Year Released: 1984

Notable Songs: “Hard Times”, “Rock Box”, Sucker M.C.’s”, “It’s Like That”

Album MVP: “It’s Like That” 

Why I Loved It: I feel like Run DMC is perhaps rap music’s biggest crowning achievement of all-time. From their start with this debut studio album lasting until this very day they’re still unmistakably an influence for rap artists everywhere, as they should be.  In music the term “aged well” is thrown a lot a bit too loosely for my liking, but Run DMC has truly been timeless.  I have a 14-year old son who’s a fan of hip hop but didn’t know RUN DMC.

I told him in no uncertain form that no one can seriously call themselves an authentic fan of  Hip-Hop until you know this album inside out.

“It’s Like That”, “Jam Master Jay”, “Sucker MC’s” and “Rock Box” are staples of rap music. I don’t know what more I can tell you about this group and their debut album in particular – it’s simply that good.

Commercial Success: The debut album for Run DMC had moderate commercial success at a time where rap music hadn’t really embedded popular music mainstream.  It peaked at No. 53 on the Billboard Top 200 and No. 14 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums.  “Hard Times” was the most successful single commercially, hitting No. 11 on the U.S. R&B charts.  “It’s Like That” made it to No.15 on the same chart while “30 Days” hit 16 and “Hollis Crew” maxed out at No. 65.  “Rock Box” made an appearance on the U.S. Dance Charts at No. 26.  Rolling Stone ranked this No. 51 on their list of the 100 Greatest Albums of the 80s and ultimately 242 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All-Time.

Fun Facts: reviewed this album and Run-DMC, likening them to the rap version of the Beatles.  They wrote:  “Run-DMC were the Beatles of rap because they signaled a cultural and musical change for the music, ushering it into its accepted form; neither group originated the music, but they gave it the shape known today. But, no matter how true and useful the comparison is, it is also a little misleading, because it implies that Run-D.M.C. also were a melodic, accessible group, bringing in elements from all different strands of popular music. No, Run-D.M.C.’s expanded their music by making it tough and spare, primarily by adapting the sound and attitude of hard rock to hip-hop. Prior to this, rap felt like a block party — the beats were funky and elastic, all about the groove.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual