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Any Major Albums Of The Year: 1983

November 22nd, 2023 Leave a comment Go to comments

I almost wasn’t going to do this review of my Top 20 albums of 1983. I don’t recall that year as a particular highpoint in the history of popular music, unlike the preceding year, for which I found it quite easy to compile the Albums Of The Year: 1982 mix (and difficult to exclude some contenders). But therein lies the challenge!

I managed a Top 20, and did so without the inclusion of albums many of my peers might have included, acts like The Police, Tears For Fears, Yes, Tom Waits, U2, Eurythmics, New Order, Cyndi Lauper or Talking Heads.

Still, there are a few entries in my Top 20 which I’d rate as outstanding pop albums, in particular Wham!’s debut album, aptly titled Fantastic, and Aztec Camera’s thoroughly lovely High Land, Hard Rain.  The Style Council’s mini-LP, Introducing…, is also nearly flawless.

It strikes me that only half of the acts in my Top 20 are from the US. There are soul acts — Al Jarreau, Womack & Womack, Randy Crawford — and soul-popster Lionel Richie, whose Can’t Slow Down is raised by the genius of All Night Long and the glorious jazz-funk groove of Love Will Fund A Way (which featured on Any Major Soul 1983), as well as jazz singer Carrie Smith. But there are only two non-soul/jazz US acts. Billy Joel, whose An Innocent Man was a constant companion back in 1983, and Randy Newman… only two non-soul acts.

One act here also featured on Albums Of The Year: 1973, which I posted in October: Billy Joel.

This mix is a good companion to Life In Vinyl 1983, which features seven of the acts on this list. All of the soul acts featured here also appeared on Any Major Soul 1983.

So, what are your albums of 1983?

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-whammed covers and the above text in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments.

1. Heaven 17 – Crushed By The Wheels Of Industry (The Luxury Gap)
2. Depeche Mode – Love In Itself (Construction Time Again)
3. David Bowie – Modern Love (Let’s Dance)
4. Spandau Ballet – Lifeline (True)
5. Wham! – Ray Of Sunshine (Fantastic)
6. Al Jarreau – Trouble In Paradise (Jarreau)
7. Rufus & Chaka Khan – Stay (Stompin’ At The Savoy)
8. Randy Crawford – In Real Life (Nightline)
9. Billy Joel – Leave A Tender Moment Alone (An Innocent Man)
10. Culture Club – Victims (Colour By Numbers)
11. The Style Council – Long Hot Summer (Introducing…)
12. Nick Heyward – Whistle Down The Wind (North Of A Miracle)
13. Aztec Camera – The Boy Wonders (High Land, Hard Rain)
14. Big Country – Chance (The Crossing)
15. Van Morrison – Higher Than The World (Inarticulate Speech Of The Heart)
16. Pink Floyd – The Fletcher Memorial Home (The Final Cut)
17. Randy Newman – Christmas In Cape Town (Trouble In Paradise)
18. Carrie Smith – Doin’ Things For Her (Only You Can Do It)
19. Womack & Womack – Love Wars (Love Wars)
20. Lionel Richie – The Only One (Can’t Slow Down)

GET IT!

Previous Albums of the Year mixes:
1971 Vol. 1
1971 Vol. 2
1972
1973
1982

More Albums of the Year
More CD-R Mixes

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  1. amdwhah
    November 22nd, 2023 at 13:26 | #1

    PW = amdwah

  2. November 24th, 2023 at 11:08 | #2

    My 1983 Album of the year was Paul Simon’s Heart And Bones. To me it’s his best work, flawless.

  3. Russell
    November 26th, 2023 at 15:52 | #3

    ’83 was the year I couldn;t walk for a few months so I couldn’t get to my usual places to discover music and I didn’t listen to the radio during that stretch either. But before and after that incident I really dug:
    The Plimsouls – Everywhere At Once
    Red Rockers – Good As Gold
    The Stranglers – Feline
    REM – Murmur
    Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
    New Order – Power Courruption and Lies
    The Dream Syndicate – Days Of Wine And Roses
    The Blasters – Non Fiction

    And I don’t care what anyone else says, I still listen to The Rolling Stones – Undercover.

  4. Crinan Dunbar
    November 28th, 2023 at 16:47 | #4

    I would add The Eurythmics ‘Sweet Dreams are made of this’. Although it was recorded in 1982 it was released on 3rd January 1983. ‘This city never sleeps’, ‘The walk’ & the title track are the standouts. Personally I think ‘Touch’ also released in 1983 is inferior. Also ZZ-Top’s ‘Eliminator’ (Gimme all your lovin, legs, sharp dressed man, need you tonight etc) , Def Leppard’s ‘Pyromania’ (Photograph, rock of ages etc.), Cindy Lauper ‘She’s so unusual’ & finally my favourite at the time ‘The The’s ‘Soul Mining’ – (uncertain smile, this the day & on the US release Perfect). What singles! It is still a great album and if you have not listened to it – I’m not going to say shame on you – but you really should do.

  5. Crinan Dunbar
    November 28th, 2023 at 16:49 | #5

    Anyway chaque un son gout!

  6. amdwhah
    November 29th, 2023 at 07:48 | #6

    I’ve never listened to “Soul Mining” in full. I shall remedy that. Lauper was in the running.

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