The 25 best albums of 1985
27 August 2023, 18:00
Turn back the clock to the year of Hounds Of Love, Meat Is Murder, The Head On The Door, Brothers In Arms, Low-Life and more...
Listen to this article
- Midway through the decade and the sound of the 80s was as eclectic as ever. On the one hand, the rock aristocracy were creating some of their slickest work yet, from Kate Bush and her ambitious Hound Of Love album to Prince's journey into new styles and sounds on Around The World In A Day.
- Plus, the indie and alternative section saw a new-found maturity, with The Smiths improving on their disappointing debut via the socially-conscious lyrics of Meat Is Murder and The Cure's Head On The Door seeing the British band reach pop nirvana at last.
- Meanwhile, advances in technology meant that people were investigating the clear, digital world of the Compact Disc: millions of copies of Brothers In Arms were bought to put millions of CD players through their places...
The Smiths - Meat Is Murder: release date 11th February 1985
The second album from Morrissey, Marr, Rourke and Joyce featured the provocative title track, Barbarism Begins At Home and That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore. In the US, Meat Is Murder came with an additional track: How Soon Is Now?
Phil Collins - No Jacket Required: release date 18th February 1985
The third solo album from the Genesis man included the big hits Sussudio and One More Night.
Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair: release date 25th February 1985
The second album from the British pop duo was a huge commercial success and spawned the hits Shout, Head Over Heels and Everybody Wants To Rule The World.
Prince - Around The World In A Day: release date 22nd April 1985
Prince followed up the mammoth hit Purple Rain with this album of psychedelic pop whimsy, which included the singles Paisley Park and Raspberry Beret.
Eurythmics - Be Yourself Tonight: release date 29th April 1985
The fourth album from Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart included the hits Would I Lie To You, Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves and There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart).
Suzanne Vega - Suzanne Vega: release date 1st May 1985
The Californian singer-songwriter issued her debut album, which included the singles Marlene On The Wall and Small Blue Thing.
Dire Straits - Brothers In Arms: release date 13th May 1985
The fifth album from the British band was the first album to be certified ten times Platinum in UK history, plus the first album to ever sell a million copies on the new format of Compact Disc. Singles included Walk Of Life, So Far Away and the classic Money For Nothing.
New Order - Low-Life: release date 13th May 1985
The Manchester band's third album included the singles Sub-culture and The Perfect Kiss and came housed in a very nice tracing paper-covered sleeve.
R.E.M. - Fables Of The Reconstruction: release date 10th June 1985
The US alternative band's third album was made in the London with folk producer Joe Boyd and included the singles Can't Get There From Here, Driver 9 and Wendell Gee.
The Style Council - Our Favourite Shop: release date 8th June 1985
The second album from Paul Weller's post-Jam band included the singles Boy Who Cried Wolf and Walls Come Tumbling Down.
Talking Heads - Little Creatures: release date 10th June 1985
The sixth album from David Byrne's art rockers included tAnd She Was and the classic Road To Nowhere.
Prefab Sprout - Steve McQueen: release date 10th June 1985
The second studio album from Paddy McAloon and co included their hit When Love Breaks Down, plus Faron Young and Johnny Johnny.
Scritti Politti - Cupid & Psyche '85: release date 10th June 1985
The second album from the British band saw frontman Green Gartside pursue a more commercial sound, which spawned the hist Wood Beez (Pray Like Aretha Franklin) and The Word Girl.
Marillion - Misplaced Childhood: release date 17th June 1985
The third album from the Brit prog rock act included the singles Heart And Lothian, Lavender and the big hit Kayleigh.
The Pogues - Rum, Sodomy & The Lash: release date 5th August 1985
Shane MacGowan's band issued their second studio album which included the standard Dirty Old Town, A Pair Of Brown Eyes and Sally MacLennane.
The Cure - The Head On The Door: release date 30th August 1985
The sixth album from Robert Smith's alternative rock legends was one of their commercial high spots: singles included In Between Days and Close To Me.
Kate Bush - Hounds Of Love: release date 16th September 1985
The fifth album from the genius English musician included the epic title track, Cloudbusting and the evergreen Running Up That Hill (The Big Sky).
The Waterboys - This Is The Sea: release date 16th September 1985
The third album from Mike Scott included the singles Don't Bang The Drum and The Whole Of The Moon.
INXS - Listen Like Thieves: release date 14th October 1985
The fifth studio album from the Aussie rockers included the singles What You Need, This Time and Kiss The Dirt (Falling Down The Mountain).
The Cult - Love: release date 18th October 1985
The second album from the British band saw them embrace gothic rock, with singles like Rain, Revolution and the classic She Sells Sanctuary.
Simple Minds - Once Upon A Time: release date 21st October 1985
The seventh album from the Scottish rockers included the singles Alive & Kicking, Sanctify Yourself and All The Things She Said.
Big Audio Dynamite – This Is Big Audio Dynamite: release date 1st November 1985
The first album from Mick Jones' post-Clash band included the hits Medicine Show and E=MC².
The Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy: release date 18th November 1985
The ground-breaking debut album from the Scottish band included Never Understand, You Trip Me Up and Just Like Honey.
Sade - Promise: release date 4th November 1985
The follow-up to Sade Adu's huge hit Diamond Life included the singles Sweetest Taboo and Never As Good As The First Time.
Fine Young Cannibals - FYC: release date 10th December 1985
The debut album from ex-Beat members Andy Cox, David Steele and singer Roland Gift included the single Johnny Come Home and their cover of Suspicious Minds.