In a year full of musical milestones, 1983 had something for nearly 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.
Def Leppard enjoyed their greatest success to date, while Kiss opened a new chapter of their career. Meanwhile, several notable acts – including Thin Lizzy and the Police – delivered their final albums.
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 Motley Crue, U2 and Talking Heads enjoyed breakout commercial releases.
The year also saw solo records by Stevie Nicks and Robert Plant, while Pink Floyd released their final LP with Roger Waters. Meanwhile, Styx released the most divisive album in their history – a record that fans still argue about to this day.
MTV became a further pop-culture powerhouse in 1983, as the network helped several new and veteran artists reach fresh audiences. Huey Lewis, Yes and ZZ Top gained new levels of fame thanks to exposure on the cable channel.
We turn the spotlight on 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 initial shine over the decades. But there’s no denying that all of them helped elevate and evolve music in the ‘80s.
40 Albums Turning 40 in 2023
MTV continued to help artists rise to new levels of fame during the year.