1983 in Rock & Roll History:

Michael Jackson unveils the moonwalk dance move on the Motown 25 TV Special. Menudo sell out four shows at NYC's Madison Square Garden. Diana Ross performs in New York City's Central Park in driving rain which eventually stops the concert. The band KISS begin performing without their make-up. The Rolling Stones set a new record high for recording contracts when they sign with CBS Records for $28 million. In December Michael Jackson releases his elaborate Thriller video.

Top 40 Singles of 1983

1   Irene Cara
       Flashdance: What a Feeling
  2   Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
  3   The Police - Every Breath You Take
  4   Culture Club - Karma Chameleon
  5   Michael Jackson - Beat It
  6   David Bowie - Let's Dance
  7   Culture Club
       Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?
  8   Nena - 99 Red Balloons
  9   Bonnie Tyler
       Total Eclipse of the Heart
10   UB40 - Red Red Wine
11   Lionel Richie - All Night Long
12   The Eurythmics
       Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
13   Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson        Say Say Say
14   Billy Joel - Uptown Girl
15   Marvin Gaye - (Sexual) Healing
16   Rod Stewart - Baby Jane
17   Michael Sembello - Maniac
18   Eddy Grant - Electric Avenue
19   Spandau Ballet - True
20   Men Without Hats - The Safety Dance
21   Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
22   Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton           Islands in the Stream
23   Mike Oldfield - Moonlight Shadow
24   Toto - Africa
25   Phil Collins - You Can't Hurry Love
26   Peter Schilling
       Major Tom (Coming Home)
27   Madness - Our House
28   Taco - Puttin' on the Ritz
29   Prince - 1999
30   Pat Benatar - Love is a Battlefield
31   Eddy Grant - I Don't Wanna Dance
32   Donna Summer
       She Works Hard For the Money
33   New Order - Blue Monday
34   Michael Jackson
       Wanna Be Startin' Something
35   Styx - Mr Roboto
36   Paul Young - Come Back & Stay
37   David Bowie - China Girl
38   Billy Joel - Tell Her About It
39   Greg Kihn Band - Jeopardy
40   Duran Duran - Union of the Snake

Top 50 Albums of 1983

  1   The Police - Synchronicity
  2   Lionel Richie - Can't Slow Down
  3   Original Soundtrack - Flashdance
  4   Culture Club - Colour By Numbers
  5   David Bowie - Let's Dance
  6   ZZ Top - Eliminator
  7   U2 - War
  8   Pink Floyd - The Final Cut
  9   Genesis - Genesis
10   Paul Young - No Parlez
11   Billy Joel - An Innocent Man
12   The Eurythmics - Touch
13   Def Leppard - Pyromania
14   The Rolling Stones - Undercover
15   Yes - 90125
16   U2 - Live 'Under A Blood Red Sky'
17   Mike Oldfield - Crises
18  John Lennon - Collection
19   Bonnie Tyler
       Faster Than The Speed Of Night
20   Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind
21   REM - Murmur
22   Christopher Cross - Another Page
23   Bob Dylan - Infidels
24   Men At Work - Cargo
25   Culture Club - Kissing To Be Clever
26   The Eurythmics
       Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)
27   Paul McCartney - Pipes Of Peace
28   Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues
29   AC/DC - Flick Of The Switch
30   Big Country - The Crossing
31   Elton John - Too Low for Zero
32   Tears For Fears - The Hurting
33   Asia - Alpha
34   UB40 - Labour Of Love
35   Stevie Ray Vaughan - Texas Flood
36   Tom Waits - Swordfishtrombones
37   Wham! - Fantastic
38   Rod Stewart - Body Wishes
39   Kenny Rogers
       Eyes That See In The Dark
40   Journey - Frontiers
41   Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band        The Distance
42   Quiet Riot - Metal Health
43   Air Supply - Greatest Hits
44   Spandau Ballet - True
45   Bryan Adams - Cuts Like A Knife
46   John Cougar Mellencamp - Uh-huh
47   Kiss - Lick It Up
48   Bee Gees - Staying Alive
49   Metallica - Kill 'Em All
50   Al Jarreau - Jarreau

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.
Michael Jackson's single "Billie Jean" hits #1 in both the US and UK. The music video for the song receives heavy rotation on MTV. (more) 
Jan '83
Jan '83
Canadian Bryan Adams breaks through in the US on his third album, Cuts Like A Knife, which goes to #8 US, #21 UK. (more)
Jan '83
UK duo The Eurythmics release their second album Sweet Dreams. The single "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" goes to #1 US, #2 UK. (more)
Jan '83
Sheffield, UK rock band Def Leppard release their third album Pyromania. The album goes to #2 US #18 UK driven by two US Top 20 singles "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages". (more)
Feb '83
Karen Carpenter, lead singer and drummer for 70's soft rockers The Carpenters, dies due to complications from anorexia. (more)
Dublin, Ireland rock band U2's second album War is released and goes to #1 in the UK, #12 US. The single "New Years Day" goes Top Ten in the UK. (more)
Feb '83
Feb '83
NYC band Sonic Youth release their second album, Confusion Is Sex, on indie label Neutral Records. (more)
Mar '83
The debut album by UK trio Banarama, Deep Sea Skiving, goes Top Ten in the UK, #63 US. (more)
Mar '83
Led by the US Top Ten single "Legs" ZZ Top's eigth album, Eliminator, is released and becomes their best seller, going Top Ten in the US and UK. (more)
Final Cut is Pink Floyd's tenth album and the last with Roger Waters. The album goes to #1 UK, #6 US. (more)
Mar '83
Mar '83
UK band Spandau Ballet release their third album and have a #1 single in the UK, #2 US with the title track "True". (more)
Mar '83
UK duo Tears for Fears goes to #1 in the UK, #73 US, with their debut album, The Hurting. (more)
Mar '83
Los Angeles, CA heavy metal band Quiet Riot go to #1 in the US and UK with their third album Metal Health. (more)
Apr '83
Milwaukee, WI band the Violent Femmes release their debut album and gain a cult following for their folk-punk sound. (more) 
Apr '83
David Bowie is #1 on both sides of the Atlantic with his single "Let's Dance" which features then unknown guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan.  (more)
Apr '83
The soundtrack to the movie Flashdance is released. The album goes to #1 US, #9 UK and yields two US number one singles. (more)
Apr '83
Athens, GA band R.E.M. releases their debut album Murmur on IRS Records. Though critically acclaimed the album peaks at #36 US. (more)
Texas glam metal band Pantera release their debut album on their own Metal Magic label. (more)
May '83
May '83
New Order's  second album, Power, Corruption & Lies goes top five in the UK on Factory Records. The band's move to dance music scores them a dance hit with "Blue Monday". (more)
May '83
New York City band The Talking Heads have a Top Ten single in the US with "Burning Down The House" from the album Speaking In Tongues. (more) 
Jun '83
Detroit band The Romantics score two US Top Ten hits "Talking In Your Sleep" and "One In a Million" from their fourth album In Heat. (more)
Jun '83
The final album by The Police, Synchronicity, goes to #1 US and UK and yields three Top Ten singles including US and UK #1 "Every Breath You Take".  (more) 
Texas blues guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan releases his debut album Texas Flood. (more)
Jun '83
Fantastic, the debut album by UK pop duo Wham! goes to #1 in the UK, but only #127 US. (more)
Jul '83
The first album by Madonna goes Top Ten in the US and UK, led by hit singles "Lucky Star" and "Borderline". (more)
Jun '83
Fife, Scotland band Big Country hit #17 in both the US and UK with their debut album. (more)
Jul '83
Jul '83
LA's Metallica release their first album Kill 'Em All an immediate hit in the emerging thrash metal genre.
Aug '83
Bellevue, WA heavy metal band Queensryche release their debut album which peaks at #81 US. (more)
Jul '83
Canadian synthpop band Men Without Hats score a #3 US, #6 UK hit with their single "Safety Dance". (more) 
Aug '83
Billy Joel's ninth album An Innocent Man takes him to #2 UK, #6 US with three US Top Ten singles including the #1 "Tell Her About It" #4 UK. (more)
Sep '83
Los Angeles, CA metal band Motley Crue's second album Shout At The Devil takes them into the Top Twenty US. (more)
Sports, the third album by Huey Lewis & The News goes to #1 US, with three US Top Ten singles including #1 "Heart and Soul". (more)
Sep '83
Sep '83
Kiss release the album Lick It Up which goes to #7 UK, #24 US. It is the first time they appear without makeup. (more) 
Sep '83
UK reggae band UB40 go to #1 UK, #14 US with their fourth album featuring a hit cover of Neil Diamond's song "Red, Red, Wine". (more)
Oct '83
Queens, NY singer Cyndi Lauper's debut album - She's So Unusual #4 US, #16 UK makes her a star with four US Top Five singles including "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" and "Time After Time". (more)
UK band Culture Club have a #1 single on both sides of the Atlantic with "Karma Chameleon" from their second album Colour By Numbers #1 UK, #2 US. (more)
Oct '83
Oct '83
Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson team up for a single "Say, Say, Say" which not surprisingly goes to #1 US #2 UK.  (more)
Oct '83
Genesis have their first US Top Ten hit with "Thats All" from their twelfth album which goes to #1 UK, #9 US. (more)
Nov '83
70's hit makers The Pointer Sisters make a comeback with a US and UK Top Ten album Break Out which spawns four US Top Ten hits. (more)
Eurythmics continue the hits with their third album Touch #1 UK, #7 US. Includes the hit single "Here Comes The Rain Again" #4 US, #8 UK. (more) 
Nov '83
Nov '83
Balls To The Wall the fifth album by German metal band Accept goes to #74 US. (more)
Dec '83
Show No Mercy is the debut release by California thrash metalband Slayer.  (more) 
Dec '83
Tuskegee, AL singer songwriter Lionel Richie's second solo album Can't Slow Down #1 US and UK generates five US Top Ten hits including two #1's "Hello" and "All Night Long". (more) 
Dec '83
US based, UK singer Billy Idol releases his second solo album Rebel Yell, which would take him to the US Top Ten in 1984. (more) 
Swiss metal band Krokus release their seventh album Headhunter, which reaches #25 US, #74 UK and becomes their highest charting album. (more)
Dec '83
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