U2's Joshua Tree voted the best album of the 1980s

Barbara Fan

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BBC/R2 had a poll to find the best LP of the 1980s - U2 won
It wouldnt be in my Top 10, I think Bono put me off U2 a long time ago, my vote would have been Michael Jackson, Kate Bush, Prince, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac


U2's The Joshua Tree has been named the best album of the 1980s.

Released in 1987, it made U2 one of the world's biggest bands, thanks to anthems like With Or Without You and Where The Streets Have No Name.

Now, listeners to BBC Radio 2's Sounds of the 80s have chosen it as the decade's best record, in a poll marking National Album Day on Saturday.

Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms came second, followed by The Stone Roses' eponymous debut.

All but one of the top 20 are by male artists, with the exception being Kate Bush's Hounds Of Love - which lands at number 11.

The Human League's Dare, which takes sixth place, also features prominent contributions from singers Joanne Catherall and Susan Ann Sulley; while albums by Madonna, Janet Jackson, Tracy Chapman and Grace Jones feature further down the list.

Radio 2's best albums of the 80s
ArtistTitle
1) U2The Joshua Tree
2) Dire StraitsBrothers In Arms
3) The Stone RosesThe Stone Roses
4) Michael JacksonThriller
5) Guns N' RosesAppetite For Destruction
6) The Human LeagueDare
7) The SmithsThe Queen Is Dead
8) Paul SimonGraceland
9) ABCLexicon Of Love
10) PrincePurple Rain
Source: BBC Radio 2


The Joshua Tree was almost called The Two Americas. Later, Desert Songs was another contender, before the band settled on The Joshua Tree - a title that perfectly captured the sacred/secular tension of U2's landscaped songs and Biblical imagery.

Written against the backdrop of the Cold War, the album reflected two sides of the American dream, with the Irish band seduced by its glamour but repelled by what bassist Adam Clayton called "the bleakness and greed" of the Reagan era.

"And it feels like we're right back there in a way," said guitarist The Edge, after hearing the results of Radio 2 poll. "Politics are still so polarised."

He added: "We've had the privilege of playing The Joshua Tree live all over the world in the last few years and it's almost like the album has come full circle.

"We're just thrilled that people are still connecting with these songs, night after night, year after year."

Produced by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, The Joshua Tree won U2 a Grammy for album of the year, and songs like I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and Bullet The Blue Sky - a criticism of US activities in Central America - have remained staples of their live shows ever since.

In the UK, it was the ninth best-selling album of the 1980s, beaten by several records - including Michael Jackson's Bad and Phil Collins' No Jacket Required - which came lower down Radio 2's list.

Best-selling albums of the 80s
ArtistTitle
1) Dire StraitsBrothers in Arms
2) Michael JacksonBad
3) Michael JacksonThriller
4) QueenGreatest Hits
5) Kylie MinogueKylie
6) Whitney HoustonWhitney
7) Fleetwood MacTango in the Night
8) Phil CollinsNo Jacket Required
9) U2The Joshua Tree
10) MadonnaTrue Blue
Source: Official Charts Company


Sounds of the 80s presenter Gary Davies reflected that choosing the ultimate 80s album was a near-impossible task.

"Because there were so many brilliant albums in the 80s, having to choose just one is really difficult," he said.

However, he added: "I'm very pleased to see that the Radio 2 listeners have impeccable taste by choosing an album from my all-time favourite band."

A countdown of the audience's top 40 favourite albums will be broadcast on Friday, 9 October from 20:00 BST on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.

National Album Day follows on Saturday, with an 80s theme of its own. Record stores will be stocked with limited editions of classics like ZZ Top's Eliminator, Paul Simon's Graceland, Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual, Prefab Sprout's Steve McQueen and Duran Duran's self-titled debut album.

On Twitter, Charlatans frontman Tim Burgess will hold an all-day session of his album listening parties, featuring Toyah Willcox (15:00 BST), Marillion (17:30 BST), Matthew Wilder (19:00 BST), Blossoms (20:00 BST) and La Roux (21:00 BST).

BBC Four will also screen a weekend of documentaries dedicated to 80s music, while Radio 2, 6 Music and the Asian Network will be playing tracks from the decade throughout Saturday and Sunday.
 
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Best album of the 80's? In my household it was Thriller by Michael Jackson. I had to replace the needle on my vinyl record player a number of times because of it. I don't understand the attraction of U2. They've never been my cuppa tea. Each to their own.
 

Angela Channing

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I would have voted for Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston.
 

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I love The Joshua Tree, and I was lucky enough to see U2 in concert on their JT tour.
Three albums from the 80's that should get at the very least a mention, imho, are Tina Turner's Private Dancer, John Mellencamp's Scarecrow, and Sinead O'connor's debut The Lion and the Cobra.
 

Ome

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I'm just going to drop this here.


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Ome

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As for the actual topic of the thread and U2. I found October, Boy and War to be far better albums than TJT.
 

Barbara Fan

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Best album of the 80's? In my household it was Thriller by Michael Jackson. I had to replace the needle on my vinyl record player a number of times because of it. I don't understand the attraction of U2. They've never been my cuppa tea. Each to their own.

Same here, I played it to death and nearly every song was great, Not a U2 fan either - Bono and his pontificating grated, I also agree with @Ome - its not their best LP, I preferred The Unforgettable Fire

True Blue wins my Madonna vote, Hounds of Love for kate Bush, Tango in the night for Fleetwood Mac and Purple Rain for Prince
 

Barbara Fan

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the rest of the top 40

11. Kate Bush – 'Hounds Of Love'
12. Duran Duran - 'Rio'
13. Tears For Fears - 'Songs From The Big Chair'
14. Bruce Springsteen - 'Born In The USA'
15. AC/DC - 'Back In Black'
16. Deacon Blue - 'Raintown'
17. Frankie Goes To Hollywood - 'Welcome To The Pleasuredome'
18. INXS - 'Kick'
19. George Michael - 'Faith'
20. Pet Shop Boys - 'Actually'
21. Peter Gabriel - 'So'
22. Queen - 'The Works'
23. Bon Jovi – 'Slippery When Wet'
24. The Cure – 'Disintegration'
25. Tracy Chapman - 'Tracy Chapman'
26. Fleetwood Mac - 'Tango In The Night'
27. ABBA - 'Super Trouper'
28. David Bowie - 'Let's Dance'
29. a-ha - 'Hunting High & Low'
30. Wham! - 'Make It Big'
31. Madonna - 'True Blue'
32. Depeche Mode – 'Music For The Masses'
= 33. Soft Cell – 'Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret'
= 33. Whitney Houston - 'Whitney'
35. Phil Collins - 'No Jacket Required'
36. Sade - 'Diamond Life'
37. Public Enemy – 'It Takes A Nation Of Millions'
38. Spandau Ballet - 'True'
39. Soul II Soul - 'Club Classics Vol. One'
40. Kylie Minogue - 'Kylie'
 

Ome

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This thread got me thinking which albums I would consider being the best of the 80s and it never stopped rolling off my fingers


1. The Hurting – Tears for Fears
2. Upstairs at Eric’s Yazoo
3. Misplaced Childhood – Marillion
4. The Wall – Pink Floyd
5. Breaking Glass – Hazel O’Connor
6. Wonderland - Erasure
7. Anthem – Toyah
8. Dare – The Huma League
9. Suzanne Vega – Suzanne Vega
10. Substance – New Order

the rest of the top 40

Oh, go on then...

11. Some Great Reward – Depeche Mode
12. Ocean Rain – Echo & the Bunnymen
13. Script for a Jester's Tear – Marillion
14. Rum Sodomy & the Lash – The Pogues
15. Quick Step & Sidekick – Thompson Twins
16. Songs from the Big Chair – Tears for Fears
17. Kissing to Be Clever – Culture Club
18. Phantasmagoria – The Damned
19. Wild - Erasure
20. Listen – A Flock of Seagulls
21. The Final Cut – Pink Floyd
22. Kings of the Wild Frontier – Adam & the Ants
23. Seeds of Love – Tears for Fears
24. Into the Gap – Thompson Twins
25. Mirror Moves - The Psychedelic Furs.
26. Let’s Dance – David Bowie
27. The Anvil - Visage
28. Architecture & Morality - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark
29. When the World Knows Your Name – Deacon Blue
30. Fantastic – Wham!
31. Duran Duran – Duran Duran
32. New Gold Dream (81–82–83–84) – Simple Minds
33. Dead Ringer – Meat Loaf
34. Speak & Spell – Depeche Mode
35. You & Me Both – Yazoo
36. Like a Prayer – Madonna
37. Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) – David Bowie
38. She’s So Unusual – Cyndi Lauper
39. Happy Birthday – Altered Images
40. Declaration – The Alarm
41. The Party’s Over – Talk Talk
42. Hounds of Love – Kate Bush
43. Time - Electric Light Orchestra
44. Beauty Stab – ABC
45. Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret – Soft Cell
46. Introspective – Pet Shop Boys
47. Raintown – Deacon Blue
48. Sparkle in the Rain – Simple Minds
49. Mange Tout – Blancmange
50. Thriller – Michael Jackson

Just missing out

51. Faster Than the Speed of Night – Bonnie Tyler
52. Touch Dance – Eurythmics
53. Hunting High & Low – a-ha
54. Solitude Standing – Suzanne Vega
55. The Labour of Love – UB40
56. Age of Consent – Bronski Beat
57. The Stars We Are – Marc Almond
58. The Ups and Downs – Stephen ‘Tin Tin’ Duffy
59. Rebel Yell – Billy Idol
60. Batdance - Prince



I had to stop somewhere
 

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Tears for Fears mega mix with (oooh) Gary Davies Sounds of the 80s and the boys also pick their top 4 fav hits of the 80s
Thanks BF. I can't listen right now, it says I have to wait until 21st October, or after that date.
 
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