Bruce Springsteen: The River (Columbia, 1980). Born in the U.S.A. was the record that made the Boss a legend, but the bleak majesty of this two-LP set shows the bedrock of his talent.
The Unknown Kurt Weill (Nonesuch, 1981). Acerbic rarities from the composer of The Threepenny Opera, sung by opera's sexiest soprano, Teresa Stratas.
Wynton Marsalis: Think of One (Columbia, 1983). The award-winning album of a trumpeter who was jazz's hope of the decade, as well as its hottest, coolest talent.
Bob Marley and the Wailers: Legend (Island, 1984). Marley died in 1981, but this collection of some of his...