What was the best/most significant album released in the 1980's?

regularslinky

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it’s challenging to try to combine the two but that’s what I’m shooting for. And I’m trying to not let personal bias stand in the way.

In that case I have a different answer. Musically, culturally, and politically, Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" was a game changer like no other in the 80s.
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black_doug

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In that case I have a different answer. Musically, culturally, and politically, Public Enemy's "It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back" was a game changer like no other in the 80s. View attachment 935219

I don’t listen to hip hop, but I must agree with the significance here.
 

E5RSY

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I can't get it whittled down to just one. Sorry. A short list (largely personal) follows. And, I could go on, and on, and on...

R.E.M. - Murmur
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XTC - Black Sea
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Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique
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De La Soul - 3 Feet High and Rising
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Chris Isaak - Silvertone
iu


Jane's Addiction - Nothing's Shocking
iu
 

gitold

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Let’s see, the 80’s… I had 3 young kids and worked 60 hours a week. No time for music.
 

Jimclarke100

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The Smiths by The Smiths
Not my personal favorite, that’d probably be either one of the first three REM albums or the Chameleon’s Script of the Bridge, however in terms of actual impact, The Smiths first release still has impact and in the UK at least directly begat the Britpop thing. I still love Johnny Marr’s guitar and how it juxtaposes with Morrisey’s whining. Less keen on the vocalist though he is still held up my many as a Demi-god.
 

Bryan A

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If you’re asking what, in general, is the most significant album of the 80s, the answer is “Thriller”. It’s not even up for debate as far as I’m concerned. I’m not even a big fan, but that album was so influential on so many different levels that it’s possibly the most significant album of ALL time.

since you didn’t get to the 90s yet, I’ll go ahead and say the answer to that one is Nirvana “Nevermind”.

as for the rest of your list, we all have opinions I guess, but nothing Miles Davis ever did was as “significant” as the phenomenon that was Elvis.
 

E5RSY

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The Smiths by The Smiths
Not my personal favorite, that’d probably be either one of the first three REM albums or the Chameleon’s Script of the Bridge, however in terms of actual impact, The Smiths first release still has impact and in the UK at least directly begat the Britpop thing. I still love Johnny Marr’s guitar and how it juxtaposes with Morrisey’s whining. Less keen on the vocalist though he is still held up my many as a Demi-god.
Agree on all counts.

In addition to them I'd also include these lads from just down the road on the coast.

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3-Chord-Genius

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It would have to be appetite for destruction. I'll see any other possibility. Yeah, there were lot of great albums during that decade, but that was the most significant.

People credit grunge for killing the hair metal crap, but guns and roses probably inflicted the first wound, while giving New Life to an old Gibson guitar model.
 

mrfitz98

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Gotta be "Thriller"

Personally I liked other stuff better, but "Thriller" was everywhere, and it really defined the sound of popular music for a long time after (still?)

I was in Germany for the last half of the '80s, but when I left the states in '84 rap was just really becoming popular and I thought at the time Run DMC was pretty good.

Although they were first released in the '70s Talking Heads always struck me as more of an eighties band. "Remain in Light" was '82 I believe.

U2 was huge in the '80s? I stopped after "Boy"

Madonna?

Prince - "Purple Rain" or "1999" take your pick.
 

Ed Driscoll

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U2's Unforgettable Fire and Kate Bush's Hounds of Love have incredible atmosphere.

The Police's Synchronicity and David Bowie's Let's Dance seemed to be everywhere in the summer of 1983. (The latter album could also be described as Chic with special guest stars David Bowie and Stevie Ray Vaughan...)

In terms of chart-toppers, Thriller is obvious; when they began production, according to engineer Bruce Swedien, Quincy Jones briefed his crew:

When we first started Thriller, the first day at Westlake, we were all there and Quincy the producer walked in followed by me, Jackson, and Rod Temperton, and some other people. Quincy turned to us, and I'll never forget this, Quincy turned to us and said, "Ok guys, we are here to save the recording industry." Now that's a hell of a mandate.

Peter Gabriel's third and fourth albums were a preview of much of the technology of the '80s, including drum machines, sampling and the Fairlight:

 




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