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Best Albums of the 1980s

« View best albums of the 1970sView best albums of the 1990s »

Listed below are the greatest albums of the 1980s as calculated from their overall rankings in over 19,000 greatest album charts.

Best albums by year or decade
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1980s decade summary
YearAlbums   The number of albums from each year featuring in the greatest album charts. Score   Total rank score for each year (made up of the total rank score from all albums in that year) Top Ranked Album   The top ranked album from each year and where it ranks in the overall chart.
1980802185,632 Remain In Light (52nd)
by Talking Heads
198191499,302 Moving Pictures (166th)
by Rush
1982895127,808 Thriller (73rd)
by Michael Jackson
1983866115,145 Murmur (129th)
by R.E.M.
1984919161,575 Purple Rain (112th)
by Prince & The Revolution
1985854125,314 Rain Dogs (97th)
by Tom Waits
1986963178,254 The Queen Is Dead (22nd)
by The Smiths
19871,028176,429 The Joshua Tree (32nd)
by U2
19881,040162,567 Daydream Nation (49th)
by Sonic Youth
19891,107229,446 Doolittle (18th)
by Pixies
Total9,3881,561,472

The best artists of the 1980s were The Smiths, Pixies, U2, The Cure, The Stone Roses, Metallica, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and Michael Jackson.
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Sort byOverall Rank | Number of Charts | Average Rating | Number of Ratings | Release Date | Title | Artist
RankAlbumArtist
131.

Heaven Up HereUnited Kingdom Echo & The Bunnymen
Year of Release:1981Appears in:106 charts
Rank in 1981:9Rank Score:2,002
Rank in 1980s131Overall Rank:820
Average Rating:  76/100 (142 votes)
Comments: 4 comments
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132.

Dare!United Kingdom The Human League
Year of Release:1981Appears in:133 charts
Rank in 1981:10Rank Score:2,001
Rank in 1980s132Overall Rank:821
Average Rating:  74/100 (197 votes)
Comments: 13 comments
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133.

Zenyatta MondattaUnited Kingdom The Police
Year of Release:1980Appears in:150 charts
Rank in 1980:18Rank Score:1,952
Rank in 1980s133Overall Rank:833
Average Rating:  75/100 (235 votes)
Comments: 10 comments
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134.

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1Mixed Nationality The Traveling Wilburys
Year of Release:1988Appears in:125 charts
Rank in 1988:14Rank Score:1,949
Rank in 1980s134Overall Rank:836
Average Rating:  76/100 (165 votes)
Comments: 10 comments
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135.

I'm Your ManCanada Leonard Cohen
Year of Release:1988Appears in:130 charts
Rank in 1988:15Rank Score:1,924
Rank in 1980s135Overall Rank:845
Average Rating:  80/100 (147 votes)
Comments: 6 comments
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136.

Sound AffectsUnited Kingdom The Jam
Year of Release:1980Appears in:116 charts
Rank in 1980:19Rank Score:1,906
Rank in 1980s136Overall Rank:850
Average Rating:  78/100 (160 votes)
Comments: 3 comments
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137.

Ace Of SpadesUnited Kingdom Motörhead
Year of Release:1980Appears in:125 charts
Rank in 1980:20Rank Score:1,897
Rank in 1980s137Overall Rank:855
Average Rating:  77/100 (185 votes)
Comments: 9 comments
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138.

Rattle And HumIreland U2
Year of Release:1988Appears in:136 charts
Rank in 1988:16Rank Score:1,897
Rank in 1980s138Overall Rank:856
Average Rating:  72/100 (321 votes)
Comments: 18 comments
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139.

Combat RockUnited Kingdom The Clash
Year of Release:1982Appears in:168 charts
Rank in 1982:12Rank Score:1,889
Rank in 1980s139Overall Rank:858
Average Rating:  76/100 (280 votes)
Comments: 12 comments
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140.

Tunnel Of LoveUnited States Bruce Springsteen
Year of Release:1987Appears in:115 charts
Rank in 1987:16Rank Score:1,865
Rank in 1980s140Overall Rank:867
Average Rating:  74/100 (238 votes)
Comments: 15 comments
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Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 113 11%
1981 117 12%
1982 95 10%
1983 92 9%
1984 96 10%
1985 91 9%
1986 111 11%
1987 91 9%
1988 94 9%
1989 100 10%
Artist Albums %


The Cure 10 1%
Depeche Mode 8 1%
Iron Maiden 8 1%
R.E.M. 8 1%
U2 7 1%
Talking Heads 7 1%
Siouxsie & The Banshees 7 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 414 41%
United States 397 40%
Australia 42 4%
Canada 22 2%
Germany 16 2%
Ireland 14 1%
Norway 14 1%
Show all

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