The Essential Soundtrack to Pop's Greatest (and Gayest) Year


By Aaron Hicklin

A Musical Primer to 1983 (if there was a better year for music, we'd like to hear it).

January 1983:
Eurythmics open the year with their sophomore album, Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). A nation that had snored through the band’s debut, In the Garden, is caught by surprise as Annie Lennox, in a bright orange crew cut, becomes a ubiquitous presence on magazine covers and the radio. The album’s title track soars to number 1 on the Billboard charts, the first of 10 Billboard top 40 hits the band would enjoy in the United States. In striking videos for “Love Is a Stranger” and “Who’s That Girl?” Lennox plays with ideas of androgyny. “It’s about how malleable the whole idea of self really is, that if I put on a wig and a bit of stubble and a suit, I’m perceived as a man,” Lennox told Out in 2009. “The playing with gender was all about that: ‘You cannot define me through my sex, I’m more malleable than that.’ ”

Tags: Music