Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Counting down the Top 82 of '82 - Albums #82 - 74

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

Maynard Ferguson
Peak on Billboard 200: 185
Peak in Cashbox: 186
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Hollywood"

This is a horrid compilation of big band disco cover tunes and yet I listened to side one of my cassette copy more often than I care to admit.

Big Science
Laurie Anderson
Peak on Billboard 200: 124
Peak in Cashbox: 113
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "O Superman (For Massenet)"

Outside of "O Superman," this avant-garde experimental album isn't necessarily a fun listen, but it did briefly make me think I should become a starving performance artist squatting in a loft in NYC.  Very briefly.

CD Project

The Secret Policeman's Other Ball: The Music
Various Artists
Peak on Billboard 200: 29
Peak in Cashbox: 45
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Message in a Bottle"

A few good acoustic versions of hits before the "MTV Unplugged" craze took over a decade later.  As a na├»ve 16 year old, the whole concept of charity concerts and Amnesty International fascinated me.

CD Project

Eye in the Sky
The Alan Parsons Project
Peak on Billboard 200: 7
Peak in Cashbox: 6
Top 40 pop singles: "Eye in the Sky"
Top track: "Eye in the Sky"

Laid back and artsy, this is very easy to listen to; a great soft-pop album that I completely missed back in '82. Thanks to the Chicago Bulls, "Sirius" has taken on a life of its own in the world of sports introductions.

CD Project

Love Over Gold
Dire Straits
Peak on Billboard 200: 19
Peak in Cashbox: 21
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Industrial Disease"

Not the best album from these guys, but "Industrial Disease" is one of their best songs.  My buddy Jim gave me his copy of the LP and it quickly got to where that was the only cut I listened to.

CD Project

D.E. 7th
Dave Edmunds
Peak on Billboard 200: 46
Peak in Cashbox: 71
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Me and the Boys"

Amid some misguided attempts at bluegrass and Cajun tunes, there's some fun roots rock here.  Especially good are the versions of songs written by NRBQ, Springsteen, and Chuck Berry.

All Four One
The Motels
Peak on Billboard 200: 16
Peak in Cashbox: 17
Top 40 pop singles: "Only the Lonely"
Top track: "Only the Lonely"

I absolutely love Martha Davis' voice.  These songs are dark and moody, yet somehow relaxing.

CD Project

Another Grey Area
Graham Parker
Peak on Billboard 200: 51
Peak in Cashbox: 65
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Temporary Beauty"

A solid set of songs from a vastly underrated songwriter (think Elvis Costello meets Springsteen).  I just don't think US record labels knew how to market pub rock.

CD Project

Spring Session M
Missing Persons
Peak on Billboard 200: 17
Peak in Cashbox: 10
Top 40 pop singles: None
Top track: "Words"

The singles rank among my favorite New Wave tunes, but I don't care for much of the other songs on this album.

CD Project

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. Good to see Graham make the list. He doesn't get the props he should.

    I trust you've seen This Is 40?

    Surprised the soft rock kid ranked the Alan Parsons album so low in the poll - must have been the late discovery that cost it valuable points.

    Are we to look forward to full album reviews, either on this site or The CD Project, of albums with no such link yet? Hope so. These "capsule" reviews are unsatisfying for this hungry hungry hippo.

    1. I'm always open to any suggestions for full album reviews. I've been disappointed to discover how many of these fine albums from 1982 are unavailable digitally/streaming. However, most of them can be bought used on vinyl for under $3 which is probably how I should be listening to them anyway.

  2. Mark, glad to see you starting your list. I look forward to the rest.