I Love the Eighties: My Top 100 Albums of 1987


Today, we are covering the last important year of the decade as far as music is concerned. 1987 was the last truly big year for the large number of great albums released. 1987 will forever be held up next to 1983 and 1984 as those rare transcendent years such as 1972, 1977 and 1979 before them. Then again, I am partial to 1984 as the best year of the Eighties, but 1987 is pretty damn good for music.

5.23 u2 - the joshua tree

In 1987, I changed jobs at the beginning of the year, after taking a job at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, as I spent the next 16 months traveling back forth in order to work in the Hematology Department that was doing simultaneous clinical and research work with flow cytometry machines modified to not only provide a Complete Blood Count (CBC, meaning all of the cellular counts of the red and white blood cells, along with a platelet counts as well as a white blood cell differential count. The latter part was the new technology that we were testing for the whole time period to correlated the machine versus the techs’ counts. It was an easy project to be part of, as the machines were accurate. The problem in 1987 was the bulkiness of the machines. The original one was around twenty feet long, while the second version was a large tabletop version. See? I really am intelligent! I just prefer to act like a dumbass.). Anyway, when I started there, our phlebotomists were all pre-med students from the University of Cincinnati (UC). Many of those people are physicians now, but they were wild back then. One evening in October, a group of them called me because they had one extra ticket to see R.E.M. at Millet Hall on the Miami of Ohio University campus in Oxford, Ohio, and wanted me to go with them. Reluctantly, my wife let me go, even though she never stop reminding me of her generosity that evening. I eventually made it up to her when we saw them in 1995.

5.23 Whitney Houston - Whitney

These guys loved XTC, Elvis Costello, New Order and the rest of the alternative artists that made the Eighties so great. We could spend hours after second shift work discussing the merits of XTC’s Skylarking versus the album it parodied, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, and how and where XTC succeeded while Prince failed (that was one guy’s opinion, while I backed my man Prince, of course!). It was just fantastic to have daily interaction with a bunch of young men with common interests.

5.23 grateful dead - in the dark

Throughout the Eighties, artists who had been in a drought for years staged major comebacks. Back in 1984, Tina Turner had one of the most wonderful comeback stories ever. And, in 1986, Paul Simon staged a major comeback behind his brilliant Graceland album. And in 1987, the Grateful Dead unexpectedly had their first Top 10 single of their groundbreaking career with the appropriately titled “A Touch of Grey,” which rode something of a hippie zeitgeist that summer. Finally, the band had a song that engaged their traveling fans, as well as the record-buying Boomers a last-gasp time to purchase some new music. Still, “A Touch of Grey” was a great song, and the album it came from, In the Dark, was the band’s most solid album since the early Seventies classics of Workingman’s Dead and American Beauty.

5.23 whitesnake - whitesnake

1987 will forever be associated with some of the following artists’ finest albums being released that very year: Prince, U2, George Michael, Guns N’ Roses, INXS, Terence Trent D’Arby, The Cult, Midnight Oil and Eric B. & Rakim. Plus, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Depeche Mode and The Cure all released excellent albums as well. But, the year belonged to rap, alternative and all types of metal, including the unfortunate hair metal, which was hogging the airwaves on radio and MTV.

5.23 Ice-T - Rhyme Pays

So, let me prove to you, my faithful reader, see what I have been rambling over and over about. Here is My Top 100 Albums of 1987.

5.23 prince - sign o the times

5.23 rem - document

  1. Prince – Sign ‘o’ the Times
  2. E.M. – Document
  3. U2 – The Joshua Tree
  4. George Michael – Faith
  5. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite for Destruction
  6. John Cougar Mellencamp – The Lonesome Jubilee
  7. Prince – The Black Album
  8. Depeche Mode – Music for the Masses
  9. The Replacements – Pleased to Meet Me
  10. Bruce Springsteen – Tunnel of Love
  11. New Order – Substance 1987
  12. Eric B & Rakim – Paid in Full
  13. Terence Trent D’Arby – Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby
  14. The Cult – Electric
  15. The Cure – Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
  16. INXS – Kick
  17. Michael Jackson – Bad
  18. Pet Shop Boys – Actually
  19. The Dukes of Stratosphear – Psonic Psunspot
  20. Def Leppard – Hysteria
  21. Robbie Robertson – Robbie Robertson
  22. Hüsker Dü – Warehouse: Songs and Stories
  23. Game Theory – Lolita Nation
  24. Whitney Houston – Whitney
  25. Suzanne Vega – Solitude Standing
  26. Warren Zevon – Sentimental Hygiene
  27. Various Artists – A Very Special Christmas
  28. John Hiatt – Bring the Family
  29. Midnight Oil – Diesel and Dust
  30. The Psychedelic Furs – Midnight to Midnight
  31. Sting – …Nothing like the Sun
  32. George Harrison – Cloud Nine
  33. 10,000 Maniacs – In My Tribe
  34. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands
  35. Whitesnake – Whitesnake (aka ‘1987’)
  36. Anthrax – Among the Living
  37. Los Lobos – By the Light of the Moon
  38. Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night
  39. Grateful Dead – In the Dark
  40. ABC – Alphabet City
  41. Flying Color – Flying Color
  42. The Style Council – The Cost of Loving
  43. The Smiths – Strangeways, Here We Come
  44. Tom Waits – Franks Wild Years
  45. Squeeze – Babylon and On
  46. Mötley Crüe – Girls, Girls, Girls
  47. Echo & the Bunnymen – Echo & the Bunnymen
  48. Sonic Youth – Sister
  49. Dinosaur Jr. – You’re Living All Over Me
  50. Public Enemy – Yo! Bum Rush the Show
  51. Aerosmith – Permanent Vacation
  52. Los Lobos and Various Artists – La Bamba OST
  53. Pink Floyd – A Momentary Lapse of Reason
  54. T’Pau – Bridge of Spies
  55. Sinéad O’Connor – The Lion and the Cobra
  56. Roger Waters – Radio K.A.O.S.
  57. Alexander O’Neal – Hearsay
  58. X – See How We Are
  59. Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam – Spanish Fly
  60. David Bowie – Never Let Me Down
  61. Boogie Down Productions – Criminal Minded
  62. Ozzy Osbourne & Randy Rhodes – Tribute
  63. Lyle Lovett – Pontiac
  64. Schoolly D – Saturday Night! The Album
  65. Heart – Bad Animals
  66. The Go-Betweens – Tallulah
  67. Belinda Carlisle – Heaven on Earth
  68. Yes – Big Generator
  69. Jody Watley – Jody Watley
  70. The dB’s – The Sound of Music
  71. Faith No More – Introduce Yourself
  72. Sisters of Mercy – Floodland
  73. Rick Astley – Whenever You Need Somebody
  74. Swing Out Sister – It’s Better to Travel
  75. Great White – Once Bitten
  76. Jennifer Warnes – Famous Blue Raincoat: The Songs of Leonard Cohen
  77. Big Black – Songs About Fucking
  78. Kool Moe Dee – How Ya Like Me Now
  79. Smokey Robinson – One Heartbeat
  80. Stevie Wonder – Characters
  81. Pixies – Come on Pilgrim
  82. Men Without Hats – Pop Goes the World
  83. Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
  84. Richard Marx – Richard Marx
  85. Debbie Gibson – Out of the Blue
  86. Siouxsie & the Banshees – Through the Looking Glass
  87. Hoodoo Gurus – Blow Your Cool
  88. Red Hot Chili Peppers – The Uplift Mofo Party Plan
  89. Bryan Ferry – Bȇte Noir
  90. Pebbles – Pebbles
  91. Cher – Cher
  92. LL Cool J – Bigger and Deffer
  93. The Housemartins – The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death
  94. The Fat Boys – Crushin’
  95. Ice-T – Rhyme Pays
  96. Heavy D & the Boyz – Living Large
  97. Love & Rockets – Earth, Sun, Moon
  98. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever
  99. Tiffany – Tiffany
  100. DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince – Rock the House

5.23 jody watley - jody watley

5.23 husker du - warehouse

Now do you get it? This was a killer year! It’s always great to be motivated to listen to some forgotten classics. Plus, what can you say about a year during which Rick Astley burst onto the scene? It all happened here in 1987!

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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