Top 25 Albums Of 1980 (Nos. 16-20)

For this week's Ranked!, we compiled the twenty-five greatest albums from 1980. Tell us what you think of our list when you get down to #1. And let us know if you would've ordered them differently.

Here are Numbers 16-20:

20. Dire Straits, Making Movies

I love this album. Love love love love love this album. It's a pity that the voice and virtuosity of Mark Knopfler seems to forever be trapped in our collective memories straddling "Sultans Of Swing" and "Money For Nothing," because one listen to Making Movies will reveal that Dire Straits was once one of the World's Greatest Bands. I myself didn't discover it until I was in college, when "Romeo And Juliet" found its way onto every mixtape I made for a girl. It's such a mesmerizing album, sometimes a little jazzy, sometimes a little country, but always with a distinctive guitar sound and singer-songwriter sensibilities. I could listen to "Tunnel Of Love," "Skateaway," and "Espresso Love" on infinite loop and never get tired of them. (As proof, I offer my list of the top 100 albums of all time, still fundamentally the same, with stated revisions, as they were in 2007.) If you're a fan of good music, you owe it to yourself to own this album.--CroutonBoy

19. ABBA, Super Trouper

Super Trouper, the seventh album by ABBA, is practically half of their fabulous greatest hits album. It's a solid gold album from start to finish.--Archphoenix

18. Pete Townshend, Empty Glass

Pete Townshend clearly doesn't need The Who to make awesome music. His post-Who career is filled with lost gems (I highly recommend picking up Scoop if you haven't already) but arguably his finest moment since Quadrophenia came in 1980 with Empty Glass. The album's signature track, "Let My Love Open The Door," is as joyful a ditty as you can imagine, but it often masks how personal and confessional the rest of the album is. That's not to say it doesn't rock--this is Pete Townshend of high-kicking windmill-guitar-playing fame--but "Rough Boys" and "I Am An Animal" combine both a sonic and an emotional punch. It's a great disk for those nights when you're feeling a little down but not quite ready to pity yourself and cry into your... well, your empty glass.--CroutonBoy

17. Bruce Springsteen, The River

Bruce Springsteen released so many albums in the '80s it seemed like he was releasing one every other day. I think he and Billy Joel were having some kind of contest to see who could take up the most shelf space that decade. Some would argue that Bruce's best stuff is showcased in the albums of the '70s (and I wouldn't argue that point--Born To Run is THE all-time classic Bruce album). Those same people would probably say that his most commercial stuff came out in the '80s, and I wouldn't argue that point either--Born In The USA was mediocre at best despite the amount of airtime it got and I thought that Tunnel Of Love was just awful. But The River is a great bridge between classic Bruce and commercial Bruce. And it's the album that gave us "Hungry Heart," arguably one of his best songs. Definitely a worthwhile effort by The Boss.--Dave

16. Blondie, Autoamerican

Blondie was a hard band to peg. They could give you pop ("Dreaming"), disco ("Heart Of Glass"), and punk ("One Way Or Another"). Their fifth album, Autoamerican, saw the band continuing down the genre-bending road and found them experimenting with reggae ("The Tide Is High") and rap ("Rapture") in two of their all-time biggest hits. In fact, Blondie's "Rapture" became the first rap song to hit #1 on the U.S. charts. --Chris

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