Wednesday, January 11, 2023

40 Years Ago in Music

 By 1983 I had a strong collection of albums, mostly popular rock like Foreigner, Journey, Styx, and the like.  Let's see what was happening in 1983.  1978 will be a hard act to follow.  I did write about 1983 last spring.  The Music of 1983.  A lot of this music would become much more a part of my life later when I was in college. 

According to Best Ever Albums the top 10 albums of 1983 were:

  1. Murmer by R.E.M.
  2. Violent Femmes by Violent Femmes (A five start album if there ever was a five star album)
  3. Power, Corruption & Lies by New Order
  4. Synchronicity by The Police
  5. War by U2
  6. Speaking in Tongues by Talking Heads (They had the number 9 album in 1978)
  7. Swordfishtrombones by Tom Waits
  8. Kill 'Em All by Metallica
  9. Let's Dance by David Bowie
  10. The Final Cut by Pink Floyd

Here are the albums that spent at least two weeks at Billboard number 1 in 1983.

  1. Thriller by Michael Jackson (21 weeks)
  2. Synchronicity by The Police (17 weeks)
  3. Business As Usual by Men at Work (8 weeks)
  4. Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie (3 weeks)
  5. Flashdance Soundtrack (2 weeks)

The top Bilboard singles of 1983 were:

  1.  Every Breath You Take by The Police
  2. Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
  3. Flashdance... What a Feeling by Irene Cara
  4. Down Under by Men At Work
  5. Beat It by Michael Jackson
  6. Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
  7. Maneater by Hall & Oates
  8. Baby, Come to Me by Patti Austin and James Ingram
  9. Maniac by Michael Sembello
  10. Sweet Dreams(Are Made of This) by  Eurythmics

I'll finish this off with playlist for you all from 1983.  Some of the music I still listen to today. 


  1. I got Can't Slow Down on cassette from one of the record clubs, but I think that was the end of my Lionel Richie investments. I had listened to a good bit of the Commodores through my younger brother (who is 11 years older than me) and got one or two of their later, softer albums, and I absolutely devoured Lionel Richie, his 1982 solo debut. I fixated on his whole mood and style on that record as something I would want to emulate as a young adult. Can't Slow Down turned out to not be my bag, but I will always be thankful to him for Lionel Richie.

  2. Yeah, I'm pretty sure I didn't hear either of your first two 1983 playlist songs until I met the Louisville and Bowling Green kids in 1986.

  3. Mmmm ... "Baby, Come To Me" ... just put that one in my "Watch Later." Hadn't thought of it in some time and love it.

  4. I've always liked "Maniac," and I've never seen Flashdance.

  5. It seriously is impressive that the drummer for Def Leppard continued his career after losing his arm.

  6. When I got to Western in earnest in 1986, it felt like all of the older women on the college paper were absolutely smitten with the Elvis Costello of "Everyday I Write the Book."

  7. When I got to Western, however, I was absolutely smitten with the Billy Bragg of "A New England" (effectively) and tried to fit into that garb in place of various old getups (Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen, whomever) in hopes of attracting the attention of those women. I failed, and they weren't interested, anyway.

  8. What a siren that Martha Davis of the Motels was! She nearly wrecked my senior-year AP English grade.

  9. There was another song called "Twilight Zone" when we were in middle school that was a pretty big hit--but not as big of a hit as was this Golden Earring song. It's kind of like when Kurt Warner eclipsed Curt Warner in NFL history.

  10. There are zero chinks in "Back on the Chain Gang." Maybe it's the best ever.

    1. I was not a big Pretenders fan back in 1983, but I have grown to really like them.

  11. I had a few crushes on toughies of the Chrissie Hynde vein. They liked having big, smiley, safe guys like me as admiring-but-platonic friends. I am not conflicted or embittered thinking back about any of those relationships; those were positive growing experiences for me.

  12. What a terrific song "Allentown" is! And I nearly missed that thing just because I stupidly regarded any regard for Billy Joel as some kind of betrayal of Bruce Springsteen. Boys are funny.

  13. "Always Something There To Remind Me" also never disappoints.

  14. Loved "Gloria." Loooooooved "Gloria"!

  15. In 1983, David Bowie was 36 years old.