10 Best Number One Rock Albums Of The 1980s

The 80s was a great time for rock music, especially towards the top of the charts.

Beastie Boys

The 1980s were a great time to be in a rock band.

Actually, let's be honest, there's no bad time to be in a rock band. However, with hair metal ruling the roost, band posters on walls up and down the country, and all the "special sugar" you could fit up your nose, the 80s were a better decade than most.

This is reflected in the high quantity of rock albums that found their way to the top of the Billboard charts in the USA, with many of them keeping their place at the pinnacle for several weeks in a row. This list is all about the biggest and best of these chart-topping collections, regardless of whether they were number one for one week or several months.

These may not be the so-called "best" albums of the era in terms of artistry or pushing the genre forward, but they offer a glimpse at what the public were enjoying during a pivotal decade, which is just as important as any great feat of musical mastery.

Just to clarify; this is only a list about American number one albums. Sorry, Sweden, your time will come.

10. 4 - Foreigner

"Hey guys," said one member of the band Foreigner in 1981, "what should we call our upcoming album?"

"What number album is it?"


"There you go."

Rubbish and boring name to one side, 4 would turn out to be a watershed moment for the British-American group, as it would give them their first and only US chart-topper. How did it manage this feat? By being absolutely chockful of bangers, that's how.

The lead single from 4 was Urgent, an upbeat arena rock classic, which was followed by one of the sappiest (in a good way) ballads to ever grace the 80s rock scene, Waiting For A Girl Like You.

The third single would be Juke Box Hero, a song that was written purely to appeal to drunken karaoke enthusiasts, and it fulfilled that role perfectly. With that trio leading the line, it's not hard to see how this album was number one for two weeks in August.

If you like your 80s rock so cheesy that it could set off a lactose intolerant person from five miles away, then 4 by Foreigner is the record for you.

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Jacob Simmons has a great many passions, including rock music, giving acclaimed films three-and-a-half stars, watching random clips from The Simpsons on YouTube at 3am, and writing about himself in the third person.