Poll — July 8, 2013 at 8:44 am

Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s, Part 6: Vote for your top albums of 1985

Best of 1985 2

Our year-long Best of the ’80s poll continues into July as we serve up 1985, 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 200 albums released in 1985, 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, No Jacket Required or Brothers in Arms on the ’85 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 Dukes of Stratosphear’s 25 O’Clock), live albums or compilations (like Songs to Learn and Sing or Catching Up With Depeche Mode). 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.
  • And, finally, despite pleas to increase the number of albums that can be voted on, we’re going to keep it at 10. Because that’s the real challenge here: Deciding which of your children you like the best.

DEADLINE: Voting will be open through 5 p.m. EDT July 26, and results will be posted at the beginning of August — after which we’ll launch the 1986 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 any of the previous results, here are the Top 100 albums of 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983 and 1984 — 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/4anv7.






  1. “Because that’s the real challenge here: Deciding which of your children you like the best.” I love that.

  2. It’s funny – I probably would have voted differently in 1985.

  3. Oof. This is getting harder and harder to vote. I’m pretty sure 1987 and 1988 are going to be hell for me to decide just ten. ;)

  4. Bob Dalrymple

    Hardest year yet to limit to 10 albums.

  5. 1985 was easier than 1984. I had a hard time whittling my choices down to 10 for 1984. 1985 was much more obvious.

    Tears For Fears, ‘Songs From the Big Chair’
    The Smiths, ‘Meat is Murder’
    The Replacements, ‘Tim’
    The Power Station, ‘The Power Station’
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, ‘Crush’
    New Order, ‘Low-Life’
    The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Psychocandy’
    INXS, ‘Listen Like Thieves’
    The Cult, ‘Love’
    The Cure, ‘The Head on the Door’

    • Richard Rider

      I agree with them all. Although I may be tempted to toss out J&MC for Propaganda instead. New Order, The Cure & TFF for sure, need to make the Top-5 for ’85.

      • Whoa. Psychocandy…tossed out? That is simply unacceptable. That is my top album of the entire decade. Still clears my head after a bad day.

    • Wow, we share six of the same picks. More proof that we Andys stick together. :)

  6. Wealth of choices! Hard to narrow to 10

  7. I may be the only version to vote for a-ha and Tears for Fears but also The Pogues. I also added Heyday by The Church…

  8. Some additional favorites from that year:

    Gowan – Strange Animal
    Images in Vogue – In The House
    Level 42 – World Machine
    Men Without Hats – Folk of the 80’s (Part III)
    Waterboys – This is The Sea

  9. Wow, that was not easy! I could have picked 20 or 30 easily. Tons of great releases in ’85. I’m curious to see how well Propaganda’s ‘A Secret Wish’ fares.

    • John Begalke

      Propaganda’s “A Secret Wish”. I still love that album.

      • Nate Taylor

        A Secret Wish — not only a fantastic album of songs from the ZTT world, but introduced us to Claudia Brucken. Still my favorite female vocalist.

    • Propaganda’s ‘A Secret Wish’ is my #1 for 1985, which is saying a lot! What a great year for music.

    • Richard Rider

      I voted for it! Amazing album, which, sadly, doesn’t get much widespread recognition in the States. It’s a really brilliant album. I hope it cracks the Top-10, although that’s probably wishful thinking……. pardon the pun :)

    • As I quickly scanned the list Propoganda was my first ‘check’. Then going from A-Z I’d get a few letters down and have used up my 10. Back to the drawing board. In the end I UNchecked Propoganda though I assure you I love the album. If I was on a desert island I’d listen to 10 others first, that’s all. If this was a list of top 15 surely they’d have a check.

  10. Damned near impossible to choose only 10. I thought this was going to get easier, but this was the hardest year for me so far. I left a lot of favorites that are still in regular rotation off my list of choices.

  11. The Sonic Youth record is BAD Moon Rising.

  12. A lot to choose from, but Kate Bush – Hounds of Love Best overall album of ’85….Genuine artist!

  13. Carlos Salgado

    Easier year yet for me!

  14. Hounds Of Love & Head On The Door, classic albums!

  15. Rooney Cymru


  16. Is Jason & the Scorchers’ Lost and Found going to be another genre-definition victim since it’s not listed? Seems to me that with X and Green on Red making the cut that another rootsy band with just as much punk in the mix ought to be allowed in the poll.

    • Yeah that seems off-base. If Jason/Scorchers not on the list, WHAT is the definition again? Granted I wouldn’t vote for it but it should be on the list and well above many other selections on a list of 200.

  17. Robert Young

    I love that the Powerstation is on the list! I love this album! Such good memories. Get it on, Bang a gong, Get it on….

  18. Marc Guenette

    I thought the Head on the Door was 85, but I’ve been know to be wrong.

  19. That was tough… I was looking for heyday too. That was a great album that I still Listen to today. Marty Wilson Piper Steve Kilbey and Peter Knoppes oh and Tim too. they are still brilliant to this day.

  20. Marc Guenette

    It is fun to go back there… Thankx

  21. Sunni Ruck

    Spectacular year for music!

  22. Larry Mac

    spell check – Eurythmics

  23. I was a grown-up music consumer in ’85. I find it really interesting that most of my choices are for albums that have come to be favorites only over time. I wish my 1985 self and I could compare our notes- I’m sure our lists would be very different.

  24. John Bowles

    Great year for music.

  25. impossible to limit to 10.

  26. This was an insane year. You can make a good case that the New Order and Fall albums were the very best those bands ever recorded, and REM’s “Fables” is still a personal favorite.

    I actually think the most interesting album of 1985 was The Golden Palominos’ “Visions of Excess,” on star power alone — Michael Stipe, John Lydon, Chris Stamey, Richard Thompson, Bernie Worrell and Jack Bruce (among others) on the same album! The songs are excellent throughout, and Syd Straw’s “Kind of True” might still be my song of the year.

    • Visions of Excess is an amazing record: indie pop, hip-hop, and NYC No wave wonderfully wrapped together. It says a lot about 1985 that it didn’t make my top 10.

      • I’m glad to hear someone else remembers it! Even though it won’t place high in the poll, it was one of the very best albums of 1985, hands down.

        I hope a few people here will pick it up on iTunes just to see what they missed. REM completists will find three great tracks with Michael Stipe on vocals, and Sex Pistols fans will surely enjoy John Lydon’s, er, spirited performance on “The Animal Speaks.”

        Again: It’s a GREAT record!

        • Michael Stipe’s vocals on “Alive and Living Now” are, in my opinion, one of his final vocal performances. I get chills each time I hear his vocals on that song.

          • Yes!!! That was on the Palominos’ “Drunk With Passion” album (although it has turned up mislabeled as being by REM on several bootlegs). A tremendous song, and a GREAT performance by Stipe!!! One of my very favorites too!

    • Ah, “Fables…”! Was listening to the ’89 Greensboro disc the other day, and “Good Advices” sounded SO GREAT. Was amazed that I remembered so many of the words. “Fables…” is one of my easiest picks here and may even make my R.E.M. Top 3 (definitely Top 5), possibly for “Maps and Legends” alone! Love this album.

    • Kind of True is my favorite on that too. i can’t believe she isn’t more famous – what a voice!

      • Hey Colleen! Another “Kind of True” fan, yeah!

        Yes, Syd Straw should be more famous! Michael Stipe did try to give her career a little push, singing that snippet of “Future 40s (String of Pearls)” every night during REM’s “Green” tour. There are probably hordes of REM fans out there who know her song — “hey man I’m making moves / and I am so much stronger than you!” — without knowing where it came from.

        (Answer: the album was called “Surprise” by Syd Straw, and Stipe sings a duet with her on that song.)

        • I was one of those hordes for years! “I am so much stronger/I am so much stronger than you…” Since remedied my ig’nance….

  27. This was some great music – hard to choose, though!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to go back in time…it got me through some dark daze!!

  28. william petrovic

    Del Fuegos, Dead Milkmen, The Blasters, X, and the Hoodoo Gurus! What a damn good (fun) year for music!

  29. I left some off the top ten, New order, smiths, the cult, A flock ….. luckily stayed inside, others stay for the next time

  30. Los Chunderinos

    My favourite album of All-Time was released this year- New Day Rising by The Huskers.

  31. Girls from 1985 are cool too !

  32. The best music for the best decade

  33. I will say that “Hounds of Love” and “Meat Is Murder” were two of my favorites from the 80’s,both of them got me thru my freshman year of high school (while everyone else was listening to that Madonna or Bon Jovi stuff…)

  34. Jonathan Andrews

    That is WAY TOO HARD! :-) Thanks!

  35. julian coldicott

    hard one between the cults love or arcadias so red the rose both awesome

    • Nate Taylor

      I admit to a love/hate relationship with Duran Duran, and Power Station was good. However, Arcadia’s “So Red The Rose” is one of my favourite albums of all time.
      As I’ve said before ALEX SADKIN was a brilliant producer.

  36. anthony symmons

    my personal n01 would be r.e.m. with “fables” which the wonderful “driver 8″as one of many great tracks

  37. Jack Watters

    Weird that some of my favorite bands released my LEAST favorite (not that I don’t love them and think they’re great!) albums this year. The Cure and REM released my least favorite of their early LP’s. My least favorite Smiths, too. Still voted for them however, since they are still awesome.
    The Love & Rockets and Robyn Hitchcock deserve praise!

  38. That brought back some memories! I remeber buying Low Life in a special edition boxed CASSETTE!!

  39. Michael Lane

    FML. This is the hardest one yet.

  40. done hard choice, some classic there… So red the rose love that album.

  41. Well that was hard. This must be my favourite year of the decade judging by these choices.

  42. Another great year for music.

    My top 10:
    1. Arcadia
    2. Simple Minds
    3. New Order
    4. Tears For Fears
    5. Propaganda
    6. Kate Bush
    7. Talking Heads
    8. Power Station
    9. Howard Jones
    10. Eurythmics
    Almost forgot Prefab Sprout and great Steve McQueen. It’s very hard to pick top 10.

  43. There seems like a lot of classic goth records. Sisters, Red Lorry yellow lorry, play dead, skeletal family, cult, cure…. Great year for music.

  44. difficult to pick only 10!

  45. So easy. #1 is clearly The Cure – Head on the door. Not even a fair fight here kids.

  46. way too hard

  47. Another great year . . Pyschocandy is the top of the heap and influenced the hole shoegaze movement.

    • Exactly why a ballot without Psychocandy is irrelevant and should be void upon receipt. And I am not touting the music on the album, just its importance. I voted it the #7 album of 1985, and said in doing so I find it unlistenable now. But we are supposed to vote as we would have in 1985, not 2013, and I drove around with that cassette in the player more than enough times (and saw them in concert twice).
      In the same vein of not voting for this album, when TWITCH comes up by Ministry, the seminal album for industrial music in the United States, a ballot that doesn’t include it out of mere importance is void upon receipt.

  48. Psychocandy and Low-life for me. And another Prince write-in. Guess we’ll be doing that a lot between now and the ’89 poll (or at least the ’88 one).

  49. Charlie Conner

    man…I didn’t even make it halfway through the alphabet before I reached 10! Guess I need to vote some more :)

  50. There is one album on the list I have played regularly since its release, ‘The Hounds of Love’, by Kate Bush. I played ‘This is the Sea’ daily for a long time, years, and listened the hell out of some of the others, but not many, though I do still love them, have the staying power of ‘Hounds of Love’. The ‘A-side’ is fantastic, the ‘B-side’ is a masterpiece.

  51. The Sci-Fi Fanatic

    That was so hard. 1986 has proved to be the hardest of the decade so far.

    I filled out my Top 10 and The Power Station and ABC’s How To Be A Zillionaire could not make the cut. I just didn’t have the room but I wish I had them in there.

  52. Allen miller

    The Cure, ‘The Head on the Door’
    This Is Big Audio Dynamite
    Kate Bush, ‘Hounds of Love’
    Bryan Ferry, ‘Boys and Girls’
    The Cult, ‘Love’
    The Damned, ‘Phantasmagoria’
    Dead Or Alive, ‘Youthquake’
    New Order, ‘Low-Life’
    Love and Rockets, ‘Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven’
    The Smiths, ‘Meat is Murder’
    The Sisters of Mercy, ‘First and Last and Always’

  53. figurehead

    THE CURE – THOTD (the perfect Summertime record ever made imho)

  54. 1985 – This is what I call a “runner up year”.
    There were lots of releases by my favorite artists but none that rank as one of my favorites from the first half of the ’80s. Well with the exception of INXS. Listen Like Thieves is my favorite in their catalog.

    • Amazing competition, but I think “Listen Like Thieves” probably gets one of my votes, too. Of course “Kick” was the biggie, but “Thieves” is a more rewarding listen and arguably their best. (Though honorable mention has to go to “Welcome to Wherever You Are,” part of that kick-ass Class of ’92 with “Automatic for the People,” “Priest=Aura,” “Spooky,” “It’s a Shame About Ray,” “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades,” etc.)

  55. Wow. 1985 was an amazing year for music! I could have easily chosen 20 albums as classics.

  56. Year Two of R.E.M. and the Smiths together at the top

  57. man, WHAT A YEAR!!!

  58. Psychocandy … best of the year.

  59. Seeing David Sylvian on the list was great. Was listening to his mid 80’s output recently while in the midst of a recurring Japan play fest and was amazed at how current his solo and even some Japan stuff sounds to this day. His solo efforts from this period barely sound dated, if at all.

    • I too was happy to see Sylvian here, but I could not vote for Alchemy. It just has not held my interest over the years like Brilliant Trees or Gone to Earth, the latter will get my vote for ’86 though!

  60. REM, Tom Waits, Husker Du, The Smiths and (ahem) A-ha. Great year for music, cool and guilty pleasures alike.

  61. Candy, “Whatever Happened To Fun…”


    Sonic Youth, ‘BAD Moon Rising’ (not “Black”)

  63. The demise of the Clash, brought about the birth of Big Audio Dynamite (BAD) Don Letts and Mick Jones, a truly magnificent pairing. With Kate Bush and her stunning vocal range throwing out sounds from my pre-CD quality sound system. And from the other side of the Atlantic. is Wall of Voodoo. Belting out on Mexican Radio somewhere things like Far side of Crazy.
    Ten votes (as usual) is nowhere near enough to do the sounds of that year justice !!
    And makes the rubbish of today sound just like…… Well Rubbish actually !!

    • If there is one thing that always irked me about “Mexican Radio” it was the fact that the obvious rhyme for “Tiajuana” was not “Iguana”. Especially when discussing Mexico.

  64. My top 10 was power station, new order, bryan ferry, fine young cannibals, jesus & mary chain, kate bush, scritti politti, the smiths, INXS and Tears for Fears. now I’m sorry I didnt include the cure and rem. Waaah!

  65. The Cure, “The head on the door”.

  66. Nice to see Bryan Ferry on the list.

  67. Nice to see Shriekback on these lists. Big fan of them.

    • Oil and Gold a phenomenal album. One of the first five I put in my ‘automatic’ category. If you haven’t taken the time to listen to Everything That Rises, Hammerheads, and my favorite, the opening track Malaria, you might just as well be deaf. What a great band live, too, BLEW the stoic Simple Minds off the map when opening for them!

      • I bet it will place high in this poll, it was an excellent record and a lot of people know it. And I remember hearing the same reports at the time about that tour with Simple Minds — Shriekback totally upstaged them!

        Do you happen to remember what the touring lineup was? I believe Carl Marsh had already left the band at the point they hit the road, and I’ve always wondered who was onstage for the Oil and Gold shows.

        (I didn’t see them until the Big Night Music tour, when they featured the Partridge sisters and that crowd from the album.)

        • Lotus — can’t say for sure, cuz as I stated I really hadn’t ever heard of them much (apart from ‘Nemesis’ that was making the club scene) before that night and they were just so good and interesting live I HAD to have their album. So I didn’t know the personnel enough in hindsight to know who was there.
          God look at the songs! Malaria, Everything that Rises, Nemesis, Health and Knowledge (GREAT tune), Hammerheads — that’s 5 stellar tracks.
          I voted this album #3 overall for the year and maintain that is a good slot for it.

  68. Hi all. You forgot tp put The Comsats´1985 album.

  69. The Head on The Door – The Cure / Love – The Cult, I can’t describe in words the emotion on hearing these albums still nowadays !!!

  70. ‘Psychocandy’ is easily the most influential of the year. ‘Seventh Dream’ takes on a whole new sound while listening under the influence. Vastly underrated. ‘Vive Le Rock’ marked a return to classic Adam Ant. ‘This Nation’s Saving Grace’ is The Fall’s best, in my opinion.

  71. Beyond Psychocandy, I’m surprised that so many of these are still regular plays for me. The Pogues, Replacements, Jazz Butcher, Husker Du, Lloyd Cole, REM. For me, as great as most of the 80’s was, this was the best year and really was my coming of age musically.

    BTW, thanks to the guy on Rdio who’s been compiling these top 100’s into playlists. Very awesome of you.

  72. Time machine time

  73. Certainly the hardest year to narrow to 10 so far. The Cult, Cure, JAMC and New Order were givens, but painful to choose between Chameleons, FNM, GLJ amongst many others. Great year for music.

  74. Impressed to see American Music Clubs Restless Stranger on the list and though its not their finest by any means and certainly not top ten worthy in this amazing year for music I look forward to adding the next three albums they did right at the top in 87, 88 & 1989!

    • I love AMC! looking forward to voting for California in the ’88 poll. Not sure if UK will qualify as a full album.

      • UK is definately an album, it just features some live tracks! it was the first thing i heard by them and going against the grain its my favorite thing they ever did!

  75. No Long Ryders…..but still great year. Hard to limit to 10, but what memories…….

    • Yeah, hey! Where’s “State of Our Union”? That song “Looking for Lewis and Clark” was big this year, and the whole record was great. Unfortunate oversight I guess!

  76. My Top 10 Albums of 1985 are

    1. The Cure – The Head on the Door
    2. The Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy
    3. Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
    4. New Order – Low-Life
    5. The Smiths – Meat is Murder
    6. Sisters of Mercy – First and Last and Always
    7. The Cult – Love
    8. The Replacements – Tim
    9. Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair
    10. Husker Du – New Day Rising

  77. Crazy to think that I was not even one year old when most of these great albums came out. Love reading everyone’s comments. Won’t list my top 10 in order sort of order but:

    Husker Du – Flip Your Wig
    Husker Du – New Day Rising
    The Replacements – Tim
    New Order – Low-Life
    The Smiths – Meat Is Murder
    R.E.M. – Fables of the Reconstruction
    Talking Heads – Little Creatures
    Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair
    Lone Justice – s/t
    The Cure – The Head on The Door

    I know it’s not eligible but Catching Up with Depeche Mode would be way at the top for me if it was. A great year for alternative 80’s music!

  78. All that mattered in ’85 were “Hounds Of Love” and “Boys And Girls”. Kate Bush and Bryan Ferry could do no wrong…………..

  79. It’s embarrassing to recall how obsessively I listened to these albums. I remember thinking that Arcadia’s So Red The Rose was a masterpiece and don’t get me started on Prefab Sprout. Ah, good times.

  80. WIRE TRAIN ‘Between Two Words’ is such a great album, but it’s probably too under the radar to make the cut. I also love THE DREAM ACADEMY – very listener friendly.

  81. 1985 is the hardest year yet. And 1986 is going to be even worse! (By the way, please don’t forget to include the underrated “The Lover Speaks” on your 1986 list of albums to choose from.) If you had told my late-80s self that I’d one day pass over the Sisters’ “First and Last and Always”, Skinny Puppy’s “Bites”, Laibach’s “Nova Akropola”, Killing Joke’s “Night Time”, and the Damned’s “Phantasmagoria” in favor of Blancmange and Scritti Politti, I’d have said you were nuts. Yet here we are.

  82. 1985, the last year of Post Punk, well the last year where it had a chance of surviving…

  83. Charlie Conner

    VERY glad American Music Club is included on the list!

  84. Sixslingger

    I voted for Ain’t Love Grand and Shock. Both are overproduced, to be sure, but underrated as entries in each artist’s catalog, and they contain some of their respective bands’ best moments.

  85. Another GREAT year. “Tim,” “Psychocandy,” and “Love” are all easy picks here. Seems like they’d all deservedly make it in a SUE Top 10 of the ’80s Best Albums with One-Word Titles, too.

    And “Seven Days in Sammystown”?! What an album. I know Andy’s arrival divided some fans, but if you stayed aboard, man, was it worth it!

    • Ah, now it all makes sense. You are actually Andy Prieboy, aren’t you? ;-)

      • Cover blown! And found out by one of the high priests of SUE! Time to start confessing to you and the rest of the gang. :)

        • Ha! Well, your secret’s safe with me.

          I do remember playing the “Big City/Room With A View” 7-inch single (WOV’s first Prieboy-era release) on my college radio show. And you know, the “Sammystown” album was engineered by Gil Norton — I guess that guy was on his way up, huh?

  86. Why does Prince not get included? I know there has to be a sensible reason….right?

    • He doesn’t fit “The Profile” aka “Wear the Uniform.” Unfortunate he wasn’t included for Purple Rain.

  87. Todd Ramirez

    The Cure head on the door and talking heads Little creatures do not have a bad track on them. Summer after high school; those were the days

  88. Okay, I can accept that Duran Duran’s ‘Arena’ album was left off of the 1984 list because it was mostly a live album (with the exception of “Wild Boys”). But, to omit the “A View To A Kill” Soundtrack from this list is inexcusable. Not only did it rocket Duran Duran to #1 in the US, but it has been (and is still the reigning champ) the ONLY James Bond theme to reach #1 on the US Billboard charts. Not the best 007 movie, but AVTAK by DD ROCKS!

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but the only song they actually played on that soundtrack was “View to a Kill,” right? It was a good enough single (and was released as 7″ and 12″ apart from the John Barry score), but that doesn’t really constitute a Duran Duran album. And this is an album poll.

      • Actually I misspoke. It wasn’t even released as a 12-inch single; those were radio-only promos that went out.

        • Yes, you are correct that “A View To A Kill” was the only single from the album, the rest were instrumental John Barry scores from the film. Reluctantly, I guess I do have to agree with you and maybe DD’s “Notorious” will make the 1986 voting poll. Thanks for setting the record straight, so to speak.

          • AVTAK is awsome but does not deserve album recognition. I agree on “Arena” though, great live album. If we are shouting out for EP’s, my vote goes to Grace Jones’s “Slave To The Rhythem” 12″. Album length and the mixes were like listening to an exploratory surgery of the original song revealing every crack and crevice. Plus it was closest we ever got to a ZTT/Alex Sadkin colaboration. Happy me.

  89. The Chameleons and LNR albums are still in heavy rotation consistently on my Ipod.

    LNR – 7th Dream
    Chameleons – What…
    Cult – Love
    Skinny Puppy – Bites
    JAMC – Psychocandy
    SY – Bad Moon Rising
    Cure – Head on The Door
    Damned – Phantasmagoria
    Pogues – Rum
    RLYL – Talk About The Weather

  90. The year the Beat Farmers made their debut into the mainstream. Live shows just aren’t the same without Country Dick Montana in the world. Husker Du kicked everyones asses with New Day Rising and Flip Your Wig. Psychocandy showed the J&M Chain at the top of their game. New Odor and R.E.M will no doubt make top 10 finishes. The Pogues. Aside from the Mtv wanna be

  91. acts, I’m a happy boy. Ain’t it good when things are going your way? hey hey. kazoos…….

  92. No love for the Beat Farmers here? I’ll be down at the Spring Valley Inn getting loud and plowed if anyone wants to join me. he he he

  93. Darker Days by the Connells gets my write-in vote.

  94. Another one I don’t see on the list is ‘Giants’ by The Bolshoi. Probably a lost cause for the top 10 or even top 20, considering the company on this list, but they had some good tunes that year (“Happy Boy”, “Fly”, “Giants”). Cool band, though Trevor Tanner’s lyrics made me cringe sometimes :P

  95. Prefab Sprout is easily the most underrated band of the eighties. Steve McQueen is a masterpiece.

  96. arsenic-sea

    Should Carnivore’s self-titled album be included in this list?

  97. wow, some difficult decisions choosing 10, but an excellent process to go thru

  98. Not the easiest thing I have ever had to do!

  99. Pamela Barrett

    An important and influential album that led the way for the more commercially successful acts to come.

  100. Toss up beteween Kate Bush, The Cure & The Smiths

  101. Not the easiest thing I have ever had to do! But no doubt Psychocandy has been the most enduring for me – still listen to it regularly.

  102. a few missed albums:
    Violent Femmes – hallowed ground (the dark side of the femmes)
    Public Image – Album
    Del Amitri – great debut album!!
    The Go-Betweens – Liberty Belle & The Black Diamond Express (just about wore my copy out on vinyl)
    Midnight Oil – Red Sails in the Sunset (great album before Diesel & Dust)
    Pale Fountains – From Across the Kitchen Table

    another great year of music!!!

    • I am starting to think Public Image Ltd do not get more of a mention because they were more like the “John Lydon Band” than an actual “band” band. However, The Cure were the “Robert Smith Band” and they always landed in the top 5.

  103. Damn you 1985!!! So much to choose from… REM, The Cult, The Smiths, The Cure, Dead Kennedys, Faith No More, Husker Du, DRI, and THE STORMTROOPERS OF DEATH !!!! But only one vote!

  104. oops, my mistake go-betweens was 1986 (recorded in 1985) and femmes was 1984.

  105. beat hotel (bongos) is not a 1985 release. it was late ’83 or early ’84.


  106. What a great year…

  107. Phew! That was difficult. Things were really going South by 1985 [if you’re me]. The Eighties were fully mature by then and the wind was virtually gone from the initial Post-Punk sails.

  108. Aaaargh! I forgot to write in my favorite debut album from 1985: Stephen Duffy “The Ups & Downs!!”

  109. Jesus and Mary Chain eclipses all others in 1995.

    • Two of the most underrated, yet most influential, of all time: Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures and JAMC – Psychocandy

  110. What a great year for music. I was only 14 but get teared up thinking about them good ole days.

  111. corblimey

    on of the best music years of the 80’s…..mainly because the smiths were by far the greatest thing to happen to music and “meat is murder” was best album of 85 by a mile….although the cult brought out the best song EVER in this year…namely “she sells sanctuary”…the 12″ so much better than the 7”.

  112. Sebastian

    The choice is getting harder… I need 20 records to pick at least !

  113. Love and Rockets tops the year for me, but ‘wow!’ The first time through the list and I had 27 albums checked. Awful to pare them down to 10

  114. Manny Ike

    It’s all about The Jazz Butcher, The Colourfield, Robyn Hitchcock, The Monochrome Set, Felt, Jonathan Richman and Love & Rockets for me in this year. Still favorite artists to this day….

  115. wardreekus

    I voted. I left out a couple dozen stone classics, but hey.

    So many records that had a profound impact on shaping my tastes, heck shaping *me*. Some then, some a few years later, some recently.

    But Meat Puppets Up On The Sun made me reassess what I liked about rock music. It was liquid music dropping out the tape deck like globs of lava, radiating heat but only warm to touch and set cool and hard. And it had whistling.

  116. There are many obvious champions here, but man did I love “Dead Man’s Party”. Still do.

  117. Tons of people saying this year had too many to limit to 10. actually i found it harder than the other years to pick 10. mostly b/c i think there were a lot of “really good” albums…but only a few great ones. made it harder to fill out the rest of the top 10.

  118. shouldn’t squeeze’s “cosi fan tutti frutti” be on this list? and perhaps simply red’s “picture book”?

  119. my top ten of 1985:
    Thompson Twins Here’s to Future Days
    The Cult Love
    Marillion Mispalced Childhood
    Dead Can Dance Spleen and Ideal
    Tears For Fears Songs from the big chair
    Propaganda A Secret Wish
    Arcadia So Red The Rose
    Nina Hagen In ekstasy
    Rettore Danceteria
    Matia Bazar Melancholia

  120. First & Last & Always. Nothing even comes close.

  121. polebowler

    I’m sad that more people don’t know The Lucy Show. Their first album Undone is still one of my favorites of all time, not yet on Spotify.

    • Agreed. I voted for it. I finally found it on CD only last year, after looking everywhere. I actually saw them perform, at the Airport Music Hall in Allentown PA, probably when they were touring for this album (late 1986 or early 1987).

    • I saw The Lucy Show open for Love & Rockets in 1986. They impressed the hell out of me!

  122. Many great albums; however, Stength by The Alarm stands out as the best in my opinion.

  123. Tim Barlow

    Another tough choice for this year, but whoever thought The Clash’s “Cut The Crap” should make the short list? Even the band themselves disown this LP. Anyone who actually gives it their vote should unsubscribe from this site forthwith!

  124. RAIN DOGS

  125. Could not find Brothers In Arms. I think is from 1985.

    • There is a good reason for that. I’ll let somebody else break it to you. Unless of course this is a well-delivered joke! :-)

      • Unless my headband was covering my eyes, I didn’t see it, either.

        • dude? it’s stated IN THE INTRO above that certain albums that aren’t traditionally considered of the college-rock genre wouldn’t be included in the choices–and that dire straits record was SPECIFICALLY mentioned.

          • If your reply is directed at my comment, that was just a crack about Mark Knopfler’s headwear back in the day. I actually love Dire Straits, but they will never get my votes here, which goes without saying. My comment didn’t help Sergio much, but am sure yours did. Cheers.

          • You’re right…it is mentioned…it is mentioned in a list of albums that you WONT find here…and with good reason…any Dire Straits album would not fit the genres covered here…I quote “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, No Jacket Required or Brothers in Arms on the ’85 ballot.”

          • Sorry, my reply was for Sergio…not qotita

          • Yet I see Bowie and The Police? I’ll allow you to split frickin hairs as to Brothers in Arms and Let’s Dance… seriously now, you’re reading that saying ‘you know, he’s right’. Not that BinA should be included, rather I’m saying Police and Bowie had NO business being listed.

            One last Dire Straits comment, sure BinA was radio played to death and mainstream, but up until that album no one ever heard of them and the prior album with ‘Skateaway’ on it would easily have fit your loosely defined ‘alternative’ definition. I did notice early Prince material made the cut, so my argument is supported.

  126. I wrote in Public Image Ltd ‘Album’ because I think it’s the best thing Lydon ever did.

  127. Gareth Suthers

    Toyah Minx still love this album. The Cure The Cult Sisters Of Mercy. Great year.

  128. Hell yes Big Lizard in My Backyard!!

  129. Only 10?!?!? It’s too hard to just pick 10 from this year. So many ones that I wanted to includ in my list but…

  130. I think that’s been the hardest year yet to choose just 10. What an amazing year for music.

  131. Honestly can’t agree with anyone that thinks that A-Ha album is a guilty pleasure. Superb album by a band that have long since proven their music credentials.

  132. Of course…….a-ha!!

  133. what about A-HA?? take on me ,hunting high and low …the sun always shines on T,V…just perfect!

    • Perfect, yes, but after 9 entries it came down to a-Ha vs Scritti Politti, and you can throw a blanket over them imho. In the end two great songs didn’t beat 4 really really good songs, plus I could dance to them. a-Ha would be my 11th or 12th choice, but missed the cut.

  134. I only came up with five. For me, the “80s” started in 1976 and ended sometime around 85-86. I do recall the nice memory of going to Tower Records to buy REM’s new album and while browsing the racks I was happily surprised to discover that Little Creatures by Talking Heads had also been released – talk about a bonus!

  135. martin castro

    my top 10 hands down are:
    the cure – head on the door
    adam ant – vive le rock
    gene loves jezebel – immigrant
    love and rockets – seventh dream of teenage heaven
    skinny puppy – bites
    new order – low-life
    sisters of mercy – first and last and always
    clan of xymox – clan of xymox
    cult – love
    christian death – ashes
    and runner up:
    jesus and the mary chain – psychocandy
    so many memories, so much good music. M

  136. I am going to keep it simple……
    #1 The Smiths – Meat is Murder. YAY!

  137. Todavia guardo ese álbum en formato casete. A-ha es la banda más representativa de los 80 los recuerdo con mucho cariño y los sigo escuchando cada dia

  138. 1985 brought a-ha into my life for 25 fantastic years. They were so underrated, especially in later years, but they will always be my favourite band.

  139. Pascal Lavoie

    Okay, forget what I said about 1984. 1985 is the best year ever!!!

  140. Glad to see Cinema Verite by Dramarama made the list, although I doubt it will get many votes. Surprise me people!

  141. Bordenet gilles

    Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, ‘The Firstborn is Dead”

    5-The Cure, ‘The Head on the Door

    1-The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Psychocandy’

    10-New Order, ‘Low-Life”

    8-The Pogues, ‘Rum Sodomy & The Lash’

    6-Prefab Sprout, ‘Steve McQueen’ (aka ‘Two Wheels Good’)

    4-R.E.M., ‘Fables of the Reconstruction’

    7-The Smiths, ‘Meat is Murder’

    3-Talking Heads, ‘Little Creatures’

    2-Tom Waits, ‘Rain Dogs’

  142. I voted according to my 15 year old self (back then), not using hipster mentality.
    Top ten:
    1. Thompson Twins – ‘Here’s To Future Days’ (still love it)
    2. O.M.D. – ‘Crush’ (sad there will never be a reissue)
    3. New Order – ‘Low-Life’
    4. Howard Jones – ‘Dream Into Action’
    5. The Cure – ‘The Head On The Door’
    6. A-ha – ‘Hunting High And Low’
    7. ABC – ‘How To Be…A Zillionaire
    8. ‘Arcadia – ‘So Red The Rose’
    9. Tears For Fears – ‘Songs From The Big Chair’
    10. The Dream Academy – ‘The Dream Academy’

    And if I could vote for 3 more:
    11. INXS – ‘Listen Like Thieves’
    12. Propaganda – ‘A Secret Wish’
    13. Dead or Alive – ‘Youthquake’

  143. This was the hardest so far … had to uncheck at least five to get my ten :/ [fantastic year for music] :)

  144. great year and my faves in no particular order (I was a year out of high school and man I feel old!)

    Wall of Voodoo “Seven Days in Sammystown” (underrated and brilliant)
    New Order “Low Life”
    The Cult “Love”
    The Cure “The Head on the Door”
    Love and Rockets “Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven”
    Simple Minds “Once Upon a Time”
    The Damned “Phantasmagoria”
    Oingo Boingo “Dead Man’s Party”
    OMD “Crush”
    Bryan Ferry “Boys and Girls”
    Tears for Fears “Songs from the Big Chair”

  145. Without question: A corner on the street of the year 1985 undoubtedly belongs to SONGS FROM THE BIG CHAIR. Still a monumental album 28 years later. There were great singles on the radio then in 1985, as well. We never thought it could get to where it has sadly gone in the beginnings of the 21st Century. Many listeners in 1985 would only look w/ optimistic hope to what great tunes and albums would be created in 2013 and beyond. It’s kind of ironic that at this time, much of the best material out there now is taking nods from the 1980s and 1970s (insert Daft Punk ref. now), which was in many ways the “last stand” for truly great, experimental, timeless sound paintings, before over-commercialism/over-hype/over-programming of fake instrumentation/and loss of good general musical taste among record and company execs took its hold during the early 1990s. There were still good songs and albums in the 1990s, but it was becoming apparent that a “new guard” was taking control and giving terrible influence to the radio, companies, and record stores. I think the real trouble started somewhere between 1990-1994/5 for some reason. Who would’ve thought that 1989 was going to be something of a “cut-off point” in music history? We certainly didn’t think so at the time.

  146. As much as I love The Cure’s Head on the Door…i would go for JAMC’S Psychocandy as the best of 1985…it’s the album that had the biggest impact on the my favorite genre, shoegaze!

  147. James Robinson

    How could Stephen Duffy’s The Ups And Downs be forgotten??!!??!! An album so wonderful even Stephen couldn’t wrap his dead around it!

    • James Robinson

      And the after affect sensation of realizing you’d not listed Simply Red must’ve been a sting too.

  148. Hard to pick 10, hard to pick 25….

  149. Too many to choose from!!!! Great music that I still continue to rock today!

  150. It pained my heart to limit this to 10. 1985, not unlike 1984 was such a great year in music for me. I apologize to all the great records I couldn’t vote for. I still love you all (hugs “Voices Carry” and “Here’s To Future Days”).

  151. Pete Heslin

    totally random. could’ve gone on forever. the waterboys are sad surrender on my part — really fell in love with that record looong after 1985.

    “Psychocandy” still rules.

    wish i could’ve written in Die Kreuzen’s “October File” but that doesn’t show up until 1986. Run DMC’s “King of Rock” … .

  152. Man, there were some tough outs that year…Cure, Smiths, Golden Palominos, the Fall, the Pogues, to name but five.
    Just watched Lone Justice from the ’86-87 MTV New Year’s bash last night on YouTube. Almost 30 years later after seeing them live, the Maria McKee love still endures.
    I am still waiting for a movie to come up with a big scene involving the Waterboys’ “The Whole of the Moon.”

  153. Greg Baker

    Left of the Dial
    Little Mascara
    Here Comes a Regular
    Last three songs on Tim by the Mats
    ‘Nough said

  154. For what it’s worth, here are my top 10: 1) Shriekback:
    “Oil & Gold” (“Nemesis” is probably my favorite song of all
    time) 2) Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: “The Firstborn is Dead”
    (Don’t trust any musician who doesn’t own this CD) 3) The Jesus
    & Mary Chain: “Pyschocandy” 4) Laibach: “Laibach” 5) The
    Cure: “Head on the Door” 6) Big Audio Dynamite: “This is Big Audio
    Dynamite” (an under-appreciated classic) 7) Kate Bush: “Hounds of
    Love” 8) Alien Sex Fiend: “Maximum Security” 9) The Replacements:
    “Tim” 10) Thompson Twins: “Here’s to Future Days” Damn, my band
    should’ve release our debut in a crappier year.

  155. Big Shooter

    Lots to choose from, but certainly China Crisis “Flaunt The Imperfection”, The Cult “Love”, The Cure “Head on the Door”, “This is Big Audio Dynamite”, OMD “Crush”, a-ha “Hunting High & Low”, Prefab Sprout “2 Wheels Good” & Wang Chung “To Live & Die in L.A.” were my faves. 2 others I voted for: Dead Or Alive “Youthquake & New Order “Lowlife”, BUT, I didn’t really care for the ‘album cuts’, however the 12″ mixes were fantastic!

  156. Way too hard to pick, apparently an amazing year for music.

  157. Manuel Lopez Samra

    it could be easier with 20 …

  158. My favorite year for music. I turned 16 in 1985 and was able to see a number of these bands on their tours for the albums they released that year. Was able to see Inxs in a small club shortly after the release of Listen Like Thieves.

  159. Eddie Tor

    Scott Miller had already established himself as the best songwriter to have emerged since the ’60s; Green On Red were pushing hard to be considered in the top three; the Gurus and the Church were leading Australia’s irrefutable challenge to be considered the No 2 nation. KBC, along with Game Theory and Translator, kept northern California on top – but there was little music of merit from the UK.(Ms Bush and the Set being honourable exceptions).

  160. Fomer 80s DJ KCPR

    2 thoughts:

    1. Does anyone think in the year 2041, people will be passionately debating the quality of music from the year 2013 ?

    2. Screw you 1985 music poll. Can we all just agree it was a great time to be alive with a love of great music…and to experience an environment that allowed artists to express themselves without too much influence from dark forces ?

    • 1. Not a chance.

      2. Why no love for the poll? It’s got us all talking about this GREAT year for music. This is fun!

  161. All in alpha order…
    Top 10
    ABC, ‘How to Be a…Zillionaire!’
    China Crisis, ‘Flaunt the Imperfection’
    Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, ‘Easy Pieces’
    Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, ‘Crush’
    Prefab Sprout, ‘Steve McQueen’ (aka ‘Two Wheels Good’)
    R.E.M., ‘Fables of the Reconstruction’
    The Smiths, ‘Meat is Murder’
    Scritti Politti, ‘Cupid & Psyche 85’
    Tears For Fears, ‘Songs From the Big Chair’
    ‘Til Tuesday, ‘Voices Carry’

    Next 15
    The Alarm, ‘Strength’
    The Cult, ‘Love’
    The Cure, ‘The Head on the Door’
    The Dream Academy, ‘The Dream Academy’
    Eurythmics, ‘Be Yourself Tonight’
    Bryan Ferry, ‘Boys and Girls’
    Fine Young Cannibals, ‘Fine Young Cannibals’
    INXS, ‘Listen Like Thieves’
    Howard Jones, ‘Dream into Action’
    New Order, ‘Low-Life’
    Propaganda, ‘A Secret Wish’
    Simple Minds, ‘Once Upon a Time’
    Sting, ‘The Dream of the Blue Turtles’
    The Style Council, ‘Our Favourite Shop’ (aka ‘Internationalists’)
    Wang Chung, ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’

    Ones I Came To Love Appreciate Sometime After 1985
    Marshall Crenshaw, ‘Downtown’
    Everything But the Girl, ‘Love Not Money’
    The Jesus and Mary Chain, ‘Psychocandy’
    Nick Lowe, ‘The Rose of England’
    The Pogues, ‘Rum Sodomy & The Lash’
    The Replacements, ‘Tim’
    Talking Heads, ‘Little Creatures’
    The Waterboys, ‘This Is the Sea’

  162. Pet Shop Boys’s Please should be on the list.

  163. INXS – Listen Like Thieves.

    This one HAS to be in the top 10 for the year, surely.
    ; )

  164. Squeeze- Cosi Fan Tutti Fruitti.

  165. Ade Donoghue

    A mixed selection of albums from 1985 that I love now and ones that I bought as a 9 year old that I’ve a soft spot for….from The Smiths to Jane Wieldlin, from Suzanne Vega to Nick Cave.

  166. I think that “Songs From the Big Chair” should win, but I have the feeling “Head On The Door”, “Low Life” or “Meat is Murder” will win due to the nature of this fan page.

  167. Astrid Ennui

    COCTEAU TWINS: Tiny Dynamine/Echoes in a Shallow Bay

  168. 1985 was a GREAT year for music. Too hard to pick just 10. Was U2’s “Wide Awake In America” disqualified because it was en E.P.?

  169. That was tough. I had a list of 25 that I didn’t want to edit down at all. Crazy how much good music we grew up with :)

    I find myself REALLY pulling for Propaganda on this poll. If they crack the Top 10, I will be pleasantly surprised.

    Big Audio Dynamite, ‘This Is Big Audio Dynamite’
    Kate Bush, ‘Hounds of Love’
    The Cult, ‘Love’
    Bryan Ferry, ‘Boys and Girls’
    Killing Joke, ‘Night Time’
    New Order, ‘Low-Life’
    Propaganda, ‘A Secret Wish’
    Shriekback, ‘Oil & Gold’
    Simple Minds, ‘Once Upon a Time’
    Tears For Fears, ‘Songs From the Big Chair’

  170. I’m with the “where’s The Church’s Heyday?” contingent. A nearly unforgivable oversight…

  171. Marc Fentress

    Quite possibly the greatest year for music, it was extremely difficult to pick my favorite albums of 1985.

  172. Damn, this was way too hard, kept putting it off.

    1. The Cure-The Head On The Door
    2. The Smiths-Meat Is Murder
    3. Tears For Fears-Songs From The Big Chair
    4. INXS-Listen Like Thieves
    5. The Replacements-Tim
    6. New Order-Low Life
    7. R.E.M.-Fables Of The Reconstruction
    8. Simple Minds-Once Upon A Time
    9. The Chameleons-What Does Anything Mean? Basically
    10. 10,000 Maniacs-The Wishing Chair

  173. Morten Foldager

    Greatest of 1985

  174. Another great year for music.

  175. 1985 forever !

  176. Five months ago I saw The Waterboys play a 2000 seat theatre. They blew the roof off, opening the set (from This is the Sea) with Don’t Bang the Drum. See ’em if you can.

    Agree Cure, Kate, Smiths, Bryan, Tears4Fears. Also the Pogues and the BAD albums are right up there for me, and were popular at the time and also highly influential.

  177. Wow! 1985 was the greatest year! Most of my fave albums were released in that year. Here’s my list of my favorite songs/singles from what i can recall…

    1. The Sound – Total Recall
    2. The Chameleons – Tears
    3. The Waterboys – Pan With In
    4. The Alarm – Absolute Reality
    5. New Order – Love Vigilantes
    6. Pale Fountains – These Are The Things/Jeans Not Happening
    7. The Smiths – Well I Wonder
    8. The Cure – A Night Like This
    9. The Colourfield – Castles In The Air
    10. Prefab Sprout – Goodbye Lucille #1
    11. Wire Train – Last Perfect Thing/God On Our Side
    12. Style Council – Boy Who Cried Wolf
    13. B-Movie – Nowhere Girl
    14. Everything But The Girl – When All’s Well
    15. Big Audio Dynamite – The Bottomline/E=MC2
    16. China Crisis – King In A Catholic Style
    17. The Replacements – Bastards Of Young
    18. Propaganda – Duel/Jewel
    18. Dream Academy – Life In A Northern Town
    19. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rich
    20. OMD – La Femme Accident

    too many to mention…

  178. Loved reading the comments so… ditto on:

    Hounds of Love
    A Secret Wish

    and everything else everyone listed!

  179. Surprised not more love for Scritti Politti Cupid & Psyche 85′. Not sure what clubs you people were going to but half the album was being played, kinda hard to say it’s not a great album considering.

    And where is the love for Killing Joke’s best album and a top 20 of the decade offering: Night Time? The ANTHEM for this website “Eighties” is on it, nuff ced. Love Like Blood, Kings & Queens, I mean c’mon people. It’s hard to take you or this poll seriously sometimes.

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