My favorite songs of 1983


Back. Another hiatus with these, but I enjoy doing them so I will get them done. It takes 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 also the year that the worst song in history was released. More on that at the end (where it belongs.

In 1983 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.


9 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


11 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


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
Great – 12 Rock ‘N Roll Is King Electric Light Orchestra
Great – 12 Girls Just Want To Have Fun Cyndi Lauper
Great – 12 Hold Me Now Thompson Twins
Great – 12 It Ain’t Enough Corey Hart
Great – 12 Safety Dance Men Without Hats
Great – 12 Straight From The Heart Bryan Adams
Great – 12 Time After Time Cyndi Lauper
Great – 12 Union Of The Snake Duran Duran
Great – 12 Uptown Girl Billy Joel
Pretty Good – 21 All Night Long (All Night) Lionel Richie
Pretty Good – 21 Authority Song John Mellencamp
Pretty Good – 21 Crumblin’ Down John Mellencamp
Pretty Good – 21 Holiday Road Lindsey Buckingham
Pretty Good – 21 I Want A New Drug Huey Lewis & the News
Pretty Good – 21 Karma Chameleon Culture Club
Pretty Good – 21 King Of Pain The Police
Pretty Good – 21 Making Love Out Of Nothing At All Air Supply
Pretty Good – 21 Photograph Def Leppard
Pretty Good – 21 Pride And Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan
Pretty Good – 21 Radio Free Europe R.E.M.
Pretty Good – 21 Say Say Say Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson
Pretty Good – 33 Blue Monday New Order
Pretty Good – 33 Cruel Summer Bananarama
Pretty Good – 33 Cuts Like A Knife Bryan Adams
Pretty Good – 33 Hello Lionel Richie
Pretty Good – 33 Here Comes The Rain Again Eurythmics
Pretty Good – 33 Human Nature Michael Jackson
Pretty Good – 33 I’m Still Standing Elton John
Pretty Good – 33 Is There Something I Should Know? Duran Duran
Pretty Good – 33 Keeping The Faith Billy Joel
Pretty Good – 33 Little Red Corvette Prince
Pretty Good – 33 Modern Love David Bowie
Pretty Good – 33 Talk About the Passion R.E.M.
Pretty Good – 33 Tell Her About It Billy Joel
Pretty Good – 33 The Longest Time Billy Joel
Pretty Good – 33 The Reflex Duran Duran
Pretty Good – 33 Thriller Michael Jackson
Pretty Good – 33 Who’s That Girl Eurythmics
Pretty Good – 33 Wrapped Around Your Finger The Police
Not Bad – 51 1999 Prince
Not Bad – 51 Bang the Drum All Day Todd Rundgren
Not Bad – 51 Borderline Madonna
Not Bad – 51 Break My Stride Matthew Wilder
Not Bad – 51 Flashdance… What a Feeling Irene Cara
Not Bad – 51 Holiday Madonna
Not Bad – 51 How Can I Fall? Breathe
Not Bad – 51 I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues Elton John
Not Bad – 51 Illegal Alien Genesis
Not Bad – 51 Jeopardy Greg Kihn Band
Not Bad – 51 Joanna Kool & the Gang
Not Bad – 51 Jump (For My Love) The Pointer Sisters
Not Bad – 51 Lake Of Fire Meat Puppets
Not Bad – 51 Love Struck Baby Stevie Ray Vaughan
Not Bad – 51 Mad World Tears for Fears
Not Bad – 51 New Year’s Day U2
Not Bad – 51 P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) Michael Jackson
Not Bad – 51 Sunglasses At Night Corey Hart
Not Bad – 51 Talking In Your Sleep The Romantics
Not Bad – 51 That’s All Genesis
Not Bad – 51 This Time Bryan Adams
Not Bad – 51 What Is Love? Howard Jones
Not Bad – 73 Rise Up Parachute Club
Not Bad – 73 Let’s Dance David Bowie
Not Bad – 73 Lick It Up Kiss
Not Bad – 73 Lucky Star Madonna
Not Bad – 73 Major Tom (I’m Coming Home) Peter Schilling
Not Bad – 73 Maniac Michael Sembello
Not Bad – 73 Mr. Roboto Styx
Not Bad – 73 On The Dark Side John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band
Not Bad – 73 Puttin’ On the Ritz Taco
Not Bad – 73 In A Big Country Big Country
Not Bad – 73 Say It Isn’t So Hall & Oates
Not Bad – 73 Stand Back Stevie Nicks
Not Bad – 73 Sunday Bloody Sunday U2
Not Bad – 73 The Heart of Rock & Roll Huey Lewis & the News
Not Bad – 73 Synchronicity II The Police
Not Bad – 73 True Spandau Ballet
Not Bad – 73 One Thing Leads to Another The Fixx
Not Bad – 73 Original Sin INXS
Not Bad – 73 Pale Shelter Tears for Fears
Not Bad – 73 She Bop Cyndi Lauper
Not Bad – 73 She Works Hard For The Money Donna Summer
Not Bad – 73 Smalltown Boy Bronski Beat
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! 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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