Thursday, June 20, 2024

McQ's Best Of 1983 Mix Collection

1983. What a fun music year!

New Wave was ragin', MTV was dominatin', metal was bifurcatin', hip-hop was emergin', AM soul and rock radio stations were overflowin', and college dorms were buzzin' with the sounds that would define the years to follow.

And a good chunk of it all is represented here in these eleven mixes, highlighted, in Volume 10, with Nancy's inspired full return to the annual process.

So without further delay, here's McQ's Best Of...'s 1983 mix collection.


To kick things off, we highlight 1983's very best albums and a few of the year's best singles.

Volume 2 - (I'm Pickin' Up) New viWavetions

On Volume 2, we dive deep into 1983's abundance of playful, synth-fueled fun. Includes cuts by Madonna, New Order, Culture Club, The The, Eurythmics, The Human League, The Motels, Corey Hart, The Cure, Yello, Kraftwerk, Tears For Fears, Cyndi Lauper, Heaven 17, Duran Duran and several more.

Volume 3 - Creakin'

Conceptual old timers still plying their trade in pre-punk/new wave styles are the emphasis here.  1983 artists such as Tom Waits, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Genesis, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, T-Bone Burnett, The Kinks and many others contribute.

Volume 4 - Whinin' & Grindin'

Top efforts from the darker, moodier and more aggressive side of the new-wave/post-punk/punk spectrum get their due here.  Includes tracks from Simple Minds, U2, Echo & The Bunnymen, Violent Femmes, The   Wipers, The Fall, X, Billy Idol, The Birthday Party, Social Distortion, Alan Vega, Adam Ant, Bad Brains, Cocteau Twins, Suicidal Tendencies, Depeche Mode and many others.

Volume 5 - Rappin' & Tappin'

1983's best bedroom R&B, Funk, AM soul, and early hip-hop releases get a deeper look here.  Includes cuts from Donna Summer, Grandmaster Flash, The Pointer Sisters, Herbie Hancock, Afrika Bambaataa, Robert Cray, Lionel Richie and a host of additional MC's and late-night crooners.

Volume 6 - Thrashin' & Permin'

1983's metal scene, which saw the start of the split into the Thrash and Pop/Hair metal camps, gets a richer look here.  Selections come from the likes of Iron Maiden, Night Ranger. Dio, ZZ Top, Motley Crue, Def Leppard, Joan Jett, Metallica and a few more raging, wild-haired originals.

Volume 7 - Always Be Travelin'

From Jamaica to Africa, Mexico to France, many of 1983's top international hits are grouped together here. Includes tracks from Bob Marley, Isabelle Adjani, Malcolm McLaren, King Sunny Ade, UB40, Charly Garcia and several other well travelled ambassadors of sound. 

Volume 8 - Bookin' and Baggin'

The dawn of college rock gets highlighted here with dorm hall dominating tracks from REM, John Mellencamp, The Police, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, The Talking Heads, Men At Work, The Replacements, The Style Council, The Rain Parade, XTC and many more artists who helped contribute to the "do I study or do I party dilemma?"

Volume 9 - AMin'

With Volume 5 - Rappin' & Tappin' gobbling up most of 1983's AM soul hits, the focus turns here to the country, soft rock, pop and prog-cheese that dominated 1983 AM radio.  Includes fun though sometimes dubious efforts from Alabama, Styx, Billy Joel, Huey Lewis & The News, Dolly Parton, The Judds, Greg Kihn, Yes, Bryan Adams, Elton John, Journey and gaggles more. 

Volume 10 - Nancy's Favorites

That's right, Nancy returns with a vengeance to the McQ's Best Of... mix collection scene with a massive four-and-a-half hour assemblage of her favorite 1983 tracks. There is some song overlap with Volume 1 - Bestin', but eighty percent of this mix is comprised of 1983 standouts that appear nowhere else in the collection.

Volume 11 - The Next 100

In no particular order, here are the next 100 tunes considered for these 1983 mixes.

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