Respected songwriter and music critic Rob Sheffield argues that 1982 was a transformative time in music. In Rolling Stone, he shares his wonderfully eclectic list of the “100 Best Songs of 1982,” from Toto’s “Africa” (duh) to Hall & Oates’ “Maneater,” The Gap Band’s “You Dropped A Bomb On Me,” New “Temptation” by Order, “Little Red Corvette” by Prince and, in the front row, “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five. Video of the latter and more in the list below. Sheffield writes:
WELCOME TO 1982: the year that invented pop music as we know it today. One of the most experimental, innovative and incredibly bountiful years in music ever. Hip-hop takes over with “The Message” and “Planet Rock”. New wave synth-pop invaded the Top 40. Disco and funk experienced a high-tech boom. Indie rock takes off with REM and the Replacements. Prince claims his throne as the coolest man alive. Madonna is dancing from Detroit. Thriller drops. New stars, new beats, new noises explode every week on MTV. So do some of the most tragic haircuts in history. Synthesizers. Rhythm boxes. Walkman. After 1982, the music will never be the same again.