I extend a 1980s hello to all readers. This column is like, wicked yesterday. However I hope to whip up the fires of great memories of the decade with a breath of recollection to stoke the burning embers buried underneath the 1990s, and our journey so far in the 21st Century. Get out your Van Halen cassette, put it in your boom box, don’t forget the jean jacket, and travel with me.
Depending on when you were born, the 80s may be a flashing bunch of moments, the essence of your childhood/teen years, or even later. For me, it was my childhood and teen years. Yes, that was me back in 1982, excited about the new G.I. Joe’s coming out, or going to see E.T. That was me dancing like crazy to Cyndi Lauper (She’s So Unusual, 1983).
Perhaps you consider Ghostbusters one of your all-time favorite movies? Perhaps it was the feel of the decade? Life was simpler then. That is a relative phrase of course, but compared to 2013 the 1980s look pretty darn simple. Let me just say, I wouldn’t have changed growing up during that time for just about anything.
I am a big music fan. What I mean when I say that is I have a very broad selection of taste. Call it ‘eclectic’ if you will. Bluegrass, rap, country, pop, metal, classical, if it is good, it’s on my iTunes, severely jeopardizing the help of my laptop with massive amounts of taken space.
However, my favorite decade is… any guesses? The 1980s of course. Why? The complexity of the decade is often more than most look at it. Many gloss at it as Michael Jackson and a bunch of hair bands. This is hardly the case.
In 1980, you had new wave, and the decade began with a disco beat. 1981’s “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash may be the best rap song ever written. The decade saw the birth of synth/pop, especially from Great Britain, who turned out incredible artists (Phil Collins, Def Leppard, just to name two).
The decade was a golden age for pop music — and the culmination of metal to hair bands — then giving birth to the “power ballad.” Look no further than Whitesnakes’s 1987 smash “Here I Go Again” for a great example.
The end of the decade saw rap becoming more mainstream, with hair bands very popular. Technically, I feel the 1980s could have been extended into 1991, before the birth of grunge. If you turned on the radio in 1990 or early 1991, you might as well have been in the 1980s.
That is enough ranting for now. I want to know, how many of you guys and lovely ladies out there share my love for the 1980s? I only touched upon music. Vast amounts could be said for the political situation.
We were the last to be raised under the Cold War threat. But I digress. Go listen to your favorite 80s band or song, then get out the lighters and say “more!”
Of course, you don’t really have to do that. I leave you wonderful people out there with this: I am listening to “West End Girls” by the Pet Shop Boys. One of my all-time 80s songs. I love the video, and it is a wonderful example of British Synth Pop.
Perhaps my favorite 1980s video of all is Glenn Frey’s “You Belong to the City” from 1985. It’s all footage of him walking the streets of Manhattan on a summer night. Perhaps you like these too, or don’t. Let me hear you guys and girls. Wicked Awesome.
by Jay Camp | Residential Life Magazine