Monday, April 18, 2022

The Music of 1983

Continuing with the music of my past here is the breakdown from 1983. 

Albums I Listen to Today

1. Violent Femmes by Violent Femmes.  I didn't discover this album until I was in college, but it quickly became a classic in my mind.  Maybe the best album of the 80's.  

2. Beauty Stab by ABC.  I found this album at Kroger in like 1985 and bought it for a few bucks.  Didn't even know they had a second album out in 1983.  

3. True by Spandau Ballet.  I bought this album back in 1983 for the song "Gold."  I remember I saw the video on some show they used to have on WTBS that showed music videos on Friday nights or some such thing.  It's a great album.  

Albums I No Longer Listen to Today

4.   Madonna by Madonna.  I didn't buy this album until I was living in Philadelphia, so maybe 12 years after it came out.  It's a solid album and I play a number of songs off of it all the time, but can't remember the last time I put it on to listen to all the way through. 

5. War by U2.  I got into this album probably like 1985 but didn't own it until I was in college.  In some ways this album has held up better than any other U2 stuff.  

6. Seance by The Church.  I bought this album in 1986, saw them live two nights in a row at one point.

7. The Hurting by Tears for Fears.  I just listened to this album recently when I was reviewing their latest album.  I got this one in college as well.  Owned it on cassette.  

8. Murmur by REM.  I do listen to some REM albums but this is not one of them.

9. Pyromania by Def Leppard.  This was my album of the year in 1983, not so much today.  As much as I liked Pyromania I disliked Hysteria

10. Lazy Ways by Marine Girls.  Kurt Cobain was a fan of the Marine Girls.  

11. Frontiers by Journey.  This would have probably been my number 2 album in 1983.

12. Punch the Clock by Elvis Costello.  This may have been the only Elvis Costello album I ever owned.  

13. Porcupine by Echo & the Bunnymen.  Bought this album around 1988 to fill out by Echo & the Bunnymen collection. 

14. Power, Corruption & Lies by New Order.  Didn't everyone own one of these New Order albums at some point in their life.  

15. Labour of Love by UB40.  No idea why I bought this album around 1987 or so, but I distinctly remember owning it.  

16. Kilroy Was Here by Styx.  Maybe my number 4 album in 1983.  True would have been ahead of this one.  

17. Magical Ring by Clannad.  OK I bought this album for one song as did everyone else who bought it.  


  1. There are like two Violent Femmes songs and maybe three songs off of Synchronicity that I really enjoy and listen to a lot. I also like "Radio Free Europe."

  2. I know that Thriller was released on November 30, 1982 because I just looked it up. But to me, 1983 was the year of Thriller. "Billie Jean" was released as a single on January 2, 1983, and "Thriller" was released as a single on November 2, 1983. Michael Jackson's appearance on the Motown special was broadcast by NBC on May 16, 1983. So from my perspective, the whole year belonged to Michael Jackson and MTV.

    1. Yes, absolutely. In fact, 1982 feels so much more connected to the run of music before it than the run of music after it, largely because of Thriller. Good point.

  3. Once owned and listened to from the top 500:

    Murmur, R.E.M.
    Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes
    Synchronicity, The Police
    War, U2
    Pyromania, Def Leppard
    Eliminator, ZZ Top
    Madonna, Madonna
    90125, Yes
    Sports, Huey Lewis and the News
    Live Under a Blood Red Sky, U2
    The Crossing, Big Country
    Hearts and Bones, Paul Simon
    Infidels, Bob Dylan
    Uh-Huh, John Cougar Mellencamp
    Reach the Beach, The Fixx
    Hootenanny, The Replacements
    Whammy, The B-52s
    Air Supply Greatest Hits, Air Supply
    Break Out, Pointer Sisters
    Inarticulate Speech of the Heart, Van Morrison
    Eddie and the Cruisers, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band
    Alive She Cried, The Doors
    Jarreau, Al Jarreau (won this record from Bowling Green’s WBKO Channel 13)
    The Key, Joan Armatrading
    Madness, Madness
    Scoop, Pete Townshend

    The ones of these that I actually bought in 1983 (or maybe 1984, while they would still be considered new releases) were Synchronicity, Madonna, 90125, Sports, Uh-Huh and Break Out. I listened to Sports the most, and it’s not even close, and I listened to Synchronicity, Madonna, 90125 and Uh-Huh a lot. At Tilghman’s football field one time, I told GoHeath that I thought Sports would go down as the greatest rock-’n’-roll record of all time.

    Over time, I’ve listened most to Violent Femmes, War, Under a Blood Red Sky, Hootenanny and Scoop the most. I still listen to the two U2 albums off and on. Even still, I can’t imagine I’ve listened to them as much as I listened to my Sports cassette for about 18 months.

    No. 344 is Secrets of the I Ching by the 10,000 Maniacs, and I don’t remember ever hearing of that record. Wow! It sounds exactly like the 10,000 Maniacs. I think most of this was released in other packages over time.