Rolling Stone readers put U2 classic release just ahead of GnR, Bruce Springsteen, AC/DC, Clash and Metallica in public poll

U2

U2: What they were looking for

Readers of Rolling Stone magazine have voted U2′s The Joshua Tree the best album of the 1980s – just ahead of Guns n’Roses’ Appetite for Destruction and Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA.

Editors admit it was “a close race” ultimate won by Bono and co, while AC/DC, the Clash and Metallica also made the top ten list. They admit London Calling made the grade by “the skin of its teeth” because although the Clash album was released in the UK in December 1979, it appeared in the US the following month.

Rolling Stone reader’s best 80s albums

1. U2: The Joshua Tree
“It turned them into one of the biggest bands in the world. Massive hits Where the Streets Have No Name, With or Without You and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For were all over the radio for over a year, and by the end of it they were playing stadiums.”

2. Guns n’Roses: Appetite for Destruction
“They emerged from the same Sunset Strip scene that produced Motley Crue, Poison and other hair bands, but GnR were an entirely different breed. Their songs were gritty and menacing and they portrayed their city as a violent urban jungle populated by pornographers and drug-addicted thugs. Within a few years they’d made virtually every mistake a band can make and imploded – but they remain immensely proud of the disc.”

3. Michael Jackson: Thriller

4. Bruce Springsteen: Born in the USA
“He was a rock icon before this album, but soon after this disc even your grandmother knew his name. No matter how many hits he’s scored over the years, some guy is always yelling for Glory Days during concert encores.”

5. Prince: Purple Rain

6. AC/DC: Back in Black
“They were supposed to be goners – Bon Scott had just drunk himself to death and it was hard to imaging them carrying on with anyone else. They hired Brian Johnson and the result is on the greatest hard rock albums of all time, with enough classic to pack arenas for 50 years.”

7. The Smiths: The Queen is Dead

8. The Clash: London Calling
“The reached beyond the confines of punk and this was the last moment they truly functioned as a band. It’s one of the only double LPs in history without a single weak link.”

9. The Cure: Disintegration

10. Metallica: Master of Puppets
“Transformed them from a cult thrash metal band to the most popular group in the history of the genre. It’s their final album with bassist Cliff Burton and to many fans their high-water mark. The title track hasn’t budged from the setlist since the first time they played it.”

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