Murmur Madonna Let's Dance Mummer
Power, Corruption & Lies Script of the Bridge Kill 'Em All Synchronicity

If any year captured the heady rush of the early '80s, it was 1983, the year Michael Jackson's Thriller became a phenomenon and, not coincidentally, the year of MTV's prime. The cable network debuted two years earlier but '83 was when music videos took over, popping up on cable channels and network TV, and along with videos came a glorious period of hit singles by one-hit wonders, new invaders from Britain, and veterans who now mastered synths and drum machines, the latter inexplicably led by grizzled, hairy blues-rockers ZZ Top and the visionary jazz-fusion keyboardist Herbie Hancock. Underneath all this televised glitz were some major debuts: the first albums from Madonna, Metallica, R.E.M., and Hüsker Dü, and the first singles from the Smiths and Run-D.M.C. And there were the mammoth hits -- yes, Thriller, but also Def Leppard's Pyromania and the Police's Synchronicity, all giving us more than enough reason to love 1983.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine [Spotify]
I've heard some call 1983 the last good year for music and while that's surely hyperbole, it was one hell of a year. What strikes me is along with all the new wave and college-rock landmarks -- including LPs like New Order's Power, Corruption & Lies, a bunch of '60s veterans had an exceptional year, including such singer/songwriters as Randy Newman, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan. Another thing that strikes me is that trimming my singles list was damn near impossible -- I cut it back to 20 here, and on Spotify, I've added another 100 songs. At one point, there was another 100 on top of that but eventually you've got to say enough is enough.

R.E.M. - Murmur
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
The Rolling Stones - Undercover
ZZ Top - Eliminator
Madonna - Madonna
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Huey Lewis & the News - Sports
Todd Rundgren - The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect
Randy Newman - Trouble in Paradise
Paul Simon - Hearts and Bones
The Replacements - Hootenanny
David Bowie - Let's Dance
U2 - War
The Police - Synchronicity
Bob Dylan - Infidels
XTC - Mummer
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Yes - 90125
Cheap Trick - Next Position Please
Culture Club - Colour by Numbers
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Genesis - Genesis
Kenny Rogers - Eyes That See in the Dark

Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
The Fixx - "One Things Leads to Another"
Prince - "Little Red Corvette"
Greg Kihn Band - "Jeopardy"
.38 Special - "If I'd Been the One"
Def Leppard - "Photograph"
The Rolling Stones - "Undercover of the Night"
David Bowie - "Modern Love"
John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band - "On the Dark Side"
Ronnie Milsap - "Stranger in My House"
Genesis - "That's All"
Yes - "Leave It"
Daryl Hall/John Oates - "Say It Isn't So"
Men at Work - "It's a Mistake"
Plimsouls - "A Million Miles Away"
Kinks - "Come Dancing"
Kenny Loggins - "Heart to Heart"
Culture Club - "Church of the Poison Mind"
Elvis Costello & the Attractions - "Every Day I Write the Book"
The Pretenders - "Back on the Chain Gang"
Spandau Ballet - True
Lindsey Buckingham - Holiday Road

John Bush
R.E.M. - Murmur
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
Bauhaus - Burning from the Inside
Echo & the Bunnymen - Porcupine
Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Sisters of Mercy - The Reptile House EP
The Chameleons - Script of the Bridge
The Fall - Perverted by Language
The The - Soul Mining
Cabaret Voltaire - The Crackdown
Let's Active - Afoot
Pylon - Chomp
Shriekback - Care
Madonna - Madonna
XTC - Mummer
Duran Duran - Seven and the Ragged Tiger
Huey Lewis & the News - Sports
The Replacements - Hootenanny
Japan - Oil on Canvas
Cybotron - Enter

R.E.M. - "Radio Free Europe"
Jo Boxers - "Just Got Lucky"
Aztec Camera - "Pillar to Post"
Bauhaus - "The Sanity Assassin"
Eddy Grant - "Electric Avenue"
Grandmaster Flash & Melle Mel - "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)"
Shannon - "Let the Music Play"
Cybotron - "Clear"
New Order - "Blue Monday"
Duran Duran - "The Reflex"
Daryl Hall/John Oates - "Say It Isn't So"
Human League - "(Keep Feeling) Fascination"
Madonna - "Lucky Star"
The Romantics - "Talking in Your Sleep"
Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now"
Cocteau Twins - "Sugar Hiccup"
The Smiths - "This Charming Man"
Tones on Tail - "OK, This Is the Pops"
Wall of Voodoo - "Mexican Radio"
Billy Bragg - "A New England"

Jonathan Ball [Spotify]
Hüsker Dü - Metal Circus
R.E.M. - Murmur
Bauhaus - Burning from the Inside
The Rolling Stones - Undercover
The Police - Synchronicity
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
The Jam - Snap!
The Doors - Alive, She Cried
XTC - Mummer
Bryan Adams - Cuts Like a Knife
Tones on Tail - Burning Skies
Robert Plant - The Principle of Moments
Billy Idol - Rebel Yell
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind

Duran Duran - "The Reflex"
Bryan Adams - "Cuts Like a Knife"
Billy Idol - "Rebel Yell"
The Rolling Stones - "Undercover of the Night"
The Rolling Stones - "Too Tough"
Billy Idol - "Eyes Without a Face"
Duran Duran - "Is There Something I Should Know?"
Daryl Hall/John Oates - "Say It Isn't So"
Bauhaus - "Lagartija Nick"
The Police - "Wrapped Around Your Finger"
Re-Flex - "The Politics of Dancing"
Ozzy Osbourne - "Bark at the Moon"
Talking Heads - "Burning Down the House"
Men at Work - "It's a Mistake"
The Fixx - "One Thing Leads to Another"
Jackson Browne - "Lawyers in Love"
The Tubes - "She's a Beauty"
ZZ Top - "Sharp Dressed Man"
A Flock of Seagulls - "Wishing (If I Had a Photograph of You)"

David Jeffries
23 Skidoo - The Culling Is Coming
David Bowie - Let's Dance
Burning Sensations - Burning Sensations
Cabaret Voltaire - The Crackdown
Colourbox - Colourbox
The Divinyls - Desperate
Dub Syndicate - One Way System
Gleaming Spires - Walk on Well Lighted Streets
Japan - Oil on Canvas
Malcolm McLaren - Duck Rock
Pablo Moses - In the Future
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
OMD - Dazzle Ships
Robert Palmer - Pride
The Police - Synchronicity
Thompson Twins - Quick Step & Side Kick
Trio - Trio and Error
Caetano Veloso - Uns
Yello - You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess
Yellowman - Zungguzungguguzungguzeng

Andy Kellman [Spotify]
Cocteau Twins - Head Over Heels
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
Gwen Guthrie - Portrait
Cabaret Voltaire - The Crackdown
Wipers - Over the Edge
The Chameleons UK - Script of the Bridge
Mtume - Juicy Fruit
Hüsker Dü - Metal Circus
Kashif - Kashif
The Art of Noise - Into Battle with the Art of Noise
Tears for Fears - The Hurting
DeBarge - In a Special Way
R.E.M. - Murmur
Horace Andy - Dance Hall Style
James Blood Ulmer - Odyssey
Imagination - Night Dubbing
Shriekback - Care
Jamaaladeen Tacuma - Show Stopper
Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap
OMD - Dazzle Ships

Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
Mtume - "Juicy Fruit"
The S.O.S. Band - "Just Be Good to Me"
New Order - "Confusion"
Shannon - "Let the Music Play"
Rufus & Chaka Khan - "Ain't Nobody"
The Isley Brothers - "Between the Sheets"
The System - "You Are in My System"
David Joseph - "You Can't Hide (Your Love from Me)"
Gwen Guthrie - "Peanut Butter"
Rammellzee vs. K-Rob - "Beat Bop"
Cybotron - "Clear"
Liquid Liquid - "Optimo"
Class Action - "Weekend"
Run-D.M.C. - "Sucker MC's"
Shalamar - "Over and Over"
Midnight Star - "Wet My Whistle"
The Go-Betweens - "Cattle and Cane"
Charlie - "Spacer Woman"
Up Front - "Infatuation"

James Christopher Monger
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Big Country - The Crossing
Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
Yes - 90125
Social Distortion - Mommy's Little Monster
Dio - Holy Diver
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
Tears for Fears - The Hurting
The Police - Synchronicity
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Bauhaus - Burning from the Inside
Mötley Crüe - Shout at the Devil
The Soft Boys - Invisible Hits
Stewart Copeland - Rumblefish
Toy Dolls - Dig That Groove Baby
John Cougar Mellencamp - Uh-Huh
XTC - Mummer
Billy Joel - An Innocent Man

U2 - "Sunday Bloody Sunday"
The The - "This Is the Day"
Accept - "Balls to the Wall"
Talking Heads - "Burning Down the House"
Echo & the Bunnymen - "The Cutter"
Japan - "Gentlemen Take Polaroids"
Richard Thompson - "Tear Stained Letter"
Danielle Dax - "Bed Caves"
Eurythmics - "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
The Fixx - "One Thing Leads to Another"
Robert Plant - "In the Mood"
Night Ranger - "Sister Christian"
David Bowie - "Modern Love"
John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band - "On the Dark Side"
Men at Work - "Overkill"
The Kinks - "Come Dancing"
The Tubes - "She's a Beauty"
Peter Schilling - "Major Tom (Coming Home)"
Bonnie Tyler - "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
Suicidal Tendencies - "Institutionalized"

Sean Westergaard
Adrian Belew - Twang Bar King
Willem Breuker Kollektief - Willem Breuker Kollektief
George Clinton - Urban Dancefloor Guerillas
Al "Jazzbeaux" Collins - Steve Allen's Hip Fables
Fred Frith - Cheap at Half the Price
Golden Palominos - Golden Palominos
Ronald Shannon Jackson - Barbeque Dog
Ronald Shannon Jackson - Street Priest
Malcolm McLaren - Duck Rock
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
Polecats - Make a Circuit with Me
Renaldo & the Loaf - Arabic Yodelling
Shockabilly - Earth vs. Shockabilly
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Kazutoki Umezu - Live at Moers Festival
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
Was (Not Was) - Born to Laugh at Tornadoes
X - More Fun in the New World

George Clinton - "Atomic Dog"
Grandmaster Flash - "White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)"
Herbie Hancock - "Rockit"
Malcolm McLaren - "Buffalo Gals"
Shriekback - "Lined Up"/"My Spine (Is the Bassline)"
The Rolling Stones - "Too Much Blood"

Matthew Garbutt [Spotify]
Aztec Camera – High Land, Hard Rain
Big Country – The Crossing
Echo & the Bunnymen – Porcupine
Elvis Costello & the Attractions – Punch the Clock
Fun Boy Three – Waiting
Heaven 17 – The Luxury Gap
New Age Steppers – Foundation Steppers
New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies
Serious Drinking – The Revolution Starts at Closing Time
The Chameleons – Script of the Bridge
The Cramps – Smell of Female
The Fall – Perverted by Language
The Meteors – Wreckin' Crew
The Milkshakes – After School Session
The Orson Family - The River of Desire
The Prisoners – The WizerMiserDemelza
The Southern Death Cult – The Southern Death Cult
The Style Council – Introducing the Style Council
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Yazoo – You and Me Both

Barrington Levy – "Black Roses"
Carmel – "Bad Day"
Death Cult – "God's Zoo"
Gun Club - Death Party EP
John Holt – "Police in Helicopter"
King Kurt – "Destination Zululand"
Kraftwerk – "Tour de France"
Marine Girls – "Lazy Ways"
Michael Palmer – "Ghetto Dance"
New Order – "Blue Monday"
Orange Juice - "Rip It Up"
Redskins – "Lean on Me"
The Alarm – The Alarm EP
The Birthday Party - The Bad Seed EP
The Maisonettes – "Heartache Avenue"
The Monochrome Set – "The Jet Set Junta"
The Sisters of Mercy - "Anaconda"
The Smiths – "Hand in Glove"
The Three Johns - "AWOL"
Yellowman - "Zungguzungguguzugguzeng"

James Wilkinson
R.E.M. - Murmur
Bob Dylan - Infidels
Billy Bragg - Life's a Riot with Spy vs. Spy
The Stranglers - Feline
Daniel Johnston - Yip/Jump Music
New Order - Power, Corruption & Lies
Violent Femmes - Violent Femmes
Jonathan Richman - Jonathan Sings!
XTC - Mummer
U2 - War

The Smiths - "This Charming Man"
James - Jimone EP
New Order - "Blue Monday"
The Smiths - "Hand in Glove"
The Lyres - "Help You Ann"
Julian Cope - "Sunshine Playroom"
Echo & the Bunnymen - "The Cutter"
Orange Juice - "Rip It Up"
Michael Jackson - "Billie Jean"
Kraftwerk - "Tour de France"
New Order - "Confusion"
The Cure - "The Lovecats"
The Soft Boys - "He's a Reptile"
Madness - "Tomorrow's (Just Another Day)"
Mike Oldfield - "Moonlight Shadow"

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