Pitchfork: Best Albums of the 80s

I mean, in general, it seems they’ve actually asked people who specialise in the broad range of genres they cover as a publication to nominate albums, which makes it much more interesting than the one which asked a load of white indie rock nerds circa 15 years ago


Unsurprisingly, the comments on the Pitchfork FB page are loads of people moaning that they’ve put in non-white artists at the expense of various white ones.

tremendous :smiley:


decided to listen to all these.

The last track on the Malcolm McLaren album… Christ.

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Either that or lifted the Fact 80s list and added some pop and r’n’b records to reflect their current re-brand. One or the other.

(This is a much better list than the 2002 one, obvs)

(That really isn’t difficult, tho)

They seem to have broadly updated in the same way they did the 60s. Big mainstream pop + hip hop (jazz for the 60s) + a few genre specific classics. Seems to fit in with how the site is pitching itself now.

I’ve no idea if it is ‘better’ but, especially for the 60s list, it feels reasonable to be looking past the same old stuff.

Only thing I’d say, and this is obviously purely subjective, but are these really the best pop albums? Obviously Thriller, Madonna, Whitney are undeniably massive but were there not better 80s pop albums. I know beyond a certain level of popularity critical acclaim really becomes pointless but even Thriller isn’t considered a particularly great record is it?

Is Pitchfork actually better since they got bought out? I used to find it insufferable but it seems to have the odd good feature now - although I’m not in the habit of looking at it.

Isn’t Dare considered one of the best 80s pop albums? That didn’t make it in the list this time did it?

Madonna’s debut album is great but I’d have had True Blue or Like a Prayer as her highest ranking one.

I’m all for some considered reappraisal. 16 years seems a pretty reasonable time to wait as well. Was it Q magazine who did a ‘Best albums of all time’ feature twice in three years? Fucking Kula Shaker were in it both times IIRC.


The Girl Is Mine is on Thriller.

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I really wonder who in the Pitchfork staff is listening to Thriller on a regular basis. I loved the album growing up, but haven’t listened to it for years and struggle to imagine many people loving it today.

Odd to me that it’s ranked so high now

I wish they didn’t rank them, as it just leads to knee-jerk irking when some absolute guff ranks higher than something I personally treasure (and suspect they do too really). But I suppose that is kind of the point.

Mercyful fate - ha ha, he DOES sound a bit like robert smith when he’s not shrieking.

Huh, turns out soundgarden stole a big dumb sex riff from these guys.

Good album. Id rank it 187.

Whodini - best beats so far. Lovely stuff.

Just took another look at this. Apart from putting two massively overrated albums in the top 3 and throwing a good Janet Jackson album that no one really believes to be one of the best albums ever made in the top 10, it’s otherwise a decent attempt at a list


weirdly enough I think the reaction to there being no REM at all in their best songs of the 80s list a coupla years ago is the reason there’s a few REM albums in this list at all.

Go ahead and pick the worst 80s Cocteaus album why dontcha.

Still think big lists like this are dumb. They are unlikely to get anyone to listen to ‘new’ albums and instead just get you to complain because they leave off your favourite ones. Would surely be much more effective to do an 80s week/month with in depth features about albums/scenes/artists that actually locate this music. Instead its designed for you to listen to each album once on spotify and go ‘welp now i understand the 80s’

Gotta get dem CLICKS for your RAD advertisers though, dude!!!11!!!


Probably no one but that doesn’t mean people can’t acknowledge it’s importance in the same way you just did?

The list is meant to be Best Albums though, right?

Yeah, same. I’m never going to sit and listen to 200 - 1 (I probably won’t even read 200 - 1) but I’ve already skimmed the list and picked out a few things albums I missed or never bothered listening to.

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