Best of the 1980s

My pal Bill Webb posited on Facebook over the weekend that XTC’s “English Settlement” album could be the top album from the 1980s. I thought there was a good argument for it to be.

It wound up third in the decade on The Big List, and I can’t even consider it in league with “Underwater Moonlight” or “Get Happy!!” That said, solid album.

It prompted me to break down The Big List and see what, according to it, are my favorite albums from the decade. I feel comfortable with this.

(The number in front is their overall location on The Big List. I stopped at 33 albums only because that was the No. 150 breaking point.)

5. “Underwater Moonlight,” The Soft Boys (1980)
8. “Get Happy!!,” Elvis Costello (1980)
18. “English Settlement,” XTC (1982)
20. “Marshall Crenshaw” (1982)
27. “Sound Affects,” The Jam (1980)
28. “You Are What You Is,” Frank Zappa  (1981)
30. “Psonic Psunspot,” XTC/Dukes of Stratosphear (1987)
37. “Jam Science,” Shriekback (1984)
40. “Oil and Gold,” Shriekback  (1985)
46. “Love Junk,” The Pursuit of Happiness (1988)

50. “The Right to be Italian,” Holly and the Italians (1981)
58. “I Often Dream of Trains,” Robyn Hitchcock (1984)
63. “Pump,” Aerosmith (1989)
66. “Treasure,” Cocteau Twins (1984)
78. “Graceland,” Paul Simon (1986)
81. “Big World,” Joe Jackson (1986)
82. “Stands for Decibels,” The dB’s (1981)
88.  “Imperial Bedroom,” Elvis Costello (1982)
92. “Empty Glass,” Pete Townshend (1980)
95. “Them Or Us,” Frank Zappa  (1984)

100. “Sandinista,” The Clash (1980)
101. “King of America,” Elvis Costello (1986)
102. “Rhythm Nation 1814,” Janet Jackson (1989)
104. “Gaucho,” Steely Dan (1980)
116. “Repercussion,” The dB’s (1982)
117. “Argybargy,” Squeeze (1980)
118. “The Big Express,” XTC (1984)
126. “London 0 Hull 4,” The Housemartins (1986)
133. “Live at the Portland Arms,” The Soft Boys (1983)
137. “Fegmania!,” Robyn Hitchcock (1985)

139. “Security,” Peter Gabriel (1982)
143. “Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I,” Stevie Wonder (1982)
150. “Trouble in Paradise.” Randy Newman (1983)


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