10 Worst Number One Rock Albums Of The 1980s

The 1980s was a great decade for rock music... mostly.

Van Halen OU812
Warner Bros.

This list begins with an enormous disclaimer - very few of these albums can actually be described as "bad".

As it turns out, the 1980s was an exceptional time for rock music. This compilation of great '80s number one rock albums barely begins to scratch the surface of the insane music that populated the charts during the decade; it could have been three times as long and still failed to cover the length and breadth of the topic.

That makes it a tough (and potentially dangerous) task to pick ten albums from the period that let the side down, as even those that sit near the bottom of the pile would be considered classics by some.

So, in an attempt to be as fair as possible, this list is ordered based on critical reviews of these albums, both at the time and in retrospect. Even then, there are some records here that really don't deserve any hate; they just had the misfortune of topping the charts during one of the greatest decades for music in human history.

Prepare to get angry, because this is going to get controversial.

10. Double Fantasy - John Lennon And Yoko Ono

Right out of the gate, the pot has been stirred by the inclusion of a former Beatle on a list of "Worst Albums".

John Lennon and Yoko Ono put out the record Double Fantasy on November 17th 1980. Exactly three weeks later, Lennon was murdered in the archway of the Dakota hotel in New York City.

This tragic event caused many publications to pull reviews of Double Fantasy, partly out of respect to the slain star, because they would have painted his final piece of work in a bad light.

Most critics latched onto the fact that the album idealised Lennon and Ono's married life, when, in reality, it was anything but perfect. The couple's self-aggrandising had been a source of annoyance amongst the musical community for some years, and many saw this as the peak of that phenomenon.

Critical opinion changed quite drastically in the wake of Lennon's death, with Double Fantasy spending eight weeks straight at the top of the charts and winning Album of the Year at the 1982 Grammys. Still, it's not for everyone, and views on it remains divided to this day.

Yikes, that was tricky. And this is only the first entry!


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.