1982’s Best Rock Albums

1982's Best Rock Albums

Photo: Helge Øverås, http://www.helgeoveras.com/concertphoto.shtml / CC BY-SA (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

1982’s Most Influential Albums list stands as an outlier in our best rock albums series. We had a really tough time with this one because a couple of the biggest selling albums of the year did not necessarily fall into the rock category. Or did they? Albums released by Michael Jackson, Prince and Hall & Oates heavily dominated pop culture in 1982. With MTV’s dominance in the music business, the 1970’s music scene seemed to have finally come to an end. There were still some great 70s based rock albums being released but in the overall picture the music scene had changed dramatically.

There had been a dramatic change in music from the 1950s to the 1960’s. The Beatles were responsible for that change. The 1960s flowed much more smoothly into 1970s in a more progressive manner that saw changes over time. 1982 flipped everything upside down almost instantly. And it was all Michael Jackson’s fault. When an album is released that sells more records than anything before it, record executives are going to take notice and start looking for acts to sign or promote that sound like Michael Jackson. Most of those acts an albums were pretty lame. Nonetheless, pop music with a dance beat fueled by emerging new electronic instruments starts to take hold.

This list presents a mix of albums. Some are listed because they were huge sellers, some because they were heavily influential and of course a good portion of the albums on the list were listed because there simply great rock records.  We did the best we could with a very unusual year in rock.

# 50 – Billy Idol – Billy Idol

# 49 – Upstairs at Eric’s – Yazoo

# 48 – If That’s What It TakesMichael McDonald

# 47 – Imperial BedroomElvis Costello

# 46 – Peter Gabriel IV – Peter Gabriel

# 45 – Talking Back to the NightSteve Winwood

# 44 – Beautiful VisionVan Morrison

# 43 – A Flock of SeagullsA Flock of Seagulls

# 42 – Vacation – The Go Gos

# 41 – Jump Up – Elton John

# 40 – I Can’t Stand StillDon Henley

# 39 – H2OHall & Oates

# 38 – Hello, I Must Be Going! – Phil Collins

# 37 – Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band

# 36 – Get Nervous – Pat Benatar

# 35 – It’s Hard – The Who

# 34 – Under the Big Black Sun X

# 33 – Daylight AgainCrosby, Stills & Nash

# 32 – Vinyl Confessions – Kansas

# 31 – Sweets from a Stranger  – Squeeze

# 30 – Wild Things Run Fast – Joni Mitchell

# 29 – Private AuditionHeart

# 28 – Eye In The Sky – The Alan Parsons Project

# 27 – Signals – Rush

# 26 – Rock In A Hard Place – Aerosmith

# 25 – Never Surrender – Triumph

# 24 – Toto IV – Toto

# 23 – Coda – Led Zeppelin

Yeah we know its just outtakes and unreleased cuts, but it’s still Led Zeppelin.

# 22 – Built for Speed – Stray Cats

# 21 – Special Forces – 38 Special

# 20 – Wasn’t Tomorrow Wonderful?The Waitresses

# 19 – Iron Fist – Motorhead

# 18 – Picture ThisHuey Lewis and the News

# 17 – RioDuran Duran

# 16 – The Nightfly – Donald Fagen

# 15 – Bad To The Bone – George Thorogood

# 14 – MirageFleetwood Mac

# 13 – The Broadsword and the BeastJethro Tull

# 12 – Three Lock BoxSammy Hagar

# 11 – Pictures at Eleven – Robert Plant

# 10 – Combat Rock – The Clash

You know what The Clash’s Combat Rock shouldn’t be in the tenth spot, its too freaking brilliant! We will take care of this!!!

# 10 – Long After Dark – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

#  9 – Night and Day – Joe Jackson

It really was Night and Day in comparing this record to his first couple of albums which we all loved just as well. However, this was a work of art.

#  8 – Screaming for Vengeance – Judas Priest

Another great album by Judas Priest that featured the song “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin'” that turned the band into a household name

#  7 – The Number of the BeastIron Maiden

Iron Maiden’s dominance of the heavy metal genre is further cemented with this butt kicking spectacular heavy metal album.

#  6 – Nebraska – Bruce Springsteen

The road from The River to Born in the U.S.A went brilliantly through Nebraska. Dark, daunting, and masterful.

#  5 – Tug Of War – Paul McCartney

The Paul McCartney solo album we had all been waiting for.

#  4 – The Nylon Curtain – Billy Joel

Our favorite Billy Joel album defines his brilliant songwriting and arranging skills on a level higher that any of his other records. It may not have been his biggest selling record, but it was his deepest.

#  3 – 1999 – Prince

While Purple Rain may be the most popular Prince album ever released, 1999 was his best.

#  2 – Asia – Asia

Powerful progressive rock wrapped in a pop sensibility performed by master musicians .Everyone loved this album. Finally a supergroup album that delivered the goods.

Best Albums of 1982

#  1 – Combat Rock – The Clash

Yeah, that more like it!

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1982

These are listed in chronological order in which they came out throughout the year

Best Rock Albums – January 1982

Another Day/Another Dollar – Gang of Four

Oriental Beat – Hanoi Rocks

Jinx – Rory Gallagher

Diver Down – Van Halen

All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes – Pete Townshend

Best Rock Albums – February 1982

English SettlementXTC

The Blue MaskLou Reed

Swing to the Right – Utopia

Chase the DragonMagnum

Green LightBonnie Raitt

Just Another Day in Paradise – Bertie Higgins


Best Rock Albums – March 1982

MarchCharlie Daniels Band

BlackoutThe Scorpions

Breaking the Chains – Dokken

Truce – Jack Bruce and Robin Trower

Good Trouble – REO Speedwagon

Best Rock Albums – April 1982

No Control – Eddie Money

Avalon – Roxy Music

How Could Hell Be Any Worse? – Bad Religion

All Four One – The Motels

Best Rock Albums – May 1982

Tuckerized – Marshall Tucker Band

Straight Between the Eyes – Rainbow

Pleasure Victim – Berlin

Best Rock Albums – June 1982

Eye of the Tiger – Survivor

Marshall CrenshawMarshall Crenshaw

Walk Among Us – The Misfits

Metal on Metal – Anvil

Best Rock Albums – July 1982

View from the Ground – America

Fast Times at Ridgemont High – Soundtrack

Emotions in Motion – Billy Squire

The Party’s Over – Talk Talk

Best Rock Albums – August 1982

Art of Control – Peter Frampton

Rough Diamonds – Bad Company

Shango -Santana

It’s Hard – The Who

Under The Blade – Twisted Sister

Best Rock Albums – September 1982

The Dreaming – Kate Bush

Love Over Gold – Dire Straits

Forever Now – The Psychedelic Furs

A Broken Frame – Depeche Mode

Room to Live – The Fall

Get Closer – Linda Ronstadt

Heartlight – Neil Diamond

Pressin’ On – Billy Preston

The Pursuit of Accidents – Level 42

Scandal EP – Scandal

UB44  – UB40

Zombie Birdhouse – Iggy Pop

Best Rock Albums – October 1982

Restless and Wild – Accept

Creatures of the Night – Kiss

Quartet – Ultravox

In the Mood for Something Rude – Foghat

Assault Attack – The Michael Schenker Group

…Famous Last Words… – Supertramp

Friend or Foe – Adam Ant

Kim MitchellKim Mitchell

An Officer and a Gentleman – Soundtrack

Shabooh Shoobah – INXS

Kissing to Be Clever – Culture Club

Shuttered Room – The Fixx

Spring Session M – Missing Persons

Strawberries – The Damned

Best Rock Albums – November 1982

I Could Rule the World if I Could only Get the Parts – The Waitresses

The Lee Aaron Project – Lee Aaron

The Ever Popular Tortured Artist Effect – Todd Rundgren

Dawn Patrol – Night Ranger

Identity Crisis – Sweet

Run for the Roses – Jerry Garcia

Speak of the Devil – Ozzy Osbourne

Best Rock Albums – December 1982

Trans – Neil Young

The Distance – Bob Seger

Comeback – Eric Burdon

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