Best of the 1980s

And it all comes down to this: After 1o months of voting in our year-by-year Best of the ’80s polls to determine the best albums of each year of the 1980s, we wrap it all up with the grandaddy of them all, the big all-decade poll designed to crown, once and for all, Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers overall favorite records of the entire 1980s.

For this last albums poll, we got an expected spike in voting, with more than 120,000 votes cast, in large part because participants could pick 25 albums, up from the usual 10.

As you can see below, The Cure’s Disintegration — winner of the 1989 poll — came out on top. But it just barely edged out The Smiths’ The Queen is Dead, winning by a mere 9 votes (out of a combined 4,375 cast for the two records). Robert Smith and Co., perhaps not surprisingly, dominated, with four entries landing in the Top 10, and three more elsewhere in the poll.

If you’re interested, for comparison’s sake, we’ve also ranked the Top 100 albums based on the total number of votes each received in the individual year-by-year polls, but there are some important caveats.

Also, a reminder: This ballot was comprised of the Top 50 results from each of the year-by-year polls.

So, once again, 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 yes, as promised, the polls will continue, first with EPs and compilations, although probably not before February. And we’re open to suggestions, too, on what kinds of polls you’d like to vote in this year.

PAST RESULTS: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989




The Cure, 'Disintegration'

1. The Cure, Disintegration

BACKSTORY: On their eighth album, Robert Smith and Co. sank back into darkness, delivering a moody, textured and largely pop-free record that remains the band’s commercial and artistic peak.
SINGLES: “Fascination Street,” “Lullaby,” “Lovesong,” “Pictures of You”
BAND: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Boris Williams, Roger O’Donnell, Lol Tolhurst
PRODUCER: David M. Allen, Robert Smith
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Smiths

2. The Smiths, The Queen Is Dead

BACKSTORY: The band’s third album is seen as its masterwork by many fans, managing to balance the silly (“Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others”) with the sublime (“There Is a Light That Never Goes Out”).
SINGLES: “The Boy With the Thorn In His Side,” “Bigmouth Strikes Again”
BAND: Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce
PRODUCER: Morrissey and Johnny Marr
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Pixies, 'Doolittle'

3. Pixies, Doolittle

BACKSTORY: With their second full-length, the Pixies perfected their loud-quiet-loud pop blast, offering up a key blueprint for Nirvana’s looming commercial breakthrough Nevermind.
SINGLES: “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Here Comes Your Man”
BAND: Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, David Lovering
PRODUCER: Gil Norton
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Joy Division, 'Closer'

4. Joy Division, Closer

BACKSTORY: The second and final Joy Division studio album, released two months to the day after the suicide of lead singer Ian Curtis. The band recruited Gillian Gilbert and continued on as New Order.
BAND: Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris
PRODUCER: Martin Hannett
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Depeche Mode 'Music for the Masses'

5. Depeche Mode, Music For the Masses

BACKSTORY: Depeche Mode’s sixth album helped cement the band’s breakthrough popularity in the U.S., with three charting singles and a huge tour that peaked with the famous ‘101’ concert at the Rose Bowl.
SINGLES: “Strangelove,” “Never Let Me Down Again,” “Behind the Wheel,” “Little 15”
BAND: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Alan Wilder
PRODUCER: Depeche Mode and David Bascombe
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Cure

6. The Cure, The Head on the Door

BACKSTORY: On the band’s sixth album, Robert Smith delivered one of his more diverse sets of songs, ranging from pop hits (“Close To Me”) to darker, more brooding cuts like “A Night Like This” and “Sinking.”
SINGLES: “Inbetween Days,” “Close To Me”
BAND: Robert Smith, Lol Tolhurst, Porl Thompson, Simon Gallup, Boris Williams
PRODUCER: Robert Smith and David M. Allen
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Cure, 'Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me'

7. The Cure, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me

BACKSTORY: With their seventh studio album, Robert Smith and Co. cracked the American Top 40 with a sprawling double album that dabbled in both pure pop and dark, goth-flavored soundscapes.
SINGLES: “Why Can’t I Be You?,” “Catch,” “Just Like Heaven,” “Hot Hot Hot!!!”
BAND: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Lol Tolhurst, Boris Williams
PRODUCER: David M. Allen and Robert Smith
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



U2 The Joshua Tree

8. U2, The Joshua Tree

BACKSTORY: Fueled by three huge singles and a massive stadium tour, U2’s fifth album cemented the Irish rockers’ ascent to the status of being the biggest band in the world.
SINGLES: “With or Without You,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “In God’s Country”
BAND: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.
PRODUCER: Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Depeche Mode

9. Depeche Mode, Black Celebration

BACKSTORY: With their fifth album, Depeche Mode continued to darken their sound (most noticeably on the title track) while still churning out classic singles and offering Martin Gore an unusual four lead vocals.
SINGLES: “Stripped,” “A Question of Lust,” “A Question of Time”
BAND: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher, Alan Wilder
PRODUCER: Depeche Mode, Daniel Miller and Gareth Jones
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Cure, 'Pornogrpahy'

10. The Cure, Pornography

BACKSTORY: The fourth album from Robert Smith and Co. ends the band’s early dark phase, and later would be declared part of a trilogy with 1989’s Disintegration and 2000’s Bloodflowers.
SINGLES: “The Hanging Garden”
BAND: Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Lol Tolhurst
PRODUCER: Phil Thornalley and The Cure
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



11. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies
12. R.E.M., Murmur
13. Pixies, Surfer Rosa
14. The Smiths, Meat is Murder
15. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses
16. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy
17. Nine Inch Nails, Pretty Hate Machine
18. Duran Duran, Rio
19. The Smiths, Strangeways, Here We Come
20. Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes



21. Echo & The Bunnymen, Ocean Rain
22. Peter Gabriel, So
23. The Smiths, The Smiths
24. Morrissey, Viva Hate
25. Jane’s Addiction, Nothing’s Shocking
26. R.E.M., Lifes Rich Pageant
27. New Order, Low-Life
28. INXS, Kick
29. The Replacements, Let It Be
30. Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation



31. U2, The Unforgettable Fire
32. R.E.M., Document
33. The Police, Synchronicity
34. The Cure, Seventeen Seconds
35. The Cure, Faith
36. Beastie Boys, Paul’s Boutique
37. The Cult, Love
38. The Clash, Combat Rock (TIE)
38. Talking Heads, Remain in Light (TIE)
40. Kate Bush, Hounds of Love



41. New Order, Technique
42. Guns N’ Roses, Appetite for Destruction
43. The Church, Starfish
44. U2, War
45. R.E.M., Green
46. The Replacements, Tim
47. Tears For Fears, Songs From the Big Chair
48. The Replacements, Pleased To Meet Me
49. R.E.M., Reckoning
50. Roxy Music, Avalon



51. Tears For Fears, The Hurting
52. The Sisters of Mercy, Floodland
53. David Bowie, Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)
54. Pretenders, Pretenders
55. Depeche Mode, Some Great Reward
56. The Clash, Sandinista!
57. Yazoo, Upstairs at Eric’s
58. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Darklands
59. David Bowie, Let’s Dance
60. The Human League, Dare


sinead o'connor

61. Sinead O’Connor, The Lion and the Cobra
62. Peter Murphy, Deep
63. Duran Duran, Duran Duran (TIE)
63. R.E.M., Fables of the Reconstruction (TIE)
65. Cocteau Twins, Treasure
66. Dead Kennedys, Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables
67. Public Enemy, It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
68. New Order, Brotherhood
69. The Sisters of Mercy, First and Last and Always
70. The Cure, The Top



71. Bauhaus, In the Flat Field (TIE)
71. New Order, Movement (TIE)
71. XTC, Skylarking (TIE)
74. My Bloody Valentine, Isn’t Anything (TIE)
74. Prince, Sign O the Times (TIE)
76. Simple Minds, New Gold Dream (81-€“82-€“83-€“84)
77. Love and Rockets, Express
78. Hüsker Dü, Zen Arcade
79. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Juju
80. Echo & The Bunnymen, Echo & The Bunnymen



81. Midnight Oil, Diesel and Dust
82. Cocteau Twins, Blue Bell Knoll (TIE)
82. The Cult, Electric (TIE)
84. Kraftwerk, Computer World (TIE)
84. Nirvana, Bleach (TIE)
84. U2, Boy (TIE)
87. Tom Waits, Rain Dogs
88. Minutemen, Double Nickels on the Dime
89. The The, Soul Mining
90. The Pogues, Rum Sodomy & The Lash



91. Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues
92. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Rattlesnakes (TIE)
92. X, Los Angeles (TIE)
94. Hüsker Dü, New Day Rising
95. Siouxsie and the Banshees, Peepshow
96. ABC, The Lexicon of Love
97. INXS, Listen Like Thieves (TIE)
97. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Automatic (TIE)
99. Echo & The Bunnymen, Crocodiles
100. The B-52s, Cosmic Thing