Tag Archives: 1982

The Greatest Year in Music: 1982

15 Aug

  

MTV Rollings Stones I Want My MTV

My Grandmother once told me the best year for music is, or was, whatever year you turned fourteen years old. She was not an expert on modern popular music or entertainment media or targeted market research. But she did know a lot about people (especially kids!).

I thought about this theory often while I was working in music promotion and radio programming. It seemed to be true across generations and decades for all demographics. 

Recently I shared this notion with my colleague Dave Whalen, who is on my short list of smart dudes. Dave concurred with Grandma’s “Age 14” theory, so I’m pretty much now calling it law: The greatest year for music was whatever year you turned fourteen.

So, for me, the greatest year for music was 1982.

That’s right, 1982: The Crossroads between classic rock, pop, new wave, punk, and heavy metal.  But remember, that’s just for me…your experience will vary…

Madness "jack monson"

82 Was Madness!


    

Not About Michael Jackson

A quick note here – 1982 brought us the best-selling album of all time, Thriller. However, I am not, nor was I ever, a fan. The only part of it in which I find any value is the Eddie Van Halen guitar solo in Beat It (oh, and the Vincent Price voice-over bit in Thriller). But if you really want to catch some great Eddie work from ’82, see the Diver Down album on the list below.

    

MTV

The video music channel launched in August 1 1981, but it was 1982 where the number of homes in the US (including mine) with access to MTV exploded. And then, everything changed!

MTV Bumper Sticker "jack monson"      

The List

The best way to adequately explain how BIG 1982 was to Generation X is to list some of the albums of the year that were huge sellers, influential, or important milestones.  See if you agree with me about 1982 and/or the “Age 14” rule…  

Peter Gabriel – Security

The Clash – Combat Rock

XTC – English Settlement

The Jam – The Gift

Talking Heads – The Name of the Band Is…

Asia – Asia

Genesis – Three Sides Live

Men At Work – Business As Usual

Frank Zappa – Ship Arriving Too Late To Save the Drowning Witch

Sonic Youth – Sonic Youth

Split Enz – Time and Tide

Squeeze – Sweets From a Stranger

Madness – Complete Madness

INXS – Shabooh Soobah

The Fixx – Shuttered Room

Devo – Oh, No!

Men Without Hats – Rhythm of Youth

Thomas Dolby – Golden Age of Wireless

The Motels – All Four One

Dexys Midnight Runners – Too-Rye-Ay

Flock of Seagulls – Flock of Seagulls

Duran Duran – Rio

Go-Go’s – Vacation

Pat Benatar – Get Nervous

Adam Ant – Friend or Foe

Robert Plant – Pictures at Eleven

Pete Townsend – All The Best Cowboys

The Who – It’s Hard

The Beatles – Reel Music

Toto – IV

John Cougar – American Fool

Tom Petty – Long After Dark

Queen – Hot Space

Kansas – Vinyl Confessions

Rolling Stones – Still Life

Crosby Still & Nash – Daylight Again

Steve Miller – Abracadabra

Golden Earing – Cut

Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska

Phil Collins – Hello, I Must Be Going

Led Zeppelin – Coda

Scorpions – Blackout

Iron Maiden – Number of the Beast

Rainbow – Straight Between the Eyes

Ozzy Osbourne – Speak of the Devil

Sammy Hagar – 3 Lock Box

Van Halen – Diver Down

 Van Halen Diver Down "jack monson"

What great albums are missing on this list? Let me know via comments!

 

Summer 1982 – MTV Launches (For the Rest of Us)

31 Jul

MTV Man on The Moon
Every August 1, fans of 80s music, Classic Rock, New Wave, etc note that it is the anniversary of MTV launching. Last year, we saw several media stories about the 30th Anniversary and were treated to seeing some 30-year-old content via places like the awesome YouTube Channels MTVClassic1 and MTVTheFirst24.

But the real 30th anniversary for most of the US is happening right now.  It was the summer of 1982 – not 1981 – when most cable customers got MTV.

On MTV’s Day One, very few cable operators actually offered MTV.  I don’t trust anyone who says that they remember watching MTV’s first hour of broadcast. If anyone says this to you, ask them how the liked living in Oklahoma City, as that’s one of the few larger markets that had it on day one!

It was nearly a year later that most of America got the world’s first music channel. I can remember coming home from camp in June of 1982 and seeing “Who Can It Be Now” by Men At Work. The phones in my little town in Northern Illinois were on fire with high school and junior high school students spreading the word about what was going on Warner Amex Cable channel 12!

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