I recently had a two-week free trial to Sirius XM radio. Jayna asked me why they gave me that. After I told her it was to attempt to get me to buy it all the time, she responded with, “Well, that’s not going to happen, is it?”
Probably not. However, I have enjoyed listening to commercial-free radio with the song styles of my choosing. The two channels I listened to the most were Classic Rewind, with the best rock music of the 70s and 80s, and 80s on 8, with all the pop music that was on the charts throughout that decade.
Yes, the 80s, my formative years. When 1980 hit, featuring Queen singing “Another One Bites the Dust,” I was six, going on seven. Those next ten years went by in a flash, but more and more I can see just how totally excellent they were.
Everybody is partial to the particular time they grew up, but there was so much about the 80s to love. Since I mentioned the music, let’s go there. Just listen to the leaps and bounds made in rock and pop music. From Bruce Springsteen to Van Halen, from Madonna to Prince, from Michael Jackson to Bon Jovi, from Guns ‘n’ Roses to AC/DC, the range of music is exceptional and still recognizable to all ages today. I had no problem listening to those songs non-stop while in the car.
Think about TV in the 1980s. When Jayna was looking for some shows to watch, Michelle and I, half-jokingly, mentioned such hits as Full House and The Cosby Show. Now she watches them all the time. They still hold up as funny shows and, even more importantly, clean family fun. There aren’t many shows on now that can say that. Too many have so many references and innuendos. While I’m not one to hide my children from the world, it is nice to have culture that can just be fun.
Of course, there were other great hits from that time that I still can watch and enjoy. Cheers and The Dukes of Hazzard are two of my all-time favorite television shows. Add in The Wonder Years, The Greatest American Hero, Family Ties, and ALF, and how can you go wrong? Okay, maybe not ALF…
Movies were in a heyday too. Again, there are so many that are cultural icons, that it’s hard to imagine a better time to be a kid. The decade started with the greatest of the Star Wars films when The Empire Strikes Back debuted in 1980. The decade ended with The Little Mermaid in 1989, a touchstone in Disney films. (Funny, how now Disney has bought out Star Wars…) In between those monuments were movies that are still quoted and referenced often. From the Indiana Jones movies to Ghostbusters to The Karate Kid, there was action galore. Is there a better movie about teenagers than The Breakfast Club? Not that I can think of.
And how about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Find me another movie that was good on so many levels and that people still remember. Plus, there are movies that had such a lasting impact that they are at the top of many people’s list of views. That would include E.T., a movie so popular that my entire school went to see it! And what about A Christmas Story or Caddyshack? One of my all-time favorites is Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. It may not be near the top for many people, but I’ve always wanted to visit the Alamo since watching that flick.
Here’s the real deal. There are so many things from the 1980s that have been redone today that you can’t help but recognize the greatness of that time! Transformers and G.I. Joe both started then, and they’ve been redone for a modern generation. Star Wars has made a tremendous comeback after being dormant following Return of the Jedi in 1983. There have been remakes of some of those movies and TV shows I mentioned. Plus, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi are still rocking all these years later.
If you’re around my age, you probably remember those years fondly. If you didn’t have such great memories, take a stroll down memory lane and watch some of those items listed or flip through some of the music. You might rather be gagged with a spoon instead of remember the big hairdos and big glasses, the mullets on guys and shoulder pads in women’s shirts. Instead, think about the great things, such as the Rubik’s Cube, Pac Man, and Mario Brothers, which are essential parts of the lasting legacy of my favorite decade of pop culture!
Word of the Week: This week’s word is plutomania, which means an obsession with wealth or money, as in, “The plutomania of the movie producers led them to mine hits from the 1980s to remake instead of spending resources on original ideas.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!