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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 20,000 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.
1980829189,795 Remain In Light (53rd)
by Talking Heads
1981951102,763 Moving Pictures (166th)
by Rush
1982924130,522 Thriller (73rd)
by Michael Jackson
1983894118,421 Murmur (133rd)
by R.E.M.
1984947166,354 Purple Rain (110th)
by Prince & The Revolution
1985881128,161 Rain Dogs (99th)
by Tom Waits
1986986181,418 The Queen Is Dead (22nd)
by The Smiths
19871,062179,357 The Joshua Tree (32nd)
by U2
19881,084166,334 Daydream Nation (52nd)
by Sonic Youth
19891,133234,109 Doolittle (18th)
by Pixies
Total9,6911,597,234

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.

The Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 1Mixed Nationality The Traveling Wilburys
Year of Release:1988Appears in:127 charts
Rank in 1988:14Rank Score:2,002
Rank in 1980s131Overall Rank:829
Average Rating:  77/100 (173 votes)
Comments: 10 comments
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132.

DareUnited Kingdom The Human League
Year of Release:1981Appears in:135 charts
Rank in 1981:10Rank Score:1,996
Rank in 1980s132Overall Rank:833
Average Rating:  74/100 (203 votes)
Comments: 13 comments
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133.

Colossal YouthUnited Kingdom Young Marble Giants
Year of Release:1980Appears in:141 charts
Rank in 1980:17Rank Score:1,988
Rank in 1980s133Overall Rank:842
Average Rating:  80/100 (148 votes)
Comments: 12 comments
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134.

Fire Of LoveUnited States The Gun Club
Year of Release:1981Appears in:132 charts
Rank in 1981:11Rank Score:1,986
Rank in 1980s134Overall Rank:843
Average Rating:  79/100 (139 votes)
Comments: 7 comments
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135.

Sound AffectsUnited Kingdom The Jam
Year of Release:1980Appears in:121 charts
Rank in 1980:18Rank Score:1,984
Rank in 1980s135Overall Rank:845
Average Rating:  79/100 (166 votes)
Comments: 3 comments
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136.

Tunnel Of LoveUnited States Bruce Springsteen
Year of Release:1987Appears in:122 charts
Rank in 1987:16Rank Score:1,978
Rank in 1980s136Overall Rank:847
Average Rating:  74/100 (247 votes)
Comments: 15 comments
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137.

Heaven Up HereUnited Kingdom Echo & The Bunnymen
Year of Release:1981Appears in:108 charts
Rank in 1981:12Rank Score:1,974
Rank in 1980s137Overall Rank:853
Average Rating:  76/100 (152 votes)
Comments: 4 comments
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138.

Zenyatta MondattaUnited Kingdom The Police
Year of Release:1980Appears in:152 charts
Rank in 1980:19Rank Score:1,930
Rank in 1980s138Overall Rank:867
Average Rating:  75/100 (245 votes)
Comments: 10 comments
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139.

Ace Of SpadesUnited Kingdom Motörhead
Year of Release:1980Appears in:129 charts
Rank in 1980:20Rank Score:1,926
Rank in 1980s139Overall Rank:868
Average Rating:  77/100 (193 votes)
Comments: 9 comments
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140.

I'm Your ManCanada Leonard Cohen
Year of Release:1988Appears in:131 charts
Rank in 1988:15Rank Score:1,920
Rank in 1980s140Overall Rank:871
Average Rating:  80/100 (155 votes)
Comments: 6 comments
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Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 115 12%
1981 118 12%
1982 92 9%
1983 96 10%
1984 95 10%
1985 91 9%
1986 109 11%
1987 92 9%
1988 93 9%
1989 99 10%
Artist Albums %


The Cure 10 1%
Iron Maiden 8 1%
R.E.M. 8 1%
Depeche Mode 8 1%
The Smiths 7 1%
U2 7 1%
Eurythmics 7 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 414 41%
United States 395 40%
Australia 42 4%
Canada 23 2%
Germany 16 2%
Ireland 14 1%
Norway 14 1%
Show all

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