Thursday, January 16, 2014

Counting down the Top 82 of '82 - Albums #64 - 56

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

Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet
Rick Springfield
Peak on Billboard 200: 2
Peak in Cashbox: 4
Top 40 pop singles: "Don't Talk to Strangers," "I Get Excited," "What Kind of Fool am I"
Top track: "Don't Talk to Strangers"

Lots of good, hard drivin' power pop on this one.  Springfield might have been taken more seriously as a musician if he hadn't been a good looking, charming soap opera star. 

CD Project

The Dollar Album
Peak on Billboard 200: Did not chart
Peak in Cashbox: Did not chart
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Mirror Mirror (Mon Amour)"

Thanks to producer Trevor Horn, this overlooked collection of songs is a catchy mess of harmless sugar-coated disco-pop. I wish I had found discovered it back in '82, but better late than never.

The Other Woman
Ray Parker, Jr.
Peak on Billboard 200: 11
Peak in Cashbox: 14
Top 40 pop singles: "The Other Woman," "Let Me Go"
Top track: "The Other Woman"

I'm not very familiar with this R&B release, but the title track was playing on the radio when I lost my virginity, so that memory earns the album a spot on this list.

CD Project

Pleasure Victim
Peak on Billboard 200: 30
Peak in Cashbox: 28
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Sex (I'm A...)"

Everything about this synthpop album oozes sexuality - just what every 16 year old boy needs.

CD Project

English Settlement
Peak on Billboard 200: 48
Peak in Cashbox: 62
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Senses Working Overtime"

A transitional album for the band; the quirky but engaging songwriting of Andy Partridge shines through.  The Hugh Padgham production is apparent and that's a good thing.

CD Project

All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes
Pete Townshend
Peak on Billboard 200: 26
Peak in Cashbox: 21
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Face Dances Part Two"

Beneath the ill-advised album title and the pompous lyrics, there's some good rock music here.

Imperial Bedroom
Elvis Costello and the Attractions
Peak on Billboard 200: 30
Peak in Cashbox: 33
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Beyond Belief"

I've never liked Elvis as much as I think I should, probably because his singles are so much better than his albums.  Still, "Beyond Belief" is my favorite Costello song and it really elevates this album in my estimation.

The Love that Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart)
Bill Nelson
Peak on Billboard 200: Did not chart
Peak in Cashbox: Did not chart
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Flaming Desire"

Wall of sound meets not-quite-New Romantic synthrock.  There's a lot going on in these pieces, but definitely worth the effort to investigate.  When I first heard the bonus disc La Belle et la Bete, it made me seriously consider movie score composition as a career.

CD Project

Pat Metheny Group
Peak on Billboard 200: 50
Peak in Cashbox: 45
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Are You Going With Me?"

I wasn't quite ready for Metheny's atmospheric noodlings when I got this LP in 1983 from Columbia House as part of those 11 for a penny "negative option billing" scams, but I eventually came to appreciate Metheny's work.  An acquired taste worth acquiring.

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 comment :

  1. While he wouldn't have made my Top 150, I had totally forgotten about Bill Nleson so thanks for reminding me.

    Surpised that you ranked Rick Springfield and Berlin so much lower than I did. I still listen to a lot of Rick regularly but Berlin, not so much.

    No clue about Dollar album - must have missed that day in Trevor Horn class.