Greetings and salutations! This is the one you've been waiting for, the tippy top of the pile, my Twenty Favorite Singles from 1982. Big thanks to my fellow discogs posters for all of their shared artwork and all the brave souls who commented. For all the late-comers, lollygaggers and lookie-loos, here are links to all previous chapters in the saga that is My 100 Favorite Singles from 1982.
Coming in at number 20 is my friend Mark's Number One song of 1982, a song that is relentlessly danceable yet paradoxically laid back. On the Night and Day album, "Steppin' Out" fades in from the previous track ("Target") which was undesired when dubbing it onto a mixtape. The single edit was a godsend for mixtapers like myself who gladly sacrificed 40 seconds from the album version of the song for a clean fade-in. If you're into such things, Stanley Jordan and his guitar do an interesting cover of "Steppin' Out" that's worth checkin' out.
My friend Mike is the guy who used to drop tapes on my drafting table during Mr. Rusk's class, where we allowed to listen to our Walkmans (Walkmen?) as long as his sensitive ears couldn't hear the volume from fifteen different tapes in his office which made the farthest tables choice real estate because you could listen a little louder than your fellow drafting students. One day in 1982, Mike dropped off a dub of Depeche Mode's album A Broken Frame and I was mesmerized by the tracks "Leave In Silence" and "See You". A few months later, a dub of the previous year's Speak & Spell album bounced onto the slightly rubberized surface of my drafting table and "Dreaming Of Me" made a big impact on me though I didn't care for the rest of the album at all. It wasn't until I picked up the Depeche Mode comp Catching Up With Depeche Mode in 1985 that I remember hearing the original single version of "Just Can't Get Enough" a track that had closed out Speak & Spell in a much longer, somewhat slower six plus minutes version that I usually skipped after listening to it a few times. I fell for the three minutes and change track immediately and have enjoyed it for the past thirty years though it is a little perplexing that Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough series failed to include the song don't you think? Last I heard, Mike was teaching studio recording technology at a California school.
"Industrial Disease" married Knopfler's unique guitar sound to an analogous tale of a fictitious malady and I like it a lot. The Making Movies album from 1980 had me stoked with its opening salvo of three winning tracks and "Industrial Disease" continued the streak nicely as did "Twisting By The Pool" in 1983. Then as now, I seem to like this track more than anyone else I know.
Love this song - could easily be a Top 10 song in my book on any given day. First wrote about it two years ago and then again about six months later during My Summer In Stereo feature. Hard to come by for nearly a dozen years, the song showed up on a volume of Living In Oblivion in March 1994 and then again on a volume of Rhino's Just Can't Get Enough series almost exactly ninety days later.
My first fun foray into metal was back in 1980 when I heard AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's On Through The Night over at Robbie Rottet's house. In the Summer of 1982, local rock station KLPX added two songs to their playlist from the new album Screaming For Vengeance by Judas Priest and it is no exaggeration my life changed forever. When a concert was announced for November, I convinced my folks to 1) let me go, 2) buy me tickets and 3) pick me up and drop me off as I wasn't driving yet and had no experience riding public transit after dark. Then I convinced my best friend Marty, who was not a metal fan at all, to go along with me and he got his parents to front him the cash to pay me for his ticket so I had T-shirt money! Predictably, Marty hated the show though he did enjoy all the scantly clad female fans that showed up. It was my first concert ever and it was simply amazing. I became a metal fan for life though I have backed off the new stuff since the mid Nineties or so but the stuff from the Seventies and Eighties is my thing - less aggro. "You've Got Another Thing Comin'" is the group's lone pop chart hit and probably the most well-known song by non-fans. It's a powerful song, fun to sing along and air guitar to though the album version fades in from the previous track, the album's title track. Unlike the issue I had with "Steppin' Out", this one was easily fixed by recording both songs back to back non-stop, a nearly ten minute slice of hot metal pie. My favorite songs on the album however are the first two tracks, the instrumental "The Hellion" (the name of the metallic bird beast on the album's cover and the sleeve above) and the song it segues right into, "Electric Eye" - they were the first two songs performed when I saw then in concert. Though I have had many opportunities to see Judas Priest perform again, I dare not attend another show in honor of the memory of that first extraordinary time. The next concert I asked to attend was Prince's 1999 concert tour in Phoenix, about 100 miles from home. Because I only had my learner's permit at the time and neither Mom nor Dad wanted to drive me and my girl up and back, I did not go. Four or five years later, they did get me a laminated backstage pass from the 1999 Tour for my birthday as a consolation prize. Still, would have been nice to see Prince, The Time and Vanity 6 in their prime.
|rank||song title||artist||Hot 100||debut on Hot 100|
|020||Steppin' Out||Joe Jackson||6||8/21/1982|
|019||Just Can't Get Enough||Depeche Mode|
|018||Industrial Disease||Dire Straits||75||1/8/1983|
|017||What Do All The People Know||The Monroes||59||5/29/1982|
|016||You've Got Another Thing Comin'||Judas Priest||67||11/6/1982|
Anchored by Waddy Watchel's hypnotically chugging guitar riff, "The Edge Of Seventeen" is always a welcome listen. The single's b-side is an even better nearly six minute live version of the song and KLPX still plays an even longer version of that same live recording, captured December 13, 1981 at The Wilshire Theater in LA, CA. Took me a few years but I finally tracked down that promo twelve inch with the 8:07 "Edge Of Seventeen" on one side and the truncated 5:57 version on the flip. Great driving song and arguably Nicks in her finest moment, inscrutable poetry and all.
The pulsing, throbbing bass sets the stage for Lou Gramm's age old tale of boy meeting music, boy falling in love with music and boy making music punctuated by the rockin' solos of Mick Jones. "Juke Box Hero" rocks, it rolls and it remains my favorite Foreigner song ever. Other bands covered similar ground but their songs were almost all cautionary tales like Bad Company's "Shooting Star". This one just celebrates what is like to be inspired by the music and then to be able to make the music as if your life depended on it and inspire others. Close cousin to "I Love Rock N Roll" I guess.
The single version of Aldo Nova's "Fantasy" edits out the cool laser blast intro and gets right to the synthed out rock. This one is a cautionary tale like I mentioned above but the rocking out quota is so damn high I can forgive the ultimate sadness of the lyrics. Besides, shouting out the chorus in the same clipped English as Aldo throws people off.
"You Dropped A Bomb On Me" blew me away the first time I heard it and it still knocks me out each time I hear it. I have two memories and I am somewhat unsure of which came first though I think they went down this way:
- Summer of 1982, out in the middle of a cow pasture southwest of Navasota, Texas with my Texas Grandpa stringing up a barbed wire fence. Wearing thick leather gloves for protection. My Texas Grandma also made him strap a welder's facemask on me "just in case". We left his GMC pick-up truck's door wide open and he let me pick the radio station and on this particular day "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" blasts. The irony of the modern urban song in such a rural setting is not lost on me.
- Bus stop on Base, before school one morning, cutting through the ambient noise of junior high and high school kids none too excited about another long bus ride to class comes a siren. The chatter and random laughter quiets as ear by ear the siren, recognizable by nearly all in attendance as an air riad siren, becomes the focus. Eyes turn to the car that the sound is coming from, stereo speakers sitting up on the roof of a beige Seventies Plymouth Duster before the familiar lockstep groove of "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" begins and the kids up the noise again, knowing they are safe and secure and there is nothing to worry about. I make my way towards the car, to see the upper classmen leaning on the open doors, talking loud enough so they can hear each other over the music. It is a weird sight cause these are the same dudes that usually blast what later became known as classic rock (Billy Thorpe's "Children Of The Sun" is another vivid memory involving the same cast of characters at the same location) and this music is most definitely not found in the same area of the record store. As I listen from the safety of the heard and being careful not to get too close to the Hornet, I can tell the song is different from the radio version I was used to hearing with all sort of additional sound effects. The buses showed up and we began boarding and the song was still playing - I remember thinking this was a crazy long mix. And then I forgot about it for a few years with life, school and all. Until I picked up the EP The 12" Collection by the Gap Band in 1986 and heard that same mix of the song in all of it's 13:05 glory.
Not my favorite song from the album of the same name by any stretch but still light years ahead of everything else on the radio at the time - then or now. The single edit of "1999" cuts the song's 6:22 album run time in half, jettisoning the slowed down speech intro and the extended "Party!" outro, in favor of the meaty middle of the song, it would literally prove to be a song ahead of its time, peaking at number 44 on the Hot 100. Then the video was shown on MTV in December 1982 and a second single from the 1999 album was released in February 1983. And "1999" re-charted, this time peaking at number 12. And then Purple Rain. And then the "weirdness", the "slavery" and the Hall Of Fame with his performance of "the greatest guitar solo ever" (Prince comes in at 3:30 into the song and plays a three minute solo to close out the song) and he's still at it today. All hail Prince.
|015||Edge Of Seventeen||Stevie Nicks||11||2/20/1982|
|014||Juke Box Hero||Foreigner||26||2/13/1982|
|012||You Dropped A Bomb On Me||Gap Band||31||8/14/1982|
Speaking of unlike anything on the radio, where in the heck did "Come On Eileen" come from and why didn't it arrive much sooner? The joyfully exuberant sing-along immediately resonated with me and I picked up the 45 rather than the album due to lack of funds and a severe case of impatience. So that is the version of the song I am used to hearing - the minute longer album version still catches me off guard when it comes on. I also enjoy the ska'd up version by Save Ferris frequently.
Adopted this one as the first official theme song of the HERCmobile later in 1984 as the opening bass thuds sounded awesome on the stereo system in that 1963 VW Bug and when the organ and drums kicked in, it was a thing of beauty. "Dirty Laundry" was also a favorite of those guys in the Duster at the base bus stop.
"She's Tight" was another of those base bus stop classics, a Cheap Trick rocker with new wave keyboards and a retro-rocking guitar riff. Pretty sure it turned up in a laser light show at the planetarium as well. As a fan of Cheap Trick since first hearing "I Want You To Want Me" from the At Budokan album on WLS back in 1978, this song was a welcome rocker after the previous single "If You Want My Love" which while being a fine song, was not what I wanted from Cheap Trick. The last I had heard from Robin, Rick, Bun E. and their bassist du jour was the two tracks they had contributed to the Heavy Metal soundtrack, also released as a single: "Reach Out" and "I Must Be Dreamin'" both of which rocked.
Love this one and basically feel the same way about it as I do "What Do All The People Now" though this song didn't even make the Hot 100. Wrote about it back in November 2013. And just listened to it three times in a row. I may have a problem.
Holy guacamole, this is some kind of a jam. Was just taking a brief sit break from my standing desk and this song came on and I had to get up and just move though I wouldn't call it dancing. The beat, the groove is just huge on "Kids In America" even if the lyrics make little sense. For many listeners, it was the beginning of a long relationship with Ms. Wilde and her music but I checked out after the rather depressing second album, Select. No telling how much good music I've missed behaving this way. Spotify to the rescue!
|010||Come On Eileen||Dexy's Midnight Runners||1||1/22/1983|
|009||Dirty Laundry||Don Henley||3||10/30/1982|
|008||She's Tight||Cheap Trick||65||10/9/1982|
|007||Hey Little Girl||Icehouse|
|006||Kids In America||Kim Wilde||25||5/22/1982|
My favorite Rocky movies are the Oscar winning first one and Rocky IV. The Rocky IV soundtrack is my favorite soundtrack of the bunch as well. I honestly couldn't tell you anything about the other Rocky movies or their respective soundtrack albums except that "Eye Of The Tiger" was written at the request of Sylvester Stallone after Queen denied him the rights to use "Another One Bites The Dust" as the theme for Rocky III. Was somewhat surprised to discover in 2010 via a post on DJPaulT's Burning The Ground site, that a longer version of the song existed.
Remember how I said I was a fan of the metal earlier? Scorpions rivaled AC/DC as my favorite band for a little while before AC/DC pulled out in front. Saw Klaus and gang in concert twice and they rocked so very hard though the second show, an all day event, saw a fatality. Blackout was my first exposure to the band and "No One Like You" was the first song from it I ever heard and it remains my favorite Scorpions song bar none. Second place would go to "The Zoo" and third place would be "Rock You Like A Hurricane" while fourth would be "Arizona", an obvious favorite here in the Grand Canyon State.
Johnny Cougar first impressed me with his slow jam "Ain't Even Done With The Night", a song I first heard at the winter dance my freshman year. I didn't bother buying the single nor the album but I do remember it as one of the songs on the K-Tel double album Certified Gold, which I did pick up. Cougar re-emerged on the radio and on the charts in 1982 with "Hurts So Good", a song my Dad liked so much he bought the American Fool album one day after not buying an album for two years. He was buying music during that time, just on cassette but for whatever reason, he bought American Fool on vinyl. Listening to that album with his permission one day, I discovered the big drums of "Jack & Diane" which was later released as a single. Soon I had my own copy of the album and dubbed it to cassette for listening on the bus.
As I said HERE, I bought two records while in Texas in the Summer of 1982. "I Ran " was the first track on the A Flock Of Seagulls album and Grandma's console system used to just thump when I played it. I liked the album a lot and especially the lead-off track because it was slightly different than the song I was hearing on the radio. The percussion break down and guitar solo around the three minute mark are still favorites. I also like it when I'm listening to the album and "I Ran" ends and "Space Age Love Song" starts.
Which brings us to My Favorite Single of 1982, courtesy of Jim Kerr & Co. This beautiful song also missed the Hot 100 continuing my streak of liking music no one else seems to like. I could gush on about how the song touches my soul, makes me feel so alive and soothes my troubled mind but I think I already did that HERE.
|005||Eye Of The Tiger||Survivor||1||6/5/1982|
|004||No One Like You||Scorpions||65||6/19/1982|
|003||Jack & Diane||John Cougar||1||7/24/1982|
|002||I Ran (So Far Away)||A Flock Of Seagulls||10||7/10/1982|
|001||Someone Somewhere (In Summertime)||Simple Minds|
So there you have it, the entire list. I dropped the five 20 song playlists into one big playlist and by my count, only six percent of the songs are not yet available on Spotify U.S. Join us next month as I countdown my 100 Favorite Songs from the first year of My Favorite Decade in Music, 1973. Thanks to everyone for tuning in and sharing your comments. Don't forget to check out all the links to other 1982 lists I have posted just below the playlist that follows.
THE WHOLE DAMN SHEBANG!
OTHER LISTS OF SONGS FROM 1982
The Soft Rock Kid's Top 82 of '82: Singles
Preface Bubbling Under Singles
82-72 71-61 60-51 50-41 40-31 30-21 20-11 10-1
Tunecaster's Top 100 Rock Songs of 1982
100-76 75-51 50-26 25-1
Tunecaster's Top 100 Pop Songs of 1982
100-76 75-51 50-26 25-1
ARC's Top 251 Pop Songs of 1982
251-201 200-151 150-101 100-51 50-1
Ric's Annual Chart Top 200 Songs of 1982
Cash Box Top 100 Pop Singles 1982
Billboard Hot 100 Singles of 1982
Tom's Music Master Top 200 Songs of 1982
American Country Countdown Top 100 Hits of 1982
UK Top 100 1982
Australia Music Report Top 100 Singles of 1982
Grant's Top 73 Singles of 1982 (AUS)