Best of 1984- The Album List

The growing popularity of Michael Jackson which started in 1983 also set foot in 1984 especially after the video for "Thriller" was released. Even though the content of the video was controversial at that time, it was also groundbreaking and it revolutionized the music industry and the world of pop by breaking down the racial barriers and transforming the music video into a work of art.
Even at the other end of the Atlantic the 1983 started with a small scandal which involved Frankie Goes To Hollywood who got banned by BBC for almost a year due to the explicit lyrics in the and provocative video for their biggest hit "Relax". Despite this fact, the band managed to have major success around the world with their debut album Welcome to the Pleasuredome. This was also the first big success for ZTT Records and three times platinum in the UK. Towards the end of the year the Frankie Goes to Hollywood ban was slowly lifted and "Relax" was the ultimate anthem of 1984 introducing the Frankie Says Relax trend. 
With the growing popularity of MTV, in 1984 the first MTV Music Awards were given away at the  Radio City Music Hall in New York. Among the winners were Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, David Bowie, Herbie Hancock. Madonna was not up for awards, but manged to make prominence and shake the pop world with her performance at the VMA's. 
Just ahead of Christmas when 1984 was in the fade out, a group of musicians headed by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure got together for a good cause forming Band Aid. This was a group of musicians who recorded a song to raise awareness and funds for the Ethiopian famine in 1983–1985. It included more than 40 musicians and it sold over two million copies around the globe and raised more than $24 million. 
Towards the end of the year New Gold Dream which could easily be translated as the golden era of new Wave slowly began to vanish and became clear that the new musical term was Pop.

The following Top 20 represents the result of the 'Best of 1984 - The Album list' from 2014 together with our in-house votes.

 

01. Cocteau Twins- Treasure [4AD] 
Treasure is the third studio album by Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins which was released on  November 1st in 1984 by the record label 4AD. With this album, the band settled on what would be their primary lineup: vocalist Elizabeth Fraser, guitarist Robin Guthrie and bass guitarist Simon Raymonde. This new lineup also coincided with the development of the ethereal sound associated with the band's music. Paste magazine's Josh Jackson listed the album at No. 38 on his list of "The 50 Best Post-Punk Albums", describing it as "the first full realization of the band's ethereal pop sound".The album was included in the 2008 edition of  1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


02. Prince and The Revolution- Purple Rain [Warner Bros] 
Purple Rain is the sixth studio album by American recording artist Prince, the second to feature his backing band The Revolution, and is the soundtrack album to the 1984 film of the same name. It was released on June 25, 1984 by Warner Bros Records. To date, it has sold over 22 million copies worldwide, becoming the sixth best-selling soundtrack album of all time. Purple Rain is regularly ranked among the best albums in music history, and is widely regarded as Prince's magnum opus. Time magazine ranked it the 15th greatest album of all time in 1993. The first two singles from Purple Rain, "When Doves Cry" and "Let's Go Crazy", topped the US singles charts, and were hits around the world, while the title track went to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. In April 2016, the album re-charted at No.2 on the Billboard 200 after Prince's death, selling over 69,000 copies in the following week.


03. The Smiths- The Smiths [Rough Trade] 
The Smiths was the debut studio album by the English rock band The Smiths, recorded in 1983 and released on 20 February 1984 by record label Rough Trade. After the original production by Troy Tate was felt to be inadequate, John Porter re-recorded the album. The album was well received by the critics as well as the public; it reached No.2 on the UK Albums Chart and stayed on the chart for 33 weeks. It established The Smiths as a prominent band in the 80's music scene in the United Kingdom. It included the singles "This Charming Man" and "What Difference Does it Make?" The album was ranked number 51 on Rolling Stone's list of the "100 Best Debut Albums of All Time". It placed at number 73 in The Guardian's list "100 Best Albums Ever" in 1997.


04. Echo & The Bunnymen- Ocean Rain [Korova] 
Ocean Rain is the fourth studio album by the English post-punk band Echo & the Bunnymen. It was released on 4 May 1984 and reached number four on the UK Albums Charts and number 87 on the United States Billboard 200. Since 1984, the album has been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry. Ocean Rain includes the singles "The Killing Moon", "Silver" and "Seven Seas". The album was reissued on CD in 2003, along with the other four of the band's first five studio albums, having been remastered and expanded before again being reissued in 2008 with a live bonus disc. The artwork for the album was designed by Martyn Atkins and the photography was by Brian Griffin.


05. Depeche Mode- Some Great Reward [Mute]
Some Great Reward is the fourth studio album by English electronic music band Depeche Mode, released in 1984. The album peaked at number five in the United Kingdom and at number fifty-four in the United States. The album was produced by Gareth Miller and Daniel Miller and included the hits "People are People", "Master and Servants" and "Blasphemous Rumours". In 2006, Some Great Reward was re-released with a bonus DVD. The CD was remastered and was released on a CD/SACD hybrid.


06. This Mortal Coil- It'll End in Tears [4AD] 
It'll End in Tears was the first album released by 4AD collective This Mortal Coil, an umbrella title for a loose grouping of guest musicians and vocalists brought together by label boss Ivo Watts-Russell. The album was released on 1 October 1984, and reached No .38 on the UK Albums Chart. It features many of the artists on the 4AD roster at the time, including Cocteau Twins, Colourbox, and Dead Can Dance; as well as key post-punk figure Howard Devoto, who sang "Holocaust", one of two covers of songs from the Third/Sister Lovers album by Big Star. The album also included the singles "Kangaroo" and "Song to the Siren" both released in the same year.


07. Frankie Goes To Hollywood- Welcome To The Pleasure Dome [ZTT] 
Welcome to the Pleasuredome was the debut studio album by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, first released by ZTT and Island Records on 29 October 1984. The album was also a top ten seller internationally. While commercially successful, the album also drew criticism for containing new versions of all of the songs from the group's hit singles from the same year ("Relax" and "Two Tribes", plus B-side "War"), as well as a surfeit of cover versions in lieu of much new original material. However, the album's evergreen ballad "The Power of Love" subsequently provided the group with their third consecutive UK number one single. To celebrate the album's 30th anniversary, in October 2014, ZTT through Union Square Music released a limited edition box set entitled Inside the Pleasuredome.


08. David Sylvian - Brilliant Trees [Virgin] 
Brilliant Trees is the first solo album by the British singer-songwriter David Sylvian, released in 1984 by Virgin. Even though the album was released after the Japan breakup, two of the Japan members, Steve Jansen and Richard Barbieri, both appeared on the album. The album is a mix of funk, jazz and ambient and also features the collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto. Sylvian and Sakamoto had previously collaborated on the singles "Bamboo Houses" and "Forbidden Colours", and continued to collaborate at various points in their careers. The album peaked at number 4 on the UK Albums Chart and has been certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 100,000 copies.


09. Violent Femmes- Hallowed Ground [Slash]
Hallowed Ground is the second album by Violent Femmes, released in June 1984. Like the band's first album, the songs were mostly written by singer/guitarist/lyricist Gordon Gano when he was in high school. "Country Death Song", for example, was based on a true story from an 1862 news article about a man who intentionally threw his daughter into a well and then hanged himself in his barn. It was written by Gano during his 10th grade study hall. The Christian-related lyrics on Hallowed Ground were thought by some to be sarcastic, but Gano is a devout Christian. The other two members of Violent Femmes were atheists, and initially refused to perform those songs, but after their debut had been recorded, they relented and several of Gano's religion-themed songs were recorded for Hallowed Ground.


10. Alphaville - Forever Young [Warner Music Group]
Forever Young was the debut album by the German band Alphaville released in September 1984 by Warner Music group. The album was a huge success in several European countries and its singles "Big in Japan" and "Forever Young" managed to enter the US Billboard charts, but the album itself failed to make any big impact in both the UK and the USA. Forever Young went three times Platinum in their native Germany and also Gold Sweden and Norway. Forever Young was reissued as part of Super Deluxe Edition in 2019.
 

11. Ultravox- Lament [Chrysalis]
12. Lloyd Cole and the Commotions- Rattlesnakes [Polydor / Geffen]
13. Sade - Diamond Life [Portrait / Epic]
14. Talk Talk- It's My Life [EMI]
15. Siouxsie and The Banshees- Hyaena [Geffen Records]
16. Bronski Beat- Age of Consent [London / MCA]
17. The Fall- The Wonderful and Frightening World of The Fall [Beggars Banquet]
18. R.E.M. - Reckoning [I.R.S Records]
19. Prefab Sprout- Swoon [CBS]
20.The Lotus Eaters- No Sense of Sin [Arista]
21. Pale Fountains- Pacific Street [Virgin]
22. Everything But The Girl- Eden [Blanco y Negro]
23. Section 25- From the Hip [Factory]
24. Howard Jones - Human's Lib [WEA]
25. The Style Council- Cafe Bleu [Polydor]