Reel to Real: Hot Rocks: year’s best bets in rock music
By Chris Fletcher
The Duquesne Duke — January 14, 1983
Last year was an interesting one for the music business. There was an abundance of quality filling the airwaves and stocking the shelves of local record stores.
Picking the five best albums of 1982 is not an easy task. New Wave, new groups and new technology brought an excitement and vitality that had been missing in many recent years.
In choosing the landmark albums of 1982, some of the criteria are freshness, vitality, originality and, of course, musical ability. Admittedly, it’s hard to come up with an objective list, but the following six albums represent some of last year’s best rock offerings:
1. It’s Hard — the Who
2. Combat Rock — the Clash
3. Long After Dark — Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
4. Asia — Asia
5. Built for Speed — the Stray Cats
6. Rio — Duran Duran
Simple rock straightforward, not overpolished — has long been the trademark of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Long After Dark carries on this tradition. Petty’s unique vocal flair and driving energy have made hism popular with listeners and critics alike.
Petty’s Long After Dark is also a relevant album. He sings of the despair of going nowhere (“One Story Town”), the pain of love (“You Got Lucky” and “Straight into Darkness”) and the joy of seeing things as they really are (“I’m Finding Out”).
Long After Dark offers the listener a good mix of great music and themes that the average person can relate to. Few albums offer such a mixture.