80 must-own albums for '80s fans, part 3: Metallica to The Replacements
As mentioned previously, I followed certain rules for the list:No band has more than a single album on the list. No soundtracks were considered. No live albums were considered. No greatest-hits CDs are included.
Today's list: I own (or once owned) 13 of the 20 albums on list today. Most played? A tie between REO Speedwagon's Hi Infidelity and Peter Gabriel's So. Most overplayed on radio? Police's Synchronicity, of course.
I'd like to thank the dozens of Stuck in the '80s fans who helped nominate the albums you'll see listed (20 at a time, alphabetically by band name) over these next four days. Any omissions or mistakes are my own.
80 ALBUMS FOR '80s FANS - PART 3:
METALLICA: MASTER OF PUPPETS (1986): Reached No. 29 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart without any radio airplay or the release of a single or music video.
MICHAEL JACKSON: THRILLER (1982): Simply the most important album for an entire generation of music fans. Maybe the most important album since the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's? [Listen to our Thriller podcast]
N.W.A.: STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON (1988): Responsible for the creation of hip-hop and gansta rap.
NEW ORDER: POWER, CORRUPTION & LIES (1983): Ranked No. 94 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s.
OINGO BOINGO: DEAD MAN'S PARTY (1985): The band's biggest commercial success, thanks to landing two songs (Weird Science and Dead Man's Party) into movie soundtracks. [Listen to Oingo Boingo podcast]
ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK: ARCHITECTURE & MORALITY (1981): All of the album's songs were included in the setlist on OMD's 2007 comeback tour.
OZZY OSBOURNE: DIARY OF A MADMAN (1981): The last album with guitarist Randy Rhoads before his death in a Florida plane accident in 1982.
PAT BENATAR: CRIMES OF PASSION (1980): Full of hits, including Hit Me with Your Best Shot, You Better Run, Treat Me Right. Plus a cover of Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights. [Listen to our very old Pat Benatar podcast]
PAUL SIMON: GRACELAND (1986): Because much of the album was recorded in South Africa during the apartheid era, Simon faced accusations that he had broken the cultural boycott imposed by the rest of the world. Ultimately, it was proven he didn't.
PET SHOP BOYS: PLEASE (1986): Their debut album had West End Girls, Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money), Suburbia and Love Comes Quickly.
PETER GABRIEL: SO (1986): Q magazine readers voted it the 81st greatest album of all time. VH1 placed it at No. 91. Rolling Stone puts it at No. 187 on its list of 500 greatest albums of all time (and No. 14 among 100 best albums of the '80s).
PHIL COLLINS: NO JACKET REQUIRED (1985): Many of the songs -- Take Me Home, Long Long Way To Go -- were used in episodes of Miami Vice. [Listen to our Phil Collins podcast]
PIXIES: DOOLITTLE (1989): A 2003 poll of NME writers ranked Doolittle as the second greatest album of all time. (No. 1? The debut album by Stone Roses. Hmmm.)
THE POLICE: SYNCHRONICITY (1983): The band's last album. The cover artwork was available in 36 variations, with different arrangements of the color stripes and photographs of the band members, which they took themselves. [Listen to our interview with Stewart Copeland]
THE PRETENDERS: LEARNING TO CRAWL (1984): Released after a two-year hiatus -- and the deaths of band members James Honeyman-Scott and Pete Farndon.
PRINCE AND THE REVOLUTION: PURPLE RAIN (1984): I maintain this is not a soundtrack, since it only features the songs by Prince and the Revolution. Brilliant start to finish. Should be listened to in order.
QUEEN: THE GAME (1980): The only Queen album to No. 1 in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
R.E.M.: LIFES RICH PAGEANT (1986): No apostrophe in Lifes! Fall on Me is reportedly still a personal favorite of frontman Michael Stipe. Superman, the only other single, is actually a cover by a band called the Clique.
REO SPEEDWAGON: HI INFIDELITY (1980): The biggest selling rock album of 1981 contains the hits -- Keep On Loving You, Tough Guys, Take It On The Run -- the band can never stop playing live. [Listen to our Kevin Cronin interview]
THE REPLACEMENTS: PLEASED TO MEET ME (1987): The single Alex Chilton is playable in the game Rock Band 2.
Tomorrow: Roxy Music to ZZ Top.