Wilson and Alroy's Record Reviews - We listen to the lousy records so you won't have to.

Year In Review: 1983

1983 marked some of the biggest shifts in 80s pop music. Hip hop broke through with a vengance, led by Run-D.M.C.'s eponymous debut album. DC's go-go movement was on the way out, but Trouble Funk managed a great live album anyway. Meanwhile, the "alternative" brand of rock favored by college students was starting to settle into a formula. U2 and Midnight Oil put out their best records to date, with U2 at last finally reaching a mass audience. The Meat Puppets cut their first really consistent album. Elvis Costello bounced back with a solid collection. And punk rock was alive as well, as proved by Suicidal Tendencies' debut album.

Older, more established acts also were in the news, but the slide towards mid-80s irrelevance had begun. ACDC was still going strong. David Bowie had his biggest record in years, and Pete Townshend released an entertaining set of demos. Funk was way past its peak, but the Isleys adapted well to the new synth technology, and Rufus summed up their career with a good live outing. Earth, Wind & Fire also got out a pretty good record, but it didn't sell.

And that set a pattern for almost every other pop performer with 60s and 70s credentials over the next several years. For example, Frank Zappa's new album got away with murder on the heels of his kitschy hit "Valley Girl." Black Sabbath was anything but Born Again. 60s veterans Aretha Franklin, Paul McCartney, and Dionne Warwick all continued to embarass themselves, while disco acts such as France Joli tried and failed to reinvent themselves with synth-pop. Things could only get better - but actually they got worse... (JA)

Back to 1982 - Forward to 1984 - Back to the future...

 Main page 

 New additions 

 Pop: 00s  90s 80s 70s 60s 50s


 Top 20: DBW JA