If The Unforgettable Fire confirmed U2's status as the biggest cult band on the planet, The Joshua Tree saw them graduate to the biggest group in the world.
Stuffed with hits, including “Where the Streets Have No Name,” “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” and “With or Without You,” it became the Irish rocker’s first of seven chart-topping LPs in America. It also ruled the U.K. albums chart, one of their seven leaders there.
A 30th anniversary tour of the album was a box office colossus. Over two legs, in 2017 and 2019, The Joshua Tree Tour raked in $390.8 million and sold 3.3 million tickets over 65 shows around the globe, according to Billboard Boxscore.
Elsewhere on the BBC poll, Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms came second, followed by The Stone Roses' eponymously-titled debut.
U.S. acts figure prominently in the Top 10, with Michael Jackson’s Thriller coming in at No. 4, Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction at No. 5, Paul Simon’s Graceland at No. 8 and Prince’s Purple Rain at No. 10.
Radio 2's best albums of the 80s
1. U2 -- The Joshua Tree
2. Dire Straits -- Brothers In Arms
3. The Stone Roses -- The Stone Roses
4. Michael Jackson -- Thriller
5. Guns N' Roses -- Appetite For Destruction
6. The Human League -- Dare
7. The Smiths -- The Queen Is Dead
8. Paul Simon -- Graceland
9. ABC -- Lexicon Of Love
10. Prince -- Purple Rain