43 Classic LPs of the 80s

Michael Jackson and Madonna

During the 80s everything got bigger. Arena rock, heavy metal, power ballads, dancefloor anthems, kings & queens of pop, existing genres got louder, heavier. The scene also became more diverse with rap and electronic music breaking the main audience. Are the flagships of this generation, Michael Jackson and Madonna, still the most popular artists from this era?

We continue our journey through the most streamed albums of each decade to celebrate the 10 years of Spotify. After completing pre-1960 albums and the biggest ones of the 60s and the 70s, we reach a decade that saw many artists debut or peak who are still active nowadays. We are going to review as many as 43 albums from this it that add each for more than 250 million streams through their tracks combined together.

Obviously, one would expect Jackson‘s Thriller to lead this list. The two previous decades were largely dominated by rock albums yet so the likes AC/DC‘s Back In Black, Guns N’ RosesAppetite For Destruction, U2‘s Joshua Tree, Dire StraitsBrothers In Arms, Journey‘s Escape, Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet, Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A. are all strong contenders. Then, Madonna, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, and Prince among others also dropped super sellers back then. Let’s see how all of them continue to perform!

 

Please read following titles as Rank. Artist – Album – Streams

Bubbling Under – 1988 – Luis MiguelBusca Una Mujer243,128,000

Well, it wasn’t possible for me to start our Top 43 without mentioning the one who ends up at #44. The point is, even if it misses the list, Luis Miguel‘s Busca Una Mujer is far and away the most streamed catalog album in a foreign language.

His 8th album, we can forgive him the dated and hardly inspired cover since he was still only 18 back then. The LP contains the mega hit La Incondicional at 90 million streams. It also features Culpable O No, Fria Como El Viento, and Un Hombre Busca A Una Mujer all of which stand inside the 32-62 million range while album cuts are in multi-millions. These would be huge numbers for every global star so we can only congratulate Miguel for these amazing results.

 

43. 1984 – Prince and the RevolutionsPurple Rain252,098,000

We start our 80s breakdown with one of the most iconic artist of this decade, the American all-around genius Prince. Already a hit in 1983 in the US thanks to the LP 1999, the kid of Minneapolis reached superstardom the following year with Purple Rain. The album became the fastest selling record ever there, shifting an immense 8 million copies in a few months while topping charts 24 weeks in a row. During this era, the musician also broke over the main audience abroad.

In spite of its very late arrival on Spotify, in 2017, the album makes the list at 252 million overall streams. Former US #1 hits When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy contribute greatly to this success with 55 million and 30 million streams, respectively. Its main force is the #2 hit Purple Rain though. The title track was a huge smash globally and still is immensely popular at 105 million streams in this reduced period. All songs of the initial edition of the record stand on 4 to 8 million plays, a consistent showing.

 

42. 1986 – The SmithsThe Queen Is Dead265,605,000

Named the greatest album of all-time by NME, the critical acclaim of the SmithsThe Queen Is Dead is finally bringing them some serious rewards. Hardly hit makers back in the day, the band now enjoy significant streams.

Their career high inside UK’s single chart is #8 while they never made the US Hot 100. The cult following they had while they were active did shot their albums inside the Top 3 in the UK, but none ever lasted more than 4 weeks inside the top 10. In the US, their top was a very modest #55 position while this specific release peaked at #70.

There Is A Light That Never Goes Out wasn’t exploited in 1986 but ultimately came out and peaked at #25 in the UK in 1992 to promote one of their numerous compilations. Right now, it’s the most popular track of the album with 119 million streams. Bigmouth Strikes Again is its runner up at 45 million while both I Know It’s Over and The Boy With The Thorn In His Side crack 20 million. The remaining 6 songs range from 6 million to 13 million, the trademark of a true classic album that reached at last a significant commercial appeal.

 

41. 1982 – Men at WorkBusiness as Usual273,724,000

In the winter going from 1982 to 1983, Men At Work achieved a truly impressive feat. With the album Business As Usual and its main single Down Under the Australian band went to #1 simultaneously in the album and the single chart and they did it in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and the New-Zealand. The LP was #1 from 5 to 15 weeks in all these countries.

While the popularity of the group vanished insanely fast, their debut album remains popular up to this day. With no surprise, Down Under is the main responsible for this with an impressive 204 million streams. Who Can It Be Now?, which was also a #1 single in the US, has 57 million plays. The rest of the album has very little appeal with some songs dropping below 500,000 streams.

 

 

40. 1987 – SoundtrackDirty Dancing274,714,000

With only 6 original songs, the success of Dirty Dancing is put to the test in streaming platforms. The iconic movie and its songs aren’t slowing down though.

This OST is one more monster success on US Billboard charts. It led the album listing two times for 9 weeks each. This extensive run high on charts was obtained on the back of a trio of solid hits.

They are all streaming well up to this day. The classic The Time Of My Life, has 122 million spins to date, Hungry Eyes 84 million and She’s Like The Wind 50 million. Unsuccessful single Yes and album cuts Overload and Where Do You Tonight are all at 6-8 million which goes on to show that timeless classics aren’t only rock records.

 

39. 1982 – Marvin GayeMidnight Love275,866,000

Up to 54 Hot 100 hits before this release, Marvin Gaye was already supposed to be way past his prime when Midnight Love was issued. Supported by the lead single Sexual Healing, it was a flamboyant comeback for the singer.

Top 10 in both the single chart and the album chart in both the US and the UK, the singer confirmed its status of best sex songs maker with this era. Sexual Healing is frequently voted as the all-time #1 song in this category. It is still incredibly hot with over 270 million streams. It’s the 16th biggest song of the decade.

Obviously the rest of the album is nowhere near as popular nowadays. Joy, the weakest song, has only 290,000 streams. Selling 5 million LPs during this era, we were never going to know if Gaye would maintain this huge revival as in early 1984 he was murdered by his father one day to his 45th birthday after he tried to protect his mother from him.

 

38. 1986 – Wham!Music from the Edge of Heaven277,172,000

When we think about the music of the 80s, we think about fresh, poppish sounds. The most representative artist of this is Wham!. Really a George Michael project with his friend contributing in playing guitar (no disrespect intended to Andrew Ridgeley), it enjoyed tremendous success during the first half of the decade and brought multiple ground breaking hits to the main audience.

Among them is the most successful 80s Christmas song, Last Christmas, which belongs to this album. The perennial classic has 238 million streams and is currently booming as the holiday season is kicking in. The Edge Of Heaven (7 million), I’m Your Man (14 million), and A Different Corner (15 million) are all getting some love too unlike album cuts which are mostly forgotten.

With these numbers, the LP manages the #38 spot in a list missed by George Michael‘s Faith. The 12-weeks US #1 album still came close at 230 million streams.

 

37. 1982 – Iron MaidenThe Number of the Beast277,404,000

Iron Maiden is one of these acts that is never listed among great selling artists mostly because they weren’t so strong in the US. While Metallica did wonders in this market, the former heavy metal British band hasn’t got a Top 10 US album until 2006 when their fanbase made a entry inside the top tier possible.

That’s why the presence of The Number of the Beast comes as some kind of a surprise even if that was a #1 LP back then in the UK. Ironically, while one would expect them to be there thanks to consistent streams through all their tracks, they really have serious hits.

Indeed, both UK Top 10 hits Run To This Hills and the title track enjoy a very solid popularity still. They are up to 110 million and 83 million streams, respectively. The live banger Hallowed By The Name isn’t that far behind at 50 million. The success of the track during their tours led the band to release it as a live single in 1993, hitting the UK top 10 at #9. The other 6 songs add for 34 million streams with the weakest of them, Total Eclipse, still hitting a respectable 2 million.

 

36. 1988 – Metallica…And Justice For All283,427,000

Speaking about heavy metal, here comes the godfather of the genre. Metallica sold tons of albums, but they are also streamed extremely well. Without spoiling too much of the article, their debut album Kill ‘Em All from 1983 is their only 80s output to miss the list. It still records a relevant 186 million streams in spite of no song coming even close to 50 million.

Patterns of …And Justice For All are similar except that it has a bigger lead single. The cult following of the band grew year after year throughout the 80s and by the time this LP was released, their appeal was large enough to secure top 10 placings in both the US and the UK.

This new ground of mainstream success was in good part achieved thanks to their first Hot 100 hit, One. The song remains the album’s main traction with a sizable 142 million streams. Most of the tracks retain a large exposure too at 9 to 26 million streams for all titles part of the original track list.

 

35. 1980 – Hall & OatesVoices289,865,000

Consistency isn’t everything. Voices is the only album of this list with album cuts under 100,000 streams, but it still adds for 290 million in total.

Hall & Oates have been strongly popular in early 80s, dropping various big hits in no time. They closed their countdown on 16 Top 10 singles in the US, including 6 chart toppers.

On this format, their peak came in 1981 when 3 of their 4 singles went to the top. The 4th song, You Make My Dreams, almost looked like a modest performer with its #5 highest position.

More than 3 decades later, You Make My Dreams is very precisely their hottest title. The recurring sentence you make my dreams come true makes it a perfect song for commercial ads and on falling-in-love scenes of movie. Thanks to this constant exposure, the song is also a favorite of streamers with 260 million plays. Its the 18th most played song of the decade. Former 3-weeks US #1 smash Kiss On My List just can’t compete with a tally 13 times lower at 20 million.

 

34. 1986 – SoundtrackTop Gun295,390,000

One of the 3 soundtracks making our list of 43 classics of the 80s, Top Gun comes close to break 300 million cumulative streams. The album is still listened to as a complete piece with all its songs on 2,5 million plays or more, but its presence on this list is impulsed by two classic hits.

The first one is Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins. Already responsible for the huge hit of Footloose, the singer’s song went to #2 of the Hot 100. It also catapulted the LP to #1 for 5 non-consecutive weeks. Streaming-wise the song stands on 108 million.

The most memorable tune of the LP is Take My Breath Away though. Berlin‘s global #1 hit, the song never really left airwaves. It has 130 million streams to date effectively making Top Gun our first LP containing two tracks over this mark. It isn’t the only one yet as 14 out of the top 33 also manage this achievement.

 

33. 1989 – Tom PettyFull Moon Fever310,316,000

If all Tom Petty‘s albums from 1976 to 1999 have make it to at least Gold in the US, Full Moon Fever remains his biggest smash and the one that made this streak so long.

Indeed, after a first career peak in 1979 with Damn the Torpedoes, the late singer enjoyed several years of success until 1985. Then, 1987’s Let Me Up came as a strong disappointment, peaking at #20. It’s when Full Moon Fever completely reversed the negative trend, initiating a second golden period for the artist.

The first single I Won’t Back Down, a #12 hit, convinced the general public, sending the album inside the Top 3 in the US. Streamed 70 million times, it would have made this era a success already. Follow up single Runnin’ Down A Dream also supported the LP just as well and continues to do so with 54 million streams.

The third output was Free Fallin’. A #7 single, it became the signature song of Petty. His passing in late 2017 reminded to many the value of his catalog which enjoyed a surge. This song was already an healthy performer but now paces even faster with 154 million rotations.

These trio of hits made the album a 5xPlatinum smash. On top of that, they are largely responsible for the impressive 12 million plus US sales of 1993’s Greatest Hits.

 

32. 1984 – MetallicaRide The Lightning318,372,000

The norm during the 80s became to release as many singles as possible from an album and then tour it extensively. For these reasons, artists released LPs at a much slower pace than in the past, which explains why Metallica is the first artist with multiple entries in this list, joining it this time with their sophomore effort Ride The Lightning.

Their first to enter the US Billboard 200, it peaked at a modest #100 position in its original run. The huge catalog appeal of the band still brought it to over 6 million US sales and nearly as much abroad. This wouldn’t be possible without popular tracks yet.

The original single Creeping Death is a strong asset with 38 million streams, but its strongest elements are both former promotional singles and live favorites For Whom The Bell Tolls and Fade To Black. They have been listened to 105 million and 81 million times on Spotify, respectively.

The whole album is popular though with in this order 36 million streams for the title track, 19 million for both Fight Fire With Fire and The Call Of Ktulu, 11 million for Trapped Under Ice, and 9 million for Escape.

 

31. 1986 – Paul SimonGraceland319,610,000

Already featured among 60s and 70s list as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, Paul Simon accomplishes a stunning hat trick with his classic LP Graceland. An instant smash in the UK and a slow burner in the US, what’s safe is that at the end of its promotional campaign it had convinced everyone.

Lead single You Can Call Me Al and its South African-influenced sound haven’t been able to go higher than #44 in the US at first. Graceland and The Boy in the Bubble haven’t done better with #81 and #86 peaks, respectively. They all supported the album positively while receiving a significant critical acclaim yet.

This hype concluded on Grammy’s Album of the Year award in 1987. You Can Call Me Al was consequently reissued to benefit from this prize, newly peaking at #23. In the UK, the song was a #4 hit from its first release.

With 166 million streams, this song remains a huge success. The title track along with former fourth single Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes are still strongly aired by radios as well as played significantly by streamers with 36-39 million spins each. All remaining songs, 8 of them, stand on a high ballpark of 6-15 million streams. This continuous appeal enabled the 2012 reissue to hit #10 in the UK.

 

30. 1985 – Tears For FearsSongs From the Big Chair323,733,000

Another typical 80s act opens the top 30 in the name of Tears For Fears. Absolutely all their Top 10 hits in both the UK and the US came during this decade only.

First popular in the UK, Songs From The Big Chair made them superstars in the US. Fueled by a pair of #1 hits, it went to #1 for 5 weeks there. In the UK, it would have been a #1 album too if it wasn’t for the inclusion of various artists albums back in the day.

Its chart toppers are Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Shout. The former is easily the most remembered song of the group with a flashy total of 205 million streams. The latter isn’t as big but 61 million is certainly not something to be ashamed of even for a former #1 smash. A third track completes most of the album’s streams, Head Over Heels is at 43 million. It was a #3 hit in the US.

 

29. 1987 – Whitney HoustonWhitney324,051,000

Whitney Houston is the first female artist to make our list thanks to her 1987 smash album Whitney. Her debut album Whitney Houston was also not that far behind at 210 million cumulative streams.

This latter record has 3 tracks over 40 million streams while the former only has one reaching 20 million. The point is, that track is the mega hit I Wanna Dance With Somebody which accumulated 261 million plays so far. Its the 17th most streamed song of the decade.

Released in the middle of an impressive streak of 7 consecutive #1 hits in the US, this single was arguably bigger, also hitting #1 in the UK, Canada, Australia, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, among others. In fact, while she was a monster force from her debut album in the US, this single made Houston a superstar globally.

Where Do Broken Hearts Go, Didn’t We Almost Have It All, and So Emotional, all US #1 hits, are more modest nowadays with roughly 17 million streams each. Back in the day, these songs helped the album in dominating the Billboard album chart for 11 weeks, right now they put Whitney at #29 among the best of the 80s.

 

28. 1987 – Fleetwood MacTango In The Night325,442,000

Owners of the #1 album of the 70s, Fleetwood Mac confirm their strong popularity online with Tango In The Night making the 80s list. A tremendous comeback, the record is home to 6 hit singles.

Of course, they haven’t all performed equally well. Big Love and Seven Wonders were nice hits. The former went Top 10 in both the UK and the US, while the latter was Top 20 in the US. Both stand on about 20 million streams, give or take a pair of millions.

If these first two singles paved the way of success to the album, the next two were going to be much bigger. The third single was Little Lies, a transatlantic Top 5 hit. A great supporter of the LP, the song has 81 million stream to date. Then came Everywhere a song that was indeed, everywhere. Its own peaks weren’t that impressive at #4 in the UK and #14 in the US, but it sent the album to #1 and massive sales in the former. The song is easily the most popular of the record with a significant 173 million streams to date.

 

27. 1984 – Van Halen1984326,425,000

Van Halen have been one of the most consistently successful bands of all-time in the US. From 1978 to 1996, they issued an impressive 12 consecutive multi-platinum releases. Among them is the diamond album 1984.

This LP is a good illustration that super selling rock albums can have sold bucket loads thanks to its hits only. Several of its songs have indeed 2 million streams or less.

Obviously, it hasn’t sold over 10 million units only with unpopular songs. Panama at 68 million and Hot For Teacher at 43 million are well remembered to this day. The presence of the album in this ranking is in great part due to the big hit that came out of it though, Jump. While the LP was blocked at #2 multiple weeks because of Michael Jackson‘s Thriller, this single was 5 weeks at the top of US charts. It remains one hell of a hit with 199 million streams on Spotify.

 

26. 1984 – QueenThe Works326,673,000

After charting 3 albums inside the Top 12 of the 70s, Queen continue their impressive showing with The Works coming in at #26 of the 80s. If after 1980 their popularity in the US vanished, abroad they remained an impressive selling force until the very end of their career.

Singles from The Works confirm this trend. The four extracts of it peaked at #2, #3, #6, and #13 in the UK which competes against #16, #42, #75, and uncharted in the US.

The first two singles which smashed all across Europe, hitting #1 in several markets, were Radio Ga Ga and I Want To Break Free. The former has 74 million streams while the latter is huge with 194 million. The last two singles Hammer To Fall and It’s A Hard Life are still relevant at 25 million and 19 million, respectively.

 

 

25. 1986 – MetallicaMaster Of Puppets332,036,000

The first gold album of Metallica, Master Of Puppets is their best performer from the 80s on streaming. This status is obtained mostly on the back of the title track. The most played song of the band’s career during their shows it is also their most streamed of the decade on Spotify. It accounts for more than half of the album’s total at 169 million.

8-tracks long, the LP has no title under 11 million streams. In fact, apart from the lead single they all stand in a high range of 11-48 million plays, this latter value being reached by the opening song Battery. Incredibly, it’s one of the only two albums of the 80s which has all its songs in 8 digits, the other being the #1 of this ranking.

Already eligible for 7xPlatinum in the US with its pure sales alone although it remains 6xPlatinum since 2003, the album is definitely overdue 8 platinum plaques once adding converted units of downloads and streams.

 

24. 1982 – SurvivorEye of the Tiger332,396,000

The case of Eye Of The Tiger is tricky. This song is huge, responsible for 97% of this album’s streams at 322 million. The 10th biggest hit of the decade. The debate is down to the fact it was the single of not one but two albums, Survivor‘s Eye Of The Tiger and of course the soundtrack of Rocky III.

I decided to go with the former because that’s how the general public did back then. This album indeed peaked at #2 in the US while the soundtrack couldn’t go higher than #16. Ironically, the latter is now more popular as its songs add for 36 million streams against 10 million for this one. This is mostly due to the theme Gonna Fly Now which has 31 million streams.

As far as the title song is concerned, it has been a smash from day 1. A 6 weeks #1 in the US, it led charts of virtually every English-speaking market while reaching at least the Top 10 in others, including in Japan. In the US alone, the physical single sold over 2 million copies while the digital track is closing in 5 million. Apart from the early warm reception and the continuous appeal of the song, Eye Of The Tiger is also now a favorite of runners and sportsmen from all around the world.

 

23. 1982 – QueenHot Space348,298,000

One may say the album Hot Space isn’t consistent either since some of its tracks drop below 1 million streams. Truth is, Queen have been insanely consistent in releasing ground breaking smashes out of all their albums.

Issued a few months before the LP, the duet with David Bowie Under Pressure is one of their biggest classics. A #1 hit in the UK, it was ironically one of the first showing of a decreasing US popularity as it peaked at a very modest #29 position there.

Right now, the song is huge everywhere as shown by its recent 2xPlatinum award for 2 million digital units in the US. It’s at 325 million streams globally, the 9th highest tally of the decade. The runner up of the album is way behind as Cool Cat is currently at a modest 9 million streams.

 

22. 1983 – EurythmicsSweet Dreams359,631,000

A third album in a row shots inside the ranking thanks to a monster hit. One more pure 80s artist, Eurythmics have recorded 9 UK Top 10 hits from 1983 to 1986 while also reaching the Top 10 album chart 9 times.

Still, like several other artists they face the syndrome of a smash that is bigger than Earth, so big that it ended up overshadowing the rest of their discography.

Considering how iconic Sweet Dreams is and how successful the duo has been in the UK, it sounds impossible that it failed the top. It did though, stopping its way at#2 behind Bonnie Tyler‘s Total Eclipse Of The Heart. It almost failed the top in the US too, but after remaining 4 weeks at #2 behind Police‘s Every Breath You Take it climbed to #1.

Up to now, the song has 347 million streams out of the 360 million of the album. With this number we are in very high waters as it ranks #7 among the most streamed songs of the decade. Most of the album’s tracks are below half a million yet with only Love Is A Stranger doing ok at 6 million.

 

21. 1982 – ClashCombat Rock366,964,000

Many rock fans always wonder how popular the Clash really are. They are never mentioned among all-time top sellers but for them they are one of the biggest acts ever.

Their punk mindset and sound undoubtedly limited their appeal to the masses while giving them all the more credit and importance for rock followers. That’s why they have never made the UK Top 10 singles chart during their active years while registering 15 Top 50 hits. No wide exposure but strong fan base.

Ironically, the cult UK band, famous for their huge classic album London Calling, got a Top 10 hit in the US first. That #8 smash was Rock The Casbah, part of this Combat Rock album. It remains very popular with 94 million streams.

Several years after breaking up, they did got their first UK Top 10. Originally a #17 hit, Should I Stay Or Should I Go went to #1 when reissued in 1991. This reveals how popular this song became through the years. One of their most accessible songs, it broke through the general public. Its 247 million streams are impressively impressive. This pair of tracks secures a #21 placing for the album.

 

20. 1984 – SoundtrackFootloose377,701,000

A new soundtrack appears in this ranking, one more massively fueled by a hit of Kenny Loggins. The funny part of the story is that while he had a respectable career, his non-soundtrack works weren’t all that big.

Loggins first got a #5 hit in 1978 but he was strongly helped by the participation of Stevie Nicks just after the Rumours madness. His remaining 23 singles outside of soundtracks never made the Top 10. In the other side, he contributed to soundtracks successfully 6 times out of 6: I’m Alright went #7 in 1980 for Caddyshack, Danger Zone, that we met on Top Gun, was a #2 smash, Meet Me Half Way from Over The Top climbed to #11 in 1987, Nobody’s Fool was #8 in 1988 for Caddyshack 2 while 1996’s For the First Time from the movie One Fine Day wasn’t able to chart because it wasn’t available physically but topped the AC charts.

You counted it well, I mentioned 5 songs rather than 6. The last one is no other than Footloose‘s title track, a 3 weeks #1 monster. A pure 80s hit, it has 219 million streams on Spotify.

Another pure 80s smash is part of this album, Bonnie Tyler‘s Holding Out For A Hero. A 3 weeks #2 hit in the UK, it has 97 million streams to date. Most of the album has relevant numbers with Let’s Hear It For The Boy naturally topping the pack as a former #1 US hit, it has 39 million streams.

These successful songs helped the album to remove Michael Jackson‘s Thriller from the #1 spot in the US, then remaining on top for 10 weeks while shifting over 9 million copies to date. They also help the LP to make our top 20.

 

19. 1983 – PoliceSynchronicity384,584,000

Speaking about albums which competed against Thriller, the biggest of them was Police‘s Synchronicity. In fact, in spite of this tremendous competition the LP managed to top US charts for 17 weeks, 14 of which forced Thriller to settle for #2. Basically, if it wasn’t for Synchronicity, Thriller’s all-time artist record of 37-weeks at the top would have been set at 51 instead.

One can’t do so well without super huge hits. The album contains what’s possibly the most aired song of all-time worldwide, Every Breath You Take. It was 8 weeks #1 in the US, the longest run of the year ahead of Billie Jean. The iconic song also prevented Jackson to bring home all 3 main Grammies of 1984 by winning the Song of the Year award, although the king of pop was nominated twice with Billie Jean and Beat It.

Obviously, Every Breath You Take wasn’t only successful in the US but instead absolutely everywhere. Its ongoing appeal is just as impressive as it racks up 331 million streams, the 8th highest number from this decade. The song was so big on airplay for so long that it heavily limited possibilities of remaining tracks to shine. They have from 1 to 15 million streams a piece.

 

18. 1984 – Cyndi LauperShe’s So Unusual398,373,000

We pursue our run through 80s legends with Cyndi Lauper. Once presented as the main competitor of Madonna, the artist hasn’t been able to justify this comparison for very long. Still, She’s So Unusual was definitely a monster LP.

It contains 2 classic songs of the decade. The first is Girls Just Want to Have Fun, a #2 hit in both the US and the UK. The song retains a massive popularity, notably becoming a feminism anthem. It has 225 million streams.

Time After Time did better initially, hitting #1 in the US. It is far from forgotten either as its tally stands on 152 million streams. Both former Top 5 hits, All Through The Night and She Bop perform nowhere near as good though with 15 million plays combined.

At almost 400 million total streams, this could have been the biggest female album of the decade but we will quickly see that it is not…

 

17. 1988 – Tracy ChapmanTracy Chapman410,129,000

Way less flashy than Cyndi Lauper, Tracy Chapman still emerges with the biggest female album of the 80s in terms of combined streams. Her eponymous debut has been a selling force ever since its release, easily becoming the greatest catalog seller among female albums during the 90s. It had time to go well over 20 million units worldwide until 2015’s Greatest Hits shot its wings down.

This success was paved by her Top 10 transatlantic debut hit Fast Car. The track always continued to be popular, supporting the album all along the road, and got only bigger thanks to its countless renditions on TV talent shows. These ones even led the song to re-peak at #4 in 2011. With 246 million streams, its appeal is beyond any doubt.

Two more songs are very decent performers from this record. Both Baby Can I Hold You and Talkin’ About A Revolution barely entered charts back then, but have since become favorites of the public with around 50 million rotations each.

Tracy Chapman is also one of the rare female albums that has consistent streams through its entire track list. No album cut drops below 4 million and their average is close to 8 million, figures as high as many former hits of popular divas.

 

 

16. 1980 – Bob MarleyUprising425,942,000

His passing in 1981 have hardly gave Bob Marley time to shine as much as he did on the 70s with a pair of albums charting inside the Top 10 of the decade. His only non-posthumous release of the 80s still shots to a very healthy ranking of #16.

It may come as a surprise but the fact is most of his albums contain iconic hits. Uprising is no exception. The only title initially issued peaked at #45 in the UK while none of its song made the Hot 100, but the story was completely different elsewhere.

In most Europe the single Could You Be Loved made wonders. Hitting the Top 10 in most countries, it also sent the LP inside the Top 10 for several months across the continent. In the UK, the song went to #5, by then the biggest hit of his career, and led his label to reissue various older songs like No Woman No Cry and Three Little Birds, both of which became hits too.

This single continues to be heavily popular, now in the US too, and has 221 million streams to date. Although as mentioned nothing else was released in most countries, a second track gained wide recognition through the years. Redemption Song is a fan-favorite. Not a reggae song, this acoustic guitar track proves to be immensely popular with 119 million streams and also shows that Marley isn’t only a go-to singer for reggae casual buyers but a true hit maker.

As every album of the Jamaican legend, it is consistent through all its tracks. Coming In From The Cold, Pimper’s Paradise and Forever Loving Jah received 15-22 million streams while the remaining ones stand around 6 million.

 

15. 1984 – Bryan AdamsReckless439,378,000

We hardly hear about Bryan Adams anymore, but the general public obviously does hear him quite frequently. Sometimes history has its secrets. Summer Of ’69 was the album’s only single out of 5 to miss UK’s Top 40, nowadays it is far and away its strongest piece.

Obviously, the singer was mostly successful in the US during the 80s, something which changed with 1991’s Everything I Do I Do It For You which became the longest running #1 single of all-time in the UK at 16 weeks while topping virtually all charts around the world.

Back to Reckless, this LP received 6 singles in the US, all of which went Top 15. Heaven was the best performer, going to #1. It remains strong with 115 million spins. The second best was the aforementioned 4th extract Summer Of ’69 which peaked at #5. A perfect sing-a-long title and massive airplay favorite, its success is now reaching impressive grounds. It has been listened to an impressive 258 million times.

The third performer back then, #6 hit Run To You is also third in streams with 38 million. The former 3 additional singles aren’t retaining their attraction that well as they are all below 10 million.

 

14. 1988 – N.W.A.Straight Outta Compton445,413,000

Possibly the most influential rap album ever, Straight Outta Compton by cult group N.W.A. has now reached the masses. The first true gangsta rap record, this LP, produced by the legendary Dr. Dre, initiated what would become a predominant sub-genre of rap music.

Surprisingly, the album’s singles managed to chart only in the UK where the youth anthem Express Yourself performed the best at #26. Its lack of showing in the US is understandable. Back then, its lyrics were rated as shocking and generated a significant controversy. With airplay factored into the Hot 100 formula, these singles were strongly penalized.

Time once again delivered its verdict. The album went on to be rated by most as one of the best rap albums ever. Its cult aura led it to continue selling steady and decent amounts for decades, ultimately prompting the band’s members to produce a movie of the same name. The relevance of the disc was then also illustrated by the success of this movie which grossed $201 million globally while fueling their records sales and streams.

The title track enjoys 140 million of them, followed by Fuck Tha Police at 118 million and Express Yourself at 75 million. Gangsta Gangsta is on 43 million while Dopeman has 22 million plays. This huge all-around performance is completed by 8 album cuts up to 3-10 million streams each.

Since then, the city of Compton became the fortress of the genre. Apart from the big 3 of the band, Dr Dre, Easy E and Ice Cube, rappers from there include Kendrick Lamar, Coolio, YG, The Game, Tyga, and many others.

 

13. 1985 – Dire StraitsBrothers in Arms451,521,000

If N.W.A. hasn’t really shake charts upon release, Brothers In Arms provoked an earthquake on them. Thanks to this release, Dire Straits repeat their presence after landing their self-titled debut inside the 70s list.

In 1985/1986, the LP broke various records. It spent various months at #1 in most countries while also reaching unseen numbers of weeks inside the Top 10 from around the world. In the UK, it closed both counts on 14 weeks and 65 weeks, respectively. Its most insane performance came from Australia where it remained at the top for 34 weeks. Naturally, these results concluded on monstrous sales figures everywhere. It was also largely reported as the first million selling album ever in CD format.

While their debut LP did wonders on the back of the hit Sultans of Swing, this one is full of smashes. The one which started this era so well, the US #1 hit Money For Nothing, remains the biggest one. It has 135 million streams to date. Walk Of Life is a close second at 131 million. The title track completes a healthy trio at 88 million.

Your Latest Trick and So Far Away add two more songs over the 30 million mark. To finish, the 4 songs which haven’t been used as singles average over 8 million plays. The album concludes on more than 450 million but misses the #12 spot for nothing…

 

12. 1984 – Wham!Make It Big451,802,000

If Last Christmas shot Music From The Edge Of Heaven to #38 of the list, Make It Big indeed make it big with a stunning #12 placing to secure a double for Wham!. It sounds like unreal, is it really a surprise though?

In fact, the results of this era couldn’t have been better. Out of its 4 singles, 3 went to #1 in each the US and in the UK, while the last one was a top 3 hit. The phenomenon was similar everywhere. It wasn’t limited to the singles yet as the LP also topped charts of both countries to round up an immaculate showing.

It all started with the global #1 smash Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go. One of the best flagship of 80s pop, the song amasses an impressive 229 million streams. The second single, Careless Whisper, credited to George Michael only, did even better back then hitting the Top 3 at worst in all markets. Always featured among best love songs ever lists, it has 182 million plays. Former US #1 Everything She Wants is on 25 million while the UK #1 Freedom reaches 10 million.

 

11. 1985 – A-HaHunting High and Low476,066,000

As we go higher in the ranking, we see less and less albums with one big song and then mostly forgotten tunes surrounding it. It’s due to the fact that you can’t get most of 476 million streams thanks to one song alone. Well, most can’t, but it looks like something possible for A-Ha.

The band from Norway dropped the iconic smash Take On Me to massive success. We face one of the most absurd chart facts with this album: it has got one chart topper in the UK… and it’s not Take On Me. This song had to settle for #2 because of Jennifer Rush‘s The Power Of Love. Right now this latter hit only has 21 million streams, same as the #1 single from Hunting High And Low which is The Sun Always Shines On T.V.

Instead, the former runner up Take On Me has climbed all the way to an utterly immense total of 425 million streams. A massive global hit powered by a legendary music video, the song is the 5th most streamed of the 80s.

 

10. Bruce Springsteen – Born in the U.S.A. (1984)

Bruce Springsteen - Born in the USA streaming

We open the top 10 of the decade with the classic rock album Born In the U.S.A. from the just as classic rocker Bruce Springsteen. This perfect era started with the biggest song of the album, Dancing In The Dark, which has 150 million streams.

In all fairness, the era started with a lost battle. This single was blocked at #2 by Prince‘s When Doves Cry in the US, the first single from Purple Rain which was released at the same time. The story was reversed in the album chart where Born In the U.S.A. was issued a few weeks earlier, thus hitting #1 for 4 of them. Then Purple Rain arrived and sent it to #2. Thus, it was needing some more help to return to the top.

It got it from Cover Me, a #7 hit that is more modest nowadays with 11 million streams. During all its promotional period, the album remained at #2 behind Purple Rain though, failing to dislodge it. In fact, this scenario was reproduced an unreal 19 times. After 24 consecutive weeks at #2 or #3, patience paid off as the Springsteen‘sLP recovered the #1 spot in early 1985 thanks to the third Top 10 single. It was the title track which remains a classic, scoring 117 million streams.

I’m On Fire came out as the 4th single, becoming the 4th Top 10 hit. It retained the album a pair of months more inside the Top 3. It’s also the third track with over 100 million streams from the LP, one of the 5 records which achieves this feat.

New singles kept coming out every 3 months. Glory Days, I’m Goin’ Down, and My Hometown all made the Top 10. It thus equaled the record of 7 Top 10 hits from Thriller. The former is the biggest nowadays at 38 million. This stunning run of successful singles maintained the album 84 weeks inside the Top 10 which remained the longest run of the last 50 years until recent reissues of Thriller pushed this latter album higher.

All remaining tracks are on 5-15 million streams to bring counts on 485 million. I mentioned that the album lost some battles to Purple Rain, truth is both albums were massive winners that broke plenty of charts and sales records.

 

9. Queen – The Game (1980)

Queen - The Game streaming

The success of Queen is mind-blowing. After reaching the top 10 with 2 albums in the 70s list, they make the top tier again sending The Game to #9. With it, we also break over the 500 million mark.

While their huge numbers are now the norm, what’s special about this 1980 LP is that it was actually more successful in the US than in the UK. It doesn’t mean it was weak in the latter. The album went to #1 and both singles Another One Bites The Dust and Crazy Little Thing Called Love comfortably made the Top 10. Play The Game and Save Me were Top 15 hits.

The success was wild in the US though. Both UK Top 10 hits were massive #1s there, moving nearly 5 million physical singles combined. The album also topped charts, it did so for 5 weeks.

As we can see with figures, Another One Bites The Dust is a tremendous streaming hit. Its 348 million score makes it the 6th best performer of the decade. Crazy Little Thing Called Love tops the 100 million mark too while the last two former singles are over 20 million.

8. Toto – IV (1982)

Toto - IV - streaming

Toto started well with their eponymous debut in 1978 thanks to the hit Hold The Line. Their second and third efforts weren’t successful though so expectations for IV were low. The opening track Rosanna quickly topped them, hitting #2 for 5 weeks in the US and pushing the album to #4 while the band was missing the Top 40 only one year earlier with their previous LP.

The second single flopped though. Make Believe peaked at #30 and completely failed to contribute to the album’s run, as this one left the Top 100 during that period. It wasn’t that big of an issue though since the success of Rosanna was already very satisfying. It still is nowadays with 80 million streams.

Then, something rare happened. Third single Africa was released and it was just massive. A #1 US hit and top 10 in most countries, it rocketed the album from #122 to #8 in a pair of months. Very few Top 10 albums in history left the Top 100 completely before recovering all the way up to the top 10. In the UK, the album had yet to enter charts before the arrival of Africa but this single made it a #4 record. It’s the only album of our top 10 that hasn’t been #1 in at least one of both markets the US and the UK.

The massive organic appeal of Africa added to the new exposure received by its cover by Weezer bring the song to a superb 451 million streams. It takes the #3 spot among the most streamed songs of the 80s.

 

7. U2 – The Joshua Tree (1987)

U2 - The Joshua Tree streaming

The presence of U2‘s The Joshua Tree in this top 10 will surprise nobody. Even if the popularity of the band is going slightly down lately, their catalog remains highly valuable, most notably this 1987 blockbuster.

The first two singles of the album catapulted the band to superstardom, a status they managed to hold for a pair of decades afterwards to make them the biggest band to emerge in the last 40 years. With Or Without You and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For both topped US charts and got extremely successful globally too. This fueled the album to the #1 spot in most countries on extensive runs. Ironically, the performance in the UK was almost modest in comparison with only 2 weeks at the top and 3 Top 10 singles but none that made the Top 3.

Often ranked the most beautiful song ever, in spite of its lyrics about separation, With Or Without You is the LP’s main traction with 259 million streams. Haven’t Found comes logically next with an healthy tally of 163 million.

Third single Where The Streets Have No Name is still popular too with 63 million plays. All tracks from the original edition are at 5 million or more, most of which top 10 million. From Luminous Times, songs are titles added to recent reissues, coming from the same recording sessions and often issued back then as B-Sides. These reissues tracks have been added to all albums in the list that got a similar treatment. The hit Sweetest Thing is a notable addition to the track list although the ranking of The Joshua Tree would be the same with or without it.

 

6. Journey – Escape (1981)

Journey - Escape streaming

Feel good songs tend to face better the test of time than others. US rock band Journey won’t say otherwise. Their timeless ballad Don’t Stop Believin’ is one of the biggest pre-2000 digital hit since iTunes first opened.

As many albums of our ranking, the most remembered track isn’t the one which performed the best originally on singles charts. The first single was the #4 hit Who’s Crying Now which is now quite modest at 20 million. Then, Don’t Stop Believin’ was issued. It peaked at #9 in the US, #2 in Canada and #62 in the UK while having no impact whatsoever elsewhere. Now, it posts an insane 528 million streams, easily the best result of the decade.

The biggest original hit was actually the third one, Open Arms, which was #2 for 6 weeks and supported the album at the same position. It continues to do well with a solid 58 million streams.

Obviously, the question is how Don’t Stop Believin’ got so popular. Many attributed it to its usage on the TV series The Soprano‘s hyper final episode. It’s wrong. The track had sold over 770,000 units to June 2007 before it was aired. Downloads were still modest back then and that was already a record-breaking number for a pre-2000 song. It is also heavily popular right now in most countries, including on many where Soprano was nowhere near as popular as in the US. In the UK, its resurgence came in late 2009 after its usage on X Factor, but even there it was already regularly present inside the Top 200. The conclusion is always the same: a track becomes a hit when people like it, it’s as simple as that. Of course exposure helps, but these kind of songs also get it precisely because they are loved by the general public.

5. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet (1986)

Bon Jovi - Slippery When Wet streaming

Critics may not appreciate long haired rock bands from the 80s as much as they do love 60s acts, the general public clearly does love them as shown by the #5 spot taken by Bon Jovi‘s Slippery When Wet among the most streamed 80s albums.

After two successful underground albums in the US, the band reached a global audience with this 8 weeks #1 effort. While this is already an impressive showing, it could have been even much better since the album cumulated 20 weeks as runner up for 5 different albums.

Successful singles can support albums high on charts for at most 4 months, so such an extensive run can have only been achieved with several smashes. In fact, first two singles got to #1, they were You Give Love A Bad Name and Livin’ On A Prayer. They both continue to be immensely popular with respectively 251 million and 302 million streams. There is only 3 albums with two hits of this magnitude and the remaining two chart at #1 and #2 of the decade.

Apart from these pair of global monsters, the record also features the classic Wanted Dead Or Alive which breaks 100 million. Remaining tracks are much more modest but an hat-trick of smashes is certainly already very good from only one era.

 

4. Michael Jackson – Bad (1987)

Michael Jackson - Bad streaming

An 80s ranking wouldn’t be an 80s ranking without Michael Jackson. His absence up to now could have been worrying, the fact is that in spite of his overwhelming domination of the decade he only issued 2 albums during these period. I won’t do much of a spoil telling that the other one, Thriller, has yet to come.

Let’s first speak about Bad. Home of an absurd 5 #1 singles at a time where singles and albums cannibalized each other way more than during the download era, its figures are amazing. The debut #1 single was I Just Can’t Stop Loving You which isn’t the best performer right now. It still records an healthy 46 million streams.

The title track came next, also hitting #1. It fares better with 88 million spins to date. One more single, one more #1 with The Way You Make Me Feel. With a huge 135 million streams, it’s only good enough for the 3rd highest score from the album. The fourth chart topper was Man In The Mirror. The song was already very popular and became even bigger after the passing of the global icon. It has 166 million plays. Then, the 5th and last #1 was Dirty Diana, one of the fans favorite of the artist, it is up to 68 million plays.

It’s key to point out that unlike acts like A-Ha, Toto, and Journey, there is no obvious go-to song for someone like Jackson to include on playlists. Most from Spotify never include more than one unique song from an artist. The fact that these 5 songs continue to perform so well is thus very telling.

There is more still. After all, if the album was often promoted with the “5 #1 singles!” tag line, it also had 9 UK Top 15 hits out of an original track list of 11 songs. One of these additional singles was no other than Smooth Criminal and its iconic bass line. It’s the second best performer of the album with 151 million streams. The last single to be released in both sides of the Atlantic, Another Part Of Me, doesn’t perform that well at 15 million.

Remaining restricted releases Leave Me Alone and Liberian Girl also have consistent streams at 28 million and 22 million streams, respectively. The album cut Speed Demon is also quite impressive at 13 million. The only song from the original track list to be below that mark is Just Good Friends which is still fairly high at 6 million.

No need to say that all these smash hits made the album a monumental success. With 63 million equivalent album sales, it’s the second biggest album of the decade. In terms of streams only, it thus ranks at #4. After charting at #7 of the 60s list as part of the Jackson 5 and at #22 of the 70s with his LP Off The Wall, the superstar is joins Paul Simon the only singer to belong to the best of each of these 3 decades.

 

3. AC/DC – Back in Black (1980)

AC/DC Back In Black streaming

Hard rock classic album Back In Black shots to #3 of the ranking with a combined 765 million streams. Its singles release schedule was quite atypical. That year, in 1980, Aussie legends AC/DC managed to start it by charting 5 singles in the UK, none of which came from this album. Then, the title track which is arguably the most popular song of the LP was never issued in that country.

It was in the US though, hitting the Top 40 just like You Shook Me Al Night Long. This latter song was the first commercial single in the UK going also Top 40. Obviously, the big deal wasn’t to be seen on singles rankings though.

On its side, the album peaked at #4 in the US on a 23 weeks run inside the Top 10. It seems almost modest considering its stature. Indeed, that’s the only non-#1 US album among the Top 7 of our list. No need to say that it still went on to sell unreal numbers through the years, currently standing on 23,5 million US sales and 36 million worldwide.

Its evergreen results have been granted by its 4 strongly popular songs. The big two is the title track on 319 million, followed by Shook at 214 million. Around 85 million come both Shoot To Thrill and Hells Bells. Album cuts are possibly lower than we could have though but they still add for 5 to 18 million each. These are healthy numbers, at least healthy enough to secure a tiny lead of 8 million over Bad.

 

2. Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction (1987)

Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction streaming

We do a mammoth jump from less than 800 million streams to more than 1,2 billion to reach the legendary Appetite For Destruction from the Guns N’ Roses. Knowing that the previous albums were already ridiculously successful, the gap speaks by itself to highlight how much of a monster this LP is.

The first single It’s So Easy received enough airplay to push the album inside charts in 1987 but without making that much more. It hasn’t really grown lately as shown by its 21 million streams which are on par or even below various album cuts. The double A single Welcome To The Jungle / Nightrain hasn’t done much better then barely making the Top 100 in the UK and failing charts in the US.

One year after the album’s release hopes of high sales were mostly gone, it was poised to end as a minor underground success. There is no better way to reverse a negative trend than dropping a song as iconic as Sweet Child O’ Mine yet. The US #1 hit was an instant smash there while gaining mass recognition more slowly but surely abroad. The enormous popularity of the song concludes on 451 million streams. It’s the second most streamed song of the decade, edging out Toto‘s Africa by half a million plays only. It should be noted, in passing, that it also rocketed the album from the bottom of US charts to the top spot.

After that delayed but huge era kick off everything was easier. Welcome To The Jungle was released again to much more success. It peaked at #7 in the US and #24 in the UK will solidifying the album’s healthy pace of sales. The song is still immensely popular with just over 300 million rotations on Spotify to make Appetite For Destruction the only 80s album with 2 songs over this threshold.

Paradise City then came out, going top 10 in the US and in the UK. It’s also one of the hottest songs of the decade, the third one, with also a gigantic figure of 271 million streams. No need to say no other album has 3 hits of this size.

Below this trio there is a significant gap until reaching the 5th single from the original era as Nightrain has a more modest 33 million streams. This lack of mid-range hits costs the first position of this ranking to this LP. Album cuts are still absolutely impressive with numbers ranging from 9,5 million to 29 million.

The only song that looks a bit weaker is Shadow of Your Love. In reality it was added to the album only a few months ago as part of the massive 30 years anniversary edition of the disc.

 

1. Michael Jackson – Thriller (1982)

Michael Jackson - Thriller streaming

In spite of the immense competition brought by the Guns N’ Roses, Thriller manages to validate its iconic stature by topping the list of most streamed albums from the 80s. It’s the first and only pop album to lead its decade. This is also a tremendous showing for Michael Jackson who lands at #1 and #4 with his two releases of the 80s.

There is already so much that have been written about the most successful album of all-time that we may only focus on its streams. We start with the biggest pop hit ever, Billie Jean. This global #1 smash continues to be incredibly popular at 447 million streams. That’s the 4th highest showing from songs of the decade, with a minimal gap of 4 million with hits charting at #2 and #3.

Another huge #1 across the globe is next as Beat It registers 275 million spins. Not far behind and at also more than 200 million is Thriller. It’s all the more impressive since its iconic video clip gives it much more weight on YouTube than on Spotify, but it still does wonders there.

P.Y.T. shows how deep the album is. The song has been listened to 126 million to make the LP the only 80s record with 4 songs in 9 digits. Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ has 67,85 million streams. It was very close to be the biggest 5th song out of all albums, but Dirty Diana from the singer’s own album Bad tops it by a ridiculous margin of 7,000 streams.

We continue to check the era’s top 10 hits with Human Nature at 59 million. The comment about Bad is true here too: considering there is so many songs by the singer that will be prefered to these ones to feature on playlists, their numbers are truly stunning. The song that was the lead single in 1982 happens to be the worst performing today. The Girl Is Mine has 36 million streams which remains a sizable number.

The only two non-singles from the original track list The Lady In My Life and Baby Be Mine have 14 million streams a piece. It means that apart from having several of the biggest hits of the decade and by far the highest density of hits, the album is also the most consistent as this is by far the highest low of all 80s records.

 

Conclusion

I hope you loved going through all these fabulous albums. As music lovers, we can only advice you to go after them especially since many are now fairly cheap, often under $5, which is a bargain for such essential records.

While the biggest rock albums of the decade all perform very well the pop superstar Michael Jackson managed to hold them off. Not all do so well though, others suffer a huge disappointment. The most obvious case is the one of Madonna who completely fails the list with all her albums. Her Like A Virgin came the closest at 218 million but even this number isn’t that close. She isn’t the only one to miss the list as Phil Collins, Duran Duran, and Lionel Richie are absent too.

The next step in these series celebrating the 10 years of Spotify is naturally the 90s so you can already start putting money on your favorite horse!

 

In the meantime, here is the Top 30 singles of the decade:

1. 1981 – JourneyDon’t Stop Believin’528,219,000
2. 1987 – Guns N’ RosesSweet Child O’ Mine451,368,000
3. 1982 – TotoAfrica450,849,000
4. 1982 – Michael JacksonBillie Jean447,324,000
5. 1985 – A-HaTake On Me425,393,000
6. 1980 – QueenAnother One Bites The Dust348,287,000
7. 1983 – EurythmicsSweet Dreams346,587,000
8. 1983 – PoliceEvery Breath You Take330,611,000
9. 1982 – QueenUnder Pressure325,004,000
10. 1982 – SurvivorEye of the Tiger322,202,000
11. 1980 – AC/DCBack In Black318,633,000
12. 1986 – Bon JoviLivin’ On A Prayer302,241,000
13. 1987 – Guns N’ RosesWelcome To The Jungle300,100,000
14. 1982 – Michael JacksonBeat It274,535,000
15. 1987 – Guns N’ RosesParadise City270,910,000
16. 1982 – Marvin GayeSexual Healing270,041,000
17. 1987 – Whitney HoustonI Wanna Dance With Somebody261,487,000
18. 1980 – Hall & OatesYou Make My Dreams260,054,000
19. 1987 – U2With Or Without You259,168,000
20. 1984 – Bryan AdamsSummer Of ’69257,572,000
21. 1986 – Bon JoviYou Give Love A Bad Name250,695,000
22. 1982 – ClashShould I Stay Or Should I Go247,153,000
23. 1988 – Tracy ChapmanFast Car245,916,000
24. 1986 – Wham!Last Christmas237,975,000
25. 1984 – Wham!Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go229,430,000
26. 1984 – Cyndi LauperGirls Just Want to Have Fun224,514,000
27. 1980 – Bob MarleyCould You Be Loved221,263,000
28. 1982 – Dexys Midnight RunnersCome On Eileen220,161,000
29. 1984 – SoundtrackFootloose219,394,000
30. 1980 – AC/DCYou Shook Me All Nigt Long213,612,000

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Nuno

This is just Spotify right?

I guess Madonna numbers are lower in part because most Spotify listeners are from the US, a country that, according to your article, is just Madonna #91 or #92 country. Also most countries where Madonna is most successful have less streaming. Is this analysis right?

I believe there is a co-relation between countries where artists are more popular and streaming numbers from countries. As we know, despite the numbers being rising, streaming is still much more popular in some countries compared to others.

Al

Well that’s not really true, Spotify isn’t even the most popular streaming service in the US. in fact the service is more popular in both Europe (where it got quite a lot more listeners) and in Latin America.

Rob Turner

Had hoped Heart by Heart (1985) album was included. Over 5 million US sales, 92 weeks on chart peaking at #1, 4 top 10 singles, including a #1 hit. Over 600k sales in Canada, 300k sales UK.

Manuel

Didn’t Glee help Don’t Stop Believin’ be huge nowadays too? It started entering the UK charts more often when Glee premiered, I believe!

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