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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.

Newly added names are in Red
Last Updated: 2017-05-04
100 Greatest Rock Albums Of The 1980s text title image
  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)
Spotify link
Greatest Songs 1980s Playlist




thriller album cover
 It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back album cover
The Joshua Tree album cover
Raising Hell album cover
Appetite For Destruction album cover
Back In Black album cover
Licensed To Ill album cover
Born in the USA album cover






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