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 6-10:
10. Hall & Oates, VoicesThe early '80s for me were all about Hall & Oates. And I mean ALL about them. From my perspective they could do no wrong, and I certainly wasn't in the minority. They were all over the radio, hooking you with one of their songs, and just as you started to get tired of it a new one would be there to replace it, like crack. Town squares across America should have statues of Hall & Oates to commemorate the good they did for us in the 1980s, and even though it was their 9th album, Voices was the one that really kicked it off. "Kiss On My List" was #1 forever, and "You Make My Dreams" never stopped being a #1 in my heart. Their cover of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is as good as the original, and Paul Young stole their glory by covering "Everytime You Go Away" for the MTV crowd. Voices is a masterpiece of blue-eyed soul, and if there's any justice in the world this paragraph will send it to the top of the iTunes download list by week's end.--CroutonBoy
9. REO Speedwagon, Hi InfidelityYa know, this was actually the top-selling rock album of 1981, but we'll blame that on a late November 1980 release. This was REO Speedwagon's ninth studio album, which makes it impressive based on staying-power alone. The album itself, of course, stands steady on its music. This may have been their peak, but what a peak it was. It brought the band to the mainstream (and no matter how indie you want to seem, this is where to make a bigger musical splash for sure) with hits like "Take It On The Run" and the power ballad "Keep On Loving You." I have always enjoyed REO Speedwagon for the way their songs completely seem to fit any car ride ever, blasted loud, and this album is the pinnacle of that collection.--J-Hawke
8. Queen, Flash Gordon SoundtrackThere are a lot of movies and television shows that I remember loving when I was a kid or a teenager that, upon viewing them through adult eyes, I found to be total crap. For example, when Nick at Night premiered way back when and I saw that they were showing Mr. Ed, I was excited. I loved that show as a kid. So I tuned in and after five minutes, I realized that this beloved show was actually one of the worst ideas for a television show that was ever conceived. So, when Flash Gordon was re-released on DVD (I missed the first go-round and it took forever for them to release it again), I bought it with great trepidation. I remembered the movie as being truly awesome high-camp, and I didn't want to be disappointed. Luckily, It's still as awesome today as I remember it being in the 80s.
Part of the reason is the soundtrack. I've always liked Queen, and they really went all-out for this soundtrack. It's so 80s, and so campy, and so Queen. And it's so memorable. Most of my friends and family, whether they were fans of the movie or not, still reflexively respond "ah ah!" when you say "Flash!" to them. Something that makes this soundtrack somewhat unique (apart from it being Queen's only movie soundtrack) is that it includes dialog and sound effects from the movie. I've always been good at picturing scenes from the movie based on the music from the film but, in this case, I don't have to.
This might not be one of my favorite soundtracks overall (at least not in a symphonic sense), but it is quite awesome. It's also one of the handful of albums released in 1980 that I still listen to in its entirety on a regular basis today.--Dave