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).


Depeche Mode’s “Everything Counts,” a piece of pop perfection and the band’s first use of sampling, is released in the United States to scant attention (four months after reaching number 6 in the United Kingdom), but it sets the template — catchy and melancholy — for the band’s subsequently brilliant career. “Sexual barriers are silly,” guitarist and songwriter Martin Gore would tell No. 1 magazine in 1985. “My girlfriend and I swap clothes, makeup, anything. So what?” In 2012, Gore gave voice to a widespread feeling that reality shows such as American Idol had destroyed the kind of creativity that had flourished in 1983. “I’m not advocating violence, but I think somebody should shoot Simon Cowell,” he said. Point taken.

Tags: Music