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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.

Edited By:
Last Updated: 05-03-2014
Top Ten Rock Albums of Each Year 1980-1989
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1980
  1. Back In Black - AC/DC
  2. Remain In Light - Talking Heads
  3. Closer - Joy Division
  4. Ace Of Spades - Motorhead
  5. The River - Bruce Springsteen
  6. Dirty Mind - Prince
  7. Hi Infidelity - REO Speedwagon
  8. The Game - Queen
  9. Diana - Diana Ross
10. Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables - Dead Kennedys
Back In Black album
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 - Rush
  5. Tattoo You - Rolling Stones
  6. Damaged - Black Flag
  7. My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts - Brian Eno & David Byrne
  8. Escape - Journey
  9. 4 - Foreigner
10. Private Eyes - Hall & Oates
Beauty And The Beat album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1982
  1. Thriller - Michael Jackson
  2. 1999 - Prince
  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
Thriller album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1983
  1. Murmur - R.E.M.
  2. Synchronicity - The Police
  3. War - U2
  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
Murmur album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1984
  1. Purple Rain - Prince and the Revolution
  2. Born in the USA - Bruce Springsteen
  3. Like A Virgin - Madonna
  4. Run-D.M.C. - Run-D.M.C.
  5. 1984 - Van Halen
  6. The Unforgettable Fire - U2
  7. Let It Be - The Replacements
  8. The Smiths - The Smiths
  9. Ride The Lightning - Metallica
10. Private Dancer - Tina Turner
Purple Rain
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 - Run-D.M.C.
  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
Radio LL Cool J album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1986
  1. Raising Hell - Run-D.M.C.
  2. Licensed To Ill - Beastie Boys
  3. Graceland - Paul Simon
  4. The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths
  5. Master of Puppets - Metallica
  6. So - Peter Gabriel
  7. Slippery When Wet - Bon Jovi
  8. Reign In Blood - Slayer
  9. True Blue - Madonna
10. Rapture - Ainta Baker
Raising Hell album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1987
  1. The Joshua Tree - U2
  2. Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses
  3. Sign O' The Times - Prince
  4. Paid In Full - Eric B. & Rakim
  5. Bad - Michael Jackson
  6. Hysteria - Def Leppard
  7. Faith - George Michael
  8. Document - R.E.M.
  9. Kick - INXS
10. Criminal Minded – Boogie Down Productions
Joshua Tree album
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1988
  1. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back - Public Enemy
  2. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A
  3. Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth
  4. Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman
  5. Nothing's Shocking - Jane's Addiction
  6. Surfer Rosa - Pixies
  7. Strictly Business - EPMD
  8. Spirit Of Eden - Talk Talk
  9. Green - R.E.M.
10. ...And Justice For All - Metallica
It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back album cover
Top Ten Rock Albums of 1989
  1. 3 Feet High and Rising - De La Soul
  2. Doolittle - Pixies
  3. The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses
  4. Paul's Boutique - Beastie Boys
  5. Like A Prayer - Madonna
  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
3 Feet High and Rising album cover

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