Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980

Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980

Photo: Luuz Ottazu / CC BY-SA (

Our Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980 is the first part of a series that will examine the best albums of every year of the decade of the 1980s. Our series on the best classic rock albums of the 1970s went extremely well so we decided to cover each year of the 1980s. After we are done with the 1980s, we will turn our attention to the 1960s. That will be a fun ride. In the end we will probably cover every decade’s best albums and then turn to the songs.

Our Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980 is divided into three sections. The first section is split into two two parts. Our top 50 albums of the Year 1980 are defined by what we believe were the albums that had the most impact commercially and artistically while setting new trends or continuing already established trends at very high levels. There were hundreds of records released in 1980 that we would have loved to put on the top 50 list, but room just does not allow for it. As far as the order goes, the albums listed from fifty to eleven are pretty much in random order. It’s kind of hard to rank 40 albums as there are just too many variables.

However our top 10 is our definite top 10. It showcases the albums that we believe defined the best records of 1980. The Top 10 is of course subjective, but in many ways also lends itself to objectivity. These were albums that had a huge impact on music culture and society. Their impact was felt immediately and also continued onward inspiring new acts.

The third part of our Best Albums of the year 1980 list is represented by all the other great albums that we did not cast onto our top 50. The albums are listed chronologically by the months they were released throughout the year. There are many great ones there that we know readers will argue should have been on the top 50 list or even in the top 10. But then we always ask “so which ones do we pull out.” Tough choices. We hope you enjoy the read. In the end its just about having fun and waking up some memories for us all folks and turning the younger people onto music they may not be aware of.

Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980

# 50 – Argybargy  – Squeeze

# 49 – Seconds of Pleasure – Rockpile

# 48 – 21 at 33 – Elton John

# 47 – McCartney II – Paul McCartney

# 46 – Glass Houses – Billy Joel

# 45 – Flesh and Blood – Roxy Music

# 44 – Los AngelesX

# 43 – Hi InfidelityRE0 Speedwagon

# 42 – Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

# 41 – Animal MagnetismScorpions

# 40 – Get Happy – Elvis Costello

# 39 – Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School – Warren Zevon

# 38 – Empty GlassPete Townshend

# 37 – Sandinista! – The Clash

# 36 – All Shook Up – Cheap Trick

# 35 – HypnotisedThe Undertones

# 34 – Rockin’ into the Night38 Special

# 33 – Mad Love – Linda Ronstadt

# 32 – One Step CloserThe Doobie Brothers

# 31 – Boy’s Don’t Cry –The Cure

# 30 – Peter Gabriel III – Peter Gabriel

# 29 – Making Movies – Dire Straits

# 28 – Hold Out – Jackson Browne

# 27 – Heartattack and Vine – Tom Waits

# 26 – Dirty Mind – Prince

# 25 – Bad Reputation – Joan Jett

# 24 – One Trick Pony – Paul Simon

# 23 – Departure – Journey

# 22 – The Pretenders – The Pretenders

# 21 – Bebe le StrangeHeart

# 19 – Against The Wind – Bob Seger

# 18 – Love Stinks – The J. Geils Band

# 17 – Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones

# 16 – End of the CenturyThe Ramones

# 15 – Blizzard Of Oz – Ozzy Osbourne

# 14 – The Game – Queen

# 13 – Heaven and Hell – Black Sabbath

# 12 – Crimes of Passion – Pat Benatar

# 11 – Woman and Children First – Van Halen

# 10 – British Steel – Judas Priest

#  9 – Ace of SpadesMotorhead

#  8 – Permanent Waves – Rush

#  7 – Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) – David Bowie

#  6 – Zenyatta MondattaThe Police

#  5 – Double Fantasy – John Lennon

#  4 – Gaucho – Steely Dan

#  3 – The River – Bruce Springsteen

#  2 – Boy – U2

#  1 – Back In Black – AC/DC

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1980

These are listed in chronological order in which they came out throughout the year

Best Rock Albums – January 1980

The RomanticsThe Romantics

Voices – Hall & Oates

The Age of Plastic – The Buggles

God Save the Queen/Under Heavy MannersRobert Fripp

No Place to RunUFO

Union Jacks – The Babys

Best Rock Albums – February 197

Bryan Adams – Bryan Adams

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the DarkOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Conquest  – Uriah Heep

SoldierIggy Pop

Willie Nile – Willie Nile

Best Rock Albums – March 1980

SequelHarry Chapin

Progressions of Power – Triumph

Welcome To The Club – Ian Hunter

Let the Music Do the Talking – Joe Perry Project

Best Rock Albums – April 1980

Solo in Soho – Phil Lynott

Flush the FashionAlice Cooper

Go to HeavenGrateful Dead

Middle ManBoz Scaggs

Best Rock Albums – May 1980

The Up Escalator – Graham Parker

Tight Shoes – Foghat

Songs the Lord Taught UsThe Cramps

Best Rock Albums – June 1980

Cultösaurus ErectusBlue Oyster Cult

Danger Zone – Sammy Hagar

Saved – Bob Dylan

Huey Lewis and the NewsHuey Lewis and the News

True ColoursSplit Enz

There & BackJeff Beck

Tomcattin’ – Blackfoot

Best Rock Albums – July 1980

Back on the Streets – Donnie Iris

Closer – Joy Division

Crocodiles – Echo & the Bunnymen

Chicago XIVChicago

Full Moon – Charlie Daniels Band

Voices – Hall & Oates

Playing For Keeps – Eddie Money

Best Rock Albums – August 1980

Kaleidoscope – Siouxsie & the Banshees

Alibi – America

PanoramaThe Cars

Wild Planet – The B-52’s

A – Jethro Tull

Drama – Yes

Common OneVan Morrison

The Michael Schenker GroupMichael Schenker Group

Doc at the Radar StationCaptain Beefheart

Reach for the SkyThe Allman Brothers Band

Best Rock Albums – September 1980

Fresh Fruit for Rotting VegetablesDead Kennedys

Never for EverKate Bush

Black SeaXTC

Nothin’ Matters and What If It DidJohn Cougar

Deface The Music – Utopia

Hotter Than July – Stevie Wonder


Beatin’ the OddsMolly Hatchet

Clues – Robert Palmer

Best Rock Albums – October 1980

Killing JokeKilling Joke

Remain in LightTalking Heads

Chinatown – Thin Lizzy


Beat Crazy Joe Jackson

More George Thorogood and the DestroyersGeorge Thorogood and the Destroyers

Ultra WaveBootsy Collins

Best Rock Albums – November 1980

Stage StruckRory Gallagher

Hawks & DovesNeil Young

The Jazz SingerNeil Diamond

Kings of the Wild FrontierAdam & The Ants

Song of Seven – Jon Anderson


Yesshows – Yes

The Turn of a Friendly CardThe Alan Parsons Project

Best Rock Albums – December 1980

Arc of a DiverSteve Winwood

Flash GordonQueen

Live – Fleetwood Mac

Add Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Platinum Blonde Songs
Top 10 Platinum Blonde Songs
Tracy Bonham Songs
Top 10 Tracy Bonham Songs
Beth Orton Songs
Top 10 Beth Orton Songs
Television Songs
Top 10 Television Songs
Bands And Artists That Released Six Great Albums In A Row
Bands And Artists That Released Six Great Albums In A Row
Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Top 10 Blue Oyster Cult Albums
Rolling Stones Albums
Top 10 Rolling Stones Albums
Van Halen Albums
Top 10 Van Halen Albums
Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Eddie Van Halen Tribute Single
Red Hot Chili Peppers Release Eddie Van Halen Tribute Single
"Rock is Dead," And Other Popular Myths
“Rock is Dead,” And Other Popular Myths
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Interview
Kenny Wayne Shepherd Brings Backroads Blues Festival To Bethel Woods NY
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single "Crazy Times."
Sammy Hagar & The Circle Release New Single “Crazy Times.”
Will Music CDs Become Collectors Items?
Why Basic Music CDs Will Become Collectors Items
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Greatest Rock Bass Lines Of The 70s
Don Kirschner Rock Concert
Before MTV, There Was Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert
Rock Stars Appearing And Selling Their Songs Out In Commercials
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele's 19 Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele’s 19 Album
Adele's 21 Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele’s 21 Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele’s 25 Album
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele’s 25 Album
Adele's 30 Album Review
Real Meanings Behind The Songs On Adele’s 30 Album
Sophie B. Hawkins Albums
Complete List Of Sophie B. Hawkins Albums And Discography
Jimmie Vaughan Albums
Complete List Of Jimmie Vaughan Albums And Discography
Nelson Albums
Complete List Of Nelson Albums And Discography
Mott The Hoople Albums
Complete List Of Mott The Hoople Albums And Discography