The 25 best albums of 1987

11 August 2023, 19:20

Some of the best albums of 1987...from Prince, U2, Guns N'Roses, The Cure and INXS.
Some of the best albums of 1987...from Prince, U2, Guns N'Roses, The Cure and INXS. Picture: Press

Let's take a look back at the year of Sign 'O' The Times, The Joshua Tree, Strangeways Here We Come and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me.

  1. Julian Cope - Saint Julian: released 2nd March 1987

    The former frontman with The Teardrop Explodes released his third solo album. Singles included World Shut Your Mouth and Trampolene.

    Julian Cope - Saint Julian album cover
    Julian Cope - Saint Julian album cover. Picture: Press
  2. U2 - The Joshua Tree: released 9th March 1987

    The Irish band hit superstar status in '87 with their fifth album, which featured With Or Without You, Where The Streets Have No Name and I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.

    U2 - The Joshua Tree album cover
    U2 - The Joshua Tree album cover. Picture: Press
  3. Prince - Sign 'O' The Times: released 30th March 1987

    The Purple Prince of Minneapolis released his ninth album - and it was a double. Highlights included the memorable title track, U Got The Look and If I Was Your Girlfriend.

    Prince - Sign 'O' The Times album cover
    Prince - Sign 'O' The Times album cover. Picture: Press
  4. Erasure - The Circus: released 30th March 1987

    The second album from Vince Clarke and Andy Bell included the hits Sometimes, It Doesn't Have To Be and Victim Of Love.

    Erasure - The Circus album cover
    Erasure - The Circus album cover. Picture: Press
  5. The Cult - Electric: released 6th April 1987

    Their third album saw the goth rockers go metal with classic tunes like Love Removal Machine, Lil' Devil and Wild Flower.

    The Cult - Electric album cover
    The Cult - Electric album cover. Picture: Press
  6. Fleetwood Mac - Tango In The Night: released 13th April 1987

    This album may have called time on the classic Rumours line-up, but went 8 times platinum in the UK and spawned the singles Big Love, Everywhere, Little Lies, and Seven Wonders.

    Fleetwood Mac - Tango In The Night album cover
    Fleetwood Mac - Tango In The Night album cover. Picture: Press
  7. Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing: released 27th April 1987

    The US singer-songwriter had a huge hit with her second album, which included the singles Luka and Tom's Diner.

    Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing album cover
    Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing album cover. Picture: Press
  8. Happy Mondays - Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out): released 5th May 1987

    The debut album from Salford's finest, produced by former Velvet Underground man John Cale and featuring the memorable title track and the single Tart Tart.

    Happy Mondays - Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People album cover
    Happy Mondays - Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People album cover. Picture: Press
  9. The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me: released 26th May 1987

    Robert Smith's band released their seventh album - a double - which featured the singles Just Like Heaven, Catch and Why Can't I Be You?

    The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album cover
    The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me album cover. Picture: Press
  10. Whitney Houston - Whitney: released 1st June 1987

    The album that made the singer an international star via the hits I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me), So Emotional and Didn't We Almost Have It All.

    Whitney Houston - Whitney album cover
    Whitney Houston - Whitney album cover. Picture: Press
  11. Guns N'Roses - Appetite For Destruction: released 20th July 1987

    Axl, Slash, Duff and the others released their classic debut LP this year, which spawned the huge hits Welcome To The Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child O'Mine.

    Guns N'Roses - Appetite For Destruction album cover
    Guns N'Roses - Appetite For Destruction album cover. Picture: Press
  12. Def Leppard - Hysteria: released 17th August 1987

    The Sheffield metal band hit their commercial peak with this monster of an album that included the singles Animal, Pour Some Sugar On Me, Rocket and Love Bites.

    Def Leppard - Hysteria album cover
    Def Leppard - Hysteria album cover. Picture: Press
  13. New Order - Substance: released 17th August 1987

    The legendary Manchester band released a double-album compilation called Substance, which featured all their singles to dateā€¦ plus the excellent new track, True Faith.

    New Order - Substance album cover
    New Order - Substance album cover. Picture: Press
  14. Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation: released 24th August 1987

    The ninth studio album from the Boston rockers brought them to a whole new audience after the success of the Run DMC collaboration Walk This Way. Tracks included Rag Doll, Angel and Dude (Looks Like A Lady).

    Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation album cover
    Aerosmith - Permanent Vacation album cover. Picture: Press
  15. Michael Jackson - Bad: released 1st September 1987

    Jacko almost eclipsed the sales of his own release Thriller with this, his seventh solo album. Nine singles were released in the UK over the next two years: the title track, I Just Can't Stop Loving You, The Way You Make Me Feel, Man In The Mirror, Dirty Diana, Another Part Of Me, Smooth Criminal, Leave Me Alone and Liberian Girl. It would be the final time he worked with producer Quincy Jones.

    Michael Jackson - Bad album cover
    Michael Jackson - Bad album cover. Picture: Press
  16. The Jesus And Mary Chain - Darklands: released 1st September 1987

    The Reid brothers released the follow-up to the classic Psychocandy and began to have chart hits, including April Skies and Happy When It Rains.

    The Jesus And Mary Chain - Darklands album cover
    The Jesus And Mary Chain - Darklands album cover. Picture: Press
  17. Pet Shop Boys - Actually: released 7th September 1987

    The follow-up to the debut Please saw Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe score their second No 1 single with It's A Sin. Other singles included Heart, Rent and the Dusty Springfield collaboration What Have I Done To Deserve This?

    Pet Shop Boys - Actually album cover
    Pet Shop Boys - Actually album cover. Picture: Press
  18. Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason: released 7th September 1987

    After the band's "last" album The Final Cut in 1983, founder member Roger Waters pursued a solo career, but David Gilmour and Nick Mason (together with co-founder Rick Wright, now classed as a session musician) returned with this outing as the new Pink Floyd. Waters attempted legal action, but the album was a commercial success.

    Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album cover
    Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album cover. Picture: Press
  19. R.E.M. - Document: released 14th September 1987

    The band from Athens, GA bade farewell to their indie roots with their biggest hit in the UK to date. Tracks from the LP included It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine), The One I Love and Finest Worksong. Next up: their major label debut, Green.

    R.E.M. - Document album cover
    R.E.M. - Document album cover. Picture: Press
  20. The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death: released 21st September 1987

    Only the second album from the Hull indie band before their split in 1988: Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway formed The Beautiful South, while Norman Cook went onto Superstar DJdom as Fatboy Slim. The album included the singles Build, Me And The Farmer and Five Get Over Excited.

    The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death album cover
    The Housemartins - The People Who Grinned Themselves To Death album cover. Picture: Press
  21. The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come: released 28th September 1987

    The legendary Manchester band split in 1987 and released their fourth and final album mere weeks after the news broke. Top tracks included Girlfriend In A Coma, Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before and I Started Something I Couldn't Finish.

    The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come album cover
    The Smiths - Strangeways, Here We Come album cover. Picture: Press
  22. Depeche Mode - Music For The Masses: released 28th September 1987

    The Basildon synth-rock band's sixth album saw them begin to make waves in the US. Hits included Never Let Me Down Again, Strangelove and Behind The Wheel.

    Depeche Mode - Music For The Masses album cover
    Depeche Mode - Music For The Masses album cover. Picture: Press
  23. George Michael - Faith: released 2nd November 1987

    A year after he closed the door on Wham! with a farewell show at Wembley Stadium, George Michael went solo in spectacular style with one of the best selling albums of all time. Seven singles were released: the title track, I Want Your Sex (banned by the BBC!), Hard Day, Father Figure, One More Try, Monkey and Kissing A Fool.

    George Michael - Faith album cover
    George Michael - Faith album cover. Picture: Press
  24. Sisters Of Mercy - Floodland: 16th November 1987

    Andrew Eldritch returned with a new line-up of his old band which was basically bassist Patricia Morrison and a drum machine called Doktor Avakanche - plus production from Meat Loaf's man Jim Steinman. The epic This Corrosion was the standout track from the resulting album, plus there were the singles Dominion and Lucretia My Reflection.

    Sisters Of Mercy - Floodland album cover
    Sisters Of Mercy - Floodland album cover. Picture: Press
  25. INXS - Kick: released 16th November 1987

    The Aussie band's fourth album Listen Like Thieves had brought them to the attention of a worldwide audience, but it was the follow-up that made frontman Michael Hutchence into a superstar. Singles included Devil Inside, New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart, Mystify and the phenomenal Need You Tonight.

    INXS - Kick album cover
    INXS - Kick album cover. Picture: Press