The 25 best albums of 1982

8 December 2023, 19:00

Classic albums from 1982: A Broken Frame Too-Rye-Ay, 1999, Combat Rock and Pornography.
Classic albums from 1982: A Broken Frame Too-Rye-Ay, 1999, Combat Rock and Pornography. Picture: Press

Radio X turns back the clock to the days of The Clash, Depeche Mode, The Cure, Prince and Dexys Midnight Runners.

Radio X

By Radio X

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  1. Haircut One Hundred - Pelican West: released 26th February 1982

    Fronted by the photogenic Nick Heyward, Haircut One Hundred only lasted another album before solo stardom came calling, but their debut included the hits Love Plus One, Favourite Shorts (Boy Meets Girl) and Fantastic Day.

    Haircut One Hundred - Pelican West
    Haircut One Hundred - Pelican West. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  2. Fun Boy Three - The Fun Boy Three: released 5th March 1982

    Having walked out of The Specials at the height of the ska band's fame, Terry Hall, Neville Staples and Lynval Golding formed their own trio. Their debut album included The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum), The Telephone Always Rings and a cover of T'aint What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It) with vocals from Bananarama.

    Fun Boy Three - The Fun Boy Three
    Fun Boy Three - The Fun Boy Three. Picture: Press
  3. The Jam - The Gift: 12th March 1982

    Paul Weller called time on the influential mod band and their final album included Town Called Malice, Just Who Is The 5 O'Clock Hero and Precious, which way towards the Modfather's work with his next band The Style Council.

    The Jam - The Gift
    The Jam - The Gift. Picture: Press
  4. Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast: released 22nd March 1982

    Maiden's third album saw the arrival of vocalist Bruce Dickinson in place of Paul Di'Anno and spawned the memorable title track and the hit Run To The Hills.

    Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
    Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  5. Paul McCartney - Tug Of War: released 26th April 1982

    Macca's first album since he split the group Wings, Tug Of War was also the first new material he composed since the death of fellow Beatle John Lennon in 1980. The album also saw Macca reunite with Beatles producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick and tracks included Take It Away, the duet with Stevie Wonder Ebony And Ivory, plus the Lennon tribute Here Today.

    Paul McCartney - Tug Of War
    Paul McCartney - Tug Of War. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  6. The Cure - Pornography: released 4th May 1982

    The trio of Robert Smith, Simon Gallup and Lol Tolhurst released their influential fourth studio album, which included the single The Hanging Garden.

    The Cure - Pornography
    The Cure - Pornography. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  7. Duran Duran - Rio: released 10th May 1982

    The Brummie band's second album took them out of the New Romantic clubs and made them international superstars. Tracks included Save A Prayer, My Own Way, Hungry Like The Wolf and the classic title track.

    Duran Duran - Rio
    Duran Duran - Rio. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  8. The Clash - Combat Rock: released 14th May 1982

    The fifth album from the punk legends included the hits Should I Stay Or Should I Go, Rock The Casbah and Straight To Hell.

    The Clash - Combat Rock
    The Clash - Combat Rock. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  9. Altered Images - Pinky Blue: released 14th May 1982

    The second album from the Glaswegian pop band fronted by Clare Grogan featured the hits I Could Be Happy, See Those Eyes and Pinky Blue.

    Altered Images - Pinky Blue
    Altered Images - Pinky Blue. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  10. The Associates - Sulk: released 14th May 1982

    The second album from Billy Mackenzie and Alan Rankine included the chart hits Club Country and Party Fears Two.

    The Associates - Sulk
    The Associates - Sulk. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  11. Queen - Hot Space: released 21st May 1982

    The band attracted some criticism for this, their "disco" album, but the tracks have aged better than many expected, with Body Language and Back Chat bringing the funk and Las Palabras de Amor (The Words of Love) being a classic Queen ballad.

    Queen - Hot Space
    Queen - Hot Space. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  12. Blondie - The Hunter: released 24th May 1982

    The band's final album for seventeen years, which led to a solo career for Debbie Harry. Tracks included Island Of Lost Souls, War Child and Danceway, plus the Blondie's attempt at a James Bond theme, For Your Eyes Only.

    Blondie - The Hunter
    Blondie - The Hunter. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  13. Roxy Music - Avalon: released 28th May 1982

    The final album from Bryan Ferry's ground-breaking band included the exquisite title track and More Than This.

    Roxy Music - Avalon
    Roxy Music - Avalon. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  14. ABC - The Lexicon Of Love: released 21st June 1982

    The debut album from the Sheffield pop revivalists included the mammoth hits Poison Arrow, All Of My Heart, Tears Are Not Enough and The Look Of Love.

    ABC - The Lexicon Of Love
    ABC - The Lexicon Of Love. Picture: Press
  15. Talk Talk - The Party's Over: released 13th July 1982

    The influential pop band, fronted by Mark Hollis, included the singles Today and the band's theme song, Talk Talk.

    Talk Talk - The Party's Over
    Talk Talk - The Party's Over. Picture: Press
  16. Dexys Midnight Runners - Too Rye Ay: released 22nd July 1982

    Kevin Rowland changed Dexys sound from a soul revue to elements of folk for the band's second album, which spawned the monster hit Come On Eileen, plus Jackie Wilson Said (I'm In Heaven When You Smile).

    Dexys Midnight Runners - Too Rye Ay
    Dexys Midnight Runners - Too Rye Ay. Picture: Press
  17. Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric's: released 20th August 1982

    After leaving Depeche Mode, Vince Clarke teamed up with singer Alison Moyet aka "Alf". Their debut album included the single Don't Go and Only You, which went on to be a No 1 hit for The Flying Pickets.

    Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric's
    Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric's. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  18. Kate Bush - The Dreaming: released 13th September 1982

    The musician's fourth album included the singles Sat In Your Lap, There Goes A Tenner and Suspended In Gaffa.

    Kate Bush - The Dreaming
    Kate Bush - The Dreaming. Picture: Press
  19. Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84): released 17th September 1982

    The fifth studio album from the Scottish band included the singles Promised You A Miracle and Glittering Prize.

    Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84)
    Simple Minds - New Gold Dream (81-82-83-84). Picture: Press
  20. Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now: released 24th September 1982

    The third album from Richard Butler and his post-punk outfit included the hit Love My Way.

    Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now
    Psychedelic Furs - Forever Now. Picture: Press
  21. Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame: released 27th September 1982

    The Mode's second album saw the departure of songwriter Vince Clarke, but Martin Gore stepped into the breach and penned the hit singles See You, The Meaning Of Love and Leave In Silence.

    Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame
    Depeche Mode - A Broken Frame. Picture: Press
  22. Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska: released 30th September 1982

    The Boss famously issued the 4-track demo versions of his latest songs as his sixth album. Tracks included Atlantic City and Open All Night.

    Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
    Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska. Picture: Press
  23. Prince - 1999: released 27th October 1982

    The album that put Prince on the map, his fifth studio LP saw him form The Revolution and singles included Little Red Corvette and the classic title track.

    Prince - 1999
    Prince - 1999. Picture: Press
  24. Siouxsie & The Banshees - A Kiss In The Dreamhouse: released 5th November 1982

    The post-punk pioneers issued their fifth studio album; tracks included Melt! and Slowdive, which gave the Reading shoegaze band their name.

    Siouxsie & The Banshees - A Kiss In The Dreamhouse
    Siouxsie & The Banshees - A Kiss In The Dreamhouse. Picture: Alamy Stock Photo
  25. Michael Jackson - Thriller: released 29th November 1982

    The album that changed everything for Michael Jackson - and the record industry. It's still the best-selling album of all time, having shifted 70 million copies and seven of its nine tracks were issued as singles: Thriller, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin' Something, PYT (Pretty Young Thing), Billie Jean, Human Nature and the duet with Paul McCartney, The Girl Is Mine.

    Michael Jackson - Thriller
    Michael Jackson - Thriller. Picture: Press