Top 10 Albums of 1982
Laugh about hairstyles and fashion all you want, one thing is for certain, the year 1982 had plenty of great music that has stood the test of time. It was the year that "The Boss" took a musical detour and the man who would eventually be Mellencamp finally broke through. We also had two well known "Eddies" involved with top releases, and a popular '70s star hit with both a solo album and a disc from his former band. It was a year when heartland rock and metal masters duked it out for chart supremacy. Here's ten platters that mattered, classic rock style. Let the debate begin as we count down the 10 Top Albums of 1982.
'Creatures of the Night' was the sound of Kiss fighting their way back, and doing so loudly! As their reign over the rock world had subsided somewhat with the turn of the decade, Kiss were having a bit of an identity crisis. With 'Creatures,' they dropped any pretense and cranked up the amps to deliver their best, and most hard rocking, riff-heavy album in years. Songs like 'War Machine,' 'I Love It Loud,' and the title cut proved this beast was far from dead and we gladly include this creature on our list of 10 Top Albums of 1982.
Robert Plant was off and running with this solo debut in the summer of '82. 'Pictures at Eleven' is all about Plant establishing himself outside of Led Zeppelin. The band split after the untimely death of John Bonham in 1980, and the guys found themselves on their own for the first time in a decade. 'Burning Down One Side,' Far Post,' and 'Slow Dancer' all show Plant as an artist moving forward, while still smiling at his past, a path his solo career would be built on. 'Pictures' certainly got things off on the right foot making it into the top five.
'Long After Dark' is a somewhat forgotten piece in the Tom Petty puzzle. We're not sure why as it is really a top shelf batch of songs. Along with the top 20 hit single 'You Got Lucky,' other tracks such as 'Change of Heart,' 'One Story Town' and 'Finding Out' are among Petty's best. Released in early November, 'Long After Dark' made it into the top ten, but over the years, has somewhat slid to the back of the record rack. We suggest you reach back, slap it on and let it rock again!
With original singer Paul Di'anno out and ex-Samson vocalist Bruce Dickinson in, Iron Maiden upped their ante and took on all comers with the masterpiece called 'Number of the Beast.' Dickinson's soaring vocals and the always razor-sharp playing made more than a few ears turn their way in 1982. The album is full of classics like 'Run to the Hills,' '22 Acacia Avenue,' and 'Children of the Damned' to name but a few. After 30 years, it still stands among their finest work and easily makes our list of 10 Top Albums of 1982.
While the general consensus seems to be that 'Diver Down' falls short of Van Halen's best work, that didn't stop millions from buying it. Of the twelve tracks here, five are covers, and their take on Roy Orbison's classic 'Pretty Woman turned out to be a big hit for the band. However, their dip back into the Kinks' songbook for 'Where Have All The Good Times Gone' proved less thrilling to some. Still, 'Hang 'Em High' and ''Secrets' had a little of the old Halen spark, and 'Secrets' just might be the most beautiful song they ever released.
Released in the fall of 1982, 'Signals' found Rush jumping into a more keyboard-driven sound. Though guitars are still at the core, there's more modern influences creeping in. Songs such as 'Subdivisions' and 'New World Man' quickly became Rush standards that the band still dish out thirty years on. Other tracks like 'Digital Man,''The Analog Kid,' and 'Countdown' pointed toward the sound they would sail with throughout the rest of the decade. The fans ate it up, pushing the album into the Billboard top ten.
Coming three years after the release of Led Zeppelin's final proper album, 'Coda' was a grab bag of previously unreleased material from the hard rock heroes. Consisting of outtakes from the band's potent career, 'Coda' plays surprisingly well as an album in its own right. Led Zeppelin were not a band known for stockpiling unused material and the lack of post-'Coda' material proved that to be true. No singles were issued from the album and despite minimal radio play, the album still sold platinum, proving the power of the Led Zeppelin name.
'American Fool' was the big breakthrough John Cougar, aka John Mellencamp, had been waiting -- and working -- for. After releasing five albums in six years, Cougar started to gain some ground and finally 'American Fool' was the right record at the right time for the man who would be Mellencamp. 'Hand to Hold on To,' 'Hurts So Good,' and 'Jack and Diane' all became hits sending the album to No. 1. The rough-and-tumble heartland-style rock and roll coupled with Cougar's MTV friendly image proved perfect for a breakout.
After the huge success of his previous three albums, Bruce Springsteen made a sharp left turn, ditched the E-Street band, and armed himself only with voice and guitar. In the process, he made one of the finest and most durable statements of his career. With influences from Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan up to Alan Vega and Suicide, 'Nebraska' is truly a folk album. The album was recorded on a four-track cassette machine at his home, and shows Springsteen at his most vulnerable and intriguing.
With release of Judas Priest's eighth album 'Screaming For Vengeance' in the summer of 1982, Rob Halford and the guys proved once and for all they were the metal gods. The single 'You've Got Another Thing Comin'' hit the airwaves and has been planted there ever since, becoming one of class rock radio's go to songs over the years. Elsewhere songs like 'Electric Eye,' 'The Hellion' and the title track remain fan favorites thirty years on.