The Top 100 '80s Rock Albums span a series of genres as startling and varied as the era's neon-flecked fashions.

No one was immune to the early-decade emergence of new wave, from up-and-coming acts to legacy groups -- many of whom began incorporating the then-new sound into their bedrock approach.

Meanwhile, classic rock and subsequently metal began a transformation into mass acceptance when the edges were smoothed out to form arena rock and hair metal, respectively. The arrival of roots, thrash, and world music influences kept things interesting, along the way. All of it made selecting the period's best releases both intriguing and deeply challenging.

Check out the list below, as Ultimate Classic Rock takes a chronological look at the Top 100 '80s Rock Albums.