Poll — February 4, 2013 at 9:23 am

Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s, Part 1: Vote for your top albums of 1980

Today we’re launching a new ongoing ongoing Best of the ’80s feature in which, each month for the rest of 2013, we’ll ask Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to weigh in on their favorite albums of each year, beginning with 1980 this month through November’s look at 1989. Then, in December, we’ll do the big one: best of the entire decade.

The goal is simple: determine collectively just what are the best albums of the broad and someone ambiguous alternative genre for each year of the 1980s, and then cap it all off with with a monster year-end poll to determine the absolute best records of the entire decade.

It’s a simple process. The first Monday of each month will see a new poll launched, beginning with today’s 1980 edition. We’ve assembled a (somewhat lengthy) list of albums to choose from, including classic titles from Joy Division, Bauhaus, Talking Heads, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, as well as far lesser-known titles. But you’re free to vote for anything, and there’s a slot to submit your own picks at the end of the list.

Voting will be open through 5 p.m. EST Feb. 22, and results will be posted the following week. Then, as March rolls around, we’ll begin again with 1981, and take it from there.

Sound good? Then vote away. And feel free to discuss/explain your picks in the comments below.





  1. Alex Dryden

    What an amazing year for music!

  2. Jones Foyer

    The poll is a dead link for me, unfortunately. Closer gets my vote.

  3. George The 23rd

    You omit The Smiths? Seriously?

  4. john vandyke

    are you kidding me?,it is TOUGH to just pick 5 here,i could easily pick 10 to 15 {:-)

  5. Great year, almost as good as 1981.

  6. Hard to pick just 5, so I picked the albums from that year that I still listen to the most.
    1. X – Los Angeles
    2. The Pretenders – The Pretenders
    3. The Jam – Sound Effects
    4. Stiff Little Fingers – Nobody’s Heroes
    5. U2 – Boy

  7. Empty Glass – Pete Townshend
    The Game – Queen
    Peter Gabriel (3, Melt) – Peter Gabriel
    The Turn of a Friendly Card – The Alan Parsons Project
    The Kings are Here – The Kings

  8. It won’t open on my Galaxy SII android.

  9. Here are some worthy of consideration that didn’t make the list:

    Any Trouble ‘Where Are All the Nice Girls?’
    Dirty Looks ‘Dirty Looks’
    English Beat ‘I Just Can’t Stop It’
    Raincoats ‘Raincoats’
    Rockpile ‘Seconds of Pleasure’
    Phil Seymour ‘Phil Seymour’
    Swell Maps ‘In Jane From Occupied Europe’
    Television Personalities ‘. . . and Don’t the Kids Just Love It’
    20/20 ‘Look Out!’

    What a great year!

    • English Beat is listed as “The Beat” on here.

      • Rockpile is soooo CORRECT sir!

        STILL bangin’ my head to it at least once a month.
        Used to have a cassette with “You Ain’t Nothin’ But Fine” looped about 10 times in a row…..threw it on at a couple of late night dancin’ partie, and watched people fall OUT after about 10 minutes! :+)

      • LOL, I’m such a bloody yank. . .

  10. Hard to decide but i choose The bunnymen

  11. here are a few other albums that also came out that year, if anyone’s feeling they’re missing something from their list, you know, like The Empire Strikes Back Soundtrack. :-)


  12. My picks:

    Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
    David Bowie – Scary Monsters
    Devo – Freedom of Choice
    Joy Division – Closer
    Split Enz – True Colours

  13. Not working on iPad either…

  14. That was tough. So much really great music came out that year. but I have to say it just has to be Joy Division’s Closer. Perhaps the most important album of all time. The Cure was great too but whenever there is a pole and JD is involved, Joy Division is the winner in my book.

  15. Wow! This is really hard. Loads of great stuff here. I agree with RJ – this list should have the Phil Seymour and Rockpile records on it but I think the 20/20 record came out in ’81. I would also include The Plimsouls ‘Zero Hour’ even though it is just an E.P. Like others, I could justify at least 15 of these as being records I couldn’t live without. Here is what I whittled it down to:
    Echo & The Bunnymen, ‘Crocodiles’ (This one was easy, without a doubt the best record on this list)
    The Cramps, ‘Songs the Lord Taught Us’ (Their are way more than 5 better records than this on the list, but none more cool plus, Alex Chilton produced it!)
    Talking Heads, ‘Remain in Light’ (This one was tough but I had to include it because nothing that Heads released after this would come close to my top 5)
    The Jam, ‘Sound Affects’ (Again, all that is left after this is ‘The Gift’ and it ain’t half of what this record is.)
    The Soft Boys, ‘Underwater Moonlight’ (Another all time fave.)

    Honorable Mentions:
    The Feelies, ‘Crazy Rhythms’ (The hardest to cut, but ‘The Good Earth’ is coming up!)
    Pretenders, ‘Pretenders’
    X, ‘Los Angeles’
    Elvis Costello and the Attractions, ‘Get Happy!!’

  16. Too early for me I suppose, included one in other field not from 1980. Hopefully the mods will weed that one out.

  17. Jim vandegrift

    Well done slicing up eyeballs.only major omission was rockpile.harder than it looks kids.

  18. myfavoritchords

    Great idea; very tough decisions! As a UGA alum, love the B-52s (which was an obvious inclusion) and the Pylon (which was a surprise) love.

  19. I, too, went with the albums that I still play on a regular basis:
    Bauhaus, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Gary Numan, and Siouxsie & the Banshees. Really hard to narrow it down though.

  20. “Look, I’m throwing a little party in our room tonight, and you’d better be there.” -Thornton Melon

  21. Hard to choose, but I went with Boy, Seventeen Seconds, Zenyatta Mendatta, Crocodiles, In the Flat Field, and I think Kaleidoscope. I was only 10 in 1980, but discovered these albums in my teens. I couldn’t bring myself to pick Closer; its just not as listenable today as the others and perhaps just a little overrated? Underwater Moonlight and The Feelies I’ve only recently discovered.

  22. My picks:

    The Damned “The Black Album”
    Dead Kennedys “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables”
    Peter Gabriel “Peter Gabriel”
    Half Japanese “Half Gentlemen/Not Beasts”
    Young Marble Giants “Colossal Youth”

    My lone gripe:

    The Minutemen’s “Paranoid Time” was a great record, but it was a 7″ EP, not an album.

  23. Tough to leave off “Seventeen Seconds” and others, but I went with the Pretenders’ first album, “Is This Real?”, “Los Angeles”, “Paranoid Time”, and “Crazy Rhythms”. I tend toward the more punk derived (but still melodic) stuff, so 1980 is a great year for me.

  24. Only 5, there are at least a dozen albums of the decade, never mind the year?

  25. jeff macdonald

    wow! what a great year for music! had a tough time with this list as there are some many great memories with all of these albums listed. i had to go with what i can easily pull out today and still enjoy:
    echo – crocdiles
    teardrop explodes – kilimanjaro
    the jam – sound affects
    squeeze – argybargy
    and added english beat – i just can’t stop it (can’t believe it didnt make the list)

  26. Joy Division – Closer
    Japan – Quiet Life / Gentlemen Take Polaroids (Im CHEATING)
    Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
    The Sound – Jeopardy
    The Associates – The Affectionate Punch

  27. Incredibly difficult to choose! 1980 was a fantastic year, especially following on from 1979…the music released between 1976-1985 was among the best ever released and represents my favourite era.

    Killing Joke, The Jam, Joy Division, Flowers, Devo, Comsat Angels & The Cure are the ones I listen to time and time again…but Echo & The Bunnymen, The Sound, Simple Minds, Visage also get played alot…actually, I tend to listen to heaps of these regularly…

    Like I said…too hard!


  28. Jason Painter

    I like the Antipodean offerings.

  29. william nothing

    I love u 1980. Same year that brought us the very new wave “Clones’ by Alice Cooper.
    Sooo many perfect albums but Dead Kennedys “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” is my winner.

  30. That was tough. Left out some great albums. Big problem was only allowing one write-in (which led to a huge toss-up between two of my favourite albums, Arc of a Diver and Empty Glass). In the end AoaD won out, along with the Soft Boys, Talking Heads, XTC, and Split Enz. (Sorry Peter Gabriel, the Pretenders, et al – damn close!)

  31. I should probably reconcile myself right now with the fact that Oingo Boingo’s new wave-pioneering debut LP will not place in this poll… Underappreciated man. Underappreciated. ><

    Boingo, Devo, Pretenders, Police and Talking Heads for me.

    • tis a shame, but i certainly voted for Oingo Boingo. because they are awesome and so is their debut record.

      i wrote in ZZ Top’s Deguello… but itunes screwed me! it’s not 1980, it’s ’79. oh well.

      missing from the list: Dire Straits – Making Movies. great album.

    • What’s listed is the 4 song EP. “Only A Lad” (1981) may have a decent shot.

  32. I’m familiar with some of these but with many, I am not.  I could conceivably listen to all the albums before voting with enough time in advance to do so.  I don’t think I’ll get all of these before the 1980 vote.  But if the following yearly lists are developed sooner than later, I’ll get to listening.

  33. 1980/81 had some great LPs. I ended up picking The Cure, Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Killing Joke & Simple Minds.

  34. Psych Furs, Cramps, Talking Heads, Blondie, Elvis Costello, Devo. (I think I picked six! Narrowed it down to the bands that I’ve met over the years. Talked to M. Hutchence on the phone, so I didn’t let that count.)

    Super list! So hard to decide — tons of great releases!

  35. omg only 5 choices was so hard!

  36. The Comsat Angels ‘Waiting for a Miracle’ and PiL ‘Flowers of Romance’ should be on the list.

  37. My 5 (in no particular order) –

    The Cure – Seventeen Seconds (4)
    Joy Division – Closer (1)
    Psychedelic Furs – Psychedelic Furs (5)
    David Bowie – Scary Monsters (2)
    Talking Heads – Remain in Light (3)

  38. Great List and a great year. Missed Residents: Commercial album, though.

  39. Closer by Joy Division is an absolute masterpiece – chilling, dark and beautiful; still a regular listener after 25 years (I was only little when it came out…)

  40. Missing: Chrome – Red Exposure, Residents – The Commercial Album, Lydia Lunch – Queen of Siam, Josef K – Entomology

  41. lots of great stuff but I do not hesitate to say “scarey monsters” by Bowie- far and away the best from this year, to me

  42. I can’t believe Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” wasn’t listed.

    I’ve also resisted the great temptation to write in the first Iron Maiden album since it’s as punk rock as a lot of “punk rock” albums listed.

    When you do 1981 and “Killers” is eligible, I doubt I’ll be able to resist writing them in.

  43. Great year in music!

  44. I went with what was getting the most playtime on my turntable back then. The Black Album, Crocodiles, Closer, End of the Century, and Hypnotised because I sure loved the Undertones! Beyond that Catholic Boy and Kilimanjaro got significant time on the turntable as well. Lesser known but still great.

  45. Have to go with ones i loved then and still play regularly:
    Seventeen Seconds – almost entirely for the epic A Forest
    Closer – just a msterpeice end to end
    Kilimanjaro – full of Cope’s weirdness and fun
    Kaleidoscope – John McGeoch with the Banshees – awesome
    In the flat field – amazingly tight and accomplished for a debut album, love the power in the vocals and guitars, tight rythem section, still a favorite

  46. Another not listed: Vapors “New Clear Days!”

  47. Norman Knowles

    The Correct Use of Soap followed by Black Sea were my faves from that year!

  48. I voted for Closer, Remain in Light, Correct Use of Soap, Scary Monsters…total classics everyone. Really hard choice though because this WAS the golden age after all.

  49. what a year, yeesh

    Kings Of The Wild Frontier
    Los Angeles
    Wild Planet

    but the top answer is, of course – The Feelies, “Crazy Rhythms”

  50. Peter England

    With many excellent albums released in 1980 it was a very difficult choice to select only five albums.

  51. If you’re adding ZZ Top and Dire Straits to this list, you’re in the wrong place. And Josef K didn’t release an album in 1980- Entomology was a comp that came out in 2006.

  52. Great album

  53. 1.Comsat Angels-Waiting For A Miracle
    2.Echo & the Bunnymen-Crocodiles
    3.John Foxx-Metamatic
    4.Joy Division-Closer
    5.The Sound-Jeopardy
    though tough to leave off Bauhaus,Human League,Psych.Furs & X.

  54. Very good year for music ….hard to choose

  55. This was harder than any election. But I had to vote for an album that changed my world so….Siouxsie for the win.

  56. what, no options for these classics?
    Rolling Stones – Emotional Rescue
    Prince – Dirty Mind
    Paul McCartney – McCartney II
    Van Halen – Women and Children First

  57. I entered YELLO’s “Solid Pleasure” as a write-in vote

  58. Dead Kennedys Fresh food for rotting vegetables.

    Not only best 80es, but also one of the best Punk albums of all time

  59. Tuxedomoon- – Half Mute
    Dalek I ‎– Compass Kum’pas

  60. Did I miss the results? Where are they posted?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *