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Name the best solo albums of the '80s



Sting Dream of the Blue Turtles, Street Talk, Bella Donna. Chances are your '80s record collection was once filled with classic solo albums from artists like Sting, Steve Perry and Stevie Nicks.

And while we live in an iTunes world now, we still think in terms of "albums." So I want to know: What were the best solo albums of the '80s? (List time again, old chums.)

Here are the rules. The album has to be released in the '80s, though the musician can be from a band better known from earlier decades (Hello, Don Henley!) Debate all you want if Michael Jackson's Thriller counts as a solo album. (For some reason, it just feels wrong in this category. But it's worth talking through.) And of course, the album needs to be pretty freakin' awesome or at least very influential.

Leave a comment below with your suggested album titles, and I'll compile a master list for the blog and a podcast. Likewise, if you have solo albums that are so hideous that they better not see the light of this list, tell me those too.

Here are some albums worth considering, along with excerpts from their reviews in Rolling Stone:

So PETER GABRIEL - SO (1986): "A record of considerable emotional complexity and musical sophistication. Beneath its disarming simplicity and accessibility is the voice of an artist who does what his heart tells him to do." (More)

(1987): "His overriding respect for melody and his sense of restraint, as evidenced in the economical arrangements on Faith, as well as in his singing, are really quite remarkable in this Age of Ego." (More)

Face_value PHIL COLLINS - FACE VALUE (1981):"Face Value is pop music about personal turmoil: in this case, the dissolution of Collins' marriage. At times, the singer's broken heart is too clearly on his sleeve, and musical missteps abound: the annoying Munchkin-like Vocoder effects in "I'm Not Moving," some rote horn charts, a batch of indistinguishable ballads and a flaccid cover version of the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows.' " (More)

Growing_up_in_public LOU REED - GROWING UP IN PUBLIC (1980):"Reed's entire career – more accurately, his entire life – has been leading up to Growing Up in Public. It may or may not be his finest album, but it's surely his hardest-fought victory: a record of the long road back from Berlin." (More)

Cloud_nine GEORGE HARRISON - CLOUD NINE (1987): If Cloud Nine were simply a decent record, it would still mark a major comeback for George Harrison. ... But the good news is that Cloud Nine is considerably more than merely decent; it is in fact an expertly crafted, endlessly infectious record that constitutes Harrison's best album since 1970's inspired All Things Must Pass." (More)

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:44pm]


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