Wednesday Question: Best Album of the 1980s?

Post your nominations for the best album of the 1980s here, and it could appear in our rundown of the full top 10 this Friday.

Ultimate Guitar

Metal and hard rock fans rejoice: we're about to take our Wednesday question poll back to a decade where heavy music was king of the world.

Living in the western world in the 1980s was all about excess. It was the era of greed; people wanted more money, drugs and fun, and it seemed like the gravy train would never end. The music business was only different because it took this to the extreme, with live shows and backstage indulgences being pushed to the limits.

There was also a lot of great music being made. New digital synths and drum machines helped artists explore new sounds, and in the underground there were exciting new musical movements which would later sow the seeds for the 90s indie rock revolution.

We've already conquered the 1990s and 2000s with your nominations and their resulting top 10 lists, so this weeks question is:

What are the best albums of the 1980s?

The rules: nominate one album per comment, and upvote any that you agree with. The album had to be released between 1980 and 1989.

The resulting poll could be on a knife edge - it's either going to be very average or completely awesome. It's down to you now - pull out the goods and we'll stack up the results in what will hopefully be a definitive top 10 rundown on Friday.

580 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Screaming For Vengeance - Judas Priest
    Good call. Personally I think that Defenders of the Faith is the best of their albums from the 80s, though.
    Way Cool JR.
    I like Ram It Down better than both, but they're all great albums. Priest were really on the ball in the '80s, lot's of kick ass music from them.
    I was worried that no one was going to mention this album! Priest definitely has my vote... Most of the 80's bands were influenced by JP's 70's albums.
    Moving Pictures, Rush
    Moving Pictures for sure! Although I implore you all to listen to the underrated album "Signals" released after Moving Pictures.
    Diary of a Madman - Ozzy Osbourne
    For me it's definately Blizzard over Diary, but they both have some kickass tunes!
    I was thinking Blizzard Of Oz because it showed that Ozzy could rise from the ashes and showed everyone what Rhandy Rhodes could do. All around good album
    Diary is underrated. I mean, it was Randy's last album. Check out the solo on "Believer" (Mr. Crowley on steroids.)
    diary > blizzard imo it's just much better sounding and the solos are even better I think. Blizzard's got all those ozzy classics true but songs like believer and diary of a madman are so underrated yet so amazing
    Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast. Fantastic record all the way through.
    Same goes for Killers and Powerslave really
    I would have to say Somewhere in time. Personally, the musicality of the album is top notch.
    Peace Sells is also a great album. Maybe not the best of the 80's, but personally deserves a spot
    My Last Words
    For real, when you look at this comment section you realise what kind of a decade the 80's really were..
    Not really. You're not gonna see any hip-hop albums mentioned, despite the fact that the eighties could be considered the golden age of hip-hop, before the entire scene became mainstream. You're also not gonna see any industrial/electronic albums, no 'retro-style albums' (Stray Cats, The Dream Syndicate, Minutemen, Tom Waits) or any new-wave albums. The reality is that the list is going to be entirely dominated by metal bands, and all other genres will be ignored. Much like the 90's list was dominated by alternative and grunge albums.
    Way to hyper-analyze his statement. And, yes, there WAS industrial/electronic music already listed; Coil. You commented on it before you broke down My Last Words' one sentence statement into something it wasn't. Plus, the 90's list was dominated by alternative and grunge albums because that was the general musical atmosphere that was popular by high demand and most memorable for that era.
    Aside from Coil, have you seen much of anything in the comment section that disproves my claim. keep in mind that i'm currently leading in dislikes because I suggested a Foetus album, and the Coil album you mentioned currently has more dislikes than likes, and i'm assuming from your comment underneath that one of those dislikes came from you.
    No. I didn't upvote it or downvote it. I went and listened to the whole album. It's pretty out there but, I'm not used to listening to that style. But, seeing that you know UG's history of poll results, are you really that surprised by the predictability? And, hey, I listened to the whole Coil album before I came to the conclusion that I'm just not into that style. You wouldn't get that much effort from most people (not to sound like a friggin saint or anything).
    I would love a poll about the best debut album
    Followed by the best album to avoid a sophomore slump and/or biggest sophomore slump album....
    Nice. Avoiding a sophomore slump? Hmmm. Personal faves... Alice in Chains - Dirt, Smashing Pumpkins - Siamese Dream, Prodigy - Music For The Jilted Generation, Extreme - Pornografitti, Slipknot - Iowa, Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP, Levellers - Levelling the Land, Metallica - Ride the Lightning and in terms of success, nirvana - Nevermind and Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory.
    Favourite albums at the time... Iron Maiden (every album from Number of the Beast to Seventh Son of a Seventh Son) Metallica - Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, ...And Justice For All Queensryche - Operation: Mindcrime Guns n' Roses - Appetite For Destruction Megadeth - Peace Sells, So Far, So Good... So What! Faith No More - The Real Thing Later came to love... The Stone Roses The Smiths -The Queen is Dead The Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique N.W.A. - Straight Outta Compton Cannot deny their impact... U2 - The Joshua Tree Dire Straits - Brothers in Arms Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet But for me one album epitomizes the 80s look and sound and ultimately took a 13 year old whose friends were all listening to synth-pop and diverted me towards rock and guitars - it sounds SOOOO iconically 80s and half the album became hit singles. Bring on the haters but my vote is for stonewashed ripped jeans, highlighted hair, catchy choruses, masses of digital delay and more hot chicks in their audiences than anyone from Sheffield could've wished for... DEF LEPPARD - HYSTERIA!
    Nero Galon
    Yeah Def Leppard are one of the definitive 80's rock bands, and Hysteria was a great album.
    Back In Black, AC/DC
    Metallica - Ride the Lightning
    This album is remarkable. It showed the world that Metallica is a band that could expand it's horizons from being youthful and reckless (Kill Em All) to being mature and intricate. Those who never saw Black Album or at least, Load and Reload coming never understood this album.
    Thriller? I know sales doesnt make it the best, but it was still a great album
    He made Thriller.... Thriller..
    So you'd let your kids sleep in his bed?
    What a great argument, dingus.
    Actually, I take that back. I remembered the reports. Now I'm the dingus. lol
    apparently you dont know about the book the accuser wrote where he confesses jackson never touched him inapproprietly and it was the kids parents who made up the entire story to extort money from jackson
    Master of Puppets
    i always pick justice over master but that's just me
    My favorite by Metallica has always been RIde The Lightning. For me, it beats out both Master and Justice.
    Any of Metallica's first 4 albums from the 80's could win this... throw a dart at a board with all of their names on it
    I agree, Master isn't a bad album, but there is nothing but perfection with Justice. Not a flaw to be had.
    IMHO, Master Of Puppets set the standard of what thrash should sound like. Though, another school of thought would suggest that Kill Em All is the standard thrash album. Master is a combination of the rawness of KEA and the intricate arrangements of RTL. But what makes it unique from the other 2 predecessor albums is the power of the songs. it's like punching your ear for every note. The 25 year old AJFA "could have" been better than MOP (considering the complexity and like being a step forward from MOP). Yet, it is debatable for 2 reasons. First is the bass not being heard (very faint sounding) in the album. It really affected the sound quality overall. and the other reason is IMO, the arrangements went overboard.
    KILL'EM ALL!!! However, as long as one of their first three albums make it on the list it's ok. Justice is great but it doesn't have so much energy. Too bad they don't make songs like these anymore
    Kill 'Em All is without a doubt Metallica's best album. Those riffs. Those ****in' SCREAMS!!!! Perfect!!
    King Crimson - Discipline.
    Yes! I was looking for this on the list, so glad someone thought of it such a unique album
    Apetite for destruction
    Appetite for Destruction hands down its the best selling Debut Album of all time!!!!!
    Could have sworn the best selling debut was Boston - Boston.
    You are correct... Boston - Boston has sold some 30 million more copies. But it's still not as good as Appetite IMO.
    Back In Black - AC/DC Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth Appetite For Destruction - Guns N' Roses Master of Puppets - Metallica Also... Can anyone recommend me to to some good alternative/rock music of the 80's. Love that music but notice my collection doesn't have much from that genre in that era
    Kill 'Em All by Metallica really deserves a spot as well, being the starting point of thrash metal.
    Ozzy's Diary of a Madman. The song You Can't Kill Rock N' Roll blew my f*cking mind, along with every lick and riff Randy made on that album.
    British Steel - Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance - Judas Priest Wheels of Steel - Saxon Denim and Leather - Saxon Love at first Sting - Scorpions Blackout - Scorpions Beneath the Remains - Sepultura
    Iron Maiden - Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
    Yeah my favourite Maiden album too - love playing the solos from the title track! And Moonchild is one of the best metal intros ever. Can't wait for Download, only hope they amend their Maiden England set to include Infinite Dreams - brilliant track!
    U2 - The Joshua Tree
    Not enough people are going to admit how great this album is on UG. I went with Texas Flood, but The Joshua Tree is a fantastic album that isn't the same old typcal thrash. Good choice.
    Beastie Boys - Ill Communication I know it's not gonna win since many people here still hate hip hop, but it's worth a mention
    Oh no, I meant Licence to Ill Got confused with both of the Ill albums
    Paul's Boutique has it for me - although it doesn't even hint at the genius of their 90's follow-up Check Your Head!
    Eric B & Rakim - Paid In Full
    Only metalheads hate all rap because they're close minded and don't know that there's decent rap.