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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 35,000 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.
19801,424278,380 Remain In Light (39th)
by Talking Heads
19811,470152,617 Moving Pictures (153rd)
by Rush
19821,464194,406 Thriller (73rd)
by Michael Jackson
19831,437176,768 Murmur (141st)
by R.E.M.
19841,478239,023 Purple Rain (95th)
by Prince And The Revolution
19851,476186,253 Rain Dogs (109th)
by Tom Waits
19861,545262,362 The Queen Is Dead (21st)
by The Smiths
19871,720254,431 The Joshua Tree (35th)
by U2
19881,741239,041 Daydream Nation (55th)
by Sonic Youth
19891,803327,537 Doolittle (19th)
by Pixies
Total15,5582,310,818

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
21.

Paul's BoutiqueUnited States Beastie Boys
Year of Release:1989Appears in:634 charts
Rank in 1989:4Rank Score:15,176
Rank in 1980s21Overall Rank:177
Average Rating:  82/100 (781 votes)
Comments: 37 comments
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22.

Ride The LightningUnited States Metallica
Year of Release:1984Appears in:603 charts
Rank in 1984:2Rank Score:14,367
Rank in 1980s22Overall Rank:186
Average Rating:  82/100 (935 votes)
Comments: 58 comments
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23.

The SmithsUnited Kingdom The Smiths
Year of Release:1984Appears in:715 charts
Rank in 1984:3Rank Score:14,226
Rank in 1980s23Overall Rank:188
Average Rating:  83/100 (1,073 votes)
Comments: 68 comments
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24.

It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us BackUnited States Public Enemy
Year of Release:1988Appears in:614 charts
Rank in 1988:4Rank Score:13,391
Rank in 1980s24Overall Rank:199
Average Rating:  79/100 (753 votes)
Comments: 41 comments
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25.

Violent FemmesUnited States Violent Femmes
Year of Release:1983Appears in:677 charts
Rank in 1983:2Rank Score:13,383
Rank in 1980s25Overall Rank:200
Average Rating:  82/100 (731 votes)
Comments: 59 comments
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26.

Born In The U.S.A.United States Bruce Springsteen
Year of Release:1984Appears in:634 charts
Rank in 1984:4Rank Score:13,169
Rank in 1980s26Overall Rank:206
Average Rating:  77/100 (1,000 votes)
Comments: 56 comments
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27.

Meat Is MurderUnited Kingdom The Smiths
Year of Release:1985Appears in:633 charts
Rank in 1985:3Rank Score:12,186
Rank in 1980s27Overall Rank:224
Average Rating:  82/100 (954 votes)
Comments: 52 comments
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28.

Let It BeUnited States The Replacements
Year of Release:1984Appears in:583 charts
Rank in 1984:5Rank Score:12,007
Rank in 1980s28Overall Rank:227
Average Rating:  82/100 (695 votes)
Comments: 59 comments
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29.

Brothers In ArmsUnited Kingdom Dire Straits
Year of Release:1985Appears in:599 charts
Rank in 1985:4Rank Score:11,715
Rank in 1980s29Overall Rank:232
Average Rating:  77/100 (829 votes)
Comments: 58 comments
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30.

Sign 'O' The TimesUnited States Prince
Year of Release:1987Appears in:560 charts
Rank in 1987:3Rank Score:11,474
Rank in 1980s30Overall Rank:236
Average Rating:  80/100 (662 votes)
Comments: 40 comments
Buy album United States Amazon   Amazon MP3   eBay   iTunes   Use the iTunes, Amazon or eBay buttons to safely buy this item from one of the world's top online stores.

Best Albums of the 1980s composition

Year Albums %


1980 110 11%
1981 120 12%
1982 102 10%
1983 98 10%
1984 96 10%
1985 85 9%
1986 99 10%
1987 86 9%
1988 104 10%
1989 100 10%
Artist Albums %


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


United Kingdom 419 42%
United States 395 40%
Australia 38 4%
Canada 26 3%
Germany 19 2%
Mixed Nationality 16 2%
Ireland 16 2%
Show all

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