In a year full of musical milestones, 1983 had something for almost every fan.
Hard rock and heavy metal listeners found a new favorite with the arrival of Metallica’s debut album. Elsewhere in the genre, Black Sabbath and Ronnie James Dio moved forward with varying degrees of success on their first records since parting ways.
Stevie Ray Vaughan played on one of the biggest albums of 1983, while also making his debut as a solo artist. Billy Idol, Duran Duran and John Mellencamp kept their blossoming careers moving while they Motley Crue, U2 and Talking Heads enjoyed breakout commercial releases.
The year also featured solar records Stevie Nicks and Robert Plantwhile Pink Floyd released their last LP with Roger Waters. In the meantime Styx released the most divisive album in their history – a record that fans still argue about to this day.
MTV became an additional pop culture powerhouse in 1983 as the network helped numerous new and veteran artists reach fresh audiences. Huey Lewis, Yes and ZZ Top achieved new levels of fame thanks to exposure on the cable channel.
We spotlight 40 Albums Turning 40 in 2023 below, presented in chronological order. Several of these records are now considered masterpieces, while others have lost some of their original luster over the decades. But there is no doubt that they all helped lift and develop the music in the 80s.
40 albums that turn 40 in 2023
MTV continued to help artists rise to new levels of fame throughout the year.