1983’s Best Rock Albums

1983's Best Rock Albums

Pjoto: Raph_PH / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Our 1983’s Best Rock Albums list defines a year in rock and roll that showed a dramatic improvement in the quality of music released as opposed to to the previous year. While rock music continued to steer towards more of the pop side of things, metal continued to become even more popular as many hard rock fans of the 70s were turned off by the MTV generation that was in full swing. Even metal started to cross the genres of glam and rock as an entire wave of new bands would fuel a new genre often referred to as the 80s hair bands.

Rock and roll legends that arrived in the 1960s such as The Kinks, The Rolling Stones and Ex-Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr all released new material. Elton John continued his yearly release schedule with one of his strongest albums of his 80’s period. The band U2 continued to get better with every album while The Police released the album of their career which would also prove to be their last. Billy Joel released a tribute album to the past composed of new materiel. Interestingly, Jim Steinman had a huge hit single without the help of Meat Loaf via the vocal chords of Bonnie Tyler.

New Wave music that born our of the punk era also continued to shift towards a more friendly pop sound or maybe it was just that mass culture began to accept the genre on a wider scale. One of the highlight of the year was the debut of the first Stevie Ray Vaughn album. SRV proved that great rock and roll and blues never gets old. And of course, we have to mention that 1983 saw the debut of Metallica’s first album.

1983’s Best Rock Albums crossed many musical genres and styles. There were many great albums released by bands old and new. While 1981 and 1982 were disappointing years, 1983 seemed to be another turning point in music. The following years from 1984 to 1988 would present fans with some powerful new groups and classic albums that would go down as some of the best of all time. 1984 was an exceptional year and we are really looking forward to doing that one. However, for now, we think you will find some great ones on this list.

# 50 – Outside InsideThe Tubes

Outside Inside - The Tubes

# 49 – Script for a Jester’s TearMarillion

Script for a Jester's Tear - Marillion

# 48 – Cuts Like a KnifeBryan Adams

Cuts Like a Knife - Bryan Adams

# 47 – Ark – The Animals

Ark - The Animals

# 46 – Uh-HuhJohn Cougar Mellencamp

Uh-Huh - John Cougar Mellencamp

# 45 – Infidels – Bob Dylan

Infidels - Bob Dylan

# 44 – Midnight Madness – Night Ranger

Midnight Madness - Night Ranger

# 43 – Baby Snakes – Frank Zappa

Baby Snakes - Frank Zappa

# 42 – MurmurR.E.M.

Murmur - R.E.M.

# 41 – Album – Joan Jett

Album - Joan Jett

# 40 – Money and CigarettesEric Clapton

Money and Cigarettes - Eric Clapton

# 39 – Born Again – Black Sabbath

Born Again - Black Sabbath

# 38 – The Present – The Moody Blues

The Present - The Moody Blues

# 37 – Never SurrenderTriumph

Never Surrender - Triumph

# 36 – Seven and the Ragged TigerDuran Duran

Seven and the Ragged Tiger - Duran Duran

# 35 – Lick It Up – Kiss

Lick It Up - Kiss

# 34 – Flick Of The Switch – AC/DC

Flick Of The Switch - AC/DC

# 33 – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)Eurythmics

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) -Eurythmics

# 32 – Too Low for ZeroElton John

Too Low for Zero - Elton John

# 31 – Genesis – Genesis

Genesis album

# 30 – Hearts and Bones – Paul Simon

Hearts and Bones - Paul Simon

# 29 – Rebel Yell – Billy Idol

Rebel Yell - Billy Idol

# 28 – No Parole from Rock ‘n’ RollAlcatrazz

No Parole from Rock 'n' Roll - Alcatrazz

# 27 – Speaking in TonguesTalking Heads

Speaking in Tongues - Talking Heads

# 26 – Undercover – The Rolling Stones

Undercover - The Rolling Stones

# 25 – Pipes of Peace Paul McCartney’

Pipes of Peace - Paul McCartney'

# 24 – Little RobbersThe Motels

Little Robbers - The Motels

# 23 – Confusion Is SexSonic Youth

Confusion Is Sex - Sonic Youth

# 22 – Shout at the Devil – Mötley Crüe

Shout at the Devil - Mötley Crüe

# 21 – Metal HealthQuiet Riot

Metal Health - Quiet Riot

# 20 – The CrossingBig Country

The Crossing - Big Country

# 19 – State of Confusion – The Kinks

State of Confusion - The Kinks

# 18 – Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne

Bark at the Moon - Ozzy Osbourne

# 17 – Piece of MindIron Maiden

Piece of Mind - Iron Maiden

# 16 – Thunder and LightningThin Lizzy

Thunder and Lightning - Thin Lizzy

# 15 – The Principle of MomentsRobert Plant

The Principle of Moments - Robert Plant

# 14 – Holy Diver – Dio

Holy Diver - Dio

# 13 – The Wild Heart – Stevie Nicks

The Wild Heart - Stevie Nicks

# 12 – Let’s DanceDavid Bowie

Let's Dance - David Bowie

# 11 – SwordfishtrombonesTom Waits

Swordfishtrombones - Tom Waits

# 10 – FrontiersJourney

Frontiers - Journey

#  9 – Sports – Huey Lewis & The News

Sports - Huey Lewis & The News

#  8 – 90125 – Yes

90125 - Yes

#  7 – Kill ’em AllMetallica

Kill 'em All - Metallica

#  6 – Texas FloodStevie Ray Vaughan

Texas Flood - Stevie Ray Vaughan

#  5 – The Final CutPink Floyd

The Final Cut - Pink Floyd

#  4 – EliminatorZZ Top

Eliminator - ZZ Top

#  3 – WarU2

War - U2

#  2 – SynchronicityThe Police

Synchronicity - The Police

#  1 – PyromaniaDef Leppard

Pyromania - Def Leppard

More Fantastic Classic Rock Albums Released in 1983

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

Best Rock Albums – January 1983

Feline – The Stranglers

Feline - The Stranglers

Nena – Nena

Nena Album

Trouble In Paradise – Randy Newman

Trouble In Paradise - Randy Newman

The Law of Devil’s Land – Loudness

The Law of Devil's Land - Loudness

The Art of Falling ApartSoft Cell

The Art of Falling Apart - Soft Cell

What’s Funk?Grand Funk

What's Funk? - Grand Funk

Best Rock Albums – February 1983

Porcupine – Echo & The Bunnymen

Porcupine - Echo & The Bunnymen

Lucky – Marty Balin

Lucky - Marty Balin

Somewhere in AfrikaManfred Mann’s Earth Band

Somewhere in Afrika -Manfred Mann's Earth Band

Kilroy Was HereStyx

Kilroy Was Here - Styx

Making ContactUFO

Youngblood – Carl Wilson

Youngblood - Carl Wilson

Best Rock Albums – March 1983

Legendary HeartsLou Reed

Legendary Hearts - Lou Reed

Dazzle ShipsOrchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

Dazzle Ships - Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark

True – Spandau Ballet

True - Spandau Ballet

No Rest for the WickedHelix

No Rest for the Wicked - Helix

The Man from UtopiaFrank Zappa

The Man from Utopia - Frank Zappa

Europe – Europe

The Abominable ShowmanNick Lowe

The Abominable Showman - Nick Lowe

Inarticulate Speech of the HeartVan Morrison

Inarticulate Speech of the Heart - Van Morrison

No Guts…No GloryMolly Hatchet

No Guts...No Glory - Molly Hatchet

Best Rock Albums – April 1983

Faster Than the Speed of NightBonnie Tyler

Faster Than the Speed of Night - Bonnie Tyler

Violent FemmesViolent Femmes

Violent Femmes cd

HeadhunterKrokus

Headhunter - Krokus

Whammy!The B-52s

Whammy! - The B-52s

KihnspiracyGreg Kihn Band

Kihnspiracy - Greg Khin Band

Cargo – Men at Work

Cargo - Men at Work

Havana – Santana 

Havana - Santana 

Midnight at the Lost and FoundMeat Loaf

Midnight at the Lost and Found - Meat Loaf

Best Rock Albums – May 1983

Life’s a Riot with Spy vs SpyBilly Bragg

Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy - Billy Bragg

With SympathyMinistry

With Sympathy - Ministry

Zig-Zag Walk Foghat

Zig-Zag Walk - Foghat

You Bought It, You Name ItJoe Walsh

You Bought It, You Name It - Joe Walsh

BruiseologyThe Waitresses

Bruiseology - The Waitresses

The Eleventh Hour  – Magnum

The Eleventh Hour  - Magnum

Head FirstUriah Heep

Head First - Uriah Heep

Listen – A Flock of Seagulls

Listen - A Flock of Seagulls

SiogoBlackfoot

Siogo - Blackfoot

Best Rock Albums – June 1983

Your MoveAmerica

Your Move - America

London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1Frank Zappa

London Symphony Orchestra, Vol. 1 - Frank Zappa

Body Wishes – Rod Stewart

Body Wishes - Rod Stewart

Old Wave – Ringo Starr

Old Wave - Ringo Starr

Keep It Up – Loverboy

Keep It Up - Loverboy

Suicidal TendenciesSuicidal Tendencies

Suicidal Tendencies cd

Best Rock Albums – July 1983

You and Me BothYazoo

You and Me Both - Yazoo

Alpha – Asia

Alpha - Asia

Everybody’s Rockin’Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks

Everybody's Rockin' - Neil Young and the Shocking Pinks

All of the Good Ones Are TakenIan Hunter

All of the Good Ones Are Taken - Ian Hunter

Drastic MeasuresKansas

Drastic Measures - Kansas

Out For BloodLita Ford

Out For Blood - Lita Ford

Balls to the WallAccept

Balls to the Wall - Accept

Best Rock Albums – August 1983

Lawyers in LoveJackson Browne

Lawyers in Love - Jackson Browne

Punch the ClockElvis Costello and the Attractions

Punch the Clock - Elvis Costello and the Attractions

An Innocent ManBilly Joel

An Innocent Man - Billy Joel

Subterranean JungleRamones

Subterranean Jungle - Ramones

Rant N’ Rave with the Stray CatsThe Stray Cats

Rant N' Rave with the Stray Cats - The Stray Cats

Passionworks – Heart

Passionworks - Heart

Bent Out Of Shape – Rainbow

Bent Out Of Shape - Rainbow

Best Rock Albums – September 1983

Heads or TalesSaga

Heads or Tales - Saga

DaDaAlice Cooper

DaDa - Alice Cooper

Mean StreakY&T

Mean Streak - Y&T

Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker – The Joe Perry Project

Once a Rocker, Always a Rocker - The Joe Perry Project

More Fun in the New World X

More Fun in the New World - X

Best Rock Albums – October 1983

She’s So UnusualCyndi Lauper

She's So Unusual - Cyndi Lauper

Bay of Kings – Steve Hackett

Bay of Kings – Steve Hackett

Best Rock Albums – November 1983

Walk Into Light – Ian Anderson

Walk Into Light - Ian Anderson

Best Rock Albums – December 1983

Show No MercySlayer

Show No Mercy - Slayer

Bad Influence – Robert Cray

Bad Influence – Robert Cray

Mommy’s Little Monster – Social Distortion

Mommy's Little Monster – Social Distortion

Updated May 3, 2023

1983’s Best Rock Albums article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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