Top 100 Albums of 1982, Part I: The Common 30

HERC got the ball rolling among his blogging buddies when he posted a list of his 100 Favorite Albums of 1982 - the single greatest year in music history. EVER. - in the middle of December 2013.  Martin over at Martin's View responded with his own list of 104 albums barely two weeks later, in a Christmas Day 2013 post.  (Which got HERC to marinatin': if Martin can rank 104 albums surely HERC could rise to the challenge and rank all 100 of his own choices rather than just the Top 26 as originally published.  And he did.) Finally, Mark over at 1976-1985: My Favorite Decade brought it all home as only the soft rock kid could with more than a week long run of posts celebrating his 82 of '82.  With all three lists in hand, HERC fed them all into a spreadsheet and began generating reports and data.

Now that Martin has gone ahead and published his Top 100 Albums of 1983, HERC thought the time was right to review the data from those lists of the Top Albums of 1982.  But first, some other lists for comparison's sake:

For the calendar year 1982, the Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) reported that 2,630 albums were released.  While the three lists had the potential to show 286 different albums, in reality only 174 different titles were chosen.  And of those 174, the following thirty albums appeared on all three lists:

click on album title to listen in Spotify
221037351Long After DarkTom Petty and the Heartbreakers
88474445Lionel RichieLionel Richie
82266743Get CloserLinda Ronstadt
441042439Original Musiquarium Volume IStevie Wonder
21637635All Four OneThe Motels
39376429Success Hasn't Spoiled Me YetRick Springfield
19397426Spring Session MMissing Persons
69422024Marshall CrenshawMarshall Crenshaw
14694824Shabooh ShoobahINXS
36246823Built For SpeedThe Stray Cats
42166121Pleasure VictimBerlin
70361020The Nylon CurtainBilly Joel
8653518Diver DownVan Halen
13325417VacationThe Go-Go's
9157216A Flock of SeagullsA Flock of Seagulls
3475015Business as UsualMen At Work
7421214ThrillerMichael Jackson
38133713H2OHall & Oates
685211Kissing to Be CleverCulture Club
1741410Night and DayJoe Jackson
49479Combat RockThe Clash
153558The Golden Age of WirelessThomas Dolby
165337Upstairs at Eric'sYaz
271486Toto IVToto
323135Heaven 17Heaven 17
123174Friend or FoeAdam Ant
121012RioDuran Duran
24161The Lexicon of LoveABC
HH=Herc's Hideaway, MV=Martin's View, MFD=My Favorite Decade, rank=overall ranking

The highest ranked album NOT to appear unanimously was The Nightfly by Donald Fagen at #19 which beat out twelve albums that did make all three lists.  The highest ranked album to appear on just one list is #59 (tie) Incognito by Spyro Gyra which the soft rock kid slotted in at #9 on his list of 82.

Top 200 chart wise, there are six Number One albums listed on the three lists though only two of them actually topped the chart in 1982: Asia and Business As Usual.  There are a total of 41 Top 10 albums and another 20 albums that failed to even Bubble Under below the Top 200.  The average peak position of the albums that charted is #44.

There are five EPs on the lists with the shortest running one (left) clocking in at just over 12 minutes.  There are seven double albums on the lists with the longest running one (right) being too big to fit on a single TDK SA 90.  For the record, the average length of all 174 records listed is 40:47.

Three record labels dominate the list: Columbia (19), Warner Bros. (18) and Arista (12).  Forty-six other labels are represented on the lists as well.  Though 1982 was smack dab in the middle of yet another British Invasion, 56% of the artists on the lists are American.

Other findings from the three lists:

  • Two artists have two releases apiece:  The Kids From Fame and The Waitresses
  • Three of the 174 albums were actually released in 1983
  • Five artists are named "Bill" or "Billy"
  • Seven of the albums are film or television soundtracks
  • Twenty-five of the albums on the list are self-titled
  • Of the 154 Top 200 albums, 18.9% debuted in Winter
  • Spring accounted for 27.3%
  • Summer accounted for 25.9%
  • while Fall accounted for the slim majority at 27.9%

1 comment:

  1. Herc, I really enjoyed reading all these fun facts about the commonalities of our three 1982 lists. Good stuff. Thanks for putting it all together.