Posts Tagged ‘1980s’

Top 20 Albums of the 1980s

Posted: December 3, 2012 in Uncategorized
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This is the third entry in a five-part series that will take us through the 2000s. As with the previous lists, I limited myself to no more than two albums from any one artist (although that wouldn’t have been an issue here anyway), and I didn’t include live albums. If you missed the series’ first two installments, here is the 1960s list and the 1970s list.

Before we get started, I’ll address the most notable omission — Michael Jackson’s Thriller. It’s the best-selling album of all-time, but honestly, I can’t get through it without losing interest. “Beat It” and “Billie Jean” are both great, and “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” and “Baby Be Mine” are both pretty good, but the other five songs just feel like filler to me. “The Girl is Mine” and the title track are downright terrible. So, apologies to any MJ fans reading this, but I’ve just never heard anything special here.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get to the albums that did make the cut.

Honorable Mentions
Beastie Boys- Licensed to Ill (1986)
Dinosaur Jr.- You’re Living All Over Me (1987)
Neil Young- Freedom (1989)
Pixies- Surfer Rosa (1988)
X- Wild Gift (1981)

20. AC/DC- Back in Black (1980)
AC/DC are basically a one-trick pony, and they didn’t really bring anything new to rock and roll, but they did straightforward hard rock really well, which is probably why they sold so many records. Back in Black, their first album following the death of original lead singer Bon Scott, is without question their best. “Hells Bells,” “Shoot to Thrill,” “Back in Black” and “You Shook Me All Night Long” are four of their best songs, and everything else here fits in seamlessly. Angus and Malcolm Young’s riffs are the album’s driving force.