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

 

READERS POLL: TOP 100 ALBUMS OF THE 1980s

 

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.
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1989
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: Amazon.com (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”).
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1986
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: Amazon.com (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.
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1989
SINGLES: “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” “Here Comes Your Man”
BAND: Black Francis, Kim Deal, Joey Santiago, David Lovering
PRODUCER: Gil Norton
BUY IT: Amazon.com (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.
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1980
SINGLES: None
BAND: Ian Curtis, Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris
PRODUCER: Martin Hannett
BUY IT: Amazon.com (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.
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1987
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: Amazon.com (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.”
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1985
SINGLES: “Inbetween Days,” “Close To Me