Music, Fashion and Fads, I Love the 80's

Sherri Granato By Sherri Granato, 28th Jul 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Music>Listening To Music

One of the most popular decades in history, the 80's brought us some of the best music of all times, and with it came a serious impact of how we viewed our favorite artists and music sensations when MTV showed them on air for the first time.

A Unique Era was Born with Pop Rocks, Tubular Slang, Leggings & Awesome Music

Welcome to the decade that brought us some of the best music of all times, and with it came a serious impact of how we viewed our favorite artists and music sensations when MTV showed for the first time in the early 80's. This era also still had small remnants of innocence and it was the beginning of young urban professional emerging everywhere in their Volvo's. The Yuppie culture was upon us stronger than ever, and you either were one or you loathed them.

Diehard eighty's fans watched a group of young actors and actresses become famous from hit movies like Pretty in Pink, St. Elmo's Fire, The Breakfast Club, and Class. They would eventually become known as The Brat Pack, a name given to them by the press. Other movies emerged in this decade that offered soundtracks that we couldn't get enough of. The most memorable movies that offered music and dance was Xanadu, Flashdance, Grease 2, Footloose, and Dirty Dancing.

Michael J. Fox became an overnight sensation with his antics on Family Ties, and later Back to The Future made him a bonafide movie star. Phoebe Cates was every guy's fantasy girl as she strutted out in her bikini on the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High." A part humorous, part serious movie, teenagers got a reality check on teen pregnancy and abortion.

Chances were high that if you weren't listening to music on your boombox or watching MTV, then you were playing Pacman, depending on your age of course. The classic arcade game is considered an icon of the 80's that has lasted through time due to its huge popularity of chasing small dots with a big yellow dot that had a mouth. Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, and Tetris had a close following and other popular games from the 80's include Atari, Simon, Lite Brite, Easy-Bake Oven, Rubik's Cube, Micro Machines, Cabbage Patch dolls, and Centipede.

It was not an uncommon sight to see a guy toting a ghetto blaster boom box on his shoulder which was probably covered with a heavy metal or Hang Ten T-shirt or even a jean jacket. Parachute pants, and stone washed jeans was a familiar sight, and a guys break dancing skills always promised a group of girls telling him how gnarly he was. Girls everywhere had the blond feathered Farrah Fawcett or the Lady Diana hair cut going on with a gallon of Rave or Aqua-Net hair spray plastering it into place. Blue eye shadow, glitter, lace, ripped stockings and layering clothes was all a big part of this unique era.

The tubular valley girl slang like "omygod, gag me with a spoon" and "for sure" were a major part of the 80's girl image, and became their entire dialect for far longer than it should have. Image was everything, and these ladies wanted to be seen as bodacious and having gnarly ta-ta's. Girls with no brains were looked at as ditz's or air heads, and unattractive females were undeniably "butt ugly," or referred to as skanks, usually guys like this were considered hosers or scumbags.

These same girls were wearing off the shoulder shirts or bulky sweaters, tight mini's, stone washed jeans with zippers in the legs, scrunch socks, spandex, leggings, and big belts worn over baggy shirts. They were also heavily sprayed down with the popular Love's Baby Soft perfume which complimented their baby powder deodorant.

Popular shoes like L.A. Gear were a part of every teen's wardrobe, as well as Reeboks, Adidas, Keds, Jordache, Nike, Jellies and Banana Republic. Wearing Ray Bans meant you were awesomely cool and the punk look was embraced by Billy Idol fans across the United States. Movies like Valley Girl hit the screen in 1983, with a story line of "when punk meets prom," only added to the attraction of the tubular 80's generation.

Skate boarding became a favorite pass time when wannabe skaters caught a glimpse of the king of freestyle, Rodney Mullen doing flip tricks & flat-ground ollies. Skaters were soon emerging with their Madrid and Zorlac skateboards, and bad to the bone street wear. Vans sneakers quickly became a fashion statement for every guy who wanted to be taken seriously as an extreme skateboarder. A skater's dialect included the word "dude" in just about every sentence.

Indoor roller skating was hugely popular throughout the 80's, in fact roller rinks were the normal hangouts for teens on Friday & Saturday nights. The better skaters or show offs always had their own set of white or black skates, and they were the ones who skated gracefully from the snack bar, past the video games, down the steps onto the skating floor, moving with ease and whizzing past the non-skaters. The non-skaters were the ones that clung to the railings with the same strength as the "Jaws of Life," and spent most of their time cleaning the floor with their back sides.

80's Music-"One Hit Wonders"

Tainted Love
Pump Up the Volume
She Blinded Me With Science
Toy Soldiers
Take My Breath Away
Let the Music Play
Somebody's Watching Me
Pop Music
Tarzan Boy
Our House
Don't Worry Be Happy

Popular 80's Pop Group & Singers

New Kids on the Block
Debbie Gibson
The Villiage People
Human League
Milli Vanilli
Tears for Fears
Rick Ashtley
Cindy Lauper
Belinda Carlisle

Top Artists of the 80's : Pink Floyd, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Pat Benatar, Men at Work, AC/DC, Culture Club, The Go Go's, Prince, Paula Abdul, Cindy Lauper, Journey, Duran Duran, Bruce Springsteen, Guns 'n Roses, Van Halen, Deff Leppard, and Phil Collins

Top Movies of the 80's :E.T., The Indiana Jones Trilogy, Back to the Future, The Terminator, Batman, Ghostbusters, Dirty Dancing, Top Gun, Purple Rain, Flashdance, Rain Man, Beverly Hills Cop, Rambo II, Platoon, and Aliens.

Top 80's Program : Dynasty, The Cosby Show, Dallas, Cheers, Miami Vice, LA LAW, Thirty-something, The Simpsons, and In Living Color.

Cartoons From the 80's : Chipmunks, Thunder Cats, Care Bears, Fraggle Rock, Flintstone Kids, My Little Pony, Wuzzles, The Real Ghost Busters, Captain Caveman, Noozles, Gi-joe, Go-bots, He-man, Popples, New Scooby Doo Mysteries, Shirt Tales, The Snorks, Alf, Fraggle Rock, Cabbage Patch Kids, Dungeons and Dragons, Jetsons, and Pound Puppies.

It Happened in the 80's
AIDS becomes an epidemic in 1981, but it wasn't until 1984 that people began to take a real look at the disease.
Japan was declared the Worlds biggest car maker in 1980.
The Ford Escort, Ford Taurus, and the Honda Accord were the most popular cars of 1987.
The space shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986, killing seven astronauts.
A Farm Aid benefit concert in 1985 helps to support farmers.
The Titanic wreckage is found in 1985.
"Just Say No" is born in 1985
Fashion trend setters were looking to their favorite singers like Madonna and Cindy Lauper for their outfits, and thrift store shopping was where they went to find it.
Black Monday, the World stock market crashes in 1987.
The dream died along with John Lennon in 1980.
The Berlin Wall comes down in 1989.
First test tube babies born in the U.S. in 1983.
The wedding of Prince Charles & Lady Diana is live in 1981.
An attempt was made on President Reagan's life in 1981.
MTV debuted in 1981 in the U.S.
Partying like its 1999 seemed eons away.
People formed the letters Y.M.C.A. with their arms in the air to the popular song by the Villiage People.
Sandra Day O'Connor, first female, Supreme Court Justice.
Generation X was born.

Popular 80's Food
Abba Zabba
Marathon Bar
Chicken McNuggets
Pudding Pops
Fun Dip
Bellbeefer from Taco Bell
Trash Can Candy
Chocolate Twinkies
Push Pops
Hubba Bubba
Milk Break Bars
Pop Rocks
Corn Pringles
Frozen Yogurt
Pop Secret Popcorn
Magic Shell
Tooty Fruities
Peanut Butter & Jelly PopTarts
Hot Pockets


Aids, Batman, Berlin Wall, Black Monday, Blondie, Cabbage Patch Kids, Care Bears, Challenger, Chicken Mcnuggets, Dirty Dancing, Dragons, Flashdance, Footloose, Generation X, Honda Accord, Hot Pockets, Japan, Lady Diana, Magic Shell, Michael J Fox, My Little Pony, Nike, Phobe Cates, Pink Floyd, Pound Puppies, Prince Charles, Ray Bans, Reeboks, Retro, Scooby-Doo, Skate Board, Top Gun, Valley Girl

Meet the author

author avatar Sherri Granato
Sherri has lived in several haunted properties, including a morgue turned basement apartment. Instead of fearing the paranormal, she has opted to embrace, investigate and understand it.

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author avatar Retired
28th Jul 2014 (#)

Wow! A great article, and flashback. I loved the 80's, too! Thanks for the memories.

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
28th Jul 2014 (#)

I find the music of the 80's to have been some of the best music there has been for a long time. People were really esploring the limits of music more back then.

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author avatar Nancy Czerwinski
28th Jul 2014 (#)

Sherri, thanks for such a great article. The 80's were fun. The movies, music, fashion I loved it all.

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