1982! As Synths Reign, Rap, Dance and Metal Take Big Steps Forward

We’ve reached the Year of the Synthesizer. It’s everywhere in 1982, from new wave-leaning rock to sleek R&B, and in every instance, it’s creating a new sound of pop. The digital age is fully in place, and Hall of Songs is here to chronicle all of it and select our top-12 songs of the year. 

But while keyboards and drum machines create the rhythms of some of the year’s biggest songs, a number of genres are making major moves toward the forefront. In this episode we’ll also hear metal, rap, dance hall and country.

After listening to Tim and Chris, VOTE for the greatest songs of all time! Songs from 1982, plus tunes from 1981, ’80, ’79, ’78, ’77 and ’76 are up for a shot to make the Hall of Songs! Vote now at hallofsongs.com and come back on May 20, 2022, to find out which song or songs get in!

Our 1982 nominees (spoilers below; highlight to reveal):

  • “Only You” as performed by Yazoo
    • Written by Vince Clarke; recorded January 1982; released March 1982
  • “Hallowed Be Thy Name” as performed by Iron Maiden
    • Written by Steve Harris; recorded January 1982; released March 1982
  • “Rosanna” as performed by Toto
    • Written by David Paich; recorded January 1982; released March 1982
  • “Planet Rock” as performed by Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force
    • Written by Arthur Baker, John Robie, Soulsonic Force and Emcee G.L.O.B.E.; recorded 1981; released April 1982
  • “Amarillo By Morning” as performed by George Strait
    • Written by Paul Fraser and Terry Stafford; recorded April 1982; released June 1982
  • “Come on Eileen” as performed by Dexy’s Midnight Runners
    • Written by Kevin Rowland, Jim Paterson and Billy Adams; recorded March 1982; released June 1982
  • “The Message” as performed by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
    • Written by Edward G. Fletcher, Melle Mel, Clifton Chase and Sylvia Robinson; recorded spring 1982; released July 1982
  • “Love My Way” as performed by The Psychedelic Furs
    • Written by John Ashton, Tim Butler, Richard Butler and Vince Ely; recorded April 1982; released July 1982
  • “Bam Bam” as performed by Sister Nancy
    • Written by Winston Riley and Ophlin Russell; recorded summer 1982; released summer 1982
  • “Mad World” as performed by Tears For Fears
    • Written by Roland Orzabal; recorded summer 1982; released September 1982
  • “Little Red Corvette” as performed by Prince
    • Written by Prince; recorded summer 1982; released October 1982
  • “Billie Jean” as performed by Michael Jackson
    • Written by Michael Jackson; recorded summer 1982; released November 1982

Listen to the full episode for more, and then vote for the songs that you think are the greatest of all-time. Scroll down to vote. Then, come back on May 20, 2022 to find out the voting results, and May 22, 2022 for our discussion on 1983.

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