100 Greatest Rock Albums Of The 1980s

Criteria: These albums were chosen for their initial and lasting popularity and their influence and impact on rock music in general. Also considered is critical acclaim. The list includes rock and roll and related genres that were influential on rock music. Archival releases, which in some cases are included in the yearly lists, are not eligible here.
Rock Albums 1980s
1. Thriller
Michael Jackson (1982)
2. Purple Rain
Prince and the Revolution (1984)
3. The Joshua Tree
U2 (1987)
4. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Public Enemy (1988)
5. Born in the USA
Bruce Springsteen (1984)
6. Raising Hell
Run-D.M.C. (1986)
7. Like A Virgin
Madonna (1984)
8. Murmur
R.E.M. (1983)
9. Licensed To Ill
Beastie Boys (1986)
10. Straight Outta Compton
N.W.A (1988)
11. Synchronicity
The Police (1983)
12. Appetite For Destruction
Guns N' Roses (1987)
13. Graceland
Paul Simon (1986)
14. Control
Janet Jackson (1986)
15. Back In Black
AC/DC (1980)
16. 3 Feet High And Rising
De La Soul (1989)
17. 1999
Prince (1982)
18. Run-D.M.C.
Run-D.M.C. (1984)
19. Daydream Nation
Sonic Youth (1988)
20. The Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden (1982)
21. The Queen Is Dead
The Smiths (1986)
22. Radio
LL Cool J (1985)
23. Rio
Duran Duran (1982)
24. Brothers In Arms
Dire Straits (1985)
25. 1984
Van Halen (1984)
26. Master of Puppets
Metallica (1986)
27. The Unforgettable Fire
U2 (1984)
28. Remain In Light
Talking Heads (1980)
29. Doolittle
The Pixies (1989)
30. Paul's Boutique
Beastie Boys (1989)
31. Beauty And The Beat
The Go-Go's (1981)
32. Like A Prayer
Madonna (1989)
33. So
Peter Gabriel (1986)
34. Closer
Joy Division (1980)
35. Dare!
The Human League (1981)
36. Rhythm Nation 1814
Janet Jackson (1989)
37. Rain Dogs
Tom Waits (1985)
38. Slippery When Wet
Bon Jovi (1986)
39. Disintegration
The Cure (1989)
40. The Message
Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five (1982)
41. Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman (1988)
42. Ace Of Spades
Motorhead (1980)
43. Nothing's Shocking
Jane's Addiction (1988)
44. The River
Bruce Springsteen (1980)
45. War
U2 (1983)
46. The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses (1989)
47. She's So Unusual
Cyndi Lauper (1983)
48. King Of Rock
Run-D.M.C. (1985)
49. No Jacket Required
Phil Collins (1985)
50. Reign In Blood
Slayer (1986)
51. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston (1985)
52. Nick Of Time
Bonnie Raitt (1989)
53. Can't Slow Down
Lionel Richie (1983)
54. Ghost In The Machine
The Police (1981)
55. The End Of The Innocence
Don Henley (1989)
56. Sign O' The Times
Prince (1987)
57. Paid In Full
Eric B. & Rakim (1987)
58. Psychocandy
The Jesus and Mary Chain (1985)
59. Moving Pictures
Rush (1981)
60. Break Out
The Pointer Sisters (1983)
61. Bad
Michael Jackson (1987)
62. Swordfishtrombones
Tom Waits (1983)
63. Eliminator
ZZ Top (1983)
64. Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen (1982)
65. Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes (1983)
66. Let It Be
The Replacements (1984)
67. Technique
New Order (1989)
68. Pyromania
Def Leppard (1983)
69. True Blue
Madonna (1986)
70. Avalon
Roxy Music (1982)
71. Dirty Mind
Prince (1980)
72. The Smiths
The Smiths (1984)
73. Hysteria
Def Leppard (1987)
74. Faith
George Michael (1987)
75. Hi Infidelity
REO Speedwagon (1980)
76. Tattoo You
Rolling Stones (1981)
77. Surfer Rosa
Pixies (1988)
78. The Game
Queen (1980)
79. Hounds Of Love
Kate Bush (1985)
80. Strictly Business
EPMD (1988)
81. Diana
Diana Ross (1980)
82. Ride The Lightning
Metallica (1984)
83. Freedom
Neil Young (1989)
84. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
Dead Kennedys (1980)
85. Document
R.E.M. (1987)
86. Spirit Of Eden
Talk Talk (1988)
87. Private Dancer
Tina Turner (1984)
88. Kick
INXS (1987)
89. Pretty Hate Machine
Nine Inch Nails (1989)
90. Zen Arcade
Hüsker Dü (1984)
91. Criminal Minded
Boogie Down Productions (1987)
92. Damaged
Black Flag (1981)
93. The Nightfly
Donald Fagen (1982)
94. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash
The Pogues (1985)
95. Double Nickels On The Dime
Minutemen (1984)
96. Business As Usual
Men At Work (1982)
97. Blizzard Of Ozz
Ozzy Osbourne (1980)
98. Full Moon Fever
Tom Petty (1989)
99. Heart
Heart (1985)
100. Imperial Bedroom
Elvis Costello and The Attractions (1982)
101. My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
Brian Eno & David Byrne (1981)
102. Escape
Journey (1981)
103. Shoot Out the Lights
Richard & Linda Thompson (1982)
104. Pump
Aerosmith (1989)
105. Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good
Prefab Sprout (1985)
106. 4
Foreigner (1981)
107. Club Classics Vol. One (Keep On Movin')
Soul II Soul (1989)
108. Rapture
Anita Baker (1986)
109. Sister
Sonic Youth (1987)
110. Piece Of Mind
Iron Maiden (1983)
111. Green
R.E.M. (1988)
112. Whitney
Whitney Houston (1987)
113. Speaking In Tounges
Talking Heads (1983)
114. Private Eyes
Hall & Oates (1981)
115. ...And Justice For All
Metallica (1988)
116. Yo! Bum Rush The Show
Public Enemy (1987)
117. Texas Flood
Stevie Ray Vaughan (1983)
118. Searching For Young Soul Rebels
Dexy's Midnight Runners (1980)
119. Permanent Vacation
Aerosmith (1987)
120. Madonna
Madonna (1983)
121. The Lexicon Of Love
ABC (1982)
122. Zenyatta Mondatta
The Police (1980)
123. Los Angeles
X (1980)
124. Combat Rock
The Clash (1982)
125. Toto IV
Toto (1982)
126. Giving You The Best That I Got
Anita Baker (1988)
127. Rattlesnakes
Lloyd Cole & The Commotions (1984)
128. Tunnel Of Love
Bruce Springsteen (1987)
129. Touch
Eurythmics (1983)
130. Peter Gabriel (III)
Peter Gabriel (1980)
131. Let's Dance
David Bowie (1983)
132. Midnight Love
Marvin Gaye (1982)
133. Tim
The Replacements (1985)
134. New York
Lou Reed (1989)
135. Straight Out The Jungle
Jungle Brothers (1988)
136. New Day Rising
Hüsker Dü (1985)
137. Dr. Feelgood
Mötley Crüe (1989)
138. Lifes Rich Pageant
R.E.M. (1986)
139. An Innocent Man
Billy Joel (1983)
140. Screaming For Vengeance
Judas Priest (1982)
141. Low-Life
New Order (1985)
142. The Real Thing
Faith No More (1989)
143. Pornography
The Cure (1982)
144. Kill 'Em All
Metallica (1983)
145. Lucinda Williams
Lucinda Williams (1988)
146. The Raw & The Cooked
Fine Young Cannibals (1989)
147. American Fool
John Cougar (1982)
148. Sandinista!
The Clash (1980)
149. Bad Brains
Bad Brains (1982)
150. Operation: Mindcrime
Queensrÿche (1988)
151. Upstairs At Eric's
Yaz(oo) (1982)
152. Forever Your Girl
Paula Abdul (1988)
153. The Head On The Door
The Cure (1985)
154. Don't Be Cruel
Bobby Brown (1988)
155. Colour By Numbers
Culture Club (1983)
156. Meat Is Murder
The Smiths (1985)
157. Boy
U2 (1980)
158. Pump Up The Jam: The Album
Technotronic (1989)
159. Asia
Asia (1982)
160. I'm Your Man
Leonard Cohen (1988)
161. How Will The Wolf Survive
Los Lobos (1984)
162. Scarecrow
John Cougar Mellencamp (1985)
163. Tender Lover
Babyface (1989)
164. Songs From The Big Chair
Tears For Fears (1985)
165. Skylarking
XTC (1986)
166. Crazy Rhythms
The Feelies (1980)
167. Affection
Lisa Stansfield (1989)
168. Parade
Prince (1986)
169. Frontiers
Journey (1983)
170. Wild Gift
X (1981)
171. Double Fantasy
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1980)
172. Different Light
The Bangles (1986)
173. Face Value
Phil Collins (1981)
174. Sports
Huey Lewis & The News (1983)
175. Bella Donna
Stevie Nicks (1981)
176. This Nation's Saving Grace
The Fall (1985)
177. Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
Soft Cell (1981)
178. Tug Of War
Paul McCartney (1982)
179. Cuts Both Ways
Gloria Estefan (1989)
180. Holy Diver
Dio (1983)
181. Isn't Anything
My Bloody Valentine (1988)
182. Follow The Leader
Eric B. & Rakim (1988)
183. No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith
Motörhead (1981)
184. The Dream Of The Blue Turtles
Sting (1985)
185. Little Creatures
Talking Heads (1985)
186. Soul Provider
Michael Bolton (1989)
187. Reckoning
R.E.M. (1984)
188. Uh-huh
John Cougar Mellencamp (1983)
189. Street Songs
Rick James (1981)
190. Computer World
Kraftwerk (1981)
191. Rattle And Hum
U2 (1988)
192. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
David Bowie (1980)
193. 90125
Yes (1983)
194. Oh Mercy
Bob Dylan (1989)
195. Don't Say No
Billy Squier (1981)
196. New Jersey
Bon Jovi (1988)
197. Labour Of Love
UB40 (1983)
198. Strong Persuader
Robert Cray Band (1986)
199. The Nylon Curtain
Billy Joel (1982)
200. Freeze-Frame
J. Geils Band (1981)

Edited By:
Last Updated: 2017-05-04
Newly added names are in Red