The 25 best Classic Rock albums of 1983

15 May 2024, 12:01

Some of the best rock albums of 1983 from Def Leppard, Yes, ZZ Top, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and David Bowie
Some of the best rock albums of 1983 from Def Leppard, Yes, ZZ Top, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and David Bowie. Picture: Press/Alamy

'83 was a highpoint of 80s rock, with Kill 'Em All, Eliminator, Pyromania, The Final Cut and many more great albums finding huge audiences...

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  1. Journey - Frontiers: released February 1983

    The eighth album from the Californian rock bandincluded the singles Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), Faithfully and After The Fall.

    Journey - Frontiers album cover
    Journey - Frontiers album cover. Picture: Alamy
  2. Quiet Riot - Metal Health: release date 28th February 1983

    The third album by the American metal band included their hit cover of Slade's Cum On Feel The Noize.

    Quiet Riot - Metal Health album cover
    Quiet Riot - Metal Health album cover. Picture: Alamy
  3. Def Leppard - Pyromania: release date 20th January 1983

    The third album from the Sheffield rockers was a commercial hit in the US and spawned the singles Photograph, Rock Of Ages and Too Late For Love.

    Def Leppard - Pyromania cover art
    Def Leppard - Pyromania cover art. Picture: Press
  4. U2 - War: release date 28th February 1983

    The Irish band's third album saw them break America, with songs such as New Year's Day, Two Hearts Beat As One and Sunday Bloody Sunday.

    U2 - War cover art
    U2 - War cover art. Picture: Press
  5. Thin Lizzy - Thunder And Lightning: release date 4th March 1983

    The final album from Lizzy before the band went on its farewell tour featured John Sykes as replacement for Snowy White on guitar. The album spawned the singles Cold Sweat and The Sun Goes Down - frontman Phil Lynott died in January 1986 aged 36.

    Thin Lizzy - Thunder And Lightning cover art
    Thin Lizzy - Thunder And Lightning cover art. Picture: Alamy
  6. Pink Floyd - The Final Cut: release date 21st March 1983

    Intended on being the very last Floyd album (until David Gimour and Nick Mason resurrected the band in 1987), this was a very personal album for bassist and founding member Roger Waters. Only one single was released, Not Now John, which made it to No 30 in the charts.

    Pink Floyd - The Final Cut cover art
    Pink Floyd - The Final Cut cover art. Picture: Press
  7. ZZ Top - Eliminator: release date 23rd March 1983

    The Texas trio's eighth studio album saw them become stars of MTV with the inventive videos for tracks like Sharp Dressed Man, Legs, TV Dinners and Gimme All Your Lovin'.

    ZZ Top - Eliminator cover art
    ZZ Top - Eliminator cover art. Picture: Press
  8. Twister Sister - You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll: released April 1983

    The second album from Dee Snider's glam rockers included the hits I Am (I'm Me) and The Kids Are Back.

    Twister Sister - You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll album cover
    Twister Sister - You Can't Stop Rock 'N' Roll album cover. Picture: Press
  9. R.E.M. - Murmur: release date 12th April 1983

    The debut album from the Athens, Georgia band was one of the biggest cult hits of 1983 and included a re-recording of their debut single Radio Free Europe and Talk About The Passion.

    R.E.M. - Murmur cover art
    R.E.M. - Murmur cover art. Picture: Press
  10. David Bowie - Let's Dance: release date 14th April 1983

    Bowie's biggest worldwide hit was produced by Chic mastermind Nile Rodgers and included the singles China Girl, Modern Love and the title track, which became the star's fourth UK No 1 single.

    David Bowie - Let's Dance cover art
    David Bowie - Let's Dance cover art. Picture: Press
  11. Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind: release date 16th May 1983

    The fourth album from the iconic British metal band included Flight Of Icarus and The Trooper (later to be the name of the official Iron Maiden beer!).

    Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind album cover
    Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind album cover. Picture: Alamy
  12. Dio - Holy Diver: release date 25th May 1983

    After leaving Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio and Vinny Appice formed Dio, whose debut album had hits with the title track and the song Rainbow In The Dark.

    Dio - Holy Diver album cover art
    Dio - Holy Diver album cover art. Picture: Alamy
  13. Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues: release date 1st June 1983

    The fifth album from the New York art rock band included the singles Burning Down The House and This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).

    Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues cover art
    Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues cover art. Picture: Press
  14. The Police - Synchronicity: release date 17th June 1983

    The fifth and final album from the trio of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland saw the band go out on a high: singles included King Of Pain, Wrapped Around Your Finger and Every Breath You Take, a UK No 1.

    The Police - Synchronicity cover art
    The Police - Synchronicity cover art. Picture: Press
  15. Big Country - The Crossing: release date 15th July 1983

    After leaving post-punk act Skids, Stuart Adamson had success with a new band. Big Country. Their debut album included the hits Fields Of Fire, Chance and In A Big Country.

    Big Country - The Crossing cover art
    Big Country - The Crossing cover art. Picture: Press
  16. Metallica - Kill 'Em All: release date 25th July 1983

    The debut album from the iconic Los Angeles metal band included the tracks Whiplash and Jump In The Fire.

    Metallica - Kill 'Em All cover art
    Metallica - Kill 'Em All cover art. Picture: Press
  17. AC/DC - Flick Of The Switch: release date 19th August 1983

    The follow-up to 1981's For Those About To Rock We Salute You included the singles Guns For Hire and Nervous Shakedown.

    AC/DC - Flick Of The Switch album cover
    AC/DC - Flick Of The Switch album cover. Picture: Alamy
  18. KISS - Lick It Up: release date 22nd September 1983

    The glam metal band's first album "without make-up" and the only one to feature guitarist Vinnie Vincent as an (semi) official member of the band included the single All Hell's Breakin' Loose.

    KISS - Lick It Up album
    KISS - Lick It Up album. Picture: Alamy
  19. Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil: release date 23rd September 1983

    The second album from the Hollywood glam rockers included Looks That Kill, Too Young To Fall In Love and a cover of The Beatles' Helter Skelter.

    Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil album cover
    Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil album cover. Picture: Alamy
  20. Genesis - Genesis: release date 3rd October 1983

    The twelfth studio album from Phil Collins, Mike Rutherford and Tony Banks included the singles Mama and That's All.

    Genesis - Genesis cover art
    Genesis - Genesis cover art. Picture: Press
  21. Brian May - Star Fleet Project: release date 31st October 1983

    Recorded between Queen's Hot Space and The Works albums, the legendary guitarist issued this mini-LP was a mock-soundtrack to a Japanese TV show, which featured Eddie Van Halen on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums.

    Brian May - Star Fleet Project album cover
    Brian May - Star Fleet Project album cover. Picture: Press
  22. Billy Idol - Rebel Yell: 10th November 1983

    The former Generation X frontman's second studio album included the hit title track, plus the singles Eyes Without A Face and Flesh For Fantasy.

    Billy Idol - Rebel Yell album cover
    Billy Idol - Rebel Yell album cover. Picture: Alamy
  23. Yes - 90125: release date 11th November 1983

    The British prog rock band saw the return of vocalist Jon Anderson return for their 11th album, which spawned the huge worldwide hit Owner Of A Lonely Heart.

    Yes - 90125 cover art
    Yes - 90125 cover art. Picture: Press
  24. The Rolling Stones - Undercover: release date 7th November 1983

    Another big seller for the Stones, but the cracks in the facade were already beginning to show... with tensions growing between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards behind the scenes. Singles included She Was Hot, Too Much Blood and Undercover Of The Night.

    The Rolling Stones - Undercover cover art
    The Rolling Stones - Undercover cover art. Picture: Press
  25. Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon: release date 18th November 1983

    The former Black Sabbath frontman's third solo album included the hit title track and the single So Tired.

    Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon album cover
    Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon album cover. Picture: Alamy