27 Best Songs From 1983

21. “Electric Avenue” by Eddy Grant

Song Year: 1983

Eddy Grant had a few hits in the 1960s with The Equals, a reggae outfit. But when “Electric Avenue” dropped in 1983, the song owed its success as much to the song itself and its oddly captivating, obviously low-budget video as to David Bowie.

Bowie was, at the time, loudly complaining that MTV was only playing white artists. In response, the network scrambled to find videos by Black artists so they could say, “Nuh-uh.” Eddy Grant was one of the artists they found.

22. “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” by Journey

Song Year: 1983

Frontiers, Journey’s 1983 album, showed a new side of the band, as it rocked a bit harder than their older stuff, at least in places.

Before “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” they’d been something of a feel-good band. This number-one single wasn’t the belt-it-in-the-shower fare like “Any Way You Want It” was, but as band evolution goes, it was a pretty cool step.

23. “Little Red Corvette” by Prince

Song Year: 1983

On paper, “Little Red Corvette” was a bigger hit than “Delirious,” but its hook is lesser-than. Still, what a song. Like most songs on 1999, it has a drum machine driving the action, which seems weird for a multi-instrumentalist like Prince to use. Then again, it gives the songs on the album a distinctive sound, and “Little Red Corvette” has it, too.

It never made it to number one, but it was still a smash hit and remains one of Prince’s most-recognized tunes.

24. “Mr. Roboto” by Styx

Song Year: 1983

“Mr. Roboto,” perhaps more than anything else, drove Styx to a breaking point that led to guitarists Tommy Shaw and James Young to leave the group, and eventually the whole outfit fell apart.

Still, it was a huge hit (and the basis for perhaps the greatest car commercial ever in 1999 (Volkswagen)). But it represented a concept shift and a move to more electronically driven music that keyboard man Dennis DeYoung wanted, but that Team Tommy did not enjoy.

25. “I'm Still Standing” by Elton John

Song Year: 1983

It didn’t hit number one in the States, but “I’m Still Standing” in other markets, and it was a massive hit for the Rocket Man.

Intentional or not, the song’s title seemed to refer to the changes in the industry Elton John had to weather. He was a worldwide superstar in the 1970s, but as the 80s began changing the entire world, he had to adjust what he was doing and how he did it.

Since he had a number-one hit in 2022 with Dua Lipa, he’s obviously still standing.

26. “Cum on Feel the Noize” by Quiet Riot

Song Year: 1983

Can we call this “safe metal”? “Cum on Feel the Noize” was Quiet Riot’s cover of a Slade song, and it went to number five, but the band never had the hotel-room-trashing success of Motley Crue and others. Though the band wound up as a one-hit wonder, you have to have a hit in the first place to earn that moniker.

“Cum On Feel the Noize” was a top-ten hit, with much greater success in the States than Slade had with it.

27. “Heart and Soul” by Huey Lewis and The News

Song Year: 1983

This band wasn’t the hardest-hitting of its day, and they had no lasting impact on pop culture, but the 1983 album Sports spawned five hits (of a total of nine tracks on the album), two of which reached number one.

“Heart and Soul” was one of those number ones.

Top Songs From 1983, Final Thoughts

When evaluating good music from 1983, there’s just too much to choose from to include it all. But keep in mind that some of the biggest hits of the year weren’t necessarily the best songs of 1983 (we’re looking at you, Men Without Hats). But these songs show the staggering amount of great music from that year.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *