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

2.26.2014

By Aaron Hicklin

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

April:
David Bowie releases Let’s Dance, his commercial breakthrough in the United States. The title track races to number 1 on both sides of the Atlantic. “At the time, Let’s Dance was not mainstream — it was virtually a new kind of hybrid, using blues-rock guitar against a dance format,” Bowie would later say. “It only seems commercial in hindsight because it sold so many [copies].”

“(Keep Feeling) Fascination,” by the Human League, is released, reaching number 1 on Billboard’s Hot Dance chart in the United States. In the accompanying video, a camera zooms in on a house painted entirely red (this was before CGI), inside which lead singer Phil Oakley — wearing bright red lipstick and eyeliner — and the band perform their zingy, synth-heavy dance masterpiece.

Tags: Music
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