Best of 1985- The Album List

It's that time of the year when we pay tribute to a certain year in our favorite decade. Counting the years, this will be the year 1985. Musically not so strong, but still a very important year in music history when Bob Geldof and Midge Ure launched the Live Aid. Certainly the biggest event and the first of such kind whose purpose was to raise awareness of poverty and famine in some African countries. "Do They Know It's Christmas Time" was the official anthem for it.
The year 1985 brought a huge milestone for the music industry,  as the first album was officially released on CD. It was a debut album of Dire Strait's 'Brother in Arms', which also remained one of the best selling albums to date. 
New Wave Gold dream slowly vanished into decadence and the world was waiting for the new genres and new kids. 
As a result of the readers' list submissions and voting, we manage to compile the following list:

1. New Order -Low Life [Factory Records]
'Low-Life' is the third studio album by New Order released in May 1985 by Factory Records. The album is considered to be among New Order's strongest work, displaying the moment in which the band completed its transformation from post-punk hold-overs to dance rock. The album shows New Order's increased incorporation of synthesizers and samplers, while still preserving the rock aspects of their earlier work. The album included the hit singles "The Perfect Kiss" and "Sub-culture". In 2000, Q magazine placed Low-Life at number 97 in its list of the 100 Greatest British Albums Ever.[15] Low-Life, alongside New Order's 1989 album Technique, was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. The album was re-released and remastered in 2015.

2. The Jesus and Mary Chain- Psychocandy [Blanco y Negro Records]
Psychocandy is the debut studio album by Scottish alternative rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain. It was released in November 1985 on Blanco y Negro Records. The album is considered a landmark recording: its combination of guitar feedback with traditional pop song structures proved influential on the forthcoming shoegazing genre and alternative rock in general. The album includes the singles "Never Understand", "You Trip Me Up" and "Just Like Honey". The album has frequently appeared in "best ever" album lists, such as Q magazine's "100 Greatest British Albums Ever", where it placed at number 88. In 2006, the album was remastered and released in DualDisc format without "Some Candy Talking" to conform with the original playlist. In 2011, it was re-released (along with the other five studio albums) by Edsel in collaboration with Rhino as a two-CD set with extra tracks.

3. The Smiths- Meat is Murder [Rough Trade Records]
'Meat Is Murder' is the second studio album by the Smiths. It was released on 11 February 1985 by Rough Trade Records. This is band's only album that reached number one in the UK charts and stayed on the charts for thirteen weeks. 'Meat Is Murder' was more strident and political than its predecessor. Morrissey also brought a political stance to many of his interviews, courting further controversy. Among his targets were the Thatcher administration, the monarchy, and his musical contemporaries. In 2003, Meat Is Murder was ranked number 296 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.The album was also included in the book '1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die'.

4. Propaganda- A Secret Wish [ZTT]
'A Secret Wish' was the 1985 debut album of  Propaganda, released by ZTT Records and produced by Stephen Lipson under the supervision of label boss Trevor Horn. The album featured band's biggest hits "Dr Mabuse", "Duel" and "P-Machinery". The album was followed up quickly in November 1985 by the 'Wishful Thinking' companion remix album. 'A Secret Wish' has been reissued a number of times through the years – including as a deluxe 20th anniversary edition and as a multi-channel SACD. The most recent re-release is the 2010 double CD deluxe edition which marks the album's 25th anniversary.

  5. The Cure- The Head on the Door [Polydor]
'The Head on the Door' is the sixth studio album by The Cure, released in August 1985 on record label Polydor. With its variety of styles, it allowed the group to reach a wider audience in both Europe and North America. In the United Kingdom, it quickly became their most successful album to date. It featured the hit singles "Close to Me" and "In Between Days". This is the first Cure album where all the songs are composed by singer and guitarist Robert Smith only. In 2006, the album was re-released by Universal on their Fiction Records/Polydor Records labels, digitally remastered with various demos and live tracks from the era.

6. Prefab Sprout- Steve McQueen 
'Steve McQueen' was the second studio album by Prefab Sprout, released in June 1985. The album was released in the United States as 'Two Wheels Good' due to a legal conflict with the estate of American actor Steve McQueen. The album peaked at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart and number 180 on the US Billboard 200. The album was produced by Thomas Dolby and released on Kitchenware label. Steve McQueen has subsequently featured in a number of all-time lists of greatest albums, including The Times, Mojo and The Guardian.

7.Kate Bush- Hounds of Love [EMI]
'Hounds of Love' is the fifth studio album by the English singer-songwriter and musician Kate Bush, released by EMI Records on 16 September 1985. It was Bush's second album to top the UK Albums Chart and her best-selling studio album which included the  singles "Running Up That Hill", "Cloudbusting", "Hounds of Love", and "The Big Sky". 'Hounds of Love' received critical acclaim and it is considered by many fans and music critics to be Bush's best album, and has been regularly voted one of the greatest albums of all time. It was nominated at the 1986 BRIT Awards for Best Album, where Bush was also nominated for the awards for Best Producer, Best Female Artist, and for Best Single ("Running Up That Hill").

8. a-ha- Hunting High and Low [Warner Bros]
'Hunting High and Low' is the debut studio album by Norwegian new wave band A-ha, released on 1 June 1985 by Warner Bros. Records. The album was a huge commercial success selling more than 7.8 million units worldwide and featured the hit singles "The Sun Always Shines on T.V.", "Train of Thought" and "Hunting High and Low" and of course their biggest selling single "Take on Me".The group was nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards in 1986, making A-ha the first Norwegian band to be nominated for a Grammy. As part of a re-release of their first two albums, Hunting High and Low was expanded and remastered in 2010.

9. Arcadia- So Red the Rose [EMI]
'So Red the Rose' is the platinum-selling album by the Duran Duran-spinoff group Arcadia, which was released in 1985. It was also the only album they released under this moniker. The album included the singles "Election Day", "Goodbye is Forever" and "The Flame" and many musical guests on the album, including David Gilmour, Herbie Hancock, Grace Jones, and Sting. As part of EMI's massive Duran Duran reissue plans, a jewel case 3 disc (2CD, 1 DVD) boxset of So Red the Rose was released 12 April 2010. It included the entire album, single mixes, the b-sides.

10. Clan of Xymox- Clan of Xymox [4AD]
'Clan of Xymox' is Clan of Xymox's first album, released in 1985 on the 4AD label. The album was produced by the 4AD co-founder Ivo Watts-Russell and recorded at Palladium Studios in Edinburgh.The album drew comparisons to Joy Division and The Cure and created a buzz in clubs. Reviewers in subsequent years have derided the album as dated and derivative, but accurately reflecting the emerging goth sound of the time. In the same year, Sounds called the album "a strange and wonderful debut from 4AD's first signing since Dead Can Dance. Particular favourite is 'A Day' which suggests so many places, colours feelings and despairs that it is totally awe inspiring".


11. Bryan Ferry- Boys and Girls [E'G]
12. The Pale Fountains -…from across the Kitchen Table [Virgin]
13. Scritti Pollitti- Cupid & Psyche 85 [Virgin]
14. Dead or Alive- Youthquake [Epic]
15. Dead Can Dance- Spleen and Ideal [4AD]
16. Fine Young Cannibals- Fine Young Cannibals [I.R.S. / London]
17.Tears for Fears- Songs from The Big Chair [Mercury]
18. Cabaret Voltaire- The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of Lord [Virgin]
19. Grace Jones- Slave to the Rhythm [Manhatten / Island]
20. Howard Jones- Dream into Action [WEA]


cagliostro said...

Hello here we go again ;-)

concerning China crisis the right tittle is Flaunt the imperfection (it willl be in my top 10)

Bori B. said...

Thanks for sharing your reflection Cagliostro. Look forward to your Top 10.

cagliostrp said...

hello again shouldn't you add to the list :
sade - Promise
paul youg – secret of the association
power station- s/t
dead or alive - youthquake
dream academy – s/t

Thomas said...

i've just had a great time going through my old notes with my personal charts on them as well as looking through my albums in the shelf. up to 84 it seems that my memory doesn't really serve me well - my notes tell me that i was far more mainstream than i thought. from 1985 onwards my charts and my memory go well together.
now here is my top album list from 1985:

15 nick cave the first born is dead
15 the power station s/t
15 simple minds once upon a time
15 einst├╝rzende neubauten halber mensch
15 laibach s/t
15 eurythmics be yourself tonight
14 new order low-life
13 marc almond stories of johnny
12 jacques higelin Aï
11 waterboys this is the sea
10 propaganda a secret wish
09 yello stella
08 sisters of mercy first & last & always
07 grace jones slave to the rhythm
06 falco 3
05 nina hagen in ekstase/in ekstasy
04 the smiths meat is murder
03 fine young cannibals s/t
02 talking heads little creatures
01 the jesus and mary chain psychocandy

greetings from vienna


Bori B. said...

Thanks for your list!

Great one, very distinctive and diverse. Not sure how old you were back than but you really had great sense for music and good taste.
That hasn't changed. :)

Danke noch mal!

Bori B. said...


Thanks for the input. :)
Added the albums to the list.

fancy_footwork80 said...

1. Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen (probably in my top 10 of all time favourites!)
2. The Jesus and Mary Chain - Psychocandy
3. ______________________
4. Love and Rockets - Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven
5. The Chameleons - What Does Anything Mean? Basically
6. New Order - Low-Life
7. The Wake - Here Comes Everybody
8. The Pale Fountains - …from Across the Kitchen Table
9. The Dream Academy - s/t
10. Bronski Beat ‎– Hundreds & Thousands

my add:
* Big Audio Dynamite - This is B.A.D. (my empty #3 on the list :)
* Flesh For Lulu - Big Fun City
* Fra Lippo Lippi - Songs
* The Apartments - The Evening Visits... And Stays For Years
* Starship ‎– Knee Deep In The Hoopla (p.s. just because there's "We Built This City" on it, one of the best songs in the world :)

Anonymous said...

loading choices.....


saidomaizokisseum said...

Oh dear, my favorite year ;)

Cure, The- Head on the Door
New Order- Low Life
Cabaret Voltaire, The- The Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of Lord
Sisters of Mercy, The- First and Last Always
Sonic Youth- Bad Moon Rising
Dead Can Dance- Spleen and Ideal
E i n s t ue r z e n d e N e u b a u t e n - 1/2 M e n s c h
Jesus and The Mary Chain- Psychocandy
Chris and Cosey- Techno Primitiv
Psyche- Insomnia Theatre

Kisses from Paris

cagliostro said...

oups how could i forget the best french band of all times INDOCHINE with their third lp tittled 3

Bori B. said...

Thanks a lot for the latest list and inputs. :)

morrissey01 said...

Here's my 16 top albums from 1985 (not in order) but Smiths would be #1...

Strange Advance ; H2O
Corey Hart ; Boy in the box
Gowan ; Strange Animal
Kate Bush ; Hounds of love
Fine Young Cannibals ; FYC
Propaganda ; Secrit Wish
A-ha ; hunting high & low
Anne clark ; pressure points
Bryan Ferry ; boys & girls
Cure ; head on the door
Dead or Alive ; youthquake
Grace Jones ; slave to the rhythm
Images in Vogue ; in the house
indochine ; 3
Sade ; promise
The Smiths ; meat is murder

Steph Brisebois

Bori B. said...

1.a-ha- Hunting High and Low
2.Clan of Xymox- s/t
3.Martin Dupont- Sleep is Luxury
4.Secret Service- When The Night Closes In
5.Winston Tong- Theoratically Chinese
6.Prefab Sprout- Steve McQueen
7.Shriekback- Oil and Gold
8.The Dream Academy
9.Dead Can Dance- Spleen and Ideal
10.The Apartments- The Evening Visits... And Stays For Years

cagliostro said...

here they are
1 Arcadia- So Red Rose
2 Tears for Fears- Songs from the Big Chair
3 Simple Minds- Once Upon a Time
4 Dead or alive – Youthquake
5China Crisis- Flaunt the imperfection
6 Scritti Polliti- Cupid & Psyche
7 Prefab Sprout- Steve McQueen
8 Dream acadamy - Dream academy -
9 B-Movie- Forever Running
10 New Order- Low Life
12 Indochine - 3
13 Thompson Twins- Here is to Future Days
14 Pale Fountains, The- …from Across the Kitchen Table
15 Clan of Xymox- s/t + Dead can dance – spleen and ideal

Anonymous said...

1.Propaganda- A Secret Wish
2.b-Movie- Forever Running
3.Latin Quarter- Modern Times
4.Bryan Ferry- Boys and Girls
5.Kate Bush- Hounds of Love
6.The Adventures- Theodore and Friends
7.Marc Almond- Stories of Johnny
8.Secret Service- When The Night Closes In
9.Chris and Cosey- Techno Primitiv


Anonymous said...

Here is my teenagehood....

1-Howard Jones:"Dream into action"
2-Front242:"No comment"
3-New Order:"Low life"
4-Cabaret Voltaire:"The covenant"
5-Dead can Dance:"Spleen and Ideal"
6-Pale Fountains:"From accross the table"
7-Chris&Cosey:"Techno Primitiv"
8-Clan of Xymox:"s/t"
9-Anne Clark:"Pressure Point"
10-The Wake:"Here comes everybody"
11-GraceJones:"slave to the rythm"
12-The Smiths:"Meat is murder"
13-Martin Dupont:"Sleep luxury"
14-Videosex:"Lacrimae Christi"
15-EbtGirl:"Love and money"

Brigitte /" Nessun Dorma"

Ty Voltaire said...

1) Clan of Xymox - "Clan of Xymox"
2) The Cult - "Love"
3) The Cure - "The Head On The Door"
4) Propaganda - A Secret Wish"
5) The Jesus and Mary Chain - "Psychocandy"
6) Killing Joke - "Night Time"
7) Everything But The Girl - "Love Not Money"
8) The Smiths - "Meat Is Murder"
9) The Church - "Heyday"
10) New Order - "Low-life"

Anonymous said...

@noises 85 :

1 New Order - Low Life
2 Pale Fountains, The- …from Across the Kitchen Table
3 Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen
4 Smiths, The - Meat is Murder
5 Colour Field, The - Virgins and Philistines
6 Style Council, The- Our Favorite Shop
7 Tears for Fears- Songs from the Big Chair
8 Shriekback - Oil and Gold
9 Colourbox- s/t
10 Scritti Politti- Cupid & Psyche