The decade probably best described as the ‘Paradox Decade’ Why? I hear you ask.Allow me to elaborate.
It was the decade that gave us great music like New Wave,New Romantics, the New wave of British heavy metal,bands like the Cure,Duran Duran,Iron Maiden and even Bon Jovi (before they went all Country and Western)to name but a few.
However in tandem it is also the decade where the demise of the music started with the numerous Stock Aitken and Waterman acts.
It was the decade where testosterone fueled Rock anthems were played by men who looked like women.
Who could forget the drama that had as all glued to the TV to find out who shot one of America’s biggest oil tycoons on that ranch Southfork, just outside of Dallas. The Ewings hit by more then one tragedy. Bobby Ewing who had disappeared for god knows how long just to appear again in the shower as of nothing happened. No this wasn’t the prequel to the X Files, it was in fact the Uber Soap called Dallas.
We celebrated the lives and times of another oil magnate family in Dynasty and that of a wine family in Falcon Crest basically they were all identical shows just set in different locations, but boy did we love them.
On this side of the Atlantic we were following the antics of 2 brothers and their grandfather and later uncle in Only Fools and Horses
It was the decade where it was acceptable for women to display their shoulders as if they were injected with some alien DNA making their shoulders bigger then the rest of their bodies, wearing your underwear as street fashion was not frowned upon.As for men they could wear their blazers over T-Shirts and there was no longer the requirement to wear socks.
On a serious note it is in this decade where Political Correctness started sneaking in. The music industry was subjected to censorship which resembled the McCarthy era.The Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC) was an American committee formed in 1985 with the stated goal of increasing parental control over the access of children to music deemed to be violent, have drug use or be sexual via labeling albums with Parental Advisory stickers. The committee was founded by four women: Tipper Gore(Tipper is the name she chose, I kid you not), wife of Senator and later Vice President Al Gore; Susan Baker, wife of Treasury Secretary James Baker; Pam Howar, wife of Washington realtor Raymond Howar; and Sally Nevius, wife of former Washington City Council Chairman John Nevius.
Their actions did actually the opposite effect they had hoped for, these labels actually became a badge of honor of sorts. Of course when you tell teenagers(and adults) something is bad for them. it makes it more exciting for them. A lot of bands purposely made sure to get the labels on their album because they were guaranteed sales.The labels are still used nowadays but no one takes notice of them.
At the end of the decade the end of the Iron Curtain was heralded, in November 1989 the Berlin wall came down.This was the start of the end of the cold war. However in retrospect I am not sure if the cold war ever ended.
I am leaving you with the ultimate 80’s song, well at least in my opinion, originally recorded by Gloria Jones in 1965, but it was turned into a Mega Hit by Soft Cell in 1981.