Top 20 Albums Of 1982 (Nos. 16-20)

For this week's Ranked!, we went back in time thirty years and ranked the twenty best albums released in 1982. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are Numbers 16-20:

20. Van Halen, Diver Down

Look, I get that most Van Halen fans feel Diver Down is one of the worst albums of the David Lee Roth Era. But it's one of my favorites, probably due to my love of cover songs. And Diver Down's got five of 'em: "Where Have All The Good Times Gone," "Dancing In The Street," "Happy Trails," "Big Bad Bill (Is Sweet William Now)," and the album's biggest hit, "(Oh) Pretty Woman."--Chris

19. Iron Maiden, The Number Of The Beast

Woe to you oh Earth and Sea for the Devil sends the beast with wrath because he knows the time is short. Let him who have understanding reckon the number of the beast for it is a human number. Its number is six hundred and sixty six.

Thus begins one of the most epic metal songs of all time. Like the sound of drums aboard Viking ships, Number Of The Beast announces its intention to rape and pillage your music collection, knowing full well your synthesizers and skinny ties are no match for the hell unleashed by its guitar riffs. It's an album you put on before going into battle, beating your chest and stomping your feet like a bull entering the ring. It's an album that probably made your parents worry about you, either because of the seemingly Satanic overtones or the iconic Eddie grinning at them from the album cover, which just made me and my friends love it even more. It bears every heavy metal cliche that you can imagine, and hones them to a sharp, marvelous edge. Songs like "Run To The Hills," "Children Of The Damned," "Hallowed Be Thy Name," and of course the title track are staples of every metalhead's mix tape, and thirty years later it still holds up as one of the greatest onslaughts of awesome ever set to record.--CroutonBoy

18. Misfits, Walk Among Us

Hey, if four guys from suburban New Jersey want to form a punk band and sing about ghouls and goblins, who are we to stop them? Misfits made a name for themselves not only in their dark themed music, but in their persona and overall presence- even today you still see teens wearing the skull-logo t-shirt in homage to the legends of horror punk. Walk Among Us is the Misfits' eighth studio album, and at this point they had long proved themselves to be a novelty act. Songs such as "Skulls" and "Hatebreeders" showed that the band had an ear for musicality and melody, even when singing about death and UFOs.--Robin

17. Yazoo, Upstairs At Eric's

Every once in a while my wife and I will spend a Friday night drinking gin and tonics and fiddling around with iTunes genius mixes. Last week we got on an early '80s kick, rummaging through some old Echo & The Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs tunes, when Genius served up a little Yaz (as I called them) from 1982. We literally spent the next two hours playing Upstairs At Eric's on constant rotation, singing along to "Only You" and "Don't Go" and utterly transported to days long past. And she and I never agree on music. It's very much of its time, but for me Upstairs At Eric's is more than just evocative of basement strobe lights and college dorm rooms. It's a perfect slice of programmed pop heaven that I become more and more fond of as the years go by.--CroutonBoy

16. The Who, It's Hard

I only started really listening to music in the '80s, so a lot of classic bands escaped my notice during my formative years. That is, unless they released an album in the '80s that produced a single that got radio airplay on the pop stations. When this happened, I got introduced to the group in a backward sort of way. This happened with the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and, of course, The Who.

Now that I fancy myself a Who connoisseur, I have to admit that It's Hard is hardly their best album. However, there are a couple of good songs on there that, in my opinion, are able to stand with their better tunes. This includes the two most popular singles from the ablum, "Athena" and (better still) "Eminence Front." But it also includes "Dangerous," which is really catchy.

From the sound to the album cover (which features an Asteroids Deluxe arcade game), this was the most "'80s" of the band's two '80s albums. Although most of the songs (apart from "Eminence Front") were pretty much ignored by the band in their post-'80s tours, I think It's Hard as a whole manages to stand the test of time as both a great album in general and a solid Who album.--Dave

Nos. 11-15 >>

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