“The 1980s are back!” Or maybe that should be, “The 1980s are back?” Really?
In reality, there probably shouldn’t be that much excitement. A statement declaring “The 1980s are back” will suffice. In many ways, this isn’t an awful development. The decade, culturally, was pretty vapid but it was sweet. It was nice. The music was synthy and rich and fun, and even in the midst of the decade’s cheesiness, the magazine Rolling Stone deemed 1984 the greatest year in pop history.
As a lover of all-things 1980s and a self-proclaimed historian of the decade’s music, I can hardly disagree. That year produced magic from Prince, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Cyndi Lauper, Van Halen, Madonna, George Michael and so many more.
Aside from The Weeknd’s recent ode to “Off The Wall”-era Michael Jackson or Taylor Swift’s genuinely terrific album, “1989,” most of today’s attempts to bring 80s synth back falls short because of terrible writing. Today’s melodies are weak. The chord progressions are completely unimaginative, and the lyrics are awful.
Not that the lyrics in the 1980s were THAT great. I digress.
Beyond the music, however, there’s quite a bit of evidence that 1980s fashion is back. Not that I’m bringing back my mullet or my pegged jeans legs, but this article declare it so, and — damnit — it’s the New York Times, so I’ll take their word for it.
We would all be lucky to have movies the like of which John Hughes made, but I suspect the closest we’ll get is “Stranger Things.” Truly, we’re living in the golden age of TV.
However, the most obvious comparison to be made between today and the 1980s is the high profile that Russia has taken since the election of President Donald Trump. If one would have uttered those words in 1987, “President Donald Trump,” the laughter would have been crazy loud just as it would have been at the words, “President Ronald Reagan,” 30-plus years before that.
The big difference politically between the 1980s and today is that, back then, the tension we felt was the understanding that we could be thrown into a nuclear apocalypse with the Soviet Union at any moment. And today it’s that we’re headed toward a second civil war.
This blog won’t focus on any of that stuff. There’s too much negativity in the world as it is. However, blog marketing experts say to “blog what you know,” and I know 80’s music. So, click subscribe, like, follow or whatever the kids on WordPress do these days and follow along. I’ll recount the one-hit wonders, the near misses, foreign hits, great videos and terrible hair.
This blog will be lots of fun.
PHOTO CREDIT: Kevin Dooley shared this photo via Flickr’s Creative Commons