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Encapsulating the 80's


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The 1980's was my favorite musical decade. Between the big hair metal stuff and New Wave it was sublime. A song for me that defines that time is "In A Big Country". That song is the quintessential 1980's song. What song from that decade is your ideal representation? Is there a way to embed a video as was possible previously?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657TZDHZqj4

Edited by BastillePark
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Posted (edited)

Late 60's through the 70's for me.  That's when it all exploded.  I have my examples, and the rest of you can "fill in the blanks."

 Emergence of the San Francisco bands; Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service, etc.

The venues, large and small; Both Filmores, Winterland, The Agora, Grande Ballroon, Eastown Theater; I frequently refer to Detroit's Cobo Hall as, "The House That Rock Built."

In time with city, that brief golden moment I refer to as " The Golden Age of Detroit Rock and Roll":  The MC 5,  The Amboy Dukes, Bob Seger, Alice Cooper The (Psychedelic) Stooges, and the bands that became so beloved in Detroit, particularly Kiss, J. Geils Band, and The James Gang.

The shift from vocal to instrumental music, and the rise of electronic music and its technology; Bob Moog, Walter/Wendy Carlos, Bob Heil and his Talk Box,  Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, The Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos.Jim Marshall, etc.

The artwork; Poster artists like Stanley Mouse, Rick Griffin, and in Detroit, Gary Grimshaw; the glowing album covers of giants such as Roger Dean, Storm Thorgerson, and Mati Klarwein (Santana's Abraxas and Miles Davis's Bitches Brew).

The concerts and festivals, good and bad.  Woodstock, Altamont,  Hyde Park, The Concerts on the Green, Filmore West's New Year's concerts and breakfasts; "locally", Goose Lake,  The Detroit Rock and Roll Revival, and the benefit for John Sinclair, featuring some bloke named Lennon.

Magical times indeed.  Oh, for a Wayback Machine.

Edited by pjbear05
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Since Yes 90125 was mentioned in another thread, I will use it as a reference point. It represented a big shift from their ealier work and set the tone for the '80's. But I can't think of the '80's without thinking of Van Halen. Their reach was so far. Metalheads liked them. People into top 40 radio liked them. They became a reference point even for people who only somewhat paid attention to music. I will pick the album 1984 as VH being in full 1980's bloom. Want one song? Pick from Panama, Hot For Teacher, or Jump. They had it all going for them. Musically and video-wise. Have fun, it's 1984.

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I think of MTV, rather than any single artist: Madonna, Michael Jackson, the aforementioned Duran Duran, Dire Straits, all rolled up into one awesome (to a young teen!) video ball. MTV began to lose its luster around the time GnR broke out, for me.

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On 5/14/2022 at 11:00 PM, BastillePark said:

The 1980's was my favorite musical decade. Between the big hair metal stuff and New Wave it was sublime. A song for me that defines that time is "In A Big Country". That song is the quintessential 1980's song. What song from that decade is your ideal representation? Is there a way to embed a video as was possible previously?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657TZDHZqj4

ea29b8c786ae3a87c0f904199576d283.jpg

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I was gonna post that Hungry Like the Wolf video too.  Then I saw that someone already did it for me.  LOL

I will post this one instead.  

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 11:00 PM, BastillePark said:

The 1980's was my favorite musical decade. Between the big hair metal stuff and New Wave it was sublime. A song for me that defines that time is "In A Big Country". That song is the quintessential 1980's song. What song from that decade is your ideal representation? Is there a way to embed a video as was possible previously?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657TZDHZqj4

 

In A Big Country is a really good pick...it encapsulates the early 80's for me as well.  I thought of it as "pop" music at the time because I fancied myself a hard rock fan...but it's a better song than a lot of the "metal" crap I was into then (Rush notwithstanding).  (Plus the drum track is outstanding!). I think Culture Club should get a mention along with Duran Duran.  I hated that stuff back then.  I hear it now and a lot of it sounds pretty good to me - like, I'm not gonna crank up Karma Chameleon...but it's a hell of a lot better than whatever the hell Beiber is doing to deserve grammys these days... 

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6 hours ago, Nova Carmina said:

I think of MTV, rather than any single artist: Madonna, Michael Jackson, the aforementioned Duran Duran, Dire Straits, all rolled up into one awesome (to a young teen!) video ball. MTV began to lose its luster around the time GnR broke out, for me.

MTV video ball.

 

Headbanger's Ball. God, I loved that show. It almost became its own channel in '92 or '93. MTV punked out. Never forgave them. 

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What?  Nobody's mentioning timeless classics by bands like Helix or Krokus?!  No Quiet Riot?  No Balls to the Wall by Accept?  Ah well.  Some nostalgia is best left undisturbed--or rarely revisited.

 

But here's a classic pop song which was roaming airwaves at the same time Grace Under Pressure was freshly out of the gates:

 

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On 5/15/2022 at 2:00 AM, BastillePark said:

The 1980's was my favorite musical decade. Between the big hair metal stuff and New Wave it was sublime. A song for me that defines that time is "In A Big Country". That song is the quintessential 1980's song. What song from that decade is your ideal representation? Is there a way to embed a video as was possible previously?

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=657TZDHZqj4

 

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16 hours ago, Krystal said:

I was gonna post that Hungry Like the Wolf video too.  Then I saw that someone already did it for me.  LOL

I will post this one instead.  

 

I've heard many say that this song's number one charting is what lead the way to more success on the charts for new wave and post punk in the UK and doing to yacht rock like Air Supply what Seattle grunge did to hair bands.  Good call on that one.

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14 hours ago, ozzy85 said:

MTV video ball.

 

Headbanger's Ball. God, I loved that show. It almost became its own channel in '92 or '93. MTV punked out. Never forgave them. 

They kind of brought it back for MTV 2 during the nu metal days but it's just not the same.


MTV personally became dead to me when Top 20 Video Countdown was cancelled.  That was way better than TRL yet that show was more popular and signaled the end of good rock music on it and turned it into Disney Channel with hot sauce with boy group crap.  Even if he's a conspiracy theory nutjob now, Carson Daly is no Adam "podfather" Curry.  Curry is still my favorite VJ ever.  Steve Isaacs was quite underrated as well in the early 90s.

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On 5/16/2022 at 5:58 AM, ozzy85 said:

Since Yes 90125 was mentioned in another thread, I will use it as a reference point. It represented a big shift from their ealier work and set the tone for the '80's. But I can't think of the '80's without thinking of Van Halen. Their reach was so far. Metalheads liked them. People into top 40 radio liked them. They became a reference point even for people who only somewhat paid attention to music. I will pick the album 1984 as VH being in full 1980's bloom. Want one song? Pick from Panama, Hot For Teacher, or Jump. They had it all going for them. Musically and video-wise. Have fun, it's 1984.

I totally agree & share your opinion ! 😎

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5 hours ago, invisible airwave said:

They kind of brought it back for MTV 2 during the nu metal days but it's just not the same.


MTV personally became dead to me when Top 20 Video Countdown was cancelled.  That was way better than TRL yet that show was more popular and signaled the end of good rock music on it and turned it into Disney Channel with hot sauce with boy group crap.  Even if he's a conspiracy theory nutjob now, Carson Daly is no Adam "podfather" Curry.  Curry is still my favorite VJ ever.  Steve Isaacs was quite underrated as well in the early 90s.

I liked Martha Quinn...

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31 minutes ago, ozzy85 said:

I liked Martha Quinn...

I remember her when she made a brief return in the early 90s.  Daisy Fuentes has quite a long run there like Curry.  She's married to Richard Marx now.  I even see some of her lingerie in stock of my department store workplace since I do laying out of clothes in the backroom.

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The internet would have eroded MTV's relevance regardless of the poor decisions they've made.  Now we get direct access to most any music/music videos we want, much of it for free.   No reason to pine for what isn't, what we have is IMO better.  And if looking for a personality to deliver music to you plus ads, there's always the endless number of Youtubers doing music reviews and commentary.

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21 minutes ago, stoopid said:

The internet would have eroded MTV's relevance regardless of the poor decisions they've made.  Now we get direct access to most any music/music videos we want, much of it for free.   No reason to pine for what isn't, what we have is IMO better.  And if looking for a personality to deliver music to you plus ads, there's always the endless number of Youtubers doing music reviews and commentary.

Well, sure.  HOWEVER, for a 12 year old kid whose parents adopted cable television in the winter of 1982, MTV fed his impressionable mind with all sorts of curated stuff that he would have never found himself - pop, metal, 80's alternative, and rock including the midnight showings of "Exit Stage Left" and frequent single songs from that video album (and soon after, Subdivisions and Countdown videos) that bloomed a passion in music that led to drum lessons, deeper investigations into many types of music (certainly fostered by "Headbangers Ball" in it's early format) - a spirit that persists to this day.   Sure, it got progressively shittier by the end of the 80's; but in the beginning, there was a certain magic.  Yes, there are plenty of youtube-reviewers today - posting a million shitty opinions for a million shitty bands that I would never be interested in. Within this sea of crappola, there may be a select few with interesting and somewhat diverse tastes that could potentially curate an interesting blend the way early-MTV did. But honestly, how many kids today spend the time to find that something?  (mine don't! lol) I definitely have not found anything that compares to that.  I feel the same way about my radio station growing up (You know it, PYX106!) - they served as my formal education in classic rock; not the constantly re-gurgitated limited selection corporate version we have today, but a playlist that would hit the classics and deep cuts with a quirky twist here and there. There was something to be said for these early 80's curators - so, no, I would not say it's better now.

 

/old bastard curmudgeon mode   

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For me, an 80's teenager, the "ideal representation" of 80's music is not what I would have said I liked at the time (I was a Rush freak by 83; then catching up with Zeppelin, Floyd, etc. and all things classic and progressive rock).  I also wouldn't point to thrash metal as my ideal representation - even though I was deep into that by the time the "big 4" exploded around 85-86 or the new wave of British metal I also adored (Maiden!)  So, I suppose it must be nostalgia that feed from my early memories of MTV - Duran Duran "Rio", Simple Minds "Don't You Forget About Me", Van Halen "Jump", "Big Country" (good choice above!), probably some Pat Benatar, Berlin, Madness, etc.  Those are ones I liked (or could stomach at the time); also nostalgic but much less interested in the Hair metal (as an aspiring musician, I recognized it for the cheese it was!)

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5 hours ago, cygnify said:

Well, sure.  HOWEVER, for a 12 year old kid whose parents adopted cable television in the winter of 1982, MTV fed his impressionable mind with all sorts of curated stuff that he would have never found himself - pop, metal, 80's alternative, and rock including the midnight showings of "Exit Stage Left" and frequent single songs from that video album (and soon after, Subdivisions and Countdown videos) that bloomed a passion in music that led to drum lessons, deeper investigations into many types of music (certainly fostered by "Headbangers Ball" in it's early format) - a spirit that persists to this day.   Sure, it got progressively shittier by the end of the 80's; but in the beginning, there was a certain magic.  Yes, there are plenty of youtube-reviewers today - posting a million shitty opinions for a million shitty bands that I would never be interested in. Within this sea of crappola, there may be a select few with interesting and somewhat diverse tastes that could potentially curate an interesting blend the way early-MTV did. But honestly, how many kids today spend the time to find that something?  (mine don't! lol) I definitely have not found anything that compares to that.  I feel the same way about my radio station growing up (You know it, PYX106!) - they served as my formal education in classic rock; not the constantly re-gurgitated limited selection corporate version we have today, but a playlist that would hit the classics and deep cuts with a quirky twist here and there. There was something to be said for these early 80's curators - so, no, I would not say it's better now.

 

/old bastard curmudgeon mode   

The irony in your post (rant?  ;) ) is that MTV was spoon feeding you certain artists and songs, opposite of that same freedom you next talk about with radio stations that played deeper cuts and lesser heard/lower charting artists.

 

I'm also a product of that exact era of MTV and classic rock radio.  I don't miss it.

I know what you speak of with regards to limited selection, but the same issues existed then that exist now... the listener has to find a source for variety.  Most people in the 80s listened to the 'top 40' stations and/or watch MTV (and eventually VH1) to be told what was "good music".  The listener assumes "If it's on this station, and tons of people are listening to it, then it must be good".  Not all of it was bad, but a fair bit of it was or hasn't aged well.  It's the same today, mainstream sources emphasize "sponsored" artists, the ones with record company backing that get put onto playlists.  It's the same formula to sell music, different medium.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, cygnify said:

... also nostalgic...

 

This thread's premise is rooted entirely in nostalgia.  The point is looking back fondly, not looking back critically.  I don't have a fondness for this era, I'm not going to pretend I ever did.  When metal and grunge took over late 80s onward is when I feel like "music" started to filter into the mainstream.  It was a decade of massive variety on the airwaves, but eventually we came back to cheese and marketing dominating.  I equate the grunge era with the hippy music of the late 60s, neither fit the mold at the time and came out of nowhere... and at some point the movement faded and record company marketing departments took over again.  Much like other things in life, modern music seems to ebb and flow in cycles.

Edited by stoopid
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Bands like Talking Heads,  DEVO, Pretenders, B52s, Echo and the Bunnymen, Oingo Boingo...

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Posted (edited)
On 5/18/2022 at 5:06 PM, stoopid said:

The irony in your post (rant?  ;) ) is that MTV was spoon feeding you certain artists and songs, opposite of that same freedom you next talk about with radio stations that played deeper cuts and lesser heard/lower charting artists.

 

 

 

Better late than never to realize it needs to get off the air.  My senior year of high school when boy groups and Britney invaded and douchebag friendly rock like Bizkit killed the alt rock I grew up with dominated made me realize Jello Biafra was right.

 

 

Edited by invisible airwave
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