Top 100 Albums Of The '80s (Nos. 51-60)

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 51-60:

60. Adam Ant, Friend Or Foe

I loved Adam Ant and Friend Or Foe was by far his crowning achievement. With its sexed-up music video, "Goody Two Shoes" (the first of only two US Top 20 singles for Ant) led the way for Friend Or Foe's success. But don't think this album was a one-trick pony. You also had a cover of The Doors' "Hello, I Love You," as well as the excellent "Place In The Country" and "Desperate But Not Serious." But the main standout on the album is my favorite Adam Ant song of all time, "Friend Or Foe," the ultimate bite-me-if-you-don't-like-me track.--Chris

59. 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

58. Asia, Asia

Asia was one of those groups that burst onto the American music scene in a pretty high profile way and then disappeared without a trace. Despite the fact that two of the band's songs happen to be two of my favorite songs of the '80s, I was shocked to see that they had more than two albums. (I knew about Asia and Alpha, but I thought that was it... they have 15, the last of which is set to be released this year!)

At any rate, Asia's self-titled first album made a big impact on me. As a geeky high school kid, I was drawn to the album cover immediately--a cool looking serpent rising from a surreal aqua-scape. And when I heard "Heat Of The Moment" and "Only Time Will Tell," I was an instant fan of their sound. Those songs stand as two of my favorite all-time '80s tunes.--Dave

57. John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy

What can I say? Mama raised a Beatles girl, tried and true, even through the rough solo albums. Best of 1980? Okay, I get how that's arguable. It did, however, win Best Album at the Grammys that year. Now, most memorable? Absolutely, but for the saddest reason a Beatles fan can remember: three weeks later, John Lennon was shot and killed. While Yoko's voice drives me absolutely up a wall, there's a nostalgic and heartstrings factor that I cannot get over in love for anything with the name Lennon, and the love that man could show. "For the other half of the sky..." Thanks for one more go-around, John.--J-Hawke

56. 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

55. Pixies, Doolittle

Look, you already know everything there is to know about Doolittle. It's the best album Kim Deal, Black Francis, David Lovering, and Joey Santiago produced. It influenced countless musicians. It contained kickass tracks like "Debaser," "Wave Of Mutilation," "Here Comes Your Man," "Monkey Gone To Heaven," "Crackity Jones," "Silver," and "Gouge Away." Now go dig it out of your collection and give it a spin.--Chris

54. Queensryche, Operation: Mindcrime

What is prog metal? Presently, I'm still not sure. What I surmised in 1988 is that it was somehow smarter than the other glam rock I was listening to and the lyrics were about technology and spaceships. There's something operatic but also darkly chilling about Geoff Tate's voice. At the time of release I didn't realize it, but the album is a fully realized rock opera, a cross between Blade Runner and The Manchurian Candidate. Rumors are still circulating that it will be developed for Broadway. Hey, if Green Day can be on Broadway, so can Queensryche.--Robin

53. Pink Floyd, A Momentary Lapse Of Reason

My wife is single-handedly responsible for broadening my musical horizons. Before I met her, my Pink Floyd knowledge started and ended with "Money" and "Another Brick In The Wall Part II." At some point when we were dating, she asked for a Pink Floyd CD box set and I gave it to her for her birthday. (She had the albums on cassette. Remember those?) I mentioned that I had never listened to a Pink Floyd album all the way through, and she insisted that I change that. I was glad that I did.

My tastes run to the "later" Pink Floyd albums, Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) and beyond. I have always liked to listen to music while I write, but it's mostly movie soundtracks and classical (hearing words makes writing difficult). Pink Floyd is one of the rare exceptions. Their songs have some of the greatest lyrics ever written and are worth an attentive listen, but the mellowness of their melodies makes their songs perfect background music as well.

This album has some really great tracks. "Signs Of Life," "Learning To Fly," and "One Slip" are among my favorites, and both "Dogs Of War" and "On The Turning Away" are as extraordinarily poignant and socially relevant now as they were in the '80s. A Momentary Lapse Of Reason is not my favorite Pink Floyd album--hardcore Floyd fans tend to cringe when I say that that honor goes to The Division Bell--but it's close. And it's definitely my favorite album of 1987.--Dave

52. Public Enemy, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

I love this album. There really aren't proper words to convey how influential or groundbreaking I thought it was at the time or how it continues to be. It was only the second album for Public Enemy but it's fully-charged lyrics and the no-nonsense approach Of Chuck D was enough to ignite a fire under the ass of the most apathetic of listeners. You were supposed to jump up and scream along to "Don't Believe The Hype" and the urgency of the message was a challenge to the status quo.

Innovative, pulse-pounding, and breathtaking, I count this lyrical and musical masterpiece among my top five of all time. Bring the noise indeed.--Dufmanno

51. Culture Club, Colour By Numbers

America had already gotten over the "shock" of the cross-dressing Boy George through Culture Club's debut album, Kissing To Be Clever, and its three Top 10 singles, so by the time Colour By Numbers washed ashore, we were there to greet it with open arms. Awaiting us was the Motownish "Church Of The Poisoned Mind," the bouncy "It's A Miracle," and "Miss Me Blind," along with the album's best track and the band's only #1 hit, "Karma Chameleon."--Chris

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