Pitchfork - The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sprocket Henry, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Sprocket Henry

    Sprocket Henry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    The 200 Best Albums of the 1980s | Pitchfork

    I couldn't see thread for this yet, so here it is.

    Much like their recent 1960s list, there's some pretty fascinating (read: eclectic) inclusions as well as a bunch of the usual suspects. Nonetheless, the discussion on this thread is going to be interesting.

    Where I do give Pitchfork credit is that their curation of these recent lists is coming from a genuinely 21st Century perspective; where all genres and conventional forms of culture have been obliterated, fragmented and reorganised through new media and the Internet. I think that some of the most interesting music I've ever heard is being made at the moment and everything that preceded it (esp. in the 1980's): rock, pop, hip-hop, electro, jazz, experimental, African, etc is crucial in this respect.

    Stray observations:
    • Great to see a strong emphasis on African music, hip-hop and experimental work (La Monte Young, Laurie Speigel, Meredith Monk).
    • Lots of Janet Jackson.
    • Pretty excellent overall representation of female artists.
    • Talk Talk's Spirit Of Eden at #24.
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  2. Jking3002

    Jking3002 Well-Known Member

    Terrible list. No Mellencamp? Scarecrow or Lonesome Jubilee aren’t in the top 200 but some of that crap is? C’mon. No Steve Earle? I’m not even sure I saw a single country music album on the list... Appetite For Destruction can’t crack the top 75? What a joke.
  3. Sprocket Henry

    Sprocket Henry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I think Lucinda Williams snuck in there. Country got a raw deal here. The 1990s via Pitchfork would be a different story however.
    Witchy Woman and BluesOvertookMe like this.
  4. Jking3002

    Jking3002 Well-Known Member

    I was a little harsh but this really seemed like a list that just reflected a single author’s personal favorites and not really a general best of the decade.
    roger87 and wavethatflag like this.
  5. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

    Compilations should never be included in "album lists".
    The Smiths' Hatful of Hollow is at 43.
  6. PCM7027

    PCM7027 Forum Resident

    1. Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain
    2. Michael Jackson Thriller
    3. N.W.A. Straight Outta Compton
    4. Kate Bush Hounds of Love
    5. Talking Heads Remain in Light
    6. Public Enemy It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
    7. Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
    8. Janet Jackson Control
    9. The Cure Disintegration
    10. Sade Diamond Life
    11. Eric B. & Rakim Paid In Full
    12. Joy Division Closer
    13. The Smiths The Queen Is Dead
    14. Pixies Doolittle
    15. Beastie Boys Paul's Boutique
    16. Madonna Madonna
    17. Prince Sign o' the Times
    18. Kraftwerk Computer World
    19. New Order Power, Corruption and Lies
    20. Boogie Down Productions Criminal Minded
    21. De La Soul 3 Feet High and Rising
    22. Laurie Anderson Big Science
    23. Minor Threat Complete Discography
    24. Talk Talk Spirit of Eden
    25. Arthur Russell World of Echo
    26. Prince 1999
    27. Cocteau Twins Treasure
    28. Bruce Springsteen Nebraska
    29. Eric B. & Rakim Follow the Leader
    30. Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation 1814
    31. Slayer Reign In Blood
    32. Pixies Surfer Rosa
    33. Prince Dirty Mind
    34. Leonard Cohen I'm Your Man
    35. The Replacements Let It Be
    36. Black Flag Damaged
    37. Sade Stronger Than Pride
    38. Run-D.M.C. Raising Hell
    39. R.E.M. Murmur
    40. The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
    41. Bad Brains Bad Brains
    42. Tom Waits Rain Dogs
    43. The Smiths Hatful of Hollow
    44. Sinéad O'Connor The Lion and the Cobra
    45. Fugazi Fugazi
    46. Dinosaur Jr. You're Living All Over Me
    47. U2 The Joshua Tree
    48. Slick Rick The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
    49. Paul Simon Graceland
    50. ESG Come Away with ESG
    51. Sonic Youth EVOL
    52. Minutemen Double Nickels on the Dime
    53. David Bowie Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
    54. The Replacements Tim
    55. Metallica Master of Puppets
    56. Bruce Springsteen Born in the U.S.A.
    57. Galaxie 500 On Fire
    58. My Bloody Valentine Isn't Anything
    59. Kate Bush The Sensual World
    60. EPMD Strictly Business
    61. Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
    62. Glenn Branca The Ascension
    63. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds From Her to Eternity
    64. Grace Jones Nightclubbing
    65. Violent Femmes Violent Femmes
    66. Vangelis Blade Runner
    67. Julee Cruise Floating Into the Night
    68. Husker Du Zen Arcade
    69. Metallica Ride the Lightning
    70. Ultramagnetic MC's Critical Beatdown
    71. Motorhead Ace of Spades
    72. Michael Jackson Bad
    73. This Heat Deceit
    74. Bob Marley and the Wailers Uprising
    75. Siouxise and the Banshees Juju
    76. Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine
    77. Depeche Mode Music for the Masses
    78. Madonna Like a Prayer
    79. The Fall This Nation's Saving Grace
    80. Manuel Gottsching E2-E4
    81. Brian Eno/David Byrne My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
    82. Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast
    83. Jungle Brothers Straight Out the Jungle
    84. Lucinda Williams Lucinda Williams
    85. The Blue Nile Hats
    86. Guns 'N' Roses Appetite for Destruction
    87. Tears for Fears Songs from the Big Chair
    88. The Stone Roses The Stone Roses
    89. Cocteau Twins Blue Bell Knoll
    90. R.E.M. Reckoning
    91. George Michael Faith
    92. Fleetwood Mac Tango in the Night
    93. Steve Reich Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
    94. Morbid Angel Altars of Madness
    95. Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois/Roger Eno Apollo: Soundtracks and Atmospheres
    96. Fela Kuti Coffin for Head of State
    97. The Raincoats Odyshape
    98. Nirvana Bleach
    99. Kool G Rap & DJ Polo Road to the Riches
    100. Cyndi Lauper She's So Unusual
    101. Alice Coltrane Turiya Sings
    102. Wipers Youth of America
    103. Beastie Boys Licenced to Ill
    104. Public Image Limited Second Edition
    105. Boogie Down Productions By All Means Necessary
    106. Laurie Spiegel The Expanding Universe
    107. The Feelies Crazy Rhythms
    108. Young Marble Giants Colossal Youth
    109. The Cure The Head on the Door
    110. X Los Angeles
    111. Roxy Music Avalon
    112. New Order Technique
    113. Spacemen 3 Playing with Fire
    114. INXS Kick
    115. Madonna Like A Virgin
    116. Misfits Walk Among Us
    117. Whitney Houston Whitney Houston
    118. Philip Glass Solo Piano
    119. Steely Dan Gaucho
    120. Run-D.M.C. Run-D.M.C.
    121. Pretenders Pretenders
    122. Beat Happening Beat Happening
    123. The Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat
    124. Bruce Springsteen Tunnel of Love
    125. Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel (Melt)
    126. David Bowie Let's Dance
    127. Pet Shop Boys Actually
    128. AC/DC Back in Black
    129. The D.O.C. No One Can Do It Better
    130. Scientist Scientist Rids the World of the Evil Curse of the Vampires
    131. Echo and the Bunnymen Ocean Rain
    132. Prefab Sprout Steve McQueen
    133. XTC Skylarking
    134. Jane's Addiciton Nothing's Shocking
    135. Big Black Songs About ****ing
    136. Neneh Cherry Raw Like Sushi
    137. Horace Andy Dance Hall Style
    138. Big Daddy Kane Long Live the Kane
    139. The Durutti Colum Vini Reilly
    140. 3rd Bass The Cactus Album
    141. Celtic Frost To Mega Therion
    142. Midori Tadaka Through the Looking Glass
    143. Descendents Milo Goes to College
    144. The Clash Sandinista!
    145. Daniel Johnston Hi, How Are You: The Unfinished Album
    146. Geto Boys Grip It! On That Other Level
    147. Virginia Astley In the Gardens Where We Feel Secure
    148. Rites of Spring Rites of Spring
    149. Anita Baker Rapture
    150. La Monte Young The Well-Tuned Piano
    151. The Clean Compilation
    152. Meat Puppets II
    153. Meredith Monk Dolmen Music
    154. LL Cool J Radio
    155. Elvis Costello and the Attractions Imperial Bedroom
    156. Stevie Wonder Hotter Than July
    157. MC Lyte Lyte as a Rock
    158. Judas Priest British Steel
    159. Various Artists The Indestructible Beat of Soweto
    160. Mr. Fingers Amnesia
    161. Richard & Linda Thompson Shoot Out the Lights
    162. King Sunny Adé and his African Beats Syncro System
    163. Ryuichi Sakamoto Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
    164. Pauline Oliveros/Stuart Dempster/Panaiotis Deep Listening
    165. Swell Maps Jane from Occupied Europe
    166. Ice-T Rhyme Pays
    167. Au Pairs Playing with a Different Sex
    168. Nurse with Wound Soliloquy for Lilith
    169. The Faith/Void The Faith/Void
    170. Yellowman Mister Yellowman
    171. Scritti Politti Cupid & Psyche 85
    172. Duran Duran Rio
    173. Tina Turner Private Dancer
    174. Ornette Coleman In All Languages
    175. Godflesh Streetcleaner
    176. Psychic TV Dreams Less Sweet
    177. Queen Latifah All Hail the Queen
    178. Joe Jackson Night and Day
    179. LiLiPUT LiLiPUT
    180. 808 State 90
    181. Nuno Canavarro Plux Quba
    182. ABBA The Visitors
    183. The B-52's Wild Planet
    184. Change The Glow of Love
    185. Too $hort Life is… Too $hort
    186. Paul McCartney McCartney II
    187. Tom Tom Club Tom Tom Club
    188. Yoko Ono Season of Glass
    189. Butthole Surfers Locust Abortion Technician
    190. Ini Kamoze Ini Kamoze
    191. Bronski Beat The Age of Consent
    192. Salt-N-Pepa Hot, Cool and Vicious
    193. Flipper Generic Album Flipper
    194. Patrice Rushen Straight from the Heart
    195. Cecil Taylor For Olim
    196. Virgo Virgo
    197. Whodini Escape
    198. Mercyful Fate Don't Break the Oath
    199. Tenor Saw Fever
    200. Malcolm McLaren Duck Rock
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
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  7. Veni Vidi Vici

    Veni Vidi Vici Forum Resident

    Chicago, IL
    Proof that the eighties would struggle to make the list of the top 200 decades.
  8. Opeth

    Opeth Forum Resident

    That's laughable... NWA #3 but no Tom Petty albums ?
  9. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    1. Kate Bush Hounds of Love
    2. Talking Heads Remain in Light
    3. Pixies Doolittle
    4. Laurie Anderson Big Science
    5. Pixies Surfer Rosa
    6. Tom Waits Rain Dogs
    7. Paul Simon Graceland
    8. David Bowie Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
    9. Kate Bush The Sensual World
    10. Talking Heads Stop Making Sense
    11. Glenn Branca The Ascension
    12. Violent Femmes Violent Femmes
    13. Vangelis Blade Runner
    14. Brian Eno/David Byrne My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
    15. Steve Reich Different Trains/Electric Counterpoint
    16. Brian Eno/Daniel Lanois/Roger Eno Apollo: Soundtracks and Atmospheres
    17. Philip Glass Solo Piano
    18. Peter Gabriel Peter Gabriel (Melt)
    19. La Monte Young The Well-Tuned Piano
    20. Meredith Monk Dolmen Music
    21. Richard & Linda Thompson Shoot Out the Lights
    22. Pauline Oliveros/Stuart Dempster/Panaiotis Deep Listening

    I'm surprised I rated around 10% of these, to be honest. Usually with these lists I'm into single digits. Still, not this time. Yah!
  10. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I find it very hard to rate these lists, because I feel they try to be inclusive to certain acts based on their reputation, whilst also worried about including too many albums from one act (case in point here for me would be 'R.E.M', who released several classics in the 80's, another example would be 'XTC).

    I am pleased to see 'McCartney 2', 'Stone Roses', etc, on the list. One complaint would be that Peter Gabriel's 'Melt' made it, but not also the wonderful 'So'.

    Anyway it looks like it will be interesting to go through listening to some of these.
  11. Vaughan

    Vaughan Forum Resident

    Not to stand up for Pitchfork - but So was a step down, imo. He was going for hits, and he managed that - but at a cost, imo. He never really recovered, actually.
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  12. Mother

    Mother Forum Resident

    The Blue Mask, New York. No Lou?
  13. Sprocket Henry

    Sprocket Henry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    It's a tricky one, but I think the key thing with these Pitchfork lists is they do make an effort to be inclusive of virtually everything that was done during a particular decade, which goes beyond the standard pop/rock template. I think that this is especially important when examining the 80's from a 2018 vantage. If this was Rolling Stone for example, then it would be a different story. If Pitchfork have one thing going for them at the moment, their fifty-odd contributors come from all kinds of backgrounds, with their fingers and ears in all kinds of genres and culture. For this reason, I've found some of their features - especially those concerning 'outer-limits' music - to be ocassionally fascinating with top tier writing.
  14. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Incompletist

    Including the re-issue of 1979's Public Image Metal Box as 'Second Edition' is kind of cheating.
    Jane In Occupied Europe was a weak follow-up to Marineville. How is this best of 80s?

    Those two inclusions alone make me suspicious of how they compiled this list. A case of contributors wanting to include their favourite act, despite them being past their best?
    englishbob and kevimetal like this.
  15. pathosdrama

    pathosdrama Forum Resident

    Firenze, Italy
    Classic rock gets a tad overlooked--->Steve Hoffman Forum is furious
  16. mr.datsun

    mr.datsun Incompletist

    Were they still making classic rock in the 1980s? I thought the world had moved on.
    klockwerk likes this.
  17. Rigsby

    Rigsby Forum Resident

    London, UK
    It's not a terrible list - I think there should be more pop on there though - the 80s had some great pop albums. Where's Into The Gap by The Thompson Twins or ABC's Lexicon of Love? Nice to see The Blue Nile on there, although I'd vote Rooftops over Hats, but that's just a personal thing. Also where's Phil Collins Face Value??

    Actually I've changed my mind, it is a terrible list...
  18. eric777

    eric777 Rock Star

    I must admit that I am surprised to see bands such as Mercyful Fate, Godflesh, Celtic Frost, and Morbid Angel making this list. I usually don’t pay much attention to these lists but I must admit, I am impressed. Of course I don’t agree with all of it but I admire the fact that they decided not to go with the usual chart toppers like others do.
  19. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Let's check where they placed 80s albums by some of my favorite artists . . .

    Frank Zappa -- they didn't include any
    Todd Rundgren -- they didn't include any
    Yes -- they didn't include any
    Grateful Dead -- they didn't include any
    King Crimson -- they didn't include any
    The Rolling Stones -- they didn't include any
    The Who/Pete Townshend -- they didn't include any
    Miles Davis -- they didn't include any
    Pat Metheny -- they didn't include any
    Bob Dylan -- they didn't include any
    Neil Young -- they didn't include any
    Genesis -- they didn't include any
    King's X -- they didn't include any
    kd lang -- they didn't include any
    . . . I guess I don't need to check any more


    That's a pass from me
  20. pathosdrama

    pathosdrama Forum Resident

    Firenze, Italy
    That is the fascinating thing about a list like this: it can be used to discover a lot of overlooked stuff during the rockism era. Of course, many will see such an operation under the guise of hipsterism, and it surely is by a certain degree. But I can't understand why people get crazy if some album doesn't get included or some artist gets overlooked.

    Lists are basically a game.
    Sprocket Henry likes this.
  21. theMess

    theMess Forum Resident

    Kent, UK
    I was sure that 'Trans' would make the list, so am surprised to see that it didn't.
    Lamus, mark ab, smoke and 2 others like this.
  22. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    NYC Man
    Whoa--they don't even have a Police album on the list.
    Peterr, KariK, dgstrat and 21 others like this.
  23. Sear

    Sear Forum Resident

    Tarragona (Spain)
    Oh they included a lot of hip hop and heavy metal is underrepresented , what a surprise

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  24. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    Terrible top 20–only about a quarter of them actually belong there.

    But even more messed up is how many great—or at least better—albums are ranked below Gaucho, while The Nightly is nowhere to be found... :sigh:
    kevimetal and PCM7027 like this.
  25. x2zero

    x2zero Forum Resident

    Brooklyn USA
    On first glance, Lexicon of Love seems the most glaring omission

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