The 1987 album received the most votes in a poll conducted by BBC Radio 2, which urged listeners of Sounds of the 80s to name their favourite records of the decade.
The Joshua Tree, U2’s fourth record, remains the fastest-selling album in British history, and features singles including “With or Without You” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For”.
Coming in second place was Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits, followed by The Stone Roses’ self-titled debut album.
Michael Jackson’s Thriller placed fourth, while Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction rounded out the top five.
Despite arguably being two of the major faces of Eighties music, Prince and Madonna only made appearances lower on the list, with Prince’s Purple Rain ranking in 10th place, and Madonna’s True Blue further down the list.
Only one album by a female artist made the entire top 20: Kate Bush’s Hounds of Love, which placed at 11.
“We’ve had the privilege of playing The Joshua Tree live all over the world in the last few years,” U2’s guitarist The Edge said in a statement. “We're just thrilled that people are still connecting with these songs, night after night, year after year.”
The BBC poll took place to celebrate National Album Day, which falls on Saturday 10 October.
A countdown of the entire top 40 list of listeners’ favourite Eighties albums will be broadcast tonight (9 October) at 8pm on Radio 2 and BBC Sounds.