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Monday, April 25, 2011

The Top 50 Songs of 1983

I guess any year where your thinking about who’s better between Night Ranger and Journey can’t possibly be that great.   Mix in two Motley Crue songs in the top 10 and well, it worsens.   I’ll give 1983 a slight nod over 1981, but they’re close in terms of awful years of music.  1983 at least has the beginning of Metallica and they don’t sound like douchebags yet, so that’s pretty good.  Synchronicity was also released, and I'm sure that's worth something to some people. 

50.  You Can Still Rock In America – Night Ranger (Butt Rock)83

I’ll admit it, I’m only including this cheeseball because I want to be the first person ever to include two Night Ranger songs in the same “Best of” list … and of course, because I’m ‘Merican and you CAN still rock in America! 

49.  Come Dancing – The Kinks (Pop Rock)83
48.  This Is Not a Love Song – Public Image Ltd. (Punk)83
47.  Electric Avenue – Eddy Grant (Pop)83

I never really noticed this, but dude may set a record with the amount of times he says, “We’re gonna rock down to electric avenue.”

46.  Relax – Frankie Goes to Hollywood (Synthpop)83
45.  The Cutter – Echo and the Bunnymen (Gothic)83

Another quality of Goth is if the singer sings with a way over dramatic voice a la Joy Division.  For that reason, Echo and his bunnymen are in the Gotholympics. 

44.  Last Night a DJ Saved My Life – Indeep (Disco)83
43.  Cum on Feel The Noise – Quiet Riot (Butt Rock)83

The only reason I’m giving this song the time of the day is a) pleasant childhood memories and b) this is the first hard rock album to ever go #1.  This really opened the door for Poison. 

42.  Love is a Battlefield – Pat Benatar (Pop)83

She had a haircut for a generation, and that’s gotta be worth something. 

41.  Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top (Hard Rock)83

Man, all these ZZ Top songs sound exactly the same off this album.  Out of spite, I’m not ranking “Gimme All Your Lovin.”  It’s the worst of the three (I’m ignoring the rest of the album and one more will appear). 

40.  In a Big Country – Big Country (New Wave)83
39.  Magic’s Wand – Whodini (Rap)83

After listening to Run DMC, Whodini sounds a little bit silly, but it’s a fun song. 

38.  Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper (Pop)83
37.  Murder By Numbers – The Police (Rock)83
36.  Girlfriend is Better – Talking Heads (New Wave)83
35.  Get the Balance Right – Depeche Mode (Synthpop)83
34.  Legs – ZZ Top (Hard Rock)83
33.  Sonny’s Burning – The Birthday Party (Punk)83
32.  Photograph – Def Leppard (Butt Rock)83 
31.  Looks that Kill – Motley Crue (Butt Rock)83

It’s bizarre how I was once scared of the guys in this video.  Now I’d only be scared if Vince Neil was driving on the same road as me or I stumbled upon Nikki Sixx's carcass while tossing my trash into a dumpster.  Actually, if I ever encountered Mick Mars, he'd still scare me as well.  Or even throw in the potential of meeting Tommy Lee and getting an STD by his mere presence.  See, after all these years Motley Crue is still scary. 

30.  King of Pain – The Police (New Wave)83
29.  Hit the Lights – Metallica (Heavy Metal)83
28.  Mr. Roboto – Styx (Progressive Rock)83

Styx received one of those reputations where it’s almost as if you know anything about music, you’re supposed to mock them mercilessly.  I don’t see how they’re any worse than most of the stuff that came out in their era.  They have two very fun songs which is more than I can say for many other bands. 

27.  This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody) – Talking Heads (New Wave)83
26.  Maneater – Hall & Oates (Pop Rock)83

To go 80’s moustache gay here, this song was inspired by Kelly LeBrock who was that bangin’ broad in Weird Science.  Leave it to these guys to be scared of aggressive women. 

25.  Rock of Ages – Def Leppard (Butt Rock)83
24.  Wrapped Around Your Finger – The Police (New Wave)83
23.  Cattle and Cane – The Go Betweens (Rock)83
22.  Middle of the Road – The Pretenders (Rock)83
21.  It’s Like That – Run DMC (Rap)83

1983 is the beginning of Run DMC, the band that would bring rap to the top of the charts … with the help of Aerosmith of course. 

20.  White Lines – Grandmaster Flash (Rap)83

In case you didn’t know, this song is about cocaine, and it’s against it.  I guess Reagan is ruining the fun of many high strung Americans. 

19.  Burning Down the House – Talking Heads (New Wave)83
18.  The Four Horseman – Metallica (Heavy Metal)83
17.  Synchronicity – The Police (New Wave)83
16.  New Year’s Day – U2 (Rock)83

Maybe my problem with these guys is the fact that Bono doesn’t play an instrument … and the fact that he goes by Bono … and the other guy goes by The Edge.  It’s definitely not their early 80’s music that’s the problem, that’s for sure. 

15.  Seek and Destroy – Metallica (Heavy Metal)83
14.  Owner of Lonely Heart – Yes (Progressive Rock)83

Have you ever met anyone who's said, "I'm a huge Yes fan!"

13.  Sweet Dreams – The Eurythmics (Synthpo)83
12.  A New England – Billy Bragg (Rock)83

Until I began this endeavor, I never knew how far back this guy went. 

11.  Blue Monday – New Order (Synthpop)83
10.  Whiplash – Metallica (Heavy Metal)83
9.  Undercover of the Night – The Rolling Stones (Rock)83

Here’s my last Stones song.  It was a great run, and a pretty darn good way to end it for the Greatest Rock ‘n Roll Band of All-Time (which should be modified to the Greatest Rock Band of All-Time).

8.  Shout at the Devil – Motley Crue (Butt Rock)83

I can’t believe how high Vince Neil gets his voice in this butt rocker tribute to our dark lord.  Tommy Lee’s drumming is pretty bad ass on this one as well.  Yes, I’m complimenting Motley Crue without a sense of sarcasm.  It’s 1983, what was anyone listening to that was so much cooler? 

7.  Red, Red Wine – UB40 (Reggae)83

Like many bands, they now hate this song because all it did was make them relevant for a little while. 

6.  Sunday, Bloody Sunday – U2 (Rock)83
5.  Sister Christian – Night Ranger (Power Ballad)83

All I can do is look embarrassingly around and hope no one notices. 

4.  Sucker MC’s – Run DMC (Rap)83

Here we have two great MC’s busting people up.  It sounds like every part of this song has been sampled by others rappers over nearly the last 30 years. 

3.  Too Young to Fall in Love – Motley Crue (Butt Rock)83

I don’t know what it is, but this song has some kind of magic to it, and obviously, that’s something that can’t be said for 99.9999999% of 80’s butt rock songs. 

2.  Institutionalized – Suicidal Tendencies (Heavy Metal)83

I don’t see how this song can’t be included on any classic heavy metal mix. 

1.  Every Breath You Take – The Police (Slow Rock)83

Though this may seem like a sellout by the Police in a similar manner as what U2 what do in a few years from 1983 with “With or Without You”, it’s a nice smooth song.  Sure, the idea of Sting stalking you might be scary, but Stewart Copeland seems fine years later.  


  1. Did you know Cum on Feel the Noise was a cover done by Quiet Riot originally recorded by Slade in 1973. These guys are the original glam rockers...Check them out...Very creepy.

  2. I found that out a few months ago. Quiet Riot covered a couple of their songs, and are basically just a glorified Slade cover band.