What a revoltin' development this is! Five putatively reasonable human beings (names available upon receipt of a crisp $50 bill) can't find 10 albums more than one of them thinks was among the year's best. [Should we blame home taping? — Ed] The only thing our judges agreed on was that 1982 was a stinky year for rock/pop/cybernetics/whatever it's called these days. In protest — and since only nine records achieved a plurality — the top spot in our list is blank.You're welcome to write in your own choice or draw something. (Trouser Press — the creative rock magazine.)
Examining those who made the charmed circle, we find — second of all — the familiar figure of Elvis Costello. To be fair, Elvis probably would have placed first if we had a full house; Imperial Bedroom was the only album on everyone's list. Indicating lack of consensus, the only other artist appearing on more than two lists was Gang of Four, returning to the number six spot after a year's absence. Other familiar faces belong to the late Squeeze, ending a three-year streak, and John Hiatt, missing since 1979. Roxy Music makes TP's 10-best list for only the second time since we started printing them seven years ago.
Hopeful signs: Human League cracked our Top 10 with the revolutionary Dare, a late-'81 release. Lords of the New Church, Thomas Dolby and Marshall Crenshaw did it the first time around. Disappearing acts from last year include U2, the Clash and Go-Go's. Now is new wave dead?
1. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
2. Elvis Costello, Imperial Bedroom — State-of-the-art songwriting, more pop than popular.
3. Roxy Music, Avalon — Hypnotic and haunting — classy goods.
4. Thomas Dolby, Golden Age of Wireless — A thoughtful debut from an electro-whiz who's got heart.
5. Lords of the New Church — Gonzo punkadelia with a portentous message.
6. Gang of Four, Songs of the Free — A powerful beat matched with powerful words. Get down and think!
7. Marshall Crenshaw — Unpretentiously yours. A light chaser after the above.
8. Squeeze, Sweets from a Stranger — You re gonna miss 'em when they're gone.
9. Human League, Dare — Ushering in a brave new world. Meet our maker, the mad (re-)mixer.
10. John Hiatt, All of a Sudden — Strong songs from an inventive singer/guitarist.
Runners-up: — Laurie Anderson, Big Science; Duran Duran, Rio; Mental As Anything, If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?; Richard & Linda Thompson, Shoot Out the Lights; U2, October.