For this week's Ranked!, we've got one of our most epic editions ever: the Top 100 Albums Of The '80s. Did we get it right? Let us know!
Here are Numbers 41-50:
50. Ramones, End Of The CenturySome point to End Of The Century as the beginning of the downfall, as the End Of The Ramones, but for me it was their last great album. Phil Spector produced the album, which featured songs a minute or so longer than the usual Ramones fare. But you still got classics like "Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio?," "Danny Says," "Chinese Rock," and "Rock 'N' Roll High
49. Traveling Wilburys, Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1I barely knew about the Wilburys, even with a Beatles-obsessed mother, up until a few years ago. On some infomercial at some point, she had seen their set advertised as new, remastered, etc. It was a really nice-looking set, so I looked it up and decided to buy it for her birthday (my mom makes it really easy to shop for special occasions for her; she knows what she wants!). It was at that point that I realized my beloved George Harrison was a part of this, along with Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Jim Keltner. Talk about a supergroup! There is no doubt that they could (and obviously would) create something incredible. This is a band, and an album, that slips along quietly throughout time, but every time it comes to surface, you know you're hearing something great.--J-Hawke
48. Janet Jackson, Janet Jackson's Rhythm Nation 1814Janet was under a lot of pressure to create something similar to Control, but stuck to her guns and gave us this concept album on social injustice instead. Critics said the theme was too transparent and generalized, but the rest of the world saw her as, once again, an inspiration. In one album, we hear a range of rap, industrial, R&B, swing notes, synth and samples harmonized into a great collection of songs. This is one of those rare occurrences where listening to one song won't do; the album was built altogether, and that is what makes it so great.--J-Hawke
47. Phil Collins, No Jacket RequiredThis is practically a greatest hits album. "Sussudio", "One More Night," "Don't Lose My Number," and "Take Me Home" all appear for the first time. And I think half the album was featured on Miami Vice, so you know it was good.--Archphoenix
46. The J. Geils Band, Freeze FrameFreeze Frame had a hell of a lot to offer. The awesome title track. The funky "Flamethrower." The track "Piss On The Wall," which I really found outlandish at the time because I think it was the only song title on any of my albums that contained a curse word. "Centerfold" and its accompanying video, which had us all wondering if that girl was Martha Quinn or not.
But for me, the real draw to Freeze Frame was "Angel In Blue," the melodramatic almost-hit that may be the sweetest, most romantic song ever written about a stripper.--Chris
45. Bon Jovi, New JerseyIn one of the earliest articles on Culture Brats, I argued that Jon Bon Jovi, and not Bruce Springsteen, should be considered the poet laureate of New Jersey. He was the working man's rocker, the underdog who took his image of New Jersey straight to the top of the charts.
The pressure must've been huge for Bon Jovi. Most bands would have caved due to the expectations on the follow-up to an album that has sold twenty-eight million copies worldwide and was the best-selling album of 1987. But Bon Jovi answered with New Jersey, which had five top 10 singles, something never seen before or since from a hard rock album. The best songs on the album were "Lay Your Hands On Me," "Bad Medicine," "Born To Be My Baby," and "Blood On Blood," my favorite Bon Jovi song of all time.--Chris
44. David Bowie, Let's DanceIt's only recently that I discovered there is a lot of loathing of this album among David Bowie fans. We have friends who regularly play Rock Band with us that cringe whenever I choose "Let's Dance" or "Modern Love." Personally, I don't get it. David Bowie's '80s work was different than some of his older stuff--say, "Ziggy Stardust" or "Space Oddity" or "Starman"--all of which are awesome--but I think the songs from Let's Dance stand up well when compared to his earlier work. Let's Dance made me a David Bowie fan and, in spite of the fact that my Bowie tastes are much broader today than they were in 1983, I'm still a big fan of the album.--Dave
43. The Clash, Combat RockFor as much as the cool kids gave me crap about the type of music I listened to, ironically they never said a word when The Clash was on. It was universally understood that these songs rocked, regardless if they understood the lyrics. Of course, if they'd known more from the album than "Rock The Casbah" and "Should I Stay Or Should I Go," this should have been a prime time to mess with the mod kids about their weird, political music. They didn't get it, and that's just fine. Sometimes you want to keep secrets to yourself, and the depth and awareness of the Combat Rock album was one of the them.--The Weirdgirl
42. Various Artists, Pretty In Pink SoundtrackFact: Pretty In Pink is one of the greatest soundtracks of the '80s. Need proof? Check out this all-star roster found on the disc: INXS, New Order, Echo And The Bunnymen, and The Smiths are all represented. But the best song on the album is the lead-off track and the song played at the prom, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark's "If You Leave." One thing that always puzzled me about the soundtrack was the omission of Otis Redding's "Try a Little Tenderness." I know it didn't fit in musically with the rest of Pretty In Pink's soundtrack, but it played such a major role in the film. But even with this slight, it's still a kick-ass compilation.
And oh yeah, the movie ain't half bad either.--Chris