Top 5 Albums of the 80s

  1. David Bowie - Scary Monsters
  2. Echo & the Bunnymen - Porcupine
  3. Siouxsie & the Banshees - Kaleidoscope
  4. New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
  5. My Bloody Valentine - Isn’t Anything

With respect to the Cure’s Pornography, the Cult’s Love, everything by Tears for Fears, ABC’s Lexicon of Love, Human League’s Dare, Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation, and, you know, it was a really good decade for music, despite the Aqua Net hair-do’s.


If we’re doing songs, then this for sure:

Lisa Stansfield - All Around the World


Impossibly difficult.

The Smiths - Hatful of Hollow
Joy Division - Closer
The Fall - Hex Enduction Hour
Tom Waits - Rain Dogs
Prince - Sign ‘O’ The Times

Cocteau Twins - Treasure
American Music Club - California
John Foxx - Metamatic
The Go-Betweens - Liberty Belle and the Black Diamond Express
Pixies - Doolittle
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Tender Prey
Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions
R.E.M. - Murmur
The Blue Nile - Hats
The Human League - Dare
The Triffids - Born Sandy Devotional

And probably loads more I’ve forgotten


“Sign o’ the Times” by Prince, obviously enough.



can’t even pick a top 5 for any individual year of the 80s let alone the entire decade


Too difficult but an REM album would be amongst my top 5 as well as Galaxie 500’s On Fire.


For example

Remain in Light
Colossal Youth
Searching for the Young Soul Rebels
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
Double Fantasy
Macartney II
Gentlemen Take Polaroids
Scary Monsters
17 seconds

ALL 1980


pet shop boys - actually would be in my top 5

  1. Pixies - Doolittle
  2. Beastie Boys - Paul’s Boutique
  3. Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation
  4. New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
  5. Talking Heads - Remain in Light

Pretty tough to choose a top 5 here like. Disintegration, Head on the Door, Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa, You’re Living All Over Me, Bug, Sister, Strangeways, Queen is Dead, Straight Outta Compton, Damaged, Closer… so many great records



Dirty Mind
Empires and Dance
The Correct Use of Soap
Crazy Rhythms
In a Flat Field
Penguin Eggs
The Return of the Durutti Column
Get Happy!

Not a bad year


Music was better in the eighties than it is now. Discuss (don’t).



but any year in the 80s has at least 20 great albums - and not just out of nostalgia

I think the developments of music technology, media proliferation (but not too much/too divided) a futuristic outlook, a global outlook & a fair amount of political tension made for a uniquely fruitful era


I think the rise of independent labels coupled with the rupture caused by punk is the main explanation- suddenly there was a blooming of creativity and a whole range of outlets for it.

I try to avoid nostalgia, but I would speak up for the 80s as arguably the greatest musical decade. The 70s had some great music in the mainstream and the birth of punk, disco and hip hop, but the 80s had such a variety of interesting music, both in the charts and in the underground. Watching those TOTP reruns it is constantly surprising how many varied and interesting records were in the charts. I think chart music has definitely got more homogeneous ever since.


yeah, all of that

but also… the fact that there weren’t hundreds of specialist TV/radio/media channels back then and so different genres had often a single platform meant that you could have Wham! & Bauhaus or Cliff & The Smiths or Bucks Fizz & Echo & The Bunnymen on the same programme and that cross fertilisation of movements that began at the end of the 70s was mega for pop culture


Paid in Full
Critical Beatdown
Criminal Minded
Long Live the Kane
Straight Outta Compton