10 Greatest Music Albums of the '80s


What are the 10 most influential albums of the 1980s? 

The '80s was a varied decade for music. We had the emergence of the rap genre, glam and thrash metal added something different to the rock dynamic, and pop was stronger (and cheesier) than ever.  Much of the seriousness from the 70s music scene was replaced with lots of colour, fun, and crazy madness!

So, in no particular order, here are ten of the most significant albums released in the '80s. Each and every one of these popular albums were real game-changers in their own right, and here's why...



The Clash, ‘London Calling’

This album could not have come at a more perfect time or from a more appropriate band than the Clash. Even though it was released in 1979, it wasn't released stateside until January 1980.  The effect of this album didn't kick in until the '80s, which is why it makes the list.

After the love affair we all had with the Sex Pistols, the Clash's London Calling brought punk back into the spotlight, showcasing its glory with its gritty tones, and 'I don't give a damn' attitude. It is, without question, one of the most important punk records ever made.




Prince, 'Purple Rain'

Purple Rain is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Prince, the first to feature his band the Revolution, and is the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name. It was released on June 25, 1984, and is regarded as the most important album of Prince's career.  The title track alone shot Prince to even greater heights, and is regarded as one of the most iconic songs of, not just the '80s, but of all time! 



 

AC/DC, ‘Back in Black’

Back in Black in the biggest selling hard rock album of all time. But after the death of iconic frontman Bon Scott, the success of this album is even more remarkable. 

Packed with absolute classics that still get played in most clubs and bars even today, Back in Black is considered to be one of the greatest hard rock albums ever made.  Now, it may not necessarily be the most 'important', but from an old rock and roll point of view, it has to be considered as one of the best, and certainly of the '80s.




Tracey Chapman, 'Tracey Chapman'

Tracy Chapman is the self-titled debut album by singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, released on April 5, 1988. The album was an instant commercial success, and it gained critical acclaim from a wide majority of music critics, praising the simplicity, Chapman's vocal ability and her political and social lyrical content. 

The album was successful in most of the countries it was released, making it to the top of the charts in many countries, including Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Denmark, and the United Kingdom. It is regarded as a hugely significant album that struck the perfect gap the market so desperately needed.




Michael Jackson, 'Thriller'

When a 23 year-old Michael Jackson and his producer, Quincy Jones, began recording Thriller, they hoped to create a great record that would at least equal the 8 million unit sales of Jackson's prior solo outing, Off the Wall. What they ended up with eight months later became the biggest-selling album in history.

Thriller set new heights for pop music, and destroyed the opposition with one clean punch.  It revolutionised pop culture, and smashed all the records set before it. To put it simply, Thriller is absolutely colossal.




Madonna, 'Madonna'

Madonna is the debut album by American singer Madonna, released on July 27, 1983 by Sire Records. After having established herself as a singer in downtown New York City, Madonna was signed by Sire president Seymour Stein, due to the success of her debut single, "Everybody".

The album took Madonna to another level, helping cement her status as the 'queen of pop'.  Madonna was untouchable in the '80s, and this album was a hugely important factor to the strength of her legacy, and the significance of diva led pop music. 




Public Enemy, ‘It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back’

After their first album, the members of Public Enemy gained a new perspective, and the pure anger was articulated in the hard beats of ghetto-born rap. "Bring the Noise" and "Rebel Without a Pause" blasted out of beat boxes, and convertibles all summer. Despite being aimed at urban black communities, the album also won a much wider audience.  It is still regarded as the most important rap album of all time, paving the way for so many of the household names that we see today.




Guns N' Roses, ‘Appetite For Destruction’

It took a little time, but once Appetite For Destruction hit the mainstream, there was absolutely no stopping it.  Guns became the most dangerous band in the world, and the rest is history.

Loaded with epic hard rock classics "Welcome To The Jungle", "Paradise City", and "Rocket Queen", couple with the more mellow, but just as colossal "Sweet Child O' Mine", and "Think About You", this album struck a fine balance that had such mass appeal.  Appetite For Destruction is the biggest selling debut hard rock album, and one of the most influential ever made.




U2, ‘The Joshua Tree’

The Joshua Tree is the fifth studio album by Irish rock band U2. It was produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, and was released on 9 March 1987 on Island Records.  It is regarded by fans and critics as the best album by U2, and one that holds huge significance for the band. 

The Joshua Tree took U2 to new heights, and opened up a pathway for the fusion of rock and pop.  It seemed there was a place for pop-rock in the mainstream, without it needing to be glam or camp. The Joshua Tree had huge commercial success, and is still regarded as one of the top five albums released in the '80s. 




Talking Heads, ‘Remain in Light’ 

Remain in Light may have been a commercial disappointment, but musically, the band's 1980 album, which combines funk, disco and African rhythms, was years ahead of its time. "It got great critical acclaim, and we felt that it kind of took popular music to the next phase," says Frantz, "which is what we always wanted to do."

Remain in Light did indeed help take popular music in a new direction, and many would argue that this album has become one of the most influential since the '80s. Sometimes an influential album can trounce an album that is technically superior, and Remain in Light does that in abundance.



No comments

Powered by Blogger.