Yes, there are some singers and bands that didn’t make the list, but it had to be cut off somewhere.
Starting off with the big one, the Number One Selling Album of All Time. Everywhere. That’s right, throughout the whole world, this is the best-selling album ever. Yes, Thriller even beat out the likes of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. But even if Michael Jackson wasn’t a favorite of yours, if you were around back in the early 1980s, you have to admit this album was everywhere. On the radio. On TV (especially MTV). In magazines. Just all over the place. There was, obviously, some great songs here. Who could forget “Thriller” and “Billie Jean?”
Asia isn’t the best-known band out there, though they had a string of hits in this album with “Only Time Will Tell,” “Heat of the Moment” and “Only Time Will Tell.” What I find so influential about the band Asia is they were the first of several similar bands (such as The Outfield) that weren’t quite hard rock, but were a little more than true soft rock. This seemed to be a trend throughout the ’80s. And in my opinion, it was a decent album … not a favorite, but worth listening to.
British. New Wave. Pop. Sure, there were bigger bands than ABC (like Flock of Seagulls and Duran Duran), but this album was one of the first that really helped kick off what’s come to be known as the Second British Invasion, which was basically a bunch of English pop musicians. It’s arguable what’s true New Wave and which bands should be included in the Second British Invasion, but for the MTV generation I’d kick things off with The Lexicon of Love and ABC. Those other bands (even including The Police) were big on the radio, but they had yet to master the music video, though they soon would. This album included the popular “Poison Arrow” and “The Look of Love (Part One).”
This wasn’t Iron Maiden’s first album, but it was the band’s first really big album with such songs as “Run to the Hills” and “The Number of the Beast.” Maybe you don’t think heavy metal music is mainstream enough, but it doesn’t matter. This band and this album might be the most influential heavy metal album of all time (sorry, Black Sabbath). The rest of the ’80s was filled with metal and hard rock bands, some mainstream and some underground, who learned their stuff from The Number of the Beast.