Best #1 single of the year retrospective: 1983

Our survey brings us now to 1983. Tensions between the US and Russia are at their highest point in decades, I’m just a wee little baby, and Michael Jackson’s Thriller has cemented his position as the King of Pop. We’re now officially at the halfway point in our retrospective series - 28 polls down, 28 to go before we catch up to the present day (which we should manage just in time to do this year’s poll.)

17 songs made the top of the charts this year, including Hall & Oates carrying over from the previous year. What’s your favorite?

Previous polls: 1955-56 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 2012 2013

Some good songs this year, including Toto, The Police and the Eurythmics. But it’s all about Michael Jackson, and “Billie Jean” is his masterpiece IMO.

Some good ones there.
Billie Jean, Sweet Dreams, Flashdance
(Although I prefer Marilyn Manson’s version of Sweet Dreams.)

I went with Down Under though.

A lot of contenders in this one. I picked my favorite, but would have been happy to pick several others instead.

Say Say Say it is, time I voted for McCartney since it’s his last number 1.

I went with "Total Eclipse of the Heart, " although I actually like the Bowie and Eurythmics songs more. TEotH is one of the 80sest of all 80’s songs. Unlike other songs on the list, it is associated with the era more than the artist…when you hear it, you think “80’s!” not “Bonnie Tyler!”

I myself really wanted to vote for Every Breath You Take… but in the end, I love Jim Steinman’s (of Meat Loaf fame) lyrics on this song far too much not to vote for it.

A hard choice this year! Billie Jean is Jackson’s finest work, I love Let’s Dance and Come on Eileen, but my choice is the icy excellence that is Sweet Dreams.

I went with Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long.
What?? I like that song!

I always liked “Beat It” better than “Billie Jean.”

Lots of decent songs on that list. I ended up going with “Billie Jean.” My other main contenders where the Eurythmics and Bowie. As much as I like the Police, I can live without “Every Breath You Take.”

This was a very tight contest between two Michael Jackson songs, Say Say Say and Beat It. (Billie Jean is OK, but definitely not one of my favorite songs of his.) I went with Say Say Say.

Picking the song that finished dead-ass last in the world-famous Ponch8 Music Rating System was much easier. “Baby Come to Me” is musical feces.

This, word for word.

To me it’s between “Billie Jean” and “Beat It”…can’t really decide, even if I factor in the videos. They were both great. So I voted for one of those.

It was very hard for me to choose (because there were some really good songs that made it to the top of the pops this year), but choose I did: “Come On Eileen” just barely outshone “Billie Jean” and “Say Say Say”. 'Tis a gloriously fun little ditty.

(And if you think there were some good number one singles in 1983, just wait 'til you get a load of 1984.)

Tough choice. I went with Bonnie Tyler, but I could have gone for the Eurythmics, Toto or Dexys Midnight Runners as well. And we have the only Michael Jackson I really like as well.

Not me. I don’t even care about the '80s. I voted for it because I really, really like Bonnie Tyler for some reason. The sound of her voice is incredible and the way she uses it on that song is stellar. It’s paradoxical that she didn’t become a great singer until after she destroyed her voice, and I don’t begin to understand how that is, but it works anyhow. Also, the dress she wore in that video is so gorgeous.

P.S. Although for me Bowie rules, the Let’s Dance album never connected with me. The sound is way cold and uncomforting and Stevie Ray’s awesome guitar work sounds out of place, like it was meant for some other album and wandered into that one after taking the wrong turn and getting lost. I think 1980’s Scary Monsters is one of the greatest albums of all time, but Bowie just lost me in '83. I *wanted *to like Bowie here but couldn’t.

Ditto. One of Steinman’s best songs, and as Scumpup said, it’s more 80s than the number 80.

I went with “Beat It.” The only question was which MJ song I’d vote for; his stuff is way better than anything else on the list, even the ones I like a lot.

My favorite album from this year was Josie Cotton’s Convertible Music. Johnny, what’s the deal, boy?

I love Toto and went with** Africa**, but I could’ve easily gone for Beat It since they share my favorite drummer (RIP Jeff Porcaro).