Top 20 Albums Of 1986 (Nos. 11-15)

For this week's Ranked!, we compiled our twenty favorite albums released in 1986. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are numbers 11-15:

15. The Bangles, Different Light

In the '80s, I was a singles kind of guy--not as in "bar" but as in "45s" (if any of you youngsters out there are still familiar with those). As such, I never actually owned Different Light, just two of the singles from the record: "Manic Monday" and "Walk Like An Egyptian." When it comes to girl groups of the '80s, I'll always be more of a Go-Go's fan than a Bangles fan--loved those two songs, though--and still do today. But if I owned a Bangles album, this would be my favorite one.--Dave

14. Run-D.M.C., Raising Hell

Make no mistake: Run-D.M.C.'s Raising Hell brought rap music to the masses. Sure it had been around for years, but it was the rap/rock hybrid with Aerosmith on "Walk This Way" that brought rap front and center and proved that it was no inner-city fad (and also resurrected Aerosmith's career). Because so much is made of "Walk This Way," you might think Raising Hell was just a one-sided 45. But no, there were many awesome tunes to be found on the album. "Peter Piper." "It's Tricky." "My Adidas." "You Be Illin'." "Dumb Girl." All classics. All made Raising Hell one of the most important albums of the '80s.--Chris

13. Queen, A Kind Of Magic

It was a kind of a magic, what Queen and Freddie Mercury could do. The way they gently built "Who Wants To Live Forever" to a smashing crescendo. The pulse-pounding beat of "Don't Lose Your Head." It winds you up until you think you can conquer the world. Just take that feeling and run with it right into space. "The Miracle" and "Innuendo" followed, but "A Kind Of Magic" and the tour behind it were really the spectacular rousing stomp of a high note on which Queen and Freddie ended. How do you follow that?--Amanda

12. Cyndi Lauper, True Colors

I played the living daylights out of this album at my friend's house in '86. Not only is the title track a great, great song, the album has guest appearances by the Bangles, Billy Joel, Pee Wee Herman, and Aimee Mann, plus a cover of "Iko Iko." If that's not something for everyone, I don't know what is. --Archphoenix

11. Janet Jackson, Control

Ms. Jackson was coming off a pretty successful TV acting career (Diff'rent Strokes and Fame), but her singing career was a dud. So she took "Control" of her life by firing her dad as her manager and the result is the album that made Janet go from baby sister of the Jacksons to one of the shining stars of the family. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, ex-members of The Time, produced this album which catapulted Janet Jackson's singing career. The album spawned seven hits including "What Have You Done For Me Lately," "Nasty" (and the video includes a quick cameo of Janet's choreographer, Paula Abdul), "Control," and the soft ballad "Let's Wait A While." The album was one strong statement for Janet Jackson where she literally took control of her career and got herself out of her family's shadow. When I think of "Control," I think of rollerskating on Friday nights. The rink played at least three of her songs every week.--Jay

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