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Posted on October 10 2020

 It is National Album Day today!! …. Yup I know, I’m not sure what it means either but hey it gives us a reason to talk about records. This year it is 80’s National Album Day and Radio 2 carried out a poll of the top long players from the 1980’s. U2 topped the poll with ‘The Joshua Tree ‘ while Dire Straits ‘Brothers in Arms’ came in at number two. It is an interesting list but generally I’m not a fan of national polls or even magazine polls of the best albums as they don’t give you the personal touch, a window into the soul of the list maker. Polls of best albums are like listening to a DJ mix put together by committee! You want to listen the compiler’s selection and go on their journey, that is far more interesting than hearing what everyone voted for.

The records in my Top 50 80's albums are purely personal without a withering critical or retrospective eye. So, I know Jethro Tull fans hate 1985’s ‘Under Wraps’ but I absolutely loved (and still love)  its new wave copycat synth sounds and cold war vibes and whilst every self respecting lover of Joni Mitchell’s singer songwriter confessions wince at the thought of her 1985 ‘Dog Eat Dog’ album with its kooky 80’s Thomas Dolby production, I know the record back to front and sideways and dig all its quirks and idiosyncrasy’s far more than the over wrought ‘Blue’.  Equally most people’s love of John Martyn comes from the heart on the sleeve ‘May You Never’ or the smoky stoner ‘Solid Air’ period and not my favourite, the 1981 Phil Collins produced ‘Glorious Fool’ which to me is simply a slick 80’s jazz/folk/rock  masterpiece, but hey I was 14 when I bought it and nothing anybody can say will ever spoil it for me. I won’t hear a bad word about any of the records in my list as I can’t hear them through anybody else’s ears, I can only hear them as the person I was when I first bought the album and set them on endless repeat. These records are embedded in me and are carried around like memory bubbles waiting to pop their nostalgia endorphins, I don’t prick them very often but….

Enjoy the day and listen in full to those albums you love, they deserve your time.

Thanks for calling


Below is a list of our favourite 80’s albums here at Nightfly.

Paula Top 10

  1. The Go Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane
  2. The Waterboys – This Is The Sea
  3. REM – Life’s Rich Pageant
  4. The Smiths – Hatful Of Hollow
  5. Teardrop Explodes – Wilder
  6. Joy Division - Closer
  7. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rattlesnake
  8. The Pale Fountains – Pacific Street
  9. Echo & The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here
  10. U2 – Boy

David – Top 50

  1. Donald Fagen – The Nightfly
  2. John Martyn – Glorious Fool
  3. Prefab Sprout – Steve McQueen
  4. Rush – Signals
  5. Pixies – Surfer Rosa
  6. Jethro Tull – Under Wraps
  7. Blue Nile – Hats
  8. Bruce Springsteen – The River
  9. Roxy Music – Avalon
  10. Camel – Nude
  11. Journey – Raised on Radio
  12. Cheap Trick – Next Position Please
  13. New Order – Low Life
  14. China Crisis – Working with Fire & Steel
  15. Cocteau Twins – Treasure
  16. Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden
  17. David Sylvian – Secrets of the Beehive
  18. Propaganda – A Secret Wish
  19. Joni Mitchell – Dog Eat Dog
  20. Thomas Dolby – the Flat Earth
  21. King Crimson – Discipline
  22. Mark Isham – Film Music
  23. Michael McDonald – If That’s What It Takes
  24. Pat Metheny -As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls
  25. Prince – Sign ‘O’ the Times
  26. Rickie Lee Jones – Pirates
  27. ACDC – Back In Black
  28. Scritti Politti – Provision
  29. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
  30. Simply Red - Picturebook
  31. Steely Dan – Gaucho
  32. Steve Hackett – Defector
  33. Steve Winwood – Arc of a Diver
  34. Supertramp – Paris
  35. Tears For Fears – The Seeds of Love
  36. The Police – Ghost In the Machine
  37. The Waterboys – Room To Roam
  38. Todd Rundgren – Nearly Human
  39. Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers - Long After Dark
  40. Tom Waits – Swordfishtrombones
  41. Toto – IV
  42. Van Morrison – Beautiful Vision
  43. Weather Report – Procession
  44. Wedding Present – Bizzaro
  45. Lloyd Cole & The Commotions – Rattlesnake
  46. The Go Betweens – 16 Lovers Lane
  47. XTC – Skylarking
  48. Joe Perry Project – I’ve Got The Rock N Rolls Again
  49. This Mortal Coil – It’ll End In Tears
  50. Talking Heads – Remain In Light


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