Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980

Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980

Photo: Luuz Ottazu / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

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 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 the 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

Argybargy  - Squeeze

# 49 – Seconds of Pleasure – Rockpile

Seconds of Pleasure - Rockpile

# 48 – 21 at 33 – Elton John

21 at 33 - Elton John

# 47 – McCartney II – Paul McCartney

McCartney II - Paul McCartney

# 46 – Glass Houses – Billy Joel

Glass Houses - Billy Joel

# 45 – Flesh and Blood – Roxy Music

Flesh and Blood - Roxy Music

# 44 – Los AngelesX

Los Angeles - X

# 43 – Hi InfidelityRE0 Speedwagon

Hi Infidelity - RE0 Speedwagon

# 42 – Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden

# 41 – Animal MagnetismScorpions

Animal Magnetism - Scorpions

# 40 – Get Happy – Elvis Costello

Get Happy - Elvis Costello

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

Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School - Warren Zevon

# 38 – Empty GlassPete Townshend

Empty Glass - Pete Townshend

# 37 – Sandinista! – The Clash

Sandinista! - The Clash

# 36 – All Shook Up – Cheap Trick

All Shook Up - Cheap Trick

# 35 – HypnotisedThe Undertones

Hypnotised - The Undertones

# 34 – Rockin’ into the Night38 Special

Rockin' into the Night - 38 Special

# 33 – Mad Love – Linda Ronstadt

Mad Love - Linda Ronstadt

# 32 – One Step CloserThe Doobie Brothers

One Step Closer - The Doobie Brothers

# 31 – Boy’s Don’t Cry –The Cure

Boy's Don't Cry -The Cure

# 30 – Peter Gabriel III – Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel III - Peter Gabriel

# 29 – Making Movies – Dire Straits

Making Movies - Dire Straits

# 28 – Hold Out – Jackson Browne

Hold Out - Jackson Browne

# 27 – Heartattack and Vine – Tom Waits

Heartattack and Vine - Tom Waits

# 26 – Dirty Mind – Prince

Dirty Mind - Prince

# 25 – Bad Reputation – Joan Jett

Bad Reputation - Joan Jett

# 24 – One Trick Pony – Paul Simon

One Trick Pony - Paul Simon

# 23 – Departure – Journey

Departure - Journey

# 22 – The Pretenders – The Pretenders

The Pretenders Album

# 21 – Bebe le StrangeHeart

Bebe le Strange - Heart

# 20 – Danger Zone – Sammy Hagar

Danger Zone - Sammy Hagar

# 19 – Against The Wind – Bob Seger

Against The Wind - Bob Seger

# 18 – Love Stinks – The J.Geils Band

Love Stinks - The J. Geils Band

# 17 – Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones

Emotional Rescue - The Rolling Stones

# 16 – End of the CenturyThe Ramones

End of the Century - The Ramones

# 15 – Blizzard Of Oz – Ozzy Osbourne

Blizzard Of Oz - Ozzy Osbourne

# 14 – The Game – Queen

The Game - Queen

# 13 – Heaven and Hell – Black Sabbath

Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath

# 12 – Crimes of Passion – Pat Benatar

Crimes of Passion - Pat Benatar

# 11 – Woman and Children First – Van Halen

Woman and Children First - Van Halen

# 10 – British Steel – Judas Priest

British Steel - Judas Priest

#  9 – Ace of SpadesMotorhead

Ace of Spades - Motorhead

#  8 – Permanent Waves – Rush

Permanent Waves - Rush

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

Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) - David Bowie

#  6 – Zenyatta MondattaThe Police

Zenyatta Mondatta - The Police

#  5 – Double Fantasy – John Lennon

Double Fantasy - John Lennon

#  4 – Gaucho – Steely Dan

Gaucho - Steely Dan

#  3 – The River – Bruce Springsteen

The River - Bruce Springsteen

#  2 – Boy – U2

Boy - U2

#  1 – Back In Black – AC/DC

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 PlasticThe 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 PowerTriumph

Welcome To The Club – Ian Hunter

Let the Music Do the Talking Joe Perry Project

Best Rock Albums – April 1980

Solo in SohoPhil 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

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 StreetsDonnie Iris

Closer – Joy Division

CrocodilesEcho & The Bunnymen

Chicago XIVChicago

Full Moon – Charlie Daniels Band

Voices – Hall & Oates

Playing For Keeps – Eddie Money

Best Rock Albums – August 1980

KaleidoscopeSiouxsie & 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

Audio-VisionsKansas

Beatin’ the OddsMolly Hatchet

Clues – Robert Palmer

Best Rock Albums – October 1980

Killing JokeKilling Joke

Remain in LightTalking Heads

Chinatown – Thin Lizzy

INXSINXS

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

AutoamericanBlondie

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

UPDATED MAY 4, 2023

Best Rock Albums From The Year 1980 article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.

DMCA.com Protection Status

DON’T MISS A BEAT

Be the first to know when a new article is published

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Add Comment

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

Imagine Dragons Songs
Top 10 Imagine Dragons Songs
Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
Top 10 ZZ Top Songs
System Of A Down Songs
Top 10 System Of A Down Songs
Mastodon Songs
Top 10 Mastodon Songs
Doors Albums
The Doors Albums Ranked
Rod Stewart Albums
Top 10 Rod Stewart Albums
Rock Supergroups that released only one studio album
15 Rock Supergroups That Released Only One Studio Album
Kiss Albums
Top 10 Kiss Albums
Aaron Leigh of Y&T
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 2 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
2024 M3 Rock Festival Day 1 Concert Review
Peter Frampton
Frampton, Foreigner, Ozzy, & Dave Matthews Band Voted Into Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame
Best Of Bruce Springsteen
2024 Best Of Bruce Springsteen CD Comes With No Rare Tracks
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
An Interview With Geezer Butler Of Black Sabbath
Nathan Salsburg Interview
Singer/Songwriter Nathan Salsburg on His New Record, ‘All Gist’
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
An Interview With Kirk Fletcher Talking Guitars And Amps
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy
Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy: The ClassicRockHistory.com Interview
Ultravox Albums
Complete List Of Ultravox Albums And Discography
Glenn Frey Albums
Complete List Of Glenn Frey Albums And Discography
The Cure Albums
Complete List Of The Cure Albums And Discography
Bob Seger Albums
Complete List Of Bob Seger Albums And Discography
9 Bands That Never Replaced Departed Members
Music CDs Comeback
Why Music CDs Have No Chance Of Making A Comeback
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
Classic Rock Bands Still Together But Overdue For A New Album
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
When Glam Bands Went Grunge In The 1990s
Billy Idol Rebel Yell 40th Anniversary Vinyl Review
Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Complete List Of Taylor Swift Albums And Discography
Carly Simon Hotcakes Album Review
Carly Simon’s HOTCAKES Album Still Sizzles After 50 Years
11 Tracks Of Whack Album Review
Walter Becker – 11 Tracks of Whack Album Review