Top Albums of 1981

RankAll Time
ArtistAlbumGenresBuy from
1 255 The Human League Dare! New Romantic, Synthpop
2 303 Brian Eno - David Byrne My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Art Rock, Experimental Rock
3 359 Black Flag Damaged Hardcore Punk
4 393 Kraftwerk Computerwelt/Computer World Synthpop
5 641 Motörhead No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
6 666 Grace Jones Nightclubbing Art Pop, Dance-Pop, Sophisti-Pop
7 764 X Wild Gift Punk Rock
8 790 Soft Cell Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret New Wave, Synthpop
9 818 The Gun Club Fire of Love Psychobilly, Punk Blues
10 869 Rush Moving Pictures Hard Rock, Progressive Rock
11 881 Squeeze East Side Story New Wave, Pop Rock
12 942 Echo and the Bunnymen Heaven Up Here Post-Punk
13 972 The Police Ghost in the Machine New Wave, Pop Rock
14 1148 Elvis Costello and The Attractions Trust Pop Rock
15 1165 Japan Tin Drum Art Pop, New Romantic, Synthpop
16 1304 Rickie Lee Jones Pirates Jazz Pop, Singer/Songwriter
17 1362 Einstürzende Neubauten Kollaps Industrial
18 1375 The Rolling Stones Tattoo You Rock
19 1397 Gang of Four Solid Gold Post-Punk
20 1438 Heaven 17 Penthouse and Pavement New Wave, Synthpop
21 1456 Go-Go's Beauty and the Beat New Wave, Power Pop
22 1470 The Birthday Party Prayers on Fire Noise Rock, Post-Punk
23 1499 Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft Alles ist gut EBM, Neue Deutsche Welle, Synth Punk
24 1522 King Crimson Discipline Art Rock, Progressive Rock
25 1546 Siouxsie and The Banshees Juju Gothic Rock, Post-Punk
26 1563 Black Uhuru Red Roots Reggae
27 1590 The Psychedelic Furs Talk Talk Talk New Wave, Post-Punk
28 1623 Rick James Street Songs Contemporary R&B, Synth Funk
29 1656 Trio Trio Neue Deutsche Welle          
30 1707 This Heat Deceit Experimental Rock, Post-Punk
31 1751 Stray Cats Stray Cats/Built for Speed Rockabilly
32 2023 Phil Collins Face Value Pop Rock
33 2083 New Order Movement Post-Punk
34 2187 The Cramps Psychedelic Jungle Garage Punk, Psychobilly
35 2239 Au Pairs Playing with a Different Sex Post-Punk
36 2256 The dB's Stands for Decibels Jangle Pop, Power Pop
37 2330 Fleshtones Roman Gods Garage Rock Revival     
38 2342 The Cure Faith Gothic Rock, Post-Punk
39 2350 Cabaret Voltaire Red Mecca Industrial, Post-Punk     
40 2375 Minor Threat Minor Threat [EP 1981 / LP 1984] Hardcore Punk
41 2378 Wipers Youth of America Post-Punk, Punk Rock     
42 2477 The Raincoats Odyshape Post-Punk
43 2513 Tom Verlaine Dreamtime Art Punk, Post-Punk
44 2595 Glenn Branca The Ascension No Wave, Noise Rock
45 2625 Television Personalities ...And Don't the Kids Just Love It Indie Pop, Post-Punk
46 2629 Journey Escape AOR, Pop Rock
47 2690 The Blasters The Blasters Rockabilly, Roots Rock          
48 2693 Mission of Burma Signals, Calls and Marches EP Post-Punk
49 2721 The Lounge Lizards The Lounge Lizards Avant-Garde Jazz
50 2745 Mink DeVille Coup de Grace Pop Rock
51 2813 Marquis de Sade Rue De Siam Post-Punk     
52 2880 The Neville Brothers Fiyo on the Bayou New Orleans R&B, Pop Soul
53 2888 Depeche Mode Speak & Spell New Romantic, Synthpop
54 2898 Prince Controversy Pop Rock, Synth Funk
55 2945 The Associates Fourth Drawer Down New Wave, Post-Punk     
56 2972 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark Architecture & Morality New Wave, Synthpop

Some albums "bubbling under" the all-time top 3000:
Simple Minds Sons and Fascination Art Rock, New Wave, Synthpop
Iron Maiden Killers NWOBHM
The Undertones Positive Touch Pop Punk, Power Pop     
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts I Love Rock'n'roll Hard Rock
U2 October Alternative Rock, Post-Punk
Pat Metheny Offramp Jazz Fusion
Public Image Ltd. Flowers of Romance Experimental Rock, Post-Punk     
Pat Metheny & Lyle Mays As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls Jazz
Pretenders Pretenders II New Wave
Stevie Nicks Bella Donna Soft Rock
Fela Original Sufferhead Afrobeat     
Foreigner 4 AOR, Hard Rock, Pop Rock
Bauhaus Mask Gothic Rock, Post-Punk
Bobby Womack The Poet Soul
Fela Coffin for Head of State Afrobeat     
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Hard Promises Heartland Rock, Pop Rock
Tuxedomoon Desire Experimental Rock, Post-Punk     
Franco Battiato La voce del padrone New Wave, Singer/Songwriter     
Kid Creole and The Coconuts Fresh Fruit in Foreign Places Pop
Duran Duran Duran Duran New Romantic, Synthpop
De Press Block to Block New Wave, Post-Punk          
David Lindley El Rayo-X Pop Reggae, Rock & Roll
Def Leppard High 'n' Dry Hard Rock, NWOBHM     
Ozzy Osbourne Diary of a Madman Hard Rock, Heavy Metal     
Penguin Café Orchestra Penguin Café Orchestra Chamber Jazz
Smokey Robinson Being with You Soul
Dick Gaughan Handful of Earth Scottish Folk Music
The Sound From the Lion's Mouth Post-Punk
The J. Geils Band Freeze Frame New Wave, Pop Rock
Rush Exit...Stage Left Hard Rock, Progressive Rock     
The Teardrop Explodes Wilder Neo-Psychedelia, Post-Punk
Vangelis Chariots of Fire Film Score, Progressive Electronic     
Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes Live - Reach Up and Touch the Sky Rock
Sun Ra Arkestra Sunrise in Different Dimensions Free Jazz, Post-Bop
Johnny Copeland Copeland Special Blues, Blues Rock
Ebba Grön Kärlek & Uppror Punk Rock     
Daryl Hall & John Oates Private Eyes Blue Eyed Soul
The Fall Slates Post-Punk     
Jaco Pastorius Word of Mouth Jazz Fusion     
Roky Erickson & The Aliens The Evil One Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock     
Derek Bailey Aida Free Improvisation
Teena Marie It Must Be Magic Funk, Soul
The Beat Wha'ppen? 2 Tone
Al Jarreau Breakin' Away Jazz Pop, Smooth Jazz
B.B. King There Must Be a Better World Somewhere Blues, Blues Rock
Wall of Voodoo Dark Continent Minimal Wave, New Wave