The 80s

In general, life was sweet and people were happy. Despite the looming threat that the ongoing Cold War with Russia maintained in the mind and heart of every man, woman, and child, there was a greater pervading positive energy that reigned supreme. The economy was thriving under president Ronald Reagan. The pressure was being put upon Russia to tear down the Berlin wall (though it didn’t actually come down until 1991). It was, some say, the last generation where there was still a sense of unbending morality as a cultural element; a generation where trust and honesty could be relied upon from one another as a whole. These cultural values and overriding sentiments were the foundation of a decade where uniqueness and advancement can be seen in every aspect of it, including the music, the fashions, the movies, and the technology.

Music in the 1980s changed the world forever. Though previous decades most definitely made their mark on humankind and contributed to the evolution of entertainment, it all seems to have culminated during this decade. If this were not true, would music from that era still be so listened to and influential as it is today? Some of the great founders of music during this time are legends such as Madonna, Pat Benatar, Billy Idol, Bryan Adams, Prince, Guns n Roses, Van Halen, and I’m quite certain this list could go on for a very very long time! If you were a teenager during this time, you were very likely a ‘member’ of the Colombia House Tape club! Who could resist an initial offering of 5 tapes of your choice for a penny? And I can sample a new tape each month and only pay if I choose to keep it? Sweet deal! Oh, and don’t forget that it was during this time that rap music first crawled out of the garage and onto the radio! Music by bands such as Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, and Ice-T isn’t recognizable as rap today, but the 80s is most definitely where rap was born!

Fashions in the 80s were unique and flamboyant, even toying somewhat on the edge of cross-gender styles. MTV had just debuted in 1981, and was the source of many and varied fashion inspirations. Performers like Cyndi Lauper and Prince took style to its extremes, and teens were imaginative sponges, soaking it up and mimicking those aspects they found to be trendy. Teenagers were quick to experiment and use the school hallways as fashion runways in which to display the latest trends in clothing and hairstyles. Parachute pants, leg warmers, checkerboard Vans, big hair, and feathered hair were all common sights during this decade, and gave the kids (and the adults) an identity all their own.

A huge portion of the classic movies we all know and love came from the 80s. The list is indeed a long one, but there wouldn’t be many one could name from that decade that aren’t known by most people today. Some of the best known classics were born, and some cult classics that still retain masses of followers today. Movies such as Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, The Goonies, The Karate Kid, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Risky Business, and E.T.. And don’t forget the horror franchises like Friday the 13th, Halloween, and The Terminator! These all debuted in the 80s.

Technology in the 80s was rapidly evolving. The advent of the home PC began during this decade, and it was common to at least find them in high school classrooms. Video arcades were every teenager’s favorite haunt, and the graphics and special effects were absolutely amazing for the time. Arcade games could even be played at home now, too, with game consoles like Atari and Sega. If you wanted to make friends and be the most sought after person in the neighborhood, just talk your parents into buying you an Atari! Though there was no internet as of yet, the whispers of it were already being heard as wireless home phones and even large bulky brick-like cell phones were becoming more and more common. VCRs were in every home, and video rental stores could be found on every other block of any city or town. Yes, the people of the 80s were readily adopting technology as it evolved; and it was evolving more rapidly than one would have ever thought it would.

The 80s was a decade not only to be remembered, but one that quite literally can never be forgotten, as we see its legacy everywhere around us. And even those born after the 1980s, once exposed to its artifacts and culture, are themselves inexplicably drawn back into it, sometimes with a fanaticism, to re experience all that was so excellent about it. It is good to go retro.

Content provided by Doug Boude from San Antonio, Tx 

Thank you!

Fun Facts from the 80s

1980 - PacMan arcade was created. 

1981 - MTV was Launched

1982 - Japan sold the first ever CD player.

1983 -  The McNugget was born

1984 -  DNA testing was developed by Alec Jeffreys.

1985-  Robert Duran, Co-Founder of National Retro Day was born 

1986-  Mike Tyson wins his first ever boxing title 

1987- Top Song was Faith by George Michael

1988 - Price of a movie ticket: $4.00 

1989 - Sir Tim Berners-Lee created "hypertext markup language" (HTML) to make Web pages and the "Uniform Resource Locator" (URL) to identify where information is stored. It is the basis for our WWW. 

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