Best of the '80s, Poll — June 3, 2013 at 9:31 am

Top 100 Albums of 1983: Slicing Up Eyeballs’ Best of the ’80s — Part 4

Best of 1983

It’s the first Monday of the month, which means it’s time to unveil the results of Part 4 of our year-long Best of the ’80s feature, a year-by-year poll of Slicing Up Eyeballs’ readers to determine the best albums of each year of the 1980s — and then, when that’s wrapped up at the end of 2013, we’ll run a monster best-of-the-decade poll to crown the overall champs.

For the 1983 poll, we received nearly 32,000 votes naming more than 260 different albums — including once again, as write-ins, a good number of records that were not actually released in 1983 (we’re looking at you, person who voted for Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me).

With each of the top seven albums receiving more than 1,000 votes apiece this time around, we narrowly averted — for the second straight month — another Top 10 tie, this time as Tears For Fears’ The Hurting edged out Violent Femmes by a single vote to claim the No. 4 spot on the countdown.

More surprising to some, though, will be New Order’s Power, Corruption & Lies taking the coveted No. 1 spot over R.E.M.’s genre-defining Murmur. With nearly 3,600 total votes cast for the two albums combined, New Order came out on top by a 135-vote margin.

So thank you all for voting and sharing your thoughts. Take a look at the Top 100 list below — and feel free to offer your own take on the results, good or bad, in the comments below.

And stay tuned for the Best of 1984 poll, which will launch Friday.

PAST RESULTS: Top 100 Albums of 1980, Top 100 Albums of 1981, Top 100 Albums of 1982

 

SLICING UP EYEBALLS READERS POLL: TOP 100 ALBUMS OF 1983

 

New Order, 'Power, Corruption & Lies'

1. New Order, Power, Corruption & Lies

BACKSTORY: For their second album, New Order turned to an increasingly electronic-based sound, employing more synthesizers than on their debut, Movement, for a more dance-friendly collection.
SINGLES: None
BAND: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert
PRODUCER: New Order
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

R.E.M., 'Murmur'

2. R.E.M., Murmur

BACKSTORY: R.E.M.’s iconic debut album, released by IRS Records, became the mumbling backbone of the American independent rock and college radio movements taking root in the early ’80s.
SINGLES: “Radio Free Europe,” “Talk About the Passion”
BAND: Bill Berry, Peter Buck Mike Mills, Michael Stipe
PRODUCER: Don Dixon and Mitch Easter
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

U2, 'War'

3. U2, War

BACKSTORY: On the band’s third album and commercial breakthrough, U2 went noticeably political, with a harder rock sound to accompany its more strident and impassioned messages.
SINGLES: “New Year’s Day,” “Two Hearts Beat As One,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday”
BAND: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.
PRODUCER: Steve Lillywhite
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Tears For Fears, 'The Hurting'

4. Tears For Fears, The Hurting

BACKSTORY: The debut from Tears For Fears spawned three Top 5 singles in the U.K. despite dealing with heavy emotional topics and primal scream therapy — which is where the band got its name.
SINGLES: “Suffer the Children,” “Pale Shelter,” “Mad World,” “Change”
BAND: Roland Orzabal, Curt Smith, Ian Stanley, Manny Elias
PRODUCER: Chris Huges, Ross Cullum
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Violent Femmes, 'Violent Femmes'

5. Violent Femmes, Violent Femmes

BACKSTORY: The Violent Femmes’ debut, a college dorm staple for three decades now, famously went gold four years after its release without ever cracking the Billboard Top 200 album chart.
SINGLES: “Gone Daddy Gone”
BAND: Gordon Gano, Brian Ritchie, Victor DeLorenzo
PRODUCER: Mark Van Hecke
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

The Police, 'Synchronicity'

6. The Police, Synchronicity

BACKSTORY: The fifth and final album from the Police was a commercial monster, and found the band further moving from its reggae-inspired roots to rely on synths and other modern production techniques.
SINGLES: “Every Breath You Take,” “Wrapped Around Your Fingers,” “Synchronicity II,” “King of Pain”
BAND: Sting, Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland
PRODUCER: The Police and Hugh Padgham
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Depeche Mode, 'Construction Time Again'

7. Depeche Mode, Construction Time Again

BACKSTORY: Depeche Mode’s third album is the first to feature Alan Wilder, and finds the group beginning to incorporate found sounds and other flourishes inspired by industrial music.
SINGLES: “Everything Counts,” “Love, In Itself”
BAND: Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Alan Wilder, Andy Fletcher
PRODUCER: Depeche Mode and Daniel Miller
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Echo & The Bunnymen, 'Porcupine'

8. Echo & The Bunnymen, Porcupine

BACKSTORY: The Bunnymen’s third album, produced by future Lightning Seed Ian Broudie, initially was rejected as too uncommercial. It eventually spawned the band’s first Top 10 hit (“The Cutter”).
SINGLES: “The Back of Love,” “The Cutter”
BAND: Ian McCulloch, Will Sergeant, Les Pattinson, Pete de Freitas
PRODUCER: Ian Broudie
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

Talking Heads, 'Speaking in Tongues'

9. Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues

BACKSTORY: The Talking Heads’ fifth album was the band’s commercial breakthrough, spawning its only U.S. Top 10 hit (“Burning Down the House”) and the tour captured in “Stop Making Sense.”
SINGLES: “Burning Down the House,” “Naive Melody (This Must Be the Place)”
BAND: David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth
PRODUCER: Talking Heads
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

David Bowie, 'Let's Dance'

10. David Bowie, Let’s Dance

BACKSTORY: Co-produced by Nile Rodgers, the 15th studio album from David Bowie generated a trio of hit singles, and spotlighted a rising young guitar ace named Stevie Ray Vaughan.
SINGLES: “Let’s Dance,” “China Girl,” “Modern Love,” “Without You”
BAND: David Bowie, Steve Ray Vaughan, Nile Rodgers, Carmine Rojas, Tony Thompson, Rob Sabino
PRODUCER: David Bowie and Nile Rodgers
BUY IT: Amazon.com (CD, digital, vinyl), iTunes (Digital)

 

 

11. Duran Duran, Seven and the Ragged Tiger
12. The The, Soul Mining
13. Bauhaus, Burning from the Inside
14. Cocteau Twins, Head over Heels
15. Billy Idol, Rebel Yell
16. Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
17. Big Country, The Crossing
18. The Fixx, Reach the Beach
19. The Replacements, Hootenanny
20. Hüsker Dü, Everything Falls Apart

 

The Chameleons

21. The Chameleons, Script of the Bridge
22. Yazoo, You and Me Both
23. The Glove, Blue Sunshine
24. Ministry, With Sympathy
25. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Dazzle Ships
26. Tom Waits, Swordfishtrombones
27. The B-52’s, Whammy!
28. Aztec Camera, High Land, Hard Rain
29. Men at Work, Cargo
30. XTC, Mummer

 

x

31. X, More Fun in the New World
32. The Waterboys, The Waterboys
33. Minor Threat, Out of Step
34. Sonic Youth, Confusion Is Sex
35. Heaven 17, The Luxury Gap
36. Spandau Ballet, True
37. Suicidal Tendencies, Suicidal Tendencies
38. The Church, Seance
39. Elvis Costello & The Attractions, Punch the Clock
40. Oingo Boingo, Good for Your Soul

 

billy bragg

41. Billy Bragg, Life’s a Riot with Spy Vs Spy
42. Eurythmics, Touch
43. Social Distortion, Mommy’s Little Monster
44. UB40, Labour of Love
45. A Flock of Seagulls, Listen
46. Adam Ant, Strip (TIE)
46. Thompson Twins, Quick Step and Side Kick (TIE)
48. Minutemen, What Makes a Man Start Fires?
49. Soft Cell, The Art of Falling Apart
50. Killing Joke, Fire Dances

 

the creatures

51. The Creatures, Feast
52. The Plimsouls, Everywhere at Once
53. Bad Brains, Rock For Light
54. The Fall, Perverted by Language
55. Cabaret Voltaire, The Crackdown (TIE)
55. Ramones, Subterranean Jungle (TIE)
57. Brian Eno, Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks
58. The Go-Betweens, Before Hollywood
59. Gene Loves Jezebel, Promise
60. Misfits, Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood

 

china crisis

61. China Crisis, Working with Fire and Steel —€“ Possible Pop Songs Volume Two
62. The Stranglers, Feline
63. Stray Cats, Rant N’ Rave with the Stray Cats
64. Einstürzende Neubauten, Zeichnungen des Patienten O.T.
65. Circle Jerks, Golden Shower of Hits
66. ABC, Beauty Stab
67. Rain Parade, Emergency Third Rail Power Trip
68. Gang of Four, Hard (TIE)
68. Swans, Filth (TIE)
68. Yello, You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess (TIE)

 

pylon

71. Pylon, Chomp
72. Xmal Deutschland, Fetisch (TIE)
72. Marshall Crenshaw, Field Day (TIE)
74. Naked Eyes, Burning Bridges (aka Naked Eyes in North America)
75. Jonathan Richman, Jonathan Sings!
76. Split Enz, Conflicting Emotions (TIE)
76. Fun Boy Three, Waiting (TIE)
78. The Danse Society, Heaven Is Waiting
79. The Three O’Clock, Sixteen Tambourines (TIE)
79. Wipers, Over the Edge (TIE)

 

lords of the new church

81. The Lords of the New Church, Is Nothing Sacred?
82. Bow Wow Wow, When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going
83. Wang Chung, Points on the Curve
84. Wire Train, In a Chamber
85. Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You
86. Gary Numan, Warriors
87. The Golden Palominos, The Golden Palominos
88. Marc and the Mambas, Torment and Toreros (TIE)
88. 10,000 Maniacs, Secrets of the I Ching (TIE)
90. Altered Images, Bite

 

Alien Sex Fiend

91. Alien Sex Fiend, Who’s Been Sleeping in My Brain
92. Durutti Column, Another Setting (TIE)
92. Kajagoogoo, White Feathers (TIE)
94. Shriekback, Care
95. Divinyls, Desperate
96. Pulp, It (TIE)
96. Malcolm McLaren, Duck Rock (TIE)
98. Sparks, In Outer Space (TIE)
98. The Comsat Angels, Land (TIE)
100. Freur, Doot-Doot

 

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90 Comments

  1. The top 10 is not surprising at all except for the order of a few titles.

  2. Minor Threat at 33. Good stuff, surprised but pleased they got that high.

  3. Great top 10. Thompson Twins ‘Side Kicks’ deserved to be in the top 20. I guess people forgot about it once cassettes died and it became hard to find on CD and never on iTunes.

    • Amanda,

      Your comment rings so true! That album really found its full expression on cassette, where the second side was all really terrific remixes that I’ve never seen elsewhere. And I don’t think I ever have seen the album proper on CD. I know it got eclipsed sales-wise by their next couple of releases, but “Side Kicks” was, for me, the best record Thompson Twins ever released. Especially on cassette!

      • Edsel UK reissued Quick Step as a double disc that includes all of the cassette mixes as well as most of the 7 inch edits and various 12″ mixes that weren’t included on the tape. I highly recommend it.

  4. Hard to argue with the top ten. And as much as I love Age of Consent and the rest of Power, Corruption, and Lies, you really can’t pick a better album from 83 (and maybe the 80s, save the Stone Roses) than Murmur. I started playing that album in 10th grade and still have not stopped.

    • In terms of long-term musical impact and historical importance, Murmur eclipses everything else on this list by a mile — nothing comes close. The whole top 10 is very respectable, and I like New Order as much as the next person, but objectively speaking, Murmur was THE record of 1983. I don’t see how anyone could argue otherwise.

    • I completely disagree. New Order’s album is more concise than REM’s and has had more influence over time than Murmer has. I’d argue it had more influence upon it’s release as well. I love REM, but really.

      • Oh, you’re so right. If it weren’t for New Order, we never would have had the Killers, and then where would music be?

      • Jack Watters

        New Order is a better singles band than albums band. Yes, their first 4 albums are all great…maybe even Technique, but it’s their singles that define them. Murmur had a WAY bigger impact on “college rock”…along with the ‘Mats.

        • What was so great about power corruption and lies is that there were no singles and usually New Order is a “singles band” but Power corruption and lies had so many great songs on it like: Leave me alone, age of consent, your silent face, ultra-violence,the village. It was the only album that was completely great that more than half the songs are amazing.

  5. Was hoping “The Crossing” would be Top 10, but can’t complain–lots of competition. Great that voters showed “Hootenanny” lots of love (it was in my Top 10). Gives me hope that we’ll be seeing deserved Top 5 finishes for “Let it Be,” the mighty “Tim,” and friends in the future! Here come the ‘Mats!!!

  6. I was hoping “Seance” would’ve made the top 10, but the competition was crazy. What an amazing year for music, it was hard to pick just 5 albums!

  7. I am not a big metal fan but where is Metallica I remember them having a decent album that year. Love new order and rem but I think violent femmes was the better album. Love the fact Echo made top 10 as my favourite altime band.

  8. El Arreglardo

    The top 10 is an interesting mix of non commercial and over the top commercial bands.

  9. Los Chundros

    Cant argue with that really.. Although I thought X ‘More Fun In The New World would be higher.

    Looking forward to 84 – Zen Arcade, Reckoning, Meat Puppets II, Double Nickels on the Dime, Let It Be etc.

  10. Eurythmics, Billy Idol, The The, Duran Duran only in top 20. Thompson Twins at 46, Eurythmics Touch at 42, The Stranglers at 62, Yazoo At 22, OMD only at 25, Spandau at 36, Heaven 17 at 35 … Who vote for this list? Probably people born in late 80’s or early 90’s. REM is defintely not the 80’s band and even U2 is overrated 90’s band (Achtung Baby, commercial peak, released in 1991).

    • Hardly Marko. I was born in ’66 and I agree with the list way more than your revised version. Your taste seems to me to be more 80’s MTV than 80’s college radio.

      • R.E.M. not an ’80s band? Hmm…maybe you’re actually right, Marko. Their unequaled ’80s run of “Chronic Town” to “Green” makes them so much more than that. Speaking of chronic, lay off the pipe, dude! Or at least clue us in on when and where you were born, cuz I’m just barely feeling ya, bro!

      • REM & U2. They’re not define sound of the 80’s. Synth pop, New Wave, New Romantics. That’s the sound of the 80’s. U2 became big in ’87. REM even later. 1987 is awful year of music (Stock aitken Waterman production, Kylie Minogue and other shitty artist), and because of that U2 became commercial big artist. Joshua Tree is overrated albums. 1987 is the point when 80’s music is finished, and other rock oriented artist becomes successful (REM, U2) together with Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan & Rick Astley. Why U2 or REM don’t have commercial peak in the first half of the 80’s. Because they’re don’t have New Wave, Synth Pop sound. They’re average rock bands.

        • “…average rock bands”?! I was going to ignore this last post of yours, but I can’t.

          They’re ALL sounds of the ’80s. When someone mentions ’80s music, sure, lots of people will think of New Wave, New Romantics, etc. But that doesn’t mean you leave out R.E.M., U2, and the like–especially at this site. Your idea of how this Top 100 should look is way too narrow. And if you think we all have it wrong, then just look at the top of this page for a little reminder that this site celebrates “the legacy of ’80s college rock.” Yes, “rock”! Something that seems to be bugging you about all of this.

          Hey, Marko, there’s lots more U2 and R.E.M. on the way. And get ready for the Smiths, the Replacements, the Church, and other guitar/rock bands, too. So brace yourself, suck it up, or just bail. But what is so great about these bands, and so many others in this ’83 chart and other years, is that so much of the music sounds more timeless than stuck in the ’80s. Play “Murmur” to the totally uninitiated and ask them what year it was made, and you might get answers like “1979,” “1993,” or “Yesterday.” Whereas too many of those synth bands you mentioned would have someone saying, “That is soooo ’80s,” be it good or bad.

        • Wow. 1987 is easily the BEST year for alternative music. All the greats released excellent albums that year (new order, rem, the cure, siouxsie, U2, echo&bunnymen, the smiths, the list goes on and on) and new comers, like Sinead O’Connor for example, were spectacular.

        • marko = troll

        • Your facts are so off. Before 87, U2 released Boy, October, War, Under a Blood Red Sky, and Unforgettable Fire. Are you really saying they weren’t big by then? Ever heard of a song called Pride? How bout New Year’s Day? Never heard that “underground” song called Sunday Bloody Sunday? And in the 80s, they also released Joshua Tree Rattle and Hum (plus all the awesome b-sides to Joshua Tree and Three Sunrises). In 86, I saw U2 when they sold out the LA Sports Arena. Nothing serious, just 16K people. U2 was selling stadiums by 87. How are they not an 80s band? And REM? They did their best work in the 80s: Murmur, Fables (well, maybe not Fables), Reckoning, Dead Letter Office, DOcument, and Green. Most of the bands you cite (Eurythmics, Billy Idol, Duran Duran, OMD, and Spandau) were just MTV fodder. Yeah, REM was not synth-pop, but niether were X, the Clash, Love and Rockets, Cocteau Twins, soUIXIE, the police, the English Beat, the Specials, Madness, the Violent Femmes, the Smiths, the Cure, and countless other bands that blew away every band you list (although I give props to the Stanglers and Heaven 17). As for Yaz, come on. Upstairs at Eric’s was epic, but beyond that, they didn’t have a lot of staying power. No one in their right mind could compare their 80s output to that of REM or U2 or any band I just listed. OWNED!!!!!!

        • Uh, your narrow definition of the what constitutes the 80s musically and your lack of knowledge of why U2 and REM weren’t big early in their career is beyong ignorant and enters the realm of absurdity. The Clash, as just an example, reached their commercial peak in the early 80s with hardly a synthesizer in sight.

          • Marko, if you need any help getting back to the cave from which you’ve emerged, just let us know. The world will be a much saner place.

    • REM I saw live at their best twice in the early to mid 80s; U2 was enormous by 1987. Your timeframe is about a decade off the mark.

    • Sounds like the only thing you have against U2 and REM is that they became commercially successful.

  11. Does anyone else here think War proved to be U2’s best album ever? I know Unforgettable Fire and so forth are held in higher esteem (and sold tons more records), but War gives me the chills like no other. It’s something about the starkness of the arrangements and mix, I think. The tracks “Like a Song,” “Red Light” and “Surrender” are brilliant even in the shadow of the better-known cuts.

    • I still go with Unforgettable Fire. The title track and Elvis Presley and America are just too good. And although Pride is basically the most overplayed song ever, it was epic when it first came out.

    • I’ve much love for War, and Two Hearts still my favorite U2 track, but there are a couple REAL duds that detract from overall greatness (Refugee is unlistenable). Name the unlistenable track on Unforgettable Fire or Joshua Tree. You can’t. I too go with U.F. as best work.

  12. Made my day. No 1.

  13. 8/10 of my votes made the list, except the top two. “The Way You Are” was a single only release, not on The Hurting.

  14. Wait, what? Daniel Johnston’s at #85? And more people voted for Billy Idol “Rebel Yell” (#15) than Minor Threat (#33)? Well, MTV was still playing music videos in 1983, so that likely explains why the would-be shoo-ins are ranked so far down on the list.

  15. There were definitely were some great records in ’83 but I didn’t have any difficulty in picking my top 10 and that made it less fun for me. The previous years were so much harder. I was a little sad to see that “Creatures of Leisure” by Mental as Anything wasn’t on the list. “Brain Brain” is an amazing single.

  16. Catherine

    The Chameleons’ appearance at 21 signifies a small step away from obscurity. Porcupine falling after the mediocre Construction Time is probably just projected love for Mr. Gahan and Violator…although Ian McCulloch was a lot more attractive than that square-faced leatherboy.

  17. Typical hate for New Order as expected. I am surprised they are #1.

  18. U2 does not belong in the top 10… most over rated band of all time.

  19. Isn’t “Cat People” a single off the Bowie album or are we considering it a soundtrack single? Horrible album if you ask me–three singles and a bunch of nonsense filler.

    • The original version is on the soundtrack to the film the remake is on Let’s Dance. It’s a poppy dance record, as it was designed to be, and it is just fine for what it is. It pales to his great run of 70s records but then basically everything he did after 1980 did as well.

  20. Marty NEARY

    Hurray for War. The record that gave me faith in music again. It was truely something new to me. Sunday Bloody Sunday and all the weird violin, other tracks with horns and backup coconuts, and on and on. And “like a Song”, I wish U2 still rocked like that. But alas they are too busy trying to stay relevant…

  21. WTF? For starters, let’s get U2 right the f#$% out of there!
    Surprised NO has the #1 spot… DM’s “Construction Time Again” really isn’t that great an album.

    IMHO Tears For Fears’ “The Hurting” holds the #1 spot for 1983 easy! Eurythmics are in the Top 5. Yello’s “You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess” has gotta be #3 … at least!

  22. The Church are so underrated, I’m almost inclined to start an online campaign to ensure “Starfish” claims the #1 spot for ’88.

  23. Fellow worshippers are on standby!

    • Michael, “North, South, East and West” just came on shuffle here, so that seems like a good sign for our ’88 wishes.

      And how about bumping “Seance” up about 10 spots for the jacket alone! Whether pink or blue, that cover is fantastic and ranks with the best of ’em!

  24. Interesting outcome…extremely happy to see The The and Chameleons so high.

    But once again, no love for the great Sad Lovers And Giants, the ultimate cult band. Have a listen – you’ll be amazed at the quality of the atmospheric music and wonder how they ever were overlooked first time around. Truly amazing music.

    • Henry Biedenkapp

      Agree about THE CHAMELEONS and SLAG. The problem with SLAG was that their original lineup they released their masterpiece EPIC GARDEN MUSIC in 1982. The latter vinyl albums were difficult to get a hold of FEEDING THE FLAME in 1983; IN THE BREEZE in 1984 and TOTAL SOUND in 1986. Their comeback in 1987 they released the masterful THE MIRROR TEST. Other similar bands to look for are THE SNAKE CORPS and THE ESSENCE.

  25. Have Construction Time Again, and earlier A Broken Frame, in the top 10 debases the sgnificance of Black Celebration and Music For the Masses rightfully being in the top 10 of ’86 and ’87, as well as Violator probably being number 1 in 1990, if that poll is taken.
    Come on DM fans, you are casting aside the greatness of the core DM albums. Then again, whatever crap album DM recently released is lauded by most DM fans, so go figure.

    • Agreed, that mid-period run was where it’s at for DM. The albums on either side of Alan Wilder’s involvement were/have been something far less.

    • Richard Rider

      ‘Black Celebration’ is the defining album of Depeche Mode’s career, and certainly their best work done in the 80s. ‘Music For The Masses’ is great, but not as complete as ‘Black Celebration’.

      And I disagree on the post-Wilder era. ‘Ultra’ was a brilliant album considering all the insanity that went on leading up to its release. Granted, they had to hire multiple people to do what one man (Wilder) was able to do on his own, but ‘Ultra’ was a solid album. Everything that came after it is nothing more than DM trying to reinvent the wheel & failing miserably for the most part.

  26. Well we have 400 mostly great albums. Some are timeless and some are absolutely a product of their time. Go through the 400 and count how many you actually owned in those years. I was 12 in 1980 and somehow purchased 17 of the albums on that list. The number rose each year as I figured out how to get some money. Can’t wait for 1984!

  27. Matt Thurston

    My Top 10…

    1.) R.E.M. – Murmur
    2.) Aztec Camera – High Land Hard Rain
    3.) Tears For Frears – The Hurting
    4.) The The – Soul Mining
    5.) Thompson Twins – Side Kicks
    6.) X – More Fun in the New World
    7.) New Order – Power Corruption & Lies
    8.) U2 – War
    9.) Depeche Mode – Consrtuction Time Again
    10.) Ministry – With Sympathy
    11.) Echo & the Bunnymen – Porcupine
    12.) Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
    13.) The Fixx – Reach the Beach
    14.) Bauhaus – Burning From the Inside
    15.) Freur – Doot Doot

  28. 1984 will be a much easier list.

  29. Great to see some fans The Church, one of my all time favorite bands! Starfish has to be in the top 5 for ’88! Also agree with Jack about New Order, their albums can be unfocused, Murmur should’ve taken #1. We’re voting for best albums as a whole, not albums with a few good songs.

    • Major major Church fan, too, Devin. Am really hoping ’86 and ’88, especially, are going to be THE big years for the guys. So deserved. Agreed about “Murmur,” too. ’83 Album of the Year–regardless of genres.

      As far as voting for the best albums as a whole, I totally hear ya. But I have to put a little asterisk next to that one, at least for me, because of what I just typed below…

      • Andy, I think Heyday should have a great chance at the top 5! Good call on Preist=Aura and Automatic for the People, 1992 another great year for music! Thinking ahead.

  30. You know, it’s kind of a pleasant surprise that nobody, besides Marko, is bitching and moaning about “Seven & the Ragged Tiger” not cracking the Top 10. It really shouldn’t have, and most everyone seems just fine with that. “New Moon on Monday” is one of Duran Duran’s best songs. “The Seventh Stranger” and “Tiger Tiger” are keepers, too. And “Union of the Snake” gets a point for that title alone–or maybe it loses a point. Whatever. A lot of the rest of the album isn’t that solid, to put it nicely. As many here have already pointed out–and often less, uh, nicely than me–it is a far from great album. Good at best, fair is probably…fairer, and if you said crap, I’d respect that, too. Still, I voted for it. I tried not to, but in the end I had to. (Apologies to Brian Eno for getting bumped at what was truly the last second!)

    The album (cassette!) was HUGE to me from the time it came out in fall of ’83. And, for so many Duranies like me (and the band would likely say for them, too), ’82-’84 were the best of years to be a fan. “Seven…” and the accompanying tour made the Fab Five pretty close to ruling the world. Pepsi had Michael Jackson, Coca Cola had Duran Duran. And the ’84 show I saw in Oakland–my first BIG concert–was a great one. (Nothing really new said here for many of you, but I was one of ya!)

    So call it nostalgia or just loyalty to one of the many bands that have meant so much to me (at least at one time), in the end I couldn’t NOT vote for the guys. Again, “Seven…” is nowhere near the quality of the first two albums, and the #11 charting is very generous and probably the best we’ll see from “Jran Jran” from here on out. But…if we could go back and tweak history a bit, “Seven…” may have wound up in the Top 10 here and elsewhere.

    First, kick off the album with the Nile Rodgers remix of “The Reflex” instead of the long and tired album version. Throw out “I Take the Dice” (literally!), and replace it with the absolutely ace B-side “Secret Oktober” (which they, amazingly, dusted off on the last tour). And maybe even save “Is There Something I Should Know?” for this album, instead of adding it to the ’83 reissue of the debut. Now “Seven…” has another killer single–even though “Something…” might throw off the quasi concept the album just barely seems to have.

    Regardless of these changes, this Redux Version would still be miles and miles and miles away from “Murmur” and so many of the other heavyweights here. Still, fun to imagine…

    (Sorry for another major rambler. A rare Tuesday off from work here, so have been living at SUE maybe a little too much today! So many great choices and comments, though, it’s tough to resist… And for those of you who also voted for “Seven…,” but love the album exactly as is, cheers, Duranies! :))

    • Bonus points to you for remembering “Secret Oktober”! That was indeed a good B-side, from a band that produced a few. What a glorious period for 12-inch singles that was! I truly miss those days.

      Anyway, I agree with you overall and my argument has been that the Durans were no longer a “college” band by this point. The years 1982-83 really seems to me the pivot point at which “college rock” and “MTV” parted company, and the more telegenically successful bands disappeared from the college playlists, supplanted by more post-punk and American indie.

      • Agreed about the college part, lotus. And everything else. As I mentioned just before “the rambler” above, I had an asterisk next to “Seven…”

        In fewer words, I was about to submit my 10 other choices, but couldn’t knowing “Seven…” was still there for the taking. It was almost like picking sides for a touch football game. You almost have your team, but there’s your old best friend from 8th Grade (not college, sorry, but that’s kind of a pattern with this pick!) looking right at ya with this sad face that says, “Hey, aren’t ya gonna pick me?” Love the Eno album for so many other reasons, but had to ultimately go with Duran Duran. Again, this vote kind of goes against what this poll is about, but it WAS an available choice and loyalty won out here. And I gotta show Duran 2 some love, because if it wasn’t for them in ’83–along with Bowie, Big Country, the Fixx, etc.–I may have never gotten into R.E.M. a year later. And then the ‘Mats, the Church, etc. after that. Real college bands. With half my friends listening to Ratt, Quiet Riot, and the like, it would have been a lot easier–but way less exciting and rewarding–to go that route.

        So I hear you on this one, but also think you know where I’m coming from. And, p.s., a major thank you for that Miki heads-up! Will definitely check out those tunes! :) AWESOME!

  31. Three words, XTC!
    (I noticed a few of their producers in Top 10, though)

  32. What a great collection of albums. It would be easy to fill a box set or sampler from this year pretty quickly. There’s just an amazing amount of good music here. Interesting that *in* 1983, I’m sure The Police and Duran Duran would have scored higher. Not that these albums have lost something, but the influence of the others on the list was really strong down the road.

    Starting with the next vote for ’84, do The Smiths dominate the voting–especially in 1986? It’ll be interesting to see how we feel about all this amazing music decades later.

    • You’re supposed to vote how you felt about it then, not how you feel about it decades later. The best album of 1983 on being purchased and listened to by youth full of angst on Jan 1984 is relevant; the best album of 1983 in the eyes of and being voted on the Internet by 40/50-somethings with 3 kids and 15 years til retirement is NOT. I am almost certain this poll is asking us to ‘go back’ and put yourself in your shoes in 1983. No one cares what album had staying power. At 50 I’m unlikely to ever listen again to Minor Threat but I sure as hell did at 21. Which of those two people do you want voting here?

  33. Seriously, cannot believe that Kate Bush’s “The Dreaming” didn’t even crack the list!

  34. “Ah yes, I remember it well!” Well, then I’m good . . .

  35. Rick Vendl II

    These should have been on your list…

    Secret Messages by E.L.O., Electric Light Orchestra
    Genesis by Genesis

  36. Okay, who voted for Kajagoogoo’s “White Feathers”?

  37. Nice List Matt.
    Finally some Love for Aztec Camera on your list at no. 2.
    No problem with N.O. at 1 and REM at 2 on SUE List.
    Love them both.

  38. WOW What a great year! I’ve always said 1984 was the best, but arguably you could throw 1983 in my face — up to a point, that point being album #44.

    The bad: Maybe it’s the absolute strength of the first half of the 1983 list that really makes the second half look pretty mediocre (I’m being nice)…. but at #45 you start to see a BIG drop off and it continues unabated (with obviously a handful of exceptions) to the end at #100. Mostly bands that weren’t real popular (even on college radio) or were weak efforts from otherwise decent bands — a lot of ‘follow ups’ to previous stellar albums, the 1983 versions falling flat. In fact I think we see the beginning of the end of a good number of bands from #45 on down. Exceptions include The Stranglers, Yello, as well as freshman releases from Wire Train, Shriekback, and Alien Sex Fiend’s (which inexplicably didn’t include Gurl at the End of my Gun, perhaps their best song, which was released as a single PRIOR to this album’s release, SMH).

    The good: What an incredible top 10…no top….top 40! I could rival 1980-81 top 10 with any 10 albums from #15-40 range here in 1983 and win the challenge! For once I take little issue with the top 10 other than I question why The Police and dare I suggest Bowie (quit throwing things at me) are even eligible, as they were pure pop mainstream by 1983, not ‘college’ bands or punk/post punk/new wave. Thus I would drop those two (down at least) and insert Tom Waits best recording and ditto The Chameleons into my top 10. I’m no REM fan but I get it, and it’s where it should be. How can Bauhaus NOT be in the top 10? Cuz there just ain’t no room! Again, 1983 was a GREAT year for some great music.

    One last point….all these lists over the 1980’s proves one thing: Steve Lillywhite was a freakin GENIUS.

    • Didn’t recognize the title ‘Quick Step’ as listed at #46, but seeing as that is Thompson Twins SIDE KICK album, I will amend my entire commentary to say album #46 instead of #44; or more properly ‘#46 is way too low’ and should be 10+ spots higher, in which case I stick with #44 lol. Flop it with Aztec Camera #28 and I’m good with it… Not since Icicle Works did ‘1-hit wonder’ have such a representative as Aztec Camera. OK Modern English, you got me. I also think FB3 ‘Waiting’ is somewhat lower than it should be, not a lot higher but top 50 isn’t asking much.

    • Didn’t recognize the title ‘Quick Step’ as listed at #46, but seeing as that is Thompson Twins SIDE KICK album, I will amend my entire commentary to say album #46 instead of #44; or more properly ‘#46 is way too low’ and should be 10+ spots higher, in which case I stick with #44 lol. Flop it with Aztec Camera #28 and I’m good with it… Not since Icicle Works did ‘1-hit wonder’ have such a representative as Aztec Camera. OK Modern English, you got me. I also think FB3 ‘Waiting’ is somewhat lower than it should be, not a lot higher but top 50 isn’t asking much.

  39. WHOA!!!!!!!! Hold on a fahking second! It just dawned on me….

    Where in all of hell is DEEP SEA SKIVING (BANANARAMA)????????? Are you frickin KIDDING ME?
    No seriously, my computer screen is on Candid Camera right now, right? It ain’t no top 20 album, but g’dammit it’s top 70. OK, top 100? What kind of assclowns are voting here — or was it a pure oversight on the original list?

    • Before I say what I really came to say, let me also shout out for Run-DMC’s first album, which could HARDLY be called mainstream, and was 100% college music at the time, if we’re going to call a spade a spade. But I fully understand it’s being stricken from the record.

      A far greater injustice I have found than even Bananarama — where in God’s name is NAKED by KISSING THE PINK??????????????????????? If this was on the original list (I just found this website so forgive me) and you people didn’t put it in the top 100, then y’all tone deaf. I am beside myself it isn’t anywhere to be found. If it was an album with every song taken off and white noise added and just Big Man Restless, it would STILL be in the top 50. Unfikkinbelievable.

  40. Olivier Dodin

    “The Hurting” (Tears For Fears) above all the rest.

    My first concert (i was 12) it was to see The Lords Of The New Church when they were on tour with “Is Anything sacred?” (#81).

  41. Shakti Richardson

    Metallica”s Kill ‘Em All is not even on the list.I know it was prob. underground at the time but they have gone on to be a legendary band and this is up their with their best albums.

  42. Shakti Richardson

    Also what about Z.Z. Tops Eliminator. Shame on you people.

  43. So none of you care to mention that, Iron Maiden, Metallica, and Slayer all released albums in 1983, any of which are better than these 100.
    Whatever, seems this is some site for homos anyway.

  44. HillbillyJF

    Are you all on drugs? No zz top, quiet riot, Def Leppard, Ozzy, or motley Crue.

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