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Best albums of the 80s


over 4 years ago

We’ve discussed the best albums of the 60s. But, in the 60’s consensus faves are easy to find, and a large percentage of the best stuff is right on the surface.

In the 80’s on the other hand, synth pop and hair bands ruled the radio while alternative played on college stations, post-punk and garage rock were brewing the underground scene that led to both grunge and indie in the 90s, and rap was evolving from r&b and turning political. And the only one anyone can agree on is Prince.

My list:
1. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation
2. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
3. The Smiths – Queen Is Dead
4. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs
5. Pixies – Doolittle
6. The Replacements – Let It Be
7. The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
8. Prince – Sign O The Times
9. Pixies – Surfer Rosa
10. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
11. Prince – Purple Rain
12. The Cure – Disintegration
13. Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction
14. Minutemen – Double Nickels On The Dime
15. Sonic Youth – Sister
16. Madonna – Like A Prayer
17. Talking Heads – Remain In Light
18. This Heat – Deceit
19. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska
20. U2 – War

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

over 4 years ago

Murumur- R.E.M.
The Real Thing- Faith No More
Pretty Hate Machine- Nine Inch Nails
Back to the Known- Bad Religion
Dead Man’s Party- Oingo Boingo
Night and Day- Joe Jackson
Asia- Asia
Synchronicity- The Police
Age of Consent- Bronski Beat
Blind Man’s Zoo- 10,00 Maniacs
Appetite For Destruction- Guns ‘n’ Roses
Frontiers- Journey
Hounds of Love- Kate Bush
KIlroy Was Here- Styx
Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars- Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians

(I just downloaded Nebraska the other day and need to really sit down and listen to it straight through)

Nathan M.

over 4 years ago

This is in rough order for me. One album per band or artist.

1. Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen (His only good album, imo)
2. Recoking – R.E.M.
3. Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth
4. The Trinity Session – Cowboy Junkies
5. In My Tribe – 10,000 Maniacs
6. The Head on the Door – The Cure
7. Telephone Free Landslide Victory – Camper Van Beethoven
8. Paul’s Boutique – Beastie Boys
9. Meat Puppets II – Meat Puppets
10. If I Should Fall from Grace with God – The Pogues
11. On Fire – Galaxie 500
12. Doolittle – Pixies


over 4 years ago

1. Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (third)
2. King Crimson – Discipline
3. David Bowie – Scary Monsters
4. Talking Heads – Remain In Light
5. Husker Du – Zen Arcade
6. Neil Young – Freedom

James Montene​gro

over 4 years ago

Has anyone here listened to the album “Playing With A Different Sex” from Au Pairs? I enjoy it, it’s from ’81.


over 4 years ago

There’s another thread here for this

christo​pher sepesy

over 4 years ago

Springsteen — The River and Nebraska

Donald Fagen – The Nightfly

Beastie Boys – Paul’s Boutique

John Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee

Prince – Purple Rain and 1999

Paul Simon – Graceland

Rush – Permanent Waves

Queen – The Game

Police – Synchronicity

Michael Jackson – Thriller

The Traveling Wilburys

Talking Heads – Remain in Light


over 4 years ago

Greatest decade for music ever! A quick glance through my best of record/CD/casette collection from the 80ies (main focus on post-punk, no wave, cold wave, shoegaze, German underground & minimal electronics):

Faith · Pornography · Disintegration
– by The Cure

Closer · Unknown Pleasures
– by Joy Division

- by Charles de Goal

VPRO RadioNome – April 2 1982
- by Kaa Antilope

Johnny Johnny · Echo, bravo
- by Edith Nylon

The pilgrim’s progress
- by Clair Obscur

Hamburg Paris Catania · Metamorphose
- by Bal Paré

- by Pavillon 7B

Ego eyes · By pass · Try out
- by Kas Product

L’aventurier · Le péril jaune
- by Indochine

Passions divisées · Le repos des enfants heureux
- by Trisomie 21

- by Leitmotiv

Seven Songs · The Culling Is Coming
- by 23 Skidoo

The Graveyard and the Ballroom · I’d Like To See You Again
- by A Certain Ratio

Holland In Not · Maverick Intention
- by Surplus Stock

The Secret Like Crazy · Big Skin
- by Algebra Suicide

Happy Birthday
- by Altered Images

And Also The Trees
- by And Also The Trees

Playing with a Different Sex · Live In Berlin
- by Au Pairs

I Am A Horse · Solid Glass Spine
- by Ausgang

In the Flat Field · The Sky’s Gone Out · Burning from the Inside
- by Bauhaus

Prayers on Fire
- by The Birthday Party

Isn’t Anything
- by My Bloody Valentine

Some Bizzare Album
- by B-Movie

Lindy’s Party
- by The Bolshoi

Too Many Creeps · Snakes Crawl · You Taste Like the Tropics
- by Bush Tetras

Red Mecca
- by Cabaret Voltaire

Script of the Bridge · What Does Anything Mean? Basically · Strange Times
- by The Chameleons

Psychocandy · Darklands
- by The Jesus and Mary Chain

Live in New York
- by James Chance and the Contortions

Sax Maniac
- by James Chance

Lesson No.1 For Electric Guitar
- by Glenn Branca

- by Cocteau Twins

Die Puppe
- by Die Form

Horse Rotorvator · Scatology
- by Coil

Room of Lights
- by Crime and the City Solution

- by The Cult

The Rhythm Section Sticks Together
- by The Dancing Did

Dark Adapted Eye
- by Danielle Dax

Dead Can Dance · The Serpent’s Egg
- by Dead Can Dance

Mind Your Own Busines
- by Delta 5

Zulu Rock
- by Lizzy Mercier Descloux

Lies To Live By
- by Del Byzanteens

Oh, No! It’s Devo
- by Devo

Alles ist gut · Für immer
- by DAF

Der Karibische Western
- by Die Haut

A Taste of DNA
- by DNA

Echo & the Bunnymen
- by Echo & the Bunnymen

Kollaps · Zeichnungen des Patienten O. T. · Halber Mensch · Fünf auf der nach oben offenen Richterskala
- by Einstürzende Neubauten

Fireside Favourites
- by Fad Gadget

Flesh for Lulu
- by Flesh for Lulu

- by Gang of Four

- by Grauzone

Monarchie und Alltag · Glut und Asche
- by Fehlfarben

Die Letzte Rache
- by Der Plan

Palais Schaumburg
- by Palais Schaumburg

Kein MenscH!
- by Kein MenscH!

- by X-Quadrat

- by Guyer’s Connection

-by Sprung Aus Den Wolken

The Wirtschaftswunder
- by Wirtschaftswunder

- by Die Tödliche Doris

- by Nina Hagen

When Cherished Dreams Come True
- by In the Nursery

The Bridge
- by Thomas Leer & Robert Rental

Night Of The Reptiles
- by Ptôse

Mother’s Little Helper
- by Polyphonic Size

Februari – April ’81
- by Plus Instruments

Animals From Outer Space
- by Ende Shneafliet

Klaus Nomi · Simple Man
- by Klaus Nomi

- by LiLiPUT

The Eye
- by KUKL

- by Liquid Liquid

No Man’s Land
- by Lene Lovich

- by Lydia Lunch + Teenage Jesus & the Jerks + 8-Eyed Spy

- by Malaria!

John Gavanti
- by Mars

Minimal Compact
- by Minimal Compact

Mesh and Lace
- by Modern English

Signals, Calls and Marches
- by Mission of Burma

The Early Years
- by Moev

No Rest for the Wicked
- by New Model Army

Movement · Low-Life
- by New Order

T.V.O.D. / Warm Leatherette
- by The Normal

Rewind / T-Vision
- by Norma Loy

Dependence / 49 Second Romance
- by P1/E

Talk Talk Talk
- by The Psychedelic Furs

Flowers of Romance · This Is What You Want… This Is What You Get
- by Public Image Ltd.

I Can’t Live In A Living Room
- by Red Zebra

Siglo XX
- by Siglo XX

It’s a Condition
- by Romeo Void

Meat is Murder · The Queen Is Dead
- by The Smiths

Epic Garden Music
- by Sad Lovers & Giants

- by Siouxsie & the Banshees

The Slits
- by The Slits

Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
- by Soft Cell

- by The Sound

Filth · Cop · Greed
- by Swans

Speaking in Tongues
- by Talking Heads

- by Theatre of Hate

Theoretical Girls
- by Theoretical Girls

Greatest Hits
- by Throbbing Gristle

Tones on Tail
- by Tones on Tail

Half Mute · Desire
- by Tuxedomoon

For Madmen Only
- by UK Decay

Baby Turns Blue
- by The Virgin Prunes

Violent Femmes
- by Violent Femmes

Alien Boy · Youth of America
- by Wipers

Incubus Succubus · Qual
- by X-mal Deutschland

- by Zounds

Computer World
- by Kraftwerk

Black Celebration · Music for the Masses
- by Depeche Mode

Liaisons Dangereuses
- by Liaisons Dangereuses

Lounge Lizards
- by The Lounge Lizards

Sonic Youth · Confusion Is Sex
- by Sonic Youth

- by Suicide

Brad S.

over 4 years ago

Bruce Springsteen – The River, Nebraska, Born in the USA, Tunnel of Love
Elvis Costello – Get Happy, Imperial Bedroom, King of America
REM – Murmur, Life’s Rich Pageant Document
Prince – Purple Rain, Sign of the Times
Guns n Roses – Appetite for Destruction
The Police – Zenyatta Mondatta, Syncronicity
Midnight Oil – Place Without a Postcard, Red Sails in the Sunset, Diesel and Dust
Billy Joel – Glass Houses, The Nylon Curton, An Innocent Man, The Bridge
U2 – Boy, The Joshua Tree
Pete Townshend – Empty Glass
The Replacements – Let it Be, Tim
Tom Petty – Hard Promises, Full Moon Fever
Peter Gabriel – Peter Gabriel (3), Security, So
Husker Du – Warehouse: Songs & Stories
Rush – Moving Pictures, Grace Under Fire
Metallica – Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice for All
Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation, Pump
The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash, If I Should Fall from Grace with God
The Rolling Stones – Tatoo You, Steel Wheels
Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues, Little Creatures
Lou Reed – The Blue Mask, New York
Neil Young – Freedom
Duran Duran – Rio
Def Leppard – Pyromania, Hysteria
The Traveling Wilburys – Vol. 1


over 4 years ago


over 4 years ago

My favourites:

David Sylvian- Secrets of the Beehive, Gone to Earth
Talk Talk- Spirit of Eden
New Order- Substance, Technique
Kraftwerk- Computer World

Also loved:

David Bowie- Scary Monsters
Laurie Anderson- Big Science
Lou Reed- Blue Mask, New York
Neil Young- Trans
Joy Division- Closer
Talking Heads- Remain in Light
Stone Roses- Stone Roses
Kate Bush- Hounds of Love
Pixies- Surfer Rosa, Doolittle
Sonic Youth- Daydream Nation
Smiths- The Queen is Dead
The Cure- Disintegration
The Replacements- Let it Be

Edwin N

over 4 years ago

Echo & The Bunnymen Porcupine
Tom Waits Swordfishtrombones
Dagmar Krause Tank Battles
Bauhaus Mask
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Shaka Zulu
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark Architecture And Morality
Abdullah Ibrahim Water From An Ancient Well
Dinosaur Jr. You’re Living All Over Me
Ziad Rahbani Abu Ali
Coldcut What’s That Noise?
808 State 808:90
The Pogues Run, Sodomy and The Lash
The Jesus & Mary Chain Psychocandy

Z. Bart

over 4 years ago

1. American Music Club, “Engine” and “The Restless Stranger” (tie)
2. The Pogues, “If I Should Fall from Grace with God”
3. REM, “Murmur”
4. Gun Club, “The Las Vegas Story”
5. Talking Heads, “Remain in Light”

Jaspar Lamar Crabb

over 4 years ago

Elvis Costello – Spike
Monochrome Set – Eligible Bachelors
Husker Du – Candy Apple Grey
Let’s Active – Cypress
My Nation Underground – Julian Cope
Imperial Bedroom – Elvis Costello
Talking with the Taxman about Poetry – Billy Bragg
Vienna – Ultravox
Especially for You – The Smithereens

Jaspar Lamar Crabb

over 4 years ago

How do make some text bold?


over 3 years ago

City Slang by Lars H.U.G.:

“Okay Okay Boys” and “Supertanker” by Kliché:


over 3 years ago

It’s been a year since I made this topic, so let’s see how my tastes have changed:

1. Tom Waits – Rain Dogs (4)
2. Pixies – Surfer Rosa (9)
3. The Replacements – Let It Be (6)
4. The Smiths – Queen Is Dead (3)
5. The Stone Roses (7)
6. Sonic Youth – Daydream Nation (1)
7. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back (10)
8. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones (2)
9. Pixies – Doolittle (5)
10. Prince – Sign O The Times (8)
11. Guns N Roses – Appetite For Destruction (13)
12. The Cure – Disintegration (12)
13. Prince – Purple Rain (11)
14. This Heat – Deceit (18)
15. Talking Heads – Remain In Light (17)
16. Joy Division – Closer (UR)
17. My Bloody Valentine – Isn’t Anything (UR)
18. Tom Waits – Frank’s Wild Years (UR)
19. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full (UR)
20. Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (19)

I’m a little surprised how little my tastes changed in a year. No turnover in the top 10 or top 13.

Z. Bart

over 3 years ago

I, too, stick to my list above.

ruby stevens

over 3 years ago

u thought they would change?? these albums came out 30 YEARS AGO!!!!!

also: uli³cai​n —journey, styx, asia?? best left in the 80s ;)


over 3 years ago

Van Morrison-Common One
Kris Kristofferson-Repossession

Uli Cain, Cinefidel¹³

over 3 years ago

Ruby, the 80s were a special time for music

Gary Phillips

over 3 years ago

AR Kane – 69

Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones

Mary Margaret O’Hara – Miss America

The Birthday Party – Junkyard

23 Skidoo – Seven Songs

Grace Jones – Nightclubbing

Lydia Lunch – Queen Of Siam

Rickie Lee Jones – Pirates

Various – Mutant Disco

Various – The House Sound Of Chicago

Alan Vega – Collision Drive

Coil – Horse Rotovator

Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love


over 3 years ago

REM- Murmur
Sonic Youth- Daydream Nation
Sonic Youth- Sister
Prince- Sign O the Times
Prince- Dirty Mind
The Smiths- The Queen is Dead
The Smiths- Louder than Bombs
Husker Du- Zen Arcade
Husker Du- New Day Rising
Talking Heads- Remain in Light
Minutemen- Double Nickels on the Dime
The Pixies- Surfer Rosa
Lou Reed- The blue Mask
King Crimson- Discipline
Suzanne Vega- Solitude Standing
The English Beat- I Just Can’t Stop It
Metallica- Ride the Lightning
Gang of Four- Entertainment!
The Pretenders- 1st Album
Beastie Boys- Paul’s Boutique


over 3 years ago

Power, Corruption & Lies – New Order
Scary Monsters – David Bowie
Metal Box – PiL
Die Donnergötter – Rhys Chatham
Flip Your Wig – Husker Du
Candy Apple Grey – Husker Du
Surfer Rosa – Pixies
Doolittle – Pixies
Instincts – Romeo Void
Wild Planet – B-52s
Songs to Learn & Sing – Echo & the Bunnymen
Colossal Youth – Young Marble Giants
Solid Gold – Gang of Four
Avalon – Roxy Music
Flesh+Blood – Roxy Music
Technique – New Order
Closer – Joy Division
Still – Joy Division
Viva Hate – Morrissey
East and West – Anna Domino
Aikea Guinea – Cocteau Twins
2×45 – Cabaret Voltaire
Disco – Pet Shop Boys
Remain in Light – Talking Heads
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts – Eno/Byrne
Speaking in Tongues – Talking Heads
Psychocandy – Jesus and Mary Chain
Disintegration – The Cure
13.13 – Lydia Lunch
Queen of Siam – Lydia Lunch
The Stones Roses – The Stone Roses
EVOL – Sonic Youth
Dreams Less Sweet – Psychic TV
Tunnel of Love – Bruce Springsteen
Gentlemen Take Polaroids – Japan
Field Day – Marshall Crenshaw
The Smiths – The Smiths
The Queen Is Dead – The Smiths
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Gaucho – Steely Dan
A Flock of Seagulls – A Flock of Seagulls
Strange Weather – Marianne Faithfull
John Somebody – Scott Johnson
Fade to Grey – Visage

fake beard

over 3 years ago

1. Rain Dogs — Tom Waits
2. Guitar — Sonny Sharrock

the rest, in no particular order…

Köln — Last Exit
Prayers on Fire — The Birthday Party
Tender Prey — Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Rock for Light — Bad Brains
Flowers of Romance — Public Image Ltd.
Double Nickels on the Dime — Minutemen
Over the Edge — The Wipers
Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables — Dead Kennedys
Bug — Dinosaur Jr.
Complete Discography — Minor Threat
New Day Rising — Hüsker Dü
Meat Puppets II — Meat Puppets
Remain in Light — Talking Heads
Tim — Replacements
Unknown Pleasures — Jpy Division
Paid in Full — Eric B. and Rakim
Adolescents — Adolescents
Daddy has a Tail! — Cows
Sandinista! — The Clash
The Stone Roses — The Stone Roses

Doctor Lemongl​ow

over 3 years ago

During the late 1980s when I was a record fiend I was gathering up EPs, 12-inch singles, club mixes, Peel Sessions, and Flexi discs like crazy, so I think of countless bands as singles acts (even Bauhaus).
In other words, not many great ALBUMS came out of the 1980s, in my view. Not much you could drop a needle on and just sit back.
In that context, I should say that I listened to most of what is listed in Grey Daisies’ daunting list, but not so much via albums.
In any case, not in order of preference:

KALEIDOSCOPE Siouxsie and the Banshees

GET HAPPY Elvis Costello

CLOSER Joy Divsion



PORCUPINE Echo and the BunnyMen


ALWAYS NOW Section 25


ALL THE GODS’ MEN Blue in Heaven


MOVEMENT (and related singles) and POWER, CORRUPTION, and LIES New Order

MISHIMA Phillip Glass



THIS IS WHAT YOU WANT…THIS IS WHAT YOU GET (and COMMERCIAL ZONE, bootleg alternate version of TIWYW) Public Image Ltd.





BIRD WOOD CAGE The Wolfgang Press


PAINT YOUR WAGON Red Lorry Yellow Lorry


BUMMED Happy Monday

8 CREPUSCULE TRACKS and CODE Cabaret Voltaire


over 3 years ago

omg, i forgot about Wire.

A Bell Is a Cup – Wire
The Ideal Copy – Wire


over 3 years ago

Scoundrel Days – a-ha
Daydream Nation – Sonic Youth
Surfer Rosa – Pixies
Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen
New Gold Dream – Simple Minds
Full Moon Fever – Tom Petty
Avalon – Roxy Music
Tracy Chapman – Tracy Chapman
Graceland – Paul Simon
Like A Prayer – Madonna


over 3 years ago

Double post.

ruby stevens

over 3 years ago

ok a few that i love that haven’t been listed yet. cuz my list would be the usual pixies, sonic youth, smiths, talking heads, replacements and prince :P

shoot out the lights -richard and linda thompson
penguin eggs -nic jones
skylarking -XTC
3 feet high and rising -de la soul
fear & whiskey -the mekons
los angeles -X
playing with fire -spacemen 3