Songs from 1982

This was the Number One song in the USA’s Billboard Hot 100 chart on this day in 1982: ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll’ by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts.

Here are a few that I liked then and still appreciate now:

– The Clash, ‘Rock the Casbah’
– Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, ‘The Message’
– The Jam, ‘Town Called Malice’
– Survivor, ‘Eye Of the Tiger’
– Kim Wilde, ‘Kids In America’

There was only one album for me at the time, though: Thriller. Lots more now, of course, including some fantastic cover art (Depeche Mode’s A Broken Frame springs to mind).

A few more, then, perhaps less well-known:

– Aerosmith, ‘Bolivian Ragamuffin’ (from Rock In a Hard Place)
– The Gun Club, ‘Mother of Earth’ (from Miami)
– Paul McCartney, ‘Ballroom Dancing’ (from Tug Of War)
– Robert Plant, ‘Moonlight In Samosa’ (from Pictures at Eleven)
– Bobb Trimble, ‘If Words Were All I Had’ (from Harvest Of Dreams)

As an aside, one of the songs of 1982, which made it into the Top Ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in March, was ‘Pac-Man Fever’ by Buckner and Garcia. It was one track from their album of the same name, which was made up of songs about different classic arcade games and featured samples and sound effects from each, such as Donkey Kong and Centipede. Remember them?

If anyone wishes to recall the video games they played in or around 1982, either at an arcade or at home on their Atari 2600 (with the very square, very stiff joystick) or perhaps Commodore 64 (which was launched in 1982), I’ll be happy to join you in your retro reminiscences.

And what of the movies we watched when our poor wrists and index fingers were sore? ‘Twas the year of E.T., Poltergeist… and Pink Floyd: The Wall.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

65 thoughts on “Songs from 1982”

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  2. 1982 was the golden summer of movies : “The Thing”, “Poltergeist”, “The Wall”, “ET”, “Blade Runner”, “Wrath of Khaaaaaaaan!”, “Tron”, a beautiful summer.

    Music was good too – “Broken Frame”, “Pornography”, “Combat Rock”…

  3. 1982… FEd, you brought up some memories!

    After experimenting with a 4 Bit processor, 64 nibble microcontroller for a couple of years, I bought my first real computer then, Sir Clive’s ZX81. It had a screen resolution of 44×64 and 1KB of RAM (shared for programs and video!!).

    Songs of ’82 were for me:

    Frank Zappa – Baby Snakes
    Iron Maiden – Hallowed Be Thy Name (actually the whole album)
    Motörhead – Iron Fist
    Steve Miller Band – Abracadabra
    Falco – Der Kommisar
    Eric Clapton – Layla (as a re-release)
    Men At Work – Who Can It Be Now?



    1. … may I correct myself? It was 48×64 pixel and not 44×64. 😉

      And I loved “Flight Simulation” which was more an instrument flight that anything else, Space Invaders, Breakout, and I spent some teenage weekends typing programs from magazines…

  4. 1982 was the first year I got to see Rory Gallagher… he had just released the album “Jinx” which had a track called Big Guns on it.

    He was one of the few to come to Northern Ireland but did every Christmas, brilliant guitar player!

  5. My favorite movie that year was, of course, The Wall. I saw the very first showing of it in New York. I, uh, took the day off from school to see it. There were just a handful of people in attendance, being fairly early in the day, and I remember that the mood when the movie ended was, “What the f*** was THAT?”

    I had been listening to the music regularly since its release in 1979 and had seen a 4-piece Floyd play it in 1980. The stage show blew me away, and I still count it as the single best live performance (music, theater, otherwise) I have ever witnessed. The film, though, took longer for me to warm up to. Today I recognize it as brilliant cinema. It is the very best of Roger’s work.

    My second favorite movie that year was “This Is Spinal Tap.” I saw that with my mother in a second-run theater. I was the only one of my friends who “got it.” Later I introduced ot to my college buddies and it was the funniest thing we’d ever seen!

    Music that year? British Synth Pop was on the radio at the time, and I have never liked that kind of music. So I was listening to Floyd, Yes, Led Zep and other such music that my friends just laughed at me for. Even then, it was “old” music.

  6. Like this… sorry, but my English is not good… I’m from Brazil…

    I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. “Here are a few that I liked then and still appreciate now:”


    The Model – Kraftwerk
    Waiting For a Girl Like You – Foreigner
    Maid Of Orleans – OMD
    Golden Brown – The Stranglers
    Senses Working Overtime – XTC
    Mickey – Toni Basil
    Run To The Hills – Tron Maiden
    Mad World – Tears For Fears
    Theme from Harry’s Game – Clannad
    Mirror Man – Human League
    Rio – Duran Duran


    Avalon – Roxy Music
    Hot Space – Queen
    Love Over Gold – Dire Straits

    As for ‘retro reminiscences’, I recall a couple of my ‘local’ pubs at the time had Asteroids and Defender consoles, which used to consume funds which ought to have been invested in Joshua Tetley’s instead. 8|


    Pink Floyd: The Wall – was a must see film, of course, as well as
    Porky’s :))

  8. A list of songs from ’82, eh?

    The Pretenders, ‘Back On The Chaingang’
    The Rolling Stones, ‘Waiting On A Friend’
    Don Henley, ‘Dirty Laundry’
    Marvin Gaye, ‘Sexual Healing’
    Elton John, ‘Empty Garden (Hey, Hey Johnny)’
    Crosby, Stills and Nash, ‘Wasted On The Way’
    The Clash, ‘Rock The Casbah’
    Willie Nelson, ‘You Were Always On My Mind’
    Steve Miller, ‘Abracadabra’
    Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, ‘Leather and Lace’

    I was 31 years old in 1982 ~ do you know how weird it feels to say that?? 8| Damn, how time doth fly! Thank goodness for music, that’s all I have to say. :))

    Favorite films from 1982 would include The Year of Living Dangerously, Victor/Victoria, Sophie’s Choice, The Secret of NIMH, My Favorite Year, Ghandi, and 48 Hours.

    No video games for me. I’d much rather read or watch a movie. My age showing again? 😉


    1. Don Henley, ‘Dirty Laundry’

      How did I forget I Can’t Stand Still, his debut album, released in 1982? Sorry, Don. Listening to ‘Lilah’ now.

      “We spend so much time weeping and wailing and shaking our fists
      Creating enemies that really don’t exist”

      Don’t we just?

  9. For me, the 80s were pretty much an awful musical decade, and looking through the releases and songs of that year, 1982 might well have been the very worst year! (For me.)

    Bright spots in an otherwise lackluster year: Richard & Linda Thompson’s Shoot Out the Lights, Kate Bush’s The Dreaming (it’s still my favorite album by her), Robert Plant’s Pictures at Eleven (which I always thought was highly under-rated), Brian Eno’s On Land. Other albums which, while not masterpieces, pointed the way towards great things yet to come: Husker Du’s Everything Falls Apart, and REM’s Chronic Town.

    For me, the year in film might even be worse than the year in music, haha. Best film of the year, in my opinion: easily, hands down, no contest: Blade Runner. (Strange, given that ’82 was such a horrible year, Blade Runner might be my pick for film of the entire decade.) After that film, I’m not sure I could call any other film of the year a masterpiece.

    I was 14 when ET came out, and I think I was the only person in the theater to not only walk out with dry eyes, but to actually walk out angry! Angry at Mr Spiel’s attempt to manipulate my emotions while selling merchandise to children, and treating adults like idiots. (What an annoying, precocious little brat I must have been, haha.)

    1. For me, the 80s were pretty much an awful musical decade, and looking through the releases and songs of that year, 1982 might well have been the very worst year!

      I agree, Michael; lots of silly stuff. Ever hear ‘Happy Talk’ by Captain Sensible? Just picture the drunken dancing to this cheery dirge at the end of the night; the horizontal stripes, baggy jumpers and big hair all merging into a giant haze of cerise. On second thoughts, don’t.

      And so much of it is back in fashion now. You’d think that once was surely enough.

  10. Some songs that come in my mind.

    Run To The Hills – Iron Maiden
    Ebony and Ivory – Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder
    Mad World – Tears For Fears
    Eye In The Sky – Alan Parsons Project

    I had a Commodore 64 in 1982 and, before that, the VIC-20. There were a lot of games I liked, but I can’t remember their names. I’ll search for them. 🙂

    1. Some of my favourites, although all came later than 1982, I expect:

      – Emlyn Hughes’ International Soccer
      – International Basketball
      – Kikstart II
      – The Last Ninja
      – Manic Miner
      – Paperboy
      – Platoon
      – Rainbow Islands
      – Robocop
      – Summer Games

      Do you remember any of those?

    2. Thank you for helping my memory, FEd. 😀

      I surely remember “Manic Miner”, “Emlyn Hughes’ International Soccer” and “Paperboy”.

      If you’re interested to play it again, here is “Manic Miner” for Windows.

      It’s strange, but, even though I was younger when I played them, I remember the games for VIC-20, better than the Commodore 64 ones.

      Do you remember how long the tapes took to load? :))

    3. I remember not only the time they took to load, but the horrible sound that some of them made when loading. :))

      Thanks for the link, I will give it a try.

    4. Manic Miner? I used to play that on Sinclair Spectrum 48K… Wasn’t that the one that when you type 8 different characters simultaneously, you entered a cheat mode with infinite lives, introduced by a Monty Pythonesk foot that stepped on Miner?

      Glory days…

      Thanks FEd for bringing up those memories…


    5. Ah, the original ZX Spectrum, with its wonderful rubber keys and rainbow in the corner. Very Dark Side of the Moon, don’t you think? Much better-looking than the Commodore 64.

      Released in April 1982, in fact.

    6. … I modified my 48K to a Spectrum+, the one with the normal keyboard, and sold it a couple of years ago to a collector. I had forgotten the original keyboard/case, though.

      Now that you mentioned, FEd: yes it’s really very, very floydish. I wouldn’t wonder if the designer was a fan. I think I’ll dig for it in my ancient hardware box and nail on the wall as a modern sculpture. 😉



  11. I’m not very fond of 80s’ music, I think it often lacks substance and soul.

    Favourite songs from 1982:

    – Dire Straits, ‘Private Investigation’, ‘Telegraph Road’
    – Vangelis, ‘Chariots Of Fire’
    – Kansas, ‘Play The Game Tonight’
    – Alan Parson Project, ‘Eye In The Sky’

    – Pierre Bachelet, ‘Les Corons’, a beautiful and tender song dedicated to coal miners and their hard life, a sort of hymn of the North of France, its slag heaps, mine shafts and specific houses (called ‘corons’), showing how generous these miners were despite their hard life.

    The song has now become the anthem of RCL Lens (football club of Lens, North). Here is a video montage of the song partly sung by fans at Bollaert Stadium of Lens.


    – Thriller of course
    – The Cure, ‘Pornography’
    – Jean Michel Jarre, ‘Les Concerts En Chine’
    – Kate Bush, ‘The Dreaming’

  12. Wow Joan Jett! A real “Rock Queen”. 8) Very good call FEd, thanks!

    Well, in 1982 I was eight, but I remember that year. So, this is my short list about it…

    Midnight Oil – “Only The Strong” and “Brave Faces”
    Billy Idol – “White Wedding”
    Roxy Music – “More Than This”
    Duran Duran – “Save A Prayer” (I Love this song)
    The Police – “Spirits In The Material World”

    Love & Harmony. 🙂

    Bye, Hydrea

    1. Jo, about Duran Duran, do you remember “The Chauffeur” too?

      This is a live version (1984).

      I think it was a great song! 8)

  13. I got a call from a friend today telling me David recently had Pete do some work on his gear… anything you can tell us about this?

    Is anything planned?

    Without having to dodge flying “household objects” what are the chances of David doing any Wall shows with Roger?

    1. Yes, it is Pete Cornish.

      David apparently had him tuning some equipment recently… anything you can tell us about this, can you confirm?

    2. David apparently had him tuning some equipment recently… anything you can tell us about this, can you confirm?

      Unfortunately not. Sorry.

    3. OMG – this is a ridiculous string. The guy is a guitarist by trade and having a professional tweak his equipment is newsworthy?? You’re really going to assume some big announcement is coming cause he made a visit to a longtime friend? I don’t see any difference between this and taking your car in for a repair.

      I feel this type of stuff is on the verge of stalking. I think FEd is just being too nice here.



  14. Ahh… 1982 – I need to post on this one. I was 13 and still have most of my 45s somewhere in storage.

    Here goes my best A-Z. I’m in a hotel on a business trip so I’ve got some time, if you’ll humor me:

    A: Abracadabra – Steve Miller Band
    B: Beat It – Michael Jackson
    C: Centerfold – J. Geils Band
    D: Don’t You Want Me – Human League
    E: Electric Avenue – Eddie Grant (sorry Alan Parsons)
    F: Fantasy – Aldo Nova (yup still have that 45)
    G: Gloria – Laura Branigan (you know you know all the words)
    H: Hot in the City – Billy Idol (just got my tix 4 the Hammerstein)
    I: I Ran – Flock of Seagulls (sorry Joan)
    J: Jack and Diane – John Cougar (before the Mellancamp)
    K: Killing An Arab – The Cure
    L: Let’s Groove – Earth, Wind & Fire
    M: Major Tom – Peter Schilling
    N: Nasty Girl – Vanity 6 (maybe the album covers helped 😛 )
    O: Open Arms – Journey
    P: (Oh) Pretty Woman – Van Halan
    Q: Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart” (had to cheat)
    R: Rosanna – Toto
    S: Sex (I’m a…) – Berlin
    T: Tainted Love – Soft Cell
    U: Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
    V: Vacation – Go-Go’s
    W: Working For The Weekend – Loverboy
    X: Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon (cheated again)
    Y: Young Turks – Rod Stewart
    Z: Ziggy Startdust – Bauhaus
    1: 1999 – Prince & the Revolution
    6: ’65 Love Affair – Paul Davis
    8: 867-5309 – Tommy Tutone

    Movies: The Wall, 48 Hours, Blade Runner, Conan, First Blood, Poltergeist, Cat People, The World According to Garp and Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

    The end. 🙂

  15. I love Joan Jett! ‘Kids In America’ is another fave.

    Did nobody mention ‘House of Fun’ by Madness?

    I think I’ll have an 80s day today. Thanks for getting me in the mood, FEd!

  16. Hi Fed




    Speak soon

    1. Sorry that you couldn’t make it to the chatroom, Damian.

      I’ve sent you a reminder of your user password. The room password, don’t forget, is always case sensitive.

      Hope you can make it next time.

      If anyone forgets their password, wishes to change it or their e-mail address, links can be found at the bottom of the Chat page.

  17. It’s great to remember the 80s with all the hair bands. However, I write this comment to thank Mr. Gilmour for probably the finest guitar work in rock history and also to thank him for giving me the continuing desire to learn to play guitar to the best of my ability.

    I, like Richard Wright (RIP) was found to have lung cancer in 2008. Luckily, the surgeons at MD Anderson in Houston were able to remove the tumor along with the upper right lobe on my lung. After this and four treatments with chemotherapy I am cancer free after 18 months. I am now 57 years old and unfortunately I have never had the opportunity to see Mr. Gilmour in concert. This I deeply regret. I am hoping that in the near future a concert tour will be scheduled in the US. Concerts in the UK or Europe would be cost prohibitive.

    Thanks for allowing me to write this and give my deepest regards to Mr. Gilmour and family.

    1. Steve:

      Hope you see many years cancer free and maybe even a concert! If no concert, however, be sure to see Remember That Night or Live in Gdansk for a Gilmour ‘fix’.


  18. 1982. Seems like a trillion years ago. It was a strange time. This little window after the 60s and 70s, where technology hadn’t completely plugged everyone into everyone/thing else. And the international corporations and banks were just starting to megamerge and buy up everything, everyone–hell bent on owning/destroying all our western democracies.

    I remember seeing the Wall and loving it, but at the same time feeling as though I’d been beat up. I remember wishing the movie had had a few more softer, gentler, kinder moments, a la “Fat Old Sun” or something like that.

    I remember seeing, “My Favorite Year” with my dad, who was still alive. That was always fun, to go to the movies with him. He was a marvelous old petroleum/design engineer. Old world manners. One of the easiest and wisest people I’ve ever known. The kind of person that is infinitely easy to sit in a room with. Demands nothing. The best of company. Quiet, low key, gentle humor.

    Loved Roxy Music, More Than This.
    Loved the Stones Waiting on a Friend.
    Had a serious crush on Chrissie Hynde… Just loved her.
    Saw Michael Jackson do his moonwalk on T.V. and was stunned.
    Love David Lee Roth and Pretty Woman.

    That year I was a D.J. at my university in the music listening lounge. I’d run the lounge, half the day. We stealthily rolled kegs into one of the dark listening rooms, and would stay drunk all day. It was a great time.

    Ahhh… 1982. It was a great year.

  19. I guess I’m in the minority of my immediate family. I really enjoyed the music of the ’80s. Don Henley, Stevie Winwood, Journey, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet and Joan Jett are just a couple of groups I enjoyed.

    Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” movie was a product of 1982 and I enjoyed it very much.

    Artists I listened to:

    All above plus..

    J. Geils Band
    Daryl Hall and John Oates
    Rick Springfield
    Crosby, Stills and Nash
    Little River Band
    Van Halen
    Jimmy Buffett

    Anybody that really knows me knows that I’m quite partial to British Rock but there was some good shit coming out of the states as well in the ’80s.

    Just my opinion, but I kind of enjoyed the ’80s.

  20. Hey Mr Gilmore, how about a guest appearance with Mr Waters during his The Wall tour?

    Pretty please?

  21. Slightly off topic but has anyone yet caught up with Guy Pratt playing with The End in S America with Durga McBroom and Jon Carin?

    YouTube have Run Like Hell and C Numb both of which are brilliant.

    Jon, Guy and Durga are really enjoying themselves and look so relaxed and having fun performing some great songs LIVE and recent. Phil said can’t Guy bring them over to England and do some shows over here… bearing in mind that Carin will soon be ‘otherwise engaged’ perhaps David could take his place in a ready made band hopefully taking away a lot of the pressure… Dream on!!!!!!

    Best wishes to all

  22. David Gilmour, Mark Knophler and Eric Clapton – best solo guitarists ever.

    Would it not be great for the 3 of them to do a concert tour? Anywhere in the world will do as long as they include a New Zealand venue – preferably CHRISTCHURCH.

  23. Not quite on topic but 1982 was a pretty good year for the Reds. Can we go back there again do you suppose?

    Next Year maybe?

    1. :)) I’d love to go back there, Jonathan; to Bob Paisley’s fifth league title and putting five past Everton at Goodison.

      Definitely a season to forget, this one.

  24. Funny that you picked that Joan Jett song. Whenever I hear that song now I think of David. Only because of a response he made during the Q&A session back during the cinema release of Remember That Night where he was asked what he was listening to right now. I know he referenced that song and I think it was because his kids found it to be one of their favorites at the time.

    Do you remember that FEd and that is why you chose this song? Does anyone remember that? Then again, I may be the only pathetic one who does remember such trivial things.



    1. You’re not the only pathetic one here who remembers such trivial things, Andrew. I remembered it, too.

  25. Hello all! Hope you had a Happy Birthday Tracy on the 1st! Same day as mine. Here’s wishing you many more and Happy Birthday to all who celebrate in May!

    Hope you are having a good week FEd.

    Barbara P

    1. Belated birthday greetings to you, Barbara and Tracy.

      And premature ones to Graham, for tomorrow.

  26. i love rock ‘n’ roll is an all-time classic! great riff!

    i still love the thriller album and played it today in the car.

    favourite track: beat it.

  27. Wow… looks like I’m more than a little late to this…

    I was a junior in 1982. The biggest thing happening to me that year was the final tour of my favorite band, The Who. Emminence Front was all over the radio, as was Athena and It’s Hard (the title track to the Who’s last album with Kenny Jones).

    Horror movies… oy, where to begin! I remember seeing many of them, video rentals… those at the theater… the 80s were a great time for slasher flicks and other such otherworldly ghoulish adventures.

    Q (flying, winged serpent!)
    Cat People (with Natasha Kinski…rOOOWRRR!!!0
    One Dark Night (initiation in a mausoleum! hilarious fun)
    Evilspeak (one of my more favorites, with Clint Howard)
    Basket Case
    Friday 13th part 3!!
    Videodrome (Cronenburg masterpiece!)

    Of course, I was dragged to see The Wall umpteen amount of times… AND LOVED IT!!!

  28. Wow, Bobb Trimble mentioned. Cool.

    Re that Survivor song… I kind of couldn’t talk to anyone that liked that song, ha ha…

    1982 wasn’t the best year of the 80s musically. It was all about the Bunnymen for me around then, I suppose. I think Chronic Town was issued in 1982… that 1st REM EP. That was huge for me and opened the gates for a ton of like-minded acts that I would be enthralled with for much of the decade… I liked Depech Mode too then, and the Cure and XTC and the Teardrop Explodes and The Soft Boys.

  29. dear dave:

    i’m your fan from china. i love your black strat and your fat, slow fingers. 😀

    ok, i want see your live in china. you can not image how that many fans and rockers loving you many years!

    give us a true dream please, my dear dave, then you will got a new feeling at east asia. i promise!

    thank you very much!

  30. really can’t beat music from that era, it’s just so much better than most of the things you have to listen to now, or is that just my age speaking for me? 😉

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