1983: Pop Music Rules, Thanks to MTV


After such a great weekend in which a childhood friend of my one of my boys got married and the class for which I was one of their sponsors had their twentieth class reunion (man, they are old!), things came crashing down again when I heard of the passing of The Cars’ leader Ric Ocasek. The Cars actually brought new wave in through classic rock’s doors when their timeless debut album was released in 1978. To the people who are now in their mid-fifties, like me, The Cars were one of our unifying artists, regardless if you were a Sabbath fan, a Pistols fan or a Fleetwood Mac fan; we all found ourselves in agreement with how great The Cars were. But, now, their two vocalists are gone, but their groundbreaking music lives on. And with Eddie Money’s passing on Friday, I am not looking forward to a third rock star death.

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You just cannot talk about the Eighties without thinking about the influence of The Cars. Ironically, 1983 was a very quiet year for the band, though we all remember what happened for them the following year. But, we are revisiting 1983, a year in which true pop music was the dominant force on the music scene. This was the year during which new wave and the subsequent Second British Invasion occurred. Michael Jackson’s moonwalk on the Motown 25th Anniversary Special caused Thriller to become THE dominant musical force for the year. Additionally, The Police released their own landmark album, Synchronicity, which lead the group to become the biggest band in the world. Even though their were many terrific rock, funk and R&B records released during the year, pop was king. And a little known but important scene on Hollywood’s Strip that we now call Glam metal was beginning to break nationally behind the success of Quiet Riot, the first metal act to have a number one album in the US. And, alternative music was beginning to break as well, with R.E.M. IRS Records full-length debut being released to critical acclaim while their British jangle counterparts, The Smiths, were making a big scene over in the UK.

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When you were a twenty-year-old at the time, the whole scenario was awesome! Little did I realize by the end of the year, I would only be six months away from meeting the most important person in my life. Regardless of that fact, 1983 was a great year for pop music, so let’s get on with the countdown!

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100. “Goodbye to You” – Scandal

99. “Heaven” – Bryan Adams

98. “Confusion” – New Order

97. “Lawyers in Love” – Jackson Browne

96. “Buffalo Gals” – Malcolm McLaren

95. “Mad World” – Tears for Fears

94. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” – The Police

93. “Mr. Roboto” – Styx

92. “Cuts like a Knife” – Bryan Adams

91. “Come Dancing” – The Kinks

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90. “Promises, Promises” – Naked Eyes

89. “Salt in My Tears” – Martin Briley

88. “Holiday Road” – Lindsey Buckingham

87. “Breaking Us in Two” – Joe Jackson

86. “Straight from the Heart” – Bryan Adams

85. “I’m Still Standing” – Elton John

84. “Dead Giveaway” – Shalamar

83. “I Won’t Hold You Back” – Toto

82. “It’s a Mistake” – Men at Work

81. “She’s a Beauty” – The Tubes

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80. “Stray Cat Strut” – Stray Cats

79. “You Can’t Hurry Love” – Phil Collins

78. “Puttin’ on the Ritz” – Taco

77. “Always Something There to Remind Me” – Naked Eyes

76. “Never Gonna Give You Up” – Sergio Mendes

75. “In the Mood” – Robert Plant

74. “Joanna” – Kool & the Gang

73. “China Girl” – David Bowie

72. “Gimme All Your Lovin'” – ZZ Top

71. “Undercover of the Night” – The Rolling Stones

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70. “Major Tom (Coming Home)” – Peter Schilling

69. “Church of the Poison Mind” – Culture Club

68. “Is There Something I Should Know?” – Duran Duran

67. “The One Thing” – INXS

66. “No Parking (On the Dancefloor)” – Midnight Star

65. “Stand Back” – Stevie Nicks

64. “Say, Say, Say” – Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson

63. “Jeopardy” – Greg Kihn Band

62. “Overkill” – Men at Work

61. “One on One” – Daryl Hall & John Oates

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60. “Making Love Out of Nothing at All” – Air Supply

59. “Too Shy” – Kajagoogoo

58. “Mirror Man” – The Human League

57. “The Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats

56. “Der Kommissar” – After the Fire

55. “King of Pain” – The Police

54. “Tell Her About It” – Billy Joel

53. “Rock of Ages” – Def Leppard

52. “Say It Isn’t So” – Daryl Hall & John Oates

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51. “I Love L.A.” – Randy Newman

50. “Synchronicity II” – The Police

49. “Delirious” – Prince

48. “Mama” – Genesis

47. “Crumblin’ Down” – John Cougar Mellencamp

46. “Modern Love” – David Bowie

45. “Sharp Dressed Man” – ZZ Top

44. “Uptown Girl” – Billy Joel

43. “Favorite Waste of Time” – Marshall Crenshaw

42. “Why Me” – Planet P Project

41. “Big Log” – Robert Plant

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40. “In a Big Country” – Big Country

39. “Red Red Wine” – UB40

38. “Cum on Feel the Noize” – Quiet Riot

37. “Just Be Good to Me” – S.O.S. Band

36. “Leave a Tender Moment Alone” – Billy Joel

35. “White Lines (Don’t Do It)” – Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel

34. “Owner of a Lonely Heart” – Yes

33. “Faithfully” – Journey

32. “Pass the Dutchie” – Musical Youth

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31. “Blister in the Sun” – Violent Femmes

30. “She Works Hard for the Money” – Donna Summer

29. “Love Is a Battlefield” – Pat Benatar

28. “Maniac” – Michael Sembello

27. “All Night Long (All Night)” – Lionel Richie

26. “Electric Avenue” – Eddie Grant

25. “Flashdance…Oh What a Feeling” – Irene Cara

24. “Blue Monday” – New Order

23. “Our House” – Madness

22. “New Year’s Day” – U2

21. “What About Me” – Moving Pictures

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20. “Photograph” – Def Leppard

19. “Rockit” – Herbie Hancock

18. “Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)” – A Flock of Seagulls

17. “Just Got Lucky” – JoBoxers

16. “True” – Spandau Ballet

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15. “One Thing Leads to Another” – The Fixx

14. “Here Comes the Rain Again” – Eurythmics

13. “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)” – Talking Heads

12. “Whenever You’re on My Mind” – Marshall Crenshaw

11. “Don’t Change” – INXS

10. “Let’s Dance” – David Bowie

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9. “Sunday Bloody Sunday” – U2

8. “Burning Down the House” – Talking Heads

7. “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper

6. “Karma Chameleon” – Culture Club

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5. “Everyday I Write the Book” – Elvis Costello & the Attractions

4. “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” – Elton John

3. “Long Hot Summer” – The Style Council

2. “Radio Free Europe” – R.E.M.

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1. “Every Breath You Take” – The Police

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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