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U2’s ‘The Joshua Tree’ Named Greatest 80s Album In BBC Radio 2 Poll

The U2 album came in at No.1 in the listener vote ahead of Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ and the Stone Roses’ self-titled debut.

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U2 'The Joshua Tree' artwork - Courtesy: UMG

U2’s The Joshua Tree has been voted “the greatest 80s album” in a new poll by listeners of BBC Radio 2’s Sounds of the 80s show. Friday night’s (9) edition of the program, broadcast on the national UK network between 8-10pm, is a special to mark Saturday’s National Album Day. It will reveal the full Top 40 countdown of landmark 1980s albums as voted by listeners.

The U2 album came in at No.1 ahead of Dire Straits’ Brothers In Arms at No.2. The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut of 1989 was third, with Michael Jackson’s Thriller at No.4 and Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction fifth. Listeners voted for their favorites from a list of 50 albums selected by a panel of music experts, based on the decade’s bestselling albums, others that have endured and some slow-burners that have come to be seen as classics of their time.

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In a new quote to mark the news, U2’s The Edge said: “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 polarized.

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then

“We’re just thrilled”

“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



  1. Stoney

    October 9, 2020 at 8:19 am

    You have to be joking me, U2 the ultimate 80’s album!! It’s totally awful ??. Looks like Rick Rolling to me. Well done the Irish to hijack the pole. Haha. Did it even make the top 10 in sales?? I doubt it.

  2. Baloney

    October 18, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Very funny . . . you said “pole”. Check your brain at the door, idiot.

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The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
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