My favorite songs of 1983


These take time, because those few songs I don’t recognize by title I will listen to on YouTube and usually get reminded of one I know well. I whittle down 400+ songs that were released that year to a list of songs I actually enjoy. This was the year that the worst song in history was released. More on that at the end (where it belongs).

In 1983 the compact disc first arrived in the USA after starting off in Japan. And the entertainment industry was fighting something called “piracy”? Apparently, people were taping music off the radio! (Okay fine, I did that too). Just goes to show you that the battle is endless and if you truly want to stomp it out then make the music more affordable – with only a tiny cut going to producers and distributors. The Rolling Stones were signed to the biggest recording contract in history at $28 million – and the last song I liked by this great band was in 1981. So that $28 million went to crap. Also in 1983 – Paul Simon married Princess Leia!

During this year we had one of Bob Marley’s better songs (and probably his most famous), ZZ Top’s best album came out (with three songs that stick in your head every time you hear them), and this was also the year where everyone was ‘Motorin’!’. But for the most part – the pop genre ruled. There were good pop songs out this year, particularly from women. I’m not the biggest fan of pop music, but in this particular year I admit to being a closet Bonnie Tyler fan – really love her unique voice. And I’ve always enjoyed Cyndi Lauper’s voice and All Through the Night is my favorite song from her. Another guilty pleasure – They Don’t Know by Tracey Ullman.

Unlike most rankings, I won’t be simply tossing these up in a numerical order. Because I know better than anybody that on some days, some songs kick more ass than other songs. A song that is ranked 14th today could very well rank 1st tomorrow, if it suddenly comes on the radio during the perfect moment. So I group them:
Pretty Good
Not Bad
…with inter-group splitting.

10 Great Songs that were released in 1983

Rock ‘N Roll Is King – Electric Light Orchestra

Girls Just Want To Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper

Hold Me Now – Thompson Twins

It Ain’t Enough – Corey Hart

Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

Straight From The Heart – Bryan Adams

Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper

Union Of The Snake – Duran Duran

Uptown Girl – Billy Joel

Heart and Soul – Huey Lewis & the News

12 Truly Awesome Songs from 1983

Buffalo Soldier – Bob Marley & the Wailers

Every Breath You Take – The Police

Gimme All Your Lovin’ – ZZ Top

Red Red Wine – UB40

Sister Christian – Night Ranger

Total Eclipse Of The Heart – Bonnie Tyler

All Through The Night – Cyndi Lauper

Islands in the Stream – Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton

Legs – ZZ Top

Sharp Dressed Man – ZZ Top

They Don’t Know – Tracey Ullman

You can listen to these great songs as a playlist on YouTube here

Follow me on Spotify for more great playlists

Here is the complete list...

Awesome – 1 Buffalo Soldier Bob Marley & the Wailers
Awesome – 1 Every Breath You Take The Police
Awesome – 1 Gimme All Your Lovin’ ZZ Top
Awesome – 1 Red Red Wine UB40
Awesome – 1 Sister Christian Night Ranger
Awesome – 1 Total Eclipse Of The Heart Bonnie Tyler
Awesome – 7 All Through The Night Cyndi Lauper
Awesome – 7 Islands in the Stream Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
Awesome – 7 Legs ZZ Top
Awesome – 7 Sharp Dressed Man ZZ Top
Awesome – 7 They Don’t Know Tracey Ullman
Awesome – 7 New Moon On Monday Duran Duran
Great – 13 Rock ‘N Roll Is King Electric Light Orchestra
Great – 13 Girls Just Want To Have Fun Cyndi Lauper
Great – 13 Hold Me Now Thompson Twins
Great – 13 It Ain’t Enough Corey Hart
Great – 13 Safety Dance Men Without Hats
Great – 13 Straight From The Heart Bryan Adams
Great – 13 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
Great – 13 Union Of The Snake Duran Duran
Great – 13 Uptown Girl Billy Joel
Great – 13 Heart And Soul Huey Lewis & the News
Solid – 23 All Night Long (All Night) Lionel Richie
Solid – 23 Authority Song John Mellencamp
Solid – 23 Crumblin’ Down John Mellencamp
Solid – 23 Holiday Road Lindsey Buckingham
Solid – 23 I Want A New Drug Huey Lewis & the News
Solid – 23 Karma Chameleon Culture Club
Solid – 23 King Of Pain The Police
Solid – 23 Making Love Out Of Nothing At All Air Supply
Solid – 23 Photograph Def Leppard
Solid – 23 Pride And Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan
Solid – 23 Radio Free Europe R.E.M.
Solid – 23 Say Say Say Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
Solid – 35 Blue Monday New Order
Solid – 35 Cruel Summer Bananarama
Solid – 35 Cuts Like A Knife Bryan Adams
Solid – 35 Hello Lionel Richie
Solid – 35 Here Comes The Rain Again Eurythmics
Solid – 35 Human Nature Michael Jackson
Solid – 35 I’m Still Standing Elton John
Solid – 35 Is There Something I Should Know? Duran Duran
Solid – 35 Keeping The Faith Billy Joel
Solid – 35 Little Red Corvette Prince
Solid – 35 Modern Love David Bowie
Solid – 35 Talk About the Passion R.E.M.
Solid – 35 Tell Her About It Billy Joel
Solid – 35 The Longest Time Billy Joel
Solid – 35 The Reflex Duran Duran
Solid – 35 Thriller Michael Jackson
Solid – 35 Who’s That Girl Eurythmics
Solid – 35 Wrapped Around Your Finger The Police
Solid – 35 Talking In Your Sleep The Romantics
Solid – 35 That’s All Genesis
Solid – 35 Break My Stride Matthew Wilder
Not Bad – 56 Cum on Feel the Noize Quiet Riot
Not Bad – 56 Tonight I Celebrate My Love Peabo Bryson & Roberta Flack
Not Bad – 56 Old Emotions Spoons
Not Bad – 56 1999 Prince
Not Bad – 56 Bang the Drum All Day Todd Rundgren
Not Bad – 56 Borderline Madonna
Not Bad – 56 Flashdance… What a Feeling Irene Cara
Not Bad – 56 Holiday Madonna
Not Bad – 56 How Can I Fall? Breathe
Not Bad – 56 I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues Elton John
Not Bad – 56 Illegal Alien Genesis
Not Bad – 56 Jeopardy Greg Kihn Band
Not Bad – 56 Joanna Kool & the Gang
Not Bad – 56 Jump (For My Love) The Pointer Sisters
Not Bad – 56 Lake Of Fire Meat Puppets
Not Bad – 56 Love Struck Baby Stevie Ray Vaughan
Not Bad – 56 Mad World Tears for Fears
Not Bad – 56 New Year’s Day U2
Not Bad – 56 P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) Michael Jackson
Not Bad – 56 Sunglasses At Night Corey Hart
Not Bad – 56 This Time Bryan Adams
Not Bad – 56 What Is Love? Howard Jones
Not Bad – 56 You Can’t Hurry Love Phil Collins
Not Bad – 56 Everyday I Write the Book Elvis Costello & The Attractions
Not Bad – 80 All Right Christopher Cross
Not Bad – 80 Rise Up Parachute Club
Not Bad – 80 Let’s Dance David Bowie
Not Bad – 80 Lick It Up Kiss
Not Bad – 80 Lucky Star Madonna
Not Bad – 80 Major Tom (I’m Coming Home) Peter Schilling
Not Bad – 80 Maniac Michael Sembello
Not Bad – 80 Mr. Roboto Styx
Not Bad – 80 On The Dark Side John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
Not Bad – 80 Puttin’ On the Ritz Taco
Not Bad – 80 In A Big Country Big Country
Not Bad – 80 Say It Isn’t So Hall & Oates
Not Bad – 80 Stand Back Stevie Nicks
Not Bad – 80 Sunday Bloody Sunday U2
Not Bad – 80 The Heart of Rock & Roll Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 80 Synchronicity II The Police
Not Bad – 80 True Spandau Ballet
Not Bad – 80 One Thing Leads to Another The Fixx
Not Bad – 80 Original Sin INXS
Not Bad – 80 Pale Shelter Tears for Fears
Not Bad – 80 She Bop Cyndi Lauper
Not Bad – 80 She Works Hard For The Money Donna Summer
Not Bad – 80 Smalltown Boy Bronski Beat
Not Bad – 80 (She’s) Sexy & 17 Stray Cats
Not Bad – 80 Never Gonna Let You Go Sergio Mendes
Not Bad – 80 Human Race Red Rider
Not Bad – 80 Moments In Love Art of Noise
HORRIBLE – 1000000 Owner Of A Lonely Heart Yes

I can’t picture a music talent scout walking into a bar and hearing “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and thinking that they have to sign such a band! This would never have gotten play if Yes were brand new. Horrible, ridiculous sound in terms of both music and lyrics. I can’t think of one nice thing to say about it. Please help me understand how this song ever made it to air. I don’t care how established this band was – if they put together a song like this one, feel free to hide it as a bonus track. How did it get on the radio and how much payola was given to DJs to play it?

Worst song in history.

1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989

1960s          1970s          1980s          1990s


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