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Best Albums of the 1980s

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Listed below are the greatest albums of the 1980s as calculated from their overall rankings in over 23,000 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.
19801,001206,743 Remain In Light (50th)
by Talking Heads
19811,087114,859 Moving Pictures (157th)
by Rush
19821,077145,222 Thriller (76th)
by Michael Jackson
19831,031132,715 Murmur (136th)
by R.E.M.
19841,070181,224 Purple Rain (108th)
by Prince & The Revolution
1985986138,103 Rain Dogs (103rd)
by Tom Waits
19861,095199,632 The Queen Is Dead (22nd)
by The Smiths
19871,191197,597 The Joshua Tree (32nd)
by U2
19881,180180,964 Daydream Nation (54th)
by Sonic Youth
19891,220255,227 Doolittle (19th)
by Pixies
Total10,9381,752,285

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.

Ace Of SpadesUnited Kingdom Motörhead
Year of Release:1980Appears in:147 charts
Rank in 1980:17Rank Score:2,143
Rank in 1980s131Overall Rank:844
Average Rating:  78/100 (218 votes)
Comments: 12 comments
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132.

Heaven Up HereUnited Kingdom Echo & The Bunnymen
Year of Release:1981Appears in:124 charts
Rank in 1981:10Rank Score:2,140
Rank in 1980s132Overall Rank:845
Average Rating:  76/100 (180 votes)
Comments: 6 comments
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133.

I'm Your ManCanada Leonard Cohen
Year of Release:1988Appears in:142 charts
Rank in 1988:14Rank Score:2,108
Rank in 1980s133Overall Rank:859
Average Rating:  80/100 (171 votes)
Comments: 6 comments
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134.

TimeUnited Kingdom Electric Light Orchestra
Year of Release:1981Appears in:100 charts
Rank in 1981:11Rank Score:2,108
Rank in 1980s134Overall Rank:861
Average Rating:  73/100 (151 votes)
Comments: 14 comments
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135.

Combat RockUnited Kingdom The Clash
Year of Release:1982Appears in:195 charts
Rank in 1982:12Rank Score:2,083
Rank in 1980s135Overall Rank:872
Average Rating:  76/100 (344 votes)
Comments: 14 comments
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136.

DareUnited Kingdom The Human League
Year of Release:1981Appears in:157 charts
Rank in 1981:12Rank Score:2,082
Rank in 1980s136Overall Rank:873
Average Rating:  74/100 (226 votes)
Comments: 16 comments
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137.

Raising HellUnited States Run-D.M.C.
Year of Release:1986Appears in:150 charts
Rank in 1986:13Rank Score:2,077
Rank in 1980s137Overall Rank:877
Average Rating:  77/100 (179 votes)
Comments: 9 comments
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138.

Tunnel Of LoveUnited States Bruce Springsteen
Year of Release:1987Appears in:136 charts
Rank in 1987:16Rank Score:2,069
Rank in 1980s138Overall Rank:881
Average Rating:  75/100 (282 votes)
Comments: 18 comments
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139.

DarklandsUnited Kingdom The Jesus And Mary Chain
Year of Release:1987Appears in:152 charts
Rank in 1987:17Rank Score:2,068
Rank in 1980s139Overall Rank:883
Average Rating:  78/100 (173 votes)
Comments: 7 comments
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140.

Sound AffectsUnited Kingdom The Jam
Year of Release:1980Appears in:133 charts
Rank in 1980:18Rank Score:2,068
Rank in 1980s140Overall Rank:884
Average Rating:  79/100 (182 votes)
Comments: 4 comments
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Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 110 11%
1981 123 12%
1982 96 10%
1983 98 10%
1984 95 10%
1985 85 9%
1986 104 10%
1987 95 10%
1988 96 10%
1989 98 10%
Artist Albums %


The Cure 9 1%
Iron Maiden 8 1%
R.E.M. 8 1%
Rush 8 1%
Depeche Mode 8 1%
Simple Minds 7 1%
Siouxsie & The Banshees 7 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 417 42%
United States 390 39%
Australia 41 4%
Canada 29 3%
Germany 18 2%
Ireland 14 1%
Argentina 11 1%
Show all

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