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The 80s Revisited in Pop Culture Today


ProfD

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Yep, it will go round in circles.

 

From the "Pysch" commercial to new records, I see the sights and hear those 80s sounds.

 

Dammit, John Legend's "give me the green liiiiiggght" just popped into my head. :sick:

 

Of course, "these kids" producing records think they have discovered something new in the presets of their RolaYamaKorgWeil workstations.

 

Then, there are also the middle-aged music producers who were at ground zero having grown up on Friday Night Videos, MTV, The Box, etc.

 

Of course, satellite radio has a station dedicated to the 80s and every other decade from the 20th century. So, it's easier to capture the vibe without going to the box set.

 

In a final twist, I'm sitting in the movie theater a week ago and I see a trailer for a new movie--"The A Team". :rolleyes:

 

I refuse to believe with so much technology at our disposal that it's necessary to dig up that decade. :laugh::cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I can't think of a better decade to dig up, frankly. But I've always preferred to take the best of each era and meld it into something new. Nevertheless, I can't think what was the best of the noughts (but didn't hear much anyway). At least the 90's had nice Lesbian-Folk-Rock (which I took part in for six years).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

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You really should cut the hair I suppose when it gets really thin on top, my eight inch pony tail went ten years ago and I still think some of the best music was done during the 70's and 80's. Thats is rock, country rock, country, and prog rock, but I can't forget jazz. I just thank God my fingers haven't slowed down any and I can easily out play my lead player. Boy do we have fun.
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The cover/trib bands that draw the most people consistently in my neck of the woods are bands whose heyday was the 80's. My Journey trib act, a Bon Jovi trib act, and a few others are not hurting for gigs and the venues are paying us good $$$.

 

I asked my highschool daughter (she's 15) why so many of her friends are listening to 80's pop/rock music. She said that it's mostly fun music that's not depressing or political.

"Ear candy" is how one of her friend's mom puts it.

 

I find this interesting: You would think that the demographic of our audience would be primarily those who were teens and 20's back in the 80's. Yes, we do draw those people. However, Our largest age group is the mid 20's thru early 30's. As such we get gigs at places that you wouldn't think would support our genre. Not that I'm complaining. We get good money now for these gigs.

 

It always sort of amazes me when I see large groups of 20 somethings singing along to every song we are playing. I mean, they weren't even alive when a lot of this stuff was written and on the radio.

 

If Dan (80'sLZ) see's this maybe he can chime in with his experience as far as an 80's popularity/resurgence goes.

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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Two very simple answers, based on my querying of the "young'uns" that come out to some of my Classic Rock/Tribute gigs:

 

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/guitar_hero_package.jpg

 

http://condemnedtorocknroll.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/rock-band.jpg

 

These two games have exposed an entirely new generation (are we up to "Gen-Z" yet? ;) ) to the music that some of us grew up on.

 

I still shudder when I hear New Order referred to as 'retro' though. :(

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Yep - 80's music/fashion is huge with the 20-something gals for sure. Go to a department store sometime and look at the young gals clothing section (while trying not to look like a pervert). It's loaded with all of the 80's styles, and these gals come to our shows by the busload all decked out in 80's clothes with big hair, etc. The folks my age like it, too, but they mostly have kids and can't make it out much. I don't think you can consistantly play full-house shows in the larger venues unless you get the younger crowd - they just come out more and stay later.

 

We're currently among the highest paid cover bands in St. Louis and have only a few open dates left this year after raising our price 25% in January. We're starting to book some private shows in 2011. So I'd say it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

 

Most of the other local cover bands have added a lot of 80s songs to their sets as well. The difference is that they don't really do them like the original in most cases (many of them don't even have keys), and there's nothing else "80s" about them. I think we do well because we are focussed on ALL 80s, including other aspects of the show - wardrobe, stage props, lighting/video... we try to make everything about the show look and feel 80s. So if that's what you want, why see somebody else who only goes half way? It's worked well for us, and I for one am going to milk it for all it's worth while I can. I'm not getting any younger.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Musos come in different stripes. They ultimately have to pursue the gig that satisfies their muse and/or pays their bills.

 

Yet, regardless of decade, genre or style, there is nothing new, original and/or innovative about recycling music verbatim. There is a difference between playing a tune and covering it.

 

As musos continue trying to move music foward, I just hope their talent and creativity isn't stifled and discouraged by a culture and/or music industry looking to recycle the past. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I can't think of a better decade to dig up, frankly.

 

I'm a big believer in intelligent, civil discourse. . .but how drunk were you when you posted this?

"The Doomer allows the player to do things beyond which are possible without the accessory."
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The problem is that they don't necessarily know more than 100 of the heavy-rotation songs from Clear Channel 80's stations.

 

I've given up on the 80's scene after this past year. I'm on the audition trail again, which is scary for me after eight to ten years of gigs falling into my lap due to reputation or friends.

 

The 80's remain my primary inspiration due to the creativity, the breaking of rules, and the move away from guitar-centric pop. But of course I am referring to what I listened to in the 80's, which at the time was NOT the mainstream. Some of it became mainstream later (I predicted in 1980-1981 that U2 would become one of the biggest bands ever, and was told I'm crazy).

 

Ironically many of the bands I listened to were EXTREMELY political, but in a less naive way than 60's/70's music (nothing wrong with that; it was the "first step" towards awareness and that led to more sophisticated commentary in 80's music).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Nevertheless, I can't think what was the best of the noughts (but didn't hear much anyway). At least the 90's had nice Lesbian-Folk-Rock (which I took part in for six years).

 

So you're a lesbian? That's kinda cool!

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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Yeah, but with a man's body. How cool is that?

 

Its very cool my friend! Ive been told Im a lesbian in a mans body for years. Turns out Im not alone! :laugh:

 

 

Of course, Ive also been told Im a lot of other things too, so

 

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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I really wish the whole Bon Journey thing would die already.

And sticking a fork in the Hair Band thing wouldnt suck either.

 

Dont Stop Me Heavin.

 

 

LOL. That's funny line..seriously :)

 

Hey, as long as it's paying the bills, I'm gonna ride it. (I do have other projects I'm involved with, so when the time comes, I'm good ;) )

 

 

David

Gig Rig:Roland Fantom-08| Yamaha MODX+ 6 | MacBook Pro 14" M1| Mainstage

 

 

 

 

 

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I know I'm in the minority when it comes to that music, but I hated it then, and haven't grown much fonder of it, although I will admit, of that ilk, Journey were the better craftsmen; really excellent musicianship, concise songwriting, it's just that I much prefer the pre-Perry stuff by far.

 

My version of the 80s was U2, Psychedelic Furs, The Fixx, Kate Bush, Sinead O'Connor, The Police, INXS, Fishbone, Howard Jones...which is equally indictable for someone else.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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The element that still grabs me in 80's music is the frequent use of those early polyphonic synths that suggest certain instruments instead of trying to completely mimic real instruments that became the norm later with sampling.

 

Synths were a big part of the the 80's sound. Then... they just about fell off the planet in the 90's with all the guitar bands.

 

What still bugs me about much 80's music is the horrible drum machine programming with the BIG snare drum (with too much reverb) that sounds like a floor tom with snares on it - that sound has serious machismo problems.

"It is a danger to create something and risk rejection. It is a greater danger to create nothing and allow mediocrity to rule."

"You owe it to us all to get on with what you're good at." W.H. Auden

 

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We're currently among the highest paid cover bands in St. Louis and have only a few open dates left this year after raising our price 25% in January. We're starting to book some private shows in 2011. So I'd say it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

 

Thanks. I'm going to go slit my wrists now. I leave my vintage organ collection to kanker.

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My version of the 80s was The Fixx, The Police...

Same here with the addition of The Tubes.

 

What still bugs me about much 80's music is the horrible drum machine programming with the BIG snare drum (with too much reverb) that sounds like a floor tom with snares on it - that sound has serious machismo problems.

Exactly. :sick:

 

Also, somebody failed to tell those music producers that if a song had more drum parts than one drummer could play especially at that tempo, the song would not travel well.

We're currently among the highest paid cover bands in St. Louis and have only a few open dates left this year after raising our price 25% in January. We're starting to book some private shows in 2011. So I'd say it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

 

Thanks. I'm going to go slit my wrists now. I leave my vintage organ collection to kanker.

Nah mayne, continue doing your thing. When the organ trio makes a comeback, you'll be at the forefront of the movement. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Back when I still lived in an area that could get weak college stations, I discovered that the 60's were really good also. You just wouldn't know it from much of what gets played on 60's nostalgia programs today. The college stations found the real deal though. Some pretty innovative stuff. Who knew?

 

Similarly, a friend of mine was in a 50's cover band, and I went to support him even though I thought I hated 50's music. Some very sophisticated songs, none of which sounded anything like what I was used to hearing at the barber shop from their AM radio that played 50's nostalgia non-stop.

 

I notice that most people who hate the 80's are judging it by the bands that I hated during the 80's (some of which I learned to love twenty years later, such as Bon Jovi and Journey), including the whole Hair Metal scene. I don't even think of that as 80's music, but rather as a derivative scene that hadn't quite moved past the 70's and Arena Rock.

 

I just wish someone could convince me the 00's produced anything worthwhile, even outside of the commercially-controlled mainstream. That is my own personal blind spot, whilst most on this forum seem to hate my favourite decade (ironically, unless you don't consider synthesizers and keyboards to be the same category of instrumentation).

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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We're currently among the highest paid cover bands in St. Louis and have only a few open dates left this year after raising our price 25% in January. We're starting to book some private shows in 2011. So I'd say it's not showing any signs of slowing down.

 

Thanks. I'm going to go slit my wrists now. I leave my vintage organ collection to kanker.

Sweet! Gonna miss you buddy.
A ROMpler is just a polyphonic turntable.
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I think generalizations about the content created in any particular decade (20th century or later, at least) are silly. I could even go so far as to say the same about genres.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80s_music

 

This decade saw the emergence of teen pop, new wave and glam metal and is associated with electronic music and the use of the synthesizer in synthpop. The music of the 1980s continued the trends of the 1970s pop culture, just as the 2000s continued those of the 1990s.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Hair metal was the best of the 80's and if Ratt had used cheesy synths swells and DX-7 bass patches, you'd all have poofed your hair and thrown on the spandex ;)

 

Seriously, the '80s were a great time for innovation, I firmly believe that a lot of the "new sounds" in today's pop were frist discovered on some obscure import-only B-side by Cabaret Voltaire, but have now made it to the mainstream. The Punk and DIY movements as well as affordable, portable easy to use synths pushed a lot of kids to form bands and go for broke.

 

Specifically for synths, some of the best sounds were press-ganged into the service of some of the least imaginatively composed, commercial saccharine crap with the tritest lyrics, and that is why the mention of '80's causes many to roll their eyes or run in dread.

 

A good song, performed well will always have an audience.

"Call me what instrument you will, though you can fret me, yet you cannot play upon me.'-Hamlet

 

Guitar solos last 30 seconds, the bass line lasts for the whole song.

 

 

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My take on it is that the 80's had the best songwriting of any decade, if you ignore what was popular in much of the US.

 

The price of entry became much less, for those who could whip together their own synths (as early Human League did), and people who bought Prophet's and other affordable synths like SH101.

 

Many of these people might never have formed bands otherwise, as they had no inclination to learn guitar and/or had prior piano backgrounds.

 

So the tools of the time enabled a lot of talented composers/writers to get involved in music, who might otherwise have been shut out.

 

The same can be said today of loop music. I have no need for that technology as I am hyper-prolific, but my stuff isn't all that original so there's no reason to look down on loops. It's just a tool for putting together song quickly.

 

So, loops serve the purpose today that synths did in the 80's and cheap guitars and 30-watt guitar amps did in the 60's. In each case, they encourage musically talented people to get started, not getting hung up on cost and/or playing skills right away.

 

The truly talented pick up those skills as they go along, but start out with the writing skills from the get go. UB40 is a case in point.

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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Quotes below sound like a CL ad waiting to happen...

 

I had a pretty interesting conversation on this topic with a friend of my generation the other day. We both grew up in the 80's, and he very clearly identified with the AC/DC set. I told him, when you boil it down, AC/DC and Duran Duran could be played back to back and no one would bat an eye....I think he may have had a serious identity crisis.

 

 

Yeah, but with a man's body. How cool is that?

 

Its very cool my friend! Ive been told Im a lesbian in a mans body for years. Turns out Im not alone! :laugh:

 

 

Of course, Ive also been told Im a lot of other things too, so

Steinway L, Yamaha Motif XS-8, NE3 73, Casio PX-5S, iPad, EV ZLX 12-P ZZ(x2), bunch of PA stuff.
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That's right -- we often play AC/DC before or after Duran Duran, or even ABBA. No one bats an eye.

 

Back in the day, there would have been more tribalism. This is one advantage to doing covers of eras past rather than the current era (I've done both over the years, along with originals). Once it's "old", no one cares anymore which tribe you're identified with.

 

Unlike many on this forum... :-)

Eugenio Upright, 60th P-Bass, Geddy Lee J-Bass, Hofner HCT-500/7, Yamaha BBP35, Viking Bari

Select Strat, Select Tele, Am Pro JM, LP 57 Gold, G5422DC-12, T486, ES295, PM2, EXL1

XK1c, Voyager, Prophet XL

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