1982 in Rock & Roll History:

Michael Jackson's album Thriller is released and goes on to become the best selling album of all time. The first US festival is held in California drawing over 300,000 people to see The Police, Tom Petty and Fleetwood Mac among others. Deaths include Blues Brother John Belushi and rock journalist Lester Bangs. The Tube is launched on BBC Television featuring live performances of up and coming UK artists.

Top 40 Singles of 1982

  1   Survivor - Eye of the Tiger
  2   Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
       I Love Rock 'n' Roll
  3   The Human League
       Don't You Want Me
  4   Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder        Ebony & Ivory
  5   Men At Work - Down Under
  6   Dexys Midnight Runners
       Come On Eileen
  7   Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
  8   J Geils Band - Centrefold
  9   Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes
      Up Where We Belong
10   F R David - Words
11   Musical Youth - Pass the Dutchie
12   Chicago - Hard to Say I'm Sorry
13   Toni Basil - Mickey
14   Hall & Oates - Maneater
15   Trio - Da Da Da ich lieb dich nicht du         liebst mich nicht aha aha aha
16   Hall & Oates -
       I Can't Go For That (No Can Do)
17   John Cougar Mellencamp
       Jack & Diane
18   Toto - Rosanna
19   Charlene - I've Never Been to Me
20   Laura Branigan - Gloria
21   Duran Duran - Hungry Like the Wolf
22   ABC - The Look of Love
23   Supertramp - It's Raining Again
24   Shakin' Stevens - Oh Julie
25   Kim Wilde - Cambodia
26   Quarterflash - Harden My Heart
27   Falco - Der Kommissar
28   Frida
       I Know There's Something Going On
29   Dionne Warwick - Heartbreaker
30   Imagination - Just an Illusion
31   Kool & The Gang - Get Down On It
32   Lindsey Buckingham - TROUBLE
33   The Clash - Rock the Casbah
34   The Go Gos - We Got The Beat
35   Grandmaster Flash & The Furious               Five - The Message
36   Yazoo - Don't Go
37   John Cougar Mellencamp
       Hurt So Good
38   Willie Nelson - Always On My Mind
39   A Flock of Seagulls
       I Ran (So Far Away)
40   Vangelis - Chariots of Fire 

Top 50 Albums of 1982

  1   Michael Jackson - Thriller
  2   Men At Work - Business As Usual
  3   Paul McCartney - Tug Of War
  4   Toto - Toto IV
  5   Roxy Music - Avalon
  6   Asia - Asia
  7   Dire Straits - Love Over Gold
  8   Prince - 1999
  9   Simon & Garfunkel
       The Concert In Central Park
10   Duran Duran - Rio
11   John Cougar Mellencamp                 American Fool
12   Iron Maiden
       The Number Of The Beast
13   The Alan Parsons Project
       Eye In The Sky
14   Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
15   Supertramp - Famous Last Words
16   Donald Fagen - The Nightfly
17   Phil Collins - Hello, I Must Be Going!
18   Fleetwood Mac - Mirage
19   J Geils Band - Freeze-Frame
20   Vangelis - Chariots Of Fire
21   Steve Miller Band - Abracadabra
22   The Go Gos - Beauty & The Beat
23   The Rolling Stones - Still Life
24   The Clash - Combat Rock
25   Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
       I Love Rock 'N' Roll
26   ABC - The Lexicon Of Love
27   Robert Plant - Pictures At Eleven
28   Joe Jackson - Night & Day
29   Rush - Signals
30   Queen - Hot Space
31   Dexys Midnight Runners -Too-Rye-Ay
32   Hall & Oates - H2O
33   Simple Minds - New Gold Dream
34   Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger
35   Billy Joel - The Nylon Curtain
36   Marvin Gaye - Midnight Love
37   Elvis Costello - Imperial Bedroom
38   Barbra Streisand - Memories
39   Yazoo - Upstairs At Eric's
40   Genesis - Three Sides Live
41   Peter Gabriel - (Security)
42   Hall & Oates - Private Eyes
43   Lionel Richie - Lionel Richie
44   Violent Femmes - Debut
45   Van Halen - Diver Down
46   Dionne Warwick - Heartbreaker
47   The Cure - Pornography
48   The Jam - The Gift
49   Stevie Wonder - Musiquarium I
50   Kate Bush - The Dreaming 

All chart information above is from Tsort and uses a formula based on splitting the world into four regions based on sales, the USA (about 35%), other English speaking countries (about 20%), the rest of Europe (about 25%) and the rest of the world (about 20%).  We feel this is the best methodology available to show the global impact of a song or album. More detailed chart info is available on the Tsort website. Actual US & UK charts are linked at the bottom of each year timeline on this site.
Blues icon BB King donates his collection of 7,000 rare blues records to the University of Mississippi Center for the Study of Southern Culture. (more)
Jan '82
Feb '82
Phoenix, AZ psychedelic punk band The Meat Puppets release their debut on SST Records. (more)
Feb '82
San Francisco, CA band Huey Lewis and the News have their first Top Ten single in the US with "Do You Believe In Love". (more)
Mar '82
Armonk, NY singer Laura Branigan has a #2 US, #6 UK single "Gloria" from her debut album. (more)
Iron Maiden get a new lead singer, Bruce Dickinson, and have a Top Ten hit in the UK with "Run to the Hills" and a #7 UK, #150 US LP. (more)
Mar '82
Soul singer Teddy Pendergrass is paralyzed from the waist down following an auto accident in Philadelphia. (more)
Chicago, IL comedian and Blues Brothers singer John Belushi is found dead of an overdose in Hollywood on Mar. 5th. (more) 
Mar '82
Mar '82
Mar '82
UK husband and wife duo Richard and Linda Thompson release their sixth and final album Shoot Out The Lights to critical acclaim, but limited sales. (more)
Mar '82
Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder team up for the single "Ebony and Ivory" and go to #1 in the US and UK. (more)
Apr '82
Apr '82
Los Angeles band The Motels break into the US Top Ten with the single "Only the Lonely". (more)
Former Los Angeles studio musicians form the band Toto and have a #1 US, #3 UK single with "Africa" driving their fourth album to #4 in the US and UK. (more)
Apr '82
Seymour, IN singer songwriter John "Cougar" Mellencamp has his first and only #1 US single with "Jack & Diane" (#25 UK). The album, American Fool, also goes #1 in the US. (more)
Apr '82
Paul McCartney's first post Wings album, Tug Of War, goes to #1 in the US and UK with production by former Beatles producer George Martin. (more)
May '82
The Cure have the first of eight Top Ten albums in the UK with their album Pornography. The album fails to chart in the US, but grows their fan base. (more)
May '82
UK band The Clash release their fifth album, Combat Rock, and have a Top Ten album and single with "Rock The Casbah" in both the US and UK. (more)
May '82
UK supergroup Asia's debut album goes to #1 US, #11 UK. The band includes former members of Yes, ELP and King Crimson. (more)
May '82
Birmingham, UK band Duran Duran go Top Ten in the US and UK with their second album Rio, led by the single "Hungry Like The Wolf". (more)
California hardcore band The Descendents release their debut album, Milo Goes To College. (more)
Jun '82
Chicago, IL band Survivor have a #1 hit in the US and UK with "Eye of the Tiger" featured on the Rocky lll soundtrack. (more)
Jun '82
California band Berlin's second album, Pleasure Victim #30 US, yields synthpop dancefloor hits "The Metro" and "Sex (I'm A...)". (more)
Jun '82
LA band X release their major label debut, Under The Big Black Sun, on Elektra Records. It charts at #76 US. (more)
Jul '82
Australian band INXS have their first US chart success with the single "The One
Jul '82
The Lexicon of Love is the debut album by British band ABC. It goes to #1 UK and #25 US led by singles "The Look of Love" and "Poison Arrow". (more)
Aug '82
Athens, GA band R.E.M. release their debut EP Chronic Town on IRS Records. (more)
Aug '82
Birmingham, UK band Dexy's Midnight Runners top the UK charts for the second time with the single "Come On Eileen". It would reach #1 in the US in April 1983. (more)
Sep '82
Scottish band Simple Minds 6th album New Gold Dreams goes #3 UK (#69 US). The first of six top five albums for the band in the UK. (more)
Sep '82
UK reggae band Musical Youth score a #1 UK, #10 US hit with the single "Pass the Dutchie". The song is a cover of the Mighty Diamonds original. (more)
Sep '82
Fleetwood Mac's album Mirage tops the US charts (#5 UK) with the US Top Ten singles "Gypsy" and "Hold Me". (more)
Sep '82
Liverpool new wave band A Flock Of Seagulls debut album goes to #10 US (#32 UK) led by the US Top Ten single "I Ran (So Far Away)". (more)
Oct '82
Bruce Springsteen's sixth album, Nebraska, is recorded without the full E Street Band yeilding a sparse, lo-fi sound. The album makes  #3 US and UK. (more)
Sep '82
Prince's fifth album, 1999, is his first to make the US Top Ten. Three singles make the US Top Twenty including the title track, "Little Red Corvette" and "Delirious". (more)
Sep '82
Oct '82
UK Ska/Pop band Madness have a Top Ten single in the US and UK with "Our House". (more) 
UK band Culture Club release their debut album, Kissing To Be Clever. The single "Do You Really Want To Hurt Me" goes to #1 UK, #2 US. (more)
Nov '82
The debut album by Australian band Men At Work goes to #1 US and UK with two US #1 singles "Who Can It Be Now" and "Down Under". (more)
Nov '82
Michael Jackson releases the album Thriller #1 US & UK. Thriller goes on to become the best selling album of all time. Seven of the albums ten tracks were released as singles and all went Top Ten in the US. (more)
Nov '82
Marvin Gaye is back in the Top Five in the US and UK with the single "Sexual Healing" from the Top Ten album Midnight Love. (more)
Dec '82
The Jam continue their UK chart success with "Beat Surrender" their second #1 and fourth UK Top Ten single of 1982. It would be their final single. (more)
Dec '82
Professional dancer and choreographer Toni Basil switches to music with her cover of the 1979 song "Kitty". Changing the name to "Mickey" Basil hits #1 US, #2 UK. (more)
Former member of The Commodores, Lionel Richie, releases his debut solo album #3 US, #9 UK. The album yields three US Top Five hits including the #1 "Truly". (more)
Dec '82
Apr '82
UK pop group Bucks Fizz score their third UK #1 with "My Camera Never Lies". The band never charts in the US. (more)
Mar '82
Lodi, NJ horror punk band The Misfits release their debut album - Walk Among Us on Slash Records. (more)
Jul '82
UK heavy metal band Judas Priest release their eigth album, Screaming For Vengeance which goes to #11 UK, #17 US, featuring the song "You've Got Another Thing Comin". (more)
Thing" #30 US after heavy MTV exposure. (more)
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