Poll — June 7, 2013 at 10:26 am

Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s, Part 5: Vote for your top albums of 1984


Our year-long Best of the ’80s feature continues this month as we hit 1984, and once again ask Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to vote for their favorite albums of that year in our ongoing mission to rank the releases of each year of the decade throughout 2013, concluding, come December, with a poll to determine the best records of the entire 1980s.

VOTING: It’s a simple process. We’ve assembled a list of 180 albums released in 1984, and you’re welcome to vote for up to 10 of them — or write in any title(s) you wish that we didn’t include.

A few notes and reminders on how this works:

  • Given the theme of this website, the albums that made the ballot are limited to those that fall within the very loose and ill-defined “alternative” banner, generally titles from the punk, post-punk, goth, college rock, indie, synthpop, industrial, New Wave and related genres — and that’s why you won’t find, say, Born in the USA, Purple Rain or Like a Virgin on the ’84 ballot. Yet if there are albums missing you want to vote for — those included — certainly feel free to write them in.
  • Speaking of write-ins, you may list multiple albums in the box at the end of the poll, but, please, limit your total votes to 10. If you run out of room, e-mail info@slicingupeyeballs.com.
  • As has been the case with the first four polls in this series, this is a ranking of studio albums. So no EPs (such as Skinny Puppy’s Remission), live albums (sorry, Stop Making Sense) or compilations (and that includes Hatful of Hollow). If there’s enough interest, we’ll run an additional poll to determine the best EPs of the ’80s when this series is done at the end of 2013.

DEADLINE: Voting will be open through 5 p.m. EDT June 28, and results will be posted at the beginning of July — after which we’ll launch the 1985 poll and take it from there.

Sound good? Then vote away.

And feel free to discuss/list/explain/lobby for your picks in the comments section below.

Finally, if you missed it, here are the Top 100 albums of 1980, the Top 100 albums of 1981, the Top 100 albums of 1982 and the Top 100 albums of 1983 — as voted by Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers.




NOTE: If this app isn’t letting you vote, you also may vote directly via Polldaddy: poll.fm/49gz9.






  1. Wow, this gets harder to pick just 10 every time.

  2. This was the hardest one to vote on so far for me!

  3. Edgar Cabrera

    There were like other 3 more a would add.

  4. “Let It Be,” people! “Let It Be”!!!

    • Definitely in the top ten (if not top three). But this year is OWNED by Echo’s Ocean Rain. That album is top ten for the entire decade. Still sounds as timeless as it did back then, even though the Killing Moon has been nearly murdered by endless airplay over the years.

      Purple Rain should be on this list. Not because it was a great album (it was), but because it was played on alternative radio when it first broke. Prince was already an alternative radio staple after “1999.” I remember KROQ in Los Angeles playing tracks from both purple rain and 1999 in pretty heavy rotation.

      • You’re right, Brian. “Erotic City” was getting lots of love, too. Still hoping Prince’s catalog will one day get the deluxe edition treatment it deserves. “Dirty Mind” through “Purple Rain” are essential, with some more amazing ones after that (hello, “Sign o’ the Times”!).

      • Agree with brian word for word about Ocean Rain.

    • It’s in my top 10 for sure, but I could have picked 20 from this list and still miss something. What a year!

      • Oops – I was talking about “Let It Be,” if that wasn’t clear.

        • We’re on a roll, lotus!

          • Cool, “Let It Be” was epic, maybe their best album. The Replacements were so good in those days, they even managed to make that Kiss song sound cool, and that’s saying something.

            Did you have occasion to check out Flat7? I see the first album is available on i2nes. The song “Much Water Flows Under the Bridge” shows that Mitsuo’s time in the Cocteaus camp was well spent, it’s a stunner.

    • jazzmaster

      Without a shadow of a doubt my favorite of the year.

  5. Hi, just wondering why Skinny Puppy’s Back & Forth is on the list? Originally it was a self-released EP

  6. I love doing this.

  7. was hard to find ten this time

  8. john vandyke

    had to leave at least 5 off that i wanted to include,very tough!!

  9. Only one choice for number 1, Double Nickels on The Dime.

  10. Definitely the hardest one for me yet. It seems I am not the only one with this problem.

  11. Great year foe music. Several of my all time favs in this list.

  12. Great year for music. Several of my all time favs in this list.

  13. Another fantastic year. So difficult to pick just 10.

  14. Jeff in Middletucky

    If Heartbeat City deserves inclusion on this list, then the *far* more sonically interesting/brilliant Purple Rain REALLY deserves inclusion on this list (which is why I wrote it in).

  15. Love this site.

  16. Such an amazing year, so tough to choose.

  17. too many to choose from…

  18. mucu luse

    Soundtrack to my uni days

  19. Thank you!

  20. A couple of ground breaking albums that year .My memories from this year are U2 and Cars tours both at the Cow Palace in SF.

  21. Rooney Cymru

    Humans Lib

  22. Steeltown’s the best!

    • Agreed, cvhhbv. In my Top 5, easily. “Just a Shadow”?! ACE!!! “The Great Divide” has always been a fave of mine. :) And a #1 album in the UK–heck yeah!!!

  23. Great year for music. It had “Reckoning” and “the Unforgettable Fire,” two of my favorite albums.

  24. Quiff Boy

    Some classic albums there.

  25. 1984 was nothing short of an epiphany for me. The line between mainstream and alternative (those words meant something back then) became crystal clear to me almost overnight. Minutemen, REM, Meat Puppets, Husker Du… are you kidding me? It’s no exaggeration to say 1984 changed my life.

  26. I really don’t know why you’re ommiting -Madonna’s albums from your lists

  27. aggie adkins

    Love this site!!

  28. Christopher

    Was there NOT a “Dead Kennedys” album (I’m sure an EP) that year?

    • Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables (1980)
      Plastic Surgery Disasters (1982)
      Frankenchrist (1985)
      Bedtime for Democracy (1986)

  29. Guillermo Ascencio

    one of the best years in music history

  30. reznordub

    Has to be The Smiths… no other album comes close in 84….

    although a great choice and the richest year yet..

  31. Edward Neary

    Good to see The Three Johns make the list!

  32. Gilbert Lachance

    Great selection, hard to choose.

  33. Because they’re not f–ktards, Lennart

  34. Wow! great year for music. Sparkle in the Rain, Lament, Unforgettable Fire, and Steeltown on the same ballot

  35. A huge year for Australian acts!

    • Agreed. And with a major assist from Nick Launay producing both “The Swing” and “Red Sails…”–and coming off of ’83’s “Seance”! Booty-kicking all the way around!

  36. great year…anyway Zen Arcade is one of my fav ever….

  37. Man, even if I had 20 choices I think I’d still be missing out choices. Real hard choice, what a great year for music 1984 was

  38. I had to leave off 5 as well, but did so knowing others would pick them. I picked ones I definitely felt deserved recognition due to their influence, the controversy that occurred at the time, and the longevity of the albums.

    I think 1985 and 1986 will be even more difficult!

  39. Chuck Smith

    I wished I had a couple more votes…

  40. scott roth

    the year I shifted from singles to albums. Could have easily gone another 10.

  41. Don’t like the cover art,probably my least
    favorite record by them and yet my pick was easy
    The Only Band from the 80’s = THE SMITHS

  42. Double Nickels on the Dime is a perfect album.

  43. chris cronau

    1984 was an epic year. Let it be was by far the best album, but double nickels on the dime, zen arcade, the smiths, Ocean Rain, Unforgetable Fire they were all great albums

  44. i’d give all 10 votes to “Welcome to the Pleasuredome” if i could….

  45. A great year for dm

  46. Rollin Joe

    I recommend starting from the bottom.

  47. This was MY year, loved 1984!!

  48. Huge year for music. an integral year for my sonic education!

  49. Sean Montgomery

    I suspect Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ will be the #1 write-in choice….it was certainly mine.

  50. Elvis Costello and The Attractions ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ or as Elvis himself put it the worst album he and the Attractions ever made! I wonder how high it will be?

  51. I think you should include Hatful of Hollow in your poll. Yes, I know it’s technically a compilation, but I don’t think it would be in the same category as greatest hits type album. It was truly a landmark release in the history of the Smiths and was critical to their emerging popularity in late 1984.

    • I agree completely! This album was more crucial to their career than the debut I think. I love both albums though.

      • wardreekus

        HoH is my go-to Smiths, everything sounds so lean, tough, and hungry..then that version of “Reel Around…” just makes me crumble.

  52. This was the easiest one so far, which essentially means it was my least favourite year for music so far.

  53. Sarah Lane

    Many great albums. Hard to narrow it down to 10.

  54. The Replacements “Let It Be”- no other album comes close. I know alot will pick the debut album of the Smiths but, to me, I don’t even think that’s the best Smiths album and always thought it was over-rated. Not on the list that I would include would be Springsteen’s “Born In The USA” and Prince’s “Purple Rain” . I sent in a write in vote for Bruce. I also like Lloyd Cole’s Rattlesnakes album- one of my favorites.

  55. This was tough, but the reality is it is only going to get tougher. Especially ’85-’87. Get ready!

  56. Richard Rider

    ‘Unforgettable Fire’ and ‘Some Great Reward’. The rest are just also-rans. :)~

    ’85 will be the really difficult year to vote.

    • Unforgettable Fire is classic and deserves a high spot (I’d go as high as top four). But seriously, is there any song on Some Great Reward that holds a candle to the Killing Moon, Ocean Rain, or My Kingdom? — all songs from the greatest album of 84: OCEAN RAIN!!!! And, what about the Smiths, the Mats, and REM’s reckoning (for Begin the Begin alone). Hardly also-rans. And each buries Some Great Reward.

      • Richard Rider

        Ummmm…… yeah. ALL the songs on ‘Some Great Reward’ are better. REM’s ‘Reckoning’ is their worst album from the 80s. ‘Murmur’, ‘Document’, ‘Green’, and ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ are far superior to the crap-fest that is ‘Reckoning’.

        Of course it’s all purely subjective. U2, Depeche Mode, New Order, Smiths, Echo, OMD, Joy Division, INXS and even the friggin Thompson Twins are more enjoyable to listen to than anything featuring Michael Stipe. But that’s just my own twisted, messed-up & highly biased opinion. :)


        • Well said. I’ve had a thing against Some Great Reward since my high school girlfriend dedicated “Somebody” to me in 11th grade. I just hated that song, and it soured the whole album for me. Kind of soured me on her too. That said, I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss Reckoning. Camera, So. Central Rain, and ROckville are pretty damn epic.

      • Fomer 80s DJ KCPR

        uh, Begin the Begin was on LRP.

        Reckoning may pale in comparison to that album and Document, but for this year, Reckoning was tops.

        At the end of all these, there should be a greatest 80s year for music. I will go with ’86…but I think it would be fun.

  57. Mark van Pagee

    Best of 1984

  58. 1984, what a great year. Very hard to pick 10 from the list. 1985 will even be harder. And I knew the Madonna fans would come out eventually. I have had arguments with people over the yrs whether her early stuff should be considered new wave. I often get the “well she was on Sire” argument.

    • Even if she fit into the “new wave” category (and I don’t think that she ever did), her music wasn’t all that good. Kind of catchy, but also kind of empty. Her talent lies in knowing how to evolve within pop music. Although that’s a great way to make a boatload of money out of a music career, it isn’t all that helpful in making great music. That said, the Ray of Light album later in her career was pretty good, but not great.

      • I always thought of her more as a dancer than a singer. We have her to thank for concerts that consist of pop songs and ridiculous dance routines. Brittany, Bieber, Swift… I blame her for all of them.

  59. Wonderful and frightening, like my favorite LP of 1984.

  60. christian baetens

    as with the other years, it’s too difficult to just pick 10. there should be a drag and drop option for a person’s top twenty that could go into the algorythim for the top 100

  61. Los Chunderinos

    Zen Arcade for me….

  62. don’t forget Candy – “Whatever Happened To Fun…” for the 1985 list!

  63. 1984 is the start of my real music life

  64. My top 15:

    1. Eurythmics – 1984
    2. Bronski Beat
    3. Frankie Goes To Hollywood
    4. Alison Moyet – Alf
    5. Simple Minds – Sparkle In The Rain
    6. The Stranglers – Aurual Sculpture
    7. Howard Jones – Human’s Lib
    8. Talk Talk – It’s My Life
    9. Human League – Hysteria
    10. Thompson Twins – Into The Gap
    11. Depeche Mode
    12. Alphaville, ‘Forever Young’
    13. Thomas Dolby, ‘The Flat Earth’
    14. Icehouse, ‘Sidewalk’
    15. Nik Kershaw – Riddle

    This is probably best year in music history, but only after 1982. Eurythmics is definitely my number one. This is their best album. It’s very dark & atmospheric album, and their last full proper album.

  65. Ocean Rain is sublime.

  66. And Missing from the list;

    Prince Purple Rain
    Michael Jackson Thriller
    Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA
    Van Halen 1984
    The Cars Heartbeat City
    Which is funny because I picked all the Black Flag, Smiths and Alien sex fiend albums.

  67. Well THAT was practically impossible to limit to only 10. I feel like I shunned some of my own children. I could only choose with the question “have I listened to this in the past 6 months”. And then, oops, had to change that to 3 months. It was still a dicey prospect if I could get it down to only ten.

  68. Only 2 albums really matter here:

    The Smiths
    The Replacements – Let It Be

    And Van Halen’s 1984. :)

  69. I like Let It Be the best and my bet is that it’ll be in the top 3 eh??

    • It better be! Then bring it to Paul and Tommy’s attention. Have Tommy finally say adios to Axl, and hit the road guys!!! Chris and Slim would be missed, but a reunion tour would be UNREAL! The last time I saw them was holding their own opening up for Petty. Great memory–and Tom definitely took notice, nicking those lyrics! But it was seeing them as headliners that was unlike anything or anyone else. God bless the ‘Mats!!!

  70. A banner year for music! So many difficult choices. Hands down for me is Joe Jackson’s “Body and Soul,” with the inimitable ‘You Can’t Get What You Want Till You Know What You Want.’ He recorded the whole album live to tape, if memory serves. And I still feel the US Release of “The Smiths” pales in comparison to “Hatful of Hollow,” not a fair exclusion, guys!

    • Fomer 80s DJ KCPR

      HOH was a compilation album, not an album proper by The Smiths. Just like The World wont Listen (my first Smiths vinyl) and Louder than Bombs.

  71. John Gallacher

    Lloyd Cole and The Commotions – ‘Rattlesnakes’


    The Smiths – ‘The Smiths’

    never ever tire of either album.

  72. Zach Ward

    Stoneage Romeos!

    • Yep! You dig it!
      And a wonderful comeback for the Ramones also.
      And what to say about Guadalcanal Diary.

      • Guadalcanal Diary’s ‘Jamboree’ a fantastic album that will get a vote in two years — their first offering, meh.

  73. martin castro

    aaah the golden age of 14. so much great music, so little lunch money left for actual food. here are my top 10: christian death,nick cave/bad seeds,the cure, depeche mode, psychedalic furs, siouxsie/banshees, skinny puppy, soft cell, this mortal coil and tones on tail all had the most impact on me without a doubt…totally.

  74. Top 3

    The Smiths: The Smiths
    Siouxsie & The Banshees: Hyaena
    Depeche Mode: Some Great Reward

    Those 3 albums had such a huge impact on me growing up! :)

  75. Too many good albums.
    The best: SXXV – From the hip.
    Without any doubt!

  76. The Top by the The Cure has to be their most underrated album. To this day its still my favorite by them. Oddly enough however, some of these don’t hit me like they used to such as Ocean Rain. Time has truly exposed its production flaws and slightly immature lyrics. I guess this happens when you listen with 41 year old ears as opposed to that of a 13 year old.

    • The Top is one of my favorite Cure albums too! Very underrated. I agree about Ocean Rain. It is a good album but I am so sick of Ian reminding us how he wrote Killing Moon and it is the greatest song ever written by anyone lol.

    • Agreed but you’re supposed to vote as you would have BACK THEN. At least that’s the only way it makes sense. This isn’t a ‘what albums had staying power’ vote, this is a ‘what was the top album that year’ vote and involves your listenership (how often, all the songs or just a couple etc), your emotional attachment at the time, did you bother to own it, etc. I suspect though MANY 40-60 year olds here are voting by today’s standards and that can’t possibly be what this poll is intended to expose.
      I guess what I’m saying is sure, our tastes change, and we can look at our .mp3 players and say huh, I guess I no longer am interested in [insert band you listened to a lot back then]. Whether you would load the album into your iPod is NOT RELEVANT. Did you drive around in 1984 in your late 70’s model beater listening to the cassette from front to back on the way to the concert? THAT matters. Vote accordingly.

  77. Some tough picks this year. I feel bad leaving out some of my favorite albums.
    Just make sure you vote for XTC ;)

  78. So hard, had to vote for both the Felt albums and miss out some serious classics but love them both too damn much!

  79. The Blue Nile ten times if I could.

  80. This is tougher than the math class I took in 1984.

  81. Steve Rauscher


  82. I want to commend SUE for remembering Young Fresh Fellows’ “Fabulous Sounds of the Pacific Northwest” in this poll. It’s a landmark album in Seattle rock, with YFF amongst the guitar-rock bands (including the Fastbacks, who also released an album in 1984) that surfed the town’s collective caffeine/beer buzz years before “grunge” flared up.

  83. Frankie say vote

  84. I asked my grad school roommate to bring back Acid Bath from her trip to London, I still have the cassette…so many great bands and songs from 1984… Pretty Persuasion on Reckoning; Cockteau Twins, The Smiths’ What Difference Does It Make; anything Psychedelic Furs and Ramones…1985 definitely has to include Sisters of Mercy first and last an always

  85. friarminor

    Friends Again!!!

  86. 1984 for me was… East is East, West is West, Two different colours on the map….

  87. Andrew Collins

    Cast my first write-in vote for “Purple Rain” as it is an amazing album that is only overshadowed that year(in my mind anyway) by E&TB’s “Ocean Rain”

  88. For me the best album of 1984 was the Ramones Too Tough to Die. With this album the Ramones have also claimed the solo title to 1984. Only Zen Arcade and Medicine Show even come close to this piece of musical greatness.
    As my friend EF once said the Ramones started the hardcore punk sound and this album is them coming back to claim it as their own. Nothing was better in 1984 than Joey howling at the moon and Dee Dee’s high speed rants. Durango 95, love it, live it, play on repeat until your ears bleed.

  89. Tough to pick 10 …… Too much good stuff

  90. Cure the top!!

  91. I was just gonna vote for Samhain’s Initium…then I remembered how terrible Samhain was.

  92. wowzers! what a year in music.. the soundtrack of my teenage life!

  93. “Some Great Reward”, “Forever Young”, “The Unforgettable Fire”, “Ocean Rain” and “The Smiths” must be in the TOP 10.

    But I think “Hatful of Hollow” is the best release of 1984. It should be in the list.

  94. THOMPSON TWINS – INTO THE GAP all the way.

  95. Ok, here’s where I’m coming from:
    1. EATB’s Ocean Rain. Period.
    2. REM Reckoning, three words: NO SOPHOMORE SLUMP.
    3. EBTG Eden, although I prefer the U.S. cover to the U.K.’s
    4. Joe Jackson’s Body & Soul. Absolutely beautiful cover. Needs to be heard on vinyl.
    5. dB’s Like This, great cover and their most consistent batch of songs yet.
    6. U2, even though you get a sense of the pretentiousness that’s coming.
    7. Style Council
    8. Replacements. They climbed out of their window, someone took the picture, and poof, a great album cover was born. You see, it’s really not that hard. Oh, and the songs are pretty good too.
    9. Violent Femmes, Hallowed Ground. Spookiest cover on my list, and a harder album to get into, but I still have Sweet Misery Blues on many a playlist.
    10. XTC, The Big Express. Not their best, but given the competition, it didn’t have to be.
    Yeah, I’m into packaging, so what?

  96. Nate Taylor

    1983-1985, The 2 biggest influences on my list?
    The beginnings of that strange little studio known as ZTT and its circle of house musicians.
    The brilliant work of producer Alex Sadkin.

  97. 84 was a great year for music.

  98. Write-In: “Fire Is Coming”, The Neighborhoods

  99. I could only pick 8… not a great year, 1984. Many bands, after gorgeous albums, issued their worst or started decaying. Ocean Rain is not a bad album, but it’s not comparable with Porcupine and Heaven’s up here. Same goes for The Top, which is just transitional in the Cure’s music history. Mirror moves is bullshit compared to the albums before… and after! and PIL, Simple Minds, Section 25, Stranglers, XTC, Ramones. The Fall… Thanks God we had The Smiths, Swans, Cocteau Twins and Black Flag that year.

    • Wow! I’ve never heard anyone say that Ocean Rain was an inferior album to anything Echo produced. But since I love every band you have name-schecked here, I will agree to disagree.

  100. While it’s not a studio album, Talking Head’s “Stop Making Sense” was on my turntable A LOT that year. That and Let’s Active’s “Cypress” which might have been my favorite record in ’84.

  101. I had to drop 5 or so of my favourite albums of all time, and added Attrition’s ‘The Attrition Of Reason’. What a year! Still reeling from this epic list.

  102. Corey Sioux Miller

    Siouxsie & the Banshees for Best Band of All Time!!!

  103. Good year.

  104. Donnageddon

    “Double Nickels on the Dime”, “Zen Arcade”, and “Let It Be” all in the same year.

    I think 1984 violated the 2nd Law of the Conservation of Outstandingly Brilliant Music.

  105. Holy crap. Took me a good 20 minutes to get it down to “The 10!”

  106. too good of a year ! tones on tail ! cocteau twins treasure! …possibly their best album…

  107. Charlie Conner

    1984 –ve picked 25 WHAT A YEAR!

    Had to balance out what was important to me back in ’84 with what holds up today…no easy task! I could EASILY have picked 25, and future years get no easier, as it begins my period as a radio programmer

  108. Charlie Conner

    hope to see some love for Simple Minds…the thumping bass line from “Waterfront” has fueled many a workout…

    • I agree, very good album, but their concert in support of it was so so so so SOOOOOOO awful that it soured me to the album and them. Like a woman cheating on you, once it happens you can’t get that trust back. That night they also forgot they ever made New Gold Dream. It was so awful. But… some unknown band called Shriekback opened and they were so awesome I bought their first two albums and fell in love, so all wasn’t lost. BTW Oil and Gold should be a given, but not enough people know it.

  109. wardreekus

    alpha order:

    Aztec Camera, Knife – always my favorite AC album
    Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Rattlesnakes
    The Fall – wonderful & frightening world of…
    Guadalcanal Diary – Walking in the Shadow of..
    Husker Du – Zen Arcade
    Minutemen – Double Nickels on the Dime
    Pretenders – Learning to Crawl
    REM – Reckoning
    Replacements – Let It Be
    The Smiths – The Smiths

  110. Had to write in Hanoi Rocks “Two Steps From The Move!”

    And it appears Redd Kross snuck through the “No EP” rule.

  111. DiscoDave

    An embarrassment of riches really. I also wish Hatful of Hollow could have been included, but I’ll play by your silly rules :-) I feel bad not voting for the Blue Nile and Prefab Sprout; but their next albums post 1984 (Hats and Steve McQueen/Two Wheels Good) will certainly get my votes. 20 votes would have been better though.

  112. Definitely the best year of the 80s thus far; ramones, husker du, bunnymen, orange juice, del fuegoes – all records that i still regularly spin today

    Let’s hope one this doesn’t end up with another bland u2/police winner.

  113. I wonder how many people have actually sat and listened to Big Country’s Steeltown. Best album on here by far.

    • Top 3 for me. A little more polished than the debut. But 10 great tunes–about half of them among the band’s very best: “Flame of the West,” “East of Eden,” “Steeltown,” “Where the Rose Is Sewn,” and “Just a Shadow.” Love “The Great Divide”! Kind of like “1000 Stars” from “The Crossing”–a killer album cut that could have been a single. (But ALL album cuts from “The Crossing” are killer!)

  114. Great to see some love for Big Country! I had a friend the other day actually say “They only had one song.” I about blew my top.

    • And he’s still a friend?! (Joking!) His loss. But never too late to discover their great songs and albums. I’d prescribe him “The Crossing” through “Peace in Our Time.” And then “Without the Aid of a Safety Net”–from unplugged to absolutely rocking, this live album is such a gem!

      Can’t wait for the BBC box set next month!

  115. ‘Rattlesnakes’. Enough said.

  116. I have all the ff. albums. All of them have a number of great songs but I find only seven which I could consider as really a great album (not in order)
    EATB – Ocean Rain
    !. Lotus Eaters – No Sense of Sin
    2. Icicle Works – Icicle Works
    3. Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
    4. U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
    5. Alphaville – Forever Young
    6. Howard Jones -Human’s Lib
    Aztec Camera – Knife
    7. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Rattlesnakes
    OMD -Junk Culture
    Blue Nile – A Walk Across A Rooftop
    Psychedelic Furs – Mirror Moves
    Simple Minds – Sparkle in the Rain
    The Cure – The Top
    The Smiths -The Smiths
    Modern English – Ricochet Days
    The Style Council Café Blue
    REM – Reckoning
    The Alarm – Declaration

  117. I have all the ff. albums. All of them have a number of great songs but I find only seven which I could consider as really from top to bottom a classic album (not in order)
    EATB – Ocean Rain
    !. Lotus Eaters – No Sense of Sin
    2. Icicle Works – Icicle Works
    3. Depeche Mode – Some Great Reward
    4. U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
    5. Alphaville – Forever Young
    6. Howard Jones -Human’s Lib
    Aztec Camera – Knife
    7. Lloyd Cole & the Commotions – Rattlesnakes
    The Pale Fountains – Pacific Street
    OMD -Junk Culture
    Blue Nile – A Walk Across A Rooftop
    Psychedelic Furs – Mirror Moves
    Simple Minds – Sparkle in the Rain
    The Cure – The Top
    The Smiths -The Smiths
    Modern English – Ricochet Days
    The Style Council Café Blue
    REM – Reckoning
    The Alarm – Declaration

  118. keith sanducci

    what a great year!
    Simple Minds: Sparkle in the Rain,
    Echo and the Bunnymen Ocean Rain
    Psychedelic Furs Mirror Moves
    Ultravox Lament
    Blancmange Mange Tout
    REM Reckoning
    The Cars Heartbeat City
    The Bangles All Over the Place
    Pretenders Learning to Crawl
    Hoodoo Gurus Stoneage Romeos

  119. I’ve enjoyed reading these comments, as much as sifting through & selecting 10 songs from the list. Thank you, Matt Sebastian; and thank you, discerning musical appreciators!

  120. Missing from the list for me: The Very Things – Bushes Scream While My Daddy Prunes

  121. So am I supposed to vote as when I was a teenager in 84 or now as an adult?!? Two totally different top tens! ;-)

  122. Marsupial

    Not as many tough choices in 1984 as there were in 1983. I expected the reverse, thinking that 1984 was a high water mark. Huh.

  123. Marsupial

    I get what people are saying about Prince & the Cars, but if we go purely by what KROQ was playing (and I used to), We would have to start including Huey Lewis on these lists.

  124. Totally Unnecessary

    ‘The Crew’ by 7 Seconds is not on this list, so I will only pick 9 more…

  125. corblimey

    The Smiths debut album “The Smiths” is by far and away the best album of 1984 by a mile!!!!!!MOZISGOD

  126. william petrovic

    I really hope “Too Tough to Die” gets a little respect in this poll, as it was really the Ramones last great album.. The Hoodoo Gurus also put out a stunningly perfect debut disc as well..

    • I think “Mondo Bizarro” ‘s great too, but still I have to congratulate you on your excellent musical taste.

  127. Richard Flower

    This could be the year! Friends, Romans, Bunnymen… Lend me your ears!

  128. Ocean Rain by Echo the best album

  129. David Nash

    Flippin Eck! 1984..What the F**K is Going On? That was tough!

  130. Keith O'Shea

    Can we pretend The Sound’s “Shock of Daylight” is an LP not ep?…:)

    • Hell yeah! “shock of daylight” should’ve been on the list. It’s far better than most of what’s in the list here. In fact it is the only timeless classic of 1984! A shame!

  131. Ocean Rain was my runway favorite of 1984.

  132. Pascal Lavoie

    Very good year. My write-in vote went to Propaganda’s A Secret Wish.

  133. Matt Radio

    I found this to be a MUCH easier year than 1983 to limit my choices to just ten. I had five “definites” on this 1984 list and then had the luxury of throwing bones to five acts I really like but can’t say I love with a passion. The only life-changing albums on this roster for me are those by The Fixx and Pretenders. Would’ve written in PURPLE RAIN, if I’d seen prior to voting how many of you commented that he was indeed considered “alternative” at the time. (Oh, and I’ve always loved Madonna, but no way was she ever “new wave.”)

  134. Great year!

  135. So it seems some people didn’t vote for The Smiths and/or Big Country….How on earth do you get through each day?!

  136. Can I vote for The Top 87 times, and A Pagan Place 1,345 times?


  137. Cocteau Twins, ‘Treasure’
    Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, ‘Rattlesnakes’
    The Cure, ‘The Top’
    Dead Can Dance, ‘Dead Can Dance’
    Echo & The Bunnymen, ‘Ocean Rain’
    New Model Army, ‘Vengeance’
    The Pogues, ‘Red Roses for Me’
    Section 25, ‘From the Hip’
    This Mortal Coil, ‘It’ll End in Tears’
    Tones on Tail, ‘Pop’

  138. Some Great Reward & Unforgettable Fire are obvious choices and no doubt top 10 material but where’s the love for “Human’s Lib”, “Into The Gap” & “Welcome To The Pleasuredome”? 3 Great albums. Pleasuredome’s 13 minute title track alone should be enough to place it in the top 10.

  139. This was like Sophie’s Choice. So much of this music is personal and meaningful to me. I definitely needed a Top 20 or 1984.

  140. Year 1/4 of REM and the Smiths in same year

  141. Dave Alexander

    No Marillion on the list for 1984. Fugazi was top album

  142. Great selection of albums from 84!

  143. I need more than 10! That was tough…Its like Sophie’s choice.

  144. Cocteau Twins, ‘Treasure’
    Dead Can Dance, ‘Dead Can Dance’
    Section 25, ‘From the Hip’
    This Mortal Coil, ‘It’ll End in Tears’
    The Replacements, ‘Let It Be’
    The Fall, ‘The Wonderful and Frightening World Of’
    Felt, ‘The Splendour of Fear’
    The Gun Club, ‘The Las Vegas Story’
    Felt, ‘The Strange Idols Pattern and Other Short Stories’
    Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, ‘From Her to Eternity’

  145. The top spot is definitely a battle between The Smiths and The Replacements with U2 and Prince a not so close 3rd.

  146. JHC such a good year, I know was listening to way more than 10 from end to end. Crazy hard to vote. I ended up going for pioneering sound/lyrics consistent thru entire album…..still impossible to narrow down!

  147. Vic Vickers

    The best album of 1984 isn’t even on here. Purple Rain….

  148. Gonzalo Comas

    You should listen to Virus, a band from Argentina. From the 1984 album ‘Relax’ the song ‘Me puedo programar’ http://youtu.be/_PtHcLEU3IQ

  149. Impossible frigging choices again. Why can’t we choose 20, at least?!?!?!

  150. damn that was too hard! too many to choose from…but U2 is top slot! the album that started it all for me…

  151. REM, Echo, The Mats, Hoodoo Gurus and Siouxsie should top this list. All put forward their best work in 1984 ..IMHO.

  152. Roger Patton

    All these poor souls who haven’t experienced The Big Express from XTC..If you had, you would have mentioned it..

  153. Damn, that was a good year! Tough vote.

  154. too many life changing / affirming choices here.
    pretty much anything that came out on 4AD.
    the one thats on there that shouldnt be is The Cure /The Top even Robert hated it,genius band that i love dearly but when I think of the Cure, this don’t even register. Japanese Whispers & Head on the Door more then made up for it. but Faith /17 seconds or 3 imaginary boys rule them all

  155. laura cormack

    Duran Duran Arena

  156. Christian

    Thanks for the reminding tweet.

    1984, a much lesser year for me than the previous ones. Ran out of votes only by the letter ‘R’ – in 1983 it was by ‘D’ already ..

  157. [i]The Top[/i] is brilliantly misunderstood.

    [i]Pornography[/i] is The Cure best.

  158. Pornography


Leave a Comment

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