Kinker Korner’s Top 32 Albums Of 1983 NSFW

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Welcome back folks, the 80s are charging on and styles are starting to change. New romantics and synthpop bands are taking over the charts but as always with Kinker Korner there’s more to these lists are more than just what was hitting the charts. Let’s see what made the list this year!.

 

32. Spandau Ballet-True

Not my usual kinda thing. The new romantic scene wasn’t really for me in general but there are some things from almost every genre that I can pick out and enjoy and Spandau Ballet had some cracking tunes….especially “Lifeline” it’s a banger. My boy Rick is more well versed in this genre so he’ll be chuffed to see them here.

Highlights-“Lifeline” “True”

 

31. Madness-Madness

It often shocks my mates when they find out I’m not really a Madness fan. Jeez is that how boring my life is? Not liking Madness is the most shocking thing about me. Anyway yea because I’m such a fan of ska and two tone it’s a bit of a surprise that one of the biggest bands in the movement isn’t a favourite of mine. That said, this is a compilation of their hits so they’ve pulled the best from their several albums and it does make a solid wee group of skanking fun time ska hits.

Highlights-“It Must Be Love” “Cardiac Arrest”

 

30 (Tied). Eurythmics-Touch

Again, not my usual scene but the duo of Aberdeen’s own Annie Lennox with her androgynous aesthetic and her musical partner Dave Stewart with his straight faced behind the scenes keyboard, bass, guitar and synthesizer skills do have an undeniable few bangers and are an interesting duo. This was their real breakthrough after a few years of failure.

Highlights-“Right By Your Side” “Aqua”

 

30 (Tied). Eurythmics-Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

They released two albums in 1983 so I’m lumping them both in together. Obviously as the title track is their most famous song the album did well and helped catapult them into mainstream success. I think I very slightly prefer this album but meh…..they go in together.

Highlights-“Wrap It Up” “Sweet Dreams”

 

29.Weird Al Yankovic-Weird Al Yankovic

The debut from the utterly charming and amiable king of the parody is half original tracks and half parody. I’ve said before he’s a talented guy and outside of the silliness he’s just a damn good songwriter and entertainer. The start of a long, illustrious career.It was produced by Rick Derringer who did the themes for Hulk Hogan and Demolition….score.

Highlights-“I Love Rocky Road” “Stop Draggin’ My Car Around”

 

28. Billy Joel-An Innocent Man

A smash hit mainly due to “Uptown Girl” which became one of the staples of the 80s but the record actually spawned several successful singles. He says the inspiration came from the music of his youth so there’s a lot of soul and doo wop influence on there. 

Highlights-“For The Longest Time” “Have A Tender Moment Alone”

 

27. X-More Fun In The New World

This album saw the band further stray away from the hardcore sound of their debut and further towards the punkabilly vibe of their previous album. Melodic, eclectic and always entertaining they add a 50s surf sound in there too that would go on to influence bands like The Queers.

Highlights-“I See Red” “True Love”

 

26. Crass-Yes Sir, I Will

A passionate and biting attack on Thatcher’s Britain and the Falklans war from the anarcho-art punk. Experimental and improvised music that may sound like noise to some but there’s real bravery and creativity in it. “Be warned! The nature of your oppression is the aesthetic of of our anger”. Great stuff.

Highlights-“The Five Knuckle Shuffle” “Taking Sides”

 

25. U2-War

Probably my favourite U2 album. It’s them at their most angry with songs about the troubles in Ireland and it was a fiercely political album, particularly for a mainstream band. It clearly struck a nerve with the public as it became their first number one album. The distinctive and intrusive drum sound also works in it’s favour despite it’s untidy sound it helps it’s raw power.

Highlights-“Sunday, Bloody Sunday” “Two Hearts Beat As One”

 

24. New Order-Power, Corruption And Lies

The band were starting to use more synthesizers that they became known for by this point  and were leaving the shadows of Joy Division behind them. Bernard Sumner’s vocals are dodgy as hell but that adds to the charm. Some lovely melodies.

Highlights-“The Village” “Age Of Consent”

 

 

23. Slayer-Show No Mercy

….State of that cover. The low budget debut of the thrash metal legends was met with a varied response. There hadn’t been much metal music as heavy and fast as this before as it mixed shredding guitar wailing vocals and elements of hardcore punk thrown in. Hilariously cliched metal lyrics and subjects add to the charm. Satan and demons etc, good fun.

Highlights-“Evil Has No Boundaries” “The Antichrist”

 

22. Pat Benatar-Live From Earth

There’s something not quite right about this recording of Benatar’s live performance during her sellout 1982 tour. I don’t know what it is…maybe the mixing, the performances of the band or whatever but it has a great collection of raw rock bangers and even spawned the excellent single “Love Is A Battlefield”. Sister knew her way around a tune.

Highlights-“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” “We Live For Love”

 

21. The Exploited-Let’s Start A War

The legendary Scottish punk band’s most overtly political album takes it’s name from their thoughts on Thatcher taking Britain to war in the Falklands on a whim. It’s the last album to feature the well regarded Big John Duncan on guitar, he would end up starting a band with Shirley Manson and working as a guitar tech for Nirvana a few years a later.  I’m not a huge fan of the production on this album which is perhaps why it’s lower than a lot of the band’s classic albums on these lists.

Highlights-“Should we, Can’t We” “Wankers”

 

20. Lionel Richie-Can’t Slow Down

I’ve told my “Stuck On You” story in one of the 90s list for a best of Lionel Richie album but this is the original album it comes from. Total chooooon!. Unfairly known as his “white years” whatever this means, it definitely has more mass appeal than his original band The Commodores but his voice is silky smooth and suits pretty much everything he gives a bash.

Highlights-“Stuck On You” “Penny Lover”

 

19.Ramones-Subterranean Jungle

I’ve always seen this as one of the weaker albums in Ramones’ discography but the fact it still does well on my list just goes to show how how deep my love for the band is. It’s also grown on me over the years. The guys were in free-fall at this point with alcohol and drugs getting out of control, particularly Dee Dee’s drug consumption which would only escalate as the years went on.

Highlights-“Outsider” “My Kind Of Girl”

 

18. Misfits-Earth A.D/Wolfs Blood

The second full LP from the band is also the last one released before founding singer/songwriter Glen Danzig left. It’s less melodic and more hardcore influenced which whilst good, doesn’t show Misfits at their best in my opinion. It’s still a cracking album though with driving beats and an intriguing horror motif.

Highlights-“Die, Die My Darling” “Death Comes Ripping”

 

17. Joan Armatrading-The Key

I really shouldn’t like this album. I love Armatrading’s 70s stuff for it’s beautiful, introspective stripped down soulful acoustic wonder and her song “Love And Affection” makes me cry uncontrollably every time….that’s scientific fact. Then we come to this little slice of the 80s where it’s all jangly guitars, big snare hits and keyboards…..I’ve seen her perform this stuff from the time and she looks so uncomfy trying to fit into the whole new wave scene but she’s such a strong songwriter that she managed to carve out some great catchy songs from what should have been a disaster.One for Simpsons too….I always thought the chorus said “Drop the pilot, tambapoline” and I refuse to find out the real lyrics, I’m happy in the belief that she says that.

Highlights-“Drop The Pilot” “What Do Boys Dream?”

 

16. Iron Maiden-Piece Of Mind

With Bruce Dickinson fully finding his feet in the band as the new singer his confidence shines here. I’ve gone through a weird relationship with the band over the years. I really liked them as a kid, then completely went off them at some point and only recently . This was one of the albums I had as a kid so I have fond memories of this one.

Highlights-“The Trooper” “Revelations”

 

15. Cock Sparrer-Shock Troops

The second album from my brother’s favourite band and oi punk legends Cock Sparrer tackles a subject very close to my heart. They open the album with a melodic anthem asking where all the kiddy on punks have gone now that the scene isn’t trendy any more. In my scene of the 90s growing up the exact same thing happened and my band had a couple of songs asking the same thing. Anyway it’s a cracking melodic from the cockney street punks.

Highlights-“Where Are They Now?” “Riot Squad”

 

14. Bad Manners-Klass

The less respected but in my opinion better version of Madness in terms of good time comedy ska. This is a compilation of their best stuff with loving ballads about beer, nonsensical skanking anthems and self deprecating tracks about charismatic singer Buster Bloodvessel’s rotund frame.

Highlights-“Special Brew” “Lip Up Fatty”

 

13. Subhumans-The Day The Country Died

A hugely influential hardcore punk band out of England with aggressive vocals, thrashing beats and prose like lyrics depicting a world ravaged by war and right wing governments. Offensive, subversive and just great.

Highlights-“Mickey Mouse Is Dead” “Til The Pigs Come Around”

 

12. Charged G.B.H-City Baby’s Revenge

Another influential UK hardcore band. This, their second album continues their street punk sound and cemented them as one of the UK82 leaders of the British hardcore movement. Swaggering, leather jacket wearing, mohawk sporting punk that shoves it’s message in your face and doesn’t care what your response is.

Highlights-“Valley Of Death” “Diplomatic Immunity”

 

11.The Jam-Snap!

Ugh, it stings having to put that bellend Paul Weller so high on the list but this compilation of The Jam’s best songs is very good. I’ve said before that I love Bruce Foxton’s bass sound and the early, punk tinged Jam tracks it really stands out. A fantastic greatest hits album.

Highlights-“Going Underground” “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight”

 

10.Bad Brains-Rock For Light

The second album from the hardcore pioneers continues their mix of reggae and furiously fast punk rock. H.R’s distinctive vocals and  Dr Know’s slamming guitar helps them stand out from the pack in a scene where it’s fair to say a lot of bands sound similar.

Highlights-“Attitude” “Banned In D.C”

 

9. Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers-Jonathan Sings!

Richman is the king of proto geek punk and his gentle, soulful, slightly off key but sincere love songs appeal to the outsiders, the geeky, weird romantics who deserve love too. He stands up and writes his songs for those of us too scared to speak to girls with our heads buried in comic books. Sadly overlooked now after a slight renaissance in the late 90s (he was the guy who would turn up with a guitar for interludes during “There’s Something About Mary”) he’s fantastic and should always be regarded as such.

Highlights-“That Summer Feeling” “Give Paris One More Chance”

 

8.Minutemen-What Makes A Man Start Fires?

Their second album has longer songs than their debut…..some of which clock in at two whole minutes!. It doesn’t take away from the punchy nature of the tracks though with each song a forceful sonic boom. Mike Watt’s fantastic bass playing and tone stands out on this album with it’s guttural grittiness. Their mixture of punk and elements of funk and garage rock make them like a more aggressive Velvet Underground. Great Stuff.

Highlights-“Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs” “99”

 

7. Rick James-Cold Blooded

When I went through a funk phase in my teens this was one of the albums I picked up and holy crap is the funk off the charts on this one. Everyone’s favourite sex obsessed cocaine loving funkmeister is bang on form here. He was dating Linda Blair at the time and he dedicated some songs to her…..don’t know why that’s such a funny couple but it is.

Highlights-“U Bring The Freak Out” “Ebony Eyes”

 

6. Metallica-Kill ‘Em All

The debut album from the thrash legends that would go on to become the biggest band in the world. This album is all about dingy, cramped sweaty clubs, before the bright lights and filled stadiums that would come their way. Taking influences from heavy metal and hardcore punk, their style of thrash metal mixes furious pace with shredding guitar and is a raw and powerful as ever.

Highlights-“Whiplash” “Seek And Destroy”

 

5.Big Country-The Crossing

One of Scotland’s finest alternative rock bands hit it big with their debut album. The tragic but supremely talented Stuart Adamson (previously of The Skids) inventively added effects to his guitar to make it’s tone sound like bagpipes. It’s a fantastic sound and his voice was also brilliant. Such a sad case of mental health destroying a true talent. Adamson was special and let’s not forget about the rest of the band who were aslo great, particularly drummer Brzezicki.

Highlights-“In A Big Country” “Harvest Home”

 

4. Suicidal Tendencies-Suicidal Tendencies

The crossover thrash band’s debut is intense and personal as Mike Muir touches on depression and mental health issues that were seen as taboo for “tough men” like him at the time. Thankfully a lot of kids listening to them connected with his message saw that even muscled up hardcore singers deal with anxiety and depression. Deeply personal writing and angry, fast punk sets them off on the road to stardom with “Institutionalized” getting heavy rotation on MTV.

Highlights-“Suicide’s An Alternative/You’ll Be Sorry” “I Shot The Devil”

 

3. Circle Jerks-Golden Shower Of Hits

The depraved, gross out punks’ third album isn’t a compilation despite it’s title. It’s typically obnoxious, loud, in your face, funny and disgusting as you’d expect from the party punks. A fun album to cause havoc to.

Highlights-“When The Shit Hits The Fan” “High Price On Our Heads”

 

2. Cyndi Lauper-She’s So Unusual

I bloody love Cyndi Lauper and there’s nothing you can do about it. She’s the charming, quirky, sensitive sweetheart version of Madonna. This debut has so many cracking songs on it and the production is great, I’ve always love the melancholic guitar tone. This album became one of the early mega hits helped by MTV where she was virtually omnipresent. She’s so unusual but she’s so great.

Highlights-“When You Were Mine” “Time After Time”

 

1. Minor Threat-Out Of Step

The only studio album released by the straight edge punks led by Ian MacKaye is a classic that has gone on to influence thousands of bands over years in terms of both music and message. Their moral centre and message of clean living without drugs, booze etc was often at odds with some punk’s view on what the scene was about so they many found them pretentious and preachy but if you get it you get it. To me punk isn’t about getting wrecked and puking all over yourself…..far from it. Minor Threat showed there was more depth to people in the punk scene.

Highlights-“Betray” “Think Again”

 

Right then that’s 83 in the bag. Join me here for 1984 soon. Catch me @swing_kinker in the meantime. Cheers xx

 

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