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(My) Top 5 LPs of ’82

January 23, 2015

Considering I was less than a year old for much of the year, I don’t have an overwhelming amount of new music memories from 1982.

Since then, however, I’ve quite enjoyed collecting LPs from my first complete calendar year on Earth.

With a few reviews of 1982 records on tap for the week ahead, for now, here are 5 faves from my personal collection:



5. ABC, The Lexicon of Love
I should note these aren’t necessarily the 5 best albums as I haven’t even listened to this one in its entirety yet!  It was a recent find, a 1001 list item, and if one can judge a book by its cover & first few tracks, I’m intrigued by the rest of this one.


4. Haircut One Hundred, Pelican West
Much like the Zutons & the Boss, any band with a full time sax player has my stamp of approval.


3. Kate Bush, The Dreaming
Maybe not as strong as Hounds of Love or The Sensual World but of the ones I own, she’s 3 for 3 so far.


And no #2 this time…as there is an unprecedented tie for #1!

Here’s why.

Every 16 years, the world gets caught up in some sort of craze.

Last year, in 2014, we all (myself included) suddenly felt compelled to dump buckets of ice on ourselves.

In 1998, swing dance music momentarily stormed (or perhaps jived) its way back to the mainstream.

What eccentricities did we embrace in 1982?

Did you say male pop stars posing seductively in their LP centerfolds?!


To properly acknowledge the recurring 16-year pattern of curious crazes, #1a and #1b on the list could only go to Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Lionel Richie’s Lionel Richie respectively.

How does one choose a victor?  Bonus marks for the moustache?  Tie goes to the baby tiger?  Blogging friends, I’ll leave it in your capable hands!

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  1. First!

    There is no tie. It’s Lionel. Let me explain.

    I didn’t like Michael Jackson so much, then. Still don’t. I don’t know why. Maybe in the same way I didn’t like Michael Jordan (I was a Magic man) or the Beatles (I am a Stones man). Just because everyone else did? Lame. Jackson’s music didn’t speak to me, and I didn’t like the falsetto.

    But Lionel? Oh baby. Lionel’s smooth. Lionel’s SEXY. Lionel doesn’t need to grab his crotch every five seconds to let you know there’s something there you might want for yourself. Comparing these two? No contest. Sit down, Michael. The grown ups are making music over here.

    PS. I liked the swing revival. A LOT. And I still do. 🙂

    • As did/do I – still count Johnny Favourite Swing Orchestra’s Bessie Smith among my Top 25 tunes!

      I enjoy the boldness of the explanation paragraph, dismissing both MJs and the Beatles. I of course disagree (though I have no real emotional attachment to Jordan) but I like when people don’t just go along with the notion that something’s great out of obligation, or because the masses say so.

      So far Lionel’s in the lead!

      • Johnny Favourite! Man I LOVE those guys!

        Haha it’s just my opinion, and after I posted it I thought oh hell, here comes the flames. We’re SUPPOSED to love the Beatles. Disliking them is somehow verboten, like hating Santa Claus or something. Thing is, I don’t vehemently hate the Beatles. I own several of their records. I grew up on the stuff, thanks to my Mom’s jukebox. I know them as well as anybody, and if it comes on I can appreciate what they did. I just had too much of it, long years of exposure at impressinable ages led to my ignoring them completely for years. In fact, it’s only been in the past three years I’ve bought any of their stuff – on my trips to Toronto with Mike. It’s OK that people love them, I just don’t feel the need to ask for second helpings of the kool aid, is all.

        I was deeply invested in basketball as a teenager. I played the game, in three different leagues. I followed the NBA closely by newspaper and then when we got cable in our town (I was about 15), I was able to watch more than the highlights. I was a Lakers guy, the LA Freeway System, with Magic and Kareem and AC Green and Byron Scott, Michael Cooper, and all those guys. Damn. SHOWTIME! But the hype was for the Bulls, with the wonder-traveller Jordan (seriously, the guy could run out of bounds, then come back in, or take about four steps to lay down one of his huge dunks and the refs never called it). Meh.

        I don’t make a project out of disliking what the masses like, or hating on whatever sense of obligation. I just go with my gut.

        And of course Lionel’s in the lead! Because he’s easy. Easy like Sunday morning. In fact:

        “Why in the world would anybody put chains on me?
        I’ve paid my dues to make it
        Everybody wants me to be
        What they want me to be
        I’m not happy when I try to fake it! no!

        Ooh that’s why I’m easy
        I’m easy like Sunday morning
        That’s why I’m easy
        I’m easy like Sunday morning!”

      • I think Rich had a good line for not so favourite bands, “I’ll let other people enjoy them.”

        I’m sure I’ll have my share of inflammatory statements before the project is done (I’ve since come around to him, but some friendships were almost irreparably severed based on how I used to complain about Neil Young!)

        M.J. would have been proud of this travel – I quite enjoyed this from the fall!

      • Neil’s fans are indeed rabid, but I know lots of people who can’t stand him. I’m married to one of them. My lovely wife appreciates the music, but wishes someone else was singing… But yeah, there’s an almost cult-like feel when discussing Neil Young with Neil Young FANS. It’s creepy.

        Haha that travel was straight out of the MJ playbook. In fact, you could probably call up footage from 1991 that shows this is a verbatim rip-off run. For my money, though, it was that music that nailed it. PERFECT!

      • When I reviewed after the goldrush – I think I said the same thing!

        There’s the sloan line “it’s not the band I hate it’s their fans” that may describe the scary cult-like following folks like Neil can inspire

  2. Well, Mr Geoff, I must confess that I felt some subsiding of spirits on reading that list. I got that there is more to come, but I felt it my duty to scurry to the Vinyl Connection catalogue (where I discovered some 140 titles from 1982) and come up with an alternative list (barring Ms Bush – her status is inviolate).
    To my surprise I found more riches than expected, which are offered below as a tribute to you first complete year on earth. All are marvellous (and largely timeless) and most (if not all) would challenge for a place in the “Vinyl Connection 1001 Albums to Savour Before Deafness”.

    Richard & Linda Thompson – Shoot out the lights
    Steve Winwood – Talking back to the night
    Laurie Anderson – Big Science
    Cocteau Twins – Garlands
    Marshall Crenshaw – Marshall Crenshaw
    Donald Fagan – The Nightfly
    Phil Manzanera – Primitive Guitars
    XTC – English Settlement

    • The Nightfly is on that other 1001 list too – most of the other artists also have at least one or two other appearances, though not their ’82 efforts.

      Richard Thompson has been such a nice discovery for me in this project – shoot out the lights sounds like the next one by him to be explored, thanks Bruce!

  3. Ha! Cant they both lose?

  4. Geoff,…man… – If I was 1 year old – I too,would be drawn to Mr. Richie -so I give you a break there, but I would have stopped “dancing on the ceiling” by the time I turned 3! 🙂 —-Anyway, “Thriller” was bigger than life and I bought a copy that year – as did everybody else in the free world.

    • Dancin’ on the ceilin’ was probably my Lionel gateway!
      It’s funny, despite Thriller being purchased by everyone in the free world (as you accurately said), I rarely if ever see it in the used record stores.

  5. What are five albums I do not own, Alex!

    Though I have some Lionel content coming up. Not sure if All Night Long is on that LP? And EVERYBODY owned Thriller myself included.

    Moustache for the win. If tigers counted, then you’d have to work Mike Tyson into this list (somehow).

    • Nope, All Night Long was on the next one, Can’t Slow Down. This one has You Are, though…

      EVERYBODY owned Thriller? Wait, I’m not one of everybody, I never owned it! What does that make me? Surely not NOBODY! Lionel, say it isnt true!

      Lionel’s still winning!

      • It’s impressive you didn’t own it – as Wayne Campbell said about Frampton Comes Alive, if you lived in the suburbs, you were issued it – it came in the mail with samples of tide!

    • I’m sure there’s a way to work either him or his fictitious counterpart, Drederick Tatum, onto the list!

    • Ha, I didn’t have Frampton either. Nope, I am an anomaly. I respect what he did, but I wouldn’t chose to sit and listen to Michael Jackson.

  6. Also, looking at those lounging photos of Michael and Lionel, is anyone else recalling Burt Reynolds on a bear skin?

  7. 🙂 Barely 1 in 1982…you young’un, you…;)
    I had Thriller on cassette. Also had Can’t Slow Down by Lionel, listening to them incessantly when I was 9 or 10. I am going with MJ, just because he was one of the artists that got me digging music. And Thriller kicked butt.

    • And continues to kick butt I’d say!
      I listened to it for the list a year or so ago and was really impressed with the production.
      If it was a battle of the centerfolds, can’t slow down would win no question, that’s the one with Lionel happily sliding down a fire-pole!

  8. Have owned neither Ritchie, L nor Jackson, M albums in any form. Not sure I’ve been part of the free world either.

    • What he said goes for me too.

      • Gents I’m impressed, especially considering your respective LP collections are substantial.
        If you have to break the shutout streak, Off The Wall may be worth it!

  9. I honestly can’t comment on any of these. But I have by saying I can’t comment, I guess. Urgh. But so as not to waste a comment space I will say that Lionel’s jumper wins him the top spot.

  10. nicksalbumreviews permalink

    Christ. I wasn’t even born in ’82…I came into the world 7 years later. Hello world!

    Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”? That came out in ’82? Colour me taught.

    • Still a child of the 80s though – however, due to your later birthday, I’m happy to pass the blogging community nickname of “young’un” on to you Nick!

      • nicksalbumreviews permalink

        Oh, wow. This is an amazing award! Firstly, I’d like to thank my parents….

  11. Right, give us a tally! Lionel! Lionel! Lionel!

    • From the comments that I could infer a vote being placed, I’m counting 3 Lionel – 2 MJ – 1 neither!

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