Best of 1983- The Album List

The year 1982 was all about Michael Jackson's Thriller which became the best selling album of all time. The video for the song proved to be challenging for the MTV airwaves and it is also considered as one of the best videos of all time. Along with Michael Jackson's success other artists followed; David Bowie released Let's Dance, his most commercial album to date and ladies rocked too, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper released their debuts too exploring the weird and unconventional and Kim Wilde won the Brit Award for best British female artist. 
In 1982, the first compact discs were produced in Germany and were already sold in Japan during the third quarter of the same year. In 1983 they also went on sale in the USA and they will certainly revolutionize the music industry in the coming years. 
New Wave slowly faded into Pop and its biggest stars of the decade Michal Jackson, Madonna, Prince and George Michael will rule the charts for the rest of the decade and beyond. 

The following Top 20 represents the result of the 'Best of 1983 - The Album list' poll from 2013 together with our in-house votes. 
Updated: 04/2020


01. New Order- Power, Corruption & Lies [Factory] 
Power, Corruption & Lies was the second studio album by New Order, released in May 1983 on Factory Records. It was well received back then and even today it is considered as one of the best New order releases. On this album, the sound of New Order has changed in comparison to their debut album Movement which was still overshadowed by the Joy Division influence. In 1989, the album was ranked number 94 on Rolling Stone 's list of the 100 greatest albums of the 1980s, it was ranked at 216 on the NME list of the 500 greatest albums of all time and it was placed at number 28 on Pitchfork Media's list of the best albums of the 1980s. The Album was reissued in 2008.

02. Tears for Fears- The Hurting [Mercury] 
The Hurting was the debut album by Tears for Fears released in March 1983. The album featured the hit singles "Mad World", "Change", and "Pale Shelter"– all of which reached the Top 5 in the UK. It also contains a new version of the band's first single, "Suffer the Children", which had originally been released in 1981. In 1999 the album was reissued for the first time and included four remixes as bonus tracks and an extensive booklet which described the recording process of the album. A 30th Anniversary reissue was released on 21. October 2013, in both double CD and deluxe 4-disc boxed set editions.

03. Heaven 17- The Luxury Gap [Virgin] 
The Luxury Gap was the second and the best-selling album for Heaven 17 released in 1983 for Virgin Records. The album featured the hit singles "Temptation", "Let me Go" and "Come Live with Me" which brought the band the biggest commercial success. The band performed the album in its entirety on 14 October 2011 at London’s Roundhouse, the first night featured Heaven 17 (Martyn Ware and Glenn Gregory) performing the album in 3-D sound developed by Ware himself. It was reissued in 2012 including bonus tracks.

04. OMD- Dazzle Ships [Virgin] 
Dazzle Ships was the third studio release by OMD. It was a follow up to their most successful album Architecture and Morality which turned the OMD sound into a new direction. The album is noted for its highly experimental content, particularly musique concrète sound collages, utilizing shortwave radio recordings to explore Cold War and Eastern Bloc themes. Two singles were released from the album, "Genetic Engineering" and "Telegraph", which achieved moderate chart success in the United Kingdom and on American rock and college radio. Although it was a commercial flop, this album has always been praised by critics and considered as an underrated masterpiece.

05. R.E.M. - Murmur [I.R.S.] 
Murmur is R.E.M.'s debut album that was released in April 1983 by I.R.S. It featured the hit singles "Radio Free Europe" and "Talk About the Passion" and it was kind of making way for the first wave of alternative rock to the states. The album was certified Gold by RIAA in 1991 and it also charted in Pitchfork's Top 100 albums of the 80's at number 5. Universal Music released the 25th anniversary edition of the album which included previously unreleased material.

06. Echo and The Bunnymen- Porcupine [Korova / Sire]  
Porcupine was the third studio album by the English post-punk band Echo & the Bunnymen released on 4. February in 1983. It was the band’s highest charting album which even reached the US charts. The album featured the singles "The Cutter" and "The Back of Love". A VHS video called Porcupine – An Atlas Adventure was also released containing six promotional videos of tracks from the album. The album is also listed in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and it was reissued in 2009 and 2011.

07. Cocteau Twins- Head over Heels [4AD] 
Head over Heels is the second studio album by influential Scottish rock band Cocteau Twins. The album was released in October 1983 by 4AD, and was their first album as a duo of Elizabeth Fraser and Robin Guthrie. The album featured the brilliant tune "Sugar Hiccup" which was also the debut single for the band. In 2003, the album was named one of the most eccentric British albums of all time by Mojo magazine. The album was reissued in 2009.

08. David Bowie - Let's Dance [EMI Records] 
Let's Dance is the 15th studio album released by David Bowie in April 1983. It was released through EMI records and co-produced by Nile Rogers of Chic which marks a departure from RCA Records. The album includes Bowie's most commercial singles to date including, "China Girl", "Modern Love" and "Let's Dance". The album was nominated for a Grammy award but lost to Michael Jackson's Thriller. Even today the critics are divided about this album, it certainly is one of his most commercial efforts, but also starts the creative low point of his career which will last at least for a decade.

09. The Chameleons- Script of the Bridge [Statik Records] 
The Chameleons released their debut album Script from the Bridge in August 1983 by Statik which was co-produced by Colin Richardson. Four singles were released to promote the album including "Don't Fall" and "Up the Down Escalator". It is one of the genre defining albums of the early 80's which certainly had a wide impact on the genre. Script from the Bridge was re-engineered and re-released in 2012 by Blue Apple Music.

10. Soft Cell- The Art of Falling Apart [Some Bizzare / Sire]  
The Art of Falling Apart was the third album release for Soft Cell on Some Bizzare/Vertigo. Soft Sell continued their dark voyage through the back alleys of a sleazy city which they started on their debut album, but their sound became gloomier and complex and commercially they could not reach the success of the previous album’s singles. They released ‘Where the Heart is’ and ‘Numbers’. The album was reissued and remastered in 1999.

11. Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues [Sire]
12. The Police - Synchronicity [A&M]
13. Eurythmics - Sweet Dreams Are Made of This [RCA]
14. U2 - War [Island]
15. Yaz(oo) - You and Me Both [ Mute]
16. Cyndi Lauper - She's So Unusual [Portrait]
17. Depeche Mode - Construction Time Again [Mute]
18. Violent Femmes- Violent Femmes [Rhino Records]
19. The The - Soul Mining [Epic Records]
20. Madonna - Madonna [Sire / Warner Bros]
21. Culture Club- Colour by Numbers [Virgin]
22. Billy Idol - Rebel Yell [Chrysalis]
23. China Crisis- 'Working with Fire and Steel [Virgin]
24. Duran Duran - Seven and the Ragged Tiger [Capitol]
25. Malcolm McLaren - Duck Rock [Charisma]