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by Barry Walters

August 8, 2013

The 40 Best Dance Tracks of 1983

by Barry Walters  |  August 8, 2013

Nineteen eighty-three was the year in dance music when the diversity of the decade's sounds expanded and exploded. The disco declared dead at the tail end of the '70s merged with New Wave rock, hip-hop, synth-pop and lean street funk, birthing genres like hi-NRG, Italo-disco, electro and Latin freestyle. Club sounds got significantly more synthetic that year as de rigueur drum machines and synths dropped in price, spreading from MTV-hyped Brit bands to largely anonymous New York studio acts and back again. It was a year when the authority of the DJ once again asserted itself via the remixing, rapping, production and scratching talents of Shep Pettibone, Afrika Bambaataa, John "Jellybean" Benitez, Mark Kamins and Grandmixer D.ST. And it was a year when Michael Jackson, Prince and Madonna, the era's defining stars, all scored career-defining hits. After "Billie Jean," "1999" and "Holiday," there was no question that dance music was back in a blockbuster way.

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