Top 20 Albums Of 1985 (Nos. 16-20)

For this week's Ranked!, we compiled our twenty favorite albums released in 1985. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are numbers 16-20:

20. John Cougar Mellencamp, Scarecrow

Scarecrow is the album that cemented Mellencamp as the Voice of Middle America. Every song feels like it's written for the kids in Footloose or Dazed & Confused, with a strident, rebellious voice that wears its love for small towns, fast cars, and kissing under the bleachers like a superhero's cape. It's also Mellencamp's strongest batch of songs overall, with highlights like "Lonely Ol' Night" and "Small Town" punctuated by minor but equally brilliant tunes like "Rumbleseat" and "Justic & Independence '85." You could easily see these songs playing at a political rally, a state fair, or out of the tinny speakers in a '69 Buick Skylark. Tremendous fun.--CroutonBoy

19. Tom Petty, Southern Accents

My appreciation for Southern Accents just keeps growing as the years go by. It's probably the most ambitious and cohesive Heartbreakers album, and features the psychadelic classic and MTV mainstay "Don't Come Around Here No More." It's the first Tom Petty album that doesn't sound like a vehicle for singles, and has a maturity that seems to embrace the roots of human experience the title hints at. The album is an oft-forgotten gem from one of America's great bands.--CroutonBoy

18. Heart, Heart

There are, obviously, a lot of one-hit wonders from the '80s. Heart wasn't one of them--but, for me, they were kind of a one-album (plus one-hit) wonder. Prior to the release of Heart, I knew and loved "Barracuda," but that was the extent of my Heart experience. Then in 1985, several new Heart songs caught my attention. Between "What About Love," "These Dreams," and "Never," I was hooked and I bought the album. Today, although I still have the record (yes, record), I really can't remember the other songs very well. After this album, the band once again faded into the background for me. Bad Animals introduced the somewhat memorable "Alone," and Brigade gave us the wish-we-could forget "All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You." Definitely nothing to write home about. Bottom line? Heart, as far as I'm concerned, is the only Heart album that I'll ever need.--Dave

17. Big Audio Dynamite, This Is Big Audio Dynamite

The debut album of Big Audio Dynamite, you can totally hear the Clash-y influence of Mick Jones. Filled with samples from movies, it's kind of a funky fun album with a different sound than most everything else on this list. Not my favorite BAD album, but it's worth a listen.--Archphoenix

16. The Cure, The Head On The Door

Forced to become a more upstanding citizen during my sophomore year, I wore my kneesocks and school sweater to an after-school job that crushed my soul and opened my eyes to what awaited me as soon as I came off the college assembly line a few years later. It was prophetic and bleak and sad but I had Robert Smith and company to help me through.

Listening to The Head On The Door on my headphones while I smiled my way through any number of tedious tasks and browbeatings by middle management types who like to yell at kids was the ultimate in fun as a series of macarbe images of my tormentors dressed in black Doc Martens and sporting eyeliner walked through my mind. "Push," "Close To Me," and "In Between Days" are still a few of my favorite songs and when several of them made it onto The Cure's playlist during their run at the Beacon last year, I jumped sky high with as much excitement as these old bones could muster. Gloomy but upbeat at the same time, The Head On The Door remains as relevant as it was the day it was released.--Dufmanno

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