Top 20 Albums Of 1982 (Nos. 6-10)

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 6-10:

10. Scorpions, Blackout

One of the first people I met when I went to college was a guy named Randy. Randy was a burly guy who wore Oakleys to class, spent summers working on the railroad (literally), and looked menacing to everybody who didn't know him. He was also one of the finest human beings I ever met, and he and I eventually became roommates. Aside from his unwavering loyalty and friendship, Randy will in my mind always be known for two things: cribbage and the Scorpions. He and I would spend hours every night sitting over a makeshift table constructed from a milk crate and a stolen traffic sign playing cribbage and cranking Blackout at ear-bleeding volumes, doing our best to undermine our scholarship qualifications. They were some of the best years of my life.

I admit that I may be a bit biased when it comes to Blackout, but I find it undeniable that this record freakin' rocks. "Can't Live Without You," "No One Like You," and "Blackout" have some of the most killer riffs ever set to record, and Klaus Meine may have the greatest scream-sing on the planet. Even some of their "slower" songs, like "You Give Me All I Need" and "Arizona" are all-time classics, or at least when paired with double-runs and skunking your opponent. Oh sorry, I digressed. But still, it's a fantastic slice of early '80s rock before it went glam, with all the paint-peeling intensity German heavy metal has to offer.--CroutonBoy

9. Billy Idol, Billy Idol

My older brother owned Billy Idol's album. I was introduced to it before I really had a grasp on the subtleties of genre. Or even what "genre" was. I wasn't quite aware of how outrageous it was to be punk. I just loved the songs, high energy and danceable as hell. So despite the fact that Billy Idol was one of the first MTV stars, made his brand of punk rock accessible to the mainstream (no small feat), and the album contained some questionable lyrics for an eleven-year-old, I remember this album fondly and tinged with innocence. I remember wanting my own white wedding. And I was only going to play rock music so that everyone would get up and dance on the tables.--The Weirdgirl

8. Joe Jackson, Night And Day

1982 was the year I really became a voracious music listener, and I consumed every song on the Top 40 and every video on MTV like they were delivered on stone tablets from Mount Sinai. It was like drinking from a fire hose, but every once in awhile something would catch my ear that was really different and interesting, and would make me stop to take notice. And that was how I got my first taste of retro-hipness, Night And Day, even before I knew what retro-hipness was. I vividly remember the video to "Stepping Out," with it's propulsive piano lines and New York street life, as a snapshot of an adult fantasyland I found myself longing to experience. As I got older I grew to appreciate that album more as it ambitiously skipped genres while tackling grown-up perspectives on anger and longing. Joe Jackson was one of those effortlessly cool cats, like Tom Waits or Elvis Costello, who served notice that you didn't have to be dashing and slick to be a badass. That hipness is what makes Night And Day as fresh and exciting as it was 30 years ago.--CroutonBoy

7. Billy Joel, The Nylon Curtain

I've said before that I thought that Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel were in some kind of competition to see who could release albums fastest in the '80s. In my opinion, Billy Joel had a slight edge in terms of quality--or, at least, popularity. Most of his albums in that decade had at least one hit. This particular one had three: "Allentown," "Pressure," and "Goodnight Saigon." All three are now considered to be among Joel's greatest songs, but the one that has always stuck with me most is "Allentown." For a couple of months in my senior year of high school, I kept track of songs that were stuck in my head every day, and there was a five-day stretch when "Allentown" was the only one. That is the definition of "catchy song."--Dave

6. The Go-Go's, Vacation

The Go-Go's were the first all-female band to write their own songs and play their own instruments to top the Billboard charts. Which is quite a feat, and also mind-blowing that the eighties was the first time this had happened. It would be ignorant to say that the novelty of having an all-female rock band didn't help them get noticed, but their writing and performing abilities did most of the work. The title track for Vacation is one of the best songs of the decade, namely because of its earnest melody, and the fact that it's one of the few popular songs that WASN'T about romantic affairs. The image of the band in front of a green-screen attempting to water ski is one of the most iconic images of the eighties.--Robin

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