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:
- Best Albums Of 1982 [Slicing Up Eyeballs]
- Best Albums Of 1982 [Best Ever Albums]
- Best Albums Of 1982 [Acclaimed Music]
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
|51||Long After Dark||Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers|
|45||Lionel Richie||Lionel Richie|
|43||Get Closer||Linda Ronstadt|
|39||Original Musiquarium Volume I||Stevie Wonder|
|35||All Four One||The Motels|
|29||Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet||Rick Springfield|
|26||Spring Session M||Missing Persons|
|24||Marshall Crenshaw||Marshall Crenshaw|
|23||Built For Speed||The Stray Cats|
|20||The Nylon Curtain||Billy Joel|
|18||Diver Down||Van Halen|
|16||A Flock of Seagulls||A Flock of Seagulls|
|15||Business as Usual||Men At Work|
|13||H2O||Hall & Oates|
|11||Kissing to Be Clever||Culture Club|
|10||Night and Day||Joe Jackson|
|9||Combat Rock||The Clash|
|8||The Golden Age of Wireless||Thomas Dolby|
|7||Upstairs at Eric's||Yaz|
|5||Heaven 17||Heaven 17|
|4||Friend or Foe||Adam Ant|
|1||The Lexicon of Love||ABC|
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%