1987 was a solid year for solid albums — and arguably an even better one for second acts and followups. Michael Jackson was back from Thriller with Bad. Bruce Springsteen was back from Born in the U.S.A. with Tunnel of Love. Aerosmith was simply back from oblivion. Country music was back, too, and with new faces. Hip-hop was the rare genre that wasn’t on the rebound: It was hot and getting hotter. The alternative rock of college radio also was on the rise, while rock was holding steady, if not booming. The soundtrack from Dirty Dancing, meanwhile, was definitely booming. Looming above it all, was U2 and the Irish band’s fifth studio album, dropped in March of that year, Joshua Tree. 

We told you: There was a lot going on.

Here’s our crack at narrowing down a big year into 13 essential, 1987-defining hit albums. We pulled our selections from the top tier of Billboard 200 pop-album chart, paying close attention to Grammy winners and nominees, and genre game-changers.

Let’s see if we’ve found what you’re looking for:

 

 

 

 

Artists: Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, George Michael, Guns 'n' Roses, Michael Jackson, Patrick Swayze, Prince, R.E.M., Randy Travis, sheena easton, Suzanne Vega, U2, Whitney Houston

Related Artists: Guns N' Roses, Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Kiss, Van Halen, Alice Cooper, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Deep Purple, Mötley Crüe

Tags: , , , , ,