Best Albums Of The Eighties

Two of HERC's favorite sites have been having ongoing debates over what the Best Albums Of The Eighties are and it's high time he weighed in.  (289 pounds.  Same as last week.)

Over at My Favorite Decade 1976-1985, the domain's major domo, Mark, shares HERC's belief that 1982 was pop music's pinnacle and has been systematically hunting down other sites and publications Best Albums Of The Eighties lists in an effort to prove his point.  Thus far he has been unsuccessful (1984 and 1987 seem to be leading the pack) but that doesn't change the fact that 1982 remains music's best year ever. Even though both Mark and HERC agree on the year, they cite different albums and singles, which supports their mutual belief that 1982 had so much great music.  The graphic below features their respective stated selections based on listenings, listed in alpha order by artist:

Mark's picksHERC's picks

Meanwhile, the music maniacs over at Slicing Up Eyeballs (taking their name from this song) have been running Readers Polls all year to determine the Best Albums Of The Eighties; first by each individual year from 1980-1989 and now for the entire decade.  The only downside - and it's a huge one for HERC - is the narrow scope of their selections which are exclusively limited to the genres of alternative or college rock. Mark also seems to chafe at the selections but for slightly different reasons:
As is their prerogative, Slicing Up Eyeballs limited their picks to studio albums only, so no EPs, live albums or compilations.  For me, that took out several '80s favorites, including Stop Making Sense and Under a Blood Red Sky.  They're also partial to alternative music, so there's no Asia or Donald Fagen on the ballot (and you certainly won't find any Spyro Gyra there).
Nevertheless, HERC managed to vote in each of the polls, often with a few write-in selections. Mark has said he's done the same.  While the single year polls were limited to 10 selections per person, the decade poll has been thrown open to 25 selections per person.  Mark's ballot is on his site and does indeed skew towards 1982 with nearly a full third of his chosen albums hailing from that year. HERC's ballot is below, in album graphic form, and it also spotlights 1982 with 8 picks; 19 of the 25 (76%) are from first half of the decade.


  1. Our lists have more similarities than I would have guessed. Did you limit yourself to one album per artist? I would have guessed more Prince albums would have appeared on your ballot.

  2. You know HERC too well. He did limit himself to one album per artist on both lists even after he railed against being limited by SUE.

    For his SUE ballot, he was coerced to vote for the one and only Prince album that made the cut. 1999 or Purple Rain would have been his 1-2 choice.

    He's thinking in order to give all the Eighties albums he loves their proper due, he may have to break down and list his Top 20 in the following genres: Pop, Rock, Metal, Dance, Soul, Funk, Country, New Wave, College Rock, Rap, Hip-Hop, Adult Contemporary and New Jack Swing. That's more than a dozen lists right there. Who's with him?

  3. Herc, go for it! I would love to see the lists. Oh, and for the record, I would have a difficult time limiting myself to just one Prince album from the 80's. That was his decade to shine!

  4. You should piece together a list, too, Martin, even if it is limited to the range of albums you've reviewed thus far (1982-1984) as that is the decade's super sweet squishy spot in HERC's opinion.