Pitchfork: Best Albums of the 80s

Actually this list is definitely better than the 2002 one (though apparently the old list hasn’t been deleted according to some of the replies)

Aye they’ve gone for the Second Edition issue, hadn’t thought of the metal box version not being released in the US

Second Edition is the US version of Metal Box which came out in February 1980. I think Pitchfork acknowledge that in the review.

I’m not sure I agree with its inclusion on the list though. I think the original 1979 album is the track order that was intended to be listened to (and is the better-known version anyway), so it should be on a 70s list. Mind you it is stupidly ahead of its time and sounds much more 80s than 70s, if it was on a best of 70s list it might come unfairly at the very top while not really being a good representation of that decade (especially since it was released only about a month before 1980, but that’s a very flawed argument).

The Fall have been seriously demoted since the last list. Unacceptable.

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just happy to see some love for Sade


Would have had more than one Nick Cave album in there too.

^This. The Replacements too. Seems to be part of the “we have never been JUST an indie rock website” offensive that they’ve been undergoing for the past few years


I only skimmed through, is From Her to Eternity the only one in there? I like it but it’s a strange choice over Your Funeral and Tender Prey

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Aye it’s all a bit @needlessly_defensive

This Nation’s Saving Grace has dropped from 13 to 70something and Hex Enduction Hour and Perverted by Language have dropped out completely, not having that

Yeah it’s great that they’re aiming to get more balanced and to look beyond just white male indie. But lately it does seem like some great “rock” albums are getting scores significantly lower than what, to me, seem to be pretty average pop or rap albums. Just gone from one extreme to the other

The original list from 2002 annoys me as it’s offensive tokenism. Remove everything by black artists and it’s a decent 80s primer for Melody Maker/NME approved music and US College Rock. Fits in with Pitchfork’s brief (I think).

By trying to be aware and inclusive, Pitchfork failed.

Not sure I 100% follow what you’re saying. Pitchfork shouldn’t have included any black artists in its 2002 list and stuck to its ‘brief’?

Totally legit criticism that there aren’t very many black artists in the 2002 list, and I can completely understand why Pitchfork wanted to subsequently address this, but not sure that including records like Sign O The Times, Nation Of Millions, Criminal Minded and 3 Feet High & Rising counts as tokenism tbh. They’re widely regarded as some of the best records ever made

To me it’s like if Kerrang did a 100 Best Albums of the 80s and had 90 lps that fitted their demographics and then added some Michael Jackson, Prince and De La Soul to be inclusive.

The updated list with 200 albums is far better as it covers all genres and is not a bad introduction to music from the 80s.

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Though I’m very unhappy that ABC Lexicon of Love did not make the cut. Still, Janet Jackson and Sade.

still not enough synthpop


Mr. Yellowman 170??? Travesty. Morning Ride best banger of the 80s!!

There’s a great podcast via “Classic Album Sundays” on Power, Corruption & Lies, well worth checking out.

No Orange Juice or Felt seems a bit of an oversight

is popped in souled out by wet wet wet in there