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5 Best Rock Albums Of The 80s


Can you believe that the same album can hold such epic number one singles such as You Give Love A Bad Name and Livin’ On A Prayer? Well, no wonder Bon Jovi won ample awards with Slippery When Wet and went on to sell more than 20 million copies of the album worldwide. The record does not end just with these two karaoke diamonds. Tracks such as Wanted Dead Or Alive, Social Disease and Never Say Goodbye are all polished examples of how rock/metal glam should sound at its zenith.


This was the first time Springsteen had used synths in his music, and it definitely paid off, because it added to the anthemic quality of e songs and made his seventh studio album a masterpiece of the 80s rock. On the first listen, you’d think the title track is a patriotic song, but the reality is the opposite. The Americans took this enormous hit of the Boss as an ode to their glorious country, but Bruce is actually singing about many of his friends who never returned from the terrible war in Vietnam, and to those who did but were forever changed because of it. Other phenomenal tracks include top 10 hits Dancing In The Dark, Cover Me, No Surrender, Bobby Jean.


If the 80s rock was marked by Love Will Tear Us Apart as much as my high school days were, then I can only conclude this was one of the biggest hits of that decade. Love Will Tear Us Apart was a non-album first single. Closer was Joy Division’s second and final album, and considering how short-lived the band was (before turning into New Order following Ian Curtis’ departure), it is impressive how massive of an influence they had not only on the 80s music, but also on the rock bands of future generations such as Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Moby. Just listen to Isolation, Heart and Soul and Twenty Four Hours, and you will know why Closer is listed here.


After untamed creative spark U2 have presented on their previous record came a creatively focused album that defined not only their career, but also the whole decade I am writing about. Major hit singles such as With Or Without You and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For are even known by every millennial nowadays. The brilliant Joshua Tree has many more genius tracks to offer, from angsty Where The Streets Have No Name to the melancholic Mothers Of The Disappeared. In 2017, thirty years after the album’s release, Bono Vox (the legendary frontman) said how he listened to the whole thing and now it sounds like an opera to him. Well, opera is classic and so is this 80s diamond.


I admit the decision to put Queen’s 1984 record on the top of the list is rather subjective than objective, especially because it contains It’s A Hard Life, a tune with one of my favorite lyrics of all time. “Yes, it’s a hard life in a world that filled with sorrow, there are people searching for love in every way, it’s a long fight, but I’ll always live for tomorrow, I’ll look back on myself and say I did it for love”. The Works polished the band’s image which struggled for a couple of years and gave the world several magnificent songs such as I Want To Break Free and Radio Gaga.