Top 20 Albums Of 1983 (Nos. 16-20)

For this week's Ranked!, we compiled our twenty favorite albums released in 1983. Did we get it right? Let us know in the comments!

Here are numbers 16-20:

20. Talking Heads, Speaking In Tongues

Let's skip the formalities: this is one of the most influential albums of all time. If you don't own it, your Music 101 education is woefully incomplete and full of holes. Go right that wrong this instant. You can't speak of the year in music without mentioning Speaking In Tongues. It has all the requisite quirky fun that you need and have come to expect from David Byrne and company and all the beautifully written classics that we all now know by heart.--Dufmanno

19. Social Distortion, Mommy's Little Monster

I love a good debut album. It's the music you play when nobody is watching, before the pundits and pigeonholes set in. Mommy's Little Monster announced Social Distortion to the world as a tough-talking punk band with a straightforward attack. Yet there's skill behind that raucous noise; the guitar in "Hour Of Darkness" is proof.

What's really interesting is that the evolution to their signature sound had already begun. It would be another album before they nailed it, but stronger melodies are emerging, along with a little bit of country twang. "Another State Of Mind" is the first sign of the heart of gold that has always lurked beneath Mike Ness's rough edges.

1983 was a weird year for punk. Into The Unknown saw Bad Religion go pretty badly awry, while the Clash were slowly falling apart. Mommy's Little Monster had no such issues. It was loud, obnoxious and all kinds of fun.--Amanda

18. Billy Idol, Rebel Yell

Even though he previously had two Top 40 hits ("Hot In The City" and "White Wedding") from 1982's Billy Idol, it was 1983's Rebel Yell that made Billy Idol a household name. The leather, Steve Stevens's guitar, and the sneer (oh, the sneer) made his music videos for "Rebel Yell," "Eyes Without A Face," and "Flesh For Fantasy" hourly plays on MTV and is the reason we still get excited when he pops up in cameos for films like The Wedding Singer, The Doors, and Bigfoot.--Chris

17. Eurythmics, Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)

When Annie Lennox first hit the scene, I was just fascinated. She was all dolled up in a tux, with slicked back hair, and then she opened her mouth and oh that voice. That extraordinary voice. Most of the world has heard the title song, but check out "Love Is A Stranger" and "I Could Give You (A Mirror)," great songs from 1983 that are often overlooked because the title song is so damn good.--Archphoenix

16. Quiet Riot, Metal Health

This album holds a lot of fond memories for me. Why? The first concert I ever saw was Quiet Riot, Saga, and Headpins. I'll be honest: I don't remember a lot about that concert other than the fact that I was still short enough to stand on my chair and not have the teenagers behind me start throwing crap at me. (I was so obsessed with this band, not only did I buy a concert tee of the three-quarter sleeve baseball shirt variety (where have you gone?) but I also bought a stupid knockoff of the mask the dude wears on the album's cover.)

But I remember this album fondly. I played it to death. Metal Health had two rock 'n' roll anthems that endeared the public to heavy metal: "Bang Your Head (Metal Health)" and a cover of Slade's "Cum On Feel The Noize." But my favorite song by far was the ballad "Thunderbird" which closed the album, a tribute to Randy Rhoads.--Chris

   Nos. 11-15 >>

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