Top 40 – A Retrospective – 1983

A lot of great music in 1983 — two years into MTV and this is — if you can call it such — the beginning of the golden age of music videos. Believe it or not, I’m not a huge fan of music videos — that is, I can take them or leave them. Some are truly artistic, and others just seem redundant to me. Even though I’m of the generation who loved them, I just never really caught the bug.

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

After being largely ignored, this was the well-deserved breakthrough for Annie Lennox & Dave Stewart.

U2 – War

For some, this is U2 at their very best. Everyone seems to have a favourite U2 era — or else, a point where they jumped off the bandwagon. This is actually where I got on — my uncle had a 12″ of New Year’s Day, and I fell in love.

Marillion – Script for a Jester’s Tear

I didn’t discover Marillion until I was about 17 and made a trip to the UK — but as I went back and discovered this album, it spoke to my angry teenage self.

The Web — The rain auditions at my window – its symphony echoes in my womb…

Pink Floyd – The Final Cut

This is a fantastic Roger Waters album that should not have the words Pink Floyd anywhere near it — that’s my only complaint. If you can get past that, this is an amazing album, exploring familiar themes of insecurity and isolationism, betrayal — both grand and personal. Brutally dark and depressing, but brilliant.

Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues

I flipped a coin as to whether I should post “Burning Down the House”, “Making Flippy Floppy” or “Girlfriend is Better”. Burning Down the House won — but if you want a high energy, fantastic album to listen to, listen to this whole album.

The Police – Synchronicity

You know, strangely enough, this is my least favourite Police album. I know, right? But the fact is, this is their last album together, and you can see that it’s all coming to pieces. The earlier stuff was all sort of punk-inspired and reggae-tinged, and this, well, is not.

BUT… it’s still a great album. You know Every Breath You Take — or at least you damn well better, and not just because Puff Daddy stole — yes stole — it.

But Tea in the Sahara will always be my favourite track off this album. It’s so… pretty.

Huey Lewis – Sports

No ’80s moment is complete without a Huey Lewis song. I love his cameo in Back to the Future.

Here’s the tune that Ray Parker Jr. stole — yes stole — for the Ghostbusters theme song (there was a lawsuit).

Tom Waits –  Swordfishtrombones

“I’m gonna whittle you into kindling!” — only Tom Waits could come up with that threat. I’ve also included a short story song called Frank’s Wild Years.

Bob Dylan – Infidels

This is probably the last Dylan that interested me until Time Out of Mind in the late ’90s. Die hard fans eat everything up — I shrug and am not easily impressed.

The Cure – Japanese Whispers

This is a collection of non-album singles — and they’re all great! I couldn’t find the official Lovecats video, but here’s something.


8 responses to “Top 40 – A Retrospective – 1983

  1. Man, I remember the wow factor Annie Lennox had at the time. You just couldn’t look away! She can still bring it too. (You’ve probably seen the vid of her with Bowie & Queen doing “Under Pressure.” Hot stuff!)

    Sadly, this is around the time that Mr. MacManus began having some issues…

  2. Well, here I am. You found some I know and like from the 80s. What’s extraordinary to me is how these have endured. I mean, I didn’t get to know some of them until I was an adult.

    • I hear you — I grew up in an All Dylan All the Time household — luckily my dad had a younger brother that introduced me to Elvis Costello, The Clash, The Beatles, Genesis, etc…

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