1982 – My Top Ten Albums Of The Year

It’s time for another in my occasional series concerning my top ten albums of the year and, having already covered 1987, 1995 and 2010, this time I’m looking way back to 1982.

This was about half way through my time at senior school, a time when BBC’s “Top Of The Pops” regularly had appearances from heavy metal bands as well as the latest chart entries from new romantic groups etc. I could have easily made this a top twenty or thirty as is was a year that I still have a great fondness for musically. So, without further ado, here they are (once again in alphabetical order)…

1. Dire Straits “Love Over Gold”

Dire Straits - Love Over Gold
Dire Straits – Love Over Gold

The fourth album from Mark Knopfler’s former band, this record had just five tracks when it was released. Starting with the epic fourteen minute “Telegraph Road” the album features two singles in the shape of the humorous “Industrial Disease” and the atmospheric classic “Private Investigations”, the latter of which remains my favourite Dire Straits track ever. Reportedly originally intended for the album were “Private Dancer” which went on to be a hit for Tina Turner and the tongue in cheek “Badges, Posters, Stickers, T-Shirts” which became the B-side on the “Private Investigations” single.

2. Duran Duran “Rio”

Duran Duran - Rio
Duran Duran – Rio

The first pop album on this list, Duran Duran’s second album and arguably their best ever, “Rio” produced four top twenty singles (three in the top ten) in “My Own Way” (which was re-recorded in much different form for the actual album), “Hungry Like The Wolf”, “Save A Prayer” and, of course, the title track.

Fittingly in the early days of MTV videos were made for six tracks – the singles plus “Lonely In Your Nightmare” and “The Chauffeur”. Of the remaining tracks, “New Religion” remains the highlight of the album for me. New Romantic pop music at it’s best.

3. Iron Maiden “The Number Of The Beast”

Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden – The Number Of The Beast

Although I loved Iron Maiden’s first two albums with Paul Di’Anno on vocals, following his departure the band undisputedly took a massive step forward with the addition of vocalist Bruce Dickinson for third album “The Number Of The Beast”.

Featuring another great Derek Riggs illustrated cover, the sleeve held a record chock full of great heavy metal tracks from a band that were firing on all cylinders, including the singles “Run To The Hills” and the title track. Although there isn’t a duff track here, other tracks of note are “The Prisoner” featuring a clip from the TV series leading into a great drum intro from Clive Burr, “22 Acacia Avenue” and the two epics “Children Of The Damned” and “Hallowed Be Thy Name”. Excellent stuff!

4. Judas Priest “Screaming For Vengeance”

Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
Judas Priest – Screaming For Vengeance

Although often talked over as being part of the same movement as Iron Maiden, Judas Priest had actually been around for a while longer and their debut album had preceded Maiden’s by six years. Nonetheless, by 1982 both bands were becoming increasingly successful as evidenced by the chart placings both enjoyed.

“Screaming For Vengeance” was Priest’s eighth studio album and was ushered in by the brilliant one-two of introduction “The Hellion” squealing it’s way into the frenetic “Electric Eye”. Top tracks include the aforementioned duo plus “Bloodstone” the almost-ballad “(Take These) Chains”, the title track, “Devil’s Child” and the superb “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'”. Another stone cold classic heavy metal album.

5. Michael Jackson “Thriller”

Michael Jackson - Thriller
Michael Jackson – Thriller

“Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin'” opens Michael Jackson’s six studio album, and became of of the seven tracks (from an album containing just nine) to be a hit single, along with “The Girl Is Mine”, “Billie Jean”, “Human Nature”, “P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)”, the title track, not forgetting “Beat It” with it’s classic Eddie Van Halen guitar solo.

Released in late 1982, the album reached the number one spot in several countries, became one of the best selling albums of all time and remains a near perfect pop record.

6. Michael Schenker Group “Assault Attack”

Michael Schenker Group - Assault Attack
Michael Schenker Group – Assault Attack

German guitarist Michael Schenker, formerly a member of Scorpions and UFO, released the third album of his “solo” career in 1982 with “Assault Attack”. A number of line-up changes occured following Japanese dates the previous year, including vocalist Gary Barden being replaced by former Rainbow singer Graham Bonnet.

Bonnet’s performance on this album is superb, as is Schenker’s, and indeed the whole band are on top form – I would argue that this is Schenker’s most consistent studio recording – with excellent tracks like the title track, “Rock You To The Ground”, “Desert Song”, the single “Dancer” and “Broken Promises”. Sadly, following one gig Bonnet was fired and replaced by the returning Barden even before the album hit the shelves!

7. Rainbow “Straight Between The Eyes”

Rainbow - Straight Between The Eyes
Rainbow – Straight Between The Eyes

The sixth studio album from guitar maestro Ritchie Blackmore’s band, and the second the feature lead vocalist Joe Lynn Turner, “Straight Between The Eyes” featured a striking cover painting and saw the group continuing with the more commercial sound they had been developing.

Two singles were released from the album, up-tempo opening track “Death Alley Driver” and the more sedate “Stone Cold”. The best of the remaining tracks were “Bring On The Night (Dream Chaser)”, “Tite Squeeze” and the epic middle-eastern tinged “Eyes Of Fire”. A great commercial hard rock record.

8. Status Quo “1+9+8+2”

Status Quo - 1+9+8+2
Status Quo – 1+9+8+2

The fifteenth studio album from Status Quo saw the introduction of drummer Pete Kircher in place of the departed John Coghlan, and was titled “1+9+8+2” to reference both the year of release and the 20th anniversary of Francis Rossi and Alan Lancaster first meeting (though the band’s anniversary dates would subsequently be changed once Lancaster left the band in 1985).

Featuring a more poppy sound than previous albums, this one was nonetheless still very successful – if less popular with die-hard fans of the band – reaching number one in the UK and producing two hit singles in “Dear John” and “She Don’t Fool Me” (“Jealousy” was slated to be a third single but pulled at the last minute). My favourite non-single tracks were “Get Out And Walk”, “Resurrection”, “I Should Have Known” and “Doesn’t Matter”.

9. UFO “Mechanix”

UFO - Mechanix
UFO – Mechanix

The tenth studio album from British hard rock band UFO, “Mechanix” starts with the heavy “The Writer” followed by a cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Somethin’ Else” and then the ballad “Back Into My Life”.

Phil Mogg is in great voice throughout, Paul Chapman’s solid guitar parts are underpinned by the formidable rhythm section of bassist Pete Way and drummer Andy Parker, and Neil Carter provides additional guitars, keyboards, saxophone and backing vocals. The best of the rest of the album include “We Belong To The Night”, “Let It Rain” and “Dreaming”

10. Whitesnake “Saints & Sinners”

Whitesnake - Saints & Sinners
Whitesnake – Saints & Sinners

Before becoming the mega-selling MTV-friendly hard rock giants of “1987” and “Slip Of The Tongue” Whitesnake were known as a bluesy hard rock band whose main success came in the UK.

“Saints & Sinners” proved to be their least commercially successful album of the 1980s but is still one of my favourites of the early years. Sessions had started for this album with the same line-up as heard on 1981’s “Come An’ Get It”, but by the time the album was released in late November 1982 guitarist Bernie Marsden, bassist Neil Murray and drummer Ian Paice had all left and been replaced by Mel Galley, Colin Hodgkinson and Cozy Powell respectively. However, the departed trio’s parts remained on the finished product.

Alongside the original versions of “Here I Go Again” and “Crying In The Rain” which would be re-recorded for the massive “1987” album, the record features cracking tunes like “Young Blood”, “Rough An’ Ready”, “Love An’ Affection”, the brilliant “Dancing Girls” and the title track. Bigger things may have been coming for Whitesnake in the future, but this is still a great record.

That’s my top ten albums, then of 1982. That was the year of the Falklands War. Queen Elizabeth II celebrated her Pearl Jubilee, Ronald Reagan was US President, Liverpool won the First Division title, Italy won the FIFA World Cup and top film releases included “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”, “An Officer And A Gentleman” and “Rocky III”…

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