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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 33,000 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.
19801,354264,668 Remain In Light (42nd)
by Talking Heads
19811,413145,851 Moving Pictures (154th)
by Rush
19821,398185,139 Thriller (72nd)
by Michael Jackson
19831,360169,320 Murmur (142nd)
by R.E.M.
19841,407229,842 Purple Rain (101st)
by Prince And The Revolution
19851,399178,428 Rain Dogs (108th)
by Tom Waits
19861,484251,770 The Queen Is Dead (21st)
by The Smiths
19871,644245,281 The Joshua Tree (34th)
by U2
19881,668230,069 Daydream Nation (54th)
by Sonic Youth
19891,699314,139 Doolittle (19th)
by Pixies
Total14,8262,214,506

The best artists of the 1980s were The Smiths, Pixies, Prince, U2, The Cure, Talking Heads, The Stone Roses, Metallica, Sonic Youth and R.E.M..
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Sort byOverall Rank | Number of Charts | Average Rating | Number of Ratings | Release Date | Title | Artist
RankAlbumArtist
1.

DoolittleUnited States Pixies
Year of Release:1989Appears in:1,928 charts
Rank in 1989:1Rank Score:77,687
Rank in 1980s1Overall Rank:19
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,173 votes)
Comments: 226 comments
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2.

The Queen Is DeadUnited Kingdom The Smiths
Year of Release:1986Appears in:1,835 charts
Rank in 1986:1Rank Score:72,143
Rank in 1980s2Overall Rank:21
Average Rating: Top rated 88/100 (2,110 votes)
Comments: 204 comments
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3.

The Stone RosesUnited Kingdom The Stone Roses
Year of Release:1989Appears in:1,476 charts
Rank in 1989:2Rank Score:54,204
Rank in 1980s3Overall Rank:29
Average Rating: Top rated 86/100 (1,705 votes)
Comments: 163 comments
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4.

The Joshua TreeIreland U2
Year of Release:1987Appears in:1,411 charts
Rank in 1987:1Rank Score:47,763
Rank in 1980s4Overall Rank:34
Average Rating:  82/100 (1,888 votes)
Comments: 181 comments
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5.

Remain In LightUnited States Talking Heads
Year of Release:1980Appears in:1,343 charts
Rank in 1980:1Rank Score:42,036
Rank in 1980s5Overall Rank:42
Average Rating: Top rated 87/100 (1,539 votes)
Comments: 123 comments
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6.

DisintegrationUnited Kingdom The Cure
Year of Release:1989Appears in:1,197 charts
Rank in 1989:3Rank Score:39,807
Rank in 1980s6Overall Rank:46
Average Rating: Top rated 86/100 (1,376 votes)
Comments: 99 comments
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7.

Daydream NationUnited States Sonic Youth
Year of Release:1988Appears in:1,177 charts
Rank in 1988:1Rank Score:36,870
Rank in 1980s7Overall Rank:54
Average Rating:  84/100 (1,374 votes)
Comments: 114 comments
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8.

CloserUnited Kingdom Joy Division
Year of Release:1980Appears in:1,077 charts
Rank in 1980:2Rank Score:31,783
Rank in 1980s8Overall Rank:65
Average Rating: Top rated 86/100 (1,395 votes)
Comments: 89 comments
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9.

Appetite For DestructionUnited States Guns N' Roses
Year of Release:1987Appears in:1,019 charts
Rank in 1987:2Rank Score:30,832
Rank in 1980s9Overall Rank:69
Average Rating:  78/100 (1,482 votes)
Comments: 125 comments
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10.

ThrillerUnited States Michael Jackson
Year of Release:1982Appears in:1,119 charts
Rank in 1982:1Rank Score:29,923
Rank in 1980s10Overall Rank:72
Average Rating:  81/100 (1,563 votes)
Comments: 104 comments
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Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 108 11%
1981 121 12%
1982 99 10%
1983 97 10%
1984 97 10%
1985 86 9%
1986 101 10%
1987 90 9%
1988 100 10%
1989 101 10%
Artist Albums %


The Cure 10 1%
Iron Maiden 8 1%
Rush 8 1%
Depeche Mode 8 1%
Siouxsie And The Banshees 7 1%
R.E.M. 7 1%
The Smiths 7 1%
Show all
Country Albums %


United Kingdom 417 42%
United States 396 40%
Australia 42 4%
Canada 27 3%
Germany 20 2%
Ireland 16 2%
Argentina 11 1%
Show all

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