Top 25 Albums Of 1980 (Nos. 6-10)

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, Voices

The 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 Infidelity

Ya 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 Soundtrack

There 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

7. Pretenders, Pretenders

I was still pretty young in 1980, not yet buying my own music and subject to whatever Casey Kasem and Solid Gold told me to listen to. I remember the Village People and Xanadu far more clearly than I do the Pretenders. But theirs was not music made to unseat the Bee Gees at the top of charts, but rather to offer a counterpoint to the high sheen and emptiness disco had become. The album is a force of nature, slapping you in the forehead and showing you what "cool" is supposed to look and sound like. It's got something for everyone: Chrissie Hynde's heartfelt "Brass in Pocket," the driving kick in the teeth of "Tattooed Love Boys," and the deceptively poppy "Stop Your Sobbing." 1980 was the year that intelligent music finally started to stand on its own and kick the Air Supplys of the world to the curb, and Pretenders was right in the vanguard. And frankly, we should all be eternally grateful.--CroutonBoy

6. Various Artists, The Blues Brothers: Music From The Soundtrack

I first experienced this film in college in the mid 1990s at a Brew & View theater about three hours south of Chicago. It was filled with drunk college kids running up and down the aisles singing and dancing along. It was a pretty excellent introduction to both the film and the album. I swear that listening to Aretha belt out "Think," then hearing the Blues Brothers' version of "Rawhide," followed up with Cab Calloway doing "Minnie The Moocher" just plain makes every day automatically a better day.--Archphoenix

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