There's a certain nostalgia for the '80s in pop culture today, from Stranger Things to the Weeknd making Michael Jackson style R&B. When we recall this period, many people go back to the neon-colored clothing, spandex, and huge boombox stereos. And lest we forget the hair styles that seemed to get bigger and more ridiculous with each passing fad. But the '80s are more than just the cartoon version we see every day.
From metal to punk to pop to rap, the '80s have an endless well of great material. If you took any popular genre from the past two decades, I can guarantee you that one of the best records of that genre came out in the '80s.
Today, we're gonna be looking at the albums that defined the '80s from each year. Each of these albums show a different side of pop culture and what music listeners were really up to back in the day. Whether it's something that's new to you or a retro throwback, I bet there's something in here that will become one of your new favorite records. Like... totally.
10. The Clash - London Calling (1980)
At the end of the '70s, the Clash had established themselves as one of the greatest acts to come out of the punk scene. At the turn of the decade, they hunkered down and brought us one of the greatest double albums in rock history.
This record's mix of punk, reggae, and ska became hugely influential in the coming decade and helped the Clash stay relevant after their punk brethren, such as the Sex Pistols, were fizzling out.
The unapologetic nature of this record speaks volumes. The punks got done listening to it and knew things were gonna be different. The Clash were already a great band. With this record, they became the only band that mattered.