Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Counting down the top 82 of '82 - Albums #10 - 6

A breakdown of my favorite albums from my favorite year in pop music

The Nylon Curtain
Billy Joel
Released: September 23 (Columbia)
Produced by: Phil Ramone
Peak on Billboard 200: 7
Peak in Cashbox: 5
Original Rolling Stone rating: ★★★★

 U.S. charted singles: Hot 100 RockAC
 Allentown 172819
 Pressure 208
 Goodnight Saigon 56

 A Room of Our Own
 Scandinavian Skies

Top 3 Tracks
"She's Right on Time"

Like many people, I became a fan of Joel's with 1977's The Stranger.  After that, Joel albums were normally purchased on a Friday and completely memorized by the end of the weekend; this album was no exception.  In 1982, Billy was approaching middle-age, Billy was serious, Billy needed a hug.  Part concept album, part Beatles tribute, The Nylon Curtain isn't Joel's best, but it does contain a few of his best songs.

Spyro Gyra
Released: October (MCA)
Produced by: Jay Beckenstein and Richard Calandra
Peak on Billboard 200: 46
Peak in Cashbox: 61
Original Rolling Stone rating: not reviewed

Top 3 Tracks
"Last Exit"
"Harbor Nights"
"Soho Mojo"

When I saw this album in the record store in 1982, all I knew about the band was hearing their 1979 Top 40 hit, Morning Dance, on the radio.  Hardly enough of a recommendation to buy an album without hearing any part of it first.  But I had a record addiction to feed, I thought the cover art was intriguing, so I took a shot and my listening tastes were forever altered.  I'm sitting here now looking at 24 Spyro Gyra CDs on my shelves, easily the most by any other group in my collection regardless of genre.  It all started here.  I return to this album often; it's like comfort food for my ears.

Toto IV
Released: April 8 (Columbia)
Produced by: Toto
Peak on Billboard 200: 4
Peak in Cashbox: 5
Original Rolling Stone rating: ★★

 U.S. charted singles: Hot 100AC Rock
 Africa 15
 Rosanna 2178
 I Won't Hold You Back101
 Make Believe 30

 Waiting for Your Love7327
 Afraid of Love

 Lovers in the Night


Top 3 Tracks
"Waiting for Your Love"

Between recording sessions for Chicago 16, Michael Jackson's Thriller, and other top albums of the time, this group of session musicians got together and recorded this slick AOR gem.  I usually poke fun of the Grammy awards, but they got it right with this one.  This album won 6 Grammy awards including Album of the Year, Record of the Year (Rosanna) and Best Producer.  A perfect place for a wannabe New Waver to go to get his occasional soft rock fix.

Special Beat Service
The English Beat
Released: October (I.R.S.)
Produced by: Bob Sargeant
Peak on Billboard 200: 39
Peak in Cashbox: 39
Original Rolling Stone rating: ★★★½

 U.S. charted singles: Dance
 I Confess 34
 Save It for Later 58

Top 3 Tracks
"Save It for Later"
"I Confess"
"Sugar & Stress"

A ska group turned pop and most of their fan base disliked the change.  I, on the other hand, fell in love with it.  12 great songs performed with lots of energy; I can't explain the lack of chart success.  Wonderfully produced by Bob Sargeant, who makes another appearance a little later on this list.

Released: March 18 (Geffen)
Produced by: Mike Stone
Peak on Billboard 200: 1
Peak in Cashbox: 1
Original Rolling Stone rating: ★★½

 U.S. charted singles: Hot 100 Rock
 Heat of the Moment 41
 Only Time Will Tell 178
 Here Comes the Feeling
 Sole Survivor
 Time Again
 Wildest Dreams

Top 3 Tracks
"Heat of the Moment"
"Here Comes the Feeling"
"Wildest Dreams"

The best selling album of 1982.  I heard this album on my friend Jim's Walkman backstage at a school play rehearsal not long after it was released.  I listened to it so much that Jim wanted me to buy new batteries for his Walkman.  At the time, I had no idea what a supergroup was, but within a week of hearing it I had my own LP, quickly followed by posters, pinbacks and other trappings of fandom.  This album rarely left my turntable during most of April and May of 1982.

These are my personal top 82 albums released in 1982.  The following criteria was used on a very slippery sliding scale:
  • How often I enjoyed the album at the time of release
  • How often I've enjoyed the album over the past 30+ years
  • Overall quality of the album
Chart information is from the US Billboard charts for the top albums and "Hot 100" pop singles.  The top tracks for each album are solely my opinion.

1 comment :

  1. This is defintive soft rock kid right here. No surprises to speak of, just the albums we all know you love.

    The expanded format is a welcome change visually, packing facts and stats for those of us craving such minutiae.

    Your list has been a roller coaster ride of memories and emotions thus far - kind of hate to see it ending soon.