U2’S THE Joshua Tree has been voted the greatest album of the 1980s.
The seminal 1987 LP, which features iconic hits like Where The Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For and With Or Without You, topped a new poll compiled by fans of the Sounds of the 80s show on BBC Radio 2 in the UK.
The poll was conducted to coincide with National Album Day, with listeners invited to call in and nominate their favourite album from the decade that brought us shoulder pads and synthesisers.
U2 beat out Dire Straits to claim top spot, with Mark Knopfler and the gang forced to settle for second despite racking up plenty of votes for 1985’s Brothers in Arms.
The Stone Rose’s eponymous debut came third with Michael Jackson’s Thriller back in fourth and Guns N’ Roses’ completing the top five with Appetite for Destruction.
Listeners were invited to pick their favourite albums from a shortlist of 50 selected by a panel of music experts and determined by their success and critical acclaim.
Reacting to the news, U2 guitarist The Edge said the band were “thrilled” to top the poll.
“The Joshua Tree changed everything for us as a band. It was written in the mid-80s, during the Reagan-Thatcher era of British and US politics, a period when there was a lot of unrest. And it feels like we’re right back there in a way, politics are still so polarised."
“We’ve had the privilege of playing The Joshua Tree live all over the world in the last few years and it’s almost like the album has come full circle. We’re just thrilled that people are still connecting with these songs, night after night, year after year. Huge thanks to Radio 2 and everyone who voted!”
Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s presenter Gary Davies said: “Because there were so many brilliant albums in the 80s having to choose just one is really difficult. I’m very pleased to see that the Radio 2 listeners have impeccable taste by choosing an album from my all-time favorite band and agree with me that the ultimate 80s album just has to be The Joshua Tree from U2.”
Radio 2 head of music Jeff Smith said: “The 80s saw the introduction of the CD and a renaissance for the album format but now in pristine digital audio. Our listeners have picked some of the best examples of that and the result of their choices will make a great listen as Radio 2 celebrates National Album Day with this show on Friday night and great 80s album music across programs on Saturday.”
The Top 20 albums of the 80s, as voted for by listeners to BBC Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s, are:
- U2 – The Joshua Tree
- Dire Straits – Brothers In Arms
- The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
- Michael Jackson – Thriller
- Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction
- The Human League – Dare
- The Smiths – The Queen Is Dead
- Paul Simon – Graceland
- ABC – The Lexicon Of Love
- Prince – Purple Rain
- Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love
- Duran Duran – Rio
- Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair
- Bruce Springsteen – Born In The USA
- AC/DC – Back In Black
- Deacon Blue – Raintown
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood – Welcome To The Pleasuredome
- INXS – Kick
- George Michael – Faith
- Pet Shop Boys – Actually