Sunday, January 19, 2014

Counting down the Top 82 of '82 - Albums #37 - 29

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

Daryl Hall & John Oates
Peak on Billboard 200: 3
Peak in Cashbox: 4
Top 40 pop singles: "Maneater," "One on One," "Family Man"
Top track: "One on One"

If all this album contained was the sax solo of "One on One," it would still make this list.

CD Project

High Adventure
Kenny Loggins
Peak on Billboard 200: 13
Peak in Cashbox: 18
Top 40 pop singles:"Don't Fight It," "Heartlight," "Heart to Heart"
Top track: "Don't Fight It"

I always think of Loggins as a "soundtrack guy" but I'm proven wrong by this release. I "borrowed" a friend's cassette of this album and I may still have it somewhere.  Oops.

CD Project

Diver Down
Van Halen
Peak on Billboard 200: 3
Peak in Cashbox: 4
Top 40 pop singles:"Pretty Woman," "Dancing in the Street"
Top track: "Dancing in the Street"

Yes, it's only 30 minutes long and full of covers.  I could care less.  Diamond Dave has never been more entertaining and Michael Anthony's underrated backing vocals are on point throughout.  Oh, the guitar player is pretty good, too.

The J. Geils Band
Peak on Billboard 200: 23
Peak in Cashbox: 25
Top 40 pop singles:
Top track: "I Do"

I've always considered this band to be better live than in studio.  I was hooked on this album from the first time I heard Magic Dick's harmonica solo on "I Do."  I always played side two much, much more than side one.

Upstairs at Eric's
Peak on Billboard 200: 92
Peak in Cashbox: 97
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Situation"

You wouldn't think that pairing a soulful singer with synths and a LinnDrum would be as good as this turned out to be.  Not appreciated here in the US until much later.  Groundbreaking and influential.  The album cover is one of my faves, too.

CD Project

Peak on Billboard 200: 9
Peak in Cashbox: 6
Top 40 pop singles: "1999," "Little Red Corvette," "Delirious"
Top track: "1999"

When Prince says, "I only want you to have some fun," I believe him.  I like Prince's singles a lot more than his albums, but I can listen to this album all the way through, no problem. "1999" is one of the best dance tunes of the '80s, bar none.

CD Project

The Best is Yet to Come
Grover Washington, Jr.
Peak on Billboard 200: 50
Peak in Cashbox: 45
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Can You Dig It"

A smooth jazzer at the peak of his powers. A little predictable, but oh so relaxing.

CD Project

The Name of this Band is Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Peak on Billboard 200: 31
Peak in Cashbox: 53
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: Love → Building on Fire"

If I had understood this band in 1982, this album would probably be in this list's top ten.  A 2 LP set, I prefer the second disc.  I wasn't attending concerts in 1977-80 when these sides were recorded, but I sure wish I had seen this group back when.

The Concert in Central Park
Simon and Garfunkel
Peak on Billboard 200: 6
Peak in Cashbox: 7
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

It plays as a greatest hits show, but they're hits I grew up with (I had an elementary school music teacher that loved to have us students sing S&G tunes while she played guitar).  Paul Simon upstages Art Garfunkel at times, but the backing band almost steals the show.

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 track for each album is solely my opinion.


  1. This part of the list surprises with lower than expected from you rankings of Grover, Geils, Yaz and Oates.

    And the audacity of including three live albums in a six album span - very bold, sir.

    And Prince at #32? Hopefully that's just your contrarian nature to spite the critics, who for once in their lives were not completely wrong about an album. It's somewhat telling that two of our other friends have this album at the top spot while I scooched it down to #3. C'mon man get with it. Need a full album review on The CD Project, please.

  2. Herc, as someone who put Prince in his top spot (and Yaz in my top 5) for 1982, I very much was shocked by this placing. However...I know that Prince can be a polarizing force - some folks love him and some folks don't. I guess you and I are in the "love him" camp.