Best of the '80s, Poll — August 1, 2013 at 6:54 am

Top 100 Albums of 1985: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s — Part 6

Best of 1985 2

It’s the first of the month once again, which means it’s time to unveil the results of Part 6 of our year-long Best of the ’80s feature, a year-by-year poll of Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to determine the best albums of each year of the 1980s — and then, at the end of 2013, we’ll run a monster best-of-the-decade poll to crown the overall champs.

The 1985 poll received more than 45,000 votes — a full 10,000 more than the ’84 poll, the previous top vote-getter — with close to 300 different albums garnering votes, both via the pre-selected ballot and write-ins. This time around, each of the albums slotted in the Top 10 landed more than 1,000 votes, with the records that made the Top 3 each scoring more than 2,000 apiece.

Speaking of write-ins, this year’s results include, as always, votes for a wide variety of records that weren’t released in 1985 (Black Celebration, Doolittle and Disintegration will get their day, don’t worry — and Violent Femmes already did), or firmly off-genre (we’re looking at you, Rush’s Power Windows).

One mea culpa, though: A few of you noticed the omission of Squeeze’s Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti on the ballot. That was, indeed, an oversight on our part; it actually was on the list of ’85 albums compiled for last month’s poll, but somehow got omitted during the creation of the online form used for the actual polling. It got a few write-ins, but not enough to approach, let alone crack, the Top 100.

So thank you all for voting and sharing your thoughts. Take a look at the Top 100 list below — and feel free to offer your own take on the results, good or bad, in the comments below.

And stay tuned for the Best of 1986 poll, which will launch Monday.

PAST RESULTS: 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984




The Cure

1. The Cure, The Head on the Door

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



The Smiths

2. The Smiths, Meat is Murder

BACKSTORY: On their second album, The Smiths expanded both their sound and lyrical subject matter — although in the U.S. the album is best known for a song that shouldn’t be there (“How Soon Is Now?”).
SINGLES: “That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore”
BAND: Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke, Mike Joyce
PRODUCER: The Smiths
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



New Order

3. New Order, Low-Life

BACKSTORY: With their third album, New Order perfected its mix of dance music and rock, particularly on the epic single “The Perfect Kiss,” which was famously capped off by a solo of frogs croaking.
SINGLES: “The Perfect Kiss,” “Sub-culture”
BAND: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Jesus and Mary Chain

4. The Jesus and Mary Chain, Psychocandy

BACKSTORY: The Mary Chain’s wildly influential debut found the brothers Reid perfectly marrying squalling feedback with sweet pop songcraft inspired by Phil Spector’s ’60s girl groups.
SINGLES: “Never Understand,” “You Trip Me Up,” “Just Like Honey”
BAND: Jim Reid, William Reid, Douglas Hart, Bobby Gillespie
PRODUCER: The Jesus and Mary Chain
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)




5. R.E.M., Fables of the Reconstruction

BACKSTORY: R.E.M. changed producers and recording locales on their third album, traveling to London to make a darker, more sonically complex record that explored the American south.
SINGLES: “Can’t Get There From Here,” “Driver 8,” “Wendell Gee”
BAND: Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Tears For Fears

6. Tears For Fears, Songs From the Big Chair

BACKSTORY: With their second album, Tears For Fears delivered a worldwide commercial smash thanks to a string of hit singles and their accompanying heavy-rotation MTV videos.
SINGLES: “Mothers Talk,” “Shout,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “Head Over Heels”
BAND: Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith, Ian Stanley, Manny Elias
PRODUCER: Chris Hughes
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Cult

7. The Cult, Love

BACKSTORY: After morphing from Southern Death Cult to Death Cult and, finally, to The Cult, Ian Astbury at last broke through with this sophomore album and its hit “She Sells Sanctuary.”
SINGLES: “She Sells Sanctuary,” “Rain,” “Revolution”
BAND: Ian Astbury, Billy Duffy, Jamie Stewart, Mark Brzezicki
PRODUCER: Steve Brown
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)




8. INXS, Listen Like Thieves

BACKSTORY: INXS’s fifth album served as their breakthrough in the U.S., spawning the band’s first Top 5 single (“What You Need”) and laying the groundwork for the monster success of Kick.
SINGLES: “What You Need,” “This Time,” “Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain),” “Listen Like Thieves”
BAND: Michael Hutchence, Garry Gary Beers, Andrew Farriss, Jon Farriss, Tim Farriss, Kirk Pengilly
PRODUCER: Chris Thomas
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



Kate Bush

9. Kate Bush, Hounds of Love

BACKSTORY: With her fifth album, Kate Bush delivered the biggest seller of her career, and broke into the American market, too, on the strength of the single “Running Up That Hill.”
SINGLES: “Running Up That Hill,” “Cloudbusting,” “Hounds of Love,” “The Big Sky”
BAND: Kate Bush, Stuart Elliot, Del Palmer, Alan Murphy, Paddy Bush, Charlie Morgan
BUY IT: (CD vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



The Replacements

10. The Replacements, Tim

BACKSTORY: The Mats’ fourth album was both their major-label debut and last to feature guitarist Bob Stinson, and delivered some of the band’s best-loved rockers (“Left of the Dial,” “Bastards of Young”).
SINGLES: “Bastards of Young,” “Kiss Me On the Bus”
BAND: Paul Westerberg, Bob Stinson, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars
PRODUCER: Tommy Erdelyi
BUY IT: (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)



11. a-ha, Hunting High and Low
12. The Sisters of Mercy, First and Last and Always
13. Love and Rockets, Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
14. Big Audio Dynamite, This Is Big Audio Dynamite
15. The Pogues, Rum Sodomy & The Lash
16. Simple Minds, Once Upon a Time
17. Hüsker Dü, New Day Rising
18. Talking Heads, Little Creatures
19. Oingo Boingo, Dead Man’s Party
20. Tom Waits, Rain Dogs



21. Sting, The Dream of the Blue Turtles
22. Arcadia, So Red the Rose
23. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Crush
24. Hüsker Dü, Flip Your Wig
25. The Waterboys, This Is the Sea
26. Bryan Ferry, Boys and Girls
27. Killing Joke, Night Time
28. Fine Young Cannibals, Fine Young Cannibals
29. Dead Can Dance, Spleen and Ideal
30. Clan of Xymox, Clan of Xymox


prefab sprout

31. Prefab Sprout, Steve McQueen (aka Two Wheels Good) (TIE)
31. The Chameleons, What Does Anything Mean? Basically (TIE)
33. Howard Jones, Dream into Action
34. The Fall, This Nation’s Saving Grace
35. Hoodoo Gurus, Mars Needs Guitars
36. Dead Kennedys, Frankenchrist
37. Skinny Puppy, Bites
38. The Power Station, The Power Station
39. The Dead Milkmen, Big Lizard in My Backyard
40. Propaganda, A Secret Wish


sonic youth

41. Sonic Youth, Bad Moon Rising
42. The Alarm, Strength
43. Scritti Politti, Cupid & Psyche 85
44. Dinosaur Jr, Dinosaur (TIE)
44. Eurythmics, Be Yourself Tonight (TIE)
46. Suzanne Vega, Suzanne Vega
47. Camper Van Beethoven, Telephone Free Landslide Victory
48. Dead Or Alive, Youthquake
49. ABC, How to Be a…Zillionaire!
50. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Firstborn is Dead


thompson twins

51. Thompson Twins, Here’s to Future Days
52. The Damned, Phantasmagoria
53. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Easy Pieces (TIE)
53. ‘Til Tuesday, Voices Carry (TIE)
55. Faith No More, We Care A Lot
56. Shriekback, Oil & Gold
57. The Dream Academy, The Dream Academy
58. The Style Council, Our Favourite Shop (aka Internationalists)
59. 10,000 Maniacs, The Wishing Chair
60. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Freaky Styley



61. Einstürzende Neubauten, Halber Mensch
62. Meat Puppets, Up on the Sun
63. The Descendants, I Don’t Want to Grow Up
64. New Model Army, No Rest for the Wicked
65. Gene Loves Jezebel, Immigrant
66. X, Ain’t Love Grand!
67. Robyn Hitchcock and the Egyptians, Fegmania!
68. Adam Ant, Vive le Rock
69. Cabaret Voltaire, The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord
70. Lone Justice, Lone Justice


everything but the girl

71. Everything But the Girl, Love Not Money (TIE)
71. Yello, Stella (TIE)
73. The Clash, Cut the Crap
74. Minutemen, 3-Way Tie (For Last)
75. The Colourfield, Virgins and Philistines
76. Wang Chung, To Live and Die in L.A.
77. Falco, Falco 3
78. Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, Talk About The Weather
79. Half Man Half Biscuit, Back in the DHSS
80. 7 Seconds, Walk Together, Rock Together


del fuegos

81. The Del Fuegos, Boston, Mass.
82. China Crisis, Flaunt the Imperfection
83. Colourbox, Colourbox (TIE)
83. Dramarama, Cinéma Vérité (TIE)
83. Madness, Mad Not Mad (TIE)
86. Felt, Ignite the Seven Cannons
87. Christian Death, Ashes
88. Beat Happening, Beat Happening
89. Dexys Midnight Runners, Don’t Stand Me Down
90. Midge Ure, The Gift


david sylvian

91. David Sylvian, Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities
92. Death in June, Nada! (TIE)
92. Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel, Nail (TIE)
94. Mekons, Fear and Whiskey
95. Black Flag, In My Head (TIE)
95. The Sound, Heads and Hearts (TIE)
95. The Three O’Clock, Arrive Without Traveling (TIE)
98. Blancmange, Believe You Me (TIE)
98. Rites of Spring, Rites of Spring (TIE)
100. Marc Almond, Stories of Johnny







  1. i wonder, though, if “cosi fan tutti frutti” had been present and visible on the ballot, would it not have made a stonger showing? i know it was high on my list. and i still maintain that simply red’s “picture book” should also have been included. decent showing for 10,000 maniacs’ “the wishing chair”, a record that completely predated their fame and had essentially no commercial presence.

  2. I see the pattern here… I predict that all these top-ranking Cure albums will cancel each other out in the final best-of-the-decade poll, leaving INXS’ Listen Like Thieves to claim a #1-album-of-the-80s upset!

  3. Seems like bands whose records went out of print don’t do as well in this poll. ie: Thompson Twins “Here’s To Future Days” isn’t even on iTunes. We all know what’s going to be #1 for 1986: “Let’s have a Black Celebration…”

    • I take that back. #1 will be ‘The Queen Is Dead’. #2 ‘Black Celebration’. I’m psychic. :)

      • Maybe, but it should be the following:

        Stone Roses debut
        Smiths Queen is Dead
        Replacements Let it Be
        Echo – Ocean Rain
        Jane’s Addiction Nothing Shocking
        Clash Sandinista
        Love and Rockets Express
        REM Murmur
        X Los Angeles
        English Beat Special Beat Service
        Specials the Specials

        However, my guess is that only the Smiths QID will make the top ten. Seriously, can anyone deny that any of these albums aren’t in the top 10 or so of the 80s? Only Cure or D-Mode addicts would have an issue with them (and to be honest, neither band ever put out a track for track classic. Well, maybe the cure).

        • I probably should have put Paul’s Boutique in there. Best rap (sorry, “hip hop””) album ever made.

        • Man, I’m so out of it. I meant to say this is my list for best of the 80s overall. Not just 86.

        • My 80’s list:
          1- The Hurting – Tears For Fears
          2- The Stone Roses
          3- The Queen is Dead – The Smiths(or Hatful of Hollow, if allowed…)
          4- Boy – U2
          5- Doolittle – Pixies
          6- Murmur – REM
          7- Disintegration – The Cure
          8- Scoundrel Days – A-ha
          9- Bona Drag – Morrissey (I hope it’s not considered a compilation)
          10- Tecnique – New Order

        • D-Mode never a track for track classic? Violator for a start. Black Celebration was another one.

  4. No surprises at the top as the juggernauts finished strong (that top-10 is all classic)…shame about Love And Rockets and Sisters Of Mercy falling short…also surprised Simple Minds didn’t finish top-10.

    But there must be some serious revisionist thinking here…Tom Waits, Dead Can Dance and Clan Of Xymox were never that popular and were never heard on most college rock stations at the time. I

    • Jay Hedblade

      There was also revisionist history in thinking INXS were “Alternative.”

      • They were up until Kick. Listen Like Thieves is a darn good album – if only for Shine Like it Does and the title track.

        • My sentiments exactly. They never again had songs like Shine Like It Does or Johnson’s Aeroplane from The Swing for that matter. Not that I hate everything after Listen, however, I consider pre-Kick their golden era.

          • Agreed, Charles. And “Welcome to Wherever You Are” was both a return to form and total surprise.

        • @AndyP Man you speak the truth with Welcome To Wherever You Are. Wasn’t huge into Kick or X but they really came back strong with Welcome. Even album cuts like Baby Don’t Cry and Men And Women were incredible. Shame no one was listening at that point.

          • Spot on, Charles. And give Mark Opitz a major assist for his production duties. Not “Shabooh Shoobah Pt. 2,” but actually closer to a more exotic “Thieves” in sound. Too bad “Full Moon, Dirty Hearts” was such a tough listen after that. :(

      • Again-agreed-Listen was my last ever INXS purchase. The Swing is an under-rated masterpiece.

  5. I must say I am surprise that The Cure beat out The Smiths for the number one spot! Skinny Puppy, Dead Can Dance, and The Damned’s albums should be much higher. Christian Death’s Ashes too

  6. the smiths at number 2????should have been number one again…..can guarantee “the queen is dead” will put them back on top next poll……although i have to say the best song of this year was “the cult’s-she sells sanctuary” on 12″ and still is a cracking song….bring on 1986!!!!!!!!!!!there is a light that never goes out.

    • Jay Hedblade

      Yes! The REAL version of “Sanctuary” is the full-length 12″ version. Nice call.

      • I have to say before this polling I never would have guessed so many people are such fans of the Cult’s “Love.” But indeed, it was clear from all of the comments during voting that it was going to place fairly high — and so it did!

        I’ve always thought it’s a great album, but I never personally knew anyone else who liked it even at the time!

        • Have LOVEd it since ’85, too, lotus. Do you remember the scathing review Rolling Stone gave it? Was only 16 then, but I knew they got it so wrong.

          • p.s. Funny how R.E.M. came out with their own “Revolution” and “Hollow Man” years later. Think they were listening, too?!

          • hey Andy,

            I missed that Rolling Stone review but I’d like to read it! I got turned on to the album through a really cool Beggars Banquet compilation from around that time, called “One Pound Ninety-Nine.” It had quite a lineup of bands: the Fall; both Nico and John Cale; Bauhaus, Love and Rockets and Peter Murphy; the Icicle Works; and the Cult’s “Nirvana.” I bought “Love” not too long after.

            As I’ve commented elsewhere, the subsequent “Electric” album and its stripped-down, AC/DC-ish production by Rick Rubin was a HUGE letdown after “Love.”

          • Hey Andy,
            I don’t have that Beggars sampler anymore, although I could assemble an iTunes playlist of most of the songs.

            There are copies on Amazon so you should take a look at it just to appreciate its coolness. It also had tracks by the Ramones, Gene Loves Jezebel, the Bolshoi, and some outfit called the Hank Wangford Band who were English but did country/western (?!?!). I think my friends and I always lifted the needle after that track. 8-P Overall it was a killer sampler though — good memories!

        • Hey, lotus. Couldn’t reply below, so will try here. Yeah, I’ve never owned “Electric.” The cover alone had me going, “WTF?!” Especially that Davy Crockett hat of Ian’s. But I know a lot of people here love it, including said cover, and are thrilled about the “Electric Peace” release. I didn’t dislike “Love Removal Machine,” but seeing “Born to Be Wild” listed on the album, plus the new hairdos and rock poses, made “Love” seem like it was done by a totally different band. But they did nab a lot of Billy Idol fans opening up for him, which wasn’t a bad thing. Maybe I need to spin “Peace” a few times to finally get into “Electric,” but am fine playing “Love” regularly. Played the ’94 album all the time when it came out. Thought that was pretty much filler-free and such a killer jacket. Man, that cover ranks up there with “Love,” “Seance,” and “Priest”! (Cue pre-1986 Poll excitement for “Heyday”!)

          No luck here finding that “Love” review online, but if I ever unearth that issue in my garage, will be sure to let you know. And what a Beggars compilation! Do you still have it?! Hope so!

        • pessimystica

          I LOVE Love as well! I’ve listened to that one & Dreamtime so many times, I almost forget about other Cult albums. I’m also a fan of Southern Death Cult as well.

  7. El Arreglardo

    Hard to argue with the top 20. And Tom Waits’ Rain Dogs certainly belongs in the mix!

  8. Amazing year! The Top 10 is very close to mine.

    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

    “The Wishing Chair” is an extremely underrated album IMO.

  9. Hans Bubby Your White Knight

    I’m sure this’ll be the unpopular opinion but it seems like people are voting for what they think is cool and not what they actually bought in 1985. I’ve also noticed it on the other polls as well. I’ll admit that “Meat Is Murder” was a great album but it was one, along with the other Smiths albums, that I didn’t discover until I was much older. I’m not here to defend the artistic merit of The Thompson Twins but a heel of a lot more people bought “Future Days” in ’85 than “Meat Is Murder”. Maybe my thinking is a little skewered here and I apologize for that but Kate Bush over “Once Upon A Time” by Simple Minds? I know popularity doesn’t mean greatness but neither does obscurity. Mainstream doesn’t always mean uncool and obscure doesn’t always mean classic. That being said “Listen Like Thieves” & “Songs From The Big Chair” are excellent selections and should’ve been 1 & 2. Howard jones “Dream Into Action” (while not as good as the criminally underrated “Human’s Lib”) should’ve gotten a little bit more love.

    • Born in 1976

      I agree with Hans Bubby Your White Knight: “I know popularity doesn’t mean greatness but neither does obscurity. Mainstream doesn’t always mean uncool and obscure doesn’t always mean classic.” Resist the urge to listen to music outside the mainstream because it gives you a feeling of superiority. Listen to it because it is good.

    • I think you’re forgetting that a decent portion of readers here are younger than you or people who were actually old enough to be buying music in 1985. I was 3 in 1985, thus my votes are for bands that I’ve come to learn from reading mags like The Big Takeover and sites like this as well as bands/artists today who were influenced by the bands/artists that appear on these voting lists. Quite frankly I’m not surprised by anything in the voting results. Vegas odds would probably align with the final tally. Aside from Jesus & Mary Chain being that high, which seems like a minor surprise. I figured they’d end up where the Replacements ended up. Otherwise I don’t know what is surprising about the list. Did you expect for Top 40 radio bands to appear here? This probably isn’t the site for that.

      • and by Top 40 type bands I’m talking about the Thompson Twins, Eurythmics, Howard Jones, ABC etc. I’m sure some people would lump INXS, U2, Depeche Mode, New Order and the like in there as well.

        • The OP is right Byrnes, same complaint I made three times already. Quite frankly if u were 3 in 1985 you have NO damned business voting, this poll is NOT what album has stayed the test of time in 2013, it’s what we’re u listening to in 1985. If u were 3 your vote should be void

          • Brilliant, PatrickB. And while we’re at it, let’s rename this site Serving Up Discrimination!

            What do you think about ID checks at record stores and Amazon, too? Clerk to customer: “Sorry, but you were 2 years old when this ‘Ziggy Stardust’ album came out in ’72. Therefore, I cannot sell it to you since there is a risk that you may actually like it and share that opinion with others, specifically in a poll.”

            “Here’s to Future Days,” indeed?!

          • You should definitely assume that I care about your opinion.

    • You know, this keeps coming up after I post these poll results… the idea of whether you’re supposed to be voting for what you listened to back then vs. what you feel has stood the test of time. I’ve never specified which, because I don’t think it matters. Vote for the albums you love. Period. There’s no right or wrong answer. For what it’s worth, I always envisioned — even if I never specified — that people would be voting how they feel now, not how they felt then. But it doesn’t really matter. Just vote for your favorites.

      • Amen, Matt.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I was 12 in 1980 and still listening to my friends older brother’s Zep, Rush, Floyd and Ozzie records and I thought ac/dc was the greatest band of all time. It was in 83 when I was turned on to U2 and New Order and my music world changed completely. I wasn’t listening to the albums of 80, 81 or 82 in those years but many many on those lists are cherished records that have stood the test of time. 83 is the first year that I was actually listening to the albums on the SUE lists and still some of my favorites back then have not stood the test of time (Kajagoogoo, Duran, Hojo). Regardless this polling is a blast and I am in the process of listening to all 10 top albums today. Thanks!!

    • YES!! ABSOLUTELY,Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds of Love’ is a FAR superior record than Simple Mind’s ‘Once Upon A Time’!!’New Gold Dream ’81-’84’ can’t even compete with that album!…and it’s even better than’Once Upon A Time’,itself! I like ‘Once Apon A Time’,don’t get me wrong,but….. .

  10. This Is Big Audio Dynamite should have been much higher in this list…

    • Jay Hedblade

      Couldn’t agree more. Oh… but we had to make room for INXS, of course. That paragon of “Alternative” music.

      • I agree as well Jay.’This Is Big Audio Dynamite’is FAR superior to’Listen Like Theives’.’Listen Like Theives’shouldn’t even be in the Top 10!I’m sure I can pick 20 albums from this list that are better than that one.

  11. Richard Evans

    I agree with the top ten mostly, but was surprised that Aha almost got into the top ten and OMD should not have charted that high. I was surprised that Dead mans party was not higher on the list, if not in the top ten.

  12. Jay Hedblade

    INXS beat out Kate Bush? Not just any Kate Bush, but the masterpiece that is Hounds Of Love?! Go home 80s “Alternative” voters, you’re not just drunk, you have terrible taste and you’re about as alternative as Hot Topic. The terrorists have won.

    • My sentiments as well Jay! Don’t get me wrong,I do like INXS.I saw them in’83,’Shaboo Shoobah’ Tour.I stopped listening to them when ‘Kick’ came out. HOWEVER,they have NEVER made an album that competes with Kate’s ‘Hounds Of Love’ album!

  13. Ryan Maloney

    Ahhhhh. What a year for music. Brings back memories of…wait. I can barely remember.

  14. No way Head on the Door is better than Meat is Murder.

  15. Wow, someone has real issues with INXS…

  16. cesar almeida

    isso sim é rock de qualidade !!! que saudade !!!

  17. @Jay I think we get it you don’t like INXS, can we move on now?

  18. Kate (Happy Belated Birthday)- highly deserves to be in the top 10…Oingo Boingo was waaaayyy better than ah-ha…Oh, and Rob C., you are wrong about Dead Can Dance!!

  19. I wasn’t the one to nominate Rush’s ‘Power Windows’ – but what’s so wrong with it? Rush’s soft synth-laden 80’s records borrow more than one idea from keyboard pop acts like a-ha (that made number 11 on this list). And what’s so alternative about ‘Hounds of Love’ or ‘Dream of the blue Turtles’? Don’t get me wrong, I fully understand why Rush wasn’t on this list, but I have read less appropriate suggestions here .. (Difficult topic, of course. Is Peter Gabriel’s ‘So’ alternative enough to make the 1986 list?)

    Last man standing: Cabaret Voltaire are the only act to have made all six Top 100s. But since they took time off in ’86, this streak is about to end now.

    I’m happy to see that my favourite record of 1985, the Mekons’ ‘Fear and Whiskey’ at least made the Top 100. Surprised to see that Half Man Half Biscuit beat them, though ..

    .. and please don’t forget to include The Chills ‘Kaleidoscope World’ on the 1986 ballot. It’s not a conventional compilation, collecting previously released singles into one longplayer the same way like The Associates ‘Forth Drawer Down’ that made number 78 in the 1981 poll.

  20. These polls are getting really stupid, to make popular contest out a genre that not being popular is the thing.

  21. Once again these results seem credible to me, reflecting a good balance between popularity, critical stature and what was actually being played on college radio. I would have expected a few records (Husker Du, Sonic Youth) to place higher, but no real surprises especially in the top 10.

    You can tell the validity of the polling is improving when there are two Duran Duran products on the list and neither places in the top 20. People who actually know something about the music are voting now.

    • Agreed (yet again!), lotus–and you know I have a Duran Duran history! :0

      But “Cut the Crap” at #73 really stands out to me. Would love to hear from one of the many people who voted for it. Was it another way of saying, “Thank you for the music and memories, Joe!”? Am guessing most of the votes it received were from people who never actually heard the album, as in, “Hey, the Clash! Great, great band. Will give ’em my vote!”

      “This Is England” has been the lone survivor on a few compilations, but the thing I remember most about the album was all the 1-star reviews it got, while Mick and BAD were (deservedly) reaping all the love. And, as noted elsewhere at SUE, it’s no surprise that “Crap” will be absent from the upcoming box set. (Or maybe with all the dog tags, there’s no room for it?!)

      Again, more surprised and curious than anything. Love the Clash, but have never gone near the album and don’t plan to, unless enough voters can convince me “it’s a grower” or something!

      • And I TOTTALLY agree with you on this!!’Cut The Crap’should follow it’s own advice and the hell off of this Top 100 Albums list! You’re right,there’s a reason it was omitted from the boxset!

  22. some notes:

    –head on the door is a whole lot better than meat is murder.
    –the cure have released, by my count, six “track-for-track classics” (seventeen seconds, pornography, head on the door, kiss me kiss me kiss me, disintegration and wish), and you can throw in a couple of depeche mode classics as well (black celebration and violator).
    –the beasties are awesome, and paul’s boutique is a great record…but if you know anything about true hip-hop, you know that no beastie boys record belongs in the top HUNDRED hip-hop albums ever made.
    –i totally feel the post above about “revisionism”–if i listed my favorite records of 1980 today, i would have the cure, joy division, peter gabriel and split enz right alongside genesis, steve winwood, billy joel and hall & oates, even though i was oblivious to those “alternative” artists as a 7- and 8-year old. but i don’t think that we should be obligated to omit albums that we NOW consider to be among the best from a given year just because we didn’t like the album DURING that year.

    • I don’t know man. Paul’s is pretty damn good. The only ones that compare (at least for me) are Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, Paid in Full (and Follow the Leader), Straight Outta Compton, EZ Duz It, and Raisin’ Hell. Yeah, all from the 80s, but I don’t think anything else is better (I’m sure everyone will tell me I’m an idiot for not including Outcast, Notorious BIG, and Eminem). In any event, those discs are all great. But Paul’s use of sampling was truly game-changing. It took it all to a whole new level, and I don’t know of any disc to come close to that. Plus, the rhymes are unique (and goofy) in every way. I guess it’s all one man’s opinion, but really? Not in the top 100? I just don’t see it. But I’ll defer on that one, since you seem to know more about it than I do. However, neither black celebration, nor violator are track for track classics. I know all the tracks on those discs, but each had tracks that I don’t really like or could care less about. On black celebration, I’m thinking mostly, but not only of the title song and question of lust. Violator is mostly good, but not great. I agree with you on Kiss me, kiss me, kiss me (thus, the reason I said maybe the Cure). I like the other cure discs you list, but there are a few throw away tracks (or at least not great tracks) on each disc. I’m biased here, but I think the discs that listed are full of great songs — one after the other, without exception. But, of course I think that. I listed them!

  23. Hounds of Love should have been higher, top 5 at least…

  24. No surprises in the top 10 except maybe Psychocandy. Husker Du and Meat Puppets were all over college radio back in the day. Sad to see them not ranked higher.

  25. With all the hating on INXS, nobody has mentioned the correct title of the R.E.M. album – in a pre-internet era, it was not uncommon to hear that album referred to any number of ways.

  26. Surprised and happy to see Prefab Sprout made it to 31. Top 5 in my book for this year, but I thought it would end up somewhere in the 50s. While I tend to prefer The Cure over The Smiths, I think Meat is Murder is superior to The Head on the Door.

    • I TOTALLY agree with you on Prefab Sprout!! Placing it at #31 is a DISGRACE!I’m not surprised either…but I would have never thought that it would be ranked outside of the top 20!

  27. Adding Extractions by Dif Juz, a sadly obscure post-punk/dream pop group signed to 4AD. But hey, if relative unknowns like Clan of Xymox and Killing Joke can crack the top 30…

    Also this list is sorely needing Phil Collins.

  28. matthew topaz

    damn. 1985 = beast.

  29. Listen to this: I’m 48 and still listen to this stuff. The nicest this About this poll is That you can discover new ‘old’ music. Stuff I’ve never head of… What does the youngsters do… Please listen to the other records and discover it all…
    I don’t think it is interesting if it is INXS or New Order. You must feel it.

    I select the records in this poll on an overall basis. The album on which every song is good gets the vote. And mostly they are the albums I’ve heard the most from 1985 until now. So they are the one that last.

  30. Steve Manser

    The ‘alternative’ tag is often divisive, certainly back in the ’80s. Having not been old enough to truly appreciate the era (I’m 37) I’ve since become an avid student of the period and particularly love the rawness, experimentation, vivality and richness of many bands and acts.

    ‘Alternative’ to me, is about doing things a little different to what’s perceived as common and ubiquitous and (let’s be honest) it’s about being something that sparks debate and engenders strong loyalty and emotions amongst each band’s fans.

    As for INXS, I’d say the first clutch of albums (including Thieves) would be classed as alternative, as their sound was quite new and not something pushed in the mainstream. Plus, they were really cool back then and became successful because of their attitudes and talents. Don’t hold later commercial success against them in these polls. They are there on merit, surely.

    /end of soft rant.

    Cheers, Steve.

    PS: For reference, I’m not really a big Cure fan but love lots of their singles, so can’t see the attraction with all the top spots. But it’s subjective and I’m glad to see that in this year’s case, about 7 of my 10 made it in. Including Kate Bush’s classic.

  31. Hey. You forgot to put 7 day Weekend by The Comsat Angels. Its their worst, but you didnt give it a chance.

  32. Wow, what a phenomenal list. What’s shocking to me is how much of this year’s music might be considered some of the greatest pop of the last 30 years. Most (not all) of these albums are pretty much filler-free. Just a few things that stand out to me:

    1. I would have swapped out The Cult’s Love and Prefab Sprout’s Two Wheels Good. The latter being one of the greatest albums of all time in my book. Love has a few great tunes and 1 classic one which we all know by heart, but as an album??? Its entirety never swallowed me whole the way Head on the Door or Meat Is Murder did.

    2. Kudos to you for getting David Sylvian’s instrumental album on there. Great sex music.

    3. INXS – hmmm…they’re a tough one. I always thought their production hampered their songs. For my money, they were the singular greatest live act of the 80s, but the energy always felt a little restrained by the slickness of their recordings. Solid songs though.

  33. Nate Taylor

    It seems some people here are forgetting what college radio was in the 80’s. Of course there was no internet, and many places like where I lived in ’85 — even cable and MTV were still a couple years away. Unlike today, there were far more regional differences in what was being played. Although groups like Duran and ABC are/were ‘mainstream’, they started somewhere — and college radio was still where we heard them, especially the late night dance remix shows. These stations didn’t just play the same 12 bands for 10 years straight. I am glad all the amazing work from these years continues to be listened to, debated, and appreciated. Duran or Cure? Beatles or Stones? Mozart or Beethoven? Believe it or not, you don’t have to choose. You can enjoy them all!

  34. Wow. A messge to just a few- What is up with people being idiots for not liking what you like? I get that someone out there is angry when Scritti Politti ( who to me is about as exciting as Debarge) gets beat out by the likes of U2 and INXS, but those bands connected with more people. It seems that some are annoyed that many of the most popular bands are ending up on top, well duh! They were the most popular then, and they still are. I prefer Boingo to New Order, but so what?
    In reality, the “popularity” rant against is all relative, and if we asked the greater general (non-critic) population to rank the best of the year in any genre, I suspect that our top 5 would probably not show up until quite a bit down the list. Like what you like, and complain all you want, but we are not idiots for not having the same taste as you.
    I’m just so happy that Matt does this. Any list that has both the Dead Kennedy’s and ABC is great fun. Frankie Says Relax…

    • Stephen Pierce

      Cheers Marty. I was just in the process of writing a similar comment and came across yours. I always look forward to these lists, no matter where my personal favorites fall. It’s clearly a labor of love for those involved and it’s such a drag to see so many bitchy comments.
      Oh well, like they say, opinions are like a-holes. Everyone’s got one…

    • Look at you droppin’ all that knowledge on us! Very well written and you are absolutely correct. The Fall was probably my favorite band during the 80’s but I rarely met anyone who listened to them. This Nation’s Saving Grace was my favorite release of 1985 and I doubted very highly it would even make the list much less chart high. I wasn’t mad, I had to realize that despite thirty albums they were still firmly underground, at least in the U.S.

  35. yayy The Cure finally bunked off The Smiths!! They’re at last getting the recognition they deserve. Also glad JMC are on there, but that album wasn’t that good to be honest.

  36. my 80s list, if we’re going strictly by traditional alt/college-rock parameters:

    the cure – disintegration
    the sugarcubes – life’s too good
    r.e.m. – green
    peter gabriel – so
    10,000 maniacs – in my tribe
    kate bush – the sensual world
    the cure – kiss me kiss me kiss me
    sinead o’connor – the lion & the cobra
    midnight oil – diesel and dust
    peter murphy – love hysteria; joy division – closer (TIE)

    …and my 80s list, without “alternative” strictures:

    the cure – disintegration
    genesis – duke
    steve winwood – arc of a diver
    billy joel – glass houses
    prince – lovesexy
    the sugarcubes – life’s too good
    genesis – abacab
    prince & the revolution – purple rain
    r.e.m. – green
    peter gabriel – so

  37. Although it is for sure a very good album, but seriously, Number 1 for an album that includes one of the worst songs of the 80s (‘Screw’)?
    Top 10 are not that surprising though, had hoped the genre-defining ‘First And Last And Always’ would have ended with a better placing.

  38. jesus, so much whinging about inxs being on here. this album is still alternative. i’d consider sting’s album not alternative first, or what about purple who voted for thriller a.couple polls ago, as if it hadn’t topped enough 80s polls already?

  39. It’s a shame that the Colourfield’s debut was way down at 75. It’s an amazing release that really deserves a wider audience. It features Terry Hall from the Specials and Fun Boy Three!

  40. Pretty expected overall final list, with 9 of my 10 choices making it. (Sorry Snake Corps…) The only surprise to me is Falco being so low on the list. I was only 8 in 1985 but I remember “Rock Me Amadeus” and that album being EVERYWHERE in 1985. I didn’t discover it for myself until I was much older and I still listen to it pretty regularly. Just a great all around pop album…

  41. AndyP
    Re: Love vs Electric, you may recall that Rick Rubin would get ahold of The Cult and shift their direction from the U.S.Southwest and Native motif they created and push them into the more metal sounds of ACDC, a direction I personally was none to happy with, though a few songs like L’il Devil are awesome. Rubin is why you seem to be hearing two different bands. To add insult, after Electric the band fired their bass player and went waist deep into metal vs punk/alt. I never bought anything post-Electric but was happy to be one of 200 at a Southern Death Cult show just prior to name change.
    I won’t flog a dead horse and I probably overstated my position re: reviticism, but in 2013 my 50 year old ears find Psychocandy completely unlistenable; however I list it as the #7 album of the year because it was THAT important and omnipresent then. I ask you which person do you want voting? It deserves to be #3 overall but it wouldn’t make top 100 now. Understand? Maybe we will just agree to disagree, mate, no harm no foul, I enjoy your posts Andy.

    • Cheers, PatrickB. Yeah, I remember Rick’s takeover fairly well. A friend of mine at the time played LL Cool J’s “Radio” nonstop, so that had me fearing that Ian might be rapping next! Wasn’t the case, but still a major makeover. Very, very cool that you actually saw a SDC show! Did they preview some of “Love”? My intro to the Cult was a “Love” promo photo with Billy looking like a cooler version of Billy Idol and Ian like the goth-hippy-Native American son of Timothy B. Schmit–this Berkeley kid was smitten! (Kind of weird: am listening to a compilation now, and Gene Love Jezebel’s “Jealous” just came on. I think of “Immigrant” in this poll and now this song and am reminded of the whole “Love” to “Electric” shift. Similar but different, I know, especially when you think of those GLJ albums in between.)

      Regarding the voting stuff, I like how Matt summed it up–just go with your favorites, be it from what you were listening to then or what you think holds up now. Byrnes was 3 in ’85, but is around 31 now, loves music from this period, is active voting and commenting at this site, and may have a collection of tunes from ’85 that will blow ours away. I don’t think that someone who didn’t actually buy and listen to the music in whatever year should be excluded from the fun, especially if it is all about music that is dear to them, too. As seen above, SUE is about the “legacy,” so let’s all help Matt keep the flag waving high for people who maybe weren’t there the first time around, but love the music and want to hear more of it and learn more about it from ace Eyeballers like yourself. But, yeah, I sensed that was probably an overstatement earlier, so that’s why I took it to the next level. No worries here, man.

      And legacy is one of the main reasons why I’m so thrilled about something like the ‘Mats’ “Tim” making the Top 10. (I was hoping for a Top 3 finish, but thanks to some helpful comments from lotus and others about specific album placings, no quibbles here!) Matt has the album jacket on full display with the Amazon links right next to it for the uninitiated to make a purchase. So, say, a 22-year-old Green Day fan/SUE newbie sees it. She reads all the love the album has gotten here, remembers Billie Joe Armstrong is a huge Replacements fan, and that’s enough for her: CLICK-CLICK and the rest is history. She receives the album, immediately loves it, tells a friend about it and this site, and now there are more hits at SUE, more sales for the ‘Mats, more royalties for Paul, and maybe even more tour dates for the reformed band! And that’s just the Replacements… Let’s hope that same newbie buys something like “Love” and “Fables” next–now that’s “legacy”!

      But back to the voting, I know personally it can be beyond tricky–lots of inconsistencies in reasons for my own choices. Elsewhere at SUE, I defended why I couldn’t NOT vote for “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” in the ’83 Poll. A three-star album at best and probably wouldn’t make the cut if I had to choose 2,000 desert island albums, but it was one of the cassettes I played the most that year, I was a huge fan, and the 13-year-old me made sure DD got that 10th vote. But one of the Best College Rock Albums of 1983? Not by a long shot.

      And when I read that something like Rush’s “Power Windows” may have even gotten some votes here, sure, I don’t think of it as falling under the “college rock” label. But it is easy for me to think that maybe a voter’s college roommate played that album to death, it became the soundtrack for that dorm’s floor, thus becoming a genuine “college rock” album in 1985 for that voter, resulting in their 10th pick with maybe an asterisk or smiley face next to it, if that were possible! (I don’t advocate that kind of voting, though, but also don’t have a major problem with it, just as Matt doesn’t seem to.) Nostalgia, durability, popularity, influence, and more all seem to be major factors in the voting here, resulting in all the excitement, so many surprises, and some very interesting, informative, and sometimes heated debates. (And would love to see more personal Top 10 lists posted here from former ’80s college radio DJs, PLEASE! :))

      Finally, a surprise here for me was Wall of Voodoo’s “Seven Days in Sammystown” not even making the cut, but am happy that it made some (a few?!) other fellow Eyeballers’ lists. Hopefully that alone will turn a few other folks on to this great album.

      Again, nice read(s) today, PatrickB. Like how you mentioned “Skateaway” earlier, too. “Making Movies” is a GREAT album, regardless of what genre it falls under.

  42. Not sure where to post this but I’ll drop it here. Over noticed some absolutely glaring abscentees from past years (Kissing The Pink 1983??? Ditto Bananarama) so for 1986 don’t forget Jamboree by Guadalcanal Diary or Trio and Error by Trio.

    1985: Killing Joke at 27 simply too low, the anthemic ‘Eighties’ is on it, enough said. I gave some love to a fine album Worlds Apart by Subhumans (my #9 overall), I think many just didn’t know it as sadly it didn’t make the cut. give a few tracks like Carry On Laughing and Businessmen a listen, hopefully you’ll enjoy it.

  43. Lol REVISIONISM not reviticism (grrrr).

  44. Jesus and Mary Chain’s Psychocandy was my favorite. Being that it was panned by RS magazine when it came out and is now #265 of greatest LPs of time is telling. It does get a respectable #4. Ironically, it was Robert Smith’s favorite LP of 1985 if my memory serves correct.

  45. Matt Thurston

    Was a sophomore in High School in 1985. Orange County, California, grew up listening to KROQ. Saw New Order and The Smiths in 1985-86 on tours supporting these albums, but missed The Cure at The Forum. Also saw TFF, OMD, Thompson Twins, Oingo Boingo this same year.

    Not going to quibble about the Top 3 — all perfect records. Not a throwaway song in the bunch. Were in heavy rotation for me on my record player in ’85 and remain in heavy rotation on my iPod today. Would be tough for me to rank one over the other. Call it a three-way tie.

    #4 Kate Bush – Hounds of Love. Amazing record, Kate’s best, and it only gets better with age.

    #5 The Replacements – Tim. The Replacements most consistent record, and second best (after Pleased to Meet Me)

    #6 Jesus & Mary Chain – Psychocandy.

    #7 Propaganda – A Secret Wish.

    #8 The Cult – Love.

    #9 The Dream Academy – The Dream Academy. Brilliant, underrated classic.

    #10 Lone Justice – Lone Justice. Brilliant debut by Los Angeles’s own cow punk little dive Maria McKee.

    Also have a soft spot for:

    Blancmange – Believe You Me. “What’s Your Problem” and “Why Don’t They Leave Things Alone” were great songs.

    Dramarama – Cinema Verite. Still listen to this. Strong from start to finish. Love all Dramarama albums, but their debut is still their best. A KROQ classic.

    Tom Waits – Rain Dogs. Amazing record, but somewhat of an outlier on this list.

    Bryan Ferry – Like Tom, another 70s holdover. This album was amazing though. Felt like a sequel to Roxy Music’s Avalon.

    a-ha – Hunting High and Low. Never heard another record by a-ha, but this one still sounds good today.

    Tears for Fears – Songs from the Big Chair. This tour was my first ever concert, at the Hollywood Paladium. Roland and Curt were in fine form. Amazing band, but I prefer both the albums that preceded and followed this one. The Working Hour is the best track here and foreshadows what would come on The Seeds of Love.

    R.E.M. – Fables. Again, prefer the albums that preceded and followed this one. A strange album in the R.E.M. canon.

  46. am i the only one who loved joy division but found new order really lackluster? they just never moved me. a few catchy songs with cool grooves, but the vocals and the lyrics leave me utterly cold. depeche mode–and even the cure, when they dabbled–were so much better at getting warmth and emotion out of a dark, electronic approach.

  47. First thing: There’s NO WAY that the Clash’s ‘Cut The Crap’ should be on this list,PERIOD!

    ‘Listen Like Theives’is NOT a Top 10 album!

    I suppose the most alarming thing is seeing The Style Council’s ‘Our Favorite Shop'(‘Internationalists’- U.S.A.)at #58. It should be MUCH higher.Prefab Sprout’s ‘Steve McQueen'(Two Wheels Good’- U.S.A.)should EASILY be a Top 5 album.The Waterboy’s ‘This Is The Sea’should be higher(quite surprised at that one). The Pogues ‘Rum,Sodomy,and The Lash’should be higher…but #15 isn’t awful.

    This is my favorite genre of music.I was 19 in 1985 and worked at a record store.I have over 3,500 cds and about 3,000 albums. I have 70 of the albums that are on this list(46 of the top 50).

  48. Iain Anglin

    Not a bad top ten list, love that The Cure, The Smiths, Kate Bush, Jesus and Marychain, and The Replacements all made the top ten however, I still believe the best album of 1985 for me personally; and it really is a toss up between Meat Is Murder, however I have to give the edge to The Pogues’ Rum Sodomy and the Lash. For me, the album truly showcased the brilliance of Shane MacGowan’s writing. Surely, in my opinion the album doesn’t deserve to get trumped by Tears For Fears, The Cult, and INXS, but too each his own I suppose.

  49. listening to NEW ORDER “low life” right now, and remembering all the parties i went who played that record!!!

  50. Mick Brick

    Only 31 The Chameleons-What Does Anything Mean? Basically,remember going down to Picadiily Records Manchester to buy a signed copy.

  51. Can’t BELIEVE I missed voting on this – the GREATEST year of the 80’s! It would have been torture to pick only 10 from those on offer but it would have been impossible given to the fact that two of the best albums(all time!) would have had to be written in. They are;
    The Armory Show – Waiting For The Floods and The Dentists – Some People Are On The Pitch They Think Its All Over It Is Now. I will have to be left to wonder if my write ins could have put one of these miraculous albums ahead of the pointless Marc Almond….and if my vote for The Smiths would have put them in their rightful number one spot! Of course it wouldn’t have as I would have voted for Head On The Door as well….Just had to grandstand!!

  52. Can’t BELIEVE I missed voting on this – the GREATEST year of the 80’s! It would have been torture to pick only 10 from those on offer but it would have been impossible given to the fact that two of the best albums(all time!) would have had to be written in. They are;
    The Armory Show – Waiting For The Floods and The Dentists – Some People Are On The Pitch They Think Its All Over It Is Now. I will have to be left to wonder if my write ins could have put one of these miraculous albums ahead of the pointless Marc Almond….and if my vote for The Smiths would have put them in their rightful number one spot! Of course it wouldn’t have as I would have voted for Head On The Door as well….Just had to grandstand!!

  53. For posterity I want to mention a terrific 1985 album that somehow slipped my mind during this polling: the self-titled record by a Chico, Calif., outfit called 28th Day. Their one album (originally on Enigma Records, later reissued on CD with extra tracks) and a wealth of live material can be found online without too much looking. Psychedelia by way of the garage, they were fronted by the always-cool Barbara Manning. One of the year’s best releases for sure!

  54. Awesome, lotus. Will be sure to check ’em out. You wouldn’t happen to be a fan of the PopeAlopes out of Davis, too?! Am friends with Pete, as is my sister who is also pals with Steve. Pete knew Donnette back in the day and has some great stories to tell, including opening up for the Cult and accidentally walking in on their pre-show backstage peace-pipe ceremony or whatever, resulting in one very pissed-off Ian! Think Pete offered Ian some jerky or something in an attempt to appease him, but to no avail! Classic. :)

  55. “Complete Recordings” is on its way here, lotus. Word up, High Priest of SUE!

    • Ack! Pressure’s on me now! I hope you won’t feel you’ve wasted your money. That album used to be available via Amazon download for like $9.99, but no more I see. Now it’s back to out-of-print CDs, although there is a lot of live material for download at, with cool “liner” notes by the band. (Do we even have a name for liner notes in the digital download age?) Anyway, I think it’s a good record and Barbara Manning became kind of an indie icon there for a while in her post-28th Day career. “Pages Turn” is a great song!

      I vaguely remember the name PopeAlopes, but nothing of their music. I do remember another outfit from that area (Chico) called Vomit Launch. Barbara Manning name-checks them in the intro to a live song on that CD. One of their members now runs the amazing Tape-Op magazine apparently.

      • No pressure at all. Listened to enough samples, mainly Barbara’s songs, and was sold. Plus I think I got the last CD they had! Again, many thanks.

        And looks like we were both responding to the “wrong drummer” Church comments at the same time! Cool coincidence and strength in numbers, man!

  56. Oh dear! No Jesus and Mary Chain at No.1. The Cure’s Head on the Door is great, but not the influential landmark that Psychocandy is. Tears for Fears, The Cult and Inxs shouldn’t be hogging top 10 places and The Clash’s Cut the Crap has no business being listed AT ALL! Your voters – oh dear!

  57. Annoying…
    Too many cure and smiths fans. Next #1 will be the queen is dead, and the 1987 #1 will be kiss me kiss me.

  58. love The Cure, “head on the door” album is perfect, the best album of 85 it’s sure

  59. Yeah, the ongoing cult block voting does look suspicious where things like The Smiths and The Cure are concerned. More worrying is that on a site supposedly focusing on ‘alternate’ music things like Howard Jones and A-Ha are still polling higher than one of The Fall’s most well rounded albums. That’s well alternative, that is.

  60. what a shame!meat is murder should be on the top!

  61. I cannot make sense of some of these arguments. Let’s see… INXS got popular in 1985 so screw them, but Tears for Fears — no problem! I don’t see any real complaints about that. I guess that bands that started as college-rock, or new wave, or whatever should have the album that really broke them tossed out of the voting, just to screw with their fans. That’ll teach ’em! (“The Head on the Door” got pretty popular — maybe that shouldn’t be here either?)

    There is an ex-KROQ DJ who lectures me frequently on “New Wave Elitism” (as he calls it) and the only place I really see it is in discussions like these. Nothing like having someone beat you over the head with their opinions.

  62. ”There is an ex-KROQ DJ who lectures me frequently on “New Wave Elitism” (as he calls it) and the only place I really see it is in discussions like these. Nothing like having someone beat you over the head with their opinions.”

    In all fairness isn’t somewhere like this exactly where people ought to be debating aesthetics and taste? They’re only peoples opinions, and whilst admittedly some people can become very aggressive about it, you should be able to deal with it.

  63. I’m a little late to this party I know… I would just say if you haven’t given Yello’s Stella a listen, do so. There is so, so much more to this band than the Oh Yeah single (which, actually, isn’t one of my favorites), and the Stella album is one of their finest works.

  64. Olivier Dodin

    “A Secret Wish” Propaganda

  65. Where is Dire Strait ??

  66. The Cult were incredible until their sell-out “Sonic Temple”, which betrayed their legacy up to that point. “Love” is staggeringly exceptional. Anyone who doesn’t place it high on the heap is a tone deaf dumb-ass.

  67. I noticed two albums on this list that were not from 1985, but were from 1984. Those being Killing Joke’s “Night Time” and Faith No More’s “We Care A Lot”.

  68. Filip Kovacevic

    This list is funny.No gas food lodging in top 100,Its at least top 30

  69. Felipe Restrepo

    Today I learnt about the existence of the CMJ New Music Report, arguably the first alternative count down in history, it compiled playlists from college radios in the 1980’s, and it predated the Billboard’s modern rock chart. Radio and Records even published CMJ Top 20 during 1988.
    Is there anybody out there who knows where I can find the CMJ biweekly chart for all the years in the 1980’s?
    I will appreciate any information.

  70. Where is the excellent EP-album Giants by The Bolshoi? Giants was the best and the most underrated album of 1985 year!

  71. Crap. I have or had nearly all of these albums. Stuff like Thompson Twins, no, but the rest? Yeah.

    I nearly killed my ex-husband because he set my 10K LP collection out in the sun during a heat wave, and let them melt. It was like all those years I spent working a second job at a record store and spending all of my paycheck from there on albums (at a huge discount) had gone right down the fricking drain.

    Don’t even guess that I made him pay for that BS move. I did. And hard. He barely had enough left to eat every month after I was done with the SOB. What he deserved for destroying my collection.

  72. Cringe. Someone forgot to put Misplaced Childhood on the list. Wasn’t that one of the top selling albums of 85? But not ‘popular’?

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