According to the voters in a BBC poll, U2’s 1987 album “Joshua Tree” is the best album of the 1980s. Not only is “Joshua Tree“ NOT the best album of the eighties, it’s not even the best U2 album of that decade. No, that distinction would go to 1988’s “Rattle and Hum”. Seriously, it’s the superior album. First off, U2 is one of those groups that are a better live band than studio band. “Rattle and Hum” is about half live/half studio. The live tracks include covers like, “Helter Skelter” and “All Along the Watchtower” AND some of the best songs from the previous year’s “Joshua Tree”. The live version of “Bullet the Blue Sky” is so,so,so much better than the studio version that’s on “Joshua Tree”.

If you don’t believe me, see for yourself…

So, “Joshua Tree” would be in my top 20 and “Rattle and Hum” would be in my top 15.

Leaving U2 alone for a moment, the rest of the Top 5 are: Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms” (agreed) , The Stone Roses (must be a British thing. I mean, Stone Roses are fine, I guess, as a sort of pre-Oasis prototype if that’s your thing), Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” (should be higher) and Guns-n-Roses “Appetite for Destruction” (that seems fair).

The biggest problem with this list is the complete absence of Huey Lewis and the News. How do you make a list of Eighties albums and not include at least ONE Huey Lewis record? Actually, two of them should be in the top 20…”Sports” and “Fore”.

Is there some kind of British bias against Huey Lewis? Is this one of those cases where someone is a big hit in the states and virtually unheard of in the U.K. like some kind of reverse-Cliff Richards?

If that’s the case, somebody need to introduce those limey wankers to some vintage Huey!

That video is PEAK eighties. Also, Huey was able to be a chart-topper at the very beginning of the music video era DESPITE looking like one of your dad’s golfing buddies.

You can go here to see the BBC’s list (and maybe you can get back to me and explain who Deacon Blue even is).

Here’s my ALTERNATE BBC (Buzz’s Better Choices) list of the best albums of the Eighties:

  1. AC/DC, “Back in Black” (Not…one…bad…song)
  2. Huey Lewis and the News , “Sports” (Yeah, that’s right. I’m coming out swinging!)
  3. Huey Lewis and the News, “Fore” (just in case you thought I was joking about being a big Huey fan)
  4. Michael Jackson, “Thriller” (sorry, this was THE soundtrack of my sophomore year of high school and, besides, it was before we knew anything weird about him.)
  5. U2, “Rattle and Hum”
  6. John Cougar Mellencamp, “Uh-Huh” (don’t worry, “American Fool” AND “Scarecrow” would both be on the list if I took it all the way to 25).
  7. Bruce Springsteen, “Born in the USA”
  8. Motley Crue, “Dr. Feelgood”
  9. Guns-n-Roses, “Appetite for Destruction” (HA! You didn’t imagine I’d put Crue ahead of G-n-R but that’s just the kind of maniac I am!)
  10. Travelling Wilburys “Vol. 1” (Handle Me with CAAA-AA-AA-AARE!)
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