

23 ...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.

24 Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
25 Full Moon Fever
26 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

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

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

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

28 The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
29 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!

30 Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne

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

31 Scoundrel Days - A-ha

One of the best albums of the world! - luiseocosta

Every song on this album is brilliantly composed.. a mini album in itself. Never 'felt' an album as much as this one... it's truly in my soul. It's also much better than the first album. Happy to see others appreciate as much as I do.

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 Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
34 Into a Secret Land - Sandra

Masterpiece from charming Sandra!

35 Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys
36 It'll End in Tears - This Mortal Coil

So glad to even see it here. Thought it was more obscure. Still should be higher

37 Among the Living - Anthrax
38 Kill 'em All - Metallica

Metallica rulles

39 Forever Your Girl - Paula Abdul
40 The Dreaming - Kate Bush
41 Closer - Joy Division
42 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A
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 5150 - Van Halen
47 Last of the Runaways - Giant
48 The Nightfly - Donald Fagin

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.

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.

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

49 Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
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
11 years, 364 days old

Top Remixes (51)

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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