Top 25 Albums Of 1987 (Nos. 1-5)

A few weeks back, a Brat bravely postulated that 1987 was the greatest year in the history of music. After the laughter died down, we took a closer look at the albums released twenty-five years ago and you know what?

He may very well be right.

See if he's correct. We compiled the twenty-five greatest albums from twenty-five years ago, 1987. Tell us what you think when you get down to #1. And let us know if you would've ordered them differently.

Here are Numbers 1-5:

5. Def Leppard, Hysteria

What can I say about Hysteria that I haven't already said at length in my tribute to it a couple weeks ago? But in the context of the year 1987, when you look at the glory of the rest of the albums that year, the achievement of this record is that much more impressive. There are so many "important" albums from 1987, seminal works that are touchstones for a generation and influences for later bands, and yet Hysteria stands shoulder-to-shoulder with all of them, awaiting for revisionist history to give pop-metal its due and rightly place Def Leppard and Hysteria in the pantheon of modern classics.--CroutonBoy

4. INXS, Kick

This is my all time favorite album of '87. I actually had to buy the tape three times that summer; I kept playing it until it gummed up the works of my car's crappy cassette player. I'd just clean it out, buy it again, and pop the new copy back in.

From the first triumphant growls of "Guns In The Sky" to the melodramatic Romeo-and-Juliet balcony calls of "Never Tear Us Apart," Kick dug its hook into me when I was seventeen and didn't let go. It was one part party anthem, and one part after-hours backseat romance. Michael Hutchence's voice was a bullhorn in the danceable anthems "New Sensation" and "Kick," and sinuous through the undulating curves of "Devil Inside" and "Need You Tonight." INXS put out some awesome records before Kick, but this was the one that shot the band into orbit.

I'm told you can get this album on CD now, as well as in some sort of newfangled digital format directly from a store called "eye tunes." But I'm pretty sure it still sounds best when played on cassette, in a 1980 Buick Skylark, while driving around on a July night after curfew. Just saying.--Didactic Pirate

3. R.E.M., Document

This was the album that got me into alternative rock, or "Modern Rock" as we called it back in the day, with all the defiant declaration a young fringe group can muster. I heard "It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" on the radio and was instantly hooked. The driving drumbeats that wrapped up cynicism and angst in a cheerful tempo, the longing and frustration heard in the guitars. My friends ridiculed me but I didn't care. I had suddenly found a genre that I not only liked for the sound but had themes that I could actually relate to! (You know, as much as a 15-year-old with limited experience could relate to anything.) And you could totally dance to it! It was so different from the top 40 pop which was all I had heard before. All these years, and many rock songs later, this album still holds a tender place in my heart.--The Weirdgirl

2. U2, The Joshua Tree

U2's The Joshua Tree was actually the band's fifth album, but it's the one that made U2 one of the biggest bands in rock history. It's practically a greatest hits album now because so many of the songs off the album are so key to the U2 catalogue. It's one of the best selling albums of all time, and deservedly so, because even 25 years later it still holds up. Yes, there are some U2 albums that I like more now, but "Joshua Tree" is the cool old guy that you still invite to dinner.--Archphoenix

1. Guns N' Roses, Appetite For Destruction

From the opening riff of "Welcome To The Jungle" to the closing All I ever wanted was for you to know that I care declaration of "Rocket Queen," Guns N' Roses' debut album, Appetite For Destruction, is not only the best album of 1987, but one of the greatest albums EVER. While "Sweet Child O' Mine" reached #1 on the Billboard charts, unlikely hits "Paradise City" and "Welcome To The Jungle" joined it in the Top 10. I was seventeen when this album came out, the perfect age for the dozen tracks of gritty rebellion. I wasn't the only one who this album spoke to: to this day, Appetite For Destruction remains the biggest-selling debut album of all time.--Chris

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