Hot years tend to have hot months. During one particular week in March 1982, six songs entered Billboard's Hot Soul Singles that eventually reached the chart's Top Ten. Two of them are at the very top of this subjective playlist, a surface-scratching summary of the 470 songs that entered Hot Soul Singles (renamed Black Singles in June) during a year highlighted by phenomenal albums from Shalamar, Patrice Rushen, and Prince, as well as solo debuts from L.T.D.'s Jeffrey Osborne and Commodores' Lionel Richie. The impact of Michael Jackson's Thriller, released the last week of November, wouldn't truly be felt until the following January, once its lead single -- the song with the line "the doggone girl is mine," a November 13 debut -- was mercifully chased by "Billie Jean."

Some of the most progressive sounds of 1982 were generated by those who operated behind the scenes. Pioneer Leon Sylvers III (the S.O.S. Band, Shalamar, Carrie Lucas) remained a major force, but the team of Kashif, Morrie Brown, and Paul Lawrence snatched the belt with a sparkling, synthesizer-laced sound of their own, heard in numbers 10, 26, 30, and 39. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, who were on the brink of being bounced by Prince from the Time, were just getting started. They wrote number seven, executive produced by Sylvers. "Wild Girls," a minor and overlooked hit for Solar-era Klymaxx -- listed in the November breakdown beneath the Spotify link -- was the duo's first production that charted. These studio figures paved the way for the likes of Teddy Riley, Al B. Sure and Kyle West, Missy Elliott and Timbaland, the Neptunes, and all other producers of electronic pop-R&B who followed them.

1. Dazz Band - "Let It Whip" [Motown, 3/13]
2. Patrice Rushen - "Forget Me Nots" [Elektra, 3/13]
3. The Jones Girls - "Nights Over Egypt" [Philadelphia Int'l, 2/13]*
4. One Way - "Cutie Pie" [MCA, 5/8]
5. Odyssey - "Inside Out" [RCA, 6/12]*
6. The Gap Band - "Outstanding" [Total Experience, 12/4]
7. The S.O.S. Band - "High Hopes" [Tabu, 10/9]
8. Shalamar - "A Night to Remember" [Solar, 3/13]
9. Prince - "1999" [Warner, 10/16]
10. Evelyn King - "Love Come Down" [RCA, 8/7]

11. Vanity 6 - "Nasty Girl" [Warner, 9/25]*
12. Atlantic Starr - "Circles" [A&M, 2/27]
13. The Gap Band - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me" [Total Experience, 8/7]
14. Stevie Wonder - "Do I Do" [Tamla, 6/5]
15. D Train - "Keep On" [Prelude, 5/22]
16. Shalamar - "I Can Make You Feel Good" [Solar, 7/3]
17. DeBarge - "I Like It" [Gordy, 12/18]
18. Stevie Wonder - "That Girl" [Tamla, 1/23]
19. Sharon Brown - "I Specialize in Love" [Profile, 4/17]
20. Jeffrey Osborne - "I Really Don't Need No Light" [A&M, 5/8]

21. High Fashion - "Feelin' Lucky Lately" [Capitol, 5/15]
22. Xavier - "Do It to the Max" [Liberty, 5/8]*
23. The Time - "777-9311" [Warner, 8/21]
24. Fonda Rae - "Over Like a Fat Rat" [Vanguard, 8/7]
25. Gwen Guthrie - "It Should Have Been You" [Island, 8/28]
26. Melba Moore - "Love's Comin' at Ya" [EMI America, 8/21]
27. Marvin Gaye - "Sexual Healing" [Columbia, 10/16]
28. Junior - "Mama Used to Say" [Mercury, 1/9]*
29. The Gap Band - "Early in the Morning" [Total Experience, 4/24]
30. Howard Johnson - "So Fine" [A&M, 6/19]*

31. René & Angela - "Imaginary Playmates" [Capitol, 1/30]
32. Planet Patrol - "Play at Your Own Risk" [Tommy Boy, 10/30]
33. Keni Burke - "Risin' to the Top" [RCA, 8/28]
34. Michael Wycoff - "Looking Up to You" [RCA, 5/29]
35. Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame - "Way Out" [Konglather, 9/4]
36. Alicia Myers - "I Want to Thank You" [MCA, 9/18]
37. Skyy - "Let's Celebrate" [Salsoul, 3/20]
38. Aretha Franklin - "Jump to It" [Arista, 7/3]
39. Evelyn King - "Betcha She Don't Love You" [RCA, 11/13]
40. Ritchie Family - "I'll Do My Best (For You Baby)" [RCA, 5/8]



*These songs are not available on Spotify in the U.S. Favorites 41-46 appear in their place, at the end of the playlist.

Monthly top tens (based on entry dates):

January
Stevie Wonder - "That Girl"
Junior - "Mama Used to Say"
René & Angela - "Imaginary Playmates"
Tom Tom Club - "Genius of Love"
The Whatnauts - "Help Is on the Way"
Norman Connors - "She's Gone"
Prince - "Let's Work"
Xavier - "Work That Sucker to Death"
P-Funk All Stars - "Hydraulic Pump"
Brandi Wells - "Watch Out"

February
The Jones Girls - "Nights Over Egypt"
Atlantic Starr - "Circles"
Stone - "Time"
Vicky D - "This Beat Is Mine"
Chas Jankel - "Glad to Know You"
Mary Wells - "Gigolo"
George Duke - "Shine On"
Commodores - "Why You Wanna Try Me"
Angela Bofill - "Holdin' Out for Love"
Imagination - "Burnin' Up"

March
Dazz Band - "Let It Whip"
Patrice Rushen - "Forget Me Nots"
Shalamar - "A Night to Remember"
Skyy - "Let's Celebrate"
Kool & the Gang - "Get Down on It"
Patti Austin w/ James Ingram - "Baby, Come to Me"
Deniece Williams - "It's Gonna Take a Miracle"
Kleeer - "Taste the Music"
Ray Parker Jr. - "The Other Woman"
Was (Not Was) - "Tell Me That I'm Dreaming"

April
The Gap Band - "Early in the Morning"
Sharon Brown - "I Specialize in Love"
Ashford & Simpson - "Street Corner"
The Temptations f/ Rick James - "Standing on the Top"
Change - "The Very Best in You"
The Valentine Brothers - "Money's Too Tight (To Mention)"
Luther Vandross - "Sugar and Spice (I Found Me a Girl)"
Komiko - "Feel Alright"
Fat Larry's Band - "Act Like You Know"
Aurra - "A Little Love"

May
One Way - "Cutie Pie"
D Train - "Keep On"
Jeffrey Osborne - "I Really Don't Need No Light"
High Fashion - "Feelin' Lucky Lately"
Xavier - "Do It to the Max"
Michael Wycoff - "Looking Up to You"
The Ritchie Family - "I'll Do My Best (For You Baby)"
Goldie Alexander - "Show You My Love"
Carrie Lucas - "Show Me Where You're Coming From"
Sinnamon - "Thanks to You"

June
Odyssey - "Inside Out"
Stevie Wonder - "Do I Do"
Howard Johnson - "So Fine"
Atlantic Starr - "Love Me Down"
Peech Boys - "Don't Make Me Wait"
Imagination - "Just an Illusion"
Candela - "Love You Madly"
The Salsoul Orchestra - "Take Some Time Out (For Love)"
Cheryl Lynn - "Instant Love"
Cameo - "Flirt"

July
Shalamar - "I Can Make You Feel Good"
Aretha Franklin - "Jump to It"
Legacy - "Word Up"
Zapp - "Dance Floor"
Shades of Love - "Keep in Touch (Body to Body)"
The B.B. & Q. Band - "Imagination"
Aurra - "Checking You Out"
Rick James - "Hard to Get"
Roberta Flack - "I'm the One"
Herbie Hancock - "Gettin' to the Good Part"

August
Evelyn King - "Love Come Down"
The Gap Band - "You Dropped a Bomb on Me"
The Time - "777-9311"
Fonda Rae - "Over Like a Fat Rat"
Gwen Guthrie - "It Should Have Been You"
Melba Moore - "Love's Comin' at Ya"
Keni Burke - "Risin' to the Top"
Yaz - "Situation"
Michael McDonald - "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)"
André Cymone - "Livin' in the New Wave"

September
Vanity 6 - "Nasty Girl"
Steve Arrington's Hall of Fame - "Way Out"
Alicia Myers - "I Want to Thank You"
Luther Vandross - "Bad Boy/Having a Party"
The Limit - "She's So Divine"
Sharon Redd - "Beat the Street"
Cheryl Lynn - "If This World Were Mine"
Raw Silk - "Do It to the Music"
Cameo - "Alligator Woman"
Rockers Revenge - "Walking on Sunshine"

October
The S.O.S. Band - "High Hopes"
Prince - "1999"
Marvin Gaye - "Sexual Healing"
Planet Patrol - "Play at Your Own Risk"
Bootsy's Rubber Band - "Body Slam!"
Howard Johnson - "Keepin' Love New"
Janet Jackson - "Young Love"
Donna Summer - "State of Independence"
Ray Parker Jr. - "It's Our Own Affair"
Bar-Kays - "Do It (Let Me See You Shake)"

November
Evelyn King - "Betcha She Don't Love You"
Grace Jones - "Nipple to the Bottle"
Klymaxx - "Wild Girls"
André Cymone - "Kelly's Eyes"
Aretha Franklin - "Love Me Right"
Chaka Khan - "Got to Be There"
The Time - "The Walk"
Imagination - "Music and Lights"
Daryl Hall & John Oates - "Maneater"
Margie Joseph - "Knockout"

December
The Gap Band - "Outstanding"
DeBarge - "I Like It"
Patrice Rushen - "I Was Tired of Being Alone"
Donald Fagen - "IGY (What a Beautiful World)"
Vaughan Mason & Butch Dayo - "You Can Do It"
Orbit - "The Beat Goes On"
Peabo Bryson - "We Don't Have to Talk About Love"
Aurra - "Such a Feeling"
Ray Parker Jr. - "Bad Boy"
Goodie - "You and I"