Andre Gardner

On MGK’s Thursday Top 10 Countdown this week, we look back at the incredible run of The Police album, Synchronicity. Their swan song was in the middle of spending almost 4 months at number one 40 years ago. It was only interrupted for one week by another monster album, Thriller.

TV and Movies in 1983

When we weren’t rocking out in 1983, we were watching Dallas, The A-Team, and Dynasty on TV. In the theaters we saw Return Of The Jedi, Terms Of Endearment and Trading Places. It was also the year that more “R” rated films were released than any other year.

The CEO of the Heineken brewery, Freddie Heineken, was kidnapped around this time. He was released after $80 million in ransom was paid and the kidnappers were later caught. Also 40 years ago, the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was signed into law by President Reagan.

Philly Happenings in 1983

In Philadelphia history, W. Wilson Goode was elected the first African-American mayor. The Phillies made it all the way to the World Series before losing to the Orioles. The Eagles won 4 of their first 6 games in 1983, before dropping the next SEVEN. The Sixers couldn’t repeat their previous championship year, losing in the first round of the playoffs.

Here in Philly radio, I was working at “Sunny 104.5.” It was a softer rock station, and the Program Director was Don Cannon. Hy Lit also worked there, and was the first and only time I got to work with him. What a thrill that was to listen to and learn from that legend. He was always larger than life, and used to call me “Big Mammoo!” I loved working with him.

The MGK Top 10 album chart from November 2, 1983 is in interesting one, for sure. There were punk, heavy metal and rock albums, and a dose of nostalgia from a Philly favorite, all in the top 10. It was a beloved trio that topped the charts for 4 months on this week’s countdown.

  • 10. Live From Earth - Pat Benatar

    Pat Benatar played to sold out houses around the country during her Get Nervous tour. The shows were recorded and released as Live From Earth, her first live album and the #10 rock album this week. The album also included two studio tracks, including this one.

  • 9. Speaking In Tongues - Talking Heads

    For the second time in a row, Talking Heads recorded vocals for an album at Sigma Sound Studios on N. 12th St. The Philly vibe is apparent on this song, taken from the #9 rock album on November 2, 1983, Speaking In Tongues.

  • 8. The Wild Heart - Stevie Nicks

    Steve Lukather of Toto was one of the three dozen musicians to play on the second solo album by Stevie Nicks, The Wild Heart. The album was #8 on November 2, 1983 and Luke sizzles on this track, which also features Prince on keyboards!

  • 7. Eliminator - ZZ Top

    After their videos took off on MTV, ZZ Top’s Eliminator wasn’t leaving the top 10 any time soon. Eight months after it came out, it was the #7 rock album.

  • 6. The Principle Of Moments - Robert Plant

    Playing the drums on this track by Robert Plant, Phil Collins! He plays on five tracks on The Principle Of Moments, and even toured as Plants drummer when he hit the U.S. The album was the #6 rock album on November 2, 1983.

  • 5. Reach the Beach - The Fixx

    Formed by two college chums, and originally known as Portraits, The Fixx scored their biggest success with this album, their second, called Reach The Beach. It peaked here at #5 and featured this Fixx classic.

  • 4. Pyromania - Def Leppard

    While it never hit the #1 position, Pyromania by Def Leppard was still a hugely successful album. It’s gone on to sell over 10 million copies and here, almost a year after it came out, it was still #4 on November 2, 1983.

  • 3. An Innocent Man - Billy Joel

    For Billy Joel’s ninth album, he paid tribute to some of his musical heroes by recording songs in their style. He called the album An Innocent Man, and it peaked here at #3 on the charts. Here’s Billy doing his best Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons imitation.

  • 2. Metal Health - Quiet Riot

    Their first two albums were only released in Japan, but Quiet Riot’s third album was their worldwide breakthrough, selling 10 million copies and topping the charts. On November 2, 1983, Metal Health was #2.

  • 1. Synchronicity - The Police

    At the top of the charts is the final album by one of Classic Rock’s biggest trios. Though the album was full of issues, including knock down, drag out fighting between band members, it was their biggest success, topping the charts for almost 4 months! #1 on November 2, 1983 was Synchronicity by The Police.

Sign me up for the 102.9 WMGK At Work Network email newsletter!

Join WMGK's At Work Network and get the latest rock news, exclusive presales, contests and more straight to you inbox.

By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.