After leaving The Commodores, Lionel Richie became a solo star in the 1980s.
People underestimate the impact that new musical artists had on pop culture in 1983.
Maybe that is because the year before gave the world epic albums from Prince (“1999”), Marvin Gaye (“Midnight Love”) and Michael Jackson (“Thriller”).
But 1983 was no slouch either.
Sure, nothing in 1983 had the seismic impact of “Thriller.”
However, 1983 introduced the world to future pop greats like New Edition and Madonna.
Therefore, put some respect on the year 1983.
Furthermore, check out RegalMag.com’s list of the top 10 best albums of 1983.
And as always, let Regal Mag know what it got right and what it got terribly wrong.
- “Colour By Numbers” by Culture Club—Boy George’s career may have come a few decades too early. In an era in which some LGBTQ+ artists stayed in the closet, Boy George of Culture Club said to hell with it. And the group gave other artists hell in the 1980s with hit after hit. No matter how tough or street a cat was in 1983, they probably jammed to the hit song “Karma Chameleon.” Other hits from the “Colour By Numbers” included “Church of the Poison Mind,” “It’s a Miracle,” “Victims” and “Miss Me Blind.”
- “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” by Eurythmics—An artist’s second album is not supposed to be their game changer because of the so-called sophomore slump. However, for Eurythmics their second album “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” turned the members into stars thanks to the title cut. In an era of gender-bending artists, Annie Lennox’s imagery fit the times perfectly. The video for “Sweet Dreams” was weird as you know what. But it was perfect timing because the sound resonated with fans of many genres. And the popularity of MTV made it virtually impossible for music fans to escape the track.
- “Between the Sheets” by The Isley Brothers—The Isley Brothers basically created the genre of baby making music before anyone ever coined the phrase. The story is that The Isley Brothers were so inspired by Marvin Gaye’s comeback hit “Sexual Healing” from 1982 that they tried to duplicate it. The result was the single “Between the Sheets.” Now, the title cut to their 1983 album might not be on the exact same level as “Sexual Healing.” But it ain’t far behind it. The second single from the album was “Choosey Lover.” No surprise that over one million people chose to purchase the platinum album.
- “Busy Body” by Luther Vandross—If a person wanted to get people to slow dance at a house party in 1983, Luther Vandross’ song “Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me” would have done the trick. Then “Make Me a Believer” would have kept the lovers hugged up on the dance floor. The album “Busy Body” also featured the legendary Dionne Warwick on the track, “How Many Times Can We Say Goodbye?” The song “I’ll Let You Side” also became an R&B hit.
- “Cold Blooded” by Rick James—Anytime an album features Rick James and Smokey Robinson, two of the greatest songwriters and producers in music history, the album must be cold blooded. Therefore, the title of James’ 1983 album definitely had the appropriate name. His duet with Robinson, “Ebony Eyes” is beautiful. James began to incorporate hip-hop vibes in his music with “P.I.M.P. the S.I.M.P.” featuring Grandmaster Flash. And he made sure to maintain his freaky brand with the song, “U Bring the Freak Out.”
- “We are One” by Maze featuring Frankie Beverly—One can say that Black America’s all-time favorite band is Maze featuring Frankie Beverly. The band has not released an album in decades and does not need to in order to sell out concert venues. The title track from their 1983 album remains one of their greatest and most popular songs. Furthermore, “Love is the Key” is no slouch either and “I Wanna Thank You” is a smooth groove. Although “We are One” was not as successful as many of Maze’s other albums, it still managed to reach number five on the R&B charts.
- “In the Heart” by Kool & The Gang—Kool & The Gang had already secured their place in music history by the late 1970s. Then they became pop legends in 1980 with “Celebration.” But they continued to make hits throughout the decade of the 1980s. Their 1983 release “In the Heart” was no different with classics like “Joanna,” “Tonight” and the title track.
- “Candy Girl” by New Edition—Timing is everything. For those young African-American teenagers and children too young to experience “Jackson-mania,” a quintet, and eventual sextet, christened New Edition by its manager/choreographer Brooke Payne, gave them their own team idols to adore. Thanks to producer extraordinaire Maurice Starr, New Edition combined bubblegum soul with hip-hop to create a classic album, which included the title track, “Is This The End,” “Popcorn Love,” “Jealous Girl” and the now overlooked, “She Gives Me a Bang.”
- “Madonna” by Madonna—1983 gave the world legends in New Edition (sixth member Johnny Gill also released his debut solo album that year). But no new artist of 1983 ever reached the stratosphere that Madonna reached. Her debut self-titled album included instant classics like “Lucky Star,” “Borderline” and “Holiday.” However, the catchy music was not all Madonna had going for her because no one sounded like her. But more importantly, no one looked like her either. She broke all the rules. Then, she went on to a record-breaking career.
- “Can’t Slow Down” by Lionel Richie—After leaving The Commodores, one of the biggest R&B acts of the 1970s, Lionel Richie become one of the biggest pop stars of the 1980s. His songwriting contained elements of R&B, pop and country, giving him a unique sound. And via songs like “Hello,” he also capitalized on the popularity of music videos with one of the most memorable videos of all time. “Can’t Slow Down” also included the title track, “Penny Lover,” “Love Will Find a Way” and the classic, “All Night Long (All Night)”