Best of the '80s, Poll — April 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Top 100 Albums of 1981: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s — Part 2

Slicing Up Eyeballs Best of 1981

Today we unveil the results of Part 2 of our year-long Best of the ’80s feature, an ambitious, year-by-year poll of Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to determine just what were the best albums of each year of the 1980s — and then, when that’s all said and done at the end of 2013, we’ll run a monster best-of-the-decade poll to hash out the overall champs.

For the 1981 poll, we received nearly 25,000 total votes naming more than 200 different albums, with the top five vote-getters more than 1,000 votes apiece. We’ve also got our first tie in the Top 10, with Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Go-Go’s earning the same number of votes to each finish No. 9.

As with our 1980 poll, there have seen a few hitches, including at least a couple regrettable omissions from the original ballot: INXS’ Underneath the Colours and The Suburbs’ Credit In Heaven, each of which received multiple write-in votes, but not enough to crack the Top 100. Finding definitive lists of albums released more than 30 years ago is proving difficult, and we’ll keep trying to improve the balloting process.

So thank you all for voting and sharing your thoughts. Take a look at the Top 100 list below — and feel free to offer your own take on the results, good or bad, in the comments below.

And stay tuned for the Best of 1982 poll, which should launch later this week.

 

 

SLICING UP EYEBALLS READERS POLL: TOP 100 ALBUMS OF 1981

 

The Cure - Faith

1. The Cure, Faith

BACKSTORY: The third album from Robert Smith and Co., considered the middle record in the band’s early trilogy of “dark” albums. The cover art was designed by once and future guitarist Porl Thompson.
SINGLES: “Primary”
BAND: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Lol Tolhurst
PRODUCER: Mike Hedges and The Cure
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Duran Duran, 'Duran Duran'

2. Duran Duran, Duran Duran

BACKSTORY: The debut from Duran Duran hit No. 3 in the U.K., but didn’t make much of a splash in the U.S. initially; it would be reissued in the States in 1983 following the success of Rio.
SINGLES: “Planet Earth,” “Careless Memories,” “Girls On Film”
BAND: Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor
PRODUCER: Colin Thurston
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

New Order, 'Movement'

3. New Order, Movement

BACKSTORY: The debut from New Order, released about 18 months after the suicide of Ian Curtis ended Joy Division and just weeks following that band’s posthumous compilation Still.
SINGLES: None
BAND: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Gillian Gilbert, Stephen Morris
PRODUCER: Martin Hannett
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Depeche Mode, 'Speak & Spell'

4. Depeche Mode, Speak & Spell

BACKSTORY: Depeche Mode’s poppy debut, which hit No. 10 on the U.K. charts, was largely written by Vince Clarke, who subsequently left to form synthpop favorites Yazoo and then Erasure.
SINGLES: “Dreaming of Me,” “New Life,” “Just Can’t Get Enough”
BAND: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Vince Clarke, Andy Fletcher
PRODUCER: Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Human League, 'Dare'

5. The Human League, Dare

BACKSTORY: Following the departure of Martyn Ware and Ian Craig Marsh to form Heaven 17, The Human League veered into new, pop-friendly territory on its third album, which hit No. 1 in the U.K.
SINGLES: “The Sound of the Crowd,” “Love Action,” “Open Your Heart,” “Don’t You Want Me”
BAND: Philip Oakey, Philip Adrian Wright, Joanne Catherall, Susanne Sulley, Ian Burden, Jo Callis
PRODUCER: Martin Rushent and The Human League
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

U2, 'October'

6. U2, October

BACKSTORY: On their second album, the members of the pre-superstardom Irish group struck a more religious tone than on their youthful debut Boy. The album features early favorite “Gloria.”
SINGLES: “Fire,” “Gloria”
BAND: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.
PRODUCER: Steve Lillywhite
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Police, 'Ghost in the Machine'

7. The Police, Ghost in the Machine

BACKSTORY: The Police began bolstering their sound with keyboards and horns on their fourth album, which spun off a trio of hit singles and went multiplatinum in the United States.
SINGLES: “Invisible Sun,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Spirits in the Material World,” “Secret Journey”
BAND: Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland
PRODUCER: The Police and Hugh Padgham
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Echo & The Bunnymen, 'Heaven Up Here'

8. Echo & The Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here

BACKSTORY: The Bunnymen cracked the U.K. Top 10 with their second album, which was produced by Hugh Jones after musical differences led the band to dump its Crocodile producers.
SINGLES: “A Promise,” “Over the Wall”
BAND: Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas
PRODUCER: Hugh Jones and The Bunnymen
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Siouxsie and the Banshees, 'Juju'

9. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Juju (TIE)

BACKSTORY: On their fourth album, the Banshees spotlighted John McGeoch’s guitar work and the percussion of drummer Budgie. The album peaked at No. 7 on the U.K. charts.
SINGLES: “Spellbound,” “Arabian Knights’
BAND: Siouxsie Sioux, Steven Severin, Budgie, John McGeoch
PRODUCER: Siouxsie and the Banshees and Nigel Gray
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Go-Go's, 'Beauty and the Beat'

9. The Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat (TIE)

BACKSTORY: The debut from The Go-Go’s features two classic New Wave singles, including “Our Lips Are Sealed,” co-written by The Specials’ Terry Hall and later recorded by his group Fun Boy Three.
SINGLES: “Our Lips Are Sealed,” “We Got the Beat”
BAND: Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, Gina Schock, Kathy Valentine, Jane Wiedlin
PRODUCER: Rob Freeman and Richard Gottehrer
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

11. The Psychedelic Furs, Talk Talk Talk
12. Kraftwerk, Computer World
13. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Architecture & Morality
14. Bauhaus, Mask
15. Soft Cell, Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret
16. Men at Work, Business as Usual
17. The Cars, Shake It Up
18. Japan, Tin Drum
19. Adam and the Ants, Prince Charming
20. Simple Minds, Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call

 

The Replacements

21. The Replacements, Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash
22. Black Flag, Damaged
23. Squeeze, East Side Story
24. Heaven 17, Penthouse and Pavement
25. X, Wild Gift
26. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Trust
27. Pretenders, Pretenders II
28. Devo, New Traditionalists
29. Oingo Boingo, Only a Lad
30. Public Image Ltd., The Flowers of Romance

 

Stray Cats

31. Stray Cats, Stray Cats
32. Brian Eno and David Byrne, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
33. The Church, Of Skins and Heart
34. Ultravox, Rage in Eden
35. The Beat, Wha’ppen?
36. Killing Joke, What’s THIS For…!
37. Eurythmics, In the Garden (TIE)
37. The Cramps, Psychedelic Jungle (TIE)
37. Gang of Four, Solid Gold (TIE)
40. Modern English, Mesh & Lace

 

Grace Jones

41. Grace Jones, Nightclubbing
42. Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club
43. The Gun Club, Fire of Love (TIE)
43. Ramones, Pleasant Dreams (TIE)
45. The dB’s, Stands for Decibels
46. Madness, 7
47. The Plimsouls, The Plimsouls
48. Spandau Ballet, Journeys to Glory
49. The Birthday Party, Prayers On Fire
50. The Sound, From the Lions Mouth

 

Joe Jackson

51. Joe Jackson, Jumpin’ Jive
52. Einstürzende Neubauten, Kollaps
53. Prince, Controversy
54. The Teardrop Explodes, Wilder
55. Kim Wilde, Kim Wilde
56. Split Enz, Waiata
57. Robyn Hitchcock, Black Snake Diamond Röle (TIE)
57. Gary Numan, Dance (TIE)
59. Thompson Twins, A Product Of… (Participation)
60. Altered Images, Happy Birthday

 

Elvis Costello

61. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Almost Blue
62. The Comsat Angels, Sleep No More
63. Wall of Voodoo, Dark Continent
64. Agent Orange, Living in Darkness
65. Toyah, Anthem
66. Minutemen, The Punch Line
67. Midnight Oil, Place Without a Postcard
68. Felt, Crumbling the Antiseptic Beauty (TIE)
68. Matt Johnson, Burning Blue Soul (TIE)
70. Cabaret Voltaire, Red Mecca

 

Bow Wow Wow

71. Bow Wow Wow, See Jungle! See Jungle! Go Join Your Gang, Yeah. City All Over! Go Ape Crazy (TIE)
71. The Durutti Column, LC (TIE)
73. John Foxx, The Garden
74. UB40, Present Arms
75. Klaus Nomi, Klaus Nomi
76. Gen X, Kiss Me Deadly
77. The Blasters, The Blasters
78. Associates, Fourth Drawer Down
79. Stiff Little Fingers, Go For It
80. Wipers, Youth of America

 

Magazine

81. Magazine, Magic, Murder and the Weather
82. Au Pairs, Playing with a Different Sex
83. Iggy Pop, Party
84. The Stranglers, La Folie
85. Crass, Penis Envy
86. D.A.F., Alles Ist Gut (TIE)
86. T.S.O.L., Dance with Me (TIE)
88. The Exploited, Punks Not Dead (TIE)
88. The Undertones, Positive Touch (TIE)
90. Yello, Claro Que Si

 

Josef K

91. Josef K, The Only Fun In Town
92. David Byrne, The Catherine Wheel (TIE)
92. Debbie Harry, Koo Koo (TIE)
94. Romeo Void, It’s a Condition
95. Adolescents, Adolescents (TIE)
95. Sparks, Whomp That Sucker (TIE)
97. Television Personalities, …And Don’t the Kids Just Love It
98. Trio, Trio
99. A Certain Ratio, To Each…
100. Boomtown Rats, Mondo Bongo

 

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71 Comments

  1. This is turning into a great project!

  2. Gary Thrasher

    Nice list… glad Faith topped it out… but a few errors in the reporting.. Movement didn’t include Ceremony or In a Lonely Place… (Only on the collector’s bonus disc). Also, Porl Thompson had already been in the Cure just not recorded material… But all in all, excellent work!

  3. Duran Duran #2???
    October #6?? That is a weak album.
    At least Echo & The Bunnymen belong in the top 10.
    Disappointing top ten.

  4. Another tough year with too many great albums to limit myself to 10. (I suspect that by, say, 1987 that will no longer be the case.) Not sure how Simple Minds’ Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call beat out Black Flag’s Damaged, but I’m proud to say I voted for both.

  5. A great year for music…would’ve personally bumped quite a few out of the top ten to include Soft Cell, the Furs and Bauhaus.

  6. Redhookbopper

    Reading this top 10 list leads to one inescapable conclusion; 1981 was definitely the low point not only of the ’80s but of pop music history generally. Every single one of these LPs sucks(apart from the Bunnymen)

    It’s year best forgotton

    • “Every single one of these LPs sucks(apart from the Bunnymen)
      It’s (a) year best forgotton(sic)”

      Siouxsie, The Furs, Devo, The Sound, The Cramps, Killing Joke, Split Enz, Human League, Comsat Angels…Yeah, all those bands/albums sucked and are best forgotten. Whatever.

  7. Can’t complain about Faith being no. 1, but I am still sad Credit in Heaven by The Suburbs didn’t even get a spot on the ballot.

  8. This is a good, fun project BUT…
    There are, in my opinion, some serious flaws in the top ten. Chief among them is U2’s October. Sophomore slump anyone? Put Talk, Talk, Talk by the Furs in their spot. As for the rest of the top 10, well, how do I put this? Could it be that the voter’s feelings of nostalgia outweighed the actual material on the albums in question?
    p.s.
    I’m writing in The Suburbs’ Credit In Heaven. It’s a solid effort and it includes that song. You know the one I’m talking about. It’s the first track on the second album. It’s catchy and has a great beat. It also has really creepy, disturbing lyrics. It’s just one of those songs that’s able to make you get up and dance while seriously disturbing images parade past your mind’s eye. Thanks a lot guys, I’m still in therapy.

    • I’d take October over anything that U2 has done in the last two decades. But the Go-Go’s over Psychedelic Furs, Kraftwerk, OMD, The Cars, Japan, Simple Minds, Killing Joke, Gang Of Four and PIL? No.

  9. YES, YES!! DURAN #2 and U2 #6
    OMG.. Problems????

  10. Some albums will be more popularity based in a poll vs. indie cred or most influential. The latter is usually decided by one person’s opinion writing for a music based website. This is the people’s choice poll.

  11. The results of a poll are the results of a poll. Complaining about the results is a little pointless…

  12. Not including “Credit In Heaven” is a HUGE miss. One of those rare double albums that contained almost no filler. Somehow its appropriate though, as the Suburbs never got the recognition they deserved.

  13. ian christensen

    Agree with “Faith”, but I’d slip “Heaven Up Here” before “Duran Duran” & “Movement”. And The Sound should be in the top 10. One of the best years for music in my opinion.

  14. Seeing Duran Duran at #2 makes a long suffering Duranie such as myself quite happy. Seeing Duran Duran at #2 as a music fan makes me scratch my head a little. Don’t get me wrong their eponymous debut is magnificent but the musical landscape at the time was so vibrant I would have thought more seminal artists – such as Japan, Magazine, Simple Minds, etc – would have had a stronger showing but it’s a poll and it doesn’t change anything: 1981 remains a great year for music.

    • The Durans are going to be an interesting test case for this polling. The college radio station I was at played this first album, but abandoned the band overnight once their MTV silk-suits-and-sailboats heyday kicked in with “Rio.”

      I think that’s the case with a number of these bands. There was a definite overlap between “college rock” and “MTV” for the first couple of years of the 1980s, but then the college stations moved off in a more esoteric direction once Men at Work, Kim Wilde, Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet and so forth found a mass audience.

      I’ll be interested to see how “Rio” fares — if it’s even on the list to be voted on — and how others perceive “college rock” as a retroactive concept, versus what college stations were, from 1982 on, actually playing. I’m not sure “Rio” and Dream Syndicate’s “Days of Wine and Roses” were on the same playlists.

  15. The top ten didn’t surprise me much at all. A few of my picks are in it and I don’t know why anyone can get upset about a poll involving music. You like what you like and I like what I like. Having worked in record stores in the past I can tell you it’s rare to find almost everybody agreeing on a records merits.

  16. It’s good to see Siouxsie and the Banshees so high. They were/are so underrated in general.

    It’s good to see Depeche Mode as well.

    Gang of Four, excellent as well.

    I honestly do not think just because a “big name” released a record, it should be in the top 10. U2’s ‘October’ isn’t that great, so just because they are ‘U2’ doesn’t mean they need to be in the top 10 each time.

  17. Glad to see Toyah “Anthem” almost halfway there..looking forward to voting for “The Changeling” by Toyah and “The Best Of Jayne/Wayne County And The Electric Chairs” albums in the 1982 ballot..

  18. I agree with Redhookbopper, there are some good albums here but overall this was a petty poor year for alternative music. (and I was there)

  19. Some people look at polling results and say, “that’s the way it is.” I look at them and say, “this is the way it should be.”
    1. The Police, Ghost in the Machine
    2. The Psychedelic Furs, Talk Talk Talk
    3. The Beat, Wha’ppen?
    4. Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Trust
    5. Echo & The Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here
    6. The Gun Club, Fire of Love
    7. The Go-Go’s, Beauty and the Beat
    8. Pretenders, Pretenders II
    9. Joe Jackson, Jumpin’ Jive
    10. Tom Tom Club, Tom Tom Club

  20. Great poll, but there should be some hard rock & heavy metal albums in there too as this was slap bang in a golden era for the genre with classic albums from Iron Maiden,Motorhead,Ozzy Osbourne,Def Leppard and others.

    • It’s a college rock oriented site. Sure, there are great albums from other genres, but they don’t fit the theme.

  21. Interesting and fantastic project so far…well done and thank you for inviting us to participate in the process.

    This will always be a popularity contest, so while artistically we may strongly disagree with U2 and The Go-Go’s occupying top-10 places over more critical masterpieces (The Sound, Comsat Angels, Kiiling Joke, etc) it’s hard to not take pleasure in the entire process and the number of like-minded music lovers out there. It’s also heartening to see Wipers, Durutti Column and Felt getting love on these polls…nice taste voters!

    Looking forward to 1982!

    • haha, whenever I see the word “wipers” all I can think about is the movie “Coming To America”….

      WIPERS!!!! (clap, clap).

  22. yesss. so many good bands on this list. you never realise how many amazing albums there were in one year until seeing lists like these. thanks.

  23. This truly was a golden age for popular music, and I still listen to many of these records regularly. It’s a blast to see them all in context here, remember everything that was going on at the time. We really had it good!

  24. I was quite pleased to see The Cure’s Faith, my favourite, in nº1. Apart from The Human League and Go Go’s, is an excellent Top 10. Also, glad to see The Bunnymen up there… Heaven Up Here, I mean. ;)

    Bauhaus Mask is also in 14th, which is nice, but From the Lions Mouth was poorly rated…. Brilliant album.

    (sorry for my English)

  25. The fact that The Suburbs’ Credit In Heaven wasn’t included
    on this list is a travesty.

  26. I’ve been a huge Cure fan for years, but the idea of a
    Boring album like Faith topping a year these 99 other amazing
    albums? ridiculous.

  27. Juju at #9 …I guess that’s an acceptable ranking. I never listened to Faith as much as I ought to going by folks votes on this here project. Absolutely love me some Pornography though (and not just saying that cause of how it sounds, I swear!).

  28. @Lotus – great insight and i agree. Well i thought The Gun Club would rank a lot higher. If nothing else this list shows 1981 as the start of the MTV era and the wave of synthesizer bands that followed. The next few years polls will be challenging to wade through all of it.

    • Thanks shibster! I know that from 1982 forward, I’m going to be a lot more circumspect in my voting, and whether I’m being drawn to sentimental favorites vs. what I recall going on in the playlists.

      Interestingly, MTV eventually understood and underscored the divergence of its own playlists from those of college stations, although it took until 1986 when “120 Minutes” debuted. What was that show, but a showcase for the best of college radio?

  29. Charlie Conner

    One question to consider whenever there is a “looking back…” type of poll. How many of these albums are voted on by reputation and not their musical merit at the time of it’s release? just a question, not a criticism. While some of these albums in the top ten were not my cup of tea, I understand that each of these albums are somebody’s all-time favorite…

  30. Duran Duran are going to continue to place high because their fans will vote in any poll they are involved in regrardless. Such as what happened in this poll.

    • Oh, I agree! My question is how long they’ll continue to appear in the year-by-year polls, as after a point they really weren’t “college rock” anymore by most definitions. Will we be voting on “Notorious” in 1986, alongside “Candy Apple Grey,” “Life’s Rich Pageant,” “Bend Sinister” and “EVOL”? The mind reels.

  31. Tim Barlow

    Bunnymen shoulda been No.1, followed by The Gun Club, Killing Joke, Wipers and Costello (Trust). And who the hell are The Suburbs? Means nothing in the UK!

  32. Catherine

    My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is leaps and bounds more advanced and excellent than Speak and Spell. Oh well. Polls.

  33. nerveclinic

    Initial response is Computer World and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Top 5

    Tom Tom Club And Cab Voltaire Red Mecca top 10.

    A bit to mainstream as written

  34. would of liked to see EATB

  35. Why is Television Personalities’ “And Don’t The Kids Just Love It” on both the 1980 and the 1981 list? It was released in ’81.

  36. Rick Vendl II

    These should have been on your list…

    Time by ELO, Electric Light Orchestra
    Abacab by Genesis
    Face Value by Phil Collins

  37. My Top Albums of 1981

    1. Siouxsie & The Banshees – Juju
    2. The Cure – Faith
    3. Bauhaus – Mask
    4. Echo & The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here
    5. Psychedelic Furs – Talk Talk Talk
    6. Duran Duran – Duran Duran
    7. Human League – Dare!
    8. Japan – Tin Drum
    9. Depeche Mode – Speak and Spell
    10. New Order – Movement

  38. The Cure – Faith. Dark and awesome.

  39. Olivier Dodin

    Ok for “Faith” number one

  40. This is terrible, where’s Moving Pictures!!!! That album is amazing, poor old Rush.

  41. As if Rush, Moving Pictures didn’t take 1st place in the list?! It didn’t even make the top 100 in fact. How is this possible?

  42. Top 5 for 1981 is as follows

    1 rush. Moving pictures
    2 ozzy. Diary of a madman
    3 foreigner – 4
    4 police. Ghost in the machine
    5 triumph. Allied forces.

    It’s really not even debatable.

  43. Mark nailed it

  44. Garry Groll

    ‘Fire of Love’ from the Gun Club only at #43 in the list??

    Well, I put it on top – ahead of everything else which came from the USA/UK/Australia in the year 1981.

    ‘Fire of Love’ is also my all-time-favorite of the whole decade (followed by the first album of the Violent Femmes from 1983).

  45. Thomas Frieder

    How is The Sound – “From the Lion’s Mouth” not higher here? .. it held CMJ and Billboards’s top college radio albums #1 spot for almost the whole year..I had kept those lists and Rockppol’s for most of the 80’s.

  46. Whoever voted on this list must be vegan soy-boys who hated their parents and school. Where are the brilliant 1981 offerings from Van Halen, RUSH, KISS, Journey, Styx, REO Speedwagon, Billy Squier…??!

  47. I feel movement is so underrated, should’ve been 2nd

  48. Willie Potter

    Men At Work- Business as Usual.
    Not only one of the finest debut albums by any band from any genre, but arguably the greatest album of 81.
    Colin Hay crafted a flawless collection of songs that showcased his lyrical brilliance and ear for utterly unforgettable melodies. Seamless from start to finish.
    Not to forget, he was one of the most soulful singers of the 80s rock scene to ever have emerged.Almost 40 years later Business as Usual still FLOORS me.

  49. This is one of my favorite polls, a unique point of view of essential 80s music. 25,000 votes is mind-blowing.

    I can see why the write-in votes for Suburbs didn’t make a difference, as the Minneapolis band never had any impact in the UK. On the other hand, Athens, GA band The Method Actors recorded all their EPs and amazing double album in London and stayed there for a year. Alas, it was all-too brief and they too were forgotten, despite a 2010 compilation from Acute records.

    It would be really interesting to do a follow-up poll with albums that didn’t make the ballot but have had renewed interest in the past decade. Here’s what I wrote about the two double albums, and my own list of faves that didn’t make the top 100.

    https://fastnbulbous.com/the-method-actors-the-suburbs-double-whammies-in-1981/

    https://fastnbulbous.com/the-method-actors-the-suburbs-double-whammies-in-1981/

    1. Opposition – Breaking The Silence
    2. The Method Actors – Little Figures
    3. The Suburbs – Credit In Heaven
    4. Modern Eon – Fiction Tales
    5. The Raincoats – Ody Shape
    6. Martha and the Muffins – This Is The Ice Age
    7. Holly And The Italians – The Right To Be Italian
    8. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Technodelic
    9. The Passions – Thirty Thousand Feet Over China
    10. Monitor – Monitor
    11. Sunnyboys – Sunnyboys
    12. Polyrock – Changing Hearts
    13. Second Layer – World Of Rubber
    14. Flesh Eaters – A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die
    15. The Swimming Pool Q’s – The Deep End
    16. Cleaners From Venus – Blow Away Your Troubles
    17. The Fall – Slates EP
    18. The Method Actors – Rhythms Of You EP
    19. Fingerprintz – Beat Noir
    20. The Raybeats – Guitar Beat
    21. Doll By Doll – Doll By Doll
    22. The Passage – For All And None
    23. Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4
    24. Roedelius – Wenn Der Südwind Weht
    25. TV21 – A Thin Red Line
    26. Roky Erickson And The Aliens – The Evil One
    27. New Age Steppers – Action Battlefield
    28. The Vapors – Magnets
    29. Effigies – Haunted Town EP
    30. La Dusseldorf – Individuellos
    31. DNA – A Taste Of DNA EP
    32. Wah! – Nah=Poo, The Art Of Bluff
    33. Desmond Simmons – Alone On Penguin Island
    34. T.S.O.L. – T.S.O.L. EP
    35. Robin Lane & The Chartbusters – Imitation Life
    36. Suburban Lawns – Suburban Lawns
    37. Lyres – AHS1005 EP
    38. The Selecter – Celebrate The Bullet
    39. Rip Rig + Panic – God
    40. The Deep Freeze Mice – Teenage Head in My Refrigerator

    1981 was deep, I could go on with Penguin Café Orchestra, Love Tractor, Hitmen, Michael Rother, Legal Weapon, The Gordons, The Scientists, P-Model, The Clean, Dome, Tuxedomoon, Nits, Nekropolis, Jody Harris & Robert Quine, The Photos…

  50. For a long time this was only available on vinyl, but I just learned Superior Viaduct finally put it on Bandcamp:

    9. The Sleepers – Painless Nights
    https://thesleepers-sv.bandcamp.com/

  51. This is one of my favorite polls, a unique point of view of essential 80s music. 25,000 votes is mind-blowing.

    I can see why the write-in votes for Suburbs didn’t make a difference, as the Minneapolis band never had any impact in the UK. On the other hand, Athens, GA band The Method Actors recorded all their EPs and amazing double album in London and stayed there for a year. Alas, it was all-too brief and they too were forgotten, despite a 2010 compilation from Acute records.

    It would be really interesting to do a follow-up poll with albums that didn’t make the ballot but have had renewed interest in the past decade. Here’s what I wrote about the two double albums, and my own list of faves that didn’t make the top 100.

    https://fastnbulbous.com/the-method-actors-the-suburbs-double-whammies-in-1981/

    1. Opposition – Breaking The Silence
    2. The Method Actors – Little Figures
    3. The Suburbs – Credit In Heaven
    4. Modern Eon – Fiction Tales
    5. The Raincoats – Ody Shape
    6. Martha and the Muffins – This Is The Ice Age
    7. Holly And The Italians – The Right To Be Italian
    8. Yellow Magic Orchestra – Technodelic
    9. The Sleepers – Painless Nights
    10. The Passions – Thirty Thousand Feet Over China
    11. Monitor – Monitor
    12. Sunnyboys – Sunnyboys
    13. Polyrock – Changing Hearts
    14. Second Layer – World Of Rubber
    15. Flesh Eaters – A Minute To Pray, A Second To Die
    16. The Swimming Pool Q’s – The Deep End
    17. Cleaners From Venus – Blow Away Your Troubles
    18. The Fall – Slates EP
    19. The Method Actors – Rhythms Of You EP
    20. Fingerprintz – Beat Noir
    21. The Raybeats – Guitar Beat
    22. Doll By Doll – Doll By Doll
    23. The Passage – For All And None
    24. Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4
    25. Roedelius – Wenn Der Südwind Weht
    26. TV21 – A Thin Red Line
    27. Roky Erickson And The Aliens – The Evil One
    28. New Age Steppers – Action Battlefield
    29. The Vapors – Magnets
    30. Effigies – Haunted Town EP
    31. La Dusseldorf – Individuellos
    32. DNA – A Taste Of DNA EP
    33. Wah! – Nah=Poo, The Art Of Bluff
    34. Desmond Simmons – Alone On Penguin Island
    35. T.S.O.L. – T.S.O.L. EP
    36. Robin Lane & The Chartbusters – Imitation Life
    37. Suburban Lawns – Suburban Lawns
    38. Lyres – AHS1005 EP
    39. The Selecter – Celebrate The Bullet
    40. Rip Rig + Panic – God

    1981 was deep, I could go on with The Deep Freeze Mice, Penguin Café Orchestra, Love Tractor, Hitmen, Michael Rother, Legal Weapon, The Gordons, The Scientists, P-Model, The Clean, Dome, Tuxedomoon, Nits, Nekropolis, Jody Harris & Robert Quine, The Photos…

    • Great work extending the list to round out a fantastic year.
      TV21’s A Thin Red Line is in my Top 10 of the last 50 years!

      There are a few more terrific records to add:
      Henry Badowski – Life Is a Grand
      Grauzone – Grauzone
      New Musik – Anywhere
      Yukihiro Takahashi – Neuromantic
      Yellow Magic Orchestra – BGM
      The Stranglers – The Gospel According to the Meninblack
      Positive Noise – Heart of Darkness
      Scars – Author! Author!
      Akiko Yano – Tadaima
      Fra Lippo Lippi – In Silence
      Any Trouble – Wheels In Motion

      …and it was a wonderful year for Reggae, with Sly & Robbie’s presence felt everywhere:
      Black Uhuru – Red & Black Sounds of Freedom
      Culture – More Culture / Innocent Blood
      Mighty Diamonds – Reggae Street
      Peter Tosh – Wanted Dread or Alive
      Aswad – New Chapter
      The Paragons – Meet The Paragons
      Bunny Wailer – Rock ‘n Groove
      Jimmy Riley – Rydim Driven
      The Itals – Brutal Out Deh
      …plus the Compilations:
      Raiders of the Lost Dub
      Crucial Reggae

  52. Where is #10?

  53. Too much criticism here for october. I think this album is the band’s best. u2 put out four consecutive solid albums when they started which is an incredible feat.

  54. Clearly only mohz were permitted to vote. Yikes, what a sheeiyte list!

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