The 1980’s may not have been the best for movies, but there was a lot of great music released in this highly innovative and transitional decade. Metal got ridiculously fast, the electric organ and the synthesizer got more then their fair share of airtime and an extremely wide array of diverse styles entered the scene.
So, here are my Top 10 Best Albums from the 1980’s
- Graceland – Paul Simon
Probably the single most important album to me, ever. I had this on a cassette tape when I was probably around 8 years old and it has stayed with me ever since. Graceland moves me in a way that no other album ever has.
- Ride the Lightning – Metallica
My favorite Metallica album by a hair. This album is so amazing that you could probably take out three of the best songs and it would STILL be one of the greatest albums ever made.
- Master of Puppets – Metallica
This is the only album that comes close to touching Ride the Lightning. Master of Puppets features some unbelievable songs and is one that I challenge anyone to choose a favorite from. They are ALL amazing.
- Blizzard of Oz – Ozzy Osbourne
I have always thought Ozzy Osbourne amazing in the way that he has defied the odds for his entire career. I don’t know how he does it but he just seems to be immune to all the common rock star tragedies. Blizzard of Ozz strikes me as the first and most profound example of this. He breaks away from a hugely successful band to start a solo career. I’ll be conservative here by saying that rarely ends well. But from the VERY BEGINNING of this legendary album all doubt is swept away. Every bit of it is incredible from start to finish. I can’t help asking myself how this crazy, drugged up buffoon (sorry Ozzy) pulled this off. What’s more, he kept it up. The following album, Diary of a Madman BARELY missed out on this list.
- Joshua Tree – U2
This is another band I cannot choose a favorite song from. If I had to I think I might go with “Where the Streets Have No Name” but there are just so many and some of the very best came from Joshua Tree.
- Kill ‘Em All – Metallica
The first Metallica album took metal music to new heights. To this day I do not think the speed and energy of this have ever been surpassed. Probably never will.
- Appetite for Destruction – Guns & Roses
G&R made an incredible, lasting mark on rock music history with Appetite for Destruction. Solid gold hits from start to finish. And not just hits for that year. They are ALL still hits TODAY.
- Rum, Sodomy and the Lash – The Pogues
If you haven’t listened to The Pogues I highly recommend you give them a try. Shane McGowan was such an interesting character. The contrast of this homely, drunken Irishman and other stars of the time like Axl Rose and Prince demonstrates just how diverse the eighties really were.
- …And Justice for All – Metallica
Yes, another Metallica album. Seriously, though, it is really good. Especially for guitar people. It marks an end of an era for Metallica as the ’90s came along shortly after with shorter (and slower) songs. …And Justice For All was like that last bite of a sweet dessert on Fat Tuesday.
- Labour of Love – UB40
My mom always loved this album so we grew up hearing it a lot. I guess it kind of grew on me. Not surprising since it was actually very good.