Top Ten Rock Albums of Each Year - 1980-1989

Criteria: These albums were chosen for their initial and lasting popularity and their influence and impact on rock music in general.

Top Ten Rock Albums of 1980

1. Back In Black
2. Remain In Light
Talking Heads
3. Closer
Joy Division
4. Ace Of Spades
5. The River
Bruce Springsteen
6. Dirty Mind
7. Hi Infidelity
REO Speedwagon
8. The Game
9. Diana
Diana Ross
10. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables
Dead Kennedys
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1981

1. Beauty And The Beat
The Go-Go's
2. Dare!
The Human League
3. Ghost In The Machine
The Police
4. Moving Pictures
5. Tattoo You
Rolling Stones
6. Damaged
Black Flag
7. My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts
Brian Eno & David Byrne
8. Escape
9. 4
10. Private Eyes
Hall & Oates
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1982

1. Thriller
Michael Jackson
2. 1999
3. Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden
4. The Message
Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
5. Nebraska
Bruce Springsteen
6. Avalon
Roxy Music
7. Rio
Duran Duran
8. The Nightfly
Donald Fagen
9. Business As Usual
Men At Work
10. Imperial Bedroom
Elvis Costello and The Attractions
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1983

1. Murmur
2. Synchronicity
The Police
3. War
4. She's So Unusual
Cindi Lauper
5. Can't Slow Down
Lionel Richie
6. Break Out
Pointer Sisters
7. Swordfishtrombones
Tom Waits
8. Eliminator
ZZ Top
9. Violent Femmes
Violent Femmes
10. Pyromania
Def Leppard
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1984

1. Purple Rain
Prince and the Revolution
2. Born in the USA
Bruce Springsteen
3. Like A Virgin
4. Run-D.M.C.
5. 1984
Van Halen
6. The Unforgettable Fire
7. Let It Be
The Replacements
8. The Smiths
The Smiths
9. Ride The Lightning
10. Private Dancer
Tina Turner
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1985

1. Radio
LL Cool J
2. Brothers In Arms
Dire Straits
3. Rain Dogs
Tom Waits
4. King Of Rock
5. No Jacket Required
Phil Collins
6. Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston
7. Psychocandy
The Jesus and Mary Chain
8. Hounds Of Love
Kate Bush
9. Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good
Prefab Sprout
10. Rum, Sodomy & the Lash
The Pogues
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1986

1. Raising Hell
2. Licensed To Ill
Beastie Boys
3. Graceland
Paul Simon
4. The Queen Is Dead
The Smiths
5. Master of Puppets
6. So
Peter Gabriel
7. Slippery When Wet
Bon Jovi
8. Reign In Blood
9. True Blue
10. Rapture
Ainta Baker
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1987

1. The Joshua Tree
2. Appetite For Destruction
Guns N' Roses
3. Sign O' The Times
4. Paid In Full
Eric B. & Rakim
5. Bad
Michael Jackson
6. Hysteria
Def Leppard
7. Faith
George Michael
8. Document
9. Kick
10. Criminal Minded
Boogie Down Productions
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1988

1. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back
Public Enemy
2. Straight Outta Compton
3. Daydream Nation
Sonic Youth
4. Tracy Chapman
Tracy Chapman
5. Nothing's Shocking
Jane's Addiction
6. Surfer Rosa
7. Strictly Business
8. Spirit Of Eden
Talk Talk
9. Green
10. ...And Justice For All
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1989

1. 3 Feet High and Rising
De La Soul
2. Doolittle
3. The Stone Roses
The Stone Roses
4. Paul's Boutique
Beastie Boys
5. Like A Prayer
6. Rhythm Nation 1814
Janet Jackson
7. Disintegration
The Cure
8. Nick of Time
Bonnie Raitt
9. The End of the Innocence
Don Henley
10. Technique
New Order

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Last Updated: 2014-05-03