Retrospace Mix Tape #19: 1982

Regular readers will know this is not a nostalgia site.  At no point will I start listing off the most popular songs and shows, etc. from 1982. "Hey, remember Dallas? and remember 'Vacation' by the Go-Go's? and remember E.T. and Tootsie?" Bleeccch. We'll leave that sort of nonsense to those crummy VH1 specials.

That being said, I can't help but, on occasion, focus on a single year and wax nostalgic.

Do you remember the music of 1982? It was a strange time - the seventies were officially over, and the disco backlash was in effect. Rock Gods like Zeppelin and KISS had seen their day, and New Wave was starting to gain ground thanks to MTV.

And let's be clear: the music being played on the radio was not exactly innovative stuff. You had your seventies soft rock throwbacks like The Little River Band, some disco hold-outs like Donna Summer, and some catchy country via Kenny and Juice Newton.  Loverboy and Journey-esque rock on Friday nights and Kool & the Gang for the skating rink..... nothing ground breaking whatsoever. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.

This mix contains a lot of music that would soon be jettisoned into the stratosphere once MTV took over by 1984. By then, it was all about image and non-cable-ready chaps like Bertie Higgins and Ronnie Milsap saw their days numbered.  This list contains a bunch of mildly popular songs that never had a popular music video - at least not one that was regularly played on MTV.   These songs represent that weird period between the seventies disco explosion and the new wave/hair metal of the eighties.
Bertie Higgins -Key Largo
Juice Newton -Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me
Charlene -I've Never Been To Me
Hall & Oates -Did It In A Minute
Little River Band -Take It Easy On Me
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra -Hooked On Classics
Donna Summer- Love Is In Control
Buckner & Garcia- Pac-Man Fever
Kenny Rogers- Love Will Turn You Around
Olivia Newton-John- Make A Move On Me
Diana Ross- Mirror, Mirror
Kool & The Gang -Get Down On It
Roberta Flack -Making Love
Eddie Rabbitt -Someone Could Lose A Heart Tonight
Sylvia -Nobody
Steel Breeze -You Don't Want Me Anymore
Karla Bonoff -Personally
Ronnie Milsap -Wouldn't Have Missed It For The World
Stars on 45 -Beatles' Movie Medley


Here's a few samples from the mix...


  1. 1982 has Kiss' "Creatures of the Night" and Van Halen's "Diver Down". Not the best album from either band, but certainly still very notable and ass-kicking albums. Other groundbreaking albums from 1982: ABC's "The Lexicon of Love", Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy" EP, The Clash's "Combat Rock", Duran Duran's "Rio", Haircut One Hundred's "Pelican West", Joe Jackson's "Night & Day", Michael Jackson's "Thriller", and of course Rush's "Signals". Funny, I never heard Roberta Flack or Bertie Higgins in 1982.

  2. Roberta Flack sounds SOOOO 1978. Are you sure that was 1982?

    I remember Hooked on Classics and Stars on 45. Well, I remember all of them, but I had forgotten about those two.

    Overall I was much more familiar with the music Armpit Studios mentions, but my Dad listened to Country. Yeah, it was an interesting time in music.

  3. Wow, this is my kind of music mix! Great job reintroducing "Nobody" to the masses.

  4. Good heavens. 'SILVIA.' Nowadays, everything in country follows that super-slick formula. I remember that era of country radio; I blame Sylvia for the transition of the 'progressive oriented country' (think Doug Sahm thru the 'Urban Cowboy' period) to the jingoistic pop-country of Sylvia, Lee Greenwood, and Exile.

    Well, you've got your hellish early-80's radio down, that's no lie!

  5. Errr, I think the Roberta Flack song 'Making Love' is actually the title track for the 1982 film of the same name...


    (a bewildered Kate Jackson discovers hubby Michael Ontkean wants to be more than friends with street lothario Harry Hamlin... ! )

    'Feel Like Making Love' is her monster 1974 hit...

  6. Nope...I've never been to me......

  7. This is a good mix. I did have some of the songs on my K-Tel albums and tapes which I wish that I had kept. I always did like the country crossover hits and more mellow music of the late 70's and early 80's.

  8. Sweet! That was the year I graduated high school! I remember all of these! Really brings me back!

  9. There definitely was a video for Donna summers 'love is in control'. I loved the music in 1982, but not so much this stuff. That sort of pallid country music was pretty bland. Styx, Reo speed wagon, survivor.......yuck dull dull dull.

    Oh and mike nesmith directed the video for juice newtons 'loves been.....'. Hokey it was.

  10. What a great mix. I was ten and remember many of these tunes, even if I couldn't name the titles. Key Largo immediately brought back long-forgotten memories of a decade I'd thought I had hated as I cycled to work this morning, leaving behind a son with a fever on the way to Dachau; the wind strong enough to add an extra ten minutes to my journey time. I remember playing Stars on 45 over and over on my turntable; how did I find a second hand copy if it came out in '82? A few years ago I cycled through Great War battle lines, visiting the various Commonwealth war cemeteries as the sun slowly descended, playing "Never Been to Me" over and over. To be honest, having cycled from Manitoba to North Dakota and Belfast to Athens and throughout China and Australia, her bragging about having visited Georgia and California doesn't impress me much, unless it was whilst on a pilgrimage to Stalin's hometown. And what "isle of Greece" is she specifically referring to? But then, the lines about "unborn children that might have made [her] complete" was rather daring at the time...

  11. My favorite is "Feel Like Makin' Love" by Roberta Flack. But I just read on wikipedia that the song came out in 1974 not 1982!

  12. Won't you spare me all your charms and take me in your arms? I can't wait, I can't wait...

    l982 is pretty much my favorite year for 80s music, too. I am always fascinated at how, well, *Seventies* the Billboard charts still were in 1980 and 1981. In '82, you really got a melange of styles and textures to the tunes.

    My favorite record of the 80s, pretty much (yeah, I know, bleeeeech!) came out of that wonderful summer of 1982: "867-5309 Jenny," by Tommy Tutone. Just a great, great song.

    I love your blog and just featured it on my Facebook page.

    Laura Linger
    A Touch Of Tuesday Weld